Computer aided design (CAD) tools like Autodesk Inventor or Solidworks – are difficult to learn to use.

Most available online tutorials are out of date as the software is updated annually – and you’ll quickly get stuck, with no where to go for help.

Products such as Inventor and SolidWorks are priced for professional engineering firms – with licenses costing thousands of (US) dollars per year per “seat”. Not something hobbyists can use!

For hobbyist use, you should check out the Educational license for Fusion 360 or the freely available DesignSpark.

With Fusion 360, I also quickly ran into the gotchas of learning CAD software and got stuck.

With much relief, I found Paul McWhorter’s outstanding Youtube tutorials on Fusion 360. Start here!

Right out of the gate, he recognizes the places new learners get stuck and smooths out those challenges right in the first lessons.

Paul is very calm, patient and mild mannered in his presentations. They are great. He also has extensive tutorials on Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Sketchup and other topics.

I had to look a bit online to find out about his background as he doesn’t say much about it. He is a retired research scientist/engineer, inventor, author of numerous top ranked research papers, executive management at a national laboratory (at which my late father-in-law worked as an electrical engineer), and co founder of a Silicon Valley tech company. Apparently he gets bored easily as he now teaches high school math too. He’s awesome – thank you Paul for all you have done!

Oddly enough, the very first video of his I saw was a video on how to protect home raised chickens from predators! Yeah, his several channels cover a wide range of topics!

By EdwardM