Last week, I get my copy of AutoCAD 2011 and AutoCAD LT 2011: No Experience Required. The book is just published, and I’m really curious what’s in the book. It’s not only about the book content, but also how the author guide us through the book. That would be a really good experience for me, probably I can use the technique for my blog posts.
About the author, book, and publisher
First time I get the book, it was a bit intimidating. It is 944 pages (982 if you count the glossary and index). A very thick book. When I see the logos on the book cover, it even more intimidating: Autodesk Authorized Author, Autodesk Authorized Publisher on the back… On the front cover, you can see Autodesk Official Training Guide. This is the book that Autodesk suggest you to read when you are trying to learn AutoCAD!
Donnie Gladfelter is highly respected in CAD communities. He has a very popular CAD blog: the CAD Geek. He is a member of AUGI board of directors. His knowledge is recognized in public speaking and publications. If you search his name in Google, then you will see all of the search result related to CAD! :) A true CAD geek!
What’s in The Book?
I was an instructor in Autodesk Authorized Training Center, so I’m familiar with the training course. They used to call it Autodesk Official Training Course (AOTC) before. Donnie’s book is different. The first chapter is quite slow for me, but probably it was just because I already use AutoCAD for almost 15 years. Some new users want to jump right away and see some results. They probably can do that. Donnie still provide clear screen capture how you can find the tools in the next chapters. You may want to skip the first chapter at first, and (you have to) come back later. For example, workspace may not interest everyone at first, but it is necessary information.
I like how he guide us through the exercises. First, he shows us a drawing that we are going to accomplished in the chapter. Then he explain a few theories and ask us to do some exercises. The materials explain the theories just enough, not too long before we can do some exercises. His step-by-step tutorial is actually guiding us from the first command/tool, until you can finish and plot the drawing. The book thickness will not so intimidating after all after you start reading. You will get through the pages quickly. You probably will want some more :)
But the true added value of this book is how Donnie introduce us to the real world design workflow. Donnie guide us to implement the National CAD Standard (NCS), something that I rarely found being used in my country. I also interested to see he explain about the design, and not only talking about how you can draw it. For example, in chapter 4, he explain the difference between interior and exterior wall. I mean, most book I read don’t cover things like that. You don’t only learn how to draw, but you know what you are doing!
In addition, if you want to learn basic 3D modeling, you can do the exercises too. Aren’t you excited to create a 3D house model? It’s quite basic, but enough for beginners.
Who Need the Book?
Obviously the new users. If you want to learn AutoCAD by yourself, this is a right book for it. However, if you already use AutoCAD, this book can also help to give you a good foundation. Since it is the official training guide, and the detailed information in it… it’s a book you want to read when you are preparing for Autodesk Certification.
Get yourself a proper training is the best option to learn AutoCAD. However, if it’s not possible, then get yourself a good book… this one. The Autodesk Official Training Guide logo is there for a reason.
How to Get the Book
I’m sure you can get the book in the book store near you. You can also get the book from Amazon. So get the book, and have fun!