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Sheri Breanne Lopez: Drawing and Designing with Computers






Meet Sheri Breanne Lopez

Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) technician,

Sandia National Labs


Her Work: Making shapes on a screen that turn into things we use in real life










Your television, your couch, and your home were probably drawn and designed by someone like Sheri Breanne Lopez. She is a Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) technician.


Scientists or engineers are Sheri’s clients. They have an idea of something they want to build. She uses CAD software to make 2D and 3D designs of the project. It takes some higher math skills, a good deal of geometry, and a lot of artistic thinking. And you have to follow the rules. All the parts must fit together when it is finally produced.


"It’s a sweet job. You make enough money to live. You can travel on your paid vacations. You can live well while you’re young.”

CAD drawing Sheri made for our website

Sheri says she has been a nerd her whole life. She forced the kids in her neighborhood to learn math and science all summer. When her father gave her a screwdriver, she took apart all the small electronics in their home. Then came the challenge of putting them back together so they worked.



CAD Design Sheri made for our website.

Sheri aced her high school math and science classes. But she faced cultural challenges. People in her small community had low expectations for women. They praised her for the mariachi music she made. They praised her poetry. They said she could write the Great Native American novel. Her winding path through college took her to English, then Psychology, then Anthropology. But nobody expected her to succeed in a technical field of work.


Finally, her father pushed her towards engineering. It takes only two years to get a Pre-Engineering degree at a community college. From there you can make $60,000 per year as a CADD tech at a science laboratory. It’s a sweet job. You make enough money to live. You can travel on your paid vacations. You can live well while you’re young. And many employers will pay you to finish a bachelors’ degree if you want to do that. She took that path and found good work that she feels passionate about.


Now Sheri tells young people from other small, poor communities like hers to become a CADD tech. You can have a good job and a good life while you walk your winding career path. And you never know where that path will take you.


Photo Credits: Sheri Breanne Lopez





Read these books to learn more about how to make 3D drawings . . .

(These books are old school. They show you how to draw 3D using geometric shapes.)


How to Draw Cool Things, Optical Illusions, 3D Letters, Cartoons and Stuff (volumes 1 and 2): A Cool Drawing Guide for Older Kids, Teens, Teachers, and Students

by Rachel Goldstein

The simple steps in these drawing books will show you how to draw optical illusions, 3-dimensional letters that pop out of the page, 3d cartooning effects, and cool things that will blow your mind. Each easy art lesson starts with easy geometric shapes that will help you build the basic structure of your drawing. Each "Cool Stuff / Thing" drawing lesson is a step by step process. Each tutorial is broken down into the simplest of steps that can be followed by older

children & teens.


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Mark Kistler's Draw Squad

By Mark Kistler

This one is an oldie but a goodie for ages 3 - 12.

Mark Kistler's Draw Squad gathers all his zany, effective shortcuts to basic drawing skills into a book that will delight would be artists of all ages. Like his TV show, the thirty lessons in this book are peppered with jokes, tips, and slogans, and organized in easy-to-follow steps. "Warm-up" exercises generate enthusiasm; the "Key Drawing Words" develop specific skills; practice pages are provided for hands-on participation. And his talent as a teacher make learning to draw fun and easy -- even for those who swear they can't draw a straight line!


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. . . visit these websites to see CAD at work.






What is CAD? A quick description of CAD by ATETV (Advanced Technological Education TV)




The Future of Design - Elon Musk of SpaceX starts with a CAD model of an engine and shows you how we could interact with it and then print it on a 3D printer.

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