News and Events

MHC student is glad with CADD program

February 14, 2014
Written by Ryan Dahlman, managing editor for the Prairie Post
Featured in the February, 14, 2014 edition.

Growing up on a farm near the southwest Saskatchewan community of Fox Valley, Greenwald never had designs on becoming an architect, but she always had a creative streak. Her imaginative flare and vision have served her well and now is in the midst of a prestigious competition while enjoying the opportunity to be able to work with one of the biggest advancements in technology the Medicine Hat College has seen — the 3-D printer.

“I had taken photography in high school and I enjoyed the creativity in the photography,” says Greenwald. “I came onto tours and I heard about CADD and did some research on it on the Medicine Hat College website. I talked to the student advisor and I signed up. I really tried to educate myself on the program so I knew what I was getting into. I hoped it would work.”

According to the Medicine Hat College website, CADD involves developing technical and artistic skills to become a drafting technician or technologist with strong knowledgeof industry standard software.
Graduates of the certificate may enter the workforce equipped with a basic understanding of architecture, computers, mechanical and topographical drawing and design. 

Greenwald knew her interest in designing things, and applying that creativity came to fruition when she was working on a poster for her aunt Dixie Lorentz, who was the Canadian Curling Association’s Sponsorship Fulfillment Coordinator for the 2013 Tim Horton’s Brier.

Greenwald wound up designing posters for the event while in her senior year at Fox Valley School.
It did. Greenwald said the CADD program grabbed her interest right from the beginning of the semester. She’s worked with interesting software, Inventor 3-D CAD software, SketchUp, and AutoCAD to name a few. She says it was difficult in the beginning but she “persevered.”

Now, Greenwald and her student competition partner are anxious to see if they can win an interesting competition through the college and the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA).

As part of the Top Hat Awards, they and other CADD student-teams will design a home that meets Habitat for Humanity guidelines.

According to the College, the teams’ submissions will be judged by representatives from CHBA and the Top 2 teams will be invited to attend the 2015 awards night to have their work recognized. The CHBA is also supporting 3-D printing models of these designs at the advanced manufacturing technologies lab at the college.

It’s a wonderful opportunity for Greenwald and her partner. She said they work well together. He is older, has major computer experience and really has a strong understanding of the science of building. They seem to be able to bounce ideas off of each other and they have agreed on a lot of the design elements.

“(Our teaming together) was totally strategic,” explains Greenwald. “He has so much life and computer experience and using that experience with (designing) the structural part of buildings. I like throwing ideas together ... (I’m) ideas based. I like to make things (conceptual).”

She says those who are scared off by the fact this program is too math or physics based shouldn’t be. She says the computer-aided drawing is fun and rewarding.

“At first, I didn’t take any interest in construction,” explains Greenwald. “But then I learned about 3-D printing and CADD provides you with so much opportunity. You just picture an object, turn print (on and) you can print it ... I had no CADD background. I just navigated the classes.”

She says for the first half of the school year, she’s been learning how to draw 3-D objects on the computer. She’s learning about isometric objects and blue printing dimensions.

By the end of the first semester, her education has made it possible to build and design homes. They will compete amongst a total of eight teams in the event. Greenwald says there are two to three people per team.

They have to hand in their drawing presentation by March 4. Paula Herrington, of the Canadian Home Builders Association, notes it will be an opportunity for students to network and meet with potential builders, trades and suppliers and be mentored and make connections that can help them when getting into residential design.

As for Greenwald, she will take her two-year program at Medicine Hat and then perhaps study through Athabasca University.

“We’ll see how it goes, I’m 18 years old, it’s hard to predict,” explains Greenwald. But I really like what I’m doing now with this program.”

For more information about the residential architecture class or the CADD technical illustrator program, visit