Computer-Aided Design or CAD skills are crucial in virtually every industry, but knowing where your skills are needed can take some research. Whether your expertise is in 2D or 3D design, drafting models will come in handy and earn you some extra cash on the side. Let’s look at the multiple ways you can outsource your CAD skills to various companies and independents.

Sell Made Projects Online

Making 3D models, cartoon characters, and other drafting materials premade can earn you a fair amount of passive income. You can use different websites to sell these services, including e-commerce websites like Etsy, Amazon, and Shopify. If you need to 3D-print your projects, consult a 3D printing service that can make your items quickly and in bulk. 

Some websites may require a share of the profits, for example, GraphicRiver, Turbo Squid, and Unity 3D. If you’re uncomfortable with that, try making your own website.

Make Your Own Website

By making your own website, you establish credibility in your niche and keep your profits as long as you have an e-commerce extension on your webpage. Setting up a WordPress website takes 10 dollars and a few minutes, but you may need the help of a web designer to create a professional-looking site. You’ll need a website to showcase your portfolio and get more work.

Having a website also gives you access to a whole new customer base as long as you keep content on it with blog posts and videos. To monetize, place ads or products on the website.

Hit Social Media Platforms

While social media’s primary focus is to post your project and gain followers, you could use those followers to find more work or possibly gain sponsorships. Instagram caters to creative professionals, and you’ll be able to meet more designers and engineers in your field. Through networking, you could land a great job or gain more knowledge for high-ranked positions.

LinkedIn is explicitly targeted at professionals looking to build connections and find new opportunities. Consistently updating your social media pages will bring in more interest.


The purpose of making your own websites and using social media platforms, beyond placing ads and getting sponsorships, is to promote your services. There are plenty of clients that are searching for your skillset, and many of them will work with you on a freelance or contract basis. You can earn extra money this way on your schedule or time-frame.

It’s essential to learn marketing skills to sell your expertise. You’ll have competition in your field. To stand out, have an excellent portfolio, a network of job experience, and references.

Teach Your Skills

Have you trained anyone in any of your positions as a CAD designer, or are you a natural teacher? Plenty of students want to learn CAD skills but don’t have the income or free time to go to school. You can either sell private tutoring to adult students or make and sell your own courses. Even making YouTube tutorials is a great way to earn some money on the side.

Brainstorm topics that you want to teach. For example, you could give CAD software tips or teach 2D and 3D design. Most newbies will find this information incredibly valuable.

Programming CAD Software

Instead of selling physical products online, you could use basic programming skills to design modules for CAD. There are plenty of people that require a basic visual programmer for different CAD software. If you’re really ambitious, you could create your own software and sell it. For now, focus on drafting on commonly used software to get the most amount of reach.

You can write AutoLisp and Visual Lip programs for companies and industry firms because they’re profitable, but just about any program requires basic coding skills to function.

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