The CADMaker is a small business located on the north side of Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is the vision of The CADMaker to meet the specific CAD (Computer Aided Design) needs of small and mid size businesses by utilizing Autodesk’s Inventor software. If you have the need to generate solid models, detail drawings, or rendered marketing images The CADMaker may be able to fill your needs.

The CADMaker utilizes the Ultimate Product Design Suite, Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a few other products on Dell portable workstations. Delivered product may be native CAD files, PDF, DWF, or hard copy output from an HP 5000 laser printer or  an HP 500 Designjet color plotter.


The following is a partial listing of customers and clients of The CADMaker and tasks performed for those companies.

A and B Sound Company - Generated and hosted a web site for northeast Indiana’s largest sound and lighting company.

Able Material Handling – Generate solid CAD models, renderings, and animations of wire containers and carts to be used by their marketing group.

Accutemp – Generated drawing packages based on engineering concepts for steam ovens, a smoke house, and a griddle. Manufacturing processes involved sheet metal work combined with robotic welding. Training of new employees in the use of AutoCAD and support for plotters and AutoCAD systems.

Advanced Machine and Tool - Provided a complete drawing audit of an existing machine and converted the existing US part callouts to metric replacements.

ALFE  Systems – Created custom menus and LISP routines to help enforce company standards for the creation of their heat treating equipment.

Amaze-N-Tow (Pro Pallet Corporation) - Generated all documentation, manufacturing packages, patent drawings, and detail drawings for fork lift type trailers.

AT Ferrell – Generated CAD models and detail drawings for custom machining fixtures.

Autodesk – Taught classes on AutoCAD, Mechanical Desktop, Revit, MS Office, and Inventor at Autodesk University multiple years.

Ball Foster Glass Company - Provided AutoCAD and Mechanical Desktop training to the design engineers.

Brock Grain Systems – assisted in the design of the worlds largest grain bin holding over 1M bushel of grain. Additional assignments included developing CAD drawings to be used in conjuction with custom web catalog software and generating layout/installation drawings for grain bins incorporating civil engineering specifications.

ClearWater Ministries - Generated and hosted a web site for an international minsitry.

Corporate Software Solutions - Provided AutoCAD and Mechanical Desktop training to their customers.

Creative Building Products – (see Spirit of America)

D.R.A.W. – Generated and hosted a web site for the local Autodesk Users Group.

Flare Bottle Tooling - Took existing prints and generated 3D models for a machine. A later job involved creating a “then/now” PowerPoint presentation to be used at a marketing meeting with their customer.

GT Automation - Generated marketing image that superimposed a conceptual tool developed in CAD with an actual photograph of the existing equipment to be modified. A later job involved detailing a progressive die set.

Guide Engineering - Developed gaging fixtures.

Hittle Landscape Architects – Provided training and support for AutoCAD based products.

Holophane – Created a light assembly to be used as a time study looking at the relevance of Mechanical Desktop versus other CAD applications.

Hosetract Industries – Create engineering drawings of hose reels and generate exploded view drawings of their products for use in catalog sheets and advertisements.

Mantle of Praise Ministries – Generated a web site for an international minsitry.

Outdoor Adventure Challenge – Generated and hosted a web site for a local not for profit agency that served physically disabled children.

Phillips Electronics – Generated electrical and mechanical drawings to be used on automotive electrical assemblies.

PWC Fabrication - Training of structural detailers moving from drafting boards to AutoCAD. Helped establish company CAD standards and created custom templates and menus in AutoCAD and Microsoft Excel. Provided front line customer support through numerous upgrades.

Rea Magnet Wire – Rework existing wire extrusion fixtures, design flow manifolds, and plant layout drawings.

Rieke Corporation – Provided basic AutoCAD instruction.

Ritchie Engineering – Created engineering drawings, concept drawings, handbook and brochure diagrams of refrigerant recovery machines. Generated all design drawings for several new projects working with assorted manufacturers. Designs involved work with hardware, sheet metal, purchased components, and molded plastic parts. Additionally assisted the owner in developing a single valve compressor.

Spirit of America – Generated patent and copyright drawings of assorted molded parts.  Provided on-site and off-site support to the engineering and manufacturing areas. Created engineering packages for numerous projects, many for the military. Generated installation instruction and assembly documents to support the products.

Stained Glass Overlay – Redesigned a domed ceiling grid to support the panels created by SGO. Additional efforts included projecting global maps onto the dome using Mechanical Desktop and creating full size plots to be used as templates for creating the “stained glass panels”.

Supreme Tooling - Design of gaging fixtures for blow molded parts.

Tekni Group, Inc. – Provided training services to their customers.

Transformations by Wieland – Created engineering drawings from concept prints, then generated CNC output to physically create the parts for their furniture lines using a CNC router. Generated Excel spreadsheets to track all furniture models and their components.

Whitley Welding and Fabrication – Created numerous CAD models and 2D CAD profiles to simplify creating parts on a NC plasma table. Assisted with engineering support on various projects.

Wieland Furniture – Assisted with the engineering and layout of new furniture designs and concepts. Provided plotting services for several years.


After graduating from Purdue University as a mechanical engineer in 1985, I started a job with VH Electronics in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They wanted to keep up with the marketplace and bring CAD into their business to replace their drafting boards. One of my first jobs was choosing a CAD package that would would best fit the company needs and would likely be a surviving software. I chose AutoCAD 2.16 running on Compaq AT clones. I learned the package inside and out, developed company standards and part libraries,  and started training the draftsmen at VH Electronics. Later we added Schlumberger (Applicon) Bravo systems to modify US Naval drawings opening up the 3D world. While working at VHE I was asked if I could train the engineers at Alliance Winding Equipment on weekends and evenings. That was the beginning of my contracting. The experience at VHE was a good one giving a strong background working with standards in drawings. ANSI, ASME, MIL-STDs, and GT&D were a part of everyday drawings.

In 1993 with the reduction of military spending, I was laid off from VHE and left to find a new source for income. Seeing a need to fill in the training arena, I officially started The CADMaker in hope of making CAD users. When training I noticed that the students didn’t all learn from the styles taught by the resellers and their “canned” lessons. The older drawing board guys were intimidated by the new computer thing and the young guys were eating up the computer thing but had no idea on how to draw, while there were lots of folks somewhere in the middle. My goal was to help each one learn in a way that best suited them. That was all great, but their really wasn’t much of a market in the Midwest for training. There was a market for CAD work on a project or as needed basis, so that was the avenue that I pursued with The CADMaker.

When Autodesk released Designer I jumped on that bandwagon. That was later merged into Mechanical Desktop which I used for many years to create mechanical designs for customers. I regularly attended Autodesk University and got to hang out with a lot of the power users of Mechanical Desktop and was soon asked to be a presenter at the annual event. That was great exposure which created opportunities well away from the Fort Wayne area.

I later learned Solidworks to assist Corporate Software Solutions in their training. Not long after this Autodesk released the first version of Inventor. After much persuasion by fellow CAD associates I pursued this route using Inventor as my primary CAD software. It’s capabilities are tremendous and it continues to grow with each release. Through different upgrades I am using the top tier product in the mechanical design area called Ultimate Product Design Suite which is loaded with all kinds of great software including Inventor, 3D Studio Max, Alias, and Showcase.

I have been active with the local Autodesk users groups DRAW and AMUG-FW. Autodesk disbanned the AMUGs but the DRAW group is still active in the Fort Wayne area meeting monthly. I occasionally do presentations for the users group and am an officer in the organization. Being part of these communities has been awesome and a great wealth of ideas, methods, and solutions.

Most of the time, The CADMaker has been a single person business, however, occasionally there has been the need to utilize the talents of others to accomplish customer requirements.

It has been a decent career with exposure to a lot of different arenas. I have been able to do drawings related to electrical, structural, and mechanical. Projects involved sheet metal, castings, plant layouts, machine design, gaging, and plastics.  Products have been furniture, cooking equipment, miltiary barricades, grain bins, pump castings, compressors, and refrigerant recovery devices.

There is a little of  my background with The CADMaker. Please feel free to contact me if you have any mechanical design needs.

Byron Funnell
CAD/CAE/Mechanical Engineer


Some favorite links of The CADMaker

Autodesk - The CADMaker has used Autodesk products since 1985. This site has links to free viewers, their CAD software, updates, user groups, and subscription information.

AUGI – Autodesk Users Group International. The manufacturing community has helped The CADMaker by answering several questions about Autodesk software in the past.

DRAW Users Group - the local Users Group for the greater Fort Wayne area. Most meetings are Inventor based, but there are topics on AutoCAD and other Autodesk products as well.

JVH Engineering - Ed Rose is my current vendor. He does a great job supporting his customers and the local user groups.

Charlie Bliss’ iparts – this is a great resource for off the shelf parts. I have used several of these in designs.

Matweb – A useful site to find information about different materials that you may need to add for analysis.


You may contact The CADMaker at the following:

The CADMaker
13005 Hardisty Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46845-9611

Home Office Telephone: (260) 627-8152