The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of computer-aided design (CAD) software-based instruction on the spatial visualisation skills of freshman engineering students in a computer-aided engineering drawing course. A quasi-experimental design was applied, using the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test-Visualization of Rotations (PSVT:R) for both the pre- and the post-test. The participants were 116 freshman students in the first year of their undergraduate programme in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at a university in Turkey. A total of 72 students comprised the experimental group; they were instructed with CAD-based activities in an engineering drawing course. The control group consisted of 44 students who did not attend this course. The results of the study showed that a CAD-based engineering drawing course had a positive effect on developing engineering students' spatial visualisation skills. Additionally, the results of the study showed that spatial visualisation skills can be a predictor for success in a computer-aided engineering drawing course.