Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

RE: DRFT - Dedicated Drafters vs. Engineers Drafting Their Own Stuff

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
I followed this post to a small degree, but was too busy 
drafting to put my $0.02 in.

In a small office, there is little choice of who does the 
drafting. You may choose to use an outside service, however, I 
find this to be very disappointing. After eleven years in a one 
man office, I can CAD draft infinitely faster than sketching. 
Sketching details does not identify dimensional differences that 
may matter, such as the placement of a bolt in relation to the 
end or edge clearances in wood. By the time you spell this out 
for the draftsman, you might as well do it yourself. Of course, 
this depends upon your level of CAD intelligence.
Possibly, having started with architectural roots, I have a 
higher standard for the way my CAD drawings look when plotted. I 
am very particular about sheet organization, line weights and 
text styles. I don't trust a draftsman to understand sheet 
composition unless he has the talent for it.
I remember when I first started to work in Aerospace. I worked 
under an older (70 years old semi-retired) architect who, 
historically, was a church architect. I was so enthralled by his 
lettering style, yet I could not reproduce that classic script.
Outside of the appearance of the sheet, there is a question of 
balancing all of the necessary information. Unlike hand 
drafting, CAD drafting is very precise dimensionally, and this 
is to our advantage. I tend to show every nail, make sure every 
member is dimensionally correct, and that everything fits as 
intended. I believe that hand drafting tends to "Flub" much of 
this by leaving it up to the builder to clean up.
CAD drawing also help to identify where the problems are likely 
to occur - if only because you can zoom in and out to see down 
to the fractions of an inch.  In a recent post, I did not feel 
comfortable with a wood ledger connection that placed the load 
eccentric to the wall. With the help of CAD, I was able to play 
with a certain Simpson connector and found out that I could 
create a custom connection. I don't think I would have liked to 
try one scenario, toss it away, redraw on a clean sheet, toss 
away etc. With CAD, simply move the objects around, add or 
remove connectors, bolts, nails etc - a much faster cleaner 

Soooooooo! My vote is to let the engineer figure out the details 
and draw them. If they are used to working a problem alone, they 
will be more productive by doing it at the same time that they 
sketch. If they are not proficient on CAD, your decision is 
made, leave it to someone else.

That's my long opinion.
Dennis Wish PE