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This has brought to mind again the difference(s) between a "structural draftsperson" and a draftsperson who copies the engineers sketches.  During my time I have been spoiled by the opportunity to work with draftspersons whose expertise was little different from "real" structural engineers.  With their assistance,  experience, and tolerance I have been on design teams that produced designs that reflected a team vision rather than just the engineer's.  These days I find my impression of many drafters is one of the old "tracer" images.  As a sole practitioner I value a drafter who has a good sense of "structure and material" or who makes the effort to "investigate".  Am I alone with this impression?  Am I making poor choices??

Thor A. Tandy   P.Eng.,  MCSCE
Victoria, BC, Canada
e-mail: <vicpeng(--nospam--at)>

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis S. Wish PE <wish(--nospam--at)>
To: seaint(--nospam--at) <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Date: Saturday, October 31, 1998 5:04 PM

>I'm not sure why Bob abhors cad software? I understand the importance of a
>structural draftsperson and would not hire a drafter simply because he can
>use a CAD program. Without the ability to understand what he/she is looking
>at or the materials used, no type of drafting (manual or CAD) is adequate.
>The advantage of CAD to manual drafting techniques is it's ability for
>precision. In my days of manual methods it was not uncommon to find a
>production draftsperson who "fudged" the detailing rather than identify when
>dimensional differences of a fraction of an inch mattered.
>The point is that CAD is a tool - no better or worse than manual methods in
>philosophy. CAD shines when repetitive steps or construction using
>pre-defined blocks can be used. I've worked both ways - but have not owned a
>drafting table in over twelve years.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Bobeng(--nospam--at) [mailto:Bobeng(--nospam--at)]
>Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 1998 7:19 PM
>To: seaint(--nospam--at)
>Bill Allen -
>I , as an old timer , enjoyed your BRIEF response to Josie !
>When I started my full time private practice in May of '64 my very first
>employee was a Structural Draftsman [ now being known as a ' Drafter ' ] .
>After I hired my two Structural Engineers, shortly thereafter , as I
>, the employee that 'Made' more profit for my small firm was the draftsman.
>He had , by then , had  15 years of experience.  {{ His artistic and
>professional work is still recognizable in  this small South Bay area }} !
>Did he have BRAINS ?  You better believe it.  He knew that when the SE's
>handed him Detail Drawings to draft [ after their laborious calcs ] whether
>and/or not they were Good ! !     This is why , now that I am into the 90's,
>that I abhor AUTO CAD , etc. , etc. , etc.  !!   ( NO Style )   { as well as
>some of the Structural Software at which I have looked , in this short time
>period } .
>               RLK       [ and, I did not spell the misnomer in the above