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Re: Structural Engineering as Art and the pitfalls of computers

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Hear hear

Thor Tandy  P.Eng  MCSCE
Victoria BC
Canada
vicpeng(--nospam--at)vtcg.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis S. Wish PE <wish(--nospam--at)cwia.com>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Date: Saturday, January 02, 1999 12:44 AM
Subject: Structural Engineering as Art and the pitfalls of computers


>In the last post, Milo Ketchum stated:
>"Training of structural engineers should include courses in art and free
>hand drawing. when I taught structural engineering courses I often said:
>"Think with your fingers""
>
>I believe that this concept is rapidly becoming archaic and properly so. As
>we strive to achieve the most economical design AND accept work that
>presents far more complex architectural problems we need to use our minds
to
>derive more creative structural solutions and spend less time representing
>those solutions on paper.
>This means that we need to spend more time learning to use the new tools we
>have to our advantage. This is the true creativity of drafting.
>Cad provides a means for us to create equivalent representation to manual
>drafting in a shorter period of time. However, we tend to neglect to delve
>past the very basics and blame the technology for providing inferior
results
>to those of classic delineation.
>I have been using Cad software since 1984. With each new advancement, I
>strive to learn the new features and how I might apply them to improve my
>presentation. Layers, color (as equated to lineweights), and sheet
placement
>are just  a few of the important skills. I recently learned to create a
line
>that could be drawn in degrees of shading so that it appeared as a very
>faint, but thick line which was interpreted as a background when plotted.
>Rather than learning to letter in classic style, we need only find a font
>that achieves this - or create one if so inclined.
>The argument that most firms can not afford the down time for learning is
no
>longer valid. More draftsman with structural experience are available today
>than ever before and this is growing at a steady pace. Still, we all have
>our unique specialties which require special training. Unless your secure
>that you will never lose your valued draftsperson, you may be faced with
the
>need to train an apprentice. There should be no more "downtime" than that
of
>taking on a new employee. Better still, offices might consider hiring a
>draftsperson with greater skills (and pay accordingly) who can establish an
>office standard at an accelerated rate - thus reducing the cost of
>conversion.
>I believe that the resistance to Cad is one of fear of technology rather
>than rational consideration of efficiency or lost productivity. This
>resistance is true of most changes in technology - one that requires time
to
>cure.
>I think the time has come that we understand the business side of our
>profession and choose those tools that can protect our creative
>representation and increase our efficiency and productivity. The advantage
>is that we can provide greater efficiency and creative choices as solutions
>to complex problems.
>
>Dennis S.Wish PE
>Dennis S. Wish PE
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Milo Ketchum [mailto:mketchum(--nospam--at)inet-access.com]
>Sent: Friday, January 01, 1999 4:45 PM
>To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
>Subject: Re: Structural Engineers are Artists!
>
>
>All:
>
>Training of structural engineers should include courses in art and free
>hand drawing.
>when I taught structural engineering courses I often said: "Think with
>your fingers"
>
>
>
>
>
>