Thanks first of all for understanding my complaint (I'm expecting to get
some flames now, for DARING to say that "draftsmen" might not be "as good as
engineers"). The fact is that there are some like your man Leo, but way too
few. The further fact is that there was a time when nearly ALL draftsmen
were that way.
What has happened, according to my own theory, is that we went through a
transformation in the 1980s, when the computer aided drafting software and
hardware--which were purchased typically as turnkey systems--were so
expensive in terms of first cost that training people just to use the system
was a premium. Lots and lots of money spent on training people how to be
"human Xerox machines," instead of how to design.
I don't think the craft has ever recovered from that emphasis on using the
tools as opposed to what to do with them.
It would be like, years ago, all the emphasis was on the mechanics of how to
use a T-square, or a straightedge, or selecting lead for your pencil, and
the reality of what you actually used them for was discussed almost as an
Anyway, that being the case, my personal opinion is that I can thus learn
the ins-and-outs of using the tools just as well--in fact, I use them for
design/layout as well as finished drawings--so I prefer to do my drafting
Architects have always done this. They learned early on that the graphical
representation of what they were doing was an integral part of the doing
William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
From: Jones, Mark A [mailto:Mark.A.Jones(--nospam--at)jacobs.com]
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2001 9:07 AM
Subject: RE: Info Requested: Microstation PowerDraft
One of our designers, Leo, does contracting work on the side. He has a
complete setup at home. Two things to commend him. First, he is my
designer of choice because he actually is a designer. I've given him many
"napkin" sketches and he can turn them into real drawings. He spoiled me.
When I transferred offices, I now have to deal with some "draftsmen". For
some of our people in this office, they are the "human Xerox machines" to
which you refer. Whereas, with Leo, I could concentrate on the overall
design and let Leo take care of all of the "drawing details". He even
understands about critical dimensions. (He was a tool machinist before
getting hurt and retraining as a designer.)
Second, he is very fluent in Microstation, as the client with whom he works
is a Microstation shop. He is also very fluent in AutoCAD.
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