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RE: Engineering Education Reply to Bill P.

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You are correct that CAD training tends to focus a lot more on how to use
the software (and that drafting basics get overlooked).  But, it is not
just about the "gee whiz" effect.  More than just structural engineers use
CAD, and in fact, many other industries that make use of CAD use MANY more
of the CAD tools that our industry does.  So, usually someone be schooled
in CAD is taught more than we might need in our industry because many
times it is not known where the person being taught CAD might land.  So,
in many cases what might be "bells and whistles" for you and me, are in
fact necesscities for other industries.

As to learning new tricks, there is another reason to do so beyond helping
to "... make the drawing presentation more clear".  New tricks can also
sometimes make you more productive, which saves you time, meaning more
"profit" for you.

Plus, while I agree the CAD in general is "old hat", there are still "new"
aspects to it.  Drawing the building/structural as a 3D model and then
"extracting" the 2D contract documents from that 3D model is becoming
closer and closer to full reality.  Many folks already do such a thing to
some degree (with varying levels of success).  Chrysler has require A/E
firms in the recent past (and may still today) to model projects as a 3D
model in Catia, which can then "extract" some 2D contract documents (that
have to be "tweaked" and expanded upon).  They liked this because duct and
piping runs could be checked in the 3D model for interferences (with
structural and other piping/ducting and other items).


Ypsilanti, MI

On Wed, 3 Dec 2003, Bill Polhemus wrote:

> But I think I know how to present the information needed on a construction
> drawing. That's what I concentrate on when I produce drawings. Very rarely
> do I find myself trying to learn some new CAD trick, and even on those
> occasions it is to help make the drawing presentation more clear.
> I think that "CAD training" historically has eschewed the development of
> drafting skills in favor of learning the bells and whistles of the software.
> I don't think that is the fault of the software at all. It is a holdover
> from the "gee whiz" era of CAD adoption, when the cost of equipment and
> training was ponderous, and took all the focus away from the production.

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