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RE: Schooling (was Connections)

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Bill:

Don't disagree at all.  The dynamics of a one person (or even small
multiple person) shop are much different than a "large" A/E firm.  Even
though I have nothing other than my person opinion to back it up, I would
think that it is much more cost efficient and time efficient for an
engineer (or architect) to do all the CAD work in a one person shop.

A company that has a significant group of engineers (or architects) on the
other hand is another story.  There becomes an economy of scale that
results in saved time and money to have a specialize CAD person setup
files and do the more routine stuff (i.e. doing basic framing plan work or
"cleaning" up framing plans from DXF exports from programs like RAMSteel
or assembling "standard" detail sheets from standard detail blocks).  But,
I still personally feel that there is some benefit to having engineers do
some of the CAD work.  Doing details in particular, should be faster and
better if the engineer does them directly in CAD (unless they are slower
than dirt on CAD)...at a minimum you eliminate one whole step as you no
longer have to hand draw it only to have someone else CAD it.  This was
definitely true for me, since I tended to hand draw my "sketches" to scale
and neatly.  Some engineers, OTOH, can do down and dirty quick hand
sketchs that portray enough intent in a very short period of time that
then someone else can CAD up.

The end result is that to me it makes sense to have engineers do some of
the drafting in "large" companies, but is not necessary.  For small
companies (i.e. one person shops), it is basically required that the
engineer do all the drafting (and engineering and marketing and
accounting and computer support).

Regards,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Fri, 5 Dec 2003, Bill Polhemus wrote:

> I have found, as a "one man show," that as I have had to rely on myself to
> do the drawings, and my skills have thus improved, it would be nigh unto
> impossible to have anyone else do my drawings for me, and have it be worth
> either my time OR my money. By the time I to the preliminary designs, brief
> a hypothetical "technician" on what I want done, wait for turnaround, check
> what he did, apply changes that will surely come up, etc., it is FAR cheaper
> for me to do it myself.
>
> Architects have always known this, of course. The notion of a "CAD
> Department" only makes since in certain narrowly-defined industries and/or
> fields of practice.
>
> A fellow I knew some years ago in the enviro engineering business said that
> he once did a post-doctoral research project (while he was working for a
> "think tank") that showed that an engineer could do his own CORRESPONDENCE
> (what used to be called "word processing") more efficiently--less time and
> less cost--than having a secretary do it.
>
> He surmised that the same would hold true IN SPADES for production of design
> drawings.
>
> FWIW, I tend to believe that strongly.
>
> William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
> Polhemus Engineering Company
> Katy, Texas USA
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu]
> Sent: Friday, December 05, 2003 1:59 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: Re: Schooling (was Connections)
>
> Cliff:
>
> Many times it is much easier for me to draft a detail in CAD than by hand
> only to give to a CAD tech.
>
>
>
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