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The 21st Century Design Drafting Group
6

The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

(OP)
I'm curious. Since CAD's inseption during the 80's & 90's many companies simply electronified (if there is such a word) their design drafting processes.  In the 21st Century will there be a paradigm shift from tradtional design drafting groups? What efficiences will traditional Design Drafting groups incorporate?  Examples:
Will we head toward paperless (drawingless) engineering society?
Will PMI become a viable path?
What means will design groups explore to convey design requirements and increase the design effiency?

Share your thoughts.

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

Somehow I cannot see it drawingless, knowing the contractors I have dealt with.

PMI?

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS
Motivation:  Don't ask

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

3
Paradigm shift already happened.  
Companies bought CAD stations.
Companies fired engineers to pay for the CAD stations.
Designers became engineers by declaration.
Drafters and detailers were fired for more cost savings.

Efficiency accrued?  
Negative; designers make mistakes that engineers don't.

Paperless?
No.  Nobody wants to send an actual CAD file to anyone, because it may be repurposed so easily that your customers can become your competitors.  So pdf files are sent back and forth, and CAD files are (re)generated from them, at considerable expense.  Expense includes the labor of regeneration, and the cost of errors and omissions during transcription.



 

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

I agree with Mike... since computers have arrived on the scene, we use much more paper than we used to in drawing creation.  Even with a broad adaptation of MBD, there will still be a paper record, of tolerances and materials if nothing else.  The only way around this that I see is if ALL of the CAD developers agree on one common standard, and I don't see that happening very soon.
If by PMI you mean PLM, then yes, I do see that becoming more common in the future, if only to keep track of all of the data we are producing.

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter
 

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

BIM will become more prevalent.

Will PMI even become a viable abbreviation?
 

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

D$#@ Abbreviations!  Speak English people!  bigsmile

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS
Motivation:  Don't ask

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

Hear that grinding?  It's a paradigm shifting without a clutch.

Ugh!  I typed "paradigm"!  Now my keyboard is all gritty.  The buzzword filter in my virus protection is blinking red.

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

The real question is will management stop using the buzzword of the minute and applying it on Engineers?

Lean, Siz Sigma, Paradigm Shift, 7 Habits, Green, etc.

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

Brainwash yourself for fun and profit...

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

I think the major shift is the drafting and engineering functions will eventually get combined into one and the same person. There's no reason the engineer can't do drafting as well and I'm not sure that it is any more cost effective to have a drafter draft and an engineer design because it takes so much time for the engineer to communicate to the drafter what he/she wants.

Cedar Bluff Engineering
http://cedarbluffengineering.webs.com

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

Quote:

is the drafting and engineering functions will eventually get combined into one and the same person

Is this not the way it was back at the beginning?  I think that the early victorian engineers used to do all their own draughting.

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

Ah, but they were not licensed engineers and therefore weren't entitled to portray themselves as such. tongue

That's also the real reason why the industrial revolution started in England: the UK allows anyone to call themselves an engineer... lol
  

----------------------------------
  
If we learn from our mistakes I'm getting a great education!
 

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

photoengineer:  when CAD is truly used as computer aided DESIGN, it makes sense for an engineer to do it themselves.  That's when the communication between CAD operator and engineer can sometimes become so burdensome that it's no longer worthwhile.

When CAD is used to simply automate the process of DRAWING, a drafter is the way to go.  An engineer adds no value to that process.  

Some will argue that the process of drawing generation can be completely automated, but that presumes a lot of things that are frequently not true!  

Properly instructed and supervised, a mechanical designer operating a CAD station can competently fulfill many of the design tasks that might otherwise require a technologist or even an engineer.  When you expect a drafter to become a designer with neither experience nor formal training, you get into ENORMOUS trouble.

The division of labour exists for good reasons.  The trouble starts when the bean-counters make decisions based on a profound ignorance of anything about people's roles and focus only on how much "payroll burden" they represent.

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

(OP)
Thanks for all the replies. Even the hilarious ones.
PMI is the abbreviation for  Product Manufacturing Information.  I'm looking at embedding PMI into the Solid Models to get the factory on line earlier in the process. PMI would constitute the adding GD&T and Critical Dimensions that drive the design.
The primary intent is to get drawings out of the critical path as much as possible.  I don't think we ever go paperless but we need to be more efficient in drawing creation.  There is no Staples Easy Button to creating a drawing but we can condense the time it take to create and check it.  As for management and the use of Buzzwords, I wouldn't throw out that list of acroynms too quickly. smile

So... what are you doing to shorten the design cycle?
What have you automated?
What would you like to automate?

Where do you see CAD going in the next 5 years?

Thanks Jay Peterson

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

If you have the luxury of having design, manufacture (including tooling, aids, etc) and inspection all done in-house, then there are good solutions out there today to do what you want.  The problems start when you have to send any of your data outside.

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter
 

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

It all depends on your company/field/industry etc.

For my last job we created 2d prints from the models, which the toolmakers sometimes used, but everything was stored electronically with electronic signatures.  The only reason I needed to print them out was ease of checking or to send to the toolmaker.  Some toolmakers were happy with just the 3d data.  The print was used for layouts and that was it.  Sometime I would have a seperate print with a few overall dimensions for layouts and the complete 2d print is just a formality.

My current job I do not create models or drawings but am responsible for checking.  The toolmakers use the 3d data, and the drawings are strictly for layouts.  We do keep signed electronic copies that have been scanned, but we do not have to keep the actual print.

As our toolmakers always try to get us to believe: We will make the tool perfect to your model.  If it doesn't work it is because the plant doesn't process it correctly.

Up until my current job I have always done my own drafting/modeling

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

I very much agree with the last post from ewh.

Even going "out of house" it is still possible. Here is a fairly interesting article about paperless design. This seems to be the way most of our more successful customers are going.

We have been aiming towards paperless (or at least limited prints) for a while now and whilst it takes time, effort and money it does set you apart from other companies and offers the chance of work that not everyone can compete on. The flip side is you end up not being competitive for companies that just want 2D drawings. However I firmly believe it is the way forward, at least in automotive. I am sure this does not apply to all industries.
 

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

Maybe you guys see the possibility of a papperless office, but in this industry it isen't moving very fast.
You see we still use 2d drawings with no units of measurments. And it is quite common to have over a hundred drawings in a set, where the schematics reference the wiring diagrams.
The problem with CAD is we often need to reference several drawing at the same time. So several screens, and a very fast cad processor would be needed. As for the field engineers, then need this in a portable size.
I just don't see it yet. Paper is still just to easy.

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

Drop your drawings off a ladder, they flutter and roll across the floor until they are picked up.  Try that with your laptop.

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

I think 2D will always be with us.  Model based definition is great, along with a minimal 2D drawing... in a perfect world.  The problems will start when the CAD file corrupts and you can't reverse engineer your parts because there's not enough information on the 2D drawing that you saved as a PDF.  Not that that's ever happened to me.

I doubt drawings can ever been taken out of the critical path, but MBD and PMI do allow for more parallel paths of work.  The 3D models are done, they can be sent to (rapid) manufacture for quicker prototyping while the final drawings are made since there's no "waiting".

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."

Have you read FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies to make the best use of these Forums?

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

What ever happened with micro fishing all the drawings? Diden't seem to last to long did it?

And how do you stamp your PE on an electronic drawing?

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

For whatever reason, microfiche readers always seemed to be coupled to dreadful printers.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

There are different means of affixing a seal to drawings and pdfs of drawings.  Once the drawing or pdf files are altered the seal is automatically removed.

Regards,
Qshake
pipe
Eng-Tips Forums:Real Solutions for Real Problems Really Quick.
 

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

I used an Etch-A-Sketch back in the early days.

Photocopying was a bit of a challenge.

Regards,

SNORGY.

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

Etch-A-Sketch?
 
Sure beats the pencil notes the tech.'s would make on the substation steel.
And we had to go to the site and read them, as they frequently would not tell us everything. Sort of went along with little pieces of paper in a box they kept in the desk, with changes they made.

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

When criticised for printing drawings, pictures, and graphs  to work with whilst I use other programs on the computer I reply:

"Well if you will give me a 1m wide by 0.75m high screen at 600 dpi with document manipulation by hand like on an iPhone I'll happily join the paperless office. Until then &%$§ off! You're slowing me down, reducing my accuracy, and making me make mistakes".

gwolf.

 

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

This or similar has been discussed multiple times, just a quick search brought up:

thread1103-239768: Current state of Model Based Definition
thread1103-262305: Contolling Electronic Cad Data
thread730-256663: Engineers and CAD
thread730-251417: Drafters per Engineers
thread1103-182896: Using 3D Model Geometry
thread730-184173: Are drawings needed anymore?
thread1103-182500: Detailing Complex Geometry
thread730-221206: I Hate Drawings!!!

Most modern 3D Cad programs can partially automate the creation of a drawing from a model.  The time consuming part is thinking of the other information that has to go on the drawing, the tolerances etc.  Sure, you may save a little time on the layout of views etc but to do pure MBD (model based defninition) properly per ASME Y14.41 it seems you may still have to create a 'view' in 3D so that uses some of that time again.

So, I don't necessarily see the big time saving in eliminating the model for most mechanical parts.

Where MBD is enormously beneficial is in the complex surfaces used in automotive, aerospace and plastic consumer parts etc.  Trying to fully/robustly document them in 2D can be virtually impossible.

Another advantage with going pure MBD with PMI is you only have a single file to worry about but I'm not sure how excited to get about that.

My concern is when I see people using MBD/PMI to try and speed things up, what the really mean is to cut corners, not worry about Tolerancing the part or making sure all the information is there, we'll just send a CAD model and not worry about it.

It's not losing the drawing that scares me so much (though I have sympathy with the gian monitor comments above, and can imagine interrogating a model to be a time consuming nightmare where as with a good drawing it's all laid out for you) as losing all the information on the drawing above and beyond the basic geometry.

If some kind of intelligent generic CAD file format can be developed and standardized then it will make things easier but the data security issues still stand.

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RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

Cranky108,

our provincial engineering association issues .tif files of your stamp for electronic use.  you can then use a commercial electronic signature device to electronically sign your drawings.  our CAD program also has an option to password protect the drawings so you don't even need to pdf them..it is totally possible to go paperless.  even after all that, issuing a set of paper prints is still the best.  its amazing how much you miss if you don't have an actual printout.

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

If Civil 3D takes over, the drafter is no longer needed in the Civil industry.  I was never clear why drafters liked this software so much.

Paperless plans sound like a really bad idea once taken out of the office into the field.  Maybe it only works for certain disciplines?

Civil Development Group, LLC
Los Angeles Civil Engineering specializing in Hillside Grading
http://civildevelopmentgroup.com
http://civildevelopmentgroup.com/blog

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

Quote (brandoncdg):

If Civil 3D takes over, the drafter is no longer needed in the Civil industry.

How so?

Hg

Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

The same way that he is no longer needed in machine design!wink  

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter
 

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

Whenever these debates come up it seems most people want to have a one size fits all solution, I see it going completely the opposite way.

For example I can see no advantage in having a fully modelled wiring layout where there may be yards or miles between key features, I cannot see a 2D schematic ever being replaced here, or at least not in the near future.

Once you start cramming lots of things in a small space 3D comes into its own, especially when designing something like a car, where weight distribution, assembly, aerodynamics etc can be sorted on the screen.

Once you get into machining and inspecting complex 3D shapes 3D is a must where the parts cannot be defined by 2D drawings alone.

It really is like asking which is better a spade or a JCB? Both have there uses and are the best tool for certain uses.
 

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

HgTX, have you used Civil 3d before to design a project?  My last job the tutorials were advertising drafters as adding notes and stuff to the plans.  Only problem is that Civil 3D basically does that for the designer almost instantly.  Notes and any little notes are basically done automatically when you draw.  And drawing in C3D is a working design. If the design doesn't work, well then it probably will never work in real life.

I am talking from the Civil POV.

Civil Development Group, LLC
Los Angeles Civil Engineering specializing in Hillside Grading
http://civildevelopmentgroup.com
http://civildevelopmentgroup.com/blog

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

There have been so many bells and whistles added to CAD programs that they have become to difficult to use.  Even the people who work with it all day every day have to poke around to find how to solve simple problems within a drawing...it took 15 minutes for a cad person to scale up and arrow head last week.  So many times I can sketch a detail to scale faster than it can be put on a electronic drawing......it drives me insane!

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

A drawing is about communication.  It tells the story of a design.  The most perfect 3D shape in the world does not communicate a design.

Everything has context.  To tell the story of a design, one must start from a given point of view, in order to allow the reader to form a framework for assimilating new information.  A drawing is about the best tool available to do this, and probably still will be long after anyone who knew your great-grandchildren has turned to dust.

People are basically idiots, and are barely capable of communicating in one dimension.  Two is a challenge.  Three makes most of their heads explode.

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

We'll be using special eyeglasses that project documents and images directly on the eyeballs using lasers.

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

Kenai: No, Civil plans are still probably the most complicated with no way of automation like the other disciplines.  But Civil 3d used in the right hands, is something very different.  I learned my trade from someone who learned by hand.  Since I am younger, learned from someone by hand, but computers are my thing, well Civil 3D will take over.  I think a major problem is most Civil's coming out of school do not know how to design by pencil and paper.  But yes you are right Civil 3D is extremely advanced and it meant to do huge flat land subdivisions.  I was intent on figuring out this software for hillside grading.  I somewhat know how to use it, but can still sketch plans instantly for clients at a table.  I was in contact with a lot of people at the forefront of the software when it first came out.  A lot of the somewhat complicated thinking can be solved by just selecting pictures and telling the software what to do with that picture.  I think in about 10 years C3D will take out drafters in the Civil field completely.

BTW someone that can't scale a North Arrow within seconds is not very useful at CAD.  Maybe I just learned more than an average person while working under others, but some drafters' skills were severely lacking.  I am more critical of this because I am scared once my company starts hiring the first non partner employee.

Civil Development Group, LLC
Los Angeles Civil Engineering specializing in Hillside Grading
http://civildevelopmentgroup.com
http://civildevelopmentgroup.com/blog

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

Tick, loathed as I am to say it, I'm not sure I entirely agree with you.  There are definitely issues with completely eliminating the drawing and relying on just 3D but it's done.  As I've mentioned before, all the information in a drawing still needs to be in the model file somehow.  This is where it gets tricky and from what I've seen, as time consuming as a model and partial drawings, but I've only played a little with pure MBD.

brandoncdg, I've seen relatively little true automation within CAD at the places I've worked mechanical 3D design (with drawings).  There are many aspects of design I find a little tricky to imagine much automation with current technology.  Most engineers aren't interested in 'the detail' (or are perhaps a bit too costly to spend their time on it) from what I've seen, this is where there is a place for designers/drafters or whatever you want to call them, at least in some situations.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
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RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

No prob, Ken.  I'd worry if too many people were on my side on this one.  We both have about the same ability to discern the future that far ahead.

Acoustic guitars and 2D drawings are two things that technology might never achieve a satisfactory replacement for.  So far, we're not even close.

RE: The 21st Century Design Drafting Group

... that and unscratched analog lp's.

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter
 

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