×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Classifying Drafters vs Designers

Classifying Drafters vs Designers

Classifying Drafters vs Designers

(OP)
In my previous roles I never had the luxury of working with Designers on projects and usually only had limited CAD resources to help with projects. I'm in a role now where as a design engineer I have both designers and CAD operators to work with for completing design projects.

As I'm still getting adjusted to differences between CAD Operators vs Designers I was wondering if others had a summary based on their experiences for the various CAD and Designers levels? For instance a Designer I vs Designer II skillsets and capabilities. CAD II vs Designer I. etc....

RE: Classifying Drafters vs Designers

Designer I vs Designer II...
CAD II vs Designer I...

Just STOP!

There is no industry standard for any of these titles. These are constructs that are defined entirely within an organization, department, or company. The definitions are what your employer says they are. Beyond that, your role is what your manager says.

RE: Classifying Drafters vs Designers

I'm in civil engineering. There are designers, drafters, and tracers.
Designers will take a concept like a swale or pipe network and produce plans with a minimum of questions and review. Designers have significant worth but in my experience are very rare.
Drafters will need to have everything traced out; the geometry of the network, the size of the pipes, all grading tie ins. Drafters have little worth if the engineer has some CAD skills.
Tracers will give you exactly what you gave them redlined with no thought put into it. Tracers have negative worth.

RE: Classifying Drafters vs Designers

Quote (jgailla (Geotechnical))

Tracers will give you exactly what you gave them redlined with no thought put into it.

Literally had a drafter (tracer, in your verbiage) put a random line on a drawing once. I asked him what it was - turned out he put a line on the drawing where my red pen had inadvertently marked the page. Nothing around the mark, no notes, no explanation, but there it was.

RE: Classifying Drafters vs Designers

tracer - I like that. Check out this very recent thread for a discussion on the difference: thread731-492017: Lazy designers/drafters

Though as TheTick mentioned, it's "officially" up to the organization. ASCE put out some guidelines for job titles in Civil Engineering a while back, but it doesn't go into draftsmen.

RE: Classifying Drafters vs Designers

rockman7892,

If your designer is unable to generate documentation, they are useless. In a design process, documentation metaphorically is a link in a chain.

I don't know what the electrical world is like, but in mechanical, I find concept of a dull stupid person you don't trust to make decisions, going anywhere near 3D parametric CAD, to be frightening. You have junior designers who need some supervision, and senior designers whose judgements and drawings you trust.

--
JHG

RE: Classifying Drafters vs Designers

IME designer = 3d CAD operator, a holdover from the 80s & 90s when most engineers had little/no CAD training, and one which is definitely on the way out vs fully capable design engineers with both engineering & CAD experience. Neither are to be confused with 2d draftsmen, who are very much still in high demand.

RE: Classifying Drafters vs Designers

IMO:
Drafter = person competent in using CAD program but not versed in technical aspects. Can draw/show what you specifically call out, but cannot just route a pipe or put together a foundation.

Designer = person competent in CAD program and has technical knowledge/experience to "run with it" with minimal input. If you say I need you to run a 3" steam pipe from a to b, they are competent enough to find a good routing, lay out supports, etc.

As others have said it's really determined by the organization. But I would hesitate to compare designers and drafters, they're different. Typically, in my experience at least, someone may start out as a drafter and then progress to a designer.

RE: Classifying Drafters vs Designers

RVAmeche,

Back in the day, i.e. before even my time, a kid would go to a technical school where they would learn carpentry, machining, welding and drafting. They would graduate and become carpenters, machinists, welders and/or draftsmen. Meanwhile, another kid would go to an arts and science school, where they would take English, science and all sorts of math. Upon graduation, they would go to university and become engineers. A year or two out of college, the kid would be supervising the draftsman, but the draftsman would not just be some idiot who knows which end of the pencil to hang onto. The draftsman would provide the engineer much practical expertise.

A big problem with CAD is that we have computer geeks who know how to operate the software, but who have no other expertise. Companies that don't know better are hiring people for their computer expertise, and allowing them to do engineering and design. All the CAD software actually is user friendly. Engineering and design are difficult, and people smart enough to do it, can figure out the CAD.

CAD is a tool. You don't operate a tool. You do work, and you use the tool.

--
JHG

RE: Classifying Drafters vs Designers

...and my experience is that there is a huge overlap. It's really blurry.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Do you feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Classifying Drafters vs Designers

You have to be careful with CAD operators... on a project a couple of decades back, there was a line running through the corner of one of my projects. I asked the 'operator' what it was and he simply replied that it was a property line... still cannot shake the sawdust out... pipe

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Do you feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Classifying Drafters vs Designers

You have to be careful with everybody, including engineers. Laziness and incompetence are bad, but worse are the faux experts, entrepreneurs, and most “academics” leveraging bad CAE and shiny PowerPoints to make “revolutionary” promises.

RE: Classifying Drafters vs Designers

@CWB1 I've never worried about me... pipe

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Do you feel any better?

-Dik

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login



News


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close