The world of drafting changed forever in the 90’s when CAD software became more exposed to the general population. Before CAD became the drafting industries standard practice Drafters would draw every line by hand with the use of a drafting board, and several hand held tools. This method was much more time consuming, and for isometric drawings(3D) it could take days or weeks to complete complicated renderings. Over the last ten years, several software companies have made advancements to CAD software making the task of drafting more user friendly on the computer.
If your not familiar with CAD or CADD it’s the acronym for Computer Aided Drafting. Sometimes its referred to as Computer Aided Drafting Design also. 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional drawings are created when the draftsmen enters information into a CAD software program. Lines are drawn on the X, Y, and Z axis to create 3 dimensional models. When designing 2D drawings only the X, and Y axis are used which represent the left, right, up, and down directions. The Z axis is used to create 3D models and represents the depth.
I can remember as a child my Father teaching me to draw lines, and to write my A, B, C’s on a drafting board he made for my room. These boards have a sliding ruler which allowed you to create lines in a straight fashion, and they were covered with a slick material. This allowed rulers, and other tools to slide easily along its surface without catching to it. The task was much more daunting, and you had to be extremely careful when drawing lines because even with an eraser mistakes could be seen easily. I enjoyed drafting like this as a kid, but since I’ve been exposed to CAD I would never go back.
It seems like every year advancements in computer technology go farther and quicker than the year before it. When I first started using CAD software all the lines had to be put in manually with commands on the keyboard. They would tell the software to create the lines starting point, length, and what angle to direction it. This process seemed to take forever compared to the way lines are created nowadays. With the CAD software available today you can perform all kinds of commands in a 3D environment. For instance, if you wanted to add a radius to a corner that has already been created, all you have to do is click the command for a fillet. It will then ask you for a dimension on the radius, and after you enter the dimension it will create a perfectly smooth and rounded corner.
CAD drafting technology becomes more advanced every year with the introduction of updated software. For now, and I feel for a long time to come, CAD software will remain the drafting industries standard practice for creating architecture, mechanical, civil, electrical, plumbing, and any other type design work. The days of using hand tools, and drafting boards is over. These techniques will never disappear, but for now will remain more of a hobby to most draftsmen.
Clay Bowling-Owner of eLine Design LLC an Online Invention & Prototype Design Company-If You would like to learn more about the Invention & Prototype Design Process Click Here- Invention Designer & Rapid Prototype Services