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Thread: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

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    Talking Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    I know this is coffee, leave your CAD at the door, but, I came across some comments that I'd saved from the pre-worm forums. I might be missing a couple (most notably, the post that spawned all of the subsequent commentary).
    So, in the attached pdf, you can find a discussion by the forumers about the benefits of having learned to draft on the board, and the benefits of switching to CAD later on.
    Just a little light reading if you are interested... enjoy
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Melanie Stone
    @MistresDorkness

    ARCHIBUS, FMS/FMInteract and AutoCAD Expert (I use Revit and Tririga, too)
    Technical Editor
    not all those who wander are lost

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    I could stop if I wanted to mom of 3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    I didn't get a chance to read over the whole thing, BUT..........here's my take.
    I learned board drafting in HS.........absolutely loved it even though I can't draw for squat!!!!!!!!! when I went to college the 1st time, I didn't take any drafting classes, as the college I went to didn't offer any. when I went back to college a 2nd time, I ended up having to learn CAD R14 (required - ICK!) & hated it!!!!!!!!! I'm not what you'd call a technical person, so most of it didn't make sense to me at all!!!!!!!! during that summer break, someone at the college had the smart idea to convert to 2000, but not give us who'd learned on 14 any kind of refresher, update, NOTHING!!!!!!!!! I was frustrated enough with 14, but to go to 2000 cold????????? I struggled, but I did it. still haven't graduated, but that's another story. anyway, I have to say that I have had more issues with CAD than I have with board drafting. I think it's a little more accurate on CAD, BUT, I think you can be more detailed on the board. not to mention that I can draft on the board when all the electricity has failed!!!!!!!!!! (candlelight.......ever heard of it?) with CAD, I have to wait on large, slow drawings, worry about computers locking up, & if a drawing crashes, I'm not guaranteed that I can recover it. so.......to make a long story short......I'd have liked to stick with board drafting, but that's the way life goes! always thinking of something better...........supposedly.......

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    BIM/VDC Management Brian Myers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    When I first started drafting (1987) I learned on the boards as CAD hadn't quite hit it's stride yet. I still remember my excitement as I moved from the old wooden drafting tables up to the latest in technology.. the electric drafting board. Push the button near the floor and watch the table rise into the sky or lower it down toward the ground. No longer did I have to use the straight edge rule to draw a line... no sir, I used the mechanical drafting arm and all it's settings to draw lines, angles, etc.

    Then in 1989 I first had the opportunity to use AutoCAD. Trust me, I messed up that poor 286 computer so many times I wanted to scream. I don't want to hear about slow AutoCAD unless you worked on something less than a Pentium.. you have no idea just what slow is. I remember when my buddy got a 486 machine, we thought it was the state of the art in speed... sad thing is it WAS the fastest thing going back in... I think 1992. And DOS.. there wasn't an AutoCAD for Windows. 64 MB of RAM was considered huge. A 1 GB HD? Heck, my first AutoCAD computer had 40 mega-byte hard drive. Yep, it fit and I had room for several drawings too. The rest we backed up on 5 1/4" floppy disks until we got our server... with a massive 500MB of storage space. Yep, the typical CD today has more storage space than my entire server did in 1993.

    Anyway, back on topic... AutoCAD (or CAD in general) is better than hand drawing if you want to make changes or use details multiple times. I'm happy the days of sticky-backs, electric erasers, pencil shavings, bad backs and the draftsman's finger are gone. In case you don't know, the draftsman's finger was that indentation on the finger all the old board drafters would tend to get from pushing the pencil down against their finger.

    Of course, instead of a bad back I now have bad eyes, instead of sticky-backs I have block libraries, and instead of the once nice, spacious drafting table I have a space taking computer.

    To make a long story short: Don't knock hand drafting.. it was good for it's time and it's still good for communicating design ideas. It's easier to learn and much more intuitive for the beginning designer. But over the long hall with better design modeling and faster computers CAD is the much better way to go. It should stream-line the design process, make the construction process smoother, and allow us to improve the way we visualize and test our designs in the concept stages.

    Remember this: 10 years ago more people ran AutoCAD for DOS than had AutoCAD for Windows. That's Windows 3.1. Pretty Windows 95 didn't yet exist. The 486 computer was brand new. No one knew what a Pentium computer was. 3DStudio didn't exist. The majority of people in the workforce hadn't used CAD for more than 2 years. I remember being the expert and CAD guru with 4 years of computer experience.

    While CAD might still need to improve on usability, it still kicks behind when it comes to efficiency and productivity. And look how far we came in the past 10 years... just imagine what 2014 has in store...
    Brian Myers
    VDC Design Office Lead | Digital Delivery Lead | BIM Management
    Visit my LinkedIn Profile for more information.

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    BIM/VDC Management Brian Myers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    ...and I forgot to mention the digitizer board... you know you're a veteran of the CAD wars if you still know what a puck and stylus is or if you know what the AutoCAD opening menu looked like... or know the joke of ...god forbid ....a person typing REGEN on your computer and hitting the space bar 50 times... you might as well go out for a long lunch because it will be 2 hours before you get to draw again...
    Brian Myers
    VDC Design Office Lead | Digital Delivery Lead | BIM Management
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    Default Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    Quote Originally Posted by mes0945
    I know this is coffee, leave your CAD at the door, but, I came across some comments that I'd saved from the pre-worm forums. I might be missing a couple (most notably, the post that spawned all of the subsequent commentary).
    So, in the attached pdf, you can find a discussion by the forumers about the benefits of having learned to draft on the board, and the benefits of switching to CAD later on.
    Just a little light reading if you are interested... enjoy
    I remember that post as it was me who started it. I firmly believe that anyone interested in learning CAD should first learn basic geometry. I feel this would be very beneficial because drawing by hand on a board is an art form in itself. I remember when i was at university studying for my degree in Interior Architecture. All of our projects had to be drawn by hand and if anyone did theirs on CAD, they were criticized for not knowing how to draw. As i excelled at this, i wanted to learn CAD because i knew that in the real world, things aren't done like that anymore. It was funny though, i remember staying up all night sometimes drawing where as i could do the same drawings now at a better quality and in less that a couple of hours. I think CAD is a brilliant way to draw but i think people need to learn by hand too so they fully understand the benefits.

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    Default Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    ok, you know what I failed to mention???????? when I had to learn 2000 cold, I also had started taking 3D classes.......!!!!!!!!!! WHAT WAS I THINKING??????????? luckily, I had a couple guys in the class with me........well, they were in the next part of the class, but met with my class........& they were right there to tell me what worked, what didn't, why my lighting looked flat, why my grass was in the middle of the sky, etc. I had been so confused on so much of it, I was about ready to take my "F" in the class & try to take it over, BUT, a lightbulb went off! the 2nd to last class, I FINALLY got everything to work (shadows included!!!!!!!), & I think the entire class heard my relief!!!!!!!!! I sat in the back, mind you.......I didn't want anyone to see how badly I was screwing my project up!!!!!!!!!!!!! anyway, I will never forget what my instructor said that night.........."hey! T's finally figured it out!!!!!" I did manage to get a "B" in the class, but to this day, I still avoid 3D like the plague! I've had 1 job that's used 3D & there were countless times my steel columns ended up, like, 1000ft below sea level!!!!!!!!!!!
    I'm still very partial to board drafting...........just had to voice that...........


    have a good day!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Default Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    I've been drafting for a LONG TIME. I took design drafting in HS and JC. My first job out of JC was at Newport News Ship Building in VA. The drawing board was about 12 feet long. They issued me a T-square. I had to buy the rest of my equipment myself. We drafted right on the roll of vellum and unrolled as we needed more length. It was not unusual to have a 20' long drawing. Did I mention the drawing board did not tilt? There was a lot of lettering. I got pretty good at that, though I still "feel the pain" from hours of leaning over a drawing board.

    In my current position as Chief Drafter with a major electric power company in Mississippi,
    I implimented AutoCAD in 1986, starting with version 2.5 and the digitizers on IBM AT PCs runnning at 6 Mhz. Computers have changed a lot since then. I have the AutoCAD 2005 disks sitting on my desk now but I don't know if I'll install them. there are many things about the 2000-2004 versions I don't like. But HEY, it ALL beats the backache and sore wrist and hands from the old drawing board.

    For all you young drafters/designers out there- trust a guy who has been around a while. CAD is a lot better!

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    Cool Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    I started using AutoCAD in the summer of 1986 between my junior and senior years. Went to work with my dad who had is own civil engineering company and he just sat me in front of the computer and digitizer and said just start playing around. I figured most things out for my self. After a couple of weeks he started actually having me draw things. He was still doing someboard drafting and labeling. Then after I graduated and went to the local C.C. I took a Drafting I and learned board drafting and lettering. Then when I took Drafting II it was half board drafting and half CADAM drafting. But, in the mean-time I worked for my dad using AutoCAD (ver 2.86 I think). Then I finally landed a job for (on my own) doing AutoCAD for a Mech/Elec contractor and learned some of the menu/lisp customization from their CAD guy. Learning on the board was helpful but I had no talent for board drafting. Just my 2 cents.
    David B. Baker
    CAD Supervisor
    Munters Corporation, Aerotech Ventilation Systems
    Lansing, MI USA

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    Default Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    I had a conversation like his just last night. I took a board drafting class when I was a freshman in high school, and then again when I was in junior college. I won't compare the processes involved with board work versus using a mouse; there ain't no comparison.

    But I do appreciate the training on a board. I don't know if there is a more affective way to get across the ideas of presentation and line weights then when you have to do it with a pencil. Any new hire looks much better to me if they have had some board work in their background.
    Autodesk Civil3D 2018, Revit 2018
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    Talking Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    Quote Originally Posted by ddraper
    I had a conversation like his just last night. I took a board drafting class when I was a freshman in high school, and then again when I was in junior college. I won't compare the processes involved with board work versus using a mouse; there ain't no comparison.

    But I do appreciate the training on a board. I don't know if there is a more affective way to get across the ideas of presentation and line weights then when you have to do it with a pencil. Any new hire looks much better to me if they have had some board work in their background.
    Nice to have appreciation for those drafters who learned on the board, but, how many places still teach board drafting? By the time that i got to community college (1999), there were no boards, it was all CAD. There was one teacher who had us do one project on paper, but, people did really miserably.
    Melanie Stone
    @MistresDorkness

    ARCHIBUS, FMS/FMInteract and AutoCAD Expert (I use Revit and Tririga, too)
    Technical Editor
    not all those who wander are lost

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