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Thread: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

  1. #11
    I could stop if I wanted to mom of 3's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    Quote Originally Posted by mes0945
    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.
    me again!

    anyway, I'm glad that I learned on board.......computers & I still don't mix very well & if I'd had to learn CAD right away, I'd have given up on my dream! sure, CAD frustrates me still; sure, I wish I could just draw something on a piece of paper that looks exactly like what my engineer wants it to look, BUT........I think for those of us who can do both, just differences in experiences & who knows what can happen!

    also, I don't believe they teach anything having to do with board around here..........HS or college level. my old HS got CAD the year after I graduated...........I was soooooooo relieved!

    see ya!

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    I agree with Doug Draper. Knowledge of how to do it on the drawing board helps a designer/drafter have a better understanding of presentation. The concept of line weight is harder to grasp if you've never done it with a pencil. I did it by hand for 18 years before switching to CAD. I prefer CAD, especially for the repetitive stuff.

    I believe the community colleges here in South Mississippi that have drafting/design courses still take a few weeks to teach board drafting before they get into CAD. Even the University of Southern Mississippi does it that way. You don't have to be an expert on the board, just understand the concepts.

  3. #13
    AUGI Addict Glenn Pope's Avatar
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    Default Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    I don't know if the local vocational school still teaches on the board. It did when I was going. The first year thats all we did. Once in awhile we would turn on those computers. The second year was mainly CAD. My teacher retired, so I don't know how the new one teaches. But the tables are still there.
    Glenn Pope
    Civil Designer/CAD Manager
    River City Engineering
    AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011 Ver. 3
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    I explode MTEXT.

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    Default Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    I completely agree with ddraper and the others. I hire new CADers and nearly all of them don't understand the importance of drafting principles. I know that they've practically stopped teaching drafting (as I'm certified to teach it, but no one has the "need" anymore), but the need for teaching drafting principles still exists!

    These new CAD techs don't know the difference between an object line and an extension line, or that hidden lines should be a lighter line weight than the object line. They cross a dimension line or leader line over an extension line and don't break the extension line. They also place text anywhere on the drawing instead of planning the drawing so that the text neatly surrounds the object or plan being drawn. CAD is more like a game to them (hence the term, "CADers" similar to gamers), with all its pretty colors and 3D capabilities, than an accurate design and drafting tool. They don't understand that we couldn't draw exactly to scale because of the interpretation of the lead width on the paper could have made the measurement an 1" or more off. And, that's just the basics...most cannot see the object they're drawing in their head - to be able to see the different views, to know whether or not what they're seeing on the computer screen is correct in either 2D or 3D.

    But, in all fairness, I must say that without the new CADers out there, I might have been stuck using the same ole commands I learned back on v.1.0 in college! You know...line, circle, erase, rotate & copy!

    One more thing: I have observed that CAD has allowed us to produce drawings in record times; however, it has also allowed the engineer or architect to change their mind more frequently prior to a submittal. So, in reality when I'm putting my fee estimates together, I'm still estimating nearly the same amount of time to produce the finished product. Technology is grand, isn't it? It allows us to change our minds more in the same amount of time!

  5. #15
    BIM/VDC Management Brian Myers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    In defense of all the drafters that have only learned on the computer: I don't blame them, I blame their educational programs.

    First I wish to state that I've done both board drafting and CAD drafting in my career. When I was originally taught drafting I was taught on the boards. We had an entire class dedicated to basic drafting techniques. True, we learned the basics of drawing views, projections, line types, etc. but the course was graded hardest when it came to correct drafting practice. If you could produce clean drawings with nice lineweights you could pass the class even if you didn't solve the problem 100% correctly. By the end of your schooling problem solving was graded the hardest, but by then all the basic techniques had already been instilled in your drafting ability.

    I took 3 years off from school to do drafting professionally and make enough money to go back to college and earn a professional degree. During that time I learned CAD drafting and quickly became the office expert in that field.

    By the time I came back to college board drafting was being phased out. We had one year on the board and the rest of the time was dedicated to either board drafting or CAD, depending on your situation and what the instructor required. The CAD classes were taught with the focus on getting the basics of views, projections, and basic problem solving correct. Lineweights, etc were not focused on as that time was used to teach the basic function of CAD. Then when you entered the higher level classes.. the classes that taught the harder design concepts... lineweights, etc. were not stressed because by that time historically all their students had always been good at it. As a result, you might lose up to 10% of your grade for bad drafting practice but you could still pull an A or B depending on how good you were at creative problem solving.

    As a result, schools are teaching the basics... unfortunately they are the basics of CAD and design and not traditional drafting practice. Start grading for bad drafting skills and you'll see students that want to learn to get better at the basic techniques.

    So don't blame the "CADers" whom the majority of them can draw on CAD better than the majority of your office... because they were taught to draw that way. The majority of your office didn't have the advantage of such a drawing education but they did get better at CAD slowly over time... which is why your board drafters are so much better at CAD today than they were just a few years ago. On the other hand, the office veterans WERE taught the importance of lineweights, drafting techniques etc. so their drawings tend to look MUCH better than the typical "CADer" because they were trained that way. These "CADers" will get slowly better in time with quality much like your board drafters got slowly better using CAD.

    So if anyone is to blame.. it's the educational system which doesn't focus on the basics like it once did.. stop trying to get the "CADers" to reform, it's not their fault. We need to work with the educational system and get them to emphasize the basics again.
    Brian Myers
    Jacobs: VDC Design Office Lead (BIM Leadership)
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    Default Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    Here's an old, old song.
    "Youngsters aren't taught to be draughtsmen, they're taught to be CAD operators."

    For example - what is the correct ratio between text height and pen width? Those of you that learned on the board will know; most of the others won't.

    I started with Autocad in 1984 and had been on the board for fifteen years before that - the only reason I wish I had been born later is that I would have been younger and quicker to adapt when I first got my hands on computers.

    John B

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    Default Re: Discussion on Board Drafting and CAD

    Forty years ago this month I picked up my first drafting instruments and except for five years of college (it was the 70s after all) drafting has been a major focus in my life. I was first introduced to computerized drafting in 1969; at that time it was just writing up command codes in FORTRAN for someone else to key onto punch cards and I judged it to be a novelty and a tedious one at that.
    Ten years later, in the first place I actually saw a computer doing the work, the technology looked to me to be exactly the same - 8" stacks of punch cards if only one of which was not perfect, the plot was wasted. I was still not impressed. A few years later a different employer contemplating a computer had his architects designing a "clean room" for it, but were seriously debating on whether or not to equip the thing with a hard disk, or just use floppies and tapes.
    I was taught by an old-timer who could tell in a glance if a line was short or long by a hundredth and could get an accurate drawing in less time than the senior techs ( the only ones of course who were able to touch the computers) could program and plot one. Mine would also have the same quality and character my old teacher insisted upon as opposed to their monotone creations.
    It was another ten years before a broken wrist gave me entry to the world of AutoCAD (r10). I never returned to the board, but I also refused to compromise the quality and technique that had carried me to that point. I found it quite easy to translate my hand skills to the computer output.
    I agree with others regarding training cad operators are receiving. I use that term deliberately as only a very few I would classify as even a tradesman and even fewer as a technician. Certainly none could be considered a draftsman. The new people we see have no comprehension of line quality or technique. When told to make something bold to let it stand out on the sheet, they go immediately to a 1.2mm pen width and are surprised when they have to edit and re plot the wasted sheets when the utility symbols and 0.1" text is a blur. Their drawings are littered with pieces of text that vary in height and style for no apparent reason and match no size or spacing standard known to man. Some areas of their drawings are so densely packed that major reworking is needed to do very minor changes, while huge spaces are left empty. Sadly, these are the best people we have seen come in over the last five years.
    I have had only one major problem adjusting to using AutoCAD. The design review process now demands that even the first submittal that used to need only basic information to see if a design concept would be approved now requires a finished quality fully annotated set of plans complete with details and quantities. Much of this work will not survive the first review and the time required to generate it is wasted.

    The Dinosaur

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