There’s no doubt that the emergence of CAD Design has revolutionised the manufacturing and engineering design industry but there’s still a few ‘old school’ draughtsmen out there who yearn for the old days of pencil and paper.
It’s definitely true that some of the draughtsmen in the ‘Pre-CAD design years’ were truly artists who could create drawings with extraordinary attention to detail and depth which can almost compare to some of today’s 3D modelling.
Draughtsmen who started their careers before CAD still retain a certain amount of affection for the old drawing boards, compasses, protractors, triangles, erasers and various other devices that were needed for preparing a drawing by hand. Some would say that they miss the mental agility required to create really challenging and complex drawings which CAD can now turnaround significantly faster.
What they don’t miss however are the calluses that used to appear on the fingers from repetitive drawing for 7 to 8 hours a day. There would also be pencil grooves that formed on the writing fingers that simply wouldn’t go away!
CAD may have got rid of the calluses and pencil grooves but the mental agility is still needed. CAD started to emerge in the 1960s and really started to gather pace by the late 1980s early 1990s. The transition from drafting to CAD design has brought about unequalled precision at a fraction of the time and cost. Repetitive drawings are easily produced and CAD design is behind all the mass manufacturing of electronics that we see today.
So would a draughtsman abandon CAD design and go back to the drawing board? Not a chance. The rose-tinted spectacles may still be on but the reality of modern design and all its complexities and challenges requires a new type of expertise that CAD design delivers in abundance.