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Manual & Computer Aided Drafting

The image of the dedicated drafting professional working over a large drawing board with a mechanical pencil, straight edge and various sizes of plastic triangles is quickly fading from the American workplace. Today's drafters are likely to be sitting in a well-lit office in front of a computer terminal using not a pencil, but a computer mouse to construct a drawing. With a click of the mouse, drawings can be shown in three dimensions, rotated, animated, and viewed from many different angles. Through such modeling, designers and engineers are able to spot problems which could not be readily seen in two dimensions. Although computer aided drafting (CAD) has many advantageous over manual drafting, there are still some environments in which manual drafting continues to be used. This research examines manual and computer aided drafting, and considers the advantages and disadvantages of both as well as the factors which have led to the increased acceptance of CAD.

When multiple views are required, multiple blueprint sheets are produced. In this way, contractors can easily create and identify the requirements for different trades (electrical and plumbing, for example), or electrical schematics can be shown in different levels of detail. Drafting was typically performed either by engineers and architects directly, or by professional drafters, often with formal training in drawing, who worked from information provided them by architects and engineers. Different levels or views of the same object were shown on different sheets, and the final drawings were produced on blueprint machines. The process was time-consuming and fragile; even slight mistakes could result in having to redraw entire documents. Final documents could be mechanically scaled through the use of large equipment, but the drawings themselves were static representations of objects which required a significant time commitment to prepare.

Computer Drafting (Overview...

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Manual & Computer Aided Drafting. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:28, February 21, 2017, from