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Author: ddelaiar
Time: 09/09/03 06:05 PST
This is a reply to message no. 12039 by rorschach
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Poor Drafting Practices
I could go on and on and on about this!  My first job was at a machine shop.  I was working in the Assembly Dept when they found out I had taken about three years (at the time) of AutoCAD in high school.  I was moved into the Engineering Dept and used as a "CAD Monkey" - mostly ECO's and some simple design/redesign.

Anyway, out of the two engineers who I was working with, one had great prints and one was sloppy.  The one who had great prints had everything dead on - appropriate layers were used for corresponding parts of the drawings, enough room was left for dimensions, lines were straight and met at endpoints.  The one engineer who was horrible was SO horrible.  The same layer was used throughout, just the layer color was changed; fillets weren't fillets, but a collection of small lines (how he thought this saved him time I don't know); there was no continuity with text size or font style; dimensions were very rarely associative and were mostly fudged.

Through the course of it, I picked up a lot of habits from the "Good" Engineer and made my way up to Assistant Engineer (getting back to that apprentice conversation).  I was actually in charge of creating new title blocks for the company.  Attributes were used and layers were set up.  The "Bad" Engineer freaked, especially when I'd send prints back to him (I was also used as a checker - engineers did their own prints) with A LOT of red ink.

Fast forward to now.  I show up and begin working for a medical device manufacturer.  Now, you'd think a company that is ISO and FDA audited twice a year would have strict CAD standards....NOPE.  No layer control, no text size or font control, dimensions are fudged, there's no set procedure for numbering (or naming) prints, there's no set way of digitally (or physically) storing prints so they are easy to track down, title blocks don't have any associative properties, half the prints can be found...  It's a mess.

CAD standards or Drafting standards are SO necessary in any situation.  Crisp, easily found drawings will make everyone in the company's life easier.  Most of the times now when Purchasing asks me for a print or a spec, I have to draw the part from product, or hope that one of my predecessors files (yes, each engineer was given a directory to store CAD files in - how obsurd) is the correct one.  Even then, most times I redraw it and put it on a new title block that I created.  

Please, you younger guys, take the time to learn how to DRAFT, not just use CAD.  Also, you older guys, take the time to show the wet-behind-the-ears guys how to do things.  If proper protocol is not set up at your place of business and things are running wild (like here) take the time to draft at least a rough set of Drafting Standards.  

Life would be much easier if everyone took the time to learn how to DRAFT properly.  Too many times employers are concerned about if you know their CAD package when they should really be concerned with whether or not you know how to draft.  Get sample drawings.  I want to see how well you can draft, not just if you know how to use ProE to design.  Drafting is what gets the final product made.  It's one of the most important documents design engineers are associated with.
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