CAD Manual Drafting

How CAD Differs from Manual Techniques

    CAD Manual Drafting

    Before Computer Aided Design (CAD) came into existence, the only source for engineers, designers, and draftsmen was to use pencil, paper, compasses, T-squares, stencils, parallel rulers, and other manual tools for drawing sketches to express their engineering designs. Hand drafting is much more tactile. A draftsman must be very cognizant of every line, shape, measurement, and scaling of the drawing when manually sketching a design. Prior to 1979, all technical drawing was done manually or with the help of machines, but shortly after, CAD came into the picture.

    For the engineering industry, Computer Aided Design was the best thing since sliced bread with many industry-changing benefits that drastically outweighed manual drafting. On a basic level, CAD made drafting more accessible to a larger population of people, it provided for more precision in design, and allowed for design occur at a much faster pace. Those who use CAD outsourcing services have found that they are generally more productive, efficient, and therefore, successful. That isn’t to say that manual drafting does not have its advantages. Read below to learn about some of the most important differences between CAD and manual techniques.

    Manual Drafting Generally Takes Longer and Requires Much More Patience

    Completing a drawing manually is a very time-consuming process and, more often than not, can take days to weeks to produce. To hand draft a project, a draftsman must be much more focused because, not only does it require intense hand-eye coordination, but the consequences of mistakes can also be much more time consuming to fix. When drafting manually, objects must be drawn to the correct size and alignment. Each object should be manually verified and dimensioned as a small mistake could reverberate throughout the entire project. With CAD, a draftsman can create and reproduce a drawing in very little time and make as many copies as they want. Still, the ease with which CAD makes drafting can lead to a less focused and more automated approach, which can sometimes lead to errors.

    Manual Drafting is much less forgiving when it comes to mistakes and is limited in capability

    When creating any type of drawing, revisions are always a necessary step to the final project. With manual drafting, erasing and redrawing is another time-consuming, monotonous step. CAD allows for the revision process to become much simpler. CAD offers a variety of editing tools and with the simple click of a few buttons one can undo, redo, or delete certain actions. In addition, with the many tools that CAD offers, one can mirror certain objects or sketches or rotate them or scale them accordingly — instead of redrawing an entire section.

    CAD allowed for the expansion of the drafting industry. When drawing and designing by hand, what constituted a schematic design (SD) or design development (DD) package was largely limited to what a draftsman can get down on paper. Still, the immediacy of hand drafting allows for a clearer comprehension of the stakes of good technique and often, learning the techniques of manual drafting can help explain the logic behind the digital tools used in CAD. On the other hand, CAD has allowed architects and engineers the ability to design structures and objects that simply could not have been created without CAD. The development of CAD changed the process of creation, but also has allowed for expansion in design itself. With CAD, drawings can be created in 2D or 3D and can be rotated.

    CAD makes drafting much easier

    When drafting manually, a draftsman must determine the scale of a view before the drafting begins. The scale compares the size of the actual project to the size of the model that is being drawn on paper. To maintain that scale throughout the drafting process is a very meticulous process. In order to see various layers within a design, a draftsman can separate information onto individual transparent overlays while manually drafting. CAD works similarly in that you can display, edit, and print layers separately or in combination. With CAD, a draftsman can create common settings in drawing template files making customization of a drawing much more simple than manually drafting them. CAD also allows a designer to more easily establish font and format characteristics. In addition, a designer can start using a drawing template with CAD, which allows a designer to start new projects quicker and conform to standardized formats.

    CAD makes the accuracy of a project much easier to obtain

    Manual drafting requires meticulous accuracy in drawing line-types, line-weights, dimensions, etc. Still, as precise as anyone could be, manually creating anything is prone to mistakes. With CAD, a draftsman can use several methods to obtain exact dimensions. The easiest method is to locate points by snapping to an interval or a grid or to specify exact coordination, which specifies a drawing location. With object snaps, you can be more accurate with your dimensions, shapes and sizes in conforming to the project as a whole.

    CAD also allowed draftsmen the ability to draw to scale in a more precise way. With CAD, designers can produce much more accurate designs than could have been done manually. Early draftsmen’s and designers would use their hand-drafted sketches as a reference in order to construct what was portrayed. The drawings were more symbolic — the draftsmen understood the intent of the drawings and were not concerned with the lack of dimensions. CAD has allowed designers to create much more accurate depictions of the actual drawing. That’s not to say that manual drafting were “inaccurate”; however, CAD has offered engineers complete accuracy.

    When manually drawing your design, the size and resolution of your drawing is fixed. CAD, on the other hand, allows a draftsman to zoom in and out and change the resolution of the drawing. This tool can be very valuable when working on larger, more detailed drawings as you can zoom in to concentrate on a specific aspect of the draft or zoom out completely to get a full pan of your drawing.

    To Learn More About the Difference Between Manual Draft as Compared to CAD, Contact CAD Sourcing Today

    CAD software has offered engineers a way to create and craft projects without error more simply and much more cost effectively. There are many benefits to the traditional method of manual drafting, including truly understanding the tools within digital drafting. Nonetheless, outsourcing your CAD projects can increase a company’s productivity while also lowering cost. Contact CAD Sourcing today to learn more about how we can give you the right pepople for your drafting and design needs.

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