Wish I could experience something like this


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Denny West

Zombie scholar. Web practitioner. Passionate writer. Total food geek. Tv evangelist. Thinker. Communicator. Music guru.

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  1. My grandfather told me about how one of his DuPont coworkers was sent away for training on a new computerized “CAD” program that had just been released.

    Dude attended the training seminar, returned to work, and then resigned. Instead of learning CAD tech, he chose to retire.

  2. I work as a Civil Engineer Designer. My whole career revolves around AutoCAD. I can’t imagine how much time and effort went into this. Still I’m guessing they made fewer improvements. I’m always scanning and looking at old plans, and while the amount of detail we put in now is 100x what it was before, it’s still insane to think about doing it all by hand.

  3. An architect is a friend of mine. Her grandfather’s drafting table was passed down to her. She works with software professionally, but she enjoys drafting by hand at that old table.

  4. Our teacher started us off with tables, scales, and pencils when I was in drafting school in the early 1990s. Filling a notebook with hand lettering was one of our assignments. We eventually went on to ACAD, but getting the foundational knowledge was invaluable.

  5. I’ve been there and done it. I generally prefer hand drafting for such workloads. Don’t get me wrong: CAD is your best friend when it comes to making concept changes or schedule revisions.

  6. Adrian Newey, the most prolific Formula One car designer of all time, only works with a pencil and paper. In the Red Bull factory, his drawing board is the only one.

  7. I used to work for a major aerospace firm that was involved in the space shuttle program. I had to go through all of the old sketches every now and then. There had been no digitization. They achieved an insane amount of detail without making a single mistake. Consider a turbine with a large number of vanes.

  8. Like this, both of my parents sat at drafting tables. My father was a naval architect, and my mother was in charge of laying out telecommunications networks. He was a big fan of AutoCad. She despised computers so much that the change forced her to retire early.

  9. Here’s a 30-year engineer.

    Another striking feature is the lack of privacy; there are no women, no people of color, and no phones.

    Still, where is the haze of cigarette and pipe smoke, as well as the overflowing ashtrays?

  10. ELI5: Can you tell me what’s going on in this room? Yes, drawing stuff, etc., but who is doing what, for what/why, and so on. Thank you in advance!

  11. You can now design, simulate, and imagine all of your projects using the same program. One engineer can do the work of an entire room of engineers, as well as several additional rooms of engineers. This is truly incredible.

  12. Though my grandfather was well-versed in autocad, cadkey, proE, and other drafting programs when he retired, he spent the majority of his career drafting in the manner depicted. However, everything was a hazy shade of yellow, and a cloud of smoke occupied the top half of the room, according to him.

  13. My father was a huge fan of hand drafting! Like many of the comments here, he retold many memories of drafting in school and honing his craft before applying it to his work! Every project he worked on was something he was extremely proud of. Dad, I miss you! And reading these comments brought back memories of my father’s speech!

  14. While CAD has many advantages, drafting with pencil and paper and the tactile nature of the method felt like I was actually building a small structure.

  15. It’s almost like a “day in the life of an architect.” I know a few, and the technology that once helped them do their jobs is now harming them.

  16. I’m at the age where I was on the verge of making the transition from hand-drawn to computer-drawn art. We were taught how to do proper hand drawn plans, proper lettering technique, and everything else at university. My first job after graduation was on a computer.

  17. Drawing by hand was a true art form. I wish I had the ability to do it. I once had the opportunity to examine high-resolution blueprints from a mansion built in the early twentieth century. The blueprints were absolutely beautiful. The attention to detail, which was all done by hand, was breathtaking.

  18. If my memory serves me right, that is from Eero Saarinen’s GM Technical Center. It was his first large-scale solo project, and it was one of the ones I discussed in a presentation on Saarinen last year. Another interesting thing is that the gaskets used on the building windows were the same ones used on GM’s windshields.

  19. For miles, there were only white men. There is one woman in the back of the building, but she does not appear to be working on the boards. And drafting on horizontal boards is a backbreaker. Thank you, just no thanks.

  20. This was done by my grandfather before he moved on to machine drafting. He also gave me a lot of stencils for popular design objects, similar to AutoCAD blocks. They’re fantastic.

  21. Before leaving his office, my boss used to say, “All I better see out there is elbows and assholes.” He was an older gentleman, and the saying didn’t make much sense to me at the time…but now I see the connection.

  22. See, back then, every line was carefully considered before being written down. AutoCad was a good step forward, but Revit creates linework as it goes. I admit I’m guilty of it and can’t capture it all, but man, those sketches were much cleaner back then.

  23. This picture has a charming quality to it. An entire career devoted to the hand-eye coordination and ability to project a three-dimensional object into a plane.

    As someone previously said, all of those positions have now been merged into one. It’s a positive thing in some ways, but I’m not convinced.

  24. And they probably had three months to complete a project that we would have completed in three weeks.

    I didn’t realize inclined drafting boards existed. I can’t believe they were really drawing with the sheets completely horizontal.

  25. This photo reminds me of the SR-71 every time I see it. The fact that something so powerful was created and engineered using ***slide rules*** astounds me.

    Engineers were simply designed differently back then.

  26. You can now design, simulate, and imagine all of your projects using the same program. One engineer will take care of the entire space, as well as several additional rooms of engineers. This is truly incredible.

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