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Engineering Does anyone actually like CAD?

  1. May 12, 2016 #1
    After searching about I've found numerous accounts of Engineers hating being stuck on CAD, and wanting something more involved. Personally, CAD has been my least favourite aspect of Engineering, so I wonder if this is the same for many others. I wouldn't fear the prospect of being say a design engineer, if CAD didn't exist and it was all paper, but being on CAD is just like you're a zombie clicking away and burning out your retinas. Lol.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2016 #2

    Nidum

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    I do .
     
  4. May 12, 2016 #3

    Nidum

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    I also like doing FEA and writing new technical software .
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  5. May 12, 2016 #4

    billy_joule

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    It's just a tool, like a calculator or a spreadsheet, It saves time and effort.
    I'd hate to do it by hand, the faster the modelling and drawings are done the sooner I can get back to actual engineering. CAD, like a calculator, cuts the manual labour down.
     
  6. May 12, 2016 #5
    I like manual labour
     
  7. May 12, 2016 #6

    Dale

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    I have done both pencil/paper and CAD. I far prefer CAD.
     
  8. May 12, 2016 #7
    I love CAD. Im terrible at drawing but good at visualizing stuff in my head. CAD helps me take my ideas and put them into a more concrete form. I sound like a commercial.
     
  9. May 12, 2016 #8

    SteamKing

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    Yeah, people don't like X, until they have to go back and learn how you did X before computers came along.

    I started out learning drafting before there were cheap computers capable of running CAD, heck before there were cheap computers capable of running anything.

    After spending the time to learn CAD and pick up some useful skills along the way, I use CAD for much more than making a stupid drawing. It can be incredibly helpful in planning and checking certain engineering calculations, for example.

    Working on a drafting board was often physically quite tiring, standing up for long periods and bending over is not good for your lower back. Fiddling with pencil lead and keeping it sharp all the time so your line widths wouldn't vary too much. Getting eraser dust all over you, your clothes, etc. Cramping in your hands from holding a pencil for extended periods. And, you still got retina burn from staring at a (mostly) white sheet of drafting paper!

    If you wanted to take a break and play a quick game of solitaire, it meant breaking out an actual deck of cards.

    Most of my engineering undergraduate study was spent learning how to use pre-computer calculation tools to design boats. Lots of tabular form calculations calculating areas, volumes, moments, etc.; using analog tools like planimeters and integrators, heck, even cutting out cardboard models and pasting them together to check the location of a centroid. Of course, with so much time being required to do calculations, this left little time to actually design anything and get comfortable doing that. As soon as you make a change, then there's that mound of paperwork waiting, so that you can revise your calculations.

    With CAD and computers doing most of the heavy lifting, you can design something in a few hours which previously took many weeks, if not months. You can check and revise your calculations in a fraction of the time, and actually spend a little time trying to optimize a design.
     
  10. May 12, 2016 #9

    billy_joule

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    Well good luck finding a job doing design work on paper.
     
  11. May 12, 2016 #10

    FactChecker

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    It's not just a question of doing it manually. It's a question of checking your work, finding 10 mistakes, correcting them, checking again, finding 3 more mistakes, correcting them, checking again, finding 1 mistake, correcting it, checking again, finding 0 mistakes. Then you ask a coworker to check it. He checks it and finds 5 mistakes, corrects them, checks it again and finds 2 new mistakes, corrects them. Then the deadline makes you turn the work in to be fabricated. They find more mistakes. Then you are fired.
     
  12. May 12, 2016 #11
    That isnt how it works. If people find mistakes you just redo it. Things also change as the project goes on. It is only bad if the mistakes are done on purpose. That is called malpractice and youll go to jail for it.
     
  13. May 12, 2016 #12

    Dale

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    No. Even if it isn't done on purpose, then it is negligence and can still be criminal. Engineers and engineering companies are still liable for negligence.
     
  14. May 12, 2016 #13
    I would argue negligence is a form of malpractice. In my experience its caused by someone either pushibg schedules, or a lack of accountability at the work place. Its almost always caused by someone saying "ignore it, we need to meet these deadlines!"
     
  15. May 12, 2016 #14

    Dale

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    You could certainly argue that, and I wouldn't object. But it doesn't support the claim that "It is only bad if the mistakes are done on purpose". Even honest mistakes can kill people, and engineers are held liable for them.
     
  16. May 17, 2016 #15
    I like slide rules. I like calligraphy. However, that doesn't mean I use them on the job. The job requires that I do things with the better tools. So I use them.

    You should realize that CAD systems have replaced rooms filled with draftsmen. They have multiplied the ability of Engineers many times over. Unless you are somehow enamored with the artistry itself, I suggest sticking to the CAD systems.

    If you are in fact enamored with the artistry of old blueprints, you might consider obtaining the equipment and making your art.

    I have always been impressed with the sheer effort and artistry of older blueprints and drawings. It required vision and talent to do well. Perhaps you could develop a drawing of a fanciful thing, or perhaps a mechanical computer of some sort...
     
  17. May 27, 2016 #16
    Hi, I think, I like CAD if I'm going to pursue another study because it is more on designs and drawings. I'm interested in that. However, I heard that if you are in the industry you will need CAD software tools and getting a good one could be costly.
     
  18. May 27, 2016 #17

    SteamKing

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    Well, fortunately, you don't have to buy your own CAD package unless you want to.

    Companies typically choose a CAD package and equip their workstations with that software, and hire people who have been trained to use it.
     
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