I have recently taken over the Drafting Department and have been thinking a lot about how relevant a lot of classic descriptive geometry is anymore. Don't get me wrong I feel that the basics of projection, auxiliary views, developments, & Vectors are Important. But how much of it is enough and how much is overkill? I haven't seen a good textbook in a long time, and the one we currently use is pretty bad. I have ordered some others from Delmar but with list prices approaching $200, and low reviews, I don't know. I have also spoken with several friend that graduated in various engineering fields (mostly Civil) in the past 5 years (BS & MS), and none of them remember anything about CAD/Drafting. In 10+ years of civil drafting, and mechanical design I didn't use most of what I learned (except developments). What do you think should be included in a modern descriptive geometry class? All input would be helpful, I'm currently doing a Program Review.
I use a lot of the stuff like true length of a line, true size/ shape of a plane, shortest distance between skew lines, shortest horizontal distance between skew lines, shortest distance to a plane - not to mention developments. And sometimes you can do a graphical calculation in a solidworks sketch using vectors graphical math. I think you can cover most of it in a semester, and I would be loathe to cut any of it unless you really have a good reason to. I am an M.E. but still learned about flip-flops and binary math, and it gives me insight into computer and electronics problems. I think that the exposure to descriptive geometry, even if you never actually use it, is valuable to students
Here is a good example why having and understanding of Descriptive Geometry is important viewtopic.php?f=26&t=1457 I was able to identify develop or actually show where to get the basic equations to describe a tapered spiral. I am confident that my solutions is correct as the result of understanding descriptive geometry, which I studied over 40 years ago, and last really used very much over 25 years ago when developing the surfaces for inflatable structures. Today the necessary calculations can be easily done using CAD software with little understand of how the process works. By understanding the basic principles as engineers we can confirm that the analysis is valid.