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  • Designer vs. Draftsman. How are CAD users utilized where you work?

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by Travis W, Aug 30, 2013.

    1. Travis W

      Travis W Member

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      Recently I attended an ANSYS class and held an informal poll of the engineers attending on this topic. They were all from oilfield services companies and the answers fell in two categories: pure draftsmen and designers. The overwhelming majority of responses fell in the draftsmen category. Even the respondants who said they utilized CAD users as designers were more heavily weighted to draftsmen in theirranks. As the need for engineers continues to increase, and the graduation rate does not I think that a clear delineation in these roles, and their compensation, should be made. The shortage of true designers in many cases stem from a few factors:

      1. Education. The two year technical programs required to work in the field build draftsmen, not designers. An emphasis on design calculation and capstone projects is a must to create designers instead.

      2. Mindset. There are some people who diminish the ability of a person with a two year degree to be trusted with "real" engineering. This mindset has to change before designers can be leveraged to the fullest degree.

      3. Training. Typically companies do not invest as heavily in training designers as they do young engineers. Of course they aren't capable of performing the same tasks.

      4. Inertia. Changing the status quo is difficult and fraught with risk. This is perhaps the greatest stumbling block to increasing designer utilization.

      How does your company utilize its CAD users and how could it improve.

      Authors note: Thank heavens I have a boss that is title-blind, or I would never have attended the Ansys class where I was the only designer.
       
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    3. Dana

      Dana Well-Known Member

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      I think the need for a draftsman in the classic sense is disappearing. Back in the days of paper drawings, making drawings from a design layout was a long, tedious process, and having this work done by a draftsman freed the engineer up for other things. Nowadays, modern CAD systems make the creation of detail drawings from the 3D models such a simple process that it takes an engineer less time to do it himself than it does to check a draftsman's work.

      From what I've seen, a "designer" is usually a draftsman (whether formally trained or not) who has enough experience and familiarity with his employer's products and standards to work at a higher level. I'm not sure you could create a "one size fits all" program to educate designers, since the difference is often a matter of on the job experience. It's also a matter of creativity... I've worked with some draftsman that were competent enough making drawings under direction or from sketches, but lacked what it takes to make independent decisions on a design (though to be honest, I've worked with more than a few graduate engineers like that, too!)
       
    4. other

      other Member

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      Ansys is good, i am look forward to learn it, but my work is related with plastic part design, or mold design, it don't need Ansys,

      although i know it will make design more reliability, i just wonder if a draftsman don't know how to design a product , how can they do analysis, is it necessary? does anyone give some example?
       
    5. andrew_neil

      andrew_neil Active Member

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      In modern days, I think Engineers and drafters both have to know their role well and to collaborate with each other.
      Thanks
       
    6. Roy_Kliffen

      Roy_Kliffen Member

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      Having achieved my BSc in the late eighties, I could be considered an engineer with the capability of designing systems. After leaving the polytechnic however, the first year of my career I worked full-time as a draughtsman, on a board with pens and rulers. After that year I was allowed to design some low complexity systems as a draughtsman/engineer and grew from there into an engineering role.
      I do however still describe myself not as an engineer, but as an engineer/draughtsman, to the amazement of some.
      They consider the use of this title as a hindrance in today's job-market. And they are probably right.
      Businesses nowadays have bought into the sales pitch that CAD-systems nowadays makes the draughtsman obsolete - or at least less valued - as this role can "simply" be performed by the engineers.
      I absolutely disagree .... although some engineers are capable of creating a flawless drawings, most of them aren't, seeing the drop in quality as well as the rising in complaints of manufacturers. I consider a draughtsman an engineering specialist, just as a thermal engineer, a FEM engineer, a sound engineer and whatever specialisms there are out there, especially if they bring their knowledge of manufacturing techniques and costs to bear. Draughtsmen (male/female) function also as an additional reviewer of the designs and are often able to suggest minor changes in the design to the originating designer/engineer to reduce cost and/or improve quality and acceptance rate, thus being instrumental in cost and quality control.
       

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