Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by Archimedes, Mar 20, 2014.
Depending on your job in the company, other skills may be more important than the ability to draw.
When you say "drawing" are you talking about manual sketching or drafting?
In the long distant past, I had some success as an illustrator, with a couple of books published containing my scribbles.
The weird thing is, since I've been using CAD programs and others such as Blender, I've noticed a serious degradation of my pencil on paper drawing abilities...
My background is one of industrial design, in a very roundabout way, but I think that the ability to draw is the most fundamental of all the artistic skills, and one that is truly worthy of study by any designer, or engineer - it's a skill that, when mastered, enables the individual to have a far greater intuitive understanding of perspective, scale and the natural form.
All of which, in my humble opinion are essential for a design that is both elegant and stands the test of time.
I feel the key here is not drawing ability but creativity. I have been a mechanical engineer and designer for over 30 years but I have a degree in art. The creative aspect of an art education I believe, allows one to work outside a conventional engineering approach to problems whether this be at the design or engineering stage. I've worked with conventionally trained engineers who seemed constrained by that very training. No doubt it won't work for everyone, and today as every aspect of industry becomes more specialised it will perhaps become more difficult to be different!
From my personal experiece i don't think it's a must, i've seen and worked with good engineers who couldn't draw very well. me - on the other hand must always have whiteboard nearby as my designs start in my head, then on paper / whiteboard and then on 3D Solidworks. I mainly design complex mechanisms and to design mechanism you must first design an overall cross section. to be able to draft single parts i think a 3D software is the best tool but when it comes to assemblies and mechanisms i always find myself sketching first.
As a rule of design, which is especially true for mechanisms but applies for other designs too, topology comes before geometry. While 3D models are excelent tools for geometry, the rough hand sketch is much better when it comes to topology. Needless to say that even a very rough sketch does the work, and one does not have to have any skills or education for artistic drawing.
Yess... Just like Leonardo da Vinci
As for the importance of being able to sketch well, imagine trying to describe a concept to your boss or colleagues during a brainstorming session but you can only use words, no imagery allowed. The ensuing nightmare would have everyone pulling their hair out!
Since brainstorming can happen at any point in a product's development, you need to be ready to brainstorm at a moment's notice. You also can't expect everyone present to huddle around a single workstation while a CAD model is slowly, tediously put together. The slow pace of creating models in CAD would badly damage the second-by-second responsiveness essential to brainstorming.
Seriously, though, take a drawing that you already have, take it to a colleague, and without letting them look at it, describe the part to them using only words. THAT will show you how important sketching is!
Separate names with a comma.