Friday 31 Mar 2023
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Drafters are now what were once known as Draftsmen or Draughtsman.  They prepare technical drawings and plans used by production and construction workers tomanufacture products such as toys, toasters, industrial machinery, spacecraft, structures such as houses, office buildings, and oil and gas pipelines.   Drafters’ drawings provide visual guidelines; show the technical details of the products and structures; and specify dimensions, materials, and procedures.

Drafters provide technical details using drawings, rough sketches, specifications, codes, and calculations previously made by engineers, surveyors, architects, or scientists. For example, drafters use their knowledge of standardized building techniques to draw in the details of a structure. Some use their knowledge of engineering and manufacturing theory and standards to draw the parts of a machine to determine design elements, such as the numbers and kinds of fasteners needed to assemble the machine. Drafters use technical handbooks, tables, calculators, and computers to complete their work.

Traditionally, in years past, drafters sat at drawing boards and used pencils, pens, compasses, protractors, triangles, and other drafting devices to prepare a drawing manually.   Most drafters today now use a CADD/ CAD systems to prepare drawings. CADD is an acronym for Computer Aided/Assisted Drafting and Design, Computer Aided/Assisted Design and Drafting, Computer Aided/Assisted Design or Computer Aided/Assisted Drafting.  Consequently, some drafters may be referred to as CADD or CAD operators.

CADD/CAD systems employ computers to create and store drawings electronically that can then be viewed, printed, or programmed directly into automated manufacturing systems. These systems also permit drafters to quickly prepare variations of a design.  Although drafters now use CADD/CAD extensively, it is only a tool, and does not replace the basic and core knowledge needed for the profession.

Individuals who produce technical drawings with CADD/CAD still function as drafters and need the knowledge of traditional manual drafters, in addition to CADD/CAD skills. Despite the nearly universal use of CADD/CAD systems, manual drafting and sketching are still used in certain applications.