Drafting and design work is present in an extensive list of U.S. and international companies and involves creating a wide range of drawings and models, such as:
- Mechanical drawings
- Digital drawings
- Adding specifications
Drafting and design engineers are employed in many industries including the architectural, manufacturing, civil engineering, mechanical, electrical, and construction industries. If you want to start your career in an entry-level job in any of them, your best opportunity is to earn an associate degree in an outstanding school program.
Drafting and Design Work Consists of Preparing Mechanical and Digital Drawings
Not all drawings are created with the latest software because some are made with hand-drawn sketches and simple preliminary outlines. Traditional drafting tools and drawing tables are used to generate them on paper. This mechanical approach is primarily used in the brainstorming phase to decide if the project is worth further consideration and work. It’s also used in the field when laptops are not available.
Digital drawings and plans are used to represent objects whenever possible. The ease of creating and modifying them is enhanced with the use of software, especially CAD and CADD. Students grasp the fundamentals of both these approaches in their college training.
Drafting and Design Work Involves Creating Diagrams and Blueprints
Drafting and design work expands into other areas depending on the job at hand and the company’s objectives. Employees may draw diagrams for electrical and electronic products and blueprints for construction projects. Final diagrams and blueprints are precisely detailed and used for making prototypes and for first production runs.
Diagrams and blueprints are typically drawn using specialized software, including the first four for diagrams and the last five for blueprints:
- Edraw Max and ETAP
- Autocad Electrical
- Solid Works Electrical Schematics
- Contractor Foreman and Procore
- Autodesk Construction Cloud
- Quickbase and ProjectTeam.com
Other specialized software is used depending on the company’s projects and industry.
Preparing Models of Products and Structures Is Part of Drafting and Design Work
Drafters and designers also create prototype 3D models and mockup models when needed for projects. Typical 2D models are limited to drawings on paper or on a computer screen but are limited in their usefulness. That’s why 3D models of products and structures are superior because they can be seen from all sides and angles.
Computer-aided software allows faster and easier completion of model drawings. It offers the bonus of letting the user quickly modify the models as changes are introduced. Software usage presents a near-perfect visualization of the project for anyone to understand.
|“Drafting and design engineers are employed in many industries including the architectural, manufacturing, civil engineering, mechanical, electrical, and construction industries.”|
Professionals Participate in Drafting and Design Work for Architectural Firms and Manufacturers
Drafting and designing work presents many employment opportunities such as working for architectural firms and manufacturing companies. Architectural drafters and designers create:
- Residential single-family house plans
- Apartment, condominium, and townhouse drawings
- Business building plans
- Retail store drawings
- Government housing plans
- Military installation drawings
Drafters and designers create plans and models for many manufactured products, including:
- Automotive parts
- Household appliances
- Outdoor equipment
- Medical devices
As new products are developed, drafting and design engineers will play a major role in their development.
Drafting and Design Engineers Are Employed by Civil and Electrical Engineering Companies
Engineers participate in creating civil and electrical/electronic drawings and diagrams. Civil drafters draw roads, bridges, dams, waterways, and landscaping plans. Many work for firms that receive government contracts for infrastructure work on the federal and state levels.
Electrical drafting engineers generate diagrams for residential and commercial electrical wiring plans. They also draw and design electronic layouts for many products, such as:
- Medical equipment
- Heating and cooling equipment
- Hearing aids
- Communication networks
This field of drafting and design work is growing to meet consumer and commercial needs.
The Construction Industry Also Needs Drafting and Design Work
Drafting and design professionals work for construction firms as well as architectural firms. They tend to create specialized plans to supplement what architects do. Construction drafters are familiar with building details and may be used to draw simple projects without the help of architects. An Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) Degree in Drafting and Design will open entry-level jobs in this career.
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