CAD programs

Different ‘type-set’ and alternative style fonts are always supplied with CAD programs. If a special font is required to match an existing style then specialist vendors can supply. Alphabets in different languages present no problem. Quite clearly the physically largest affordable screen has many advantages. If the draughtsman is also involved with desktop publishing, it is ideal to be able to work on a screen that displays two A4 paper sheets side by side so that ‘what you see is what you get’. The screen should give high resolution, necessary to provide an image that is flicker free. The quality of the display will have a big contribution to make in the avoidance of fatigue and eyestrain. Firsthand practical experience and a demonstration is important here for an ideal solution.

Plotting and printing equipment will vary according to drawing office requirements. It is true, however,
that many CAD installations are judged by the quality of their plotted drawings. It is necessary to also have
a demonstration and this will ensure that an excellent CAD system will have an output to do it justice.

A wide variety of plotters are available for reproductions from A4 to AO in size, and in a quality suitable
for production work or the most prestigious presentations. 
Probably the best-known software in the Drawing Office is that from AutoCAD, who build products that conform to the most widely used DWG format permitting the transfer of information between networks. 

In the 1970s, 2D drawing packages were introduced with the ability to slowly draw lines, circles and text. Rapid developments have taken place since with a vast increase in computing power.  The computer industry has expanded, progressed and now produces software for an ever increasing number of engineering applications. Computing power is vital for the operation of highly sophisticated research projects, advanced design and modelling programs. Communication developments have had a profound effect regarding the methods that we use for our current solutions. We have the capability to transmit files of drawings and notes from the computer screen for use by collaborative partners, and the Internet can transmit information around the world in seconds. Solid models suitably animated can also be viewed in 3D to clarify detail and this can be a considerable asset where perhaps there is a change of language. User manuals for domestic equipment are commonly drawn in solid modelling programs to illustrate sequences of assembly and improve clarity for nontechnical customers.
A very important part of work in the drawing office is dealing and handling revisions and modifications. It
is possible to link drawings so that if you update the master, linked drawings are updated automatically.
Modifications use quite a large proportion of drawing office time.


Immediate transmission to all members of an associated group has considerable advantages. Examples
here are recall notices for car owners and faulty items in domestic appliances. There are many examples where various component parts are manufactured in different countries and brought together for assembly and testing. The aircraft industry is a typical case. Drawings are reproduced in many sizes and small items present little difficulty with zoom facilities. Views drawn to different scales and a variety of orientations can be arranged on the same drawing print as an aid to comprehension. Windows giving an overall view of your drawing for fast zooming and panning are also of value.

Autodesk, Inc. is the world’s leading producer of  CAD visualization and animation software for personal
computers and workstations. Courses in AutoCAD programs are taught in many educational establishments,
and since 1987 certified national courses of study by the City and Guilds of London Institute have been
conducted throughout the country. Authorized training centres cater for the needs of local industry and for
those who wish to develop their CAD skills further. Autodesk r has been at the forefront of applying
standards within the computer aided design environment.

The main professional program AutoCAD 2002 is very much a non-specific or generic CAD tool and many applications are available to the basic graphics package, which enhance its suitability for a particular
discipline. Full specifications for these products can be found on the Web by visiting http://www/autodesk.co.uk. The AutoCAD Applications Handbook, which is a CAD User Publication, lists many hundreds of software packages which can be used to maximize productivity in association with AutoCAD.


Manual of
Engineering Drawing
Second edition
Colin H Simmons
I.Eng, FIED, Mem ASME.
Engineering Standards Consultant
Member of BS. & ISO Committees dealing with
Technical Product Documentation specifications
Formerly Standards Engineer, Lucas CAV.
Dennis E Maguire
CEng. MIMechE, Mem ASME, R.Eng.Des, MIED
Design Consultant
Formerly Senior Lecturer, Mechanical and
Production Engineering Department, Southall College
of Technology
City & Guilds International Chief Examiner in
Engineering Drawing

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