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  1. #1
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    Default How do you differentiate between 'design' and 'drafting'?

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    AutoCAD is a CAD (Computer Aided Design or Computer Aided Drafting) software application for 2D and 3D design and drafting. [Wikipedia]Hi

    How do you differentiate between 'design' and 'drafting'? Once one has drafted something on a paper, one would get the design. Isn't 'drafting' quite close in meaning to 'drawing' in this sense? CAD software applications are used to draft (or, draw?) drawings.Please help me. As I'm sure you have already noticed that I'm also an English learner so getting to know the exact meaning is equally important for me.

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    You're correct ... it does cause some confusion. But CAD can usually be used for both purposes ... it depends on what you're doing. Many a time the design process is fine-tuned using CAD (or similar) to get stuff like sizing, proportion, etc. correct. A hand sketch is easy to fudge, but using CAD makes it more accurate (e.g. you can design the size of rooms in a building to be decent sizes, but a simple hand sketch can have rooms of either way too large / small - without the designer noticing easily). Drafting (or also called drawing) is usually taken as the more technical aspect - i.e. producing the construction documentation, which is usually done in totality in CAD.

    There are other programs which specialize more in the design phase, and a lot in the in-between-stage of presentation. And most are like AutoCAD which does a little of all but leaning more to technical, and others specialize in only specific types of design/drafting (e.g. Mechanical, Architectural, Structural, etc.).

  3. #3
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    Drafting is the technique of creating technical drawings. While design, in my opinion, is to conceive or invent.

    I think that is why, in the past, a distinction was made between being a "draftsman" and being a "designer". If I recall correctly weren't early CAD programs referred to as CADD (Computer Aided Drafting and Design)?

    I think there is a difference between being a draftsman and a designer. A draftsman can be said to transfer the ideas of an engineer for instance from a hand sketch to a finished drawing while a designer conceives an idea and follows through with the actual design keeping in mind form and function. The designer imparts knowledge and understanding to the process.

    Oh what the heck...it's just all word play.
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    Designers usually wear more fashionable clothes and drive sexier cars.

    No, seriously... Remark said it. Design is the 'art' of figuring out how something will look. Engineering is the 'science' of figuring out how the design has to be fixed in order to function, and drafting is the 'black magic' of figuring out how the thing has to be built in the real world.
    Yogi Berra: "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."

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    When I started out as a draftsman we were considered nothing more than glorified tracers. When it stopped becoming just "lines and circles" and we started to think about how the various pieces should fit together and work properly then we suddenly became designers.
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    In my world, the designers are the "idea" people. An architect might produce drawings of a beautiful building, and it will be more or less the right size and shape. It will have floor plans and elevations and will convey the intent...this bit is concrete, this is marble, these cabinets are walnut...etc. It then goes to the drafter to produce drawings with sufficient detail that builders and other tradesman can use to actually build the building. There is nothing that says you can't do all of it. You can be the designer and the drafter and any thing else down the line, but there is so much work involved that to get it done efficiently, you really need help, at least on large projects. Its really hard to design your next project if you are bogged down in drafting the previous one. By the same token, if you are at the site swinging a hammer on this project, you can't draft the next one.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -Robert Heinlein

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    ReMark pretty much said it.

    I'm an architect (doing all custom houses) and rarely come up with the concept for the house using a computer. It's a pencil on a sketch pad or bumwad. I often develop that concept using the computer as a tool (sketchup's the program) but even then all the creativity is still coming from my head. The program's not saying "Gee, maybe make this space two feet taller". It's me thinking "Hmm, it might proportion out a little better if we had more height in here" and then I can raise the ceiling in the 3D model.

    In my response to the clients inquiry of "Why don't you use the computer for all of the design process?" I say "You can give me the fanciest word processing program out there with all the bells and whistles and that's not going to make me J. K Rowling. The creativity comes from my head". They understand then.

    Drafting is just developing a set of instructions to tell the workman how to build the house. Very little creativity there.

    Doug

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runnerguy View Post
    Drafting is just developing a set of instructions to tell the workman how to build the house. Very little creativity there.
    Hey, I left out Architects on purpose.
    Yogi Berra: "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runnerguy View Post
    ReMark pretty much said it.


    Drafting is just developing a set of instructions to tell the workman how to build the house. Very little creativity there.

    Doug
    Except for when we have to try to figure out how to make marvelous glass rooms stand in mid-air with no supporting structure, or magically levitate a 50 ft tall curtain wall without touching the building anywhere except at the top and bottom...or or how to put a door in a wall that leans out 15°. Yes, I've had all these issues and more. More creativity required than you think there bud.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -Robert Heinlein

  10. #10
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    You asked for a variety of explanations, so here's one with a different slant.

    To me there's a grey area between designing and drafting. Suppose my boss wants me to draw a parking lot. He can give me dimensions to every curb, the exact number of parking spaces, and so forth. In effect he's working out all the details of the drawing and leaving me to transcribe them into a digital form. He's done all the design, and I've done all the drafting.

    At the other end of the scale, he may give me general boundaries for the parking lot and a desired number of spaces, then let me work out the details. I've done practically all of the design and all of the drafting.

    What usually happens, though, is something in between. He has a rough idea of how he wants the lot to look, so he gives me a sketch, and I have to fit it into the available space. He's done some of the design, and I've done some of the design. This happens with grading as well--he'll set the elevations at either end of a slope and leave it to me to space the contours evenly.

    The grey area depends on what you consider true designing. To me it means making decisions when there is room for making decisions (sometime there isn't). I could lay out parking spaces horizontally or vertically, I could add islands of various shapes, I could make the corners square or round. On the other hand, there may be regulations that limit my options, such as mandating islands with trees no more than 80 feet apart.

    That's somewhat different from creativity. Fitting a finite number of features into a finite space can be a simple job, or it can be hideously complex (math types call it the Knapsack Problem, and you can prove that there is no best answer). Creativity is when you redefine the problem as something you can solve instead of hammering away at something you can't. In other words, if you've been trying to put a square peg in a round hole, ask yourself if it's better to make the peg round or the hole square.
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