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10/11/06 09:32 AM
Re: Does CAD/CAM Technology Diminish Quality of Life and Quality in general? new [re: Ant'ny]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Talk about menories....we're kindred spirits of a sort. I grew up on the board. My orginal training and start in the "design" industry was in Architecture too. I remember my mentors complimenting me on my good and imaginative designs, then slamming me for my poor drafting skills. Line weight uneven, smudges from using too soft a lead, I think I might have gone through six eraser dust bags in two months cleaning up my velliums.

Your point is rather clear and I totally agree with it. If you don't have design skills and 3D reasoning capabilty CAD isn't going to help. Murphy's Rule #7 To err is human, to really screw it up takes a computer.

As in my other post, my positions the past thirty years have been to help orgainzations apply computer technology efficently and effectively. The problem I continually see in that mission has been an unequal balance between the two. Most of the time I'm called in after the fact to fix the deployment mess that was created becuase they wanted to go from A straight to Z with the least amount of money, time, etc. (i.e., efficency --at least supposed financial efficency).

The trouble with that is, organinzations and people don't work like that. Its not like the MATRIX where you can download 20 years of knowledge and skill into an organinzation or a person from a floppy disk. Yet organizations persist in a mindset of If I buy the tool, install it so it turns on the lights and prints ink I have a modern engineering organinzation.

I watch today as many mondern corporations are still struggling with applying technology. In applying I mean more than just dropping a box on some desk or a network in a department. Integrating I.T. into a business or a way of doing work takes time. Tiime to internalize how to use the tools to accomplish the tasks at hand. Like old drafting tools, CAD can be an electric pencil, eraser, and slide rule all in one. However, it can't replace the design skils which are gained over years, those heuristics take time to develop. We continue to lean of the science and math model of engineering, because that are the tools that are taught in school.

What we forget is that there is, as you point out, an art side to engineering. Design is a creative endeavor, not a math formula. Even in math there is some amount of are, remember how much fun Calculus was until you got it was not a simple answer but an approach to finding answers.

In the end its not CAD but ourselves placing too much or buying into the hype of vendors to make a magic button that does engineering and design. PEOPLE perform aka practice engineering, not machines.

10/17/06 08:13 AM
Re: Does CAD/CAM Technology Diminish Quality of Life and Quality in general? new [re: BrianS]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Remember this my friends...

These CAD jockeys are now designing the 787...


They truly think that eliminating drawings will save them money...

OH OH...

Give me a good 737, 747...

Jose Luis
10/19/06 04:39 AM
Formation new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

I am an old? enginner too (53) and also spent long days with pencil.
Perhaps pencil give us more time to think , that is for me the key.
Our minds were centered in designing.
Today OS troubles, incompatible formats , hangings , software operations not fully understood...
Management thinks that a 600h course on CAD is more valuable that the same time studiing old mechanic , electricity , etc. But you will need a full knowledge of materials , processes and phisics in general to make a good design.
On the other hand software vendors place a lot of features on CAD/CAM software that you don't need.
In my group there are some young engineers. We design a lot of parts every week, and I always need to ask young fellows not to start using the computer from the beginning of a task. Solutions must be in their minds and unfortunatly computers do not think.
So, for me is still time for our brains, young people must develop theirs with the best formation possible. And CAD is the powerfull tool (only a tool) that I have found in my long days as engineer.
Sorry for my poor english.

10/19/06 06:57 AM
Re: Formation new [re: Jose Luis]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

It is finally nice to hear from some professionals that are not so wrapped up in technology to forget the original purpose..

Optimal Design...

10/20/06 07:59 AM
Re: CAD Deminishes Qulaity new [re: Joe]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

I guess you didn’t get my sarcasm ;-).

Not to sound like some pessimistic old man ( which I really am not, fairly optimistic and 42) I am just your typical American male that has become a bit frustrated with the way the world has evolved in general. I have a young daughter and to see the world she will be forced to live in drives me crazy. What happened to our generation making the world better for our children’s generation and so on. This somehow got reversed I know for a fact it’s all based on greed. Yes, greed as been around since the dawn of time, but it has reached epic portions in the past decade.

This brings me back to this post. Where CAD diminishes quality (because of greed) and where “Craftsman” and “Experts” no longer exist in society. Ever try to get a plumber to fix something in your house, how many times does he come back to “fix” something he screwed up? And at the end of it the workmanship is shoty at best. My neighbor just had his house painted by “professionals” it cost him $9000 (I nearly fell on the floor). I said to him, when are they going to come back to finish, he said they are finished!

My other neighbor had an extension put on his house where a new foundation needed to be added. Well, the foundation cracked only a few weeks after installing. That’s not even the worst part. The “professional” construction workers added the extension on top of this foundation entirely crooked. I mean one end was just touching the foundation and the other end about 12” off the foundation. My neighbor had another company to come in jack up the house onto I-beams to “rotate it to fit on the foundation! Jeez, Ray Charles could see when putting the sill plate down that it isn’t on the foundation…What the heck went wrong there! Ok, enough of that, I have a boatload of items to fix on my to-do list that were created by “experts”.

So to say, at least in America “experts” and “professionals” no longer exist. So, better get used to it. Be prepared to live in a world built on “good-enough” and like it. And pay double the price for it.

10/21/06 06:39 AM
Re: CAD Deminishes Qulaity new [re: TomL]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

I agree, it's a matter of mentality and conscience. The tools don't matter as long as the mindset is poor. I worked for a decade in the construction/renovation bussines, both in Western and Eastern Europe, and now I'm a house designer in Ontario, Canada. The gap in approach towards all the phases in construction is obvious. Many contractors are mediocre, to put it mildly. Quantity and quality are still the same thing. It's frustrating, whether you use the pencil or the computer.

frustrated reader
12/16/06 10:54 AM
Learn how to spell new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

It is very difficult to read an article where every sentence has several spelling and grammatical errors. It's distracting and damages the writer's credibility.
Please use a spell checker next time!

(Stranger )
01/05/07 12:10 AM
Re: Does CAD/CAM Technology Diminish Quality of Life and Quality in general? new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

The author presents a percieved "problem" and does not offer too much in the way of solutions, just a general malise about how things are going to H--l in a hand basket.

Fortunately for him (and for anyone unsophisticated enough to buy into ALL of his opinion) the solution is to be found staring you right in the monitor screen.

The base problem with all substandard work (CAD/CAM being NO exception) in all of its manifestations from concept (screen doors for submarines), drawing, checking, manufacturing, installation, and customer buyoff, is to CHECK the work and what your part of the proocess is.

The author would do well to implement this piece of advice by doing a complete scan of his entry for spelling, grammer, and just plain sentence structure.

The old addage holds true here, clean your own house first.


(Stranger )
01/18/07 05:04 AM
Re: Does CAD/CAM Technology Diminish Quality of Li new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

The greatest problem I see with CAD is it facilitates making images that are "too believable". Any undergrad ME student now can create a slick photo real image that management will eat up. Management tends to equate the time needed to create the image and the actual time to create the widget. It is counterintuitive to many that it is possible to create images of widgets that can’t be manufactured. I made this mistake when I first started using 3D CAD as my personal sketch pad, and allowing management to see my “sketches”. “Seeing is Believing” gets in the way of reality too many times in our business. The elevator example is perfect, it illustrates how what looks just fine at the 30,000 foot level (the pretty 3D rendition of a cute blond standing in a fully textured and ray traced image) but falls apart when actual tolerances and mating relationships are worked out to completion. From management’s point of view, the problem is “conceptually whipped”, with only minor details left to sort out. As a result, we are left to produce on a compressed schedule, leaving only enough time for an “average” solution. The old adage: “Quality, Speed, Cost; pick any two” is as valid today as it was in the days of Gum Arabic.

(Stranger )
01/26/07 02:37 PM
Re: Does CAD/CAM Technology Diminish Quality of Li [re: dwurmfeld]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

In general we have put much too much stock in our CAD technologies. It is interesting to scan the help wanted adds in some of the trade rags. It’s very common to see that knowledge in a particular CAD system is so significant to us that it finds its place in the add. I guess that is due to the fact that it is sooo difficult to learn and such a big investment. Sounds like the CAD systems are driving us – rather than supporting us. My son is a first year engineering student. One of the classes that he took was called “Engineering Design 1”. What a joke. He spent much of the semester learning Pro/E. He did very well in the class, but is he going to be better engineer for this? Not a chance. When did good CAD skill = good designer / engineer?

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