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Computer Aided Drafting Jobs

Computer aided drafting jobs are available across a range of different industries these days, and some of these jobs pay extremely well.

Its all about supply and demand, and right now there are not enough qualified people to replace all the older highly skilled drafters and designers who are retiring.

The problem is the old guys know their industries inside and out, they know how to get things built, even though they dont always know how the CAD software works.

Many older designers are being kept working years after their planned retirement, hoping that somemone will come long to fill their shoes.

To make matters worse, computer aided drafting jobs are fragmented among all sorts of different CAD systems. AutoCad, TurboCad, IntelliCad, StruCad, Solidworks, Inventor, Pro-E. The list just goes on and on.

But industries still need the same structural and mechanical and architectural designers the way they always did.

Its just now they have to contend with structural/autocad designers who dont know how to work with Stru-Cad. The whole drafting industry is more fragmented than ever, despite the great technology that exists.

So whats the best way to get a job ?

Find whats in demand in your area and get properly trained !

For years now building booms have driven the demand for architectural and structural designers.

Getting the CAD training is usually as easy as getting AutoCad training at your local college but dont neglect the industry specific courses.

For a prospective structural drafter, take the courses offered through the American Institute of Steel Construction and learn the industry specific knowledge, and most importantly how to do structural drafting properly.

Sadly, they dont teach drafting in CAD courses, just how to use CAD program features. The same is true of Mechanical and Architectural design. You need training in CAD and a seperate course in drafting to make yourself a hot commodity. Knowledge is power.

"Do a job that no-one wants to do - and you have a job for life" This was something I learned early on and it certainly rings true today.

Once you have picked the industry you want to work in, specialize. Find a niche that no one wants to do and become an expert in it. If you are an architectural draftsman, perhaps you could specialize in sanitary sewers and stormceptors and drainage. Or concrete foundations.

Or if you are a mechanical designer specialize in valves and actuators and industrial process control. A structural designer, specialize in steel buildings.

If you do your homework, and talk to the old guys, there is a whole range of specialties that will keep you in demand for your whole working life.


> Jobs in drafting and design

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AAA Drafting Blog
A SolidWorks designer talks about stuff related to CAD and mechanical design
  • Sketching on a SolidWorks drawing

    If you are new to SolidWorks, there can be times when things are a little frustrating. One of those simple things is adding notes or sketching lines on an exisiting drawing with several views.

    You add your note or centerline and then move one of the views but the note you added stays where it is and you end up having to move it seperately.

    Or you have a note that belongs somewhere else in the drawing that gets moved when you are rearranging views when you dont want it to.

    The solution to these problems is found in these excerpts from the SolidWorks help section.
    Lock View Focus.
    Allows you to add sketch entities to views, even when the pointer is close to another view. You can be sure that the items you are adding belong to the views you want. You can also double-click views to lock the focus.
    So if you want to add a note or a line to views and have them move when you move the view, click in the views, right click and lock the view focus, then add the items you want.

    Once you are finished just click the views and unselect the lock view focus. Now your items should move in lock step with the views.

    What about notes that you want to be part of the sheet. Say you have some general material or heat treatment notes that you dont want to have moved when views are manipulated. You need to use lock sheet focus.

    Lock Sheet Focus.
    Allows you to add sketch entities to the sheet. Otherwise, the sketch entities belong to the view that is closest to where you begin sketching. You can also double-click a sheet to lock the focus. Lock Sheet Focus is available when at least one drawing view is present. When Lock Sheet Focus is enabled, the drawing sheet border is pink.

    Finally if you are in a situation where you want to lock certain projections in postion use lock view position. I find this useful when I want to use a single projection to show an open or closed position by superimposing views on top of each other:

    Create two views of the same part or assembly. Align them horizontally or vertically as required. Right-click anywhere in the desired view and select Lock View Position. Then you can line up the copied views right over top of the original, making it look as if both are the same.
    Following these directions should help so that notes and sketched lines dont end up where they are not supposed to be!