The modern, computer-age version of traditional drafting makes use of architectural CAD. The term CAD stands for Computer Aided Design, a tool which can be used in many adaptations of architectural design. A CAD draftsperson is responsible for developing working drawings, plans, diagrams or layouts based on the sketches, calculations, specification sheets and other data supplied by architects and engineers. These plans describe the size, shape, mechanics and function of structures for the use of construction teams and will be used to prepare detailed blueprints.
A CAD draftsperson must ensure that their drawings conform to precise specifications by using their knowledge of architectural materials, practices and conventions and by closely checking their drawings for errors. CAD has replaced traditional drafting as it is faster, more accurate and allows for simulations while providing all the storage, filing, memory and duplicating advantages of the modern computer. However, draftspersons using CAD still make use of the same knowledge of building construction theory and drafting and design standards traditionally required by this occupation.
Traits & Talents
To work as an architectural CAD draftsperson you should be interested in computers, building materials and architecture and possess strong math and science skills. You need to be able to visualize the size, shape and proportions of two-dimensional drawings in three dimensions. Successful draftspersons are creative, analytical, well organized, interested in accurate measurements, capable of intense concentration and able to follow instructions and drawings carefully and concisely. Patience is also a key factor, as your drawings may take days to complete. Team-work, communication and writing skills are also useful attributes for workers in this profession.
While home and office design, interior design, forestry and landscaping companies all employ CAD draftspersons, the majority of employees work for architectural firms and construction companies. They spend a considerable amount of time operating a computer, and work closely with construction teams, architects and engineers. Draftspersons are generally located in well-lit, well-ventilated spaces in a large office buildings or studios and keep conventional work hours, although longer hours are sometimes needed to meet project deadlines.
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