“In the near future, a solid model will form the master representation of a part in contrast to the current practice of using the engineering drawing as the master representation. The main output of the design/drafting office will be a solid model of the part together with all the associated information that is contained on the engineering drawing and the provision of the engineering drawing will be a secondary function. In particular, the drawings, if required, will be generated from the model. The combination of a solid model and the necessary tolerance and associated technical data will be called the product model. Functions downstream of the design office will take the product model as their primary input.”
CADD: Computer Aided Design and Drafting, by Louis Gary Lamit and Vernon Paige
A mere 19 years after I wrote this with my coauthor, industry is still engaged in the debate, 2D or 3D, or both. I had spent time employed as a drafter and designer (1966-73, and teaching “drafting” 1973-1984 all “on the board”. In 1984 I took a job as the CAD/CAM instructor at De Azna College. I taught traditional drafting and design and descriptive geometry, but my primary class load was teaching Computervsion. All work was done as 3D wireframe modeling and drawings were derived from the model. I thought I was in heaven, until, we added a new “CAD” system called AutoCAD in 1987. It was very difficult for me to understand why we would go backwards and do things similar to the drafting board- drawing in 2D, albeit with the aid of a computer.
Almost twenty years later we still teach two classes in 2D CAD using AutoCAD along with classes in 3D CAD: nine in Pro/ENGINEER, four in SolidWorks, and one each of Inventor and Unigraphics. Though a vast majority of jobs for my students (most are degreed professionals) are in positions using 3D CAD (50% Pro/E and 30% SolidWorks) there is still a need for the use and understanding of 2D CAD (AutoCAD in our case). Many companies still have legacy projects on 2D, and some still use it as their primary design tool.
This book is meant to guide and assist individuals and companies in their quest for productivity and competitiveness through the selection and implementation of the appropriate design tool for their needs. I have a dislike for acronyms and sentences with long words and marketing catch phrases that when paragraphed do not sound like they should be uttered by people in real jobs doing real design work (no offense to the marketing department at the company that commissioned this book), but as drafters, designers, engineers, checkers, project managers, do we really talk like that? I will attempt to keep this book down to earth and focused on the subject; why change to 3D, how to change to 3D, and what can you realistically expect to encounter in the process.