Automatic Drawing Creation

By: Adrian Dunevein

Today, computer aided modeling packages like solidworks give us the ability to automate the drafting process through the creation of models driven by design tables and equations. The formulas used in these models can be driven directly by the engineer’s calculations resulting in automatic engineering drawing creation.

The draftsman still may have to edit dimension locations and apply different scale factors to views for the model to fit on the page properly but the bulk of the tedious drawing work has been eliminated. In the case of some products, the drawing process may be reduced to hours from what once took weeks.

If the company is willing to undertake an in-depth analysis of its product design process the payback of this drawing automation process can be startling. Frames for machinery can be created in minutes freeing the engineer or designer up to work on more complex areas of the design.

Sales engineers can create drawings directly from specifications and have custom products on the shop floor the same day they are ordered.

While these benefits are important it should be noted the every detail in the product design process has to uncovered for this drawing automation to work. What designers now do routinely must be written down and built into formulas and design tables. This is not as easy as it sounds. Designers do a lot of things unconsciously that must be recorded.

The process of automating a design can be approached on an assembly by assembly basis, making sure at each step, that the process is working. A small part of the machine is automated, for example, machine guards. From that point on the computer designs the guards from specifications and the engineers make sure that the system is working properly before proceeding to automate more critical areas of the machine.

If the process is done carefully, great benefits can be realized in savings of cost and time. If the engineer’s look at the work they do throughout the year, even in custom fabrication, there are things that must done repetitively. It might be flange sizing, machine frames, shafts or any number of things.

It’s worth it for an engineering manager to take a long hard look at the the kinds of work that is being done day in and day outHealth Fitness Articles, to see if drawing automation can save time and money.

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