Friday, August 28, 2009

Win, lose, or draw(ing)

Way back in the day, e.g. 1996, when I was in undergrad, I took a mandatory course in college on computer drawing, in which we used AutoCAD v12 as well as a couple of other types of software such as Adobe Photoshop and 3D Studio. The next year, I realized I was so uncomfortable with CAD that I took another class, this time in AutoCAD v13. They kept teaching us CAD in this isolated classroom, but we were all hand drawing in our studios for hours upon hours every semester. When we complained about how this hurt our chances of summer employment, one of our professors retorted, "I can teach anyone to use CAD in a month, but I can't teach you how to think once you get in an office--that's what we're doing here." Even in graduate school, we were all hand drawing, and I only got familiar with AutoCAD v14 (the first Windows-based version) because I got a copy of it to go on my laptop.

After years of using AutoCAD and ADT, I finally began using Revit about a year ago, and it's way way better than AutoCAD. After you get used to the different commands and where those commands are located on the screen, which takes about a month overall, it gets easier to use. I find that it's easier to troubleshoot your own software problems too.

So sound off in the comments: what software are you using right now? Are you using it in an office or a school setting? What kind of drawing did you do/are you doing in school?


  1. I definitely learned hand drawing my first year in college but not long after that I was on the computer most of the time. It seemed presentation was really emphasized so a lot of us would use computers. I just graduated in May and I look at what younger students are doing and I feel like most people are going away from any kind of hand work which i feel is unfortunate. I used Revit at one office and its great! Much easier than people make it out to be just so much to learn with it. I work in an office now where we use autoCAD and ADT and it sucks! I hate it. It kind of feels like we are in the stone age or something. I recommend learning Revit to all. You'll eventually use it Im pretty sure.

  2. In school I had teachers that simply refused to let us use any sort of computer program to draw anything. Others were more relaxed on that issue. At the time it was AutoCAD2004 for the most part. I never took a class on it though.
    At the office is Revit 2010, and I LOVE IT, I prefer to use it over AutoCAD for all the reasons you listed, its simply EASIER.

  3. I'm one of those recent grads (this May) that went back to school because of the lack of jobs. In school, I picked up Revit and once I began to use it, I never went back to AutoCad. The firm I used to work for used only AutoCad, and still does. It's a very mind-numbing way to work and teaches you little about the supposed physical structure you are creating.

    Going back to school, though, I have a chance to hand draft again. It's something I'm actually really looking forward to. There is something about the beauty of the creations of the human hand that a computer will never be able to duplicate, no matter how hard we try to make it. It's sad how far hand drafting has fallen out of favor, though. Just try to buy one of those old metal and rubber lead pointers online and you'll see what I mean.