Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Why getting into Architectural Drafting might not be a good idea....

You may not agree with this, but give Autodesk's new Homestyler a try out.

I have tried out previous attempts by Autodesk to do this sort of thing, but this is way out in front as far as usability and so on.

It's primary function seems to be for interior layouts and it is is very good at these. Outdoor layouts are catered for as well, but it appears a pretty flat world out there.

I could see my friends computer-phobic wife getting onto this and producing a kitchen or two.

In the pic, I just slammed in some furniture and hit the render button, and it produced a fairly good render.

There are some things it does not seem to do:

1. Allow you to make your own content.

2. The window content is a little sparse as yet, but might grow.
What this shows is the shape of things to come: The tools of designers will become so effortless to use, that anyone can produce drawings. The new job of architect might then become what it should be: a dreamer, artist etc.
I'm still waiting for something similar to come along for mechanical drafting.....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Yet another Golden Rule broken....again

What Golden Rule? The one that says:

"If you draw everything, then there is less surprises in store for you!"

Recently, I had to draw a simple platform next to a dust extractor. The purpose of the platform was to enable maintenance persons to get access to Stuvex bottles. These bottles are an anti-explosion device and as far as I know, sense and explosion and release some sort of dampening gas so the explosion is nullified.

Just to make life complicated, it was located up alongside an old wall, which had pipes, electrical trunking and so on either side of a corrugated iron wall. I have found out the hard way, that it is easy for a draftsman to say- "This pipe will be in the will have to be moved." "Yeah, but, where to?!" Easier drawn than done it appears.

The platform ended up being on 2 levels, and the lower one looked fine in the plan view: Yes, fine until you asked yourself: How to get it in that place? Fortunately, the man on the job is highly intelligent and made it bolted so it would fit in. Except there was a brace, not drawn, apparently in the way. Not a big deal, it can be relocated, but to have noted this on the drawing would have saved drafting embarrasment.

Which highlights a problem found often in drafting: You need to bash together a concept drawing, and then go through numerous changes to the design before it solidifies. By the time that happens, you are quite convinced that your drawing is accurate and wonderful.

At this point the thing to do is kick your own butt out onto the site and site check your critical dimensions. I do this now by forcing myself to put these dimensions on the drawings and putting heavy boxes around critical dimensions.

I guess the lesson I'm slowly learning here is that the initial site measuring should be thorough and accurate and not to trust old drawings, even ones that were done by yourself.

Finally, a quote sent to me that seems on the nail:

"We moderns have managed to combine an incredible mastery of technical knowledge and information with an astonishing ignorance of the traditional wisdom once possessed by an illiterate village elder, and evident for all to see on every page of history.

Spend more than you earn and you’ll go broke.

Give someone something for nothing, and he’ll soon expect something for nothing on a regular basis.

Fail to hold people accountable for their bad behavior, and they’ll continue to act badly.

Give people an excuse to fail, and they’re more likely to fail.

Let aggression go unpunished, and you’ll get more aggression."

-Bruce S. Thornton

The guy who sent me this one made the following suggestion:

(except substitute 'we moderns' with 'dimwitted lefties')