Do Engineers Use CAD? It’s Still a Major Debate

Do you browse LinkedIn?

No seriously. I know that many years ago, LinkedIn was basically a place to post your online resume. But a couple years ago, they came out with professional groups where folks could discuss career and other work topics. Then they came out with a more newspaper-like view of your connections’ updates. Now it’s fairly easy to traverse and read good articles.

Anyway, the other day I was looking through some articles in my connections’ and groups’ feeds when I came across one that resonated with me. Its title is…

Engineers as Draftsman, my how times have changed…

… in the Mechanical Design Forum. Here’s a original post.

At one time, engineers considered producing drawings as a job that was for the worker bees. Almost as if the labor was beneath them, probably for good reason since a company could higher several draftsman for the price of one engineer. Then along came Cad. The idea was to make the drawing faster and increase the number of project completed over any given time period. Someone got the idea that all those draftsman could be replaced by the engineer doing their own drawings. So today, an engineer spends a disparate amount of time doing the work formerly done by a draftsman and far less actually engineering. Think about the work for a second, near 90% of the drawing is cookie cutter work. This requires five years of university? Once it only took two years of college. Now consider that the new engineer, when entering a company has to be trained on whichever software that company uses. One has to wonder who is doing the cost/benefit analysis on this and what color the sky is in their world. My, my, how times have changed…

The title resonated with me because I’ve written about this sort of thing before, including The Disconnect between Traditional CAD and Design, Is CAD Still Disruption Ready, Every Engineer’s Dirty Little Secret and The Subtle Distinction between Designing and Documenting Products.

I started looking at the comments. There were some interesting points made. Then I actually caught how many comments there were.


I am not joking. There are now over 2,900 comments in this discussion alone in a LinkedIn professional group. Obviously the conversation has meandered here and there. But by and large, it is about engineers and their use of CAD.

If you didn’t believe this was or still is an issue, think again.

And if this is a major issue for you, then I suggest going and joining the discussion.