Has CAD Killed the Manual Drafting Art Form?

There can be no doubt that Computer Aided Design (CAD) has revolutionised the way designers create the latest masterpieces. Whether a 300ft skyscraper or the tiniest mechanical instrument, CAD allows the user a fully rotatable 3D digital model of his product, allowing a clear view down to the very smallest detail. With CAD’s wealth of advanced editing and visualisation features, why would anyone choose to design their products by hand? Has Manual Drafting been completely outdone?

In short, no.

Many top designers recognise the unique benefits of the manual design art form. While most utilise the many benefits of CAD, they are often used side by side with the more expressive design methods of hand drawing, offering them the opportunity to create a far more personal product design. Watch a video of what you could achieve!

There’s no undo button! 90% of the time, mistakes are a bad thing. We wish we could simply undo and carry on. This isn’t an option with pen and paper; when a designer inevitably makes a mistake, he is forced to adapt. Suddenly an accidental squiggle becomes a quirky design feature, a wonky line becomes an abstract idea. Hand drawing promotes evolution of our designs, allowing us to create new, unique products that may never have been born with a computer.

Tip from the college days when your drawing slipped off the edge of the table and fell upside down – suddenly you realised that it was showing you a different aspect to the design. Try drawing your plan on tracing paper and then turning sheet over and looking the mirror image!

The Personal Touch

Like your handwriting, every designer has their own unique style. Technical drawings created with the human touch often feature an individual flair that can’t be achieved with computers. They may not have the pinpoint accuracy, but there is often emotion portrayed in a hand drawn piece, something impossible to achieve with a machine.

Lastly, manual drafting takes skill! An incredible amount of patience, a steady hand and an eye for detail are all vital in producing high quality technical drawings. When you produce the perfect drawing that meets your vision though, the sense of achievement and satisfaction you feel is nothing short of incredible. Why not give it a try?

With a huge range of craft materials, high quality technical pens, pencils and drawing boards from all the major graphic design brands, Designdirect supply everything you’ll need to get started!

Check out what this artist can do! -