Why The Time-tested Practice of Architectural Drafting is Used in Architectural Design?

Why the time-tested practice of Architectural Drafting is used in Construction and Architectural DesignArchitectural drafting, a time-tested practice of drafting 2D architectural construction drawings has evolved from manual 2D drawing to using computer-aided design and drafting (CAD) software programs. 2D drawing sets have been used and will continue to be used by engineers, designers and architects as standard deliverables to contractors on construction sites.Architectural drafting, a time-tested practice of drafting 2D architectural construction drawings has evolved from manual 2D drawing to using computer-aided design and drafting (CAD) software programs. 2D drawing sets have been used and will continue to be used by engineers, designers and architects as standard deliverables to contractors on construction sites.

In most building projects today you may have noticed an increase in the use of architectural BIM modeling and 3D models. Architectural 3D modelling is useful because 3D architectural construction drawings and models allow for design changes in real-time, easier management and exchange of project data and it provides a 3D view of the conceptual plan. However, architectural drafting is preferred by several construction companies because it includes technical details of structural, architectural and electrical components required for installation and during construction of a building. A construction drawing set (CD set) of architectural CAD drawings typically includes sections, elevations, floor plans, detailed drawings for installation of MEP components and other documents required for construction.

Architectural CAD drawings help in construction and architectural design by specifically communicating the design intent and by providing high-performance detailing of construction elements. To understand why the time-tested practice of architectural drafting is commonly used in architectural design and construction projects, here are some of the reasons:

• While architectural design companies have technical resources and drafting teams qualified to deliver 2D technical drawings using basic software programs such as AutoCAD, not all companies have the availability of technical resources qualified to deliver 3D models using software programs such as Revit. Moreover, most of the resources employed in construction teams are qualified to interpret 2D architectural construction drawings required for construction while not all resources working in various disciplines are experienced to use 3D models.

• In the construction industry, the adoption of new practices and the latest software is a slow and gradual process. The software programs used in architectural design and building projects varies from country to country, with some using AutoCAD and ArchiCAD instead of Revit, invariably resulting in the incompatibility of project data. 2D architectural CAD drawings are widely adopted across the industry and are preferred over Revit 3D models for construction.

• While 3D models provide additional information, not all building projects require this data to complete construction. 2D architectural CAD drawings in a construction drawing set include symbols, technical codes, quantities, the type of material and other additional information included in the elevations, sections, floor plans and detailed drawings that are required for successfully completing a construction project.

• One of the underlying reasons why architectural drafting solutions are commonly used is the fact that 2D technical drawings are economically viable and provide sufficient project data to complete construction. Moreover, added to the cost of architectural 3D modelling solutions, there is an additional investment in technical resources qualifies to interpret architectural 3D models for construction on-site.

The practice of using 2D architectural construction drawings on-site will continue to be a preferred option because construction companies and teams need more than a 3D perspective of the conceptual plan, they need precise details and accurate drawings for construction and detailed technical drawings more than an aesthetical perspective. Moreover, in the construction industry, most of the resources can interpret 2D drawings clearly and not all manpower of various disciplines in a construction team have the capability to comprehend 3D models. Added to that, 2D drawings are compatible because basic software programs such as AutoCAD and ArchiCAD is required unlike when using 3D models where there are certain cases of software incompatibility. While architectural design and construction companies gradually adopt architectural 3D modelling and BIM modelling solutions, architectural drafting and drawing solutions will continue to be a commonly used practice because it meets the requirement of efficient and effective construction on time and within budget.

Advantages of CAD Drafting over Manual Drafting

Computer Aided Design (CAD) has been a real breakthrough in the AEC industry by becoming the primary source of communicating design intent. Before the advent of CAD, the only source for draftsmen was pencil and paper for drawing sketches. The traditional method of manual drafting is iterative and time consuming. However, now there has been a paradigm shift from traditional manual drafting to cad design and drafting.

Some of the benefits of CAD Drafting are as follows-

Architectural Drafting Services
Architectural Drafting Services

Data storing and Accessibility – One of the advantages of CAD drafting is that the drawings need not be filed and stored in folder unlike in manual drafting. CAD drafting can be easily saved on the computer server and can be accessed from anywhere with internet connection. The chance of losing the documents is higher in manual drafting. As CAD drawings can be saved electronically without the use of paper, it is also an environment friendly method.

3D views – 3D drawings are the best way to virtually represent a structure. Though one can manually create a 3d model, it wouldn’t look as realistic as the 3D model generated by AutoCAD. AutoCAD breathes life in the 3D model and aid the visualization process. While creating 3D view manually is a challenging, time-consuming and tire-some job,   it becomes much easier with software like AutoCAD.

Revisions – While you create any drawing on paper or software, there is bound to be some amount of revisions or modifications. In manual drafting, you need to erase and redraw to make any modification to your drawing. CAD simplifies the revision process to a large extent with its various editing tools. With few clicks of mouse, you can undo, redo or delete your actions. You need not re-draw an object anytime later as you can modify the existing object by mirroring, stretching, rotating, scaling etc.

Speed and Time – Technologies are invented to make our work easier, save our time and to complete the work faster. AutoCAD is significantly faster than the traditional method of manual drafting. It speeds up the task of preparing bill of materials, reports, scaling etc. The tedious task of drawing each line on paper can be done in few mouse clicks. As CAD software eliminates repetitive iterations, a substantial amount of time is saved. In AutoCAD, data describing a component or its family is associative in nature and hence revisions are automatically made to all places the data is used.

Accuracy – In manual drafting, all the objects drawn must be of correct size and alignment. Each object need to be manually verified and dimensioned as the slightest error can be catastrophic to the entire project. With CAD, there are numerous techniques available to obtain exact dimensions thus leading to improved accuracy in the project.

Owing to the numerous benefits in terms of speed, accuracy, data storage, revision CAD offers over manual drafting, it has become a standard for the AEC industries.