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30 September 2020
Kuldeep Bwail

Advantages of CAD Drafting over Manual Drafting

Change is not easy. Sometimes, though, change can result in making life easier. In construction, drawings are still paramount. They are critical for sound planning, smooth workflows and material and cost estimates. There used to be just one way of creating these drawings – manual drafting. And then . . . there was an innovative development, a great change. Computer-aided design (CAD) has been a real breakthrough in the AEC industry, becoming the primary source of communicating design intent. Before the advent of CAD, draftsmen used pencil and paper for drawing sketches. The traditional method of manual drafting was iterative and time consuming. In recent times, there has been a paradigm shift from traditional manual drafting to CAD design and drafting, both 2D drafting services (architectural drafting) and 3D CAD drafting services.

Some of the benefits of CAD drafting are as follows-
Database Creation –

By using CAD, drawing templates can be created that have a few details and that can be used repeatedly. A collection of these individual CAD files can then be utilised to create a database, which can be easily accessed, modified and used to create new drawings.

Data storage and Accessibility –

In CAD drafting, drawings need not be filed and stored in folder, unlike in manual drafting. They can be easily saved on the computer server and can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection. This means that they can be printed or used in the future for reference. Drawing components can be made standard. There is a greater possibility of losing documents in manual drafting. Drawings created through CAD can be stored in multiple locations, such as on a pen drive, hard drive or in the cloud, creating several back-ups in case of unexpected developments. Multiple project stakeholders can access the CAD drawings as required.

Data storage and Accessibility –

As CAD drawings can be saved electronically, it is also an environment friendly method. The use of paper and felling of trees required in manual drafting is reduced drastically when an entire industry goes digital.

3D views –

The most realistic way to virtually represent a structure is in 3D. A manually created model just does not look as realistic as a 3D model generated by AutoCAD. Software, such as AutoCAD, breathes life into the 3D model and helps visualisation. Creating 3D views manually is a challenging, time-consuming and tiresome job. AutoCAD makes it much easier and helps create drawings with additional elements and information.

BIM Modelling –

Building Information Modelling, or BIM, is a technology that needs 3D CAD drawing services to help manage physical and functional characteristics of a building. Using BIM can bring project stakeholders together in the early project stages and make construction data more intelligent for informed decision-making. The parametric modelling techniques of BIM, using CAD drawings, can increase interoperability, improve cross-discipline communication, help resolve design/coordination clashes and help accurately estimate project cost estimates, leading to effective project planning. These BIM models can be developed using BIM-enabled software, such as Revit for Revit 3D modelling.

Revisions –

Any drawing, both on paper or digital, requires some amount of revisions or modifications. In manual drafting, modifications are made by erasing and re-drawing. Using CAD enables revision easily with a range of editing tools. A few clicks of the mouse can undo, redo or delete previous actions. Re-drawing is virtually eliminated at any time, as existing objects can be modified by mirroring, stretching, rotating, scaling, etc.

Speed and Time –

AutoCAD is significantly faster than manual drafting. It prepares bill of materials, reports, scaling, etc. quickly. The tedious task of drawing each line on paper can be completed in a few 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, and hence, revisions are automatically translated everywhere the data is used. Modifying, editing and checking drawings is faster than creating drawings from the beginning for every change.

Accuracy –

In manual drafting, all drawn objects must be of the correct size and alignment. Each object and its dimensions needs to be manually verified, as the slightest error could be catastrophic for the entire project. Using CAD drawings, numerous tools and techniques can help obtain the exact dimensions and other information about an object, leading to improved accuracy.

Owing to its many benefits, CAD drafting has slowly and steadily overtaken manual drafting in terms of popularity. The techniques and processes of BIM technology have been difficult to ignore, and many Western building authorities are making the use of BIM mandatory for permissions and approvals. While architecture, engineering, construction and manufacturing industries are finding it necessary to use CAD drafting, firms and companies are in urgent need of accurate and reliable 3D CAD drawing services. Companies are specifically looking for CAD drafting services in India for skilled and economical resources.

Human resources with the technical skills, experience and qualifications required for CAD drafting and BIM services may not be easily available or affordable for several firms in Western nations. It makes sense to consider offshore options for precise, high-quality 3D CAD drafting services and 2D drafting services that are delivered on time, subject to careful quality control and within budget. Now that CAD drafting has evolved into the new normal for the design of large projects, there’s no going back to manual drafting.

XS CAD has valuable experience providing Revit 3D modelling and 3D CAD drawing services for engineers, general contractors, homebuilders, architects and retailers.  Our range of services for structural, architectural and building engineering firms, such as MEP consultants and contractors across the world, include 3D CAD drafting services, 2D drafting services, MEP coordination, DfMA models and drawings, Revit family creation and visualisation services.  We create these models and drawings by using Revit, AutoCAD, Navisworks, 3ds Max and BIM 360 Design for cloud collaboration.