People generally know you don’t pass off shoddy work or incomplete projects to the next person who has to work on it for you. But sometimes I’ve seen exactly that in the design world. Even though most CAD programs track everyone who touched that part or drawing, people seem to think they can get away with things they generally wouldn’t try in a report or presentation.
A couple months ago Peter J Francis asked whether MCAD or ECAD was more trouble than it was worth. GEARS discussed his love hate relationship with it but admitted that the skills he learned with ProEngineer allowed him to really kickstart his career. Skills with a particular CAD or analysis program can often make the difference in whether you get the job or not. Of course I’m biased since ProE was my bread and butter for a while. I do have a few beefs with how others use the program and the sorts of things you find when you’re working on someone else’s drawing or modelling, so here’s a list:
- Don’t suppress elements. This is the lazy person’s solution to dealing with conflicts, and critical details can go missing.
- If your assembly is ginormous, make a simplified rep. You’re probably using a specialized rep for the drawing anyways, so make a cleaned up version somebody can pull up without having to go home waiting for it to render.
- Model your parts like you’d manufacture a part. Somebody is going to use this eventually to make a part. Even if they just go off the drawing, the best drawings start from models that are made well and modelled in a way that’s intuitive to the person who’s going to make it. Think like a machinist. You can’t design in a vacuum.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all did at some point. Whether there’s a trusted expert at your work or just someone who knows a little more than you. Don’t be afraid to check out the PTC community, forums and user groups online as well.
Now go forth and design!