LewLight Entertainment Technology

The pitfalls of CAD

November 06, 2015

Today I shall offer some heart-felt advice to all the wannabe CAD wizards out there.


Origo on Wikipedia

You have been tasked with drafting a construction drawing of your theatre - old school. So you set up your drawing board with a nice fresh piece of A1 paper, dust off your pencils, and adjust the ruler. Then you make a fresh cup of coffee and bring it over to the neighbours' office where you draft the building on a post-it note.

In the magic world of computing we're not limited to A1 so we can draw anywhere we like - but that does not make it a good idea.


Scale on Wikipedia

Scale is a nifty convention that allows people to take a measurement on a physical construction drawing and thereby make conclusions about real-world dimensions. It is absolutely brilliant.

All proper computer assisted design software today have the ability to both zoom in a drawing and take measurements. That is also absolutely brilliant because then you do not need to worry about scale any more.

Or rather, you shouldn't have to. Some software, predominantly such for people stuck in the middle ages, allows the user to draw in other than SI units, such as kilometers and millimeters. To make things even more exciting, when exporting model data from these softwares, they often preserve this error as well, leaving the poor recipient of the file helplessly trying different scale options until he strikes gold.

1 is 1 meter. Or if you absolutely have to, the length of somebody's foot. 1 is not a millimeter, kilometer or inch. Deal with it.


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