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Posted by: randykimball
05/04/2005, 09:48:22

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I often see post of members that are having trouble understanding blueprints. We need to remember that it is just as much the responsibility of the person drawing the print to clearly convey the information to the person doing the work as for the tradesman to understand the print. We must often overcome the fear of asking for clarification.

While it is true that some engineers take offense to being ask to clarify a drawing, if you can't understand what they want for whatever reason, you MUST know the answer before you do the work. If the engineer has a problem with pride that is not the tradesman's fault.

Any engineer that can not take suggestions as to how to better clarify their drawings needs to remember that an engineer is a servant of the people with a duty to solve design problems. Engineers must strive to improve ability to convey the necessary information to the trades in a way that they can easily grasp, with most figures already calculated and represented within the print dimensions. It takes BOTH teams to accomplish the end product.

If the trades can not read my/your blueprint easily enough to accomplish their tasks without asking for clairfication, in my opinion, my/your blueprint is WRONG and should be corrected. The blueprint is a medium for comunication of information, it should do so well, to be the best it can be. If it can be improved, be proud of the willingness to do so. This makes the engineer making the change with a good attitude stand out from the crowd.

An engineer should be proud to clairfy a blueprint, proud to show the interest and ethics to improve their work. Everyone makes mistakes. I know I do, and I find when I have an open relationship with my vendors, with an attitude of cooperative information exchange, I get much more response and effort from the vendors. Most of this comes from knowing they will get a professional but humble attitude from me when they make blueprint suggestions. No one wants to work with a snobby nosed engineer.

Thanks for listening.


The worst suggestion of your lifetime may be the catalyst to the grandest idea of the century, never let suggestions go unsaid nor fail to listen to them.

Modified by randykimball at Wed, May 04, 2005, 09:53:43

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Re: Engineerings Drawings
Re: COMMENT -- randykimball Post Reply Top of thread Forum
Posted by: Kelly_Bramble

05/04/2005, 22:44:39

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Engineering drawings are the point of communication between engineering or design, manufacturing, quality and integration (assembly). The clarity of the engineering drawing will effect many individuals ability to execute their responsibilities.

I consult and teach geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, both public and on-site seminars. Though GD&T is not by itself a drafting language, GD&T must be clearly and correctly stated on the drawing. When applied and interpreted properly, GD&T (drawings) will save companies considerable cost. When GD&T (drawings) are applied wrong, or tolerance specifications are missing, manufacturing costs more due to work delays, change notice requirements, or component rejects.

The number one reason that companies hire me, is to get everybody within their organization to apply and interpret engineering drawings the same way. Regardless of how educated or experienced individuals are, drawings must be drafted using standards which everybody understands with minimal omissions or mistakes. I'm sure everybody is aware, that required changes to engineering drawings cost time, money and a lot of frustration for those whom must stop what they are doing to gain clarity.

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Re: COMMENT -- randykimball Post Reply Top of thread Forum
Posted by: swearingen

05/04/2005, 15:16:47

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Do you mean to tell me that all of those engineering classes I took in college that taught me to be an a-hole to everyone around me will now go to waste?

I've perfected the art of bringing large project changes to my designers at 4:30PM on a Friday. I've practiced hard to make my writing as illegible as possible. I've worked at making my sketches as vague as I can. When I mark up a drawing, I'm proudly depleting 3 full red pens per sheet. I even pioneered the habit of starting to mark them up WHILE they're still coming off of the plotter.

Seriously folks, everything Randy said is true. Drawings are merely communication of a different form. If it's not clear to the reader, it's not effective.

Engineers, listen to your experienced designers. Yes you may overrule them when it's clearly an engineering problem, but they'll come up with innovations that will surprise you.

And designers, take it easy on your engineers. They're not really a-holes, they have just been ridiculed into becoming that way. A good many of them actually have good reasons for doing what they do, no matter how crazy it sounds.

The key is: learn from each other...

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