PLACE Designers | Dinosaur

Technology has changed a lot for the architectural and engineering profession.  I started work in the early days of CAD (computer aided drafting).  That means that I know, or knew, how to draft with a parallel bar and a triangle.

I mentioned in a previous post that we used blueline machines to make copies of our sets.  I spent many hours at a time hand feeding the original paper aligned with the photopaper.  If you got it crooked the print would be crooked on the paper or get jammed in the machine.  The ammonia fumes were pretty strong, so we had a small window we would leave open back there.  These days, the technology for reproducing drawings is essentially large laser format copy machines that speedily generate mountains of paper.  I think if anything, technology has led to more paper waste because it is so easy to reprint or make copies.  Finally cities are accepting digital PDF submissions and we are seeing the trend reverse.

Because it was so hard to create drawings, we would edit them if there was an error.  Also, we had a thing called stickybacks.  Stickybacks were details that were printed on a sticker (think: packing tape) that you could insert into your drawing.  This is akin to a standard detail today.

Our plotter at the time was a pen plotter.  It methodically drew every line in a particular pen weight (thickness) by shifting the paper up and down while the pen moved right to left.  It actually drew each drawing like you would by hand.  Then it would select another pen of a different thickness, and do it again.  It took about an hour to do a single sheet.

I had almost forgotten about these things.  I guess I am already a dinosaur in an industry that is light years ahead of the technology described here.

More to come soon.  If you want to get in touch please let me know!  Thanks for reading!


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