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Drafting Has Evolved

Draft rendering of a Revit Virtual Design & Construction model done completely by one of our Drafting II students, Angel Quizhpi-Vazquez

The traditional techniques commonly associated with traditional drafting have become the fundamental concepts of today’s drafting and CADD occupational categories. Many of the specific career fields have developed into highly technical processes which now include such advanced principles as Building Information Modeling, Virtual Design & Construction and rapid prototyping through an additive manufacturing process with 3D printers. Sun Valley High School students are learning the latest in Computer Aided Drafting & Design concepts including sustainable design and Virtual Design & Construction, using current technology hardware and software.

As an example, conventional practices of producing construction drawings with AutoCAD involved drawing lines offset at distances of 4”, 6”, or 8” to represent walls. This approximation has been standard practice for almost twenty-five years. Today, Union County Public Schools students are learning to use Autodesk Revit to prepare three-dimensional digital models of architectural projects. From these 3D models they can create various views, sections, schedules, and renderings. The model can also be used to conduct various building performance analysis tests including: cost, lighting, energy, and structural. One of the advantages of this new approach is that it is object-oriented parametric software that is data base driven so when a change is made to the model in one view it effects all other views. In other words, if a door size is modified in a door schedule then the change is automatically reflected in the floor plan, elevations and all other views. Thus minimizing or eliminating potentially costly errors, inconsistencies and omissions. So when walls are created in Revit, a wall type is selected and an assembly is built by simply identifying the start and end locations for the wall.

Union County Public Schools has not only embraced the latest technology and methods based on cutting edge innovation as well as established industry standards and ‘best practices’, but thanks to the vision of key Career and Technical Education support staff, insightful SVHS administrators, and a dedicated CTE director, along with highly trained and industry certified teachers, students have the resources to learn and develop a marketable skill set.

The resources made available to students that make learning engaging include interactive games. The one pictured here involves dragging and dropping the AutoCAD (software application) command name to the correct command icon. It is self-correcting so students know instantly if they are correct, and with a little help from the class (audience) it usually works out well, and seems to be a student favorite.

 In addition to receiving comprehensive classroom instruction and learning material, students are introduced to other industry solutions for collaboration and information exchange. Class content and instructional material shared through cloud based locations and Moodle sites. Many students set up their own (free) Autodesk 360 cloud account. This practice reinforces the concept of having access to current project information anytime, anywhere. Further, these resources include: the opportunity for students to download and use a full suite of Autodesk design software they can use for three years, and comprehensive CADD & Revit templates full of design content. Students also have the opportunity to take the Autodesk AutoCAD user level Certification Exam at no cost.

 From a personal perspective; the response from parents has been overwhelmingly positive and it is simply amazing to see a CADD technology program that provides such a current curriculum including the latest software, industry best practices, and innovative technologies like Sustainable Design, BIM (Building Information Modeling), 3D Printing – Rapid Prototyping & Additive Manufacturing, and Virtual Design & Construction. Instead it is a complex system of UCPS professionals who have developed a very effective program and facilitate a cohesive multi-cultural learning environment that actually gives students the opportunity to learn cutting edge processes and applications and leave high school certified in Adobe, Microsoft and Autodesk user level professional certifications. This is not a fortunate accident or just one class. It is a system of UCPS professional dedicated to ensure students are fully prepared to succeed in the real world.

In addition, to traditional drafting and architectural drafting methods, students learn other applications for mechanical and manufacturing. At Sun Valley High School students have the chance to learn how to create digital 3D models and export their model to the school’s 3D printer to have the object made out of plastic.

This unique collection of resources combined with quality instruction, and the commitment of a team of dedicated educational professionals provide students with everything they need to learn and develop legitimate professional job skills.

Written by: Eddie Mull, Drafting and CADD teacher
Posted: May 08, 2015 by Judy Davis

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