A drafter is someone who uses software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings and plans. Workers in production and construction use these plans to build everything from microchips to skyscrapers.
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A drafter will typically do the following:
Many drafters are referred to as CADD operators. With CADD systems, drafters create and store drawings electronically so that they can be viewed, printed, or programmed directly into automated manufacturing systems. Software systems, such as building information modelling (BIM) and product data management (PDM), are coming into use. Through three-dimensional rendering, BIM software allows designers and engineers to see how elements in their projects work together. PDM software helps users track and control data, such as technical specifications related to projects. Just as BIM is changing the work of architectural drafters as well as engineers and designers, PDM is changing the work of mechanical drafters. These software systems allow drafting and design work to be done at the same time as the work done by other professionals involved in the project.
Like other workers who primarily use computers to do their work, drafters usually work indoors and full time, although overtime is not uncommon. Drafters work in engineering and drafting service firms, architectural and landscape architectural firms, and various manufacturing industries. The industries employing the largest numbers of drafters are as follows: