Mad About AutoCAD

By Jeffrey Schiermeyer & Kristine Rohwer

The world of Computer Aided Drafting is not stopping anytime soon. In fact, the demand for drafting jobs will continue to grow well into the new decade, with an average 7% growth rate. That means engineering, manufacturing and construction is not slowing down either. AutoCAD Technicians are highly desired in this time and place. Jeffrey Schiermeyer, Lead AutoCAD Technician at CommTech Global explains the technical advances in the booming profession, as well as common misconceptions, preferred methods and what the future holds for CAD.

In the last few years, what advances have you noted in design programs? Has advances in programs changed your preferred design program?

I really like the advancement in the integration of GIS with Building information modeling. Before, 3D
models were made in static space; the industry has moved forward so that models can be made with all real-world geographic constraints in mind.

Something that I think the energy industries will be utilizing more frequently soon is advancements in laser capture 3D modeling has greatly enhanced the efficiency and accuracy of the information gathering portion for designers and engineers at existing sites.

Structural engineering has always been a pioneer of this technology, where the use of REVIT has become
common for its streamlined process for cataloging materials necessary for construction. However,
Autodesk has adapted and has incorporated new technologies into their software that allow for this as well as complete modeling.

What do you feel are common misconceptions within CAD design profession?

It really depends on who you are talking to. many people over a certain age assume that I am still
drawing things on large sheets of paper when I tell them I am employed in engineering, drafting and design. The majority of my peers can vaguely remember working with a program like what I describe to them in their industrial technology classes in middle school. I think the greatest misconceptions are held by colleagues within our own profession.

What interested you in CAD?
What advice do you have for someone interested in CAD?

I always had an intense interest in small models of things like buildings and airplanes. My favorite adult toys are the LEGO architecture sets. For a long while I wanted to be an Architect, however once I took a REVIT course my senior year of High School, I had found something that had somehow married two of my passions. I would tell them to make sure you learn a technical trade along with leaning any design program. This knowledge will give you a huge leg up when applying for any design position within that field.

Computer Aided Drafting seems to appeal to those who have creative vision with great technical skill. So, would you say they are left, right, or both brain dominant? (Serious question, I very curious!)

No, I love this question. I think that for the most part you should have a strong left-brain outlook when taking a project from scope to design. However, like most jobs no part of the brain should be completely dominant. There are many times design calls for you to think creatively. It can be as simple as getting creative with conduit mapping and fill for an electrical designer, or for those who use Inventor creatively designing and inventing new mechanical components.

Ideally, what would the future of AutoCAD/CAD look like in the next 5-10 years?

Since the cloud has penetrated nearly all aspects of life, engineering and design are no different. however, all of this information needs protection. I see data security becoming one of the design industries next obstacles to navigate in the coming years.

Lead AutoCAD Technician, Jeffrey Schiermeyer pictured.