For many industries, “going green” is relatively easy. They switch out lighting fixtures and plumbing fixtures for greener alternatives. They switch to tablet computers and share things digitally instead of via printed materials. In some industries, though--like manufacturing and engineering--the switch is slower going.
This is because, in these industries the reliance upon printed plans and rendered models is deeply embedded. Most professionals are hesitant to switch to paperless because the idea of carrying expensive electronic equipment around a dangerous job site is scary. Also, with so many different varieties of engineering software programs out there, finding the right program to suit a company’s needs is a challenge.
One of the biggest and greenest advantages of the industrial age, though, is the ability to see products in virtual space before making them in the real world. The ability to view products on the computer allows engineers to make changes on the fly, building in small tweaks, testing the results and increasing efficiency. Structural drawing software packages like AutoCAD and others have changed the way companies manufacture products and how companies design them.
If your company is in the market for a structural drawings software package, it is important to know what to look for. Ease of use, scalability and efficiency are all critical when choosing a structural drawing software package. There are many packages to choose from, and choosing the right one means evaluating your needs and the needs of your company.
One of the most important elements is how easy or hard it is to use. No one wants to embark on a long leaning curve or read a thick manual just to use the software. The best software is intuitive and easy to use. Ideally workers should be able to simply sit down in front of the screen and start using it.
The ability to accurately render objects in 3D is another critical thing to look for in structural drawing software. The beauty of this kind of software is that it instantly shows you what the finished product will look like without taking the time and spending the money or energy to produce it in the real world. You should be able to accurately represent the product in virtual space, allow you to make changes and instantly see the results and track accumulated alterations.
A quality structural drawing platform should also be scalable and adaptable to your needs. If you run a small company but hope to make it larger, you need to have a software package that can grow with you. There is nothing more frustrating and time consuming than switching to a new system mid-way through a project. Having a package that can adapt to your needs reduces cost, eliminates the need for expensive retraining and makes it easier to get your work done.
Structural drawing software should also be flexible enough to render your designs across a wide variety of surfaces. It should provide your staff with the tools they need to generate complex surfaces in the virtual world, including sheet metal, structural weldments and flat patterns. No matter which materials you use to manufacture your products, your software must be able to render it on the computer.
Capability is another critical factor when shopping for a structural drawing software package. A quality package should allow you to create parametric parts, virtual or hard copy blueprints, production level drawings and assemblies. These tools make it easy to take the products your engineers create from virtual lab to production facility with ease. The better the software is at rendering your ideas in 3D, the easier it will be to turn those products into profitable realities.
Switching to paperless and cloud based technology is more than possible, even in the manufacturing and engineering industries. In fact, even though you might be worried about the damage that can befall a tablet computer or other smart device, the fact is that using them helps protect your work and reduce your company’s carbon footprint at the same time.