“Building bridges is a great science and engineering lesson because it gets kids to do something with their hands,” says Williams, also a part-time CAD instructor at the College of Southern Nevada. “But the (bridge kits) cost a lot of money and we saw a lot of teachers dipping into their own pockets to pay for materials. Our challenge was to find less expensive materials than balsa wood.”
Enter the Fettucine and some Elmer’s Wood Glue.
For a while, the retiree’s prototype pasta bridge was displayed at the campus museum of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). His creations are built for strength – and are often destroyed in stress tests to prove to students how engineering innovation can make all the difference in the world.
The bridges are even impenetrable (most of the time) to curious doggies. Read More
We’re not promising you will become an expert after one DraftSight Webinar, but you’ll be amazed how much you can learn in one sitting!
On Wednesday, March 28, from 11 a.m. to noon EST, DraftSight training specialist Mark Lyons will conduct a live Webinar on DraftSight Fundamentals.
There is no charge to register for the workshop, which is aimed at new DraftSight users as well as people learning CAD skills for the first time. Lyons, who produces the “Lyons’ Share” tutorial videos for the DraftSight YouTube Channel, will guide participants through the most important commands to start creating a drawing. The Webinar will cover most of the commands on the Draw and Modify toolbars.
“We get all kinds of questions, and most of them are really basic,” Lyons says. “With the overwhelming response so far, I think I might make the Basic Webinar a regular thing, so our new users can get in on the ground floor of something big!”
To participate in our live DraftSight Fundamentals Webinar, just click here. To find out when the workshop is scheduled for in your time zone, the registration page also features a dropdown menu listing the local start times around the world.
Also, no matter how far advanced you are on the CAD skills spectrum, check out the DraftSight Master Series Flipbook, where we’ve bundled a bunch of useful tips, tricks, tutorials and learning resources in one handy place.
There are hundreds of community college and high school instructors that have very vibrant CAD programs that utilize 2D drawing and sketching. These educators teach orthographic projection, mechanical drawing and architectural layouts. We just announced 2 million downloads of DraftSight at SolidWorks World. DraftSight is professional software used to create, view and edit 2D drawings in .dwg format. Even our new building layout was done in DraftSight (see above).
I personally taught Autocad for 10 years at Mass Bay Community College. With DraftSight, you can still use your existing lessons and projects – even the ones with relative coordinates and absolute coordinates, which my students always found challenging. Read More
A long, long time ago (even before the Dawn of CAD software), on a drafting table not so far away, future “Star Wars” visionary Ralph McQuarrie got his start drawing teeth and dentist’s tool for a dental business and later drew the technical manuals for 1960s Boeing aircraft.
McQuarrie, who died over the weekend at age 82 from Parkinson’s Disease, was credited with creating the overall look of Star Wars droids, spaceships and overall architecture. Director George Lucas credits these drawings for getting 20th Century Fox to take him seriously as the future blockbuster series was outright rejected by many major Hollywood studios when it was pitched with the script alone.
Here’s what Lucas had to say about the creator of C3PO (original concept above), Darth Vader, R2D2 and the legendary Tie-Fighters and X-Wing Fighters:
“Ralph McQuarrie was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars. His genial contribution, in the form of unequaled production paintings, propelled and inspired all of the cast and crew of the original Star Wars trilogy. When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph’s fabulous illustrations and say, ‘Do it like this.’”
According to The Washington Post, it was the designer’s idea to include a mechanical breathing mask on Darth Vader’s costume — which added to the villain’s mystique and intimidating presence. Read More
In case we missed you at SolidWorks World earlier this month (the DraftSight booth was really hopping!), reality TV star Mike Rowe had some inspiring words about the engineering profession and the role it will continue to play in creating new jobs and expanding the economy.
Rowe, host of “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel, is best known for getting himself into unusual occupational situations — jobs that most of us never think about, but which obviously have to get done by somebody. Recent gigs the TV personality has sampled include an Owl Vomit Collector, Sewage Plant Worker, Coal Miner, Elevator Repairman, Toilet Crusher, and Charcoal Factory Worker.
“Dirty Jobs” celebrates the spirit of the American worker (it could apply to any country, of course) and honors people who silently devote a 100 percent effort to tasks that many observers might consider totally thankless.
“I first thought this was a solid waste convention!” Rowe joked with the crowd, making a play on words with SolidWorks.
“We find people who do things over and over again with joy” with jobs “normally associated with drudgery,” the TV personality said, adding that he really enjoys meeting people who solve problems without having to read the instruction manual (which in many cases don’t exist).
Rowe, who is also the voice of the “Deadliest Catch,” said he never rehearses any of the jobs we see him try on the show because he wants to share his first impressions and create the feeling that the viewers are trying the job for the first time with him.
His latest project is mikeroweWORKS.com, a website devoted to boosting enrollment in technical and vocational schools. The site was inspired by the irony of the “Skills Gap,” the fact that despite unemployment numbers being near an all-time high, there remain thousands of technical jobs without enough trained applicants.
"Dirty Jobs" star Mike Rowe is devoted to promoting the economic benefits of vocational schools.
In his talk, Rowe praised a Nevada pig farmer who devised his own machine to process uneaten food from Las Vegas casinos into feed for his animals. “He put it together like McGyver with parts from a junkyard,” he said referring to the classic 1980s secret agent show. “We see this kind of talent all the time.”
“But with all the innovation in the world, whether you put it in a smartphone or a computer, if you don’t have the ability to replicate it, all you’ve done is make a cool prototype,” Rowe said.
He described the engineering profession as occupying a noble space bridging between blue and white collar jobs.
“One of the great fictions that has been at work in our country for decades is this blue and white collar notion. We just love the ‘either-or.’ What do you do? Are you in this camp or in that camp? The real action today in respect to work is what you guys do,” he said.
“(With engineers) it’s neither blue nor white. It’s a willingness to get dirty, to use your brain AND use your hands.”
In the same spirit, Rowe also met backstage with SolidWorks marketing guru Darren Henry for a freewheeling discussion covering the etiquette of vomiting on the job, what it’s like to walk on construction girders in the clouds, and the value of knowing how to identify feces from virtually any animal species.
Eavesdrop on the conversation here:
(Regardless of what color collar you wear, DraftSight, the professional-grade free 2D CAD tool from Dassault Systèmes, makes life easier for engineers, architects, CAD users, teachers and students alike).
This simple napkin sketch, which has been making the rounds on Facebook, is originally credited to Star Trek actor George Takei’s feed, although it is unclear if he came up with the idea or posted it from elsewhere.
It doesn’t matter: The idea still resonates.
From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like people at the top of their industries just naturally gravitated there based on talent and smarts. Of course, any engineer, architect, or CAD manager who’s ever helped usher a product from the idea stage to reality knows better.
If you’re a Star Trek fan, you know that George Takei, a.k.a. Mr. Sulu, overcame all sorts of challenges battling ethnic stereotypes off screen — and on screen, there were tons of dicey moments with aliens.
Tell us about your experience living inside those squiggly lines. What’s been your biggest CAD challenge that you’ve overcome — whether it’s been with DraftSight or not?
…And any lessons you can share with the rest of us?
Yes, that chatterbox sitting in the cubicle next to you sure can be annoying!
But noise in the workplace can be a much more serious matter. Especially if you’re working with heavy machinery. Or if you are on a pit crew for the Indy 500 or if you’re a roadie for a rock and roll band.
If you’re ever in doubt about potential damage to your hearing, don’t be embarrassed to wear earplugs, says Mike Hartley, a data management coordinator for Ear Technologies, Inc. in Boone, North Carolina.
Ear Technologies conducts annual hearing tests for employees for manufacturing companies on the U.S. East Coast, making sure their job responsibilities don’t cause hearing loss.
“A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t hear someone talking who is an arm’s length away from you, you need to use hearing protection,” Hartley says. “I’ve had to wear ear plugs at church before when the guitars and drums were a little over the top.” Read More
One of the questions that I am most frequently asked is will DraftSight always be free? Are you going to start charging for DraftSight as soon as it gets popular?
Let me address the last part of that question first. With more than 1.8 million downloads as of December 2011 and users in virtually every corner of the world, DraftSight already is popular!
As for the “free” question, there’s no bait and switch. We are not going to charge for the individual standalone version of your professional-grade 2D CAD program.
However, if your company is thriving with DraftSight now, you’ll be even more effective with the DraftSight Premium Pack — our affordable worldwide technical support and services package that you can subscribe to on an annual basis.
If you want to take your DraftSight experience to the next level, we invite you to explore some useful tools to support your CAD deployment, customization and integration.
DraftSight™ is not just a free 2D CAD product that lets professional CAD users, students and educators create, edit and view DWG files –- it’s much more! DraftSight is a professional-grade product that runs on Microsoft® Windows XP®, Windows Vista®, Windows® 7, Mac® and Linux®. It’s easy to use and takes just a few minutes to download at DraftSight.com. Plus it includes fee-based, value-added Premium Services for commercial and education users and a free online community that’s loaded with learning resources.