What Does An Architectural Drafter Do?

Architectural drafters are responsible for turning the preliminary sketches of architects, engineers and contractors into technical drawings or blueprints. They are responsible for providing the dimensions and other important measurements in these scale drawings. Architectural drafters specialize in making technical drawings of homes, buildings, offices and schools, among others, using computer aided design and drafting software. Aside from specifying the technical details of a construction project, they also include the materials used as well as the step-by-step procedures that will be followed for the construction in the plans.

Architectural drafters typically work from the rough sketches given to them by the engineers or architects who supervise their work. These professionals make sure that they understand the design and specifications that their supervisors have in mind. From the drafts of the building exteriors to the floor plans to the structure’s interiors, architectural drafters see to it that they are on the same page as that of the engineers or architects who have conceptualized these designs.

Before the advent of computer assisted design and drafting software, architectural drafters relied on the traditional tools of the trade like pencils, scale rulers, protractors and triangles to do these drawings. Now, however, CADD programs have allowed them to make more realistic drawings in three-dimensional scale in computers. These systems have not only enabled them to work faster and correct errors more easily but have also facilitated better collaboration with the other people involved in the project because the schematics can be placed straight into building information modeling (BIM) systems and product data management (PDM) systems. BIM programs give everyone involved a clearer and more detailed view of the various elements of the design while PDM software allows them to monitor any changes made to the plan, ensuring that there will be no confusion in terms of the technical specifications of the diagrams.

Architectural drafters also take care of other tasks related to the designs. For instance, they include the expenses associated with constructing the project and the types of materials that are appropriate for the project. They are able to determine the latter by undertaking computations involving stress, weight and other factors that would ensure the durability of the structure.

Architectural drafters don’t just prepare a single plan for a particular concept. They prepare different schematics for a single idea so that the architects or engineers can evaluate. If there are changes that need to be made on any aspect of the design, the drafters make the adjustments with the approval of their supervisors.

Travel may be required in this job since architectural drafters need to collaborate with the other workers who spend most of their time on the job site. Before the construction work commences, they may have to give instructions to those involved in the actual building of the structure. They may also need to conduct regular checks on the job site while the construction is going on to ensure that the specifications on the plan are followed by the workers. However, they make their blueprints and designs using computer software in the comfort of their own offices.

Career Spotlight: Architectural Drafter

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