CAD profits?

Where have all the profits gone?
Some CAD drafters love 3D work. I love 3D modeling. The problem I find is most people want this service for free. Unless you are working for a large
firm with the resources to buy you the software to do 3D modeling and you are fast enough to be able to learn the program well enough to be able to charge your time to the project, you are wasting the clients and your employer. Why you may ask? The reason is that most small shops want to get out a set of plans that will suit the building and planning departments in their area, and not break or whittle down the projected profits.
Think about the initial cost of the software that has 2D/3D capabilities. They are all expensive and the learning curve will "knock the socks" off of any junior staff who will have to go through all of the downtime associated with the huge learning curve that is a product of so much built in utility. Even the seasoned veteran who knows everything there is to know about CAD will find learning these programs daunting. They aren't tossing drawings out the door for reproduction until they also deal with the downtime learning the program. Most even have to go to costly training sessions to learn how to use them. And, we are not speaking of the new guys or gals here who. These seasoned vets's get paid quite well to go through the training and then become proficient with the new "magic drafting and 3D modeling" software.
There are good things about the 2D/3D paradigm in design software. Expect a lot of expense to get good quality work out the door to the client. Expect to pay for traveling for training. Especially, expect to do this on a constant basis. Software companies are publicly traded and their investors expect to see a good return on their investment. This means you will deal with upgrading your CAD software every year. That can only mean one thing, $$$$$!
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wrote:

Well, India and China.
I recently had two clients I have been doing work for some 10 years (around 80% of my work) contact me and say that I had to match $3 per hour otherwise they were going to send their work to India or China. At $3 per hour I would not even be able to pay for the absolute basics of doing anything, let alone software upgrades.
How do they do it? Well, the major software vendors turn a blind eye to rampant piracy. There is absolutely no way that legitimately licensed software can be used. I think they call this "viral marketing". You know, look the other way while the software becomes entrenched and then when people know nothing else and everything shifts, move in.
--

Regards,

Ian A. White, CPEng.
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If this was for everyone, everyone would be gone, and they're not.
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| wrote: | | >Where have all the profits gone? | | Well, India and China. | | I recently had two clients I have been doing work for some 10 years | (around 80% of my work) contact me and say that I had to match $3 per | hour otherwise they were going to send their work to India or China. | At $3 per hour I would not even be able to pay for the absolute basics | of doing anything, let alone software upgrades. | | How do they do it? Well, the major software vendors turn a blind eye | to rampant piracy. There is absolutely no way that legitimately | licensed software can be used. I think they call this "viral | marketing". You know, look the other way while the software becomes | entrenched and then when people know nothing else and everything | shifts, move in. | | -- | | Regards, | | Ian A. White, CPEng. | | | /| / WAI Engineering | | /_| / Sydney 2000 | |/ |/ Australia
Letting totally "outsiders" do 3D CAD is about as intelligent as giving a manual to translate by someone who does neither have the object in question or the knowledge to handle it.
Well, we all know about those kind of manuals. The problem with outsourcing is that the false profits only become apparent when something has to change and the model has to be redone because the person who dit it is no longer there and the next person has no clue how the thing was built.
There are intelligent persons relying on the work I do, and they're prepared to pay a decent price for it. But maybe that's because they see what can be accomplished in an (expensive) hour by someone professional.
Alex
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The problem is that when you have a mind set in management that thinks about instant profits and returns to shareholders first, this is what happens. It is something that has been extended to just about every aspect of life here. The only work being done locally is that which HAS to be done here. The rest (be it manufacturing, farming, or anything else you want to think of) goes overseas.
Take an absurd situation here as an example. In our two supermarket chains we are now seeing the total demise of Australian produce. This started off with the dumping of foreign products at prices that were simply not sustainable. I mean, you could get garlic from Mexico landed in Australia cheaper than you could from a local farmer. The labour to grow and harvest it in Mexico might be cheaper, but the transport costs are not in the same category. Then once the local farmers went out of business, up went the prices. The same for kiwi fruit. We used to get them for something like 40c/fruit grown locally or in New Zealand. Then in came kiwi fruit from Italy at 30c/fruit. Once the Australian and New Zealand growers found they could no longer have them on the shelves, the Italian product is now up to 60c/fruit.
We have our illustrious state government let a contract for new rail cars (some 2000 I understand) for the suburban network let to a consortium that will have them designed, drafted, and fabricated in China for $3/hour. They raw rail cars will then be shipped to Australia where only the final fit out will be done. All this from a Labor government when jobs are being lost everywhere to work being sent overseas.
The problem with CAD is that it is easy to do anywhere in the world, and it is something that does not even show up on the radar of most people. Unless you are not in the industry, you would not even know the discipline even existed. Just yesterday I received a call from a company asking if I would do some drawings for them. They asked for an hourly rate, and when I told them what it was (and I am at the lower end of what is charged), they said they would have to think about sending it offshore.
Don't worry. One day your clients willing to pay you will get someone in with the mind set to send work offshore. It is not that it might happen, it will happen. It is only a matter of time. As I said, I lost 2 clients I did work for for the past 10 years (some 300 small projects) when they took on someone who convinced them to do this.
By the time people wake up it will be too late.
--

Regards,

Ian A. White, CPEng.
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| | callto://waiwhite on Skype
The moment air travel is calculated at the real cost (and not like now with totally untaxed fuel) a lot of absurd imports will disappear like snow in the Sahara.
I'll give you another example. Our shrimps are flown to Morocco (some 6000 km) to get peeled and then come back to the shop, all because of cheap labour.
Alex
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That is what has happened here, only by then it is too late. To illustrate this, when cyclone Larry went through Far North Queensland and put the banana growers out of business temporarily, we had to import bananas. They should be cheap you say, only bananas went from around $2 per kg, up to $12 per kg. This is what happens when the local competition is driven out.

...and subsidies - HUGE subsidies.
The same thing will happen in the technical areas as well. At the moment there is a skills shortage in Australia. A whole generation of engineers and draughtsmen have been lost because they have been squeezed out of the industry. Now when companies bid for work they do so at a price where doing the work locally is unsustainable.
There is a report in today's newspapers about university graduates having to undertake what can only be described as remedial training once they graduate because they have no practical skills. They are taught by people who have no practical skills so what do they expect. Then you get the absurdity of people applying to teach technical disciplines being rejected because they are "over qualified", or because they have no formal teaching qualification! You know it is better to have someone teach a technical discipline, not because they have any experience in that discipline, but because they do have a formal general teaching qualification! No wonder we get the outcomes we do.
As I said, by the time we wake up it will be too late.
--

Regards,

Ian A. White, CPEng.
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Who said anything about "simple" projects. I was only saying that to get a building drawn legibly and sent to a contractor or builder does not require a 3D model. A building permit does not require a 3D model. Some CAD programs definitely make drafting faster, more accurate and easier to edit, but not all. Some are so complicated that a novice user has little chance of getting the full benefits that the programs have to offer.
It's a little like comparing apples and oranges. A person who has taken the time and spent the money on a high end 2D/3D product can use them to their advantage. If you work on high end building or projects you may need a 3D model for client presentation and as a sales tool. The cost for creating a 3D model may be a small part of the budget and therefore be an excellent tool for sales. A high end user can use some of these programs to layout plumbing, AC and electrical plans so that "interferences" and other problems can be caught in the design phase rather than after the fact. You will not find a happy contractor or builder when they find that the poured in place plumbing or electrical conduit is in the wrong place. So, new CAD programs come with good, bad and ugly features that can either save you time and money, or cost you more than they are worth.
I am supposing that you don't pass the costs related to the time it takes you to learn how to use a 2D/3D CAD product(s) on to your clients, or take it out of your own profits. Further, when it comes to purchasing a CAD program, a bright lad, such as yourself, should be able to read a price list and tell the difference between $800 and $3000.
I am not questioning weather complicated 2D/3D programs are useful. Rather, I am wondering how much time and expense is involved in really learning how to use them properly? Are they appropriate for residential contractors, builders or small drafting shops that provide services for smaller projects? Also, the yearly upgrade circus was not established for your benefit, but rather for the contents of your wallet. It seems that most drafters would rather go about their business and produce the drawings that are essential to get a building permit and give the builder a clear, accurate and easy to read set of plans.
wrote:

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Don't underestimate the stake that Autodesk has in convincing everyone that BIM or 3D is the way to go. Their future is pegged on adoption of these ideas.
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Because it's enough for most purposes.
--


MichaelB
www.michaelbulatovich.ca
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Hi Cliff,
You may like 3D. So what! Do you live indoors, like in a house or apartment? Do you work in a office? Do you think that those 3D spaces you live and work in did not have to be presented as 2D paper drawings to the building department so that they could look them and make sure they were structurally sound and followed the building codes? Do you hand your computer to a building contractor so that he can see your 3D model, make a bid on the project and then hand it over to the masons, carpenters, plumbers and electricians so they can do the same? Obviously not, or they would have told you to plot and copy it so they could take a look at it on paper. The tradesmen who build the 3D spaces where you live and work would take a look at the 3D model, give you a pat on the back and say "good job old boy", then ask you for of set of the paper plans, so they can sit down and figure out what their cost will be and what materials they are going to need.
How long have you been using CAD anyway? What are your qualifications? Have you built 3D associativity into the programs you have written? What are they named and where are they available? In all your years of doing whatever you do, have you ever had a connectivity issue between your drawing and its database?
I know as a matter of fact that many clients, not all, but most, don't want to spend the extra cash necessary for a high quality, photorealistic 3D model of their house when all they need is a set of 2D plans to get the project done. I've run into problems with breaking associativity in a drawing and know what a hassle it is to pull a 400 sheet set of drawings back together so the parts can work again together.
In the end, you have your way of looking at it and I have mine. It's time to get back to work.
wrote:

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There are two groups. the elite 3d group and the pee on 2d group. I am a 2d pee on that knows how to draw 3d but the architects that draw in a hybrid 2d-3d manner. Most hvac/plbg/elec consulting engineering firms in KY still use 2d and will continue to use it until made to switch by government policy. I still see people hand drafting in some establishments.
You can make money with 2d don't listen to the elitist snobbery. Switch to 3d when you need to.
wrote:

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*Self-proclaimed* elites.

OK. Syntax aside, that one you have to explain. Are you saying "pee on", as in "piss on" or peon? What do you mean by 'hybrid manner'? Non-BIM modelling?

Thanks for the permission, boss. ; )
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Michael Bulatovich wrote:

all kidding aside, I think Modat22 kind of nailed it, indirectly. I bet the clients who are demanding 3d are mostly public institutions. they don't really have to justify the acutal costs involved, and get new toys sooner.
I am just finishing a job which is a government spec. it has to be plotted on mylar, presumbaly for archival puposes. manure smells better. these are my tax dollars at work, only they aren't really mine. the government spec still says mylar because they CAN'T GO OUT OF BUSINESS.
such poor choices can only be made in perpetuity by tyrants. those of us who have to care what we charge for are less liberal.
oh, the job that must be plotted on mylar is for asbuilts on a federal building, where the devices shown on the plan have mostly already been replaced with a new design. and we, the taxpayers, will be paying for the rent on the building that warehouses the mylar for the copies that will never be blue lined of the devices that no longer exist.
have I strayed off topic?
people with too much money make decisions not based in any reality that concerns the people who actually produce new wealth.
yeah, I think I got off topic. sorry.
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Not linen?
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On Thu, 15 Feb 2007 10:52:34 -0500, "Michael Bulatovich"
That's what I meant

Its what most 3d drafters call 2d drafters.

Many architectural drawings we get in may have 2d walls with an occasional 3d block (window, door etc). They are a mess most of the time.

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wrote:

I figured you did, but though it needed to be explicit. Some kid might have read this and joined the army of unemployed guys who know 3D but nothing else.

That's just sloppy drafting. I see that in pure 2d as well.
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I do get it. Do you get it?
The market will prevail.
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"A bright lad would read the manuals."
A brighter lad would use MDT, ADT or similar Autodesk product for 3D work it is a lot easier that you think and a lot easier to alter a pert if there is an size alteration than what it is to alter part in plain AutoCAD as they use PARAMETRIC dimensions plus there are also library's of fasteners etc so there is no need to slaver on drawing them every time or creating blocks or the like.
Believe you me I have worked in AutoCAD 3D and moved to MDT for ALL MY 3D WORK
all the profits gone?<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt;Some CAD drafters love 3D work. I love 3D modeling. The problem I find is <BR>&gt;most people want this service for free. Unless you are working for a large <BR>&gt;firm with the resources to buy you the software to do 3D modeling and you <BR>&gt;are fast enough to be able to learn the program well enough to be able to <BR>&gt;charge your time to the project, you are wasting the clients and your <BR>&gt;employer. Why you may ask? The reason is that most small shops want to get <BR>&gt;out a set of plans that will suit the building and planning departments in <BR>&gt;their area, and not break or whittle down the projected profits.<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt;Think about the initial cost of the software that has 2D/3D capabilities. <BR>&gt;They are all expensive and the learning curve will "knock the socks" off of <BR>&gt;any junior staff who will have to go through all of the downtime associated <BR>&gt;with the huge learning curve that is a product of so much built in utility. <BR>&gt;Even the seasoned veteran who knows everything there is to know about CAD <BR>&gt;will find learning these programs daunting. They aren't tossing drawings out <BR>&gt;the door for reproduction until they also deal with the downtime learning <BR>&gt;the program. Most even have to go to costly training sessions to learn how <BR>&gt;to use them. And, we are not speaking of the new guys or gals here who. <BR>&gt;These seasoned vets's get paid quite well to go through the training and <BR>&gt;then become proficient with the new "magic drafting and 3D modeling" <BR>&gt;software.<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt;There are good things about the 2D/3D paradigm in design software. Expect a <BR>&gt;lot of expense to get good quality work out the door to the client. Expect <BR>&gt;to pay for traveling for training. Especially, expect to do this on a <BR>&gt;constant basis. Software companies are publicly traded and their investors <BR>&gt;expect to see a good return on their investment. This means you will deal <BR>&gt;with upgrading your CAD software every year. That can only mean one thing, <BR>&gt;$$$$$!<BR>&gt;<BR><BR>&nbsp; You do very simple things, eh?<BR>&nbsp; 3D is faster &amp; more accurate; less error prone as well.<BR>&nbsp; And has LOTS of other applications than just making 2D pictures.<BR><BR>&nbsp; A bright lad would read the manuals.<BR>-- <BR>Cliff</BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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