Drafters make detailed drawings of objects that will be manufactured or built.
Drafters use computer-aided drafting (CAD) systems to prepare technical drawings. Production and construction workers use the drawings to build everything from radios to office buildings. The drawings show the technical details of the products and structures from all sides. They include exact dimensions, specific materials to be used, and procedures to be followed. Several drafters may work on drawings for the same project. Some drafters may coordinate the work of other drafters.
Drafters meet with engineers, architects, and other people who need technical drawings. From these meetings, drafters learn details about the project or item that will be built. Drafters may receive calculations and rough drawings from clients. They often visit job sites to collect data and take measurements. Drafters take the rough information and turn it into sketches or scale drawings. They use their own knowledge to fill in some of the details on drawings. They also refer to technical handbooks and tables for information. Drafters may create several different versions of a drawing. Each version reflects a different manufacturing or construction process.
Many drafters specialize in one area, such as:
Architectural drafters draw features of buildings and other structures.
Aeronautical drafters prepare drawings of aircraft and missiles.
Civil drafters prepare drawings and maps of highways, pipelines, and water systems.
Electrical drafters draw wiring and layout diagrams. These are used to install and repair electrical equipment and wiring in buildings.
Electronic drafters draw wiring diagrams, circuit board assembly diagrams, and layout drawings. These are used to assemble, install, and repair electronic equipment.
Mechanical drafters make detailed drawings of machinery and mechanical devices.