top of page

When to outsource drafting?

In a perfect world there would be just the right amount of work with just the right of amount of time to complete it. However in a world of feast or famine, we know that is not the case. In some cases there is simply too much work to get done in a small amount of time. So what options are there to help deal with this added workload? Outsourcing is usually a go to solution but for drafting it sometimes seems to be a tough decision. But in today's time and age there is simply too many benefits in outsourcing drafting that not even considering it would be a big oversight.

No drafting department

It goes without saying that if manufacturing drawings are required or if a new design is needed then a design department is a must. However the cost of employing one or more people to complete these task will require equipment and personnel. Unless there is someone at the company that wears multiple hats, outsourcing is really the only option. And with companies available to provide this service it makes this service easily attainable.

Rise of workloads are far in between

When the work load increases and additional drafting help is required then this may require purchasing additional computers, CAD licenses and your typical office equipment. You will then need to hire an hourly based employee whether it be full time, part time, or contract. Also there will be potentially some training required if the new team member is not up to speed on the software in the office. In some cases these expenses will be used only during the duration of this surplus of work but then may go unused until the next big project.

The cost of another CAD license and a computer capable of running these software will likely be pricey and this is before including the cost of hiring and paying an additional employee. But with outsourcing drafting you will be reaching out to a company that has trained personnel (no training required) and their own equipment. Also the valuable time invested into an employee to train them on company practices will likely be lost if the employee is not around after the surge of work is gone. However working closely with a vendor that can be a reliable partner during busy times will less likely need to be reminded of company practices.

Catching up on revisions.

Working on engineering revisions is a must in order to keep the company up to date and to avoid any potential scenario where a mistake is repeated, but revisions are sometimes a full time job on their own. Keeping up with red-lines and revisions will usually be placed on the back burner due to other more pressing priorities such as new designs. Due to the fact that most changes are already marked on the prints they are pretty much self explanatory which makes them great for outsourcing. This may require sharing files or having the vendor work in the office.

Catching up with the times.

This section applies mainly to companies that have been doing things the same way for the last 10 - 20 years. Many companies out there have old paper copies, others may have scanned images but no actual electronic CAD drawings or they may have electronic files but in 2D CAD. This may present an opportunity to upgrade the files to a 3D CAD without purchasing a 3D software. Part files created in 3D present a different perspective that 2D CAD simply cannot provide. Having a vendor convert 2D files to 3D files at a lower cost than buying a 3D software can be a good introduction into considering whether switching to 3D is a good choice for the company.

How to share files outside the company?

When sharing CAD files between you and a vendor, the CAD programs will likely include the ability to convert the files to PDF files. There is also the option of creating a 3D PDF which can provide a file that can rotate on the PDF file itself. The sharing of PDF is the most common way of sharing these files.

Almost all computers have PDF viewers, but what about the 3D files if you don't have a 3D software? The ability to share a 3D file can also completely free. The customer can embrace the benefits of 3D by simply downloading a free software such as, eDrawings.

This free software allows anyone to view 3D files from most 3D software. It also provides other additional tools such as the ability to rotate, sectioning parts, hiding components in assembly, and exploded views. This provides the customer the ability to see the benefits of 3D modeling on a user friendly interface. It can even be downloaded as an app on your smartphone.

Needing to 3D print

What started several years ago as a cool idea is now something to consider. The advancement of 3D printing has come a long way. These prints can be used as a gift to hand out for free to potential customers at trade shows or as a part that can be used for actual production. In order to be able to print in 3D, the printer will need a 3D file and if you don't have 3D files then you are out of luck. This is also an option for outsource existing prints that are not in 3D to be converted.

From unpredictable work loads to lack of personnel there will always be a need for some help around the office. Outsourcing is always a good option for external help and with advancements in technology and ways of communicating electronically the outsourcing of drafting has now become easier than ever.

bottom of page