photo by Sara Serrano

I love it when people draw on the computer lab screens with pencil

Amidst complaints, pre-sketching rises to become the hottest new accompaniment to CAD.

Anyone who has stepped into one of the many computer labs on campus to do some work or look at memes has probably encountered a screen smudged in pencil and/or eraser marks. This may inspire annoyance and confusion in some, but you really shouldn’t judge until you know all the facts.

As an ME major, I’m a huge fan of CAD (Computer-Aided Design) for solid modeling, but sometimes it’s hard to get your ideas to transfer to the screen. Sketches can get complicated and instead of rushing to the internet for help every five seconds, why not turn to a much more primitive technology? That’s right … pencils!

To all those who thought that computers would be the death of paper and pencils, you were only half right. Introducing the newest CAD craze: pre-sketching! Why spend hours trying to get your sketch to look right, failing miserably and then ultimately crawling to internet forums for advice like a chump when you can just draw your sketch on your matte computer screen in pencil first and then trace it with your mouse? Then just erase your guidelines. No harm, no foul.

“When a friend of mine told me about this method, I thought she was messing with me. Just trying to get me to do something stupid.” said student Isabel Estévez, “But then she demonstrated it with this really complicated part that we were working on, something I’d been struggling with for a couple days, and she finished in just a few minutes. Now I’m hooked!”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s cheating, ‘cause my professor doesn’t prohibit pencils during tests, but it has really made exams a whole lot easier.“ said student Jon Igress, “I might actually pass this time around. My mom will be so proud.”

To all you critics who thought that all those marks were just people being inconsiderate or mistaking computer screens for paper, I hoped you learned your lesson. Sure, pre-sketching may suffer from a minority of it followers forgetting to erase of all their marks, but that’s nothing compared to how much good it does for everyone else. So suck it up, erase it yourself, and thank us for using this method, as it will make your life easier in the long run when you ultimately benefit from our designs.

Post Author: Sara Serrano