Computer applications to engineering design and drawings with basis for course content in teaching computer graphics
The purpose of this study was to ascertain how computer graphics systems are utilized to achieve engineering design and drawings in a selected group of companies with engineering departments and the training requirements of computer graphics personnel. A secondary purpose was to determine the hardware and software recommendations for training computer graphics personnel from a selected group of manufacturers of computer graphics. This study was also directed toward ascertaining data relevant to the following questions: 1. What is the rationale for using computer graphics to produce engineering design and drawings? 2. Which system of computer graphics, interactive computer graphics, or automated drafting is used in the majority of the engineering departments included in the study? 3. What are the different types of drawings being produced by computer graphics systems? 4. What training is necessary for employment in a computer graphics department? 5. What are the hardware and software components required for teaching computer graphics at the post-secondary level? 6. What are the recommendations from drafting personnel and manufacturers for course content in teaching computer graphics at the post-secondary level? Procedures The procedures were organized into four phases. Phase I focused on identifying the sample and the essential information in the area of computer graphics so that a survey instrument could be prepared. In this phase, the questionnaire was selected as the survey instrument and validated by a panel of five judges. The questionnaire was finalized and printed in Phase II. In Phase III the questionnaires were mailed to 80 companies and 25 manufacturers of computer graphics equipment. Also in this phase, six company computer graphics managers were interviewed. The final phase included an analysis and presentation of the data collected from the survey instruments and the interviews. Selected Conclusions 1. A large number of computer graphics personnel is employed by companies with large engineering departments where there is a demand for a large volume of drawings which require many changes. 2. A computer graphics system may use either a mini-computer or share the time from a central computer. 3. Computer graphics systems will not replace the draftsman, rather they provide new areas of employment which require the same skills and knowledge required of the draftsman plus information on computer operations. 4. The responsibility for training computer graphics personnel as indicated by the majority of the respondents participating in the study is company sponsored on-the-job training programs. Opinions obtained from the respondents show a trend toward colleges and universities accepting the responsibility for training computer graphics personnel. Selected Recommendations 1. Administrators of drafting and design technology or engineering graphics curricula should consider computer graphics as an addition to their curriculum. 2. When considering equipment selection for computer graphics programs, administrators of drafting and design technology or engineering graphics curricula should consider the following 2.1 The college or university central computer should be considered as a source of processing computer graphics data. 2.2 To obtain a more desirable configuration a minicomputer or graphic processor should be considered. With the minicomputer or graphic processor the following equipment can be interfaced: (1) graphic display terminal console, (2) a digitizer, (3) a graphic plotter, (4) a digital cartridge tape drive, (5) an alphanumerical keyboard, and (6) a disk memory unit. 3. Course content for teaching computer graphics should include the following experiences: 3.1 Basic skills in executing computer programs. 3.2 A knowledge of as well as hands-on activities in the use of computer equipment. 3.3 Basic skills in typing. 3.4 A knowledge of mathematics through trigonometry. 3.5 An understanding of electronics and mechanical principles. 3.6 The ability to visualize shapes in two dimensions. 3.7 A knowledge of computer programming. 3.8 Practice in the use of graphic display terminals. 3.9 Practice in generating data to be used in producing a drawing from the graphic plotter.