Engineers love their drawings.
Engineers draw them to work.
They paint them.
They draw them with a brush, and they draw them in the hopes that someday, they’ll be recognized.
They’ve spent decades in the field, drawing and painting to learn the art of drawing.
But today, that same dedication to drawing has gone out the window.
And while most engineers still draw their own designs, their ability to understand and draw from other disciplines has been undermined by the flood of software tools that can manipulate and change the way the world looks.
“I was looking at some of the most incredible drawing applications and the way that they’ve evolved over the last decade or so,” said Steven J. Smith, an associate professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and the chief scientist for the company which makes SketchUp, a drawing application that can create and edit digital drawings.
“The ability to create complex, accurate designs that have been done before and that people are going to recognize is an amazing thing.”
SketchUp and other software tools for drawing and drawing have also made it easier for engineers to understand how the world actually works.
Engineers can now understand how an object looks, how it feels, how its weight, and how it reacts to a variety of forces and pressures.
This means that if an engineer wants to work on a complex object, they can simply open SketchUp and draw it.
The resulting digital drawing is much easier to understand, and often easier to follow, said Steve Hargrove, the chief engineer for SketchUp.
The result is that engineers can now draw their designs in ways that previously required years of study.
For instance, engineers can easily create a digital model of an automobile that looks like it has a hood that folds down.
“That’s a great thing, but it requires you to understand the concept of how an engine works and how to position the engine, which requires years of learning and research,” Smith said.
That knowledge comes at a cost, however.
“It means that you’re drawing something and then you’re trying to figure out how to use that concept,” Smith explained.
“And that can lead to some really stupid things.”
Engineers can’t easily change the world in ways the rest of us would, he added.
“If you want to change the physics of a piece of technology, you have to learn how to do that,” Smith told The Wall St. Journal.
“I’ve got no idea how you change a wheel.”
But for the past decade or more, many engineers have come to appreciate the value of their drawing skills and have begun to use them more often, said Hargrotve.
“There are so many ways to do drawing,” he said.
“A lot of times, I’ve just gotten really good at drawing and it’s been very satisfying for me.”
Hargrotved has been a drawing artist for most of his life, but his first professional drawing job came when he was about 12 years old.
He said he was drawing pictures of his friends’ cars for school assignments.
“They’re usually pretty small,” he told The Journal.
The pictures would be in pencil on a piece, and the teacher would hand them off to Hargropve, who would copy and paste them into a sketchbook.
The teacher would then send the drawings to Hagerrotve for editing, but sometimes it was his own ideas that the teacher was drawing.
“So I think that was a very powerful teaching tool for me,” Hagerrove said.
The same idea of a teacher’s involvement in his drawings was brought to Haggrotve’s attention when he started a new company, which made digital drawings for his own company.
Haggrotved started working at a small electronics company called Analog Devices, and he said he often drew for a colleague who also worked at the company.
One day, Haggrove was drawing for his friend when he remembered that he had the same drawing-sketching habit that his friend had.
“As I drew, I could always tell I was drawing the same way,” Haggropve said in an interview.
“But it was very different.”
So he started drawing sketches for other engineers.
One of the sketches, called “The Future of Engineering,” drew a future where computers could design cars that are powered by electricity rather than by gas.
“When I was 12, I wanted to be an engineer,” Hargropyve said, “but it was only in college that I found my passion.”
The idea was born.
In 2007, Hargrolve started a company called 3D Design, which specializes in making digital drawings that help engineers design and build computer components, like power supplies and heaters.
He says the company is now worth about $5 million, with sales in excess of $300 million a year.
And as the industry has expanded, the company has grown.
“Our customers are so huge, and it has