This blog was written by Chris Kelly, associate vice president for university marketing and communication.
As a freshman in high school I was required to take a general course in what was then known as the industrial arts. The exact details of the course are a little fuzzy, but it basically focused on three major areas: metal shop, wood shop and technical drawing (better known as drafting).
I loved working with my hands so I expected to like metal and wood shop, but I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed drafting.
I was fascinated to learn that not all detailed communication was accomplished solely with the use of words.
We practiced drawing everything from instruction manuals to architectural drawings. I loved sitting in front of my giant drafting table with sharpened pencil in hand and t-square at the ready.
This was in 1985 and even then, technology was changing.
In fact, it was during my college visit to Pittsburg State University in 1986 that I first witnessed the technology that would revolutionize the world of architectural drafting forever -- computer aided drafting (CAD).
Technology never stops evolving and now, 27 years after my first college visit, (I felt a gray hair grow just by writing that line) Pittsburg State is again on the forefront of technical drawing technology.
It’s known as an iPlan table and at 55 inches, it’s really one of the world’s largest touch screen tablets.
PSU is the first university construction management program in the nation to acquire what is quickly becoming an industry standard.
“More and more, construction companies are eliminating the use of paper," Bill Strenth, assistant professor in the School of Construction, said. “Everything is trending toward digital, which is in line with companies trying to go lean and green on projects.”
So why replace ink with electronics? It really comes down to flexibility.
“When they are working on one particular area of the design, they can zoom and focus on that one area,” Strenth said. “They can use the iPlan Table to make any needed changes. They can work with 3-D models, spin them around on the screen and see exactly what it’s supposed to look like.”
(Want to see the iPlan Table in action?)
It’s exciting that Pitt State students are able to use such advanced equipment and not have to wait until they get into the workforce to experience it.
It‘s another reason more and more employers are looking for Gorillas to help fill their workforce.