wrote 5 months ago
I love old mechanical drawing.
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One of my first jobs (an internship in high school) was converting old mechanical drawings to a new parametric 3D modeling program. I spent 3 months modeling nuts, collars, o-rings, screws, plungers, and a bunch of other random junk from drawings that I pulled from this musky old drawer in the basement. These drawings were dated, mostly from the 70's. You could tell which parts were more common, as these had been copied onto nice, thick mylar photo polymer, while the less common parts were left in their original, hand drawn pen over pencil. Paper size ranged from standard A size paper to full D size scale. Some of the larger prints detailed humorously small pieces that had to be scaled by at least 10 to justify using such large paper.
My task was to redraw the 3D models, generate the digital engineering drawings, and present the original and replica to a supervisor for approval. I remembered the first time the supervisor approved one of my replicas, I asked what he was gonna do with the originals.
He laughed and said "File them away!" He folded it and threw it in the trash.
I had to excuse myself to my car, and I cried for a long while. I was so upset that he didn't understand the value of these drawings, the work that they represented. They were art in my mind.
I stormed back in with a vengeance, and he cut a deal with me. Any drawings I finished, I got to keep. I worked like a madman all summer, including free, unapproved overtime, to liberate as many of these historic drawings as I could. I worked as hard as I could to improve my 3D modeling skills, working toward saving some of the more interesting drawings.
I saved as many as I could model within my abilities. Currently, almost 10 years later, they're all sitting in a really nice art portfolio box in my bedroom, waiting for the day where I can afford frames for all of them, and a workshop full of wall space where they can be proudly displayed.
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