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Case Study: Incorporating 3 D Software Into An Architectural Working Drawings Course (Commercial Construction)

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Teaching Innovations in Architectural Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.293.1 - 9.293.21



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Paper Authors

author page

David Cowan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract



1.0 Introduction

This paper discusses the incorporation of 3D CAD software (Architectural Desktop 3.3) into two sophomore-level courses within an Engineering Technology Construction Program. It discusses the potential of this software in this type of environment, in particular its attributes and its limitations, and focuses upon several key areas of concern:

1. The transition from generic, 2D CAD to 3D (Architectural Desktop) (herein ADT). 2. The phasing of the software through a particular project. 3. Effective delivery methods. 4. Assignments suited and ill-suited to the 3D software. 5. Concerns related to the sophomore year. 6. Future considerations.

The paper begins with a brief review of the use of computer software in architectural education. It then proceeds to discuss the author’s methodology used to introduce ADT within two construction technology courses. The paper then examines the results of the data generated from questionnaires and interviews of the students and architectural practitioners. It continues to examine some of the limitations of this case study. The paper concludes with recommendations and conclusions on the use of ADT in successive construction technology courses.

2.0 Background

In looking at the last several decades in architectural technical education and industry we have seen influential advances in the development and application of information and computer technology. As a consequence, in architectural and engineering classrooms and professional firms, computer-based tools such as AutoCAD, 3D Studio, Form-Z and Photoshop have become the norm. Clients and professors have come to expect realistic renderings and virtual, animated building tours within presentations. Yet, as Gross, Yi-Luen Do and Johnson1 note, these tools merely represent the commercialization of the first generation of CAD development, and further state: “We have hardly exhausted the possibilities of information technology in architectural design. Some of the most effective and exciting developments are yet to come.” It therefore behooves the educator to embrace this trail of technology into this exciting future to ensure that students are making the best use of the most current technology that exists.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Cowan, D. (2004, June), Case Study: Incorporating 3 D Software Into An Architectural Working Drawings Course (Commercial Construction) Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13704

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