4 Proven Strategies to Become a Better Drafter

Yevgeniy (Eugene) Kovalenko

Eugene Kovalenko

This weeks guest post comes from Yevgeniy (Eugene) Kovalenko, CAD Drafter and Blogger at Draftinghub.com.

I remember the first time I saw AutoCAD. I still try to bring that emotion to mind everytime I get to teach someone a new AutoCAD skill. This is a great post – take it away Eugene.

If you would like to write for Cadsetterout.com, read this.

Four Proven strategies to become a better Drafter

4 Proven Strategies to Become a Better Drafter

Do you remember the first time you laid your eyes on AutoCAD?

What were your thoughts? My first interaction with AutoCAD was twelve years ago and to be honest I was intimidated. I knew I wanted to be a draftsman since I was a little kid, yes I really did, but I didn’t know I had to learn this “confusing” and “intimidating” software.

That was just first of many challenges in my journey as a draftsman. The reality is that if you want to be a great draftsman you must overcome many obstacles and challenges. A good drafter knows how to do his job well, a great drafter on the other hand, is constantly learning and improving his/her skills by challenging him/herself.

In this post I want to share four proven ways to become a better drafter. There are many other ways to improve your skills, but these are strategies that I constantly use to not just be good at my job, but to be great at it.

#1 Read and Follow Drafting Related Blogs and Forums

My guess is if you are reading this post you are already practicing this step. I am a firm believer in self-education and with all the information available on the internet, paid and/or free, it’s easy as never before to improve your drafting skills via blogs and forums.

I would recommend keeping an organized list of top blogs that you learn from and come back to on a regular basis. I’ve been keeping a list of helpful resources that I refer to daily. You are more than welcome to grab that extensive list here (http://www.draftinghub.com/resources/).

Eugene Kovalenko's CAD Drafter's Design Toolbox

Designer’s Toolbox

I would also recommend not being just a passive consumer of those blogs and forums. Make sure you become part of those communities in order to get as much as possible out of them. You can do that by commenting, asking questions, providing valuable opinions and thoughts.

#2 Watch Video Tutorials

Internet is an amazing thing. It’s incredible how over the last few years sites like YouTube became not just a video site, but a search engine. A great way to utilize this video search engine is to use it for educational purposes. That’s right, it’s not just for watching cat videos!

Whenever I get stuck or don’t know how to perform certain task I search YouTube, sometimes even before Google. There are so many insightful video tutorials out there that it’s practically impossible to be stuck.

Related post: The Top Five Inventor Videos from CloudCAD

#3 Explore and Study Other Drafting Fields

Don’t get comfortable with your field of expertise. You may be the best drafter in your specific niche, but it’s important to expand your horizons to other drafting fields. For example, if your area of expertise is architectural drafting, a great place to start is to learn more about mechanical and electrical drafting standards.

In today’s world, being multifaceted in your field is crucially important and valuable. In my experience most employers value that more than your level of education.

#4 Teach Others What You Already Know

The old Latin phrase:

Docendo discimus

which means, “by teaching, we learn” is very true. The best way to improve your own skills is to teach others what you already know or maybe what you don’t fully know but want to know.

By teaching I don’t mean official teaching position in a local community college or school. Maybe it’s just sharing CAD tips with your coworkers, training new drafters in your firm, writing a blog or recording CAD video tutorials.

When you teach others you become more confident in what you already know and as a result improve your performance as a drafter.

So these are my top strategies on how to become a better drafter. I would love for the conversation to continue.

Please comment below with your strategies for becoming a better drafter.

What tips can you share with the community?

30 Responses to “4 Proven Strategies to Become a Better Drafter

    5 years ago

    it’s an inspiration 4 a beginner like me. am in Uganda

  • Simcha Beller
    6 years ago

    thanks for these great ideas.
    I am a beginner mechanical drafter for an HVAC company I am learning all about mechanical on the job do you know of any way I could learn mechanical drafting what I need to know and were could I learn it

  • Jack Nardi
    6 years ago

    Great advice. I keep a Word document and cut and paste links and tips into the running journal and have sections such on Exrefs and keyboard shortcuts etc.

  • Arkar Htet
    6 years ago

    Hello,Where can I learn about of drawing standard such as text height,symbols, etc.
    Please let me learn.

  • I have been drafting for more than 40 years (long before CAD was around) and I’m afraid the “art” that once was drafting is lost in the automated processes that the computer provides. The best documentation I see is from some of the old birds like me that were taught the ancient arts and combine them with the speed and consistency of CAD. Don’t get me wrong! You’d have to pry CAD from my cold dead fingers. i just wish the real skill of drafting was still taught and added to the skill of using a mouse and computer.

    • Hi Mike,

      Sad but true – I loved adding personality to my (Hand drawn) drawings – but I have to admit, CAD is faster than drawing by hand :/


  • Joshua Ramey
    7 years ago

    Thank you. I been drafting for 8 years in the fields of mechanical.construction, and electrical. I’m always looking for ways to improve

  • Amelia
    8 years ago

    What a great post. Thanks for sharing. It’s motivated me, Sir, as a beginner. I am a draftsman in a local firm, in Sorowako, Indonesia. I hope that i can do better, i’ll try do all those great tips..


  • I luv this post .Let’s keep this place a family to help each other

  • Gilbert
    8 years ago

    Hi Eugene, great stuff for real.

  • Hi Eugene,
    I’m a draftsman in Australia and I agree with all your tips entirely. Particularly number four. If you can learn something and it makes your life easier- let the other humans know! It’s good for them and good for you.

    Great post!


  • Collins
    8 years ago

    ya.as an architectural drafter,which CAD sotfware should i perfect most and which one can easily market me since job competion is too stiff in my country.thanks

  • collins
    8 years ago

    i have just completed a two years course in architectural drafting and i just have a few ideas on AutoCAD and ArchCAD but still need more training from some so that I can achieve my goal.so how do u help me.

    • Hi Wam,

      Thanks very much for taking the time to leave a comment. Do you have a specific question I can help you with?


  • Violet
    9 years ago

    This is great stuff!! Thanks for the info. I have completely changed my career from the food industry to drafting and am attending college for industrial Drawing Degree. All this information is so helpful thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

    • You are most welcome Violet :)

      What kind of Drafting do you think you will specialise in?


  • Claudia Marquez
    9 years ago

    I have just recently graduated from a technical school and have started working in a telecommunications company using AutoCAD 2015, and like you said..everyday I learn new shortcuts. I am amazed at this new technology and looking forward to learning more.

    • Claudia congratulations on graduating and welcome to the profession!

  • Alberto Rivera
    9 years ago

    You hit it on the bullseye, Eugene. I’m not a good note keeper or note taker. I usually can’t read my own chicken scratch after a few hours, haha!! We have about 6 newbies in my dept. with absolutely no previous CAD experience. Being the “go-to- drafter” (according to my coworkers), I felt I was going to have my hands full and perhaps fall behind on my own work.
    Fortunately, they all showed the same enthusiasm I did when I first laid eyes on AutoCAD. I was actually quite thankful for them. As you mentioned in your awesome post, teaching and sharing with them has actually helped me remember tricks and techniques I have forgotten throughout the years. Hence, making me a better drafter.
    They’re in their early 20’s which means their mobile phones are surgically connected to their hands (joking). I suggested they use their phones to record what I was showing them on the screen so they can have a little library of videos they can refer back to. I tell them to help and share with each other because it DOES make one a better drafter. Long story short, they’re doing a great job!!

    Thank you for your post!!

    • Alberto, thank you for the kind words! I love your approach to teaching new drafters in your office! Great way to utilize and not “demonize” technology. Thank you!

    • Jennifer
      9 years ago

      I wish there were more people and companies like you. I have a drafting degree and a few years experience with AutoCAD but now days thats not good enough. Because I have never used SolidWorks or Revit I cant find work but how am I supposed to learn them if no one give me a chance to touch the program.

  • Eugene, great post, thanks for sharing the insights. I especially connected with your advice to be an active participant in online discussions and forums. I might also add that community colleges can be a great source of real-time, person-to-person learning at a reasonable cost. Cheers!