CADDManager on October 30th, 2006

Adam Smith published a book named “Wealth of Nations” in 1776

Wealth of Nations is an investigation into the nature and causes of national economic development. Smith writes that greater productivity is derived from manufacturing. In a visit to a pin factory he observed that the traditional craftsman might manufacture just one pin a day. The pin factory, however, using ten men created 48,000 pins a day.

This leap of productivity, Smith attributed to organization and technology: the division of labor in which one man pulls out the wire, another straightens it, a third cuts it, a forth puts a point on it, a fifth grinds the head, and so on through about 18 different steps. Technology came into play when time saving machinery was used to do the work of many.

Smith indicated that the craftsman performed all of the steps, but the factory worker did just one thing repeatedly.

This concept can also be thought of as the application of technology to the drafting or design “craftsman” known as the Architect. Turning the “craft” of design into steps applied to a process of documenting the building design. It was broken down into drawing sheets long before CAD and automated by using CAD to more effeciently develop the sheets as electronic files. Each worker in the CAD factory works on one sheet at a time and only on one portion or presentation perspective of the building.

Great strides where made in productivity, but the “art” in architecture was slowly being lost. The craftsman was loosing his skills.

Enter BIM and Revit. Now the craftsman who designs the building can “build” it in 3D. He is not longer working on separate sheets or portions of the building but has returned to the overall building as one file. He is now doing multiple portions, if not all, of the building design process at the same time.

Revit is returning the craftsmanship to the Architects.

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