The secret to get ahead as an engineer may be sealed inside Drawing Navigator.
"Wow, so why do you work here?"
I’ve heard that twice. At my last job, and pretty recently at my current one.
Neither one was talking about my skills as a design engineer. Skills that have been steadily improving for over ten years.
Abilities that allow me to design $1.73M of custom industrial equipment every year. No, they were both about my hobby.
Something I have been working on as a side project ever since I was in college.
I discovered my love for programming when I took a VBA for Engineers course in college. It was all about how to automate Excel spreadsheets and let the computer do the grunt work for you.
It led me to take as many programming classes as I could - Advanced VBA, Mechatronics, and C++. I even had to go talk to the computer science dean and convince him to let me to skip all of the earlier classes and put me in C++.
I guess my enthusiasm convinced him because I got to skip two years of computer science classes.
Why is this helpful? Every job has spreadsheets doing more important work than they should. I’m sure yours does too.
Spreadsheets are cheap and anyone can make one. Most of them look like it.
My first job used spreadsheets to control how every part was machined and assembled. A full-time employee’s only job was to create and manage these spreadsheets. It was a nightmare.
This isn't me. And I never got a trophy. But I sure feel like it when I see new engineers react to Drawing Navigator.
Someone can bring me a random drawing or part number and I can find the top level assemblies it belongs to in seconds.
Kyle, Design Engineer
Wow, there are a lot of people that would want this.
Engineering Manager, Manufacturing company
I never use our old software anymore. It's not as easy as the navigator.
Engineering Designer, Manufacturing company
I gave a quick demo to my coworkers that turned into an hour long show and tell. Everyone took turns finding drawings and excitedly talking about how great the search was.
Even the engineering manager stopped working for over 45 minutes to test it. He was impressed. Really impressed.
Drawings that would have taken an afternoon to find he found in a minute. Within two hours I had been asked by all of the engineering team and somehow six people from other departments to install it on their computers.
I was no longer the new engineer, or the one that didn’t come up with great ideas. I was the favorite. And I got asked why I worked there.
I immediately knew that this idea was something great. I refined it using my engineering and programming experience. Drawing Navigator is exactly what I need as an engineer to work better.
To do more engineering work than paper pushing. To get back to what I enjoy about engineering - designing and problem solving. Not wasting time looking for stuff.
And now you can bring that wow moment to your engineering team. Be the engineer that impresses the entire department with a simple suggestion. See how long your coworkers stand around trying it for themselves.
It’s simple to start. Just watch this short video. 26 seconds of video that might look like browsing strange pictures to ordinary people. But engineers will get the wow moment.
He opened our expensive manufacturing software and copied the data out by hand into one of his many spreadsheet templates. Then it was printed and stuck to the part.
After I had worked there for about six months I realized what he was going through. So I sat down and in one afternoon reduced his workload from 45 hours a week to 1 hour and 48 minutes.
Four hours of work one afternoon saved 43 hours and 12 minutes a week.
I know this because he was so excited that he timed it. That was the first time that I got asked why I worked there and not for some leading edge company.
After that I was asked about every other week to write small macros to speed up all sorts of things.
I was by far the most popular engineer after I helped make all those peoples’ jobs easier.
I continued programming in the evenings over the next five years and then moved to my next employer. Another manufacturing company that has been in business for over forty years.
This company has lived through everything from hand drawn blueprints to modern CAD software and has many thousands of drawings.
Working on such a large range of equipment required searching through decades of drawings. A giant hassle is an understatement.
It could take hours to find a specific drawing. Our lead salesman had hundreds of drawings tacked to his walls so that he could find spare parts for older equipment. It looked like a corkboard in a crime scene documentary.
I suffered through what everyone considered normal for a few months. Then I decided to make my job easier. A lot easier.
I pieced together some of my projects at home and brought them to work. It took me about an hour to connect my concept software to the network and get it set up. I launched the software and typed in a part number. Boom. Drawing loaded instantly.
A split second is all that stands between me and any drawing I need. Even more, there is a list of all the related drawings allowing me to move between drawings with incredible speed.
“Wow”, I thought, “this is great”. And it was.
Oh no. Someone is bringing in a drawing. And it needs changes.
To the outside world the request is simple. The bolt holes in a bracket need to be moved over about a half inch.
No big deal right. What is the worst that could happen?
Change made and bracket installed. Everyone is happy - for now.
Later on, the production line grinds to a halt as brackets fail to line up on equipment that has been built hundreds of times.
An angry mob forms and marches on engineering. "Why have you done this?" - they cry as they light a printer on fire.
“Everything was going great until engineering got involved.”
Exaggerated? A little of course. I like to tell a good story. But the moral of the story is true.
Engineers require good information to make good decisions.
Get the best information that you can. Make the best decisions that you can.
Get the combination of engineering and programming that other engineers are enjoying - Drawing Navigator.
You may not be impressed yet. Because you like hands-on experience. Try it with your own drawings. Free.
I’ll even set it up for you. All you have to do is find 5 minutes to try it out.
Although, you may end up testing for much longer as all my coworkers did.
Just send me a message and I will get it ready for you. All you will have to do is install Drawing Navigator and tell it where the data is. The data that I already set up for you. That’s it. Ready to use.
No real training required either. Drawing Navigator has a simple web-browser-like interface that's easy to use.
If you don’t like it then you have only lost a few minutes, but if it helps you like the dozens of others then you just might get to be the favorite engineer yourself.
Just remember to time how long everyone stands around testing it out. I’d like to hear it.
Yes, please contact me for a FREE 30 day demo of Drawing Navigator using my own drawings.
I want to see how long my coworkers stand around trying it out and how long it takes them to get it for themselves.
I also want to get my FREE engineering quick reference sheets that I get to keep even if I don't want to use Drawing Navigator.
Key and Keyway Dimensions - Imperial
Key and Keyway Dimensions - Metric
9 Helpful CAD drawing tips
Quick Start Demo Guide
How to Improve Concepts With Scribbles - Article
Meeting Agenda and Tasks - PDF
Blank Calendar - PDF
Attendance Form - PDF
Simple Checklists - PDF
P.S. There is no cost or obligation for trying the Drawing Navigator demo and I will personally train all of your users for free. I will be available until everyone is completely trained and comfortable with Drawing Navigator, regardless of how long it takes or how much it costs.
What if you add new users later?
I will treat them the same way.