Computerized drafting (Jun, 1973)

Computerized drafting

Ever dreamed of converting your rough sketches into fully proportioned finished drawings at the stroke of a pen? Well, someone did. IBM now has an experimental system that does just that—courtesy of a computer. Simply place your sketch and a paper “keyboard” anywhere on a special electronic tablet, as shown in the photo. Then you touch the sketch and the keyboard with an electronic pen to enter graphic and alphanumeric data and to activate commands to the computer—”make a circle,” for example. A finished drawing will be produced with correct dimensions coresponding to those fed to the device. The drawing also appears on a screen.

  1. Paul says: May 26, 20117:20 am

    The origins of AutoCAD.

  2. Toronto says: May 26, 20118:43 am

    I used electronic circuit specific CAD on a TI mini in about 1977. You could drag and drop symbolic components on a Tektronic screen, then specify the physical form factors and the TI would crunch out a minimum-crossing suggestion for a printed circuit (it could take a long time.) For reasonably simple circuits, like a single channel amplifier, it was possible to go from the screen to the printer to an acetate to an actual circuit board (though you needed to help a bit with a marker.)

    It was more like using Visio: very little free form imput. And no tablet was used, only a light pen.

  3. Andrew L. Ayers says: May 26, 20114:33 pm

    @Toronto: …and nowadays, they virtually give the software away (aka EagleCAD, gEDA, etc)…

  4. Mike says: May 29, 20118:08 pm

    Andrew, with Linux they do give it away.

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