Freelance drafters will usually work in a B2B (business to business) situation. They work with companies or firms that need to complete drawings, take offs, or similar work in a short, almost impossible amount of time, and do not have the resources to meet their deadline. In doing so, said architects, engineers, managers, designers, or even other drafters are the key contacts for the drafter on projects. Sometimes, a drafter is also an engineer or an architect, but generally the certified professional makes more decisions about the final product than making the drawings.
Let me explain further. Suppose a general contractor needs to lay out a certain product in his project. He gets in touch with a manufacturer that supplies this specific kind of product. The general contractor does not know the best way to diagram the product for his use, because he does not specialize in the make of the product. This is where the drafter comes into the picture- manufacturer collects contract document information from the GC as well as info about the product, and sends everything to the drafter. If the drafter is unclear on something or missing information, there will be collaboration between the drafter and the manufacturer. Most of the time, the manufacturer will have a preference of specific style in the drawings that the drafter must follow. While the manufacturer is worrying about costs, scheduling, engineering, and inventory, the drafter is taking care of the diagrams, scaled shop drawings, and fabrication instructions for the job.
Drafters are also creative, believe it or not, and can help on small projects too. They might be able to help in a B2C (business to consumer) situation. For example, what if you are looking to do some simple DIY remodeling in your home, or you want to build your own piece of furniture or shelf, but it’s going to be hard to make this stuff without proper drawings of different views on the project? You may also want someone to collaborate with on second opinions of the project. Drafters with design backgrounds can definitely fit the mold here. If your priority is to have a visual of the exact end product for your personal project, but it would take more time for you to learn a program or hand drafting than it’s worth, find a drafter to help out. This will save you time and get all of your ideas on paper, in one place, neatly and legibly in order to see the full scope of your project, allowing for more thought on looks and budget, and changes where needed in the design.
Ever have a good or bad experience with a drafter? Please comment as you see fit.