Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Tragedy of CAD-Too-Soon

The wide availability of inexpensive or free layout design software has led to a wave of model railroad layout designs being published on the Internet. Many of these are by relative newcomers to design and, all too often, the results are precisely-rendered disasters in the making.

I wrote about the symptoms and cure for CAD-Too-Soon-Syndrome on my web site. Best practice in layout design is not the result of good drawing tools, but instead the application of an understanding of design principles and thoughtful consideration of alternatives. CAD often short-cuts these steps and leads to deceptively good-looking designs which are unbuildable and/or will operate poorly, in my humble opinion.