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Active Member
WProffitt
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎09-29-2008
Message 11 of 22 (1,437 Views)

Re: Engineer's seal with signature

04-11-2011 09:11 AM in reply to: ramosm

The best way we have used is to give the engineers a digitized copy or copies of their signature on a thumb drive. They attach it to the border, plot the drawings and then remove and purge it from the border.

 

People who think something is protected because they "hand signed" a drawing are showing their stupidity by living in the past. With a scanner you can take a few random "hand signed" drawings and have all the variable fraudulent signatures you could ever dream of. Unless we go back to wax seals or lock up an embossed stamp you have no guarantee the signature and seal are legitimate.

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JGerth
Posts: 1,952
Registered: ‎12-05-2005
Message 12 of 22 (1,432 Views)

Re: Engineer's seal with signature

04-11-2011 12:59 PM in reply to: WProffitt

>>People who think something is protected because they "hand signed" a drawing are showing their stupidity by living in the past. With a scanner you can take a few random "hand signed" drawings and have all the variable fraudulent signatures you could ever dream of.

 

Ok, let's clarify that in every jusrisdiction I'm aware of, a picture of a signature is not a signature.  A digitized signature is not a digital signature -- they are different things completely.  A faxed signature can be binding, but you'd better hold on to the original wet ink version.  Basically that picture of a signature is meaningless, doesn't matter how spiffy your color scanner is.

 

Wet ink signatures are 'originals', and will holdup in court.  It's not really all that hard to tell the difference between a scanned picture of a signed paper, and the original signed paper, and any competent document examiner can testify in court to the validity or lack therof of an alleged signature.  A part of the duties of a registered professional is to adhere to the legal requirements of the jurisdictions they practice in, be it embossed seal, rubber seal, wet-ink signature, or thumbprint.  If a PE whines about getting writer's cramp from signing his name and is not willing to adhere to the requirements, maybe he needs a different profession?

Active Member
WProffitt
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎09-29-2008
Message 13 of 22 (1,430 Views)

Re: Engineer's seal with signature

04-11-2011 02:25 PM in reply to: WProffitt

"A digitized signature is not a digital signature -- they are different things completely."

 

Agreed.

 

"Wet ink signatures are 'originals', and will holdup in court. It's not really all that hard to tell the difference between a scanned picture of a signed paper, and the original signed paper, and any competent document examiner can testify in court to the validity or lack therof of an alleged signature."

 

That's the reason they keep changing dollar bills year after year, because it's so easy to tell the difference. It is incredibly hard to tell the difference without doing some ink analysis or some such if done right and it's not that hard to do it right.

 

A part of the duties of a registered professional is to adhere to the legal requirements of the jurisdictions they practice in, be it embossed seal, rubber seal, wet-ink signature, or thumbprint. If a PE whines about getting writer's cramp from signing his name and is not willing to adhere to the requirements, maybe he needs a different profession?

 

While I might agree with you in spirit I can tell you having worked different places over the years I have seen all sorts of variations on the engineer not signing drawings for various reasons. Unless the engineer claims he did not approve the drawing I have a feeling the point is moot.

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JGerth
Posts: 1,952
Registered: ‎12-05-2005
Message 14 of 22 (1,420 Views)

Re: Engineer's seal with signature

04-12-2011 11:33 AM in reply to: WProffitt

equating currency vs counterfit bills to a wet-ink signature vs a printed scan is not apples to oranges.  both the real and counterfit bills are printed products,  while a wet-ink signature is much easier to distinguish from a scanned image of that signature.  Even so,  generally most counterfeit bills only pass if not looked at, excluding the NK $100 'superbills'.  I've even seen examples of a researcher using blank paper to pay for his purchases, and getting change back!

 

The wet-ink signature will affect the paper it's on differently than a reproduction of that same signature.  Most likely you'll be able to identify the embossing on the paper from the pressure of the pen -- something printers and scanner's can't emulate.  Failing that, pull out a loupe, or linen counter, or decent magnifiers, and you should have little difficulty telling the difference between the pixels of a printer, and the flow of manually applied ink.  I doubt if a chemical analysis of the ink will be required -- enhanced visual inspection  ought to be sufficient.  If things end up in court, I'ld feel better knowing that the authroized cocuments are in fact the authorized documents.

 

and yeah, i've worked with registered professionals who take the time, and those who don't.  It's been observable that those who stint on one portion of their duties, are the same ones who take a lax attitude towards some of their other legal obligations. 

 

 

 

Distinguished Contributor
felt33
Posts: 163
Registered: ‎12-01-2009
Message 15 of 22 (1,414 Views)

Re: Engineer's seal with signature

04-13-2011 06:39 AM in reply to: dgorsman

I love that..."Friction Burns"

Mentor
coopdetat
Posts: 196
Registered: ‎03-25-2011
Message 16 of 22 (1,401 Views)

Re: Engineer's seal with signature

04-14-2011 06:54 AM in reply to: ramosm

It is illegal in some if not all jurisdictions.  It is explicitly forbidden in North Carolina.  The professional whose seal is reproduced in this manner could end up losing his license.  Check the code in your jurisdiction and provide the support your professional needs (like advice not to ever do this).

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Civil Design Professional Since 1983 (Intergraph), AutoCAD since 1989
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New Member
knoble
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-09-2011
Message 17 of 22 (1,209 Views)

Re: Engineer's seal with signature

03-11-2012 07:52 AM in reply to: ramosm

Most states now days will accept an electronic signature over an electronic stamp. What I do is use a dwg stamp and signature, then make a secure PDF. If I send a dwg to someone, I simply take the stamp and signature out.

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rkmcswain
Posts: 3,173
Registered: ‎11-13-2006
Message 18 of 22 (1,186 Views)

Re: Engineer's seal with signature

03-19-2012 02:06 PM in reply to: ramosm

We routinely used electronic versions of the Texas P.E. seal (with the engineer approvaly), but the engineer always physically signed the finished drawing. 

 

If you are intent on doing this, scan a good copy of the seal/signature - insert it into a drawing as an image - then trace it in AutoCAD - using plain entities like lines and arcs. Save it as a block and more forward.

Mentor
coopdetat
Posts: 196
Registered: ‎03-25-2011
Message 19 of 22 (1,172 Views)

Re: Engineer's seal with signature

03-20-2012 05:11 PM in reply to: WProffitt

For all who follow this thread...

 

Our office just recreates the engineer's seal from the rubber stamp (sans signature of course).  It typically consists of an array of tiny circles and short little radial lines with a ring of text characters having an appropriate pen weight (via color here)

 

In the early days the ring of text characters was an array of individual characters manually kerned along a circle.  The center had the seal number and the expiration date as text or mtext appropriately justified.

 

We attach the required seal to our individual project border sheet so that it occurs in only one place but shows up on all project drawings. We do not attach it until told by the engineer to include it on upcoming prints/plots.  Stamping the seal on each original is a true waste of time but including the seal on any print/plot without the engineer's explicit approval is a statutory violation in our jurisdiction.

 

The engineer's own handwritten signature is always on each drawing but the date is frequently done by others either using CAD before plotting or manually afterwards.  After the set is plotted, signed by the engineer, and dated, all subsequent deliveries of electronic files include a substitute drawing of the same name as the engineer's seal drawing (to make the most efficient use of the existing xref attachment).  This substitute drawing contains statuatory language (NC) "This document originally issued and sealed by (name of sealer), (license number), on (Date of sealing). This medium shall not be considered a certified document."

... no engineer's seal drawing ever goes out of the office.

 

Unless there is a contractual or other legitimate business requirement that we deliver CAD drawings, the recipient always receives only a PDF of the signed set, a legal archival format for sealed originals in our jurisdiction.  It is important to note that only TIFF scans of the sealed originals are used to compile the PDF.

 

If you don't know what your jurisdiction requires, ask your professional where you can find this information.  In NC, the law governing seals is part of the North Carolina Administrative Code.  Professional engineering and architectural technicians should know what is required and assist their professional in complying with the applicable laws.

 

On a slight tangent here, I have been trying to convince our professionals that they could physically sign TIFF images (created by plotting to TIFF files)  of the project drawings using a handwriting input device and the resulting signed TIFF images would meet the letter of the law in NC for acceptable original drawing format.  None of them are willing to do it yet.  They are sure that that was not the intent of the law;  however, I'm still hoping to get it brought up before our lawmakers and make it the intent.   The end result is the same except for the vast amounts of time and materials no longer wasted(including trees and whatever they make ink out of).  We likely still need to go to paper after that but all of the "before signing" hard copy production could be a thing of the past.

 

BTW A shout out to JGerth, how have you been!? I'm an old acquaintance from Camp... Austin, Ontario, Charlotte... my handle should give it away.

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Civil Design Professional Since 1983 (Intergraph), AutoCAD since 1989
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Intel﴾R﴿ Core﴾TM﴿ i7-3820 CPU 3.60GHz; 16 GB DDR3 Dual Channel RAM
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JGerth
Posts: 1,952
Registered: ‎12-05-2005
Message 20 of 22 (1,164 Views)

Re: Engineer's seal with signature

03-22-2012 04:27 AM in reply to: coopdetat

small world isn't it.  :smileywink:

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