I love how everyone responding to this post assumed that I was arguing against automation.
Look at my original post. Where did I say automation was bad? Hmm? Oh, I guess you didn't find it, because I never said it. I work in CNC machining automation myself, so I would have quite a bit of cognitive dissonance if I tried to argue that way.
I object to the Ayn Rand, macro-economics 101, euphemistic bullshit about "labor" moving to where it is needed more, as if it is some sort of inanimate liquid. The OP says that he "helped build a machine", but that sounds to me like he was not the prime mover of the project, but rather an assistant. One who's labor can be freed up by a better CAD system or analysis package. Would the OP still feel so dispassionate about the whole affair if his mechanical engineer-trained labor was freed to go to where it was really needed most -- the nearest retirement home to clean up after a bunch of incontinent grandparents, all at minimum wage, of course.