Just like the writer of the article, I am a freelance product designer and understand the long hours and deadlines that are unrealistic. My response to the question "Does CAD/CAM Technology Diminish Quality of Life and Quality in General?" is a resounding NO. Also, the qestion needs to be addressed as two independent topics, Quality of Life and Quality of product. It must be remembered that CAD, be it mechanical CAD or electronic CAD or whatever CAD, is only a tool no different than a hammer or screwdriver. As the saying goes, "it is not the tool that counts but rather how you use it". If we look at the "Quality of Life" aspect first, we should remember that what we do in life and how we live it is based only on the choices that we make. If the job keeps you away from the family too much, there is the choice to find a new job that allows more family time or just don't work any overtime. The reality is that the only thing responsible for a persons quality of life is that person and the choices they make. Thus if a person chooses to be a freelance engineer working from home and takes on either too many jobs or commits to impossible deadlines, the loss of family time is a result of their own choices. If you don't like your current situation, make a choice to change it, but don't blame a tool for the problem.
As for the issue of "Quality in General", again, the problem is not the tool but how the tool is used. Before working as a freelancer I used to work for large and small corporations and the controlling factors in product quality were not the design tools but the skill of the people who use them. The problem of product quality doesn't rest solely with the product designers but with the entire process from concept to product shipping. If we look at the plate in the elevator that didn't fit properly, we might find out that everything mated perfectly in the CAD model and that the problem was with the company making the plate. On top of that, the elevator company might not have inspected that part upon receipt. As for the installer, the fact that it didn't fit just right wasn't his/her concern and might not even work for the elevator company and figured that if they just install it the best they can, that will be good enough. If that was truly the scenario, then CAD had absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the product.
It is my firm belief that the quality of one's life is only as good as one makes it with their own personal choices. As for the quality of the product, it will only be as good as the people involved with it from concept to shipping and their abilities, not the tools they use.
In closing I would just like to say that there is a much bigger issue at play here with regards to quality of life and product. Many many years ago, there was a time when employers held their employees in high regard and vice versa. Today, that is no longer true and quite the opposite. Today, companies only care about the bottom line and maximizing it at all costs. As for the workers, the same thing is true except that the bottom line is their salary. No more are the days of loyalty between company and worker where a person can start and retire at the same company during their career. So long as this disrespect between employers and employees continues, a person's quality of life will always be below what it could be. As for the quality of the product, the bigger issue is the lack of quality training and common sense in young new workers. There needs to be a fundamental change in philosophy regarding training/education of new hires. But that is a whole new subject.