Author Archives: admin

Tips for Ensuring Your Architectural Designs Are Flawless

Creating outstanding architectural designs starts with envisioning a concept and transforming that into a drawing. While there are numerous computer applications available, it is often beneficial to begin by creating the design freehand, and then sketching it out onto paper. A paper drawing allows you to visualize the image and determine what changes or modifications could potentially be required before converting it from paper into CAD digital formats.

Architectural Designs Are Flawless

The next step, of course, is to take your paper design and upload it into a digital format. Software apps offer access to a wide range of tools to further enhance the design. Some even offer simulator-like processes so you can see the effects of adding and removing design elements, as well as how weather and the elements can affect the structure.

During the early design stages, whether you decide to sketch the drawing out by freehand or begin the process in a software app, do not worry about every small detail. If you concentrate too much on the finer details at the beginning, you will find it more challenging to complete the design. It is best to leave the finer details and refinements until later, after you have created your initial concept.

Next, break the design down into smaller sections and start reviewing each one for potential flaws. For instance, if you are creating a multiple story building, begin on the ground level and work your way up. Examine the support structures and their placement to determine if they are going to meet current building codes, as well as verify that their placement will not pose challenges for the builder.

Many CAD apps allow you to examine each material, support structure, and component in fine detail. You can often pull apart and expand specific sections, as well as manipulate specific areas of the drawing, to see how changes will affect the overall structure.

After performing a detailed section review of the drawing and making any necessary modifications, it never hurts to repeat the process a second time. You might discover you overlooked some aspect during the initial design and first review process.

Just keep in mind, any changes your make to the design could influence other aspects of the entire drawing, so you may have to make other modifications to different areas of the design before it is finalized.

Architectural Drafting Services

Once the drawing is finalized, it never hurts to get a second opinion from a qualified and experienced architectural drafting services company, like us, here at Q-Cad. Allowing another professional to review your design helps identify potential issues and problems you could have not discovered on your own. In addition, the architect reviewing your design could offer valuable suggestions and recommendations to make your design even better.

For design assistance, and other help with your design concepts and drawings, call the experts at Q-Cad by phoning 800-700-3305 now.

The Importance of CAD Architectural Drafting Courses in Public Schools

Let’s face it. Not everyone is going to go on and be the next Mark Zuckerberg or some other wonder kid who launches a startup while still in school, only to become a successful business person in a few short years. While there are innovators out there of all ages, ranging from kids running their own businesses to forming technology startups, this is just a small percentage of the population.

Providing students of all ages with access to vocational and CAD architectural drafting courses in public schools provides access to fun, exciting, and rewarding careers for students who might otherwise wander aimlessly around and not figure out what they want to be “when they grow up,” until they are already young adults and getting ready to graduate college with a degree they will never use.

Drawing, drafting, and vocational educational courses used to be rather popular curricula in public schools all across the country. In the 1980s and 1990s, many schools started doing away with these programs because they were not considered an essential part of core competencies students needed as part of the K-12 educational path.

However, in more recent years, schools have once again started to understand the importance of these types of courses and learning being offered to students. Today there are many school districts that have gotten on board with “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs and, once again, are making them available to students of all ages.

Courses in Public Schools

Part of the reason for this resurgence of career path learning options has to do with the types of technological advantages kids today have at their fingertips. Students today did not grow up in a time without the Internet, computers, or cellphones. They have had access to these technologies their entire lives, not to mention access to content online and while on-the-go, for anything that interests them.

With access to free applications, online chat forums, and other resources, students already have had access to the building blocks they need to get started in drawing, design, architecture, or other vocations. All that was left was getting the practical and hands-on experience they required, in an educational setting, from an expert in the field.

Due to these influences, this is one of the reasons why more and more schools are departing from traditional education courses that essentially teach students how to pass standardized tests, to STEM-based classes, which teach students valuable skills for their future careers.

In addition, exposing students to STEM courses during their K-12 education helps them determine a career path and start finding colleges, technical schools, and universities offering programs in their desired career.

Here at Q-Cad, we support STEM programs and educational opportunities for students of all ages, and look forward to seeing how students today are going to transform into the engineers, architects, scientists, builders, and designers of tomorrow.

To learn more about CAD, drafting, and design solutions and services, please contact us at 800-700-3305 today.

AutoCAD Drafting

How Virtual Reality Is Influencing 3D Drafting and Design

When people think about virtual reality, they often tend to think about video games, simulators, and other such virtual reality products that have come about in recent years. With the recent release of virtual reality (VR) headsets by leading technology firms for personal experiences, like Sony, Samsung, and Google, VR technology has been getting looked at more by commercial operations about how this technology can benefit their workflows and projects.

Two particular fields where VR has been toyed with in the past are engineering and architecture. Implementing modern VR technologies into engineering or architectural 3D drafting processes opens up doors for new opportunities long before the end product is produced.

Architectural Drafting Services

Engineering and VR

Engineers spend countless hours designing products of all different shapes and sizes. Even with the help of 3D printers and faster prototyping, some types of design flaws and errors are still not being discovered until later when test models are made, and sometimes not until after moving into full scale production.

VR technology can allow engineers to step into the world of their product designs. They can touch, hold, manipulate, and move their design around. Virtual reality makes it possible to examine every aspect of the product in greater detail and to run simulations. In addition, any changes made to the design are instantaneous, allowing for on-the-fly development and brainstorming on collaboration projects.

Architecture and VR

The potential of VR technologies in architecture are only limited to the imagination and laws of physics. Architects can transform their 3D drawings and designs into full size virtual reality homes and buildings. Imagine being able to walk inside a home you custom designed for a client, or taking project investors on a tour of the new skyscraper office complex they want to build. This is just part of the potential VR has to offer.

Architects can also use VR to manipulate design layers and spread sections apart to see how each structural support, beam, and related component works together. Additionally, the VR concept buildings can be put through a series of simulations, like hurricanes, earthquakes, and so on, to determine their structural integrity.

3D Drafting and Design

Just like engineers, architects can make on-the-fly changes to their designs, while still in their VR world, and see the changes transform right before their eyes. Architects can swap out building materials, move doorways, elevators, stairways, and other such internal components, and see how their design reacts to their most recent changes.

Besides being able to walk through full life-like representations, VR even allows engineers and architects to take on different viewpoints. For instance, you could shrink yourself down and walk through plumbing pipes or ventilation shafts to identify potential design flaws. Every day, VR and 3D drafting and design possibilities are becoming more exciting, and it will be interesting to see how engineers, architects, drafters, designers, and others use this newest technology.

For all of your architectural, engineering, and 3D drafting services, call the design experts at Q-Cad by phoning 800-700-3305 and speaking with one of our representatives to discover how we can help you and your projects.

Designing the Roadways of Tomorrow Today

Back in 2010, a new startup called Solar Roadways launched a concept for paving roads using solar technologies and specially designed solar panels. The company’s design concept was recorded, and the video went viral. Fast forward six years later, and, after several CAD drawing conversions and changes to the original design concept, the first roadways in Sandpoint, Idaho are being paved with these solar paving panels.

Designing the Roadways

Incorporating solar panels into roads is going to change how infrastructure is designed. No longer will designers be limited to traditional asphalt and concrete roads, but now have the option to design the roads using the new solar paving panels. There are several advantages of this new technology, too.

First, in colder areas where ice and snow can make roads dangerous, the panels can be designed to heat the roads and dry away moisture. This means communities no longer have to rely upon using salt or sand on the roads. However, for extreme snow falls, snow removal is still going to be necessary to uncover the panel and allow it to receiving sunlight to function.

Next, the panels are part of a durable system of panels linked together with an anticipated lifespan between twenty to thirty years. As such, in the event a section of panels becomes damaged, rather than having to replace the entire section of road, only the damaged panels have to be replaced. This translates to lower costs of road repair and maintenance.

The solar paving panels also help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and reduces our carbon footprints. Traditional roads often use some form of petroleum-based products in their design. Every time the road needs to be repaved, it results in more of these fuels being used up, not to mention old roads tend to be difficult to recycle and reuse.

With the solar panels, many of the components are recyclable: The top of the panels are made from high-strength glass. As a result, it means broken and damage panels can be reused to make new ones.

AutoCAD Drafting

In addition, the panels are built with multicolored LED lights. The lights can be used for center lines on the road, to provide important messages, or to direct and reroute traffic. Other potential concepts for the LED lights are to warn of oncoming emergency vehicles, road closures, and accidents.

The solar paving panels are not just for roadways. They may also be used for parking lots, driveways, parking structures, and sidewalks. Further, any excess power collected by the solar paving panels can be transferred to electrical grids and help provide energy for people’s homes and businesses.

Whether you design buildings, roadways, bridges, or other infrastructure, you will want to consider how these new solar paving panels can benefit your design and make your finished product more eco-friendly. For assistance with architectural and infrastructure designs, please feel free to contact Q-Cad at 800-700-3305 and speak with a representative today.

Building Tomorrows Roads Using Recycling Roof Shingles

The recycling of building materials during remodeling, renovations, and new construction projects has increased in recent years. Depending on when the initial structure was built, there can be numerous materials that are able to be recycled and reused for other purposes, such as:

  • Concrete Blocks
  • Wood Support Beams and Frames
  • Metal Supports and Brackets
  • Nails
  • Fiberglass Insulation
  • Aluminum and Steel Duct Work
  • Copper and Plastic Plumbing
  • Electrical Wiring

More recently, adding to the list of growing recyclable building materials are traditional roofing shingles. Traditional shingles are composed of fiber, asphalt cement, and hard aggregate. These are the basic ingredients found in asphalt roads. Asphalt is normally heated to very high temperatures when these ingredients and others are mixed together before they are melted. They result in the asphalt roads we drive on every day.

Recycling Roof Shingles

Recycling asphalt shingles is a move in the right direction to preserving the environment and re-appropriating a product that also contains petroleum-based tars. Based upon information obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are roughly 11 million tons of used roofing shingles that end up in landfills annually.

By developing more effective recycling methods for traditional roofing shingles, it could be potentially possible to eventually eliminate this source of waste from our landfills almost completely. However, part of the problem with recycling the shingles is cleaning and removing other materials from them after they are removed from a roof.

The shingles could contain nails, pieces of metals, and wood. In addition, the shingles need to be processed so they meet current asphalt road mixing requirements. This could include determining the levels of possible asbestos in older shingles, oxidation levels from exposure to the sun and elements, and incorporating a soft-based binding material into the recycled shingles.

Even with these challenges, some states have already started or are moving ahead with recycling programs. For instance, in Missouri in 2011 alone, over 48,000 tons of recycled roofing shingles were incorporated into roads the state repaved that year.

roof shingled roads

In New Mexico, remote rural communities, like Vado, that normally have to deal with dusty dirt roads are getting an upgrade to recycled roof shingled roads. Many remote communities have several “private” dirt roads, long due for repair, not maintained by their respective counties.

Rather than bringing in more dirt and heavy road grading equipment, the state decided to use recycled roofing shingles instead. The process being used in these areas is to simply “pour” the recycled materials onto the roads and spread it around. The shingles are not being incorporated into road asphalt.

The state decided to explore what effects motorists and Mother Nature will have on the shingles over time, and their part in causing them to break down further and harden.

Currently, the state is using this method to address three of the more problematic dirt roads in Vado. If successful, it could help make repaving roads in remote rural areas in New Mexico more cost-effective and faster than traditional asphalt paving methods.

Here at Q-Cad, we actively support the recycling of viable building materials and protecting our environment. We have enjoyed sharing the latest building materials recycling updates with you. For all of your remodeling, renovation, and new construction projects, do not hesitate to contact us at 800-700-3305 for help creating and developing CAD architectural drafting blue prints, drawings, and schematics.


How Can I Become a Drafter?

With the advance of 3D technologies and 3D printers, more and more people are becoming interested in designing, developing, and printing their own products. The creative processes used to design a 3D object is what professional drafters do most of the time using AutoCAD drafting software applications.

If a career designing and assisting in the development of new products using 3D technologies and printers sounds appealing to you, you should consider becoming a drafter. Most entry level drafting positions do require a minimum of a two-year degree from a university or technical school. Mid-level drafting positions often require a four-year degree, and advanced positions can require a master’s degree.

Become a Drafter

There are several key educational areas you should focus on while obtaining your degree, including:

  • Mathematics – Drafters need to be able to perform statistical analysis, probabilities, and other mathematical calculations, and understand their concepts. A solid background in geometry, statistics, algebra, and trigonometry is essential.
  • Language – Drafters can be tasked with writing and developing instructional and safety manuals for certain products. Further, they need to be able to write and prepare reports and follow written instructions. Language comprehension and composition skills are vital. Drafters can also benefit from learning a second language.
  • Computer Science and Technology – Drafters need to know how to use a variety of CAD applications and how they can be incorporated into the development of current and new technologies.
  • Critical Thinking and Reasoning – These concepts are essential to drafters. They need to be able to determine how a change in a drawing or schematic will affect the final design.
  • Drawing and Art – Taking art and drawing classes can be beneficial since they may have to work with manually drawn designs before converting these into electronic formats.

Besides a degree, you may also want to consider obtaining special certifications in your specific drafting field. Certifications are not normally required for beginning level drafters, but they have their advantages, to show potential employers you have the knowledge and competence of accepted practices within the industry. In addition, certifications can mean the difference you’ll need to secure a job if there is a large number of applicants being considered for a position.

Another thing you can do to gain valuable on-the-job experience as you complete your education is to participate in work-study/internship programs. These types of programs allow you to work for a drafting service firm in different specialized areas, often during summer breaks, and part time throughout the normal school year. In some cases your work-study/internship can turn into a full-time job offer once you graduate and complete your drafting degree.

AutoCAD Drafting

Over the next decade, as 3D technologies continue to expand, there will be a steady demand for experienced drafters. For more information about pursuing a career in drafting or for assistance with creating designs and schematics for architecture, manufacturing, engineering, construction, and drafting projects, contact the drafting and design experts at Q-CAD, at 800-700-3305.

How CAD Architectural Drafting Is Essential to the Solar Energy Industry

When people are asked what solar energy is, their initial response is it is electricity collected from the sun using solar panels. While this an accurate response, the processes used to collect energy from the sun, and the emergence of the solar energy industry, would not even be possible without the help of CAD architectural drafting professionals. Those solar panels used on residential and commercial buildings did not magically appear overnight!

Rather, they were created by electrical engineers who came up with the concept and solution on how to harness the sun’s UV rays and convert it into electricity. From their initial concept and rough drawings, electrical and electronics drafters were tasked with creating the wiring diagrams, schematics, and assembly processes needed for solar energy systems.

Solar Energy Industry

Initially, when solar panels were first released for commercial and residential applications, they were costly. In addition, they could only collect and convert energy for the home or building they were installed on. Any excess power collected throughout the day was either lost or had to be stored in rechargeable batteries. Energy and electricity providers were still learning and developing solutions for incorporating solar energy into local power grids.

Over the past decade, with improvements in technology and electronics, the early solar panel designs have been fully recreated utilizing the latest advances. Thanks to electrical drafters and engineers, the wiring diagrams and conversion equipment needed to feed excess solar energy into power grids was created.

Now power companies could start to take advantage of their customers’ solar panels, and solar powered homes and businesses. Any excess energy generated by a home or business can now be fed back into electrical grids and shared with others. As a result, many homes and businesses are now creating eco-friendly energy for themselves, as well as their friends and neighbors.

Besides being partially responsible for the development of solar energy systems, electronic and electrical drafters and engineers have developed new manufacturing processes for solar panels, too. These new manufacturing processes have resulted in some of the least costly solar panels on the market today.

With the price of solar panels being drastically reduced, more homes and businesses are starting to be able to take advantage of solar energy solutions. This is just the beginning of what is still to come in the solar panel energy. Electronics and electrical drafters will continue to be vital in providing valuable input and designs to create the solar powered systems.

In addition, their designs will help architects incorporate solar panels into the design concepts of the homes and businesses of tomorrow.

CAD Architectural Drafting

Whether you are tasked with creating a new solar energy system solution or have other drawing and drafting needs, call the experts at Q-Cad by phoning 800-700-3305 now. We offer a wide array of solutions and services to fit your specific project requirements.

What Does a Drafter Do?

There is a variety of different types of jobs and careers one can pursue when they enjoy drawing and creating new items either by hand or using computer applications. One such position is called a drafter. A drafter has the responsibility to take designs given to them by engineers or architects, and perform a CAD drawing conversion on the designs using the appropriate software application to convert it into a digitalized version.

In cases where drafters receive an electronic version of the design, their job is to review the design, ensure it is in the right software application and file format, and find any potential errors or other details that need correcting. Essentially, they are responsible for cleaning up the design and creating the final version.

CAD Drawing Conversion

They are often enabled to add, modify, and change the details of the designs and determine the necessary dimensions, as well as determine what materials and procedures are required to create the item.

In addition, they spend a great deal of time working in CAD apps putting the finishing touches on designs so the finalized and approved versions can be printed, viewed, shared electronically, or transferred into BIM (Building Information Modeling) systems.

Drafters typically work alongside engineers, architects, construction project managers, and other professionals. They often utilize both 2D and 3D renderings of the design to demonstrate how different elements within the design are meant to work together and how changes have an effect on the product being built.

Most drafters specialize in a particular field that interests them most. Five of the specialized drafting fields include:

  • Electronics – Drafters in this field design electronics components, wiring diagrams, circuit board assembly designs, other electronic-related drawings, and diagrams used by technicians for replacing and repairing electronic components.
  • Architectural – Architectural drafters help design buildings and structures of all sizes for both commercial and residential projects. Some architectural drafters also specialize based upon the types of building material being used.
  • Civil Engineering – Civil engineering drafters are responsible for designing topographical maps used for a various projects, like flood control, bridges, interstates, and highways.
  • Mechanical – Drafters in this specialized area create designs used to manufacture machinery, equipment, and tools used in numerous industries, ranging from construction to medicine, as well as the assembly order instructions.
  • Electrical – Electrical drafters should not be confused with electronics drafters. Electrical drafters create wiring diagrams that are used to install, repair, and replace electrical systems in residential and commercial buildings, power plants, and manufacturing facilities.

Specialization has its benefits, as it allows a drafter to obtain additional training and experience in one of several different industries to further their knowledge. Drafters even help design and create theme park rides and attractions, like some of the world’s fastest and biggest roller coasters!

AutoCAD Drafting

We hope you have enjoyed learning more about what a drafter does and the career specialization options. If you require a drafter for any type of project, no matter the size or scope, please feel free to contact us, here at Q-Cad by calling 800-700-3305 today.

Design Your Dream Home with Architectural Drafting Services

The planning stage for custom designing your dream home is the most essential stage of the entire project. You should not rush through the process, as the level of attention and detail you give to this phase will determine whether the finished product will become your dream home.

Design Your Home

While there are tons of architectural home drawings online, most people find they do not satisfy all of their needs. A better solution is to use these drawings as inspiration, retain the services of your own professional architect, and use these tips to help your expert create your dream home:

  • Start with a Basic Drawing – You do not have to own CAD architectural drafting design software to get started. You can sketch your ideas onto a piece of paper to get them out of your head. Remember to make a list of amenities and features you would like each area of the home to have. For individual rooms, feel free to make separate sketches.
  • Consider Your Future Needs – One of the biggest mistakes people make when building a custom home is not considering future needs. Are you planning to start a family? Could your parents or in-laws have to move in with you, as they get older? Do you have children in college who might move back home after they graduate?
  • Consider the Landscaping and the Lot Size – You may already own the land where the home will be built, or could still be shopping for land. Before your design is finalized, you will want to purchase the land. Key aspects of the home design need to maximize the lot size and features. For instance, if you have a wooded area behind the home, you might want to have more windows facing this direction.
  • Determine the Natural Lighting of the Property – To maximize the amount of natural light coming into the home, you need to know the direction of the sun in relation to the home. You might also want to have your designer incorporate skylights in key areas to bring in even more light.
  • Make a List of Priorities – It is easy to go over budget if you do not have a list of priorities of the features you desire in your dream home. Put those aspects that are the most important to you at the top, and others you would like to have but could live without at the bottom.
  • Incorporate Eco-Friendly Features – Solar panels, tankless water heaters, and other eco-friendly features add value to the home. Plus, it is easier to install them while the home is being built.

Remember, architects are there to lend their expertise and knowledge to help you design and build your dream home. They will offer suggestions and ideas for you to consider while they work with you to ensure the final design is everything you expected, and more! For professional help in designing your dream home, call Q-Cad at 800-700-3305 today.

Architectura Drafting Services

LaGuardia Airport in New York Breaks Ground on Complete Rebuild

At the end of July, New York City’s LaGuardia Airport broke ground on the first phase of its redevelopment project. The significance of this project is it is the first completely rebuilt airport project of its kind in over twenty years in the United States. The project has a current estimated cost of $4 billion.

LaGuardia Airport

The first phase will build a 1.3 million square foot terminal with 35 gates and a parking garage. The new terminal will feature the latest in state-of-the-art and eco-friendly designs and amenities. The CAD architectural drafting design is anticipated to receive LEED Gold certification for its sustainable design concept.

Once completed, the new terminal will include intuitive features for people to quickly navigate through the terminal, while incorporating efficient movement for both departing and arriving passengers. Among the eco-friendly features, natural lighting will be predominant throughout the facility, along with LED lighting.

People waiting to depart for flights will have spacious waiting areas with ample seating, complete with recharging stations and other modern technologies. In addition, the new terminal will have shorter walking distances from the curbside drop off areas to TSA screen areas, which are also being overhauled to incorporate more effective and efficient screening processes, and faster movement with shorter waiting times.

The first phase is expected to be completed and open in 2018. Other development phases will be completed at regular intervals, with the main terminal to be fully opened by 2020, and additional gates to be finished by 2021.

OpenBIM initiatives were incorporated into the fully redesigned airport. As such, improvements beyond modernized amenities for people are also being made that will focus on collaboration and infrastructural improvements and aspects for the entire project.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners will be responsible for building, maintaining, and operating the new airport once it opens. The finished project is expected to generate 18,000 direct and indirect jobs for the New York airport. Anticipated wages are $1.3 billion for these employees. Further, the new airport will stimulate $5.2 billion for the New York City economy.

LaGuardia Airport has been an essential part of the New York City transportation network, and an essential part of the city’s economy. However, the current facility has become outdated and small. Overcrowding, delays, and other such problems are common occurrences in the existing airport facility.

The new LaGuardia Airport transforms the facility into an excellent, modern world-class, and leading transportation facility for the future. New York City has always been at the leading edge of architectural design projects and continues this tradition with the construction of the new airport.

Airport in New York

If you need help redesigning an airport, building, home, or other structure in your area, please feel free to contact the experts at Q-Cad at 800-700-3305. We offer a wide array of services and solutions to fit your needs and budget.