Tag Archives: 3D drafting

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.

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.

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 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.

3D Printing Trends: The Shapie

When smartphones with digital cameras first become more prevalent with Internet connectivity, the selfie was born. People, tweens, teens, and kids of all ages pose for pictures of themselves to post on Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook. In the 3D printing technology industry a new way to capture one’s self is starting to emerge, and is quickly becoming the latest craze, called the shapie.

3D Drafting

A shapie is essentially a 3D printer portrait of a person or group of people. The shapie is a miniaturized version of you. The size of shapies varies, and most average between 8 and 10 inches. A variation of the shapie some people are also making are miniature busts of their heads, which range in size from 4 to about 8 inches.

There are several different ways to create a shapie. The first option is to find a scanning point in your city and go to that location to have your shapie image made. Once you arrive at the location, 3D selfie images are photographed of you and anyone else you want to include in the shapie.

After you are satisfied with the 3D selfies that were taken, you select the ones you want to be made into shapies. The 3D selfies are uploaded into a 3D drafting and printing software application. From there they are converted into printable files.

The other option is to download free software and take 3D selfies of yourself and anyone else from the comfort of your home using your computer. If you choose the “at home” option, keep in mind there are specific hardware requirements depending upon the shapie software application. Also keep in mind, if you are going to make shapies at home, lighting and the quality of the camera used to take the 3D selfie pictures could affect the final product.

After you upload your 3D selfies, you will have to decide how you want to obtain your shapies. With either method, you can submit an order where they will be printed and delivered to your home. If there is a reliable 3D printer in your area, another option is for you to take the files to the printer and have them print your shapies. Lastly, if you have a 3D printer of your own at home, you can simply generate and print your shapies yourself.

3D Printing Trends

It typically takes about 30 minutes to print shapies using a professional printing service. At home, output times can take several hours, based upon the type of 3D printer you own and processing power of your computer. If you are looking for the best detail and likeness in your shapies, it is recommended to either order them online or use a professional printer with the latest 3D printing technologies.

We hope you have enjoyed learning more about the shapie and how it is becoming a new trend. For all of your CAD, 2D, 3D, and architectural drafting and drawing services, call Q-CAD today at 800-700-3305.

Advantages to 3D Drafting and CAD Software

Today’s demands on engineers and architects can be overwhelming, with many professionals asked to take on additional responsibilities and tasks, while still being expected to perform their required job functions. If you are feeling stressed, you need to consider how 3D technologies, like 3D drafting and CAD software and related solutions are beneficial to you organization. Both have several advantages and are meant to help improve engineering and architectural design projects.

  1. You complete tasks more efficiently and save time. 3D technologies help take the guesswork out of working with 2D designs and cut down the amount of time required to generate finished drawings. Many 3D CAD applications also have unique features to give you better control to test, analyze, isolate, change, and approve specific sections of the design.
  2. Costly mistakes are less likely to occur. One of the major benefits is the option to conduct tests, like for tolerances and stress factors, before you build a product or building. If there is a problem, you can make corrections and retest. In addition, with advanced design tools and tests, you are able to measure fluid flow rates, vibrations, and more on structural elements, and even simulate environmental and other real-world factors to discover potential flaws.
  3. Prototypes can be built faster and are more detailed. If you connect a 3D printer to your computer, you can use the 3D CAD software app to print a prototype or miniature of your finished product or building.

3D Drafting

  1. You have better control and precision over designs. You have the flexibility to analyze and test each component, part, or segment independently of others or choose only specific ones to test simultaneously. With increased control, design cycle times are reduced, mistakes are easily found, and overall quality is improved.
  2. 3D designs have that “WOW” factor. Look at a 2D design and compare the same design in 3D. See how much better the design looks? You can even “step into” the 3D design to give prospective clients a virtual “tour” of the building, or an in-depth look at their product. Again, using a 3D printer to print the design is the finishing touch that puts the “icing on the cake.”

As you can see, there are several advantages to using 3D CAD and drafting software and related technologies. In cases where you are still stuck working with 2D designs, or lack the expertise to convert from 2D to 3D, help is available from the professional CAD and architectural designers at Q-Cad.

We offer a wide variety of customizable options and are happy to lend our knowledge, skills, and experience to ensure your clients are happy with the end results. Please feel free to contact us at 800-700-3305, now, and discover how we can help you take your business to the next level with 3D CAD and architectural technologies!

CAD Drawing Conversion

The Benefits of the Paperless Office for Architectural and Design Firms

Converting drawings from paper to CAD digitally stored files offers numerous benefits. If you are still “on the fence” and not sure whether now is a good time to implement a paperless office solution, consider the following reasons how a paperless office could help your company.

  • Saves Money and Time – You are not spending money on paper, ink, printers, printer maintenance, and storage for electronically stored drawings. Your employees will also spend less time searching for the drawing they require, since they can access them electronically.


  • Controls Access and Increases Security – You can control who has access to what digitally stored drawings, as well as who can update, edit, and change them. In addition, digital drawings are more secure than paper ones.
  • Makes Projects and Work Processes Easier – Managing drawings digitally, with the right documents management system, makes it possible for users to collaborate on projects, speed up the transfer of drawings as project tasks are completed, and ensure everyone is using the latest revision.
  • Increases Productivity – Since all drawings are being accessed electronically, your employees are able to get more work done. No longer are they wasting time in filing rooms searching through stacks of paper drawings to find the one they need to work on.
  • Makes Sending Drawings to Clients More Efficient – Gone are the days of worrying about getting a drawing to a shipping service for priority overnight delivery to your clients. Not only do you reduce your shipping costs, but clients can receive their drawings electronically through email, the Cloud, or other digital delivery options.
  • Fairly Quick Return on Investment – Rolling out a paperless office system does have initial upfront costs, like purchasing a document management system, having paper drawings scanned and saved in digital formats, and so on. However, most businesses tend to see a return on their investment in about six months, depending upon the paperless solutions they chose.
  • Makes Outsourcing Projects/Project Tasks More Efficient – Whether you require architectural drafting services, paper to digital conversions, or other project tasks, using digital-based solutions makes it easier for you to outsource to reliable firms, regardless of whether they are in your location or someplace else in the United States.

While there are times it is still necessary to have printed, hard copy schematics, blueprints, and other drawings, it is still beneficial to move as many tasks and functions to paperless solutions. Not only are you helping to reduce your carbon footprint, but also will discover the efficiency and cost savings you gain with paperless solutions.

For help with implementing a paper-to-paperless drawing conversion project, drafting services, architectural services, and other related services, please feel free to contact the experienced staff at Q-Cad by calling us at 800-700-3305 today. We have been providing customizable services and solutions for businesses of all sizes since 1992, and never outsource any work. Plus, our office is located here in the United States in Las Cruces, New Mexico.


Will the Future of Construction Include 3D Printed Homes and Buildings?

While architects, engineers, and other construction professionals are currently experimenting with 3D drafting and printing small homes and other structures, the application of this building process is still a far way off from being an effective construction solution of the future for large, multi-story buildings. Part of the problem stems from the underlying support systems which help maintain the building’s integrity.

Wood, concrete, and steel are currently the normal materials used to develop the “skeleton” of a building and provide the necessary support. Being able to replicate the structural support these materials provides is going to require some creative thinking and development of potential solutions.


With 3D printed materials, their structural integrity will need to be reinforced and enhanced by inventing new technologies or combining traditional methods with the latest innovations in 3D printable materials.

One potential approach is to use carbon fiber materials to print small “modules” that can be “snapped” together, much like children’s plastic building blocks. In between the modules would be open spaces where electrical wiring, plumbing, and spray foam insulation could be applied.

Another option is to specially fabricate 3D printed “mesh” materials to create the underlying base where traditional building materials could easily be attached to create the necessary support, before setting 3D printed “modules” in place. The “mesh” could be a suitable replacement for conventional rebar and I-beam support used in current building designs.

In the housing construction industry, the application of a 3D printed dwelling is closer than for large, multi-story buildings. Being compared to current modular and mobile homes of today, the future 3D printed homes of tomorrow will follow similar design and construction processes.

The individual sections of the home will be printed at an off-site production facility. Then, each component will be transported to the home construction site and assembled into the home. Another approach is printing the roof, interior walls, and exterior walls in smaller panels or sections, and using these along with traditional building materials to construct the home. The panels are assembled onsite, completing the entire section using the appropriate materials and hardware, before being lifted and set into place.

Another potential design concept is a departure from the traditional square or rectangular design of homes. Rather, the home is designed using curves to help reduce the stresses placed on the support structures, while at the same time deliver a “futuristic” appeal. The key with 3D printer houses is ensuring the interior supports are strong enough to provide sufficient structural support for the exterior components and roof when they are secured and attached in place.

As advancements continue to be made in 3D printable materials, it will be interesting to see how engineers, designers, and architects incorporate these advances into the future homes and buildings of tomorrow. For professional assistance with building design and architectural drafting services and solutions, call the experts at Q-Cad now, at 800-700-3305.




How the Internet of Things (IoT) Will Affect CAD Designers and Engineers

Most of us have at least heard the term “Internet of Things,” or IoT, in the past year or so. This latest term is a fairly new technological concept that has to do with electronic devices being able to communicate with one another, as well as send/retrieve information over the Internet, like sending user data or downloading software updates and patches.

From small medical devices to full-sized kitchen appliances, and everything in between, the IoT has the potential to transform how people obtain and share information. In addition, the IoT makes it possible to track devices, operate them remotely, and more. Whether it is turning on the lights at home, downloading the refrigerator’s inventory from the grocery store, or checking on the status of manufacturing processes being performed by automated robots, the IoT will make it easier for people and businesses to access the information they require, when they require it.

3D Drafting

However, the IoT is much more than sharing and obtaining data or controlling devices within your home from work. For CAD designers and engineers, the IoT is going to become an essential aspect to the 3D drafting and design of products, components, finished goods, and even homes of the future. Currently, most designers and engineers have not been fully involved in the IoT design process, from a mechanical point of view.

As a result, manufacturing firms are starting to discover design flaws when attempting to integrate IoT technologies into actual products. Part of the reason for this problem is the IoT tends to be more of a software development and an electronic design component, often left to software developers and electronic designers and engineers, not CAD designers and engineers.

When problems are discovered, the initial CAD drawing has to be reworked to address concerns about IoT technologies—most often the interface used and the placement of it within the product.

In addition, product redesigns increase development and manufacturing costs, and create delays in being able to deliver products on time and within budget. In some cases, while initially it might seem there is not a design problem and the IoT technologies can be installed as desired, later, after the product is fully designed, heating and cooling problems or communication issues could be discovered, further increasing the costs to correct these flaws.

As IoT technologies continue to grow and expand, it is going to be essential for CAD designers and engineers to be included in the development and creation of IoT products, and work together closely with IoT software developers and electronic designers and engineers. Initial product schematics are going to have to take into account a wide range of features and concerns, such as the amount of sufficient space that will be required for IoT interfaces.

Ongoing project collaboration is going to become second nature, with updates and changes to drawings needing to be in sync for everyone at all times during the development of IoT products.

Q-Cad is here to lend our expertise and collaboration for all of your firm’s IoT design and development product projects. To learn more about our extensive CAD drawing and drafting services, call us now at 800-700-3305.


How Architectural Drafting Has Changed over the Years

Prior to the creation of computers and CAD software, architects had to rely upon manually drafting schematics, drawings, and blueprints. These manual processes required spending a great deal of time comparing details and cross referencing multiple documents and related drawings to ensure they were completed accurately and correctly.

3D Drafting

Even a minor mistake could be costly if it was not found and corrected before a product was built or a construction process started. In the event there were errors, it could mean having to tear up the initial paper drawing and start all over creating a new drawing. In the event there were errors on more than one drawing, each drawing would have to be re-created from scratch.

Collaboration on projects required making copies of drawings for each person, as well as mailing them to people located in different areas. If there were different people contributing various aspects of a finalized drawing, it would need to be completed in sequential order, with newly updated drawings and copies being shared on a frequent basis. As such, project timelines could become rather lengthy.

Most notably, the majority of drawings were created in 2D formats, which could present challenges for those responsible for transforming the drawing into an actual 3D finished product or building. However, CAD architectural drafting software was responsible for revolutionizing the architectural industry.

Today, with the use of the right software applications, architects can create drawings faster and easier. If there are mistakes, rather than having to start over from the very beginning, they only have to edit the areas within the electronic drawing. Further, some programs even incorporate simulations for 2D and 3D modeling that point out potential issues and problems.

CAD Architectural Drafting

Converting from 2D to 3D drawings requires instructing the program to change how it renders the drawing. This feature makes it possible to view every section in full detail and have an idea of how the finalized product or building will look.

Project collaboration has gotten simpler, too. Instead of having to make copies and/or mail them to those involved on the project, it is easy to create a shared document storage area in the Cloud for everyone to have instant access to the latest versions of the drawings.

In cases where specific people are contributing toward a drawing, they are able to work using a shared file and add their updates without affecting the work being completed by others. As a result of innovative drafting software applications, project timelines are able to be streamlined, and can potentially be completed much faster and in greater detail.

Compared to traditional architectural drafting methods, the money invested into CAD software pays for itself in the long run, as it increases productivity and makes it possible to take on more projects. For assistance with creating architectural drawings, 2D to 3D conversions, and related services from professional and highly experienced architects, contact Q-Cad today by calling 800-700-3305.