Tag Archives: AutoCAD drafting

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.

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.

Digitalize Your Office with Paper to CAD Conversion

Are you tired of looking through stacks of large format paper drafting documents? Do you waste hours in oversized filing drawers searching for a single document? Are you noticing the pile of unfiled stacks of drawings and other related CAD output has overtaken your desk and looks like you are in the process of building a fort?

Paper to CAD

If you answered yes to any or all of these, then you will seriously want to consider a paper to CAD conversion project. Converting paper drawings into CAD files will benefit your office and organization. First, you will no longer have to worry about trying to find a single drawing or drafting document in an eight-foot pile of papers, or getting lost in your filing room.

Digitalized CAD files are easily accessible through a variety of applications. You can even have the electronic files converted into PDF format if you do not have a CAD software application. Once converted, they can be organized in file folders on your computer, on a network server, or in the Cloud. You could even have your IT department create a searchable database by indexing each of the digitalized files.

Next, your office will no longer look like you brought your kids to work and let them construct a high rise around your desk with all of your drafting, CAD, and other paper documents. Rather, you can regain control of your office and project workflows because you will have the required drawings right at your fingertips, through your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Another benefit you gain by digitalizing your office is the flexibility to easily share CAD files with other employees, vendors, and clients. You no longer have to rely upon a shipping service to deliver paper drawings or worry about postponing meetings when deliveries run late. Instead, you simply email or share the file with the desired individual through online applications, like Dropbox or Google Docs.

AutoCAD Drafting

After your documents are fully converted into digital formats, you free up all that space in your filing rooms and storage areas you were using to store paper drawings and drafting documents. With this additional space, you can hire more employees or rent the space out, and you can eliminate the added costs of offsite paper document storage.

The best part of electronic documents is you can have the files backed up on a regular basis, so you never have to worry about potential disasters, and losing the actual paper drawings to fires, water damage, and so on. If you ever have a catastrophic event that effects your business, your drawings will be safe, as long as you remembered to keep a backup of the files offsite or in the Cloud.

For more information or assistance in planning a paper to CAD drawing conversion project, contact the experts at Q-Cad today by calling 800-700-3305.

Ways to Open AutoCAD Drafting Files for Non-CAD Experts

There are several types of industries and positions where you are given AutoCAD drafting files to perform your job. You could be a production manager on a factory floor, and have to review parts and finished good schematics to confirm items are being built correctly. You might be a construction foreman and be given a set of blueprints to verify buildings are constructed correctly. No matter the type of position you have, you need to have a general understanding of how to open the files and read the drawings.

There are several different options for opening and accessing CAD files. Most CAD files are saved in DWG format. As such, you can use a computer viewer app, online browser app, mobile app, a CAD software program, or use a CAD drawing conversion app to convert the file from DWG into other formats, like PDF.

Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks. A viewer app is ideal for desktop and laptop computers where you just need to open the file, but do not need to edit it. Additionally, you do not have to be connected online to open the file, as long as you have saved it to your local hard drive.

An online browser app is perfect if you need to access the file from multiple workstations. The DWG file can be stored in the Cloud, where you simply select the app you want to use, and then open the file. Some even include editing features, if you need to make minor edits or revisions. The main drawback of this method is you have to be connected online to work with the file.

AutoCAD Drafting

With a mobile app, you have the most freedom and flexibility to open CAD files. You do need to have a tablet device or smartphone to use this option. However, you do not have be connected to data as long as you already downloaded and installed the app, and the file is stored locally on the phone or tablet. Some mobile apps also include the ability to make minor edits.

CAD software gives you the most flexibility for working with a wide range of files. You have full editing and viewing options. However, one potential drawback is the cost associated with buying the software, especially if you are not creating or editing CAD files on a frequent basis.

Lastly, in cases where you require editing, paper to CAD file conversions, and other advanced functions beyond your abilities, do not be afraid to consult with a CAD expert like Q-Cad. CAD professionals have easy access to a diverse range of tools to help you edit, create, convert, and more.

Plus, you will have your own “team” of experienced CAD professionals to consult whenever you have questions, concerns, or need help accessing or opening a CAD file. For more information about Q-Cad’s diverse range of CAD services and solutions, contact us today at 800-700-3305.

CAD Drawing Conversion

Bringing the Internet of Things to Life in Existing High Rise Buildings

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been gaining traction in the home housing industry and market, because of the potential it offers homeowners. While many people are excited about the possibilities and enhancements it can do to make their lives more convenient at home, they should not discount what the IoT can do when applied to commercial buildings and high rise structures.

Some of the biggest expenses for building owners are electricity, and heating and cooling costs. While there have been several eco-friendly strides made, like placing motion sensors and timers in work areas to control lighting and using programmable thermostats to regulate building temperatures, these are only the tip of the“iceberg” compared to the possibilities offered by integrating IoT technologies into commercial structures.

High Rise Buildings

One thing IoT can bring to the table is better automation and maintenance of systems found in commercial buildings. Since IoT utilizes Wi-Fi enabled technology, systems can be upgraded to communicate through specialized software applications as to their status and condition. For instance, building maintenance technicians can be alerted when a lightbulb burns out in a light fixture, or notified when a system is operating out of preset parameters. As a result, maintenance will become more efficient, as technicians will know exactly what systems need attention.

Further, depending upon the type of IoT technology integrated with the system, diagnostics and other such functions could be conducted remotely without having to manually visit and touch the system. Not to mention, various analyses of system operations are possible, where a determination of the energy usage of the system, as well as a breakdown of the total costs by floor or individual section of the building can be performed.

For building owners, the IoT translates into lower operational costs. Energy usage will be able to be optimized throughout the building based upon current occupancy. For example, if there are only a few people working in one area of the building, only those systems in that area need to be operational. In the rest of the building, the systems could be powered down, put in “stand-by” mode, or adjusted accordingly during non-peak and overnight hours.

Integrating the IoT into existing structures will take time. Ideally, building owners should concentrate on one system at a time, rather than attempting to add this technology to multiple systems at once. In addition, the complexity of the system should be evaluated to determine potential challenges and the costs to adapt IoT technologies.

It is also important to remember the long-term pay-off of IoT integration. Even if the costs are somewhat expensive to implement, in the long run the energy savings and reductions in one’s carbon footprint could be substantial to justify investing into IoT now.

Businessman icon pushing button cloud lock

For assistance in creating design schematics, drawings, and other CAD drawing conversion projects, contact Q-Cad at 800-700-3305 to discover our wide range of customizable solutions.

Construction Materials: New and Exciting Innovations

The construction industry relies upon specific materials to erect buildings and homes of all sizes and shapes. However, technology and scientific research have been slowly creeping into this industry and giving a glimpse of potential solutions for the buildings of tomorrow. These new and exciting innovations will eventually start to become a reality, once more research has been conducted and it is more cost-efficient to incorporate them into construction projects.

CAD Drawing Conversion

Eco-Friendly Self-Cooling Roofs

Roofs get extremely hot from direct sunlight. While there is currently a variety of solutions to help cool roofs, like attic fans, scientists have developed a thermos-responsive hydrogel which can be used as a roof covering. It is basically a special gel that mimics the cooling effects of the body through perspiration.

How the gel works is that it contains properties to store water for an extended period of time, from rain water and morning dew. During the day, as the roof heats up, the gel slowly releases the stored water over the roof. This causes the roof to cool and also helps reduce temperatures inside the home to keep it cooler. As a result, people would use less energy to cool their homes, while also reducing their carbon footprints.

Self-Repairing Concrete

This innovation incorporates mixing micro- and nano-scale capsules into the cement. Over time, as small cracks occurs, the capsules break open, releasing a self-repair agent to reseal and repair the crack. While currently effective on very small cracks, essentially the technology could be adapted and improved upon for larger scale cracks.

However, further research is still needed to determine the most effective delivery method. Part of the problem is ensuring the capsules are able to remain intact during mixing processes, yet still are able to break open if the concrete develops a crack.

SLIPS (Slippery, Liquid Infused, Porous Surfaces)

This new technology incorporates both a lubricating film and a porous material. The material is strong enough to repel a wide range of substances and conditions, like extreme pressure, extreme temperatures, oil, and ice, by releasing a film over the exterior of the material. The film creates a very slippery surface to help repel substances and provide resistance.

Current research is hopeful the development of the technology and the materials it can be used with can be accomplished without the need of manufacturing specialized materials. Ideally, the development of SLIPS materials will be able to be accomplished using affordable materials. In addition, its application could extend across numerous industries, from construction and architectural, to fuel and medical devices.


It will be interesting to see how these three innovative products and solutions are eventually integrated into current and future building materials, as well as how they affect current AutoCAD drafting designs. For all of your CAD, architectural and drawing needs, contact the design experts at Q-Cad today by calling 800-700-3305 to discover our wide array of custom solutions.



Increase Exposure for Green Building Technologies at Trade Shows

People have become more aware of global warming and implementing solutions to help reduce their carbon footprints in recent years. These initiatives have spread to numerous industries and market segments, including architecture and engineering fields. Today, professionals in these trades need to make sure they are implementing green building technologies as part of their AutoCAD drafting processes.

Design Engineer IN 3D works

Sharing and educating building contractors, business owners, and private consumers on how ideas are converted from paper, to CAD, to actual results is possible by putting them on display at trade shows. Trade shows allow organizations the opportunity to showcase their latest innovations and ideas, while at the same time gaining input and feedback from those in attendance.

When people can see how various green building technologies can better their homes, buildings, and offices, they are more excited about them and willing to make upgrades or implement them in new construction projects. There is no better way to gain knowledge about a new green building technology than to be able to touch and feel it, and have the opportunity to speak directly to a representative of the company hosting the booth or the building technology.

Allowing people “hands-on” interactivity with various displays lets them try out how various technologies work and function. They are able to ask questions, gain insight on how the technology could potentially be utilized for current and future projects, and take advantage of any incentives of offers, like arranging a no-obligation meeting with one of the trade show booth sales people after the show.

Is Your Trade Show Booth Really Green?

With more and more exhibitions showcasing green and eco-friendly building solutions, one has to wonder what happens to these displays after the trade show. Unfortunately, many organizations invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into these displays, only to dismantle and toss them out at the end of the show, which is not very environmentally friendly.

The next time you are creating a trade show booth, regardless of the industry or type of event, it is worthwhile to incorporate reusability into the display and booth design. Depending on the type of display, the frame and several components could be reused for future displays, even if the theme of the booth changes. In addition, some trade show demo booths are fully reusable for numerous shows throughout the country and internationally.

Any elements of the booth that you do not intend to reuse should be recycled or donated. Plastics, electrical wiring, and circuit boards can all be recycled. Donate light fixtures and other non-recyclable components to local schools, nonprofits, or other such organizations where they would be appreciated and used.

By taking the time to ensure your trade show booth and display is eco-friendly, not only does this let your booth visitors and potential customers know your organization fully supports green technologies, but also lets them know your company truly cares about the environment.

For professional assistance in CAD drawing conversion and other AutoCAD design solutions to highlight your organization’s green building technologies or trade show booth designs, please feel free to contact the experts at Q-Cad today by calling 800-700-3305 to speak with a representative.

AutoCAD Drafting

3D Printing Making Inroads into Mass Manufacturing Industry

Additive manufacturing (AM) is the latest catch-phrase in the mass manufacturing industry. In recent years, the introduction of 3D drafting printing and related technologies has further paved the way for mass production of AM parts and components. However, in order to be cost-effective, the prices for 3D printers and printing materials is going to have to become more affordable for more operations.

During the last decade, only large and global organizations with deep pockets have been able to explore how AM can benefit their operations, and what processes, if any, could be replaced with 3D printing technologies. One of the challenges, even for these major business firms, has been with the limitations imposed by the types of materials which can be printed with 3D printers.

When 3D printers were first introduced, they only worked with various plastics. In the past few years or so, newer technologies now make it possible to work with various metal-based powders to print metal parts and components. Even with these advances, the main concern for all operations, regardless of size, is what the final costs will be, using AM compared to traditional subtractive manufacturing processes.

Over the last year, there have also been a number of smaller and more affordable 3D printers to come onto the market. As such, small- and medium-sized operations are now just beginning to explore the wide array of possibilities 3D technologies and AM could bring to their operations. These new inroads will continue to support AM, but do not count on AM replacing every single mass manufacturing process—at least not for the foreseeable future.

Traditional Methods

3D AM Will Not Entirely Replace Traditional Methods

The reason AM is not going to replace mass production is because there are just certain procedures that are going to be able to be completed using traditional methods for significantly smaller costs. Further, specific processes using traditional methods are going to continue to be much faster. For instance, rolling out a flat and smooth piece of aluminum is easier and quicker using traditional methods, than attempting to print the same sheet using aluminum powders and a 3D printer.

Additive manufacturing’s advances into mass production industries is further complicated by the lack of a wide range of printable materials, speed of the printers, reliability of the printing processes, ability to ensure consistency and repeatability, and other limitations found within current, compatible software applications.

Another concern many mass manufacturers have is the establishment of industry standards for 3D printing and AM. Currently, each organization is responsible for determining what constitutes acceptable industry standards by relying upon the standards used for traditional manufacturing practices. As such, there can be variations in standards between what one organization considers a standard and what another might not.

It will be interesting to see how AM impacts the manufacturing industry over the next few decades. In the meantime, for all of your 3D drafting, CAD drawing conversion, and related services and solutions, contact Q-Cad at 800-700-3305 now, to speak with a representative and discover how our solutions can benefit your manufacturing operation.

Manufacturing Industry

Benefits Small Businesses Can Gain from Using Architectural Drafting Services

The architectural industry is a specialized market where people spend years developing their skills, becoming familiar with software applications, and keeping up on the latest technological advances. In some cases, especially for small businesses, getting assistance from experienced architectural drafting services makes more sense than attempting to recruit, find, and hire a person with the skills and expertise your company requires.

Even if you already have your own in-house architects, they could still be developing and refining their crafts, or be limited in what they can create, based upon how much you are able to invest into the resources they require to do their jobs. By no means does using an outside firm take away from your own employees or their current skills and abilities.

Architectural Drafting Services

Rather, an external firm supplements your existing teams, and lends its expertise and knowledge to further enhance your business. One difference most business owners notice between their employees and those of a third-party firm are the varied work-related experiences of the outside company. Third-party architects tend to be exposed to a wide array of projects over the years for many different business operations in varied industries.

This level of exposure provides businesses with a unique perspective for addressing project tasks, concerns, and details. For instance, your employees might have a general idea of how to approach a particular task, but are not entirely sure the best methods to use to get the desired results. On the other hand, an architect from an external firm could potentially realize the most efficient and cost-effective way to achieve those results.

Another benefit small businesses experience from using a third-party firm is not having to worry about the hardware and software costs associated with acquiring the latest and most advanced technologies used in the architectural industry. The third-party firm covers all of the costs of providing their employees with the tools they require to deliver the services and support to their clients, like your small business.

Depending upon the types of services and support you require, your employees can learn a great deal from an expert architect at a third-party firm. They are often open and willing to share information, provide guidance, and train your employees to help them become more proficient. Once your employees are confident in their newly found abilities, you are able to easily modify and change the types of solutions and services the third -party firm provides your business.

Seeking help from an external operation could potentially result in delivering a higher level of service and quality of product to your customers. Being able assure your customers you can deliver high quality consistently is vital for your business. Once you are able to prove yourself to your customers, not only does this turn into referrals to other potential clients, but also the likelihood of repeat business from existing clients.

To learn more about architectural drafting services and solutions for your business, call the experts at Q-Cad by phoning 800-700-3305 now.

AutoCAD Drafting

Demand for Designers with 3D AutoCAD Drafting and STEM Expertise Is Growing

Since 2012, the demand for designers with 3D AutoCAD drafting experience has been growing at a fast rate. According to an employment report conducted by Elance, there was an increase of hiring rates of 51% from August 2012 to August 2013. The increase in hiring rates has continued to increase at a steady pace since the report was released.

Part of the reason for the increase in hiring rates is directly related to filling positions in CAD industries with people who have experience with 3D technologies. As 3D printing technologies are rapidly advancing, it is becoming harder for organizations to find people with the right skill sets to fill available positions.

Another reason for the increase in demand is for positions that require Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering (STEM) expertise. STEM professionals provide organizations with the ability to adapt to emerging and advancing technologies more quickly, and successfully implement new processes and procedures to remain competitive.

AutoCAD Drafting

Options for Filling Talent Gaps

In order to meet the demand for both 3D drafting professionals and STEM professionals, many organizations are turning to online freelance recruiting sites, like Elance (now Upwork). Posting available positions on freelancer sites makes it possible for organizations to extend their search for potential candidates, both within the United States and internationally.

In addition, once they find suitable candidates for the position, organizations have the option to hire the person on a freelance-contract basis initially to see whether their skill set is the right match for their company. Further, companies can hire freelance professionals on a per-project basis, rather than hiring them as a direct, long-term employee. This allows companies the flexibility to find the right talent they require for specific projects. If the freelancer has much to offer the business, they always have the option to hire the freelancer permanently.

In regards to what skill sets companies are seeking, it largely depends upon the industry and their short term and long term objectives for implementing the latest technologies as part of their operations. For instance, in the CAD and manufacturing industries, many companies are exploring whether it will be more beneficial for them to fill talent on their own by searching for suitable candidates or to utilize third-party service providers that already have the talent they require to address talent gaps.

Using a third-party service provider has its benefits, especially for small and medium-sized business operations. Not only does it give them direct access to the talent they require right now, but they also do not have to worry about having to spend time recruiting and searching for the right job candidate. As the demand for 3D CAD and STEM professionals continues to grow, relying upon freelance sites and outsourcing are going to continue to be viable solutions for many organizations in various industries.

For more information about CAD drafting, 3D drafting, and related architectural and engineering services and solutions, please contact Q-Cad at 800-700-3305 today to speak to a representative.