Tag Archives: CAD architectural drafting

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 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.

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

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

Small Construction Firms Benefit from Outsourcing AutoCAD Drafting

In the past, it could be difficult for small construction firms to compete with larger and global organizations. Smaller firms are often limited to the amount of resources they have available to invest into CAD architectural drafting and conversion technologies. It is not uncommon for small firms to still be using software applications that are several years old and outdated.

As such, it can make competing with large construction companies more difficult, since many large operations have deeper pockets and the ability to invest in the latest drafting and drawing technologies.

CAD Architectural Drafting

However, in recent years, small construction companies have been able to compete with larger firms by obtaining outside help from experienced CAD and architectural drawing and drafting companies. Third-party support is a cost-effective solution and helps overcome barriers to entry in certain construction markets, as well as provides other benefits, as follows:

  1. CAD firms specialize in CAD and architectural support services. This means the company invests their own money and resources into the latest technologies and software apps in the drafting industry. In addition, they are well-versed and have experience working on a wide array of construction projects, from lending their expertise for single-family dwellings to high rise office buildings.
  2. CAD firms recruit and hire talented personal. You do not have to spend countless hours looking for your own experienced CAD professionals to hire, since the third-party CAD firm has already invested the money to find the best people in the industry.
  3. All training and development is paid for by CAD firms. As technology constantly changes in the drafting and architectural industries, CAD designers need to continuously update their skills and improve their abilities. CAD firms ensure their designers receive the ongoing training and development required to guarantee your projects receive the highest level of detail. Plus, your construction firm does not have to worry about paying for any of the training and development costs.
  4. CAD firms help small firms work within budgetary constraints. As most small construction companies have limited resources, working with a qualified CAD drafting service enables these firms to remain within their budgets, and still be able meet the demands of project stakeholders and project goals, as well as submit bid proposals when competing with large and global construction companies.
  5. CAD firms provide access to new ideas and creativity. Even in cases where your small construction company might have a few of its own in-house CAD designers, collaborating with a third-party service can provide new insight to help overcome design challenges and bring fresh creativity to your projects.
  6. Allows small construction companies to handle multiple projects simultaneously. Rather than being limited to a few projects at a time, getting outside help could potentially result in your firm being able to bid on and work on multiple projects at the same time, while still meeting your clients’ deadlines and expectations, as well as providing them flexibility.

For additional information and to learn about other benefits that outsourcing your CAD and architectural drawing and drafting services could provide your small construction firm, contact the professional CAD designers at Q-Cad by calling 800-700-3305 today.


Are There Any Benefits of Using the Cloud for Collaborative CAD Projects?

Cloud-based computing has been growing in recent years. It has several advantages over traditional localized computing. These same advantages are why companies that utilize CAD in their day-to-day operations are evaluating whether moving CAD, architectural, and drafting applications to the Cloud is worth their time.

Architectural Drafting Services

Benefits of Using the Cloud for CAD Projects

There are numerous benefits organizations gain by using the Cloud for CAD projects. One of the main ones is it makes collaboration on CAD projects easier and simpler. Regardless of where the employee or contractor is located, they are able to access the latest versions of CAD files and documents, make updates, and save changes, all through the Cloud.

Another benefit of the Cloud is not having to worry about installing CAD software and applications onto every workstation and computer. Not only does this address licensing concerns, but it also ensures all employees are using the same version of CAD software and applications. Further, in the event of patches, updates, and upgrades, you only have to perform those on the Cloud-based server where they reside, rather than having to touch multiple workstations, computers, and network servers.

Since the CAD software and applications reside in the Cloud, you do not have to worry about minimum hardware requirements. As a result, you are able to extend the life of your current workstations and computers. In the event a computer or workstation crashes, the employee has not lost all of their CAD files and data. All they need to get back to work is another workstation or computer with access to the Cloud.

In regards to security and data protection, the Cloud makes these processes easier to manage. Cloud services offer options for nightly data backups, addressing and patching security concerns, and more. Additionally, using the Cloud guarantees you are able to get your business back up and running more quickly in the event of an unforeseen disaster.

Drawbacks of Using the Cloud for CAD Projects

Even with all the benefits of using the Cloud for CAD projects, there are a few drawbacks. There can be availability issues if you or your Cloud provider lose Internet service, or if your Cloud provider loses power in their area. Another concern is in cases where some employees, who work remotely, may not have sufficient Internet speeds or bandwidth to easily launch CAD software and apps, and work with related files and documents.

System integration challenges are another drawback for some businesses. If they currently have their CAD software and apps installed on local servers, computers, and workstations, or have customized the software and apps to fit their business needs, transitioning to the Cloud can take time, although, with the right system integration Cloud implementation plan, overcoming these concerns is possible.

For more information about architectural, engineering, and CAD drafting and conversion services for your business, call Q-Cad at 800-700-3305 today. With over 24 years of experience, we offer a variety of customizable services and solutions utilizing the latest technologies, while satisfying your objectives and budget.

CAD Drawing Conversion

Common Building Information Modeling Terms You Should Know

Building information modeling (BIM) is widely accepted for a variety of building and government projects. While many United States construction firms are aware of BIM and the terminology, other firms, especially those outside the United States, might not be current with the jargon. With changes in government requirements in countries like Germany and the United Kingdom, global construction firms and suppliers will want to take the time to brush up on their terminology and ensure they have a general understanding of the processes, protocols, and procedures.

Becoming more familiar with BIM terminology does not mean your firm has to understand every single intricacy or detail, as there are CAD architectural drafting services who can lend support, assistance, and their expertise when it comes to creating documents and putting them together for projects requiring BIM.

AutoCAD Drafting

  • Building information modeling (BIM) Protocol – This protocol is the legal agreement to keep the project progressing correctly. It defines various roles of project managers, the building standards to be used, and more. As such, material suppliers, contractors, and others working on the project are required to supply specific information at specific times as the project progresses.
  • BEP (BIM Execution Plan) – Preconstruction and post-construction are the two types of BEPs used with BIM projects. Basically, they describe the effectiveness of contractors and suppliers to provide services and materials when they are required, as well as create benchmarks to monitor the overall performance of the project.
  • EIR (Employers Information Requirements) – This BIM document details how information is going to be delivered and what processes are going to be used. The document should cover commercial requirements, technical requirements, and managerial requirements.
  • MIDP (Master Information Delivery Plan) – This is essentially a list of who is doing what and when they are doing it. This includes who is supplying AutoCAD drafting and drawing services, when drawings will be made available, what equipment is required, what contractors are providing services, what suppliers are providing materials, and so on.
  • PIM (Project Information Model) – The purpose of the PIM is to serve as a design model that incorporates all aspects of the entire project. The model can include visual and non-visual information, and outlines how each party is going to implement their part of the project.
  • CDE (Common Data Environment) –CDE helps to make the project data easily accessible utilizing collaboration, in a secure, shared area on the Cloud. This way, everyone has access to all the documents and data needed for the project, with the ability to update and make changes as needed. Not only does it help reduce errors and miscommunications, but also eliminates the need for project contributors having to provide access to their own internal systems.

Keep in mind the above information is only a generalized overview of the BIM terms and may not reflect every single aspect or detail. If you require further assistance with BIM project documents, or other CAD and architectural drawings and documents, do not hesitate to contact the experts at Q-Cad now by calling 800-700-3305.

CAD Architectural Drafting

Designing the Bridges of Tomorrow

From the Brooklyn Bridge in New York to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, bridges are a fundamental part of transportation infrastructures, not just here in the United States, but around the world. The process to build bridges starts with understanding the geographical conditions in the location where the bridge is being built. For instance, in California, bridge designers have to take into account the potential for earthquakes, while designers in the southeast U.S. and on the east coast have to account for tropical storms and hurricanes.

Architectural Drafting Services

In addition to accounting for various weather conditions, the location where the bridge is being built helps determine what type of structure needs to be created. Is the bridge being built over water, to bridge a gap over a canyon or ravine, or as an elevated structure over other roadways? In some cases, the bridge being designed may be incorporated into a combination bridge-tunnel system, much like the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Once the location and geographical conditions are understood, the bridge can start to be designed and developed using CAD architectural drafting applications. These applications make it easier to transform 2D representations into 3D digitally working models. During the design process, the designer has to decide what type of bridge will work best and what features to incorporate.

There are several different bridge types a designer could choose to work with, including cantilever, truss, arch, cable-stayed, beam, and suspension bridges. Each of these different bridge types can be built using a wide range of construction materials, including concrete, steel, polycarbonate fiber, and more. Designers should not overlook modern features, which have been added to many bridges, and should consider incorporating these into their designs, like solar panels, green spaces, and pedestrian and bike paths.

Adding solar panels to bridge designs makes it possible to take advantage of what would otherwise be unused and open space. Solar panels help harness the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. Currently there are two solar panel bridges in the world – The Blackfriars Bridge in London, UK, and the Kuripla Bridge in Brisbane, Australia. The Blackfriars Bridge produces about 900,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually and helps reduce carbon emissions with an annual savings of over 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Other modern designs feature green spaces with small gardens where food can be grown, as well as small parks for pedestrians and bikers to rest at while crossing longer bridges. In addition, modern bridges must allow for multiple traffic lanes and railways if they are being built in areas with large populations or heavy traffic.

With so many different design features and options to choose from, it is not uncommon to create multiple versions of the same bridge, while working with 3D digital representations of bridge designs created with AutoCAD drafting applications. If you need assistance with architectural and drafting designs, whether you are designing a bridge, building, or some other structure, please feel free to contact Q-Cad today at 800-700-3305 to learn more about our CAD drafting services.

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re There Still Career Opportunities for CAD Drafters (Part II)?

In Part I of this two part series, we reviewed what a CAD drafter is, how this career field has changed, and where to find employment opportunities. In Part II of this blog series, we will look at the educational requirements, job responsibilities, and salaries of today’s CAD designers (drafters).

What Education Do CAD Drafters (Designers) Need?

Today’s CAD designers will have to obtain, at the very minimum, an associate’s degree. Course work in this career field should ideally begin in high school, with a focus on art, science, computer technologies, math, and drafting. Upon entering college, students should continue to pursue courses they were unable to obtain in high school, as well as more courses in composition, engineering, technical drawing, manufacturing design processes, and CAD architectural drafting and dimensioning computer classes.

For those desiring a bachelor’s degree, most universities do not offer a 4-year degree in CAD design. However, there are viable degree choices to gain the educational experience required, such as in mathematics, engineering, computer architecture, and computer science. Some students opt to start an internship with an employer, after obtaining their associate’s degree and while pursuing a bachelor’s degree, as this helps enable them to choose the most appropriate degree and courses.


Job Responsibilities of CAD Designers

The primary job responsibility of designers will be the middle men and women who will have to bridge the gap between top level engineers and architects, and production/construction processes. In addition, CAD designers have to know how to read drawings and schematics to be able to answer questions posed to them by production/construction staff. Further, designers are going to have to become experts in their particular industry segment, as well as be proficient in basic drafting and the latest CAD computer technologies.

Salary Outlook for CAD Designers

Salaries for CAD designers are largely related to specific CAD industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 starting salaries for CAD designers ranged from $55,000 to just over $62,000 annually. Designers who specialized in electrical fields commanded the higher starting salaries, while careers in mechanical, civil, and architectural related fields started at the lower end. It is important to remember that these are median salary ranges and other factors, like the cost of living in a particular area, influence the starting salaries being offered by employers.

For employers, CAD designers provide the opportunity to save money, since they can be tasked with the bulk of layout, modification, and change work, and they eliminate the need to have to pay a much more experienced professional to do this work. In addition, new designers provide employers the ability to train them to fit with their specific industry segment and processes. As a result, the turn-around time on projects is faster and is still completed accurately and precisely, allowing the business to take on more clients and expand their operations.

If you are looking for experienced CAD designers to assist with projects or other CAD drafting services, contact Q-CAD at 800-700-3305 to speak to a representative today. We have over 23 years of experience in the industry.

Career Opportunities



Are There Still Career Opportunities for CAD Drafters (Part I)?

Over the past several decades, CAD drafters were a valid position to pursue within the CAD design industry. With advances in technology and computer applications, career growth in this a particular segment has declined in recent years. The current expected outlook for this type of career field is only expected to grow at a rate of 1% through 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

However, that does not necessarily mean there are not still career opportunities, so long as you have the right education and experience. In Part I of this two-part series, we will review what a CAD drafter is, how this career field has changed, and where to find employment opportunities.

Paper to CAD

What Is a CAD Drafter?

When computers started to become more widely adapted within the CAD industry, not many engineers and architects had the experience or knowledge required to perform the task of transferring designs from paper to CAD software applications. Hence, the position of CAD drafter was created. A CAD drafter was the person responsible for converting the drawings and schematics from paper and recreating them in an appropriate software application, as well as making updates whenever modifications were made to the original drawings.

For people who were interested in computers, drawing, and design, this was a great career to pursue. In recent years, though, employers have started treating this job as an entry level position, because it does not involve having to fully understand the intricacies of the design process. Starting salaries are much lower today than they were five or even ten years ago, but, if you are looking to get into the CAD design industry, this is a great starting position while you continue to pursue your education and gain experience.

CAD Drafter Employment Opportunities

The easiest way to get a positon as a CAD drafter is through an internship program while you are working on your associate’s or bachelor’s degree in CAD design. Many businesses in the CAD industry are rethinking this type of position and questioning whether it is still necessary. Their philosophy stems from the fact that their architects and engineers are already using CAD apps, so why should they pay a drafter to make changes when the original designer can do it themselves?

On the other hand, not all employers want to pay a highly experienced architect or engineer to make changes and modifications to their original designs. As a result, this leaves career opportunities in the market, most of which are made readily available through internship programs. Additionally, many employers are reclassifying the position by calling those within this career field CAD designers.

In Part II of this blog series, we will look at the educational requirements, job responsibilities, and salaries of today’s CAD designers. For more information about professional CAD drafting services or career opportunities, please feel free to contact Q-CAD at 800-700-3305 today.CAD Architectural Drafting