Tag Archives: CAD news

North Carolina Students Receive Free CAD Computers

For students who grow up in economically disadvantaged areas of the country, it can be hard to get access to the latest and best technology and resources. When those students are interested in fields such as architecture and engineering, where tools such as computer aided design software are essential both to learning and completing projects, the lack of resources can be even more damaging. Thanks to the efforts of North Carolina’s Project Bauhow, however, several aspiring architects and designers no longer have to worry about lack of access to the CAD tools they need, as they have been given free CAD computers with which they can work on their design projects from home.

Jacksonville High was one of ten schools that qualified for the CAD computer donations, which were determined by the level of interest and the economic neediness of the areas where the schools were located. A total of 20 students will receive the computers, which are installed with brand new 2016 edition CAD software (Jacksonville High’s computers only have the 2014 edition).[i]

Project Bauhow, the initiative that provided the computers, helps support architecture and design education for ninth and tenth graders in North Carolina. The group notes that while high school design classes are important, they do not provide students with enough time to fully learn the skills or build the portfolios required to apply for college admission, and that 60% of the state’s families do not have the economic means to afford a CAD computer. As such, Project Bauhow does what it can to provide disadvantaged students, especially those in rural areas, with tools that can help them gain the necessary proficiency in design and drafting.

Supporting Modernist Architecture

Project Bauhow is a part of North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH), an educational nonprofit archive that focuses on documenting North Carolina’s legacy of Modernist residential architecture (North Carolina has the third largest collection of Modernist houses of any state in the U.S.), as well as promoting the building of new Modernist houses through education and advocacy initiatives. The Kramden Institute, an organization that refurbishes old computers and donates them to needy students, also provides support for Project Bauhow.[ii]

In addition to providing them with computers, Project Bauhow also provides students with additional instruction, and gives them a chance to test their knowledge by competing in a design competition. In return for receiving the computers, schools agree to give all design class students an assignment for which they design a Modernist house, which will then be submitted to an NCMH design competition. All entries will be considered for the student category of the NCMH Matsumoto Prize, where they will be evaluated by residential architects. A winner is selected from each school that received a Bauhow computer, and each winner is awarded with a scholarship to the North Carolina State University Design Day Camp, which has taught more than 3,300 students in fields such as architecture, industrial design, and graphic design.

We here at Q-CAD congratulate all the Project Bauhow recipients and wish them luck in their future careers.

For more information on Q-CAD and CAD architectural drafting, call us today at 800-700-3305.



  1. http://www.witn.com/home/headlines/Jacksonville-High-School-gets-CAD-computers-for-students-322890911.html
  2. http://www.ncmodernist.org/bauhow.htm

Computer aided design news

3D Printer Manufacturer Gives Kids a Chance to Learn CAD Skills

If you regularly read this blog, then you know that CAD and 3D printing are becoming more and more prevalent in many industries, and that both tools are being used to create innovative plans that could very well change the world. As such, training the next generation of designers, architects, and engineers requires teaching them the computer aided design and 3D printing skills they will need to succeed. Thanks to the efforts of Polar 3D, an Ohio 3D printer manufacturer, and the Boys and Girls club, some lucky kids are getting the chance to start learning those skills as they go back to school.

According to a recent announcement, Polar 3D will be setting up a series of “3D printing labs” at various Boys and Girls club sites across the country, as well as providing training a training guide for the staff who will help the children operate the machinery. The “hands on” training material will be made available through the Polar Cloud, an online platform used by the 3D printing community to collaborate and share data.

Kimberly Boyd, the national vice president of Program, Training, & Youth Development at the Boys and Girls Club of America, noted that underrepresented teens and children often fall behind in science and other STEM skills due to lack of access to materials and training. According to Boyd, Polar 3D’s initiative will provide many children who would otherwise never have the chance to use breakthrough technology or foster their love of design and machinery a chance to learn relevant skills that they can use in the future.

The first Polar 3D printing labs will be installed at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington (D.C.), Greater Cincinnati, and Greater Portland.

Changing Children’s Lives

Given Polar 3D’s obvious intention to improve the lives of children, choosing the Boys and Girls Club of America is a smart move. According to poll of former members of the organization, 57% said that being a member of the Boys and Girls Club “saved their lives.” There are currently 4 million children who are members of one of the 1,400 Boys and Girls Clubs in the United States.

According to one of the company’s founders, William Steele, Polar 3D created its printers and the Polar Cloud social platform with the express purpose of putting them in front of students so that they would be “inspired to think like entrepreneurs.” Polar 3D was founded in 2013 by a former Microsoft executive and a former software company owner, and unveiled its 3D printer at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2015. Unlike most personal 3D printers, which operate on both the X and Y axes, Polar 3D’s printers incorporate a moving build platform that slides back and forth under a spinning build plate that remains in a fixed location. As the platform moves back and forth, the item being printed is created, layer by layer.

For more information on how Q-CAD uses CAD architectural drafting, contact us today at 800-700-3305.



  1. http://3dprint.com/92519/polar-3d-and-boys-girls-clubs-of-america-partner-to-create-3d-printing-labs/

CAD news

Solar-Powered 3D Printer Can Make Glass out of Sand

In yet another example of what can be done through the combination of modern CAD architectural drafting and 3D printing, a German designer has invented a 3D printer which is not only powered by the sun, but which can transform sand into glass. Named “Solar Sinter” (after its power source and sintering, the process of turning powders into solids), this 3D printer is already being hailed as a potential groundbreaking tool that can transform a largely untapped resource, the copious amount of sand in North Africa and the Middle East, into a usable building and manufacturing material.

The Solar Sinter 3D printer makes use of a large Fresnel lens, which actively rotates toward the position of the sun throughout the day to capture the largest amount of solar energy so that it can continue working at maximum efficiency. This lens captures light from the sun, and then uses it to melt sand that has been taken into the machine and shapes it into glass.

The ability to so easily transform one material into another would be impressive enough, but Solar Sinter does more than just create unshaped raw material. Digital designs downloaded from a computer can be programmed into the printer via a simple memory card. Once a design has been uploaded, Solar Sinter can be used to manufacture glass products in the shape of the CAD designs for the products its users need it to make.

A New Architectural Tool?

Solar Sinter was created by Markus Kayser, a German designer who created the machine in 2010 while attending the Royal College of Arts in the United Kingdom. The potential applications of Kayser’s machine have not gone unnoticed by its creator, who not only predicts that the Solar Sinter model could become the cheapest way to manufacture glass within the near future, but also that it could be used as the basis for low-cost desert factories in underdeveloped countries in Africa and the Middle East, where sand is an abundant and free natural resource.

The Sinter’s most important tool, the Fresnel lens, costs only $600, making it less expensive than the majority of parabolic devices used in deserts to capture sunlight. Combined with the fact that the device can easily manufacture products to spec with only an uploaded CAD file and the necessary amount of sand, it’s easy to see how the Solar Sinter could easily become a widespread tool in the inexpensive manufacturing of glass.

There are already signs of positive development in the commercialization of Kayser’s creation. His latest trip to the desert to test the device was sponsored by a ceramics company, and 3D printing specialists and commentators are taking notice of Solar Sinter’s potential. The attention is likely to attract the attention of investors, which Kayser hopes will lead to the Sinter being further refined and developed, with the inevitable goal of it being able to produce more refined and complex designs.

Want to learn more about how CAD is used in modern architectural planning? Contact Q-CAD today at 800-700-3305.


    1. http://www.scidev.net/global/energy/news/solar-powered-3d-printer-uses-sand-to-make-glass-1.html

Sandy Beach

How the Fashion Industry Came to Rely on CAD

Most people associate CAD drafting with engineering, architecture, and manufacturing, not high fashion. But, like many other modern industries, modern clothing companies and fashion brands now rely on computer aided design to help them design, model, and produce everything, from off-the-rack jeans and jackets to high-end lingerie.

21st Century Fashion

While the old fashioned image of the designer slaving away at a sewing machine and sticking pins into a mannequin isn’t a completely outdated one, the truth of the 21st century fashion industry is that the majority of clothing design is done using computers and virtual dummies. As 3D modeling technology has advanced and allowed for the creation of more accurate and more detailed models of the human body, clothing companies have come to rely on it more than ever to quickly create and produce their multiple yearly clothing lines.

According to Holly Beum, director of software product management at Gerber Technology, many clothing companies are expected to produce six to eight “seasons” worth of designs in order to stay current with fickle fashion trends. In order to take that many garments from their initial design stages, all the way through production in time to meet demand, clothing companies need to lean heavily on the efficiency of computer aided modeling (CAM) software. Companies who are known to make heavy use of CAM include Gap, Levi’s, Sears, Calvin Klein, Christian Dior, Gucci, and Eddie Bauer, along with many others.

More Accurate Models

One of the ways that CAM allows the fashion industry to create their products more efficiently is that it lets them send accurate, easily readable plans and prototypes anywhere in the world for production. Fashion industry CAD programs can be used not only to create and model patterns, but to produce highly detailed 3D models of those designs made for different sizes and body types, all with exact measurements that can easily be transferred digitally to production facilities anywhere in the world.

CAM also helps with the process the clothing industry refers to as “nesting,” which is the process of determining how best to lay out parts in order to minimize waste. Like with other industries that have turned to computer modeling to plan production of their materials more efficiently and cost-effectively, fashion industry CAM makes the production of clothing a smoother, more highly planned process. By figuring out the best way to go about manufacturing each item virtually, instead of using real-world supplies and manufacturing time, designers and companies are using CAM to save money and make their products at lower costs.

Leveling the Playing Field

CAM isn’t just used by big brands and retail chains, either. Amateur designers and clothing artisans are also using fashion design software to make their own lines of clothing, and selling them through online outlets like Etsy. Some experts also predict that consumer-grade fashion CAM will soon become commonly used in online spaces like the virtual world simulator Second Life, allowing users to design and create custom fashion designs for their online avatars.

Interested in learning more about the exciting ways that CAD/CAM is being used? Contact Q-CAD today at 800-700-3305.