Tag Archives: paper to cad

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.



What Does a Drafter Do?

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

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

CAD Drawing Conversion

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

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

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

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

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

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

AutoCAD Drafting

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

Design Your Dream Home with Architectural Drafting Services

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

Design Your Home

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

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

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

Architectura Drafting Services

AutoCAD Drafting and Design Summer Camps for Kids and Teens

If your kids and teens are bored, and need something fun and exciting to do this summer, why not check into various AutoCAD drafting and design summer camps in your area? These camps are broken down by age group, normally 6 to 12, 12 to 14, and so on, depending on the location, availability, and diversity of programs and options.

AutoCAD Drafting

During these special summer camps, kids and teens are introduced to product design in a fun, educational, and interesting manner. One type of summer camp course provides them with instruction and learning on how to sketch a drawing, transfer a 2D image into a 3D image on a computer, and then how to print a 3D prototype of their ideas!

Another summer camp session introduces kids and teens to 3D modeling concepts using CAD software applications, teaches them how to perform analysis and tests to ensure their designs do not contain flaws, and prepares their designs for printing on paper and using a 3D printer to create a prototype.

There is even a camp session completely devoted to 3D printing technologies, where kids and teens will learn how 3D printers are changing the shape of manufacturing, production, and other industries, and what it will mean for them in the future. They even get to discover many different types of 3D printers being used to print a wide array of products, from toys and clothing, to airplane and space station parts and components.

During these camps, kids and teens learn skills they can use in the real world, as well as advance their own personal developmental abilities, including:

  • Working Together in Teams
  • Discovering the Benefits of Critical Thinking
  • 3D CAD Modeling/Drawing
  • Developing Creative Problem Solving Skills
  • Project Planning
  • Project Development
  • Rapid Prototyping with 3D CAD Software and 3D Printers

Depending on the educational provider, the summer camps might also include housing and meal options, where the kids and teens get to stay throughout the entire camp, giving parents a break. Plus, kids and teens get to make new friends who also share an interest in architecture, CAD drawing, and 3D technologies.

Not only do kids and teens of all ages get to gain valuable insight into potential careers in their future, but they are also learning essential skills they will use the rest of their lives. Further, with 3D technologies expected to continue to expand and grow for the foreseeable future over the next several decades, gaining these skills now sets them up for successful careers long before they even start high school or college. Who knows? You child or teen might just be the next “Steve Jobs” of his or her generation!

For all of your CAD and architectural drafting and design services, contact the experienced professionals at Q-Cad by calling 800-700-3305 today. We offer customizable solutions to fit your specific needs and budget!

Architectural Drafting Services

Additive Manufacturing: The Pros and Cons of 3D Printing Technologies

Deciding on the best way to manufacture parts and components requires evaluating the pros and cons of additive manufacturing compared to traditional manufacturing processes. One of the biggest myths in the manufacturing industry is about how the costs for the materials and time needed to print parts and components on 3D printers is more experience and time consuming than using traditional processes.

However, this is not entirely accurate or true, and there are cases where using 3D drafting and related printing technologies can be accomplished for a fraction of the cost and time as other processes.

Pros of 3D AM

  • Eliminates Assembly Processes – Entire components, even those with moving parts, can be printed.
  • Easy to Change the Part’s Design – The part can be quickly modified and changed by simply opening the related CAD file and making the necessary updates.
  • Creates Complex Parts – 3D printers can handle highly detailed and rather complex parts, often for less than traditional methods.
  • Requires Very Few Manufacturing Skills – Thanks to open source online sharing, people with very few manufacturing skills can create basic 3D parts and components, although, for most business operations, it is still best to leave the design processes to an experienced professional.
  • Reduction in After-Manufacturing Waste – Since AM is adding and not taking away materials, there is significantly less waste.
  • Add Color Quickly to Parts and Components – With a few simple clicks and selecting colors in a CAD file, your finished parts and components can be printed in the desired colors.
  • Shorter Lead and Setup Times – Parts can be printed as soon as the engineer is done working on the CAD file.


Cons of 3D AM

Slow Production Rates – 3D printers layer materials on top of each other, and this can be a rather time-consuming process, depending on the materials being used and complexity of the part. In addition, most printers can only print one part or component at a time.

Limited Material Selections – There is a limit to the types of materials supported by current 3D printers and what can be printed.

Cost of Large Scale 3D Printers – There are massive 3D printers on the market to produce larger parts and components, but they can cost several million dollars for a single machine, not to mention, materials can cost upwards of $150 or more per pound.

Could Require Post-Production Finishing Processes – Parts and components could require finishing by hand to remove extra materials, smooth to desired specs, or inspect to ensure quality.

Skilled Engineers/CAD Professionals Needed – To produce quality components, you have to understand how various materials work together and be able to create the necessary CAD file required to print the component.

As you can see, there are both pros and cons to 3D AM printing technologies. In some cases, it might be more beneficial to use AM processes, while, in others, traditional methods would be better. For experienced assistance with both AM and traditional manufacturing drawings and schematics, contact the professionals at Q-Cad today at 800-700-3305.

Paper to CAD

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

Why Prototyping Is an Important Process

Whether you create products using 3D drafting software, by hand, or some other combination of methods, one important aspect in the development and creation of new products is prototyping. Prototyping should not be overlooked, as it provides several benefits when incorporated as part of your project. The earlier you can create a prototype, the better. However, in cases where it is not possible to do this early on, it should at least be done before production starts.

3D Drafting

Find Design Flaws Early On

One key benefit of a prototype model is being able to identify potential design flaws and issues. Products drawn out by hand or created on computers do not always give you the best conceptualization of how the finalized product will look and work. A prototype, on the other hand, provides a working model for the product.

As a result, you might notice certain design aspects that need to be changed. There could be specific parts of the model that could be reworked, done away with, or combined to streamline production processes later. In addition, it is possible to make conceptual changes more quickly and see how they will affect the finished product.

Watch the Product Evolve through Revisions

Granted, you do have to build a new model every time you decide to modify the original design, although, as you continue to make changes, you will be able to see the fruits of your labor from the original prototype to variations as you make changes and build additional prototypes.

Another benefit of prototypes is being able to put models of the finished product into the hands of people so they can experience them more fully. Whether you need to obtain approval from upper management or are marketing the product to your customers, you often get better results when you have a prototype available to use for presentations and demonstrations.

Paper to CAD

Test Now Instead of Later

Rather than having to wait until much later in the project to start testing, you can begin this process as soon as you have a working prototype. Obtaining feedback from project sponsors, consumers, and other test groups allows you to evaluate whether further enhancements, modifications, and other changes are desired.

Correct Errors and Save Money

Discovering and correcting design errors using prototypes, before a product goes into production, is much less costly than waiting until later. To see this in action, consider the amount of money companies spend on product recalls each year because they failed to discover flaws before production was started. Now, not only does the product have to be redesigned to correct errors, but every single product sold has to also be rebuilt or fixed to resolve the issues.

Now you can see why prototyping is vital for the success of product development, whether you are creating a new one or streamlining an existing product line. For assistance with CAD drawing conversion services used in your product development projects, please feel free to contact Q-CAD today at 800-700-3305.

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



What Were Some of the Top Trends for 2015 in the CAD Industry?

With 2015 almost over, let’s take a moment to reflect and look back at some of the top trends that occurred within the CAD industry. AutoCAD drafting is essential in virtually every industry, and plays a role in the design, creation, and development of new products. The top trends in 2015 equally contributed to advancing these processes.

3D Drafting

3D Technologies

One of the biggest trends was the advancement in 3D technologies, most notably the growth in the 3D printer industry. 3D has become the “in-thing” in numerous industries, allowing organizations the ability to create models by simply printing them using a 3D printer. While hardware made leaps and bounds, with drastic decreases in costs, CAD software was lagging behind. The majority of applications available at the beginning of the year were still relying upon 2D technological frameworks.

Throughout the year, software developers were busy creating new applications incorporating both 2D and 3D drafting technologies. From computer-based apps to apps for tablets and smartphones, advances were made in the CAD software industry with many new features and options. This trend is expected to continue into 2016 and beyond. However, do not expect 2D apps to disappear, at least not in the foreseeable future.

Enhanced 2D Technologies

Even though 3D technologies greatly advanced, the CAD industry was not, and is still not, ready for a full transition to 3D. Many manufacturers still rely upon 2D CAD drawings and use them in numerous production processes. In addition, organizations are at different ends of the technology spectrum. Some are at the leading edge, adapting the latest technologies, while others are at the other end, and have yet to catch up. Until the industry can make a full transition to 3D, software developers continued to make enhancements to 2D, making it easier to use 3D apps and convert drawings from 3D back into 2D.

Customer Driven Customizations

Thanks to the enhancements in the CAD software industry, customers are starting to drive customizations in the products they demand. This trend started taking effect in 2015 in a few specific consumer market segments, but is going to continue to grow and expand into numerous industries. For instance, consumers currently are able to create their own custom designed smartphone cases, apparel, and jewelry, using CAD apps online and submitting them to the manufacturer to have them made.

Old Technologies Became New Again

Way back in the 1960s, some of the first CAD apps involved using a special pen to hand draw schematics and designs directly onto responsive computer screens. As technology advanced, CAD designers switched to using a mouse as their preferred tool for many years, until touch screens became all the rage. 2015 saw many CAD designers returning to using pen devices to draw on touch-responsive screens, like their tablets. Further, several software apps now include features to convert hand drawn images into computer-generated CAD designs.

2015 saw several changes and advancements in the CAD industry. It will be interesting to see how these advances further influence trends in the coming year. To take advantage of the latest technologies in creating your CAD designs, expert and professional help is available from Q-Cad. Call us at 800-700-3305 now to learn more.

Enhanced 2D Technologies