Tag Archives: PDF to CAD

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.

Solid State Drives versus Hard Disk Drives: Which Is Better for CAD?

Solid State Drives (SSDs) are becoming more readily available, and prices are continuing to drop. As a result, there is much debate about whether these new storage devices are better than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) for CAD and 3D Drafting software and applications. Both are valid choices, but, depending upon your needs, one might be better than the other.


What Is the Difference Between SDDs and HDDs?

SDDs do not rely upon moving parts and components to read, write, store, and access data on the drives. With HDDs, there are moving parts and components that can wear out over time and even lead to fault errors if the drive develops bad read/write sectors. The major differences between the two are related to:

  • Price – HDDs still cost less than SDDs, even though prices for smaller capacity SDDs have declined somewhat.
  • Speed – SDDs are inherently faster at accessing data and performing operations. However, keep in mind certain functions that rely upon the computer’s processor and memory result in similar times, regardless of whether you are using a SDD or HDD. Although, if you open and close CAD applications numerous times throughout the work day, SDDs will launch more quickly.
  • Capacity – The current maximum capacity of SDDs is 4 TB, as of this writing. With HDDs, there are some drive with maximum storage capacities of up to 16 TB.
  • Durability – Since SDDs do not have any internal moving parts and components, they can be more durable in certain situations. For instance, if you travel from site to site, travel frequently, or work in the field, SDDs are a better choice.
  • Disk Fragmentation – HDDs can become fragmented over time and cause the read/write response time to slow down. This is because HDDs store data fragments on available drive sectors, and it is not uncommon for fragments to be stored in different areas on the drive’s internal disk(s). On the other hand, SDDs write data to the drive wherever space is available and do not have a read/write head, so opening applications and files is quicker.

When it comes to working with CAD applications and software, there could be noticeable differences in how fast the application launches. Once the application is open, there is not much difference in how fast various functions and operations perform. Keep in mind, any gains are largely dependent upon what types of functions and operations you are performing, as well as the size of the files.

For opening and saving smaller files, there is really not much difference between the two drives. Even when it comes to rendering drawings, build times, reloads, and appends, again, there is not much difference between the two drives.

The bottom line: SDDs are great if you work in the field and are rough on your computer. Otherwise, for the difference in price between the drives, you could invest in training or supplementing your existing staff for projects with assistance from qualified CAD and architectural drafting services firms, like Q-Cad. To learn more about our customizable solutions, call us at 800-700-3305.

Architectural Drafting Services

How Far Will 3D Printing Extend in the Future?

Some fifty to seventy-five years from now, 3D printing will have transformed the world as we know it today. While the technology is currently still considered in its “early stages,” with several leaps and bounds being made each year, there is currently a limit to what 3D printers can do and print. It is easy to take 3D drafting documents and convert them for printing on a 3D printer with the right material loaded to create a model of a building or house, or use 3D printers in additive manufacturing processes to print certain parts and components.

Theoretically, there is so much more 3D printers are capable of printing, with the right materials and advances in technology. As improvements are made in 3D printing technology and new materials are made printable, it is going to have a drastic impact on our lives, as well as those of our children and grandchildren.

Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturers in a wide array of industries will be able to 3D print parts, components, clothing, and finished goods. As a result, there will be no need to have manufacturing facilities located overseas. In addition, consumers will have the option to purchase various products online and have them instantly printed on their at-home 3D printer. It is worth noting, this is already starting to occur with some consumer goods, like smartphone cases.

Housing Industry

The housing industry will change as 3D printers are going to be used to print the homes of the future. In fact, building designers and construction firms in Holland and China are already using 3D technologies to build homes.

Due to the size limitations of 3D printers, various sections of the home are printed, and then assembled. As printers become larger, and the technology improves, it is conceivable entire walls and internal structures, like cabinets and countertops, could be printed in the future.

Housing Industry

Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industries

In the future, people will live longer lives, and it will not be uncommon for people to have life expectancies over a hundred years of age. Organs, like hearts, kidneys, and lungs, as well as skin tissue, bone, and limbs, will be able to be printed and used as replacements. Obtaining medicines and medical devices will be as simple as ordering them from your local pharmacy, where they will be printed on-demand.

Automotive Industry

Automotive company designers are already developing and working on 3D printed concept vehicles of the future. While these vehicles might not still be able to fly, they are going to incorporate several eco-friendly solutions, like solar panels, rechargeable batteries, and electric motors.

Aerospace Industry

Airbus, Boeing, and GE have already started developing and implementing 3D printed parts, components, and engines into current and future airplanes. NASA and other space technology firms are exploring the potential of using 3D printers in space to print replacement parts for the International Space Station, as well as entire satellites, land rovers, and a space station on the moon.

Aerospace Industry

It is certainly going to be exciting and interesting to see just how far 3D printing technologies are going to advance in the future. In the meantime, for professional assistance with current 3D drafting and CAD technologies, as well as traditional drawings and documents, call Q-Cad at 800-700-3305 now.

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

How Architectural Drafting Has Changed over the Years

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

3D Drafting

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

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

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

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

CAD Architectural Drafting

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

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

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

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

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.




In the Future: How Will You Deliver Products and Services to Consumers?

In the not too distant future, people are going to have a variety of different options from which to choose when they want to purchase products and services. Imagine, as a consumer, you are driving home from work when your five-year old vehicle breaks down. You have your car towed to a repair shop, only to be told the part you need is no longer being manufactured and has to be special ordered, resulting in it taking several weeks, or even a month to get your car fixed.

Now flash forward four or five years into the future. Instead of having to wait for the part to be special ordered, your mechanic can go online, find the part you need, and simply print it to their 3D printer. You watch in amazement as the part is printed, layer by layer, reproducing a brand-new replica of the broken part. Once the part is printed, the mechanic can install it in your vehicle and get you back on the road in less than a day.

CAD Drawing Conversion

This is just one example of how businesses are going to be able to deliver products and services to consumers over the course of the next decade, as advances in technology will reshape numerous industries. In addition, as the home 3D printer market segment grows and expands, with many models hitting store shelves later this year with price tags below $300, the possibilities are endless.

For instance, as a parent, you may want to try your hand at creating toys for your children. You submit your design concept to an AutoCAD drafting service to have it converted into a 3D model. The service company electronically sends you the completed file, which you open, and then you send the digital drawing to your 3D printer to create an actual working toy of your own design for your child.

For service companies, like appliance repair services, the service technician will no longer have to worry about carrying parts in their repair van. Instead, the service technician will arrive at your door, look at the broken appliance, and determine what part is required to fix it. Now, the technician will access the schematics for the parts online, and send them to a 3D printer installed in their repair van. They will walk out to the van, retrieve the part, and fix your broken appliance.

Granted, these are great ideas that will take some time to get used to, and there will still be some services and products that are going to require waiting, like we do now. However, as the number and types of materials able to be used with 3D printers continues to increase, eventually more and more product and service companies will be able to streamline processes and change how they do business.

To get your ideas converted from paper into 2D and 3D digital models, contact Q-CAD at 800-700-3305. We offer a wide range of affordable conversion services for individuals and businesses of all sizes.

AutoCAD Drafting

The Most Savvy Office Spaces of 2014

When you think of the corporate world, your mind probably conjures dull images of monotonously arranged cubicles occupied by immaculately dressed men and women. It’s not a terribly inspiring picture, so it’s no secret why a lot of companies attempt to defy this tedious trend by injecting some creativity into their office spaces. In fact, some organizations have gone above and beyond to put together a vibrant, imaginative environment for their employees. Here are a few examples of companies that have bypassed the traditional cubicles-and-office-rooms model in favor of trying out a radically different workplace layout.


Given that many of you discovered this blog through a Google search, there is little point in providing a detailed introduction to this multi-billion-dollar company—who hasn’t heard of it? As an employer, Google is far from the typical nine-to-five company, and their unconventionality extends to their office design preferences. The company’s newly opened Washington D.C. offices, for example, feature a variety of eye-catching attractions. Among these is the 9th level lobby floor, on which is printed a huge Google Maps reproduction of the nation’s capital, complete with one of those helpful little red pins indicating the location of the building. In addition, the site features video games, several dining areas, and even areas where employees can take naps. Google’s other locations around the globe sometimes have their own unique features, such as a playground-style slide that workers use to descend quickly from one floor to another.


Based in California, Autodesk is a successful software company responsible for the famed AutoCAD application that we so often use to create our drafting files. Autodesk is known far and wide as a highly creative company whose products have aided in the production of many prominent Hollywood films, including Avatar, Inception, and Iron Man 2. The company isn’t shy about showing off its accomplishments or the skills of its employees. Visitors to its San Francisco offices can view various exhibits dedicated to the creative efforts of the company’s staff, as well as many products made with Autodesk software. In the past, the company’s treasures on display have included a large model of a creature that was used during the filming of Avatar. As a visually striking workplace, Autodesk is tough to beat.