Tag Archives: Q-CAD

What to Do with Your Old Blueprints

Paper-based blueprints are no longer standard features of the drafting process, as computer-aided design has allowed professionals use digital tools and platforms to get the job done. That said, blueprints on paper (or another material) haven’t entirely gone away, if only because so many companies still have old ones that they’ve held onto. These old blueprints will deteriorate if not properly maintained—and in some cases proper storage measures can cost considerable sums of money. So what should be done with these old materials? One important step is to arrange to have the designs transferred to digital files. Paper-to-CAD conversion is in fact one of the main services we provide at Q-CAD; the procedure involves manually redrawing—not scanning—the design into a digital file that, unlike paper, will not deteriorate over time. But this brings us back to the original question: What is to be done with the physical blueprints?

In a lot of cases, the blueprints have little value—especially if their design has been preserved by a CAD drawing service—and they can simply be recycled. Some people elect to give them away to a local historical society, which may find value in these old designs, or to an architectural student, who may find them worth studying. But for a number of reasons, many individuals in charge of finding a place for old blueprints need to hang on to these materials. If this is true for you, then it’s important to be familiar with the range of storage options available.

A common option is to opt for a rolled storage solution of some sort. As the name suggests, this involves rolling up the blueprints and then securing them permanently in that shape. You can purchase long, cylindrical tubes designed to hold rolled blueprints. If you have only a handful of prints to manage, then these tubes can provide a sufficient storage solution in themselves, as it’s easy to put them in a closet or a similar location. If you have to find space for a large number of blueprints, however, then you may wish to purchase a rack or cart that will hold them. There are a variety of racks on the market; some of these allow the user to insert each roll upright into its own space in a side-by-side configuration, while others allow the rolls to be slid horizontally into rows, in a layout similar to a collection of post office boxes.

Keep in mind, however, that rolled storage has its drawbacks. Blueprints stored in this way can be permanently warped by maintaining them in a rolled state. This can be a problem if you expect to refer to them in the future.

Another solution is to use hanging clamps to store the blueprints by attaching them to a rack, from which the prints dangle in flat, upright position. This method has the advantage of taking less space, and the blueprints are easier to access because they do not need to be unrolled. On the downside, this solution is also relatively pricey and may not be an appropriate option for long-term storage.

Flat storage provides yet another option. This involves storing the blueprints flat and face up inside the sliding drawers of a special cabinet. High-quality flat storage cabinets tend to be heavy, durable, and expensive; this option is suitable chiefly for organizations that wish to keep their prints for years in an environment where these materials do not need to be accessed often.

Whatever storage solution you select, remember that it’s best to have your blueprint designs transferred to CAD files. Contact us today so we can help you.

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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.

2D vs. 3D: What Works Best for Your Project

The advent of sophisticated computer-aided design (CAD) software brought many benefits to those in the engineering and architectural industries, and among the most notable of these gifts was a host of dazzling 3D drafting options. As a result, drafters gained access to a wide range of design tools that were unthinkable with traditional 2D drawings; today, both 2D and 3D drafting remain viable options for designers in many industries. This leads to an obvious question: Which process is best? Naturally, there is no simple answer, as it all depends on the specific aspects of any given project. One consideration to keep in mind is that while 3D software provides additional options (and retains all the features of 2D drafting), these extra amenities aren’t always needed. With this in mind, let’s explore the various differences between 2D and 3D drafting.

Traditional 2D drafting deals solely with the x and y axes. For many purposes, this is more than adequate; plenty of drafters have over the years produced workable plans, elevations, and sections in this manner. It’s also worth pointing out that a limited number of 3D drafting options are available through the tried-and-true technique of isometric projection, which enables designers to represent objects in three-dimensions, to a certain extent. These techniques have been, and continue to be, useful in creating floor plans and views of objects from different fixed angles. If this is all that is required for your project, then 2D drafting should be an acceptable option. However, if your project involves creating a large number of individual views of a particular object, it can be time-consuming to generate them through 2D processes.

With 3D drafting, designers enjoy a variety of extra options. CAD files generated in 3D utilize the x, y, and z axes, providing users an enormously expanded range of tools with which to manipulate images. In addition, creating different views of an object is much easier. Models can be easily rotated along any axis, allowing the drafter to view the object without the depth and altitude distortions associated with isometric projection; the user also has ready access to auxiliary and section views. Users can view objects in a wide variety of styles, from basic wireframe to highly detailed photorealistic drawings. If you need drawings that can precisely mimic an object as it will appear in its completed form, 3D is clearly the way to go.

Given that 3D programs contain all the features of 2D ones, while adding so many more options, it’s reasonable to ask why anyone would opt for 2D. One answer is that 3D drafting is significantly more costly, and for some organizations there’s simply no need to shoulder the additional expense for features that aren’t essential. 3D drafting calls for a higher level of expertise and, in some cases, more advanced hardware. As time goes on, however, the costs associated with 3D drafting continue to decrease; it is likely that these monetary considerations will pose less of a problem in the future.

The pros at Q-CAD, Inc. are highly adept at 2D and 3D drafting services. Contact us soon so we can begin to convert your old designs to first-rate CAD drawings.

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