Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Evolution of Modern Drafting Tables

The evolution of drafting tables has been quite remarkable from a design standpoint. Before the rise of the Industrial Age, drafting tables were primarily found in the libraries and studies of upper class homes. Often richly ornate, these wooden desk-like drafting tables used a system of weights to tilt and hold the drawing board. They tended to be quite heavy, unlike modern drafting tables. The Industrial Revolution changed that, bringing drafting tables into the realm of the working class.

As drafting tables left the homes of the gentry for urban offices, they became less ornate and more practical. They lost weight with streamlined designs and lighter manufacturing materials, gaining portability. Drafting tables customized to meet the needs of specific industries and professions increased ease of use even further. Widespread personal computer use brought more drafting table changes, with some makers producing drafting tables designed to accommodate computer equipment.

Communication technologies have brought the drafting table back home, to the home offices of professionals freed from office buildings by telecommuting, contributing to designs that are as stylish as they are functional. The sleek, artistic design of modern drafting tables is quite a change from the massive, bulky models of yesteryear. Glass and steel enhance function, in addition to the visual appeal of crisp, modern minimalist lines.

A tempered glass top adds versatility in practical use because light can come through, making things like pattern tracing much easier. Easy adjustment technologies offer a height range between 29.5 and 38 inches and up to 30 degrees in tilt. Heavy grade steel and a floor leveler for each leg ensure stability. A slide up pencil ledge and unobtrusive drawer for drafting supplies add practical features without disrupting the sleek design line.

No longer restricted to the libraries and studies of manors and mansions, freed from dreary workplaces, the modern drafting table has wide appeal. While still a part of the office, it is also seen in artists' studios, college dorms and homes. Today's drafting tables are appreciated as much for their pure functionality as they are for their attractive, clean modern look.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Safco Blueprint Plan Rack Vertical File Plan Holder fits 12 Clamps and Holds and Organizes Your Plans in the Office or On-Site

This vertical file is designed to organize and protect all blueprints, plans, and drawings, in the design office or equally at home on site due to its rugged steel construction. Easily mobile on its four ball bearing swivel casters, two of which lock to hold the file in place, this plan rack is able to be where you need it to be. It features an adjustable width that can fit 24”, 30”, or 36” hanging clamps, and holds 12 clamps which very easily drop in and out of the rack, with a variable height that adjusts to fit drawings of up to 48” in length. If you need hanging clamps for your blueprint stand, two types are available for order- Hanging Clamps Planhold Print-Lock or Safco Hanging Clamps Package of 6 Standard. This allows the vertical file to hold up to 1200 3-mil sheets, equivalent to 240 lbs. of plans and drawings. For further information and visual demonstration see the following Safco video.

Zenith Drafting Chair with Arm Rests Provides Ergonomically Adjustable Seating by Alvin

Drafting chairs are an essential aspect of comfort during the creative process. Used by architects, engineers, and artists alike, these chairs provide the ergonomic support your body's needs throughout the day and contribute to a more productive work environment.
The Zenith drafting chair is versatile, allowing for adjustments in almost every area of the seat, so it’s easy to set your own custom personal preference. The height of the chair is adjustable from 23” to 33”, while the padded arm rests are width and height adjustable with 7 locking positions. This chair also features an adjustable seat pitch, and the back rest is adjustable as well in height, depth, and tilt angle. In addition, the 18” chrome foot ring is height adjustable.
The base of the chair is 26” diameter steel reinforced nylon for durability and stability, and comes equipped with 5 dual-wheel casters that allow for simple mobility.
The seat and back cushions on the chair are constructed with ergonomically contoured foam that support your body, and also feature polypropylene back shells. The seat cushion is a waterfall design that promotes circulation and is 3½" thick x 19"w x 18"d, while the back cushion is 3" thick x 17"w x 16"h.

This chair not only provides you with comfort and support during long hours, but has a sturdy and stylish design that compliments any work space. Try the Zenith drafting chair, and feel the difference. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Scale Master Pro Take-Off Tool with 72 Built-in Scales Allows for Precise and Fast Estimating of Nearly Any Project

The Scale Master Pro by Calculated Industries is an unbelievably helpful aid in take-offs for any project. Whether you’re a contractor, estimator, engineer, architect, landscaper, excavator, fencing specialist, telecommunications, cable, pavers, concrete contractor, plumber, HVAC contractor, electrical contractor, or work in any other field in which a fast and accurate takeoff from plans and blueprints is essential, this tool will make it happen. Easier to hold and maneuver across plans, maps, drawings, and blueprints than its predecessor the Scale Master Classic, its newly designed dual LCD also makes it easier to read. It has 72 built in scales, 39 Imperial (ft/in) and 33 metric, making fast and efficient linear, area, and volume estimations easier than ever before, allowing you to get the estimate done faster than ever before.
 With 6 custom user-set scales the ability to adapt to any estimating, bidding, and planning whether it be in architectural, engineering, or civil-scales, in the field or in the office. With this you can calibrate the scale to any plan which is then saved for future use, making it perfect for dealing with out of scale plans. You can quickly switch between linear and metric modes while there is also an integrated lock which keeps the setting you desire. In addition the Scale Master Pro will calculate rectangular areas and volumes by rolling out the dimensions of length, width, and height to calculate square or cubic measurement. It will measure in your desired unit of measurement, decimal feet, feet-inches, decimal inches, yards, millimeters, meters, kilometers - including square and cubic formats of each – in addition to rolling distances in either direction as fast as you can roll them, subtracts if you roll too far, count items such as studs, outlets, etc. and accumulate them in memory. All of these features provide a tool that will increase speed, productivity, accuracy, and profitability, with an amazing 2-4% accuracy dependent upon operator accuracy. Included are a hard cover protective case, a complete user’s guide, (2) long-life lithium batteries (cr-2032), and a full one-year limited warranty. For additional information and visual demonstration of functionality see these videos by Calculated Industries, shown is the Scale Master Pro XE but functionality is very similar.

Physical Specifications
7.3" x 1.9" x 0.6" (186 x 47 x 15 mm)
Wheel Resolution:
0.025" (0.635 mm)
Wheel Composition:
Celcon Polymer
Weight (product only with battery):
2.1 oz. (60 g)
Two 3-volt lithium (CR-2032) batteries (included)

Display Type:
LCD segment; 7-digit main display, 3-digit count, 5-digit scale display, with annunciator legends

5' Lufkin Ideal Estimator's Pocket Architects Tape with a ⅛” & ¼” Per 1’ Scale Provides a Compact Scale for Fieldwork

Imperial architects scales are available in a variety of graduations which allow for the reading of architectural drawings based upon a designated foot per inch scale. Thus if a particular scale is a ᶾ/₃₂”” scale on an architectural plan, the drawing designates one foot in the real world per ᶾ/₃₂” on the drawing. Generally floor plans are drawn on a ¼” scale or for larger plans a ⅛” scale. Small plans or single room drawings may be scaled larger, utilizing ⅜”, ⅟₂”, ᶟ/₄”, or 1”per 1’, whatever is needed to fit your drawing format.

This particular scale is produced by Lufkin and gives a ⅛” & ¼” to 1’ scale. It features a ¼” yellow clad steel tape blade with jet black tape markings that vividly contrast for high visibility, and has an automatic operation spring return. The metal body construction creates a durable product ready for long years of service.

Isometric Drawing Templates Simplifies Designing

When looking to lay plans for a new home or plumbing project, an isometric drawing template can be a quick and easy way to demonstrate the exact design that will be built for the final project. This can accelerate the completion of a project as less time will have to be spent in the planning phase. While many architectural plans today are made with the assistance of a computer, traditional drawing templates are easier to use on-site and are quicker for smaller projects. Whether one is a professional plumber or a hobbyist looking to get work done from home, plumbing templates are an easy way to lay out a project before it starts.

Assistance with Planning

When the exact design of a project is planned in advance, it will be much more likely to be successful. Since projects that follow a clear plan can take into account potential difficulties, costs associated with replacing mistakes can be reduced. For both professionals and individuals, these templates allow for clear visualizations of a completed design to ensure that it looks satisfactory. These plans can even be shared with regulators to ensure that the prospective plan is aligned with local building codes. This means that a plumbing project can add much more value when plumbing templates are used.

Isometric Advantages

While three-dimensional drawings might give a more clear image, in many cases they are simply unnecessary. A simple isometric drawing template can be used to give a clear overhead description of the plan without excessive complication. These plans are also easy to interpret both by the homeowner and the plumber.

Detailed Designs

There are many types of isometric templates that are available. This means they can take into account many unique types of plumbing equipment that might be difficult to symbolize without a template. Basic elements like general pipes, fluids, flowcharts, and screws can be included with rather basic templates. More advanced features like electronics, human figures, reducers, and caps can all be incorporated into the design as well. In order to take advantage of this, those creating a professional layout will need to purchase multiple templates in order to ensure that all of the needed symbols are included.

ZOOM Large Telescopic Tube with a 6 3/4" ID to Suit Your Protective Needs In-Transit

The ZOOM telescopic tube by Alvin
is made of rugged plastic designed to withstand nearly any abuse while securely protecting its cargo. 1” thick foam in the top and bottom of the tube pads and protects the ends of contents, and the removable carry handle adjusts up and down the length of the tube to allow for perfect balance of contents in transport. The ZOOM tube features a comfortable and adjustable carry strap, and weighs just over 5 lb. This tube features a 6 ¾” inside diameter (7” outside diameter) and is expandable from 29” to 54” in length. This allows for protected storage for anything ranging from posters, drawings, blueprints, plans, and other documents to tents, golf clubs, fishing rods, or any other elongated item that you might wish to protect in transit. Whether hiking, driving, flying, or simply storing, this tube will offer the protection you need to the objects you need it for, in an ergonomic design that makes for comfortable carry.

37.5x72" Designmaster Drafting Table & Drawer with a Black Welded Steel Base, USA Made by Alvin

Drafting tables provide a sturdy work surface for a multitude of professions and hobbies. From engineers and architects to artists and craftsmen, a drafting table is an irreplaceable piece. Whether you’re drawing, reading, or composing plans, work is made easy with all the functional features a drafting table has to offer.
This Designmaster Drafting table by Alvin features a 37” table height that is adjustable from 0° to 45°, so you can work sitting or standing, and find the most comfortable position. The table is constructed with 18 gauge steel tubing (instead of prep-fab sheet steel), and the legs are welded together to form 3” x 2” posts that create lasting durability and support.
An electro-static powder coat in a medium gray finish laminates all metal parts providing a strong and scratch resistant surface. White matte, therma-fuse Melamine makes up the table top board and collateral panels to ensure a smooth yet sturdy covering, trimmed with black vinyl edges to add a sleek look. 
This drafting table also features two drawers, a locking drawer for tools that is 23"l x 8"w x 3½"d in size, and a 23"l x 31"w x 1½"d reference drawer to store and organize all your papers while keeping them close at hand.
Without out doubt this drafting table is versatile and practical, providing you with a more comfortable and productive work space. Try less stress, try the best, try a Designmaster drafting table. 

36" Safco Hanging Clamps for Blueprint Plan Storage Provide Secure Protective Organization for Your Documents

These extruded aluminum clamps hold up to 20 lbs. of documents firmly in place, creating secure storage for up to 100 sheets of drawings, plans, and designs up to 36” x 48”. Designed for use in conjunction with the Safco vertical storage cabinet (Item # 70016) which also accepts 18”, 24”, and 30” clamps, these clamps come in a package of 6 and feature black nylon thumb screws which allow for easy placement and removal of blueprints and drawings from the clamps, as well as clear plastic label holders that allow for ease of organization.

Safco Vertical Plan Rack
The Safco vertical plan rack utilizing these clamps can accommodate twelve clamps on a suspended track which smoothly glides on steel ball bearings, giving supremely easy access to up to 1200 documents, equivalent to 240 lbs. of paper, which can be locked up behind the steel reinforced door with key lock handle. This cabinet securely stores all important plans and drawings while simultaneously allowing easy access through ball bearing tracks and simple removal and replacement of individual clamps by the integrated hanging clip. You can follow the following link to Safco's video for further information. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Large Ellipse Template Set with 15 Projections and 12 Cutouts Each, from 10° to 80° Ellipses, 2 1/8” to 4” Size

Drafting templates are utilized to expedite the process of drafting, design, and other forms of drawing. They give a template by which certain shapes and symbols that are standard and formulaic to many forms of design can be easily outlined with speed, accuracy, and efficiency. Templates are made of plastic and come in many forms of cutout, including cutouts symbolizing a vast variety of floor plans, elevation systems, doors, windows, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, flow charts, lettering, and landscape, in addition to basic shapes such as circles, arrows, squares, triangles, and ellipses, etc.

The templates shown here are made by Alvin and feature a variety of ellipses ranging from 2 1/8” to 4” in size and from 10° to 80°. The degree measurement of an ellipse is a reference to its near cousin the circle. A two-dimensional circle when seen as a full circle is viewed at a 90° angle. When viewed at any other angle the two dimensional outline of a circular shape ‘warps’, becoming elliptical in shape, hence the degree measurement of ellipses and also the use of elliptical templates in rendering circular objects in three dimensions from varying angles, whether it be in artistic, drafting, or engineering endeavors. There are 15 templates included, each with 12 cutouts, giving 18 ellipses in total.

Here is a YouTube video giving additional visual description on the function of ellipses and their formation as well as an explanation of drafting template use

24x36 Portable Drafting Board & Straightedge Deluxe by Alvin for Design and Drawing on the Go

This portable drafting board by Alvin offers a large drawing surface in a compact package, perfect for on site drafting and design needs. Rubber tracks create an overhanging edge and a comfortably angled work surface, as well as ensuring secure placement on any surface. Rear legs fold flat and also feature nonslip rubber feet. This, and its convenient carry handle, create a work surface superbly suited for precision drawing yet also easily transported to any location.
It includes an integrated professional quality parallel strait edge with a phenolic plastic blade that glides on guide wires that keep it parallel, with nylon bearings that guarantee smooth operation. An elevated acrylic inking edge eliminates smudging of lines and a twin braking system locks the straightedge securely in any position. This straightedge, in conjunction with squares and adjustable triangles, allows for precision drafting that will meet any need and the included VYCO VBC77 gray/white vinyl board cover creates a soft, protective work surface.

All of these features are found within one compact collapsible package with an overall weight of just 22 lbs., making its transport simple, not awkward or back breaking, all while still maintaining a professional quality drawing surface.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

What is Heavy Vellum Paper?

Vellum has been in use since at least the second century B.C. It was allegedly invented by Eumenes II of Pergamum. Because the Ptolemies of Egypt wouldn't allow papyrus to be exported, Eumenes found a method to turn the skins of stillborn lambs and calves into writing material. The skins were washed, scraped and cleaned then placed in vats of caustic lime for many days. After that, the remaining hairs could be removed. The skins were then scraped some more, washed many times and then stretched over a frame to dry. The drying process took weeks, and during that time the skins were scraped down some more and made even with a sharp knife. After they were dry, they were rubbed with pumice and dusted with chalk.

When used, traditional vellum was written upon on only one side, which was called the recto of the skin. The lines ran the entire width of the roll of vellum, and the roll had to be unfurled from top to bottom to be read.

Nowadays, what's called heavy vellum paper is made out of cotton that's been plastericized. This makes it translucent and frees it from the problems found in animal skin vellum. This includes cockling, which means that the paper puckers up due to changes in temperature and humidity. The size of the page remains stable.

Because vellum can be seen through, it's an excellent paper for overlaying, tracing and reproducing the drawings of architects and engineers onto blueprints. Floor plans of houses and office buildings are often drawn on vellum. It's also an excellent educational tool when it comes to teaching students the finer points of drafting and drawing.

Vellum can be drawn on manually and special types of vellum can be used in printers and plotters. It usually comes in sheets, pads or rolls. Vellum can also come with or without grid-lines for ease of use. It can also be printed with a customized title block.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tips for Getting Professional Results When Using Hobby Knifes

One of the most important tools for crafts, drafting or nearly any type of art is a sharp knife. A sharp knife makes it possible to cut through plastic, foamboard, balsa wood and paper of any weight. Although a knife might look simple enough, it actually requires some skill to use correctly. Several tips will help anyone to get professional results when using hobby knifes.

Cut With the Center of the Blade

The first tip is to cut with the center of the blade. A mistake many people make is to try to cut with just the tip. The tip of the blade will just catch on the paper and cause tears. A sharp knife should go easily through any material. The knife should be inserted a little into the paper or board before starting to move along the cutting line. This will ensure a clean and sharp edge.

Do Not Apply Too Much Pressure

A sharp knife does not need a large amount pressure in order to cut through materials. This is especially true with paper or even certain types of boards. Only enough pressure to move the knife along the designated cutting line should be applied. Pressing too hard does not make the knife work better. Too much pressure can dull the blade or cause the tip to snap off. Cutting should be done gently.

Replace the Blades Regularly

It is important to keep a good number of replacement blades available. The blades should be changed regularly. Keeping the blades on hobby knifes sharp will increase the crispness of every edge. Dull blades can lead to mistakes if the knife makes a ragged edge, catches the material and then starts moving in the wrong direction. The blade should be replaced as soon as the tip starts to look a little dull.

Change the Angle Depending On the Type of Cut

A final tip is to change the angle the knife is held at depending on the type of cut. A very low angle should be used when cutting long and straight lines or when using a straightedge as a guide. A steeper angle should be used when cutting curves or using a template. This provides the best edge and cleanest cut.

Most of all, it is important to get a knife that works well for your desired use.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Top Quality Portfolio Cases

Portfolio cases have a variety of uses for the professional architect and draftsman. These handy carrying cases can be used to transport specimens of the artist's work from place to place in a safe, efficient manner. Most presentation cases are specially designed to be able to protect and preserve the artist's work from the elements, as well as damage due to dropping or rough handling.

The ultimate goal of every artist is to present samples of their work to the potential client for their edification. The artist therefore needs to have full confidence in their choice of portfolio or presentation case. Using a top quality portfolio or presentation case is the best way to ensure that this ultimate goal is realized in a safe and timely fashion.

If you are an architect or draftsman who is searching for excellent portfolio cases or presentation cases, many stores contain a wide and comprehensive selection of specimens to choose from. The selection of goods usually includes, but is not limited to:

art portfolio display cases
art presentation cases
leather bound presentation cases
photography portfolio and presentation cases
graphic design portfolio and presentation cases

These excellent, top quality portfolio and presentation cases have been designed to fit nearly every possible application and circumstance. The range of cases are available in several styles of construction, such as soft or hard sided design. They are designed to be lightweight and easily portable. Most cases are constructed of tough, extremely durable leather or nylon materials. Some even come with a guaranteed warranty of quality.

No matter whether your needs include portfolio or presentation cases for your next meeting with a client, there is a vast stock of goods is sure to meet and exceed your personal and professional expectations.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Paper Trimmers

Paper trimmers are highly useful objects. Many office workers use them frequently. They are also used by craftspeople who want a clean line for their projects.

These types of trimmers are also known as paper cutters. They are manufactured by various companies all over the world. Trimmers come in many different styles and types. The rotary style is one that that use a circular blade intended for precision cutting.

Another type of trimmer are guillotine trimmers. These type of trimmers use a long straight blade that makes for precision cutting and allows more control. Straight blade trimmers are the kind of trimmers that use a utility knife style blade. This type of blade can be easier to use because it is more disposable and therefore easier to control and make sure it retains sharpness.

Yet another type of trimmers are rotary paper cutters/trimmers. These are excellent when you want to trim any drawings and other artwork that you have created. This type of trimmer is an extremely accurate tool. It can be used to help cut paper, for mylar or film vellum as well as a wide variety of other types of artistic materials that the user wants and needs to use in their daily work.

A guillotine paper trimmer can be great for cutting all sorts paper as well as other similar lightweight materials. These types of trimmers are rugged and extremely durable. However, they are not as safe as a rotary trimmer tool. The straight knife type of trimmers can be very useful if you want to cut foamcore (foamboard) as well gator board, or any other type of thick materials that are hard to cut.

The type of trimmer that you want for your needs will vary. Many people find they need several trimmers on hand at all times. This can be useful if you have multiple projects going on in your office. You may find that one type of trimmer is ideal for one purpose while another is ideal for different cutting needs. The choice of trimmer is up to you.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Drafting Tools

Finding the right drafting tools can be a difficult task. Different applications require different tools and features, and not all stores have the variety that many professionals need. The main professions that use these tools include architects and engineers, but artists also use them in varying applications to produce accurate lines.

When selecting drafting tools, it is important to assign quality a high priority. Unreliable measurements and inaccurate compasses render a professional draft useless. Architects and engineers need their work to be precise to properly communicate a plan or an idea. The most popular brand names for these tools are Alvin, Fairgate, Alumicolor, and Acu-Arc. These brands are highly regarded for their precision and durability.

Accumulating all of these tools can be a career-long pursuit. Like a mechanic who buys tools as he needs them or as they become updated, a professional who draws drafts daily acquires a number of tools over time. However, for those student and beginner architects and engineers, there are a few tools that are important to start out with. No engineer could produce drafts without his or her drafting scales. Rulers are an imperative part of any successful professional drawing. Protractors are also key to producing an accurate arc. Over time, you might find digital plan measuring tools to be worth the investment.

It is tempting to purchase cheap tools when starting out, but these simplest of tools will need to be the most durable and reliable. They will be used every day throughout the course of your career. Nothing lasts forever, but investing in good tools at the beginning will keep you going strong into a successful career.

Proper tools for drafting are essential to successful drafting. The right tools will get an architect's idea sold and an engineer's plan executed. Choosing a tool can be difficult when struggling with money, but they should be thought of as a means to an end: spend money on a good tool now, make a lot of money as a result of your accurate drafting later.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Drafting Steals Benefits

When it comes to drawing, artists, engineers and architects rely on their equipment in order to get their ideas across. With over 15 years of experience, Drafting Steals has delivered excellent products and service to their customers at an affordable price. They offer a wide variety of tools and equipment that is needed to make drawing and drafting project possible such as drafting tables, paper, drawing tools, furniture, and more. Supplying storage solutions, art drawing, architectural, and engineering equipment, Drafting Steals is an approved supplier for the American Design and Drafting Association.

Customers who buy their equipment from Drafting Steals receive many benefits and among those benefits include:

• An outstanding selection of products and brands. Whether it is CAD or drafting products, Drafting Steals has thousands of products available to customers.

• They offer drawing and drafting equipment at an affordable price. Drafting Steals offers quality products at the lowest prices around for their customers.

• Outstanding customer service. Drafting Steals prides itself on uncompromising customer service with knowledgeable customer service representatives and technical support personnel.

• Drafting Steals offers fast shipping to customers. Customers who buy products at Drafting Steals have their orders shipped within 2-4 business days. They also offer expedited shipments when customers call their toll free number at 877-268-4427.

• Drafting Seals offers a money back guarantee. Drafting Steals offers a money back guarantee to their customers. If the customer is not totally satisfied with their product, Drafting Seals will give a 100% credit, replacement or money back to them within 7 days of receiving a damaged item. Other items that do not meet the satisfaction of the customer can be returned within 30 to receive a refund.

Other Drafting Steals benefits include a variety of ordering option. These options include a flexible online ordering with secure web order processing, telephone orders 8 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday, orders via fax and the mail. Payments are accepted through PayPal, Visa, American Express, Discover or Master Card.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cutting Mats Knives & Scissors Kits

The craft or drafting enthusiast knows the importance of good cutting mats knives and scissors kits. These are all essential tools to any crafting or sewing project. Poor quality knives and scissors become dull quickly and leave the work looking sloppy. Cutting mats sometimes contribute to the problem by dulling the blades.

There is a new product on the market called a self-healing cutting mat. These mats are made of a composite material that provides a non-stick, non-marring surface. Most importantly, they do not dull the blade. They also come in a variety of thickness and grid line variations for easy measuring. It is recommended that the mat be at least 3 millimeters as thinner mats tend to be less durable. Both sides are self-healing and will not be affected by cuts and abrasions. They do not give off a glare so you can bring the light as closely as needed to get just the right cut.

Many cutting mats come in a kit with knives and scissors. These are known as "hobby knives" and usually come with extra blades. Some people find that cutting materials with a knife is easier and more accurate than with scissors. This is especially true for crafting as many materials are not easily cut with scissors, like thick plastics and foam. When cutting with a knife, it is important to have a cutting mat that is a little bit thicker. 3 millimeters is really the minimum thickness required for a knife; consider obtaining a mat with 4 or 5 millimeters and 3 or more ply.

Texture is another key ingredient to the perfect cutting mat. A medium tooth is ideal. If the mat is too smooth, it becomes difficult to make straight cuts. Too coarse of a mat makes arcs and designs difficult to cut.

In conclusion, a cutting mat should be self-healing, at least 3 millimeters thick, non-glare, and non-marring to the blade. If all of these criteria are met, you have found the perfect cutting mat!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Reasons to Own a Self-Healing Cutting Mat

Cutting mats are designed to provide a safe and durable surface that can be used to cut a variety of materials for art, drafting or hobby purposes. They come in a range of sizes all the way up to nearly 8 feet across. There are several reasons why artists, draftsmen or hobbyists should own a cutting mat.

One Mat Lasts a Long Time

Cutting mats have a unique self-healing capability that makes them very durable. The mats are created from layers of material. The gashes and cuts that would usually be left behind by a sharp blade or rolling cutter actually vanish almost immediately. This leaves the surface smooth even after repeated use every day. A single cutting mat can last for years without degrading.

Create Cleaner Cuts

The cuts that are made on self-healing cutting mats are much cleaner than cuts made on a hard surface. Cutting through paper or fabric on a hard surface can cause the material to catch and tear. Creating smooth curves or sharp corners can be difficult because of the limited position of the blade. Cutting mats allow the blade glide smoothly and dynamically during use. This creates clean and smooth cuts.

Making Detailed Measurements Is Simpler

Cutting mats are usually printed with a very accurate grid that can be used to make precise measurements. The grid makes it easy to measure by inches or fractions of inches without having to use a separate ruler every time. Some mats even have angled lines on the board so that it is simple to make a 45-degree angle cut when needed. This allows for better precision when cutting materials for specific purposes like engineering models.

Protect Drafting Tables and Boards

Self-healing cutting mats are a common sight in many studios and homes because they protect the underlying surface. It is very difficult to cut completely through a mat because of the layered materials. The mats can be used to protect the surface of a drawing board, a tabletop or even the vinyl cover on a drafting table. Additionally, the cutting mat protects the sharpness of the blade being used since it does not scrape against a hard surface.
If you are interested in getting a self-healing cutting mat for your home or office, it is easy to find the perfect fit by visiting a online drafting specialty store. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

How to Select the Right Drafting Plotter Pens

Plotters are tools that have a place in business, design and engineering. Choosing a new pen can be confusing if you don’t know exactly what you need. There are a few things to consider when looking for the right plotter pen.

Plotter Model

The very first thing to look for is the model number of the actual plotter you are used to using. Not all pens will fit into all plotting attachments. Some are too thin or too tall. Nearly all drafting plotter pens state exactly which models they will work with. The manufacturer of the pen does not always have to be the same as the manufacturer of the plotter. Many pens work with multiple types of plotters.

Tip Type

The next decision should be about the type of tip on the plotter pen. There are three common options. A fiber tip pen can draw quickly and consistently especially when first starting. The tips do wear down and thicken over time with use. This can make later plots less crisp. Hard-nib pens are similar to rapidographs. These pens produce the highest quality plots although they are more expensive than other options. A final choice is a roller ball tip similar to a typical office pen. These pens produce low-quality results and are best for test plots.

Media Type

The next consideration should be the target media type. Nearly all drafting plotter pens work on regular paper. If the target media is going to be mylar, acetate or another type of material, then it is important to check that the pen can handle the surface. Mylar can tear apart some tips. Other pens will not create smooth lines on acetate. The manufacturer or seller should clearly state what media is supported.

Ink Style and Choices

Ink style and choices should be considered carefully. Archival ink plotter pens will produce graphs and drawings that do not fade over time or eat away at the underlying paper. Refillable pens might be an option if many plots are needed every week. A final consideration should be the range of ink colors. Not all pens offer a full selection of colors. This can make a difference if color plots are ever needed.

To find the best pen for you, it is best to view a variety at a specialty online drafting tools store.