Thursday, October 30, 2014

Drafting Degrees and Employment Opportunities

A degree in drafting places candidates one step closer to playing a pivotal role at an architecture firm or creative agency. Expertise in drafting and design is invaluable for a gamut of fields.

Drafting in the Real World

Whether we're talking about creating a prototype for an electronic device or a digital blueprint for an upcoming video game, a drafting degree provides the bedrock for a fulfilling career as an architect or creative designer.

A draft typically outlines a blueprint for how to use or assemble an electrical device or digital product. The fields of drafting and design have evolved closer together in recent years as many drafts can be brought to fruition through technology like computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software.

Many degrees in computer-aided design (CAD) are available both online and in person. Technical teams today need a workable design to move forward with a product proposal and design logistics.

Employment Opportunities

Higher degrees in design open up a bevy of employment opportunities. Sketches for commercial construction, patenting, electrical design, and the burgeoning field of green design all draw on skills that an experienced design student holds within his mind.

A higher degree in drafting also allows candidates to work as a CAD technician or cost estimator. Of course, doorways also open in fields like architectural design and residential design; both of these fields require a working blueprint for construction and renovations before either can get underway.

Molds, metal stamping and the creation of a range of everyday consumer products requires a working draft prior to implementation. Computer-aided drafting is an especially powerful skill to have today as so many large firms need mechanical designs and mold layouts before starting projects.

Drafting: Far-reaching Possibilities

Computer-aided models as well as drafting and planning are needed for building construction and the creation of many of the electronics and consumer devices used everyday.

Since the demand for new electronics is always shifting to suit popular tastes, the job opportunities for drafters are great.

Overall, a drafting degree is enormously wide-reaching in terms of its applicability towards a wide range of real-world drafting and design careers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Measuring Tools for Drafting That Everyone Should Own

Drafting and architectural construction are all about attention to detail and precision. This is why it is important to have a variety of measuring tools around. Accurate measurements can make a large difference especially when plans are being developed for later construction. There are a few measuring tools for drafting that everyone within the industry should own.

Straight Edges

Straight edges are one of the most fundamental measuring tools available. Every person performing drafting should have a variety of straight edges available in different lengths. It is also important to have L-squares in order to create or measure angles quickly without having to combine straight edges. Straight edges are useful for more than just measuring. They can be used to guide technical pens. They are also very useful for making straight cuts when trimming paper or art board.


One of the most precise measuring tools for drafting is a caliper. A caliper allows you to position two points on a plan or drawing. The distance between those points can be read accurately on the caliper. Calipers are incredibly helpful for measuring small distances in the most precise way possible. They can make it very easy to ensure that the distances between lines on a plan are all consistent and match the original design. Calipers are not just for drafting. They can also be used to measure materials when making an architectural model. A quality caliper is a tool that every person performing drafting should own.

Measuring Wheels

A final very useful tool is a measuring wheel. Measuring wheels are used to measure distances across a page. The device has a small wheel on the bottom and a dial in the center. The wheel is moved across a plan or drawing. The dial in the center records how many inches were traversed. Some measuring wheels can translate the distance to different scales. A measuring wheel makes it very easy to get accurate distances from non-linear parts of a plan. The wheel can be moved in any direction to measure the distance around circular or curving areas. This is difficult to do with any other type of measuring tool.

Monday, October 27, 2014

How to Choose the Right Drafting Office Chair

The chair that is used when drafting is very important. The right chair can make working much more comfortable. The wrong chair can affect the quality of the drawings that are made. There are several things to look for when choosing a drafting office chair.

Fully Adjustable Seat and Back

The first thing to look for is a fully adjustable seat and back. A good chair will have a lever to adjust the height so that it can be used at any drafting table or desk. It is also helpful to look for a chair that has additional levers that allow for adjustments to the angle of the seat and the angle of the back. If the chair has arms, then the arms should be adjustable in some way. A fully adjustable chair can be personalized so that it is comfortable and functional.

Foot Support

The next thing to look for is foot support. Foot support makes it easier to perform detailed drafting by helping to stabilize the body. It becomes simpler to lean forward when working on a small section of a drawing. A drafting office chair should have a circular footrest on the bottom or an area where the feet can be safely rested while working. It is also a good idea to find a chair that has adjustable foot support so that it can be raised or lowered depending on the needs of the draftsperson.


Try to find a chair that has casters. Casters are the wheels on the bottom. Casters are important because it allows for easy mobility while working. The chair can be slid to the side when working on a large drawing. They also make it simple to move between workstations or around a small area inside of an office. Check if the casters lock. Locking casters on a chair can provide added stability when performing delicate work.

Ergonomic Design

The final thing to look for is an ergonomic design. The chair will likely be occupied for hours every day. A poorly designed chair can lead to back, shoulder and neck problems. Choose a chair that has an ergonomic design that includes lumbar support. Extra support and an ergonomic design can make it easier to create large drawings and plans.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Shading Techniques

There is so much to learn about varying lead grades, and shading techniques. I have outlined some useful info and tips below!

A pencil set with many different grades or just a single pencil with a versatile grade (usually 2B) will both work very well when shading. It's really all up to you! The 20 most common grades of lead are 9B through 9H. The letters and numbers indicate the type of lead that it is. H stand for hard, and the B stand for black, or bold. When a lead is hard it leaves a very light amount of lead on the paper, so you want to use a hard lead when you want a light shading. Usually hard lead is not used for portrait drawings, 9B through HB are what is used most for portrait drawings. The black, or bold lead grades are a soft lead, leaving a lot of lead on the paper and produces dark shades. There is also an F grade, and this stands for fine point. This type of lead is still fairly hard, but has a more pronounced and sharpened point. The HB lead grade is the middle ground between hard and soft.

 The technique of blending is when you mix two shades together. You want the shades to naturally flow into one another so it creates a realistic feel and not a dramatic one. To blend pencil lead you will need to use a tortillion or blending stump. Some people choose to use their fingers, however since your fingers have oils sometimes the lead will stick to them and won't create the desired effect you are looking for. When blending with pencil it helps to move in a small circular motion, this allows the shading to look very smooth. It is also important when shading to go from dark to light. And the best tip of all, have patience! It can take some time to create your desired effect.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hidden doors!

Everyone wants a hidden door or passageway in their home, and I sure bet architects would have fun creating them! Check out some of these awesome ones below!

Hidden Wine Cellar

Created by the Spiral Cellars design/build firm. The cellar is insulated on the top and sides to keep the wine at the perfect temperature!

Hidden Playroom in Wardrobe

This wardrobe has a Narnia feel with a hidden entrance opening up into a playroom. We all remember this classic book fondly, but this home owner took it to the next level with this recreation! 

Hidden Home Theater 

This clever ticket booth was created by Creative Building Resources. However it's not just a ticket booth as you can see, it opens up into a home theater! 

Hidden Vault

This handy drawer is more than just a drawer, it's a vault! Created by Creative Home Engineering, it's a perfect way to keep your valuables safe. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Career Spotlight: How Can I Become an Architect?

How Can I Become An Architect?

Drafting Steals is a popular store for an architect's supplies. Let's look into how someone might become one!

 An architect designs and oversees the construction of buildings. The scope of an architectural project may be just the building itself, or it may include other aspects such as how the building relates to the environment in which it will be built. Because people will live and work in these buildings, they must be designed and built with the safety and welfare of the occupants as the uppermost concern.

 A career as an architect requires licensure and each state sets its own standards, specifying education and experience prerequisites. Most states require a college degree. Some states will accept several years of experience in lieu of a degree, but these states are in the minority. In general, the first step is to earn either a Bachelor of Architecture, which takes five years instead of the usual four, or a Master of Architecture degree, which takes 6 years. The school conferring the degree must be accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. This information will be posted at the school’s website.
In a few states, several years of actual work experience can be substituted for a degree. The requirements range from 6 to 13 years, depending on the state, and the work of the individual is closely supervised. For students with a degree, fewer years of internship are required, but they are just as carefully overseen.

 Once the education and/or work experience requirement has been met, the student must take and pass the Architect Registration Examination. This is a rigorous test lasting five hours, and includes multiple choice questions and vignettes on several topics, for which the test-taker must write a correct solution. After the candidate passes the exam, he or she must apply for and be granted licensure in his or her own jurisdiction. There is also a certification offered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. This certification qualifies the holder for licensure in most other jurisdictions. 

The education and training process for licensure as an architect is demanding and challenging. However, it is a highly regarded and well-paid career for those willing and able to meet the requirements.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How To Find A Good Sketch Pad

You need to know how to find a good sketch pad so that you can be creative any time you need. Artists, designers, graphic designers, fashion designers, drafters, and many other people need a good sketch pad so that they can put all their thoughts on paper. Many people prefer to draw rather than write, and they need to make sure they have the right kind of sketch pad in their bag.

The Pencil

Many people who draw every day prefer to use pencils. However, there are many types of pencil. Some people use charcoal pencils that are much easier to use for art, but many other use the pencils they would use in their classes at school.

The artist needs to make sure they choose the pd that has the right type of paper for their needs. Someone who draws with a charcoal pencil typically needs a much thicker piece of paper. A thinner piece of paper is much more useful for someone who is using a traditional pencil.

The Colors

Fashion designers, some drafters, and artists who need to draw in many colors must make sure to choose paper that will hold the color they use. Only the best paper can be used when people are putting many swathes of color on the page. The color will bleed if the paper is not of the highest quality, and it is wise to choose a pad that will hold all your colors long after you have draw your designs.

The Animation

People who draw animations need pads that are the right size for flipped animation. The pages must be very thin, and the pad must be small enough to flip through easily. The best sketch pad for animators is much smaller than the pads that most people use.

Finding the best sketch pad is a necessary task for every user. These artists and professionals need to have a pad that will hold their designs faithfully and work with the pencils and colors they prefer to use.

Modern Architecture

It's pretty hard to define modern architecture because it has such a wide range of meanings. Usually something of modern architecture is simple and part of the "overarching" movement. Some people believe that it flows with the advancing technology of our culture, while others view it as result of social and political matters. Whatever the case may be, modern architecture is certainly very engaging to look at.

Here are some examples of modern architecture buildings:

The Blue Planet located in Denmark and is actually an aquarium that has over 20,000 fish and aquatic animals! It was designed by an architecture team who says that the design "unites the natural elements of water, air and earth." 

The two hulls located in Nova Scotia, Canada and is a private home. The two structures are located on the coastline and overlook the water. The MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects were the ones who designed this lovely place! It is made of steel and wood. 

House of the Arts is located in Miranda do Corvo, Portugal and was created by a group of architects called Future Architecture Thinking. It was designed to represent the meeting of two different environments, urban and rural. The bright red color and slanted roof design of the building greatly stands out in the town against the mountain backdrop. It was built also to be a landmark, a place where people meet and create.

 The Hotchkiss Biomass Power Plant is located in Lakeville, Connecticut and was created by the Centerbrook Architects and Planners. It was meant to integrate with the landscape. The building burns harvested wood chips that heats the entire Hotchkiss school, about 85 buildings.
The wood chips are a by-product of a forest that is sustainably harvested. The goal of the school is to become a carbon-neutral campus by 2020.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why Should Drafters Have a Vyco Drafting Table Cover?

Drafting, or preparing engineering or building plans, requires you to use precise measurements, detailed techniques and straight lines and edges. To achieve perfect results from your efforts as a drafter, you may utilize drafting tools such as compasses, French curves, splines, T-squares, tacks and other tools. These tools combined with your own efforts using fine-tipped writing and drafting utensils can cause damage to a desk or table top. You may already have a damaged desk or table top that you wish to cover with a functional material, or your goal may be to protect the surface of a desk or table top that is currently in great condition. The ideal solution is the Vyco drafting table cover.

This is a unique material that is specially designed for drafting purposes, and it is designed to be protective, functional and easy to use and to install. It is made out of a durable material that has a Borco vinyl covering on top of it. This provides you with a smooth surface that is ideal for both drawing and writing. The cover can be used with Vyco rolls and sheets, and you will have the option to select from sheets that are designed for various purposes. For example, one option is a no-glare material. Another is translucent, and the final option is suitable for use with wood furnishings or glass table tops.

The Vyco drafting table cover is designed to work with all surfaces, and it can be measured and cut to size based on your specifications and needs. It is a self-sealing material that binds to surfaces without causing damage. In addition, it can easily be cleaned and maintained with a damp sponge.

If your goal is to preserve and protect existing furnishings in good condition or to give damaged furnishings new life with an enhanced covering, this material is ideal for drafters. It is designed to withstand damage that is commonly inflicted by all types of drafting tools and instruments, and it is suitable for use with all types of furnishings. Regardless of the condition or size of your current furnishings, this is a table cover that all drafters need.

Interesting Window Architecture

Breathtaking window architecture can be found all over the world. Below is some information and photos of just a few.

The Alhambra, located in Granada Spain was built in the 14th century and was originally constructed as a small fortress. It was remodeled in the mid-11th century by Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, and then became a royal palace in 1333. The arches and stonework that create the palace are stunning, and intricate to say the least. While the views aren't too bad either. Light is said to dance when reflected through these windows and create a magical atmosphere. 

Notre Dame du Haut located in Ronchamp France was created in 1984 by Le Corbusier. It has an entire wall covered in windows, and they aren't your average window either. They are a variety of different sized shapes and designs, some with stained glass and some plain that create a unique surrounding, especially when the sun shines and reflects through them.  

The Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral Rose Window located in Notre Dame, Paris. Its lovely elegance was created with stone and glass. The cathedral itself was one of the first buildings to ever use exterior arch support. It was created in the 12 century and is dripping with history.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

"What can I do with an engineering degree?"

People often have a hard time choosing majors once they decide to enroll in college. It can be an extremely overwhelming and confusing task, so visit the website for some great information on any degree or program, scholarships, schools, and much more! It can help make the daunting task a little less difficult to deal with, and clear up some questions. Below, I have outlined some information from their website about what you can do with an engineering degree.

If you do well in science and math, and are passionate about them, then engineering might be the right path for you! Engineering covers a wide range of jobs, and is always in high demand. A lot of companies now are focused on environmentalism and creating greener buildings and alternative energy sources.

If you're interested in engineering but don't know exactly what you'd like to focus in that's fine! The first couple years of school you can take all the basic classes first while deciding what you would really like pursue. There are also many organizations and internships during college that you can take part in to see what type of engineering interests you most. Taking advantage of these opportunities will not only help you gain knowledge and skills, but can also help you decide what you want to focus on.

Other types of engineering are transportation and health care, aerospace, petroleum, biomedical, chemical, computer, mechanical, and more!

Visit the website for some more detailed information, links to articles, scholarships, schools, personal testaments, and much more!

If you already study engineering in school or have just finished up your degree then is the place to go for all the tools you need! We offer high-quality paper, equipment, writing utensils, storage solutions, furniture, templates, and so much more at a reasonable price. Contact by email or phone with questions, our knowledgeable staff is here for you!

Friday, October 10, 2014

What is Safco Furniture?

For those employed in engineering and other careers where drafting is part of the job, having the right office furniture can make all the difference in the performance of one's daily duties. Once a drawing is completed, it needs to be stored in a place where it will not only be easily accessible, but also safe from potential damage. This is where Safco furniture comes into play and can be a great addition to any office. Offering many different styles of storage furniture specifically designed for drawings and blueprints, Safco furniture is used in many types of offices where blueprints, maps and other drawings are a standard part of the job.

Depending upon the needs of an office, Safco offers a variety of file cabinets for archival storage as well as day-to-day access. Flat file cabinets are made to safely and easily preserve artwork, drawings, maps and other documents pertaining to various projects. Vertical files are also available for hanging blueprints, making them easy to access and view while keeping them in good condition. For drawings that need to be stored in tubes or are simply rolled up, upright roll files can be used. Available as stationary or mobile units, these files can make it very convenient to locate drawings anywhere at anytime.

In addition to file storage, Safco also has a variety of office chairs to meet the needs of today's modern office. Some of the most popular are drafting chairs that are designed to keep a person comfortable while also maintaining the necessary height and tilt control needed when making precision drawings. A popular option for many offices is the Big and Tall office chair, specifically designed for those people who need or desire an oversized chair. Offering a 500-pound weight capacity and an oversized base, it is made to maintain its shape and comfort throughout the workday.

Whether it is file storage or chairs, Safco has been an industry leader for well over 40 years when it comes to designing and manufacturing drafting furniture. No matter the needs of today's modern office, Safco has the right product.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

How Do I Store Blueprints?

Any self-respecting manager wants to keep their work space easy to navigate and organized, especially when they need to keep track of drawings and prints. One may ask himself, “How Do I Store Blueprints?” expecting some amount of complication, but the answer to effective blueprint storage is fortunately easy and inexpensive. Roll file storage is a particularly convenient method for keeping large papers of all kinds, as rolled documents are small and easy to protect and store. There are also a few different ways to manage rolled blueprints individually, and in bulk.

The Individual Blueprint

Storage tubes for large papers are the same method with which artists protect and carry their precious prints, and various types can be bought cheaply at no cost to quality. These sturdy tubes will guard against weather and accidents, are easily carried and stored, come in round or square shapes, and there even exist expandable models. On the go, the safest and most convenient way to carry prints is in a tube.

The Mountain of Blueprints

With each print neatly rolled up to take up less space, how to store a combined collection of prints is a matter of preference. Traditional filing cabinets can be purchased with slots for rolled documents already installed that are then easy to lock up and secure. If an environment requires easier access, standing racks and mobile carts made for rolled files add flexibility to the work environment. These can also be purchased in variable heights and sizes to better suit individual needs.

Label and Color Coordinate

Having everything needed without being able to find it is the plight of those who do not label. While one obviously does not want to stick anything onto their prints, clipper tags avoid that dilemma entirely and make a collection of prints much easier to navigate. Storage isn’t just about having everything in one place, but ease of access.

Friday, October 3, 2014

What Drafting Paper Do I Need?

All drafting paper is not created equal. There are many different types of drafting paper available for a variety of jobs. It is important to know the right type of paper required for the specific task you need to accomplish. Drafting paper is specially made to be used with pens or pencils. It is smooth and manufactured from various materials that include film and vellum. It is also erasable.

Let's take a look at some of the different varieties of drafting paper that are commonly available:

What drafting paper do I need?

1. Vellum paper

This is a clearprint paper that is both dimensionally stable and translucent. It can be used for printing, tracing and drafting. It is manufactured from plastericized cotton. Humidity and temperature will not affect it. Clearprint vellums are able to be used with laser and inkjet printers for the vast majority of printing applications. They are also an outstanding medium for charcoal, pastels, colored markers and painting.

2. Keuffel and Esser graph paper

This is an engineered grid paper that is printed in blue, orange and green inks. It is printed on either a tracing or a bond paper that is high quality. You will be able to find grid papers in polar, semi logarithmic, 1/2 inch logarithmic, inch and metric.

3. Drafting film

This is ideal for drawing with pencils and pens. It is extremely durable and capable of withstanding a large amount of changes and revisions, which are common during the drafting process. Drafting film is also known for being able to withstand various changes in humidity and temperature, with no visible changes to the paper itself. The film is dimensionally stable and manufactured from a polyester material that can be purchased in various thicknesses. Drafting film can be purchased in either sheets or rolls.

4. Alva-line vellum tracing paper

This type of paper contains the following benefits:

- Uniform quality: All of these papers are uniform in their working surface, formation and transparency.

- Very strong: These papers provide a high level of resistance when it comes to tearing and folding. It easily surpasses all of the governments specifications in regards to these issues.

- No ghosts: There will be no lines appearing that are not desired on either the original or any of the reproductions.

- Surface that is trouble-free and versatile: This paper works equally well with crayons, typing, pencil, water color and ink. It will always hold the precise amount of pencil graphite required.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How Do I Use Prismacolor Markers

What Are Prismacolor Markers?

Prismacolor markers are high-quality, professional markers that come in a wide array of brilliant colors. They can be used to create an exciting variety of textures, shading, blending and shadowing. These artist-grade markers are double-ended with uniquely shaped tips to allow the artist to create various line widths and fine details. Prismacolor markers provide rich color and silky coverage.

What Are Prismacolor Markers Used For?

These markers are great for both art and technical work. They can be used for creating cartoons, illustrations, sketching, graphic design, drafting and other technical drawing.

How Do I Use Prismacolor Markers?

Prismacolor markers are extremely versatile and dynamic. There are hundreds of ways artists can use them to create beautiful designs.

Basic Techniques

Use on various types of paper, wood and metal surfaces
Create broad, medium and fine lines using the wide tip
Create fine and medium lines using the fine tip

Using the colorless blender marker

Clean up edges of artwork and designs
Acts as eraser on tracing paper

Create two-color stripes:
Select the colors needed for the stripes
Load colorless blender marker with one color on the right side and a different color on the left side

Blend colors:
Use a plastic palette to put down colors from assorted markers
Use the colorless blender marker to pick up various colors to blend and create customized colors

*Tip: Clean the colorless blender marker by rubbing on clean piece of scrap paper

More tips and techniques

Create more fluid color by placing acetate directly under the art paper
Create a drier color effect (make the marker less wet) by placing plain paper directly under the art work.
Achieve realistic detail by using the Prismacolor markers over gel pen, colored pencils or calligraphy art
Use the 10%, 30% and 50% grey to create detailed sketches

Prismacolor markers create a wide spectrum of colors, textures and details. They can be used alone or with other artist-quality color pens and pencils. Artists in various industries can utilize Prismacolor markers to create vivid drawings, precise sketches, dramatic illustrations and detailed designs.