Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Benefits of SMI Drafting Tables

Drafting requires not only having the knowledge to create very precise drawings, but also the proper equipment. Along with drawing instruments, a drafter needs a quality drafting table that makes creating drawings easy and convenient while also making sure it's built well enough to withstand many years of use. When offices and schools look to purchase drafting tables, they often turn to SMI.

Considered to be some of the best drafting tables for schools, SMI drafting tables have proven to be very popular with students taking drafting classes in high school or college. Extremely sturdy tables, they come with many storage areas. For example, all SMI tables come with a smooth dust cover, giving them additional storage. The locking tool drawer works well for storing supplies, making it easy for students to store their supplies while ensuring they will be locked up in a safe place.

Made of solid oak, these tables are made to withstand the daily wear and tear of multiple students in the classroom. With four coats of lacquer finish, they not only look good but are also very functional. They come with adjustable top rods, which make it easy for students to position the board for correct angle adjustments on their drawings.

One advantage of purchasing these tables is the quick shipping. All tables are drop-shipped directly to customers, allowing them to arrive within 4-6 weeks. They also come in many different sizes, with the smallest being 24"x36" and the largest 36"x60". Prices ranges from just over $300 for smaller tables to less than $550 for the largest ones, making them very affordable for both public schools as well as colleges looking to upgrade their classroom furnishings.

Offering customers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, SMI drafting tables have been the choice of schools everywhere for decades. Very simplistic in their design, they nevertheless have been able to stand the test of time and have proven to be the most popular drafting tables used in high school and college drafting classes. When teachers want the best tables for their students, SMI is their first choice.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

How to Choose a Portfolio Case for Artwork

No matter how beautiful artwork is, it has to be carried in the right case. Using the wrong case not only can ruin the effect of pulling out beautiful artwork, but the wrong case could also actually damage the artwork inside of it. Therefore it is crucial that artists take care to select the perfect portfolio to carry their artwork in. Here is a guide for artists to pick the right portfolio case for artwork to meet their needs.


The first thing that artists must consider is the size of the artwork that they will be carrying inside of their portfolios. The portfolio must be large enough so that it does not cause any creases along the border of the artwork. If an artist is going to be carrying many different sizes of works, then she needs to get a portfolio with multiple pockets that can accommodate various sizes.


It is a good idea to get a portfolio that comes with a handle. This is especially true if it is a larger portfolio. A handle will make larger portfolios much less cumbersome to carry. When selecting a portfolio with a handle, be sure to inspect the handle carefully to make sure that it looks durable and well-constructed.


The way the portfolio case for artwork looks can also be an important consideration. If it is a case for a professional artist, then a beautiful leather exterior is a nice touch. Art students and those who are amateur artists may be able to make do with a case that doesn’t look like it cost a fortune.

Presentation Cases

For those who are looking to show off the artwork in their portfolios, a presentation case is preferable. A presentation case holds artwork just like a normal portfolio, but the artwork inside of it is contained inside of laminated plastic sheets. These sheets are contained on binder rings that allow people to flip through the artwork inside the portfolio to inspect it. A portfolio that has this presentation aspect is useful for artists of all stripes, but it is especially useful for artists who are job hunting.

Friday, November 21, 2014

What are Architectural Flat Files?

Preserve Important Documents

Architectural flat files are necessary for preserving important documents in a safe and climate controlled environment. Built to hold large sizes of paper, the files are made to store maps, blueprints and artwork without folding the objects. These files are made by well-known manufacturers with knowledge of designing and building devices that are functional and durable. There are several types of businesses that require filing systems to hold large documents. Architectural firms or schools have metal file drawers to store older or newer blueprints that require fast access. Files typically have multiple drawers to hold many documents in an organized way to avoid time-consuming searches.

Choose Different Designs

Sturdy metal such as stainless steel in colors such as gray or black are commonly used to make architectural flat files. Businesses can also find bright colors to match particular decors or request customization. Most files have numerous drawers to hold many large sheets of paper with an option of stacking more units on top. The drawers are designed to open enough to remove and replace the documents without causing any damage. One of the most popular places for large drawer file systems is a library located at a university where archival papers are kept for academic research. Of course, public libraries need these file drawers to store large maps, photographs or genealogical documents.

Locking Security Devices

Anyone wanting a flat file can find online specialty retailers that sell supplies needed by schools or businesses. It is important to remember that buying these types of files is an important investment that will likely last a lifetime with the right treatment. Great companies that make quality office storage furniture are Safco and Mayline. While buying filing systems for libraries or architectural firms may seem simple, for the individuals selecting the devices, the devices are vital. Most of these file systems are also equipped with labeling windows on the front of the drawers to keep track of documents. Because many businesses are concerned about theft or vandalism, the drawers of the files are made with lock and key devices for security.

Friday, November 14, 2014

What is a Basic Drafting Instrument Kit

Draftsmen are people who draw and outline plans for buildings and structures. People who become draftsmen need to go to school for several years to learn their trade, and when they graduate, they are required to purchase a set of instruments. Drafting instruments are used to create and prepare drawings that draftsmen use. The quality of their instruments makes a big difference in how accurate their artistic and utilitarian creations are.

Most draftsmen need drawing pencils, drawing paper, drawing boards, T-squares, rulers and a drawing instrument box to keep everything in. Draftsmen who specialize in certain fields need other particular tools.

Drawing pencils are made of the finest graphite, and they come with fine erasers that are made to completely erase any trace of graphite left on the paper. Most of the time, draftsmen use mechanical graphite pencils, but this is not always the case. If the drafting pencils being used are not mechanical, than a pencil sharpener is also necessary.

Drawing paper for draftsmen needs to be made of the best quality material. There are different types of drawing paper. There is thin paper that is used more in blueprints and other prints, and there is thicker paper that may be used in smaller drawings.

T-squares rulers and drafting templates are also very important. T-squares help draftsmen to create perfect right angles. Rulers help draftsmen create absolutely uniform and straight lines. The drafting templates are used to create small circles, ovals, rectangles and other key shapes that are uniform. That way, if more than one draftsman works on the same project, all of the shapes and lines have the same look. The drawing instrument box is also important because inside, there is a place for each and every instrument and utensil. The drawing instrument box keeps the draftsman’s equipment safe and secure while it is being transported or stored.

Each of the products in a draftsman’s basic drafting instrument kit needs to be made of quality materials so that it can be used to create the most accurate drawings and renderings of the building or structure that is to be constructed.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Useful Gifts for Architects

The Christmas season is soon upon us, and it is fun and interesting to think a little out of the box about how to meet the special needs that our family members and colleagues present. If you work with, are friends with, or are acquainted with a special architect, it is fanciful to think about myriad ways to make an impression by buying customized Gifts for Architects, while exercising your own creativity and sense of taste, decorum, expression, or flair.

While it is nearly impossible to generalize about groups of people in any way, it is fun to imagine the perfect gift wish list for the architect, to inspire family members and others close to the person to be unusual and memorable this season. Theme calendars are always fun, and Legos makes a 3-D Calendar with 12 designs, one for each month. Also, the company is making Advent Calendars that are 3-D, a sure hit with children this year. Legos also makes a great gift package for architects, called gifts for grown ups.

Other engaging ideas can be found by thinking thematically. Subscriptions to websites, services, and magazines for architects are always a hit: View some online or start with Architectural Digest at Something that is gaining popularity and is an interesting idea is a kit for making your own watch, an activity that is sure to inspire as well as be instructive, fun, and satisfying.

If you're looking to purchase a tool, a plotter pen is a useful tool that any architect would love but it is affordable enough for gift giving. These pens have a continuous flow of ink with the same width for perfection in their designs.

No matter which approach you choose, it may be fun to pay adage to an old stereotype that is somewhat true at times: Architects drink a lot of coffee. A coffee to match, with a name like Colectivo, is a quirky idea, sure to raise some kind of reaction.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Exploring Gift Ideas for the Drafting Student

For individuals that do not understand technical drawing professions, it can be difficult to determine proper gift ideas for the drafting student. Luckily, this guide has all of the bases covered for prospective present buyers and gift givers.

Every aspiring designer needs a trustworthy drafting board at all times. Covering this pricey piece of vital equipment will put them on the fast track to success. There are a lot of considerations to make regarding size and material, so check their curriculum see which one fits their needs.

A variety of pens and pencils will be necessary too, and refined utensils are always a thrill for newcomers to the field. To maximize the utility of these drafting materials, savvy shoppers can give bow compasses, beam bars and friction dividers.

Erasers are a supply that perpetually seem to be in short order, so they make excellent presents. The malleable putty works best to stave off smears, and a slip handle can keep spare pens organized for the same purpose.

Fine paper is consistently a happy surprise for fledgling drafters. They also will learn that their portfolio needs to be neatly arranged, which means a file cabinet may be warmly received. This will allow them to safely store every page in a chronological fashion.

A gift card to an art supply store can enable miracles for budding drafters by allowing them to choose custom tools. There are also plenty of complete drafting kits available with everything listed above included in one generous package.

To document their progress, students will also need a camera or scanner. Copies that possess high resolution capture every nuanced detail of an assignment before it is submitted. This permanently preserves all pieces of a student’s catalog for future viewing, which is essential to job interviews and internships.

Drafting is steadily shifting to the digital realm, so advanced hardware is a welcome gift. If the student already has a cutting-edge computer, they might still need some state-of-the-art software. This can be the steepest expense of a drafter's education, so receiving the programs as a present will be truly appreciated.

Monday, November 10, 2014

What Are Drafting Supplies?

Drafting is an occupation that needs a lot of tools and supplies, but exactly what are drafting supplies? Drafting supplies are used for draftsmen who make their living working with drafts of buildings and other structures. Draftsmen figure out the internal structures of a blueprint. For example, an electrical draftsman might draft up blueprints and plans for the electrical connections in a new building. This gives the construction workers, engineers and architects something to go from when they actually create the structure in real life. Drafting is a technical job that takes advanced skill and a degree from a drafting institution. There are several different types of drafting supplies that are necessary to do the job.

Drafting Templates

Everything in drafting has to be uniform. One draftsman’s work has to be able to translate fluidly to other draftsmen’s work. This means that even symbols for certain things in drafting must be uniform across the board. For this reason, there are drafting templates that are sold. These are plastic or cardboard rectangles that have stencils cut into them where draftsmen can trace the image or shape they need to make. There might be drafting templates for electrical drafting and others for simple shapes like circles and rectangles.

Drafting Pencils, Sharpeners and Erasers

It makes sense that draftsmen go through a lot of pencils and erasers. These are the main tools that they are using in their work everyday. The pencils they use are not just any pencils that you would find at a regular stationary store. They have special drafting lead in them that is meant to last. It’s called archival lead. Most drafting pencils are mechanical pencils, so draftsmen need to purchase packages of the lead to use. Erasers are also made specifically for erasing special drafting lead. Finally, for those drafting pencils that are not mechanical, pencil sharpeners are necessary.

Remember that all drafting supplies can be found online. Some drafting supplies are more expensive than others, but there are always competitive prices on brand name drafting supplies at sites like Make sure to shop around for the best prices, and take good care of all of your drafting equipment so that you can buy it and keep it for a lifetime.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Two of the greatest engineers of all time- The Wright brothers

The Wright brothers are respectfully recognized as two of the greatest engineers of all time, and rightly so. Wilber and Orville Wright are deemed the inventors of the first successful airplane, as well as the first successful flight, which took place on December 17th, 1903, and demonstrated it publicly in 1908.

When the brothers were boys, it is said that their father gave them a paper helicopter toy, and this is what set in motion their interest in flying. They are most famous for their creation of the three-axis control. The three-axis control enabled the pilot of the aircraft to maintain control and equilibrium. It is also said that the brothers thought of the three-axis design from the bicycle design!

There are some people who attribute the first flight to others and not the Wright brothers, and this has caused some controversy over the years. Whatever the truth may be, it is no doubt that the Wright brothers inventions and innovative thinking impacted the world very greatly, and helped make it what it is today.

Friday, November 7, 2014

What to Look For When Choosing a Cutting Mat

A cutting mat is an essential drafting and craft supply. Cutting mats protect surfaces and make it easier to produce precise cuts. A variety of cutting mats with different features are available today. Some of these features are very useful while others do not make much of a difference. It is important to know how to choose a cutting mat.


The first thing to look at is the thickness of the cutting mat. The best cutting mats are at least 3 millimeters thick. A knife could easily cut through thinner mats. It also helps to look at the number of layers or plies of material. The mat should have at least three layers. The center layer should be the thickest. These are the most durable cutting mats.

Self-Healing Material

Choose a cutting mat that is made from a self-healing material. Knife marks on these cutting mats close up so that the surface remains smooth for a longer time. Self-healing cutting mats can last for years. They are also able to handle a variety of cutting tools including rotary knives. Avoid mats that are not self-healing.

Measuring Grid and Marks

Look for a cutting mat that has a clear grid on the surface or other measuring marks. A grid makes it much easier to cut paper or other materials down to exact sizes. Look for a mat with a grid that covers most of the surface. Additionally, pick a mat that has measuring marks along the edges for handling oversized materials. The most useful cutting mats have a variety of measuring marks on the surface to help align materials and show sizes quickly.


The final thing to look at is the texture and finish of the cutting mat. The cutting mat should have a surface with a little texture. This will help the mat to grip the paper while it is being cut. Do not choose a smooth mat because the material will slide readily across the surface. Pick a cutting mat that has a matte appearance with anti-glare properties. Glossy cutting mats can make it hard to work and see the measuring marks or material.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity is a wonderful charity that helps people and communities that are in need. The organization uses architecture and design to bring about change. Architecture for Humanity was founded by Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr in 1999. It was originally started to help the people of Kosovo, and give the refugees from the conflict shelter.

Over the course of 15 years this organization has completed over 245 projects 28 countries! They offer pro-bono designs, construction management service, as well as funding for projects in all different places of the world. They help communities rebuild after natural disasters, and creates schools and playgrounds in poor countries around the world. The want to show people how much architecture can effect and positively improve the lives of others.

Architecture for Humanity has won multiple awards throughout the years, and hosts international design competitions. These competitions have concen
trated on poverty, and helped programs such as youth sports and outreach, houses for refugees (mentioned above) , and a mobile clinic to help with HIV/Aids.

Architecture for Humanity has branched out to 16 countries all over the world, with 58 total chapters.