Monday, June 29, 2015

3 Uses for a Translucent Cutting Mat

Cutting mats are used by many draftsmen and artists. Architects and engineers often use them as well. The mats can be put on top of desks and tables for a smooth surface. Cutting mats can be purchased in many brick and mortar stores, but they are also available on the internet for great prices. A quality place to buy them is at

Choosing a drafting mat brand is the first step toward finding the perfect mat for work. Alvin is a tried and true drafting mat brand that has been in business for several decades with great success. Alvin Cutting Mats creates many different types of translucent, self-healing mats that can be used with pens, pencils, knives and rotary cutters.

1. Use Them as a Drawing or Writing Surface

When drawing or writing, it is nice to be able to have a smooth and bump-free surface. Even special drafting tables and desks sometimes have nodules on them or divots and scratches. In the end, these mats will provide a soft and even surface for any type of work. These surfaces can also be used in between a reference picture or diagram because they are translucent.

2. They Are Great for Cutting Guidelines

Because the different types of the Alvin translucent cutting mats have lots of guidelines, this makes them great for use with rotary cutters or knives. It is easy to measure out guidelines, and cutting perfect lines is a breeze.

3. They Protect Tables and Desks

Finally, if drafters or artists are going to be using rotary cutters or knives on the mats, this is perfect for protecting the fine wood or other surfaces of the desk or table. These mats are self-healing, so the cuts that are made on them won’t end up lasting at all.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Benefits of An Ergonomic Drafting Chair with Arms

Professional drafters and artists who spend long hours poring over detailed drafting assignments are susceptible to back pain, eye strain, neck problems and other physical ailments. One standard design does not meet each person's needs. To alleviate these complications, an ergonomic drafting chair with arms is a great addition to the working environment. Paired with a drafting table, an ergonomic chair offers a number of positional adjustments to suit the desired height, width and working setup of its user.

The weight of a person's arms puts a lot of stress on the body if the arms are not adequately supported. Arm rests designed with ergonomic principles reduce strain on the back and neck muscles. An ergonomic chair with arms allows for a range of adjustments to suit different body types and seating arrangements. Arms with horizontal, width-based adjustments take the width of each individual into consideration. For example, two arm rests with a considerable amount of space between them would not be suitable for a much narrower person who only requires a short distance of arm space. Vertical adjustments allow people of varying heights to find the right position. Finally, front-to-back and/or rotational adjustments allow for the arms to rest in different positions. These options adapt the chair to the person rather than the person to the chair. Individuals are less likely to take on perched and hunched positions if they can choose the exact position of their arm rests and the distance between them.

Ergonomic chairs are made with a variety of comfortable and ergonomic materials like memory foam or mesh fabric. Chairs with memory foam form an imprint of each person's body. This is a great alternative to generic padding and imprints. Lumbar support is also a crucial component to an ergonomically designed chair. A number of these chairs provide adjustments to support the specific curvature of the spine and height of each person. Ergonomic chairs with arms are essential for office workers and drafters who want to reduce injuries while working and enjoy long, productive work sessions without strain.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Using Safco Hanging Clamps

Blueprints are some of the most vital parts of any engineering or construction project. Therefore, when it comes time to use them in an important presentation or store them in a vertical file, it's important to have the right office equipment. One of the most popular and efficient pieces of equipment used with blueprints today is Safco hanging clamps, which allow for both easy presentations and storage in vertical files.

Available in lengths ranging from 18-42 inches, the clamps are designed to hold blueprints as small as 18x24 inches or ones as large as 42x60 inches. Designed with strength and versatility in mind, they are made of bright extruded aluminum and come with black wing knobs, which provide not only a great look during a presentation, but also balanced gripping tension. And when it comes time to file away the blueprints, the clear plastic label holders make labeling and identifying the plans easier than ever.

Very durable as well, the clamps have a limited lifetime warranty and are sold in packages of six. Prices range from $161.30 for the 18-inch clamps to just under $224 for the 42-inch clamps, which involves a saving of almost 50 percent off the retail price. Considered a good buy for virtually any office, each clamp can hold 100 sheets of blueprints or a total of 20 pounds of work, whichever is greater.

While they are under a limited lifetime warranty, accidents can happen from time to time. When this happens, Safco will make sure the problem is resolved to the customer's satisfaction. If any of the clamps prove to be defective while under normal use, the clamps will be repaired or replaced free of charge.

In today's world of engineering and architecture, many firms use digital technology to give presentations. However, blueprints still play a vital role when clients want to examine plans they are holding in their own two hands. Therefore, using Safco hanging clamps during a presentation can make all the difference. Whether using for a presentation or vertical filing, hanging clamps such as these will help keep blueprints in excellent condition.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Reasons to Use Mayline File Cabinets to Hold Drawings or Blueprints

The metal file cabinets created by Mayline have become a staple in many offices and studios. These cabinets are designed to endure constant use and hold a large number of drawings or blueprints. It is important to know the main reasons to use Mayline file cabinets in a studio or office.

Provide the Best Protection Possible

One of the main reasons to have a Mayline cabinet is to provide the best protection possible for drawings, plans or blueprints. These cabinets are mostly made from powder-coated steel. The steel case and drawers will withstand daily use and resist corrosion, dents or other damage. They keep the materials inside protected from sunlight so that fading is not a problem. They also stop potential damage from accidents like spilling a drink. If safety is a concern, then these file cabinets are an excellent choice.

Make Organizing Plans or Drawings Easier

Organization is very important when handling blueprints, drawings or other materials. A lack of organization can lead to lost papers, damaged drawings, and general chaos. Mayline file cabinets are one of the best ways to keep everything organized. Each of the drawers is separate and self-contained. There are clear slots for labels. The fronts of the drawers are large enough to support extra labeling. Additionally, some file cabinets have shelves or space underneath to hold items that do not fit in the drawers.

Maximize Space

Large drawings can be difficult to store. This is especially true when there are many large drawings or when the space available is limited. A Mayline cabinet makes maximum use of the space under and around the piece. Each of the drawers in the cabinet can hold up to 60 pounds. This means that hundreds or more drawings can be kept in a single cabinet. An added benefit is that most of the Mayline cabinets can be stacked. This makes it possible to take advantage of the vertical space in an office or studio.

Long-Lasting Cabinets

Some types of storage cabinets made from materials such as plastic or wood can fall apart quickly. The same is true when using cardboard storage tubes for blueprints. Mayline cabinets will last for a very long time because they are made from quality powder-coated steel. The cabinets are simple to care for and could last for decades.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Beautiful Architecture of Barcelona, Spain

There's no doubt that Barcelona holds some of the most beautiful architecture to date. Gothic style cathedrals are spread throughout. Many sightly churches offer their breathtaking views. The vibrant and creative works of Antoni Gaudi cannot be missed throughout the city. Some of his most famous work in Barcelona include the Sagrada Familia, Casa Vicens, Palau Güell, Park Güell, Casa Milia, and Casa Batló.

Park Guell
Gaudi captures the Catalan modernism in Barcelona. This meant favoritism towards curves rather than straight lines, heavy or “gaudy” details, asymmetry with shapes, and the famous use of stained glass, iron, and stone, which were all new materials for that time period.

La Sagrada Familia
Some of his work worth further mentioning are the Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, and Casa batló. Although La Sagrada Familia is currently under construction to this day, it is still considered a masterpiece by Gaudi. The asymmetrical design of this building is very refective of his style.
Staying true to Gaudi's love for curves over straight lines, the Park Güell stands above the city, displayings it's series of curvy walkways. Stone is also used here along with beautifully colored mosaics.

                             Casa Batlo

The Casa Batló is a remodeled private home nicknamed “House of Bones” due to its exciting curved windows, arched roof, and severe lack of straight lines. Every single room of the home displays incredible tile and vibrant colors.

Santa Maria del Mar

Built between 1329 and 1386, another great example of Catalan Gothic architecture is the Santa Maria del Mar. The exterior was designed to include images of Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint John. The interio contrasts the drastic look of the outside, bringing a view filled with spaciousness and light. Magnificent octagonal columns support a ribbed vault that offers abundant sunlight. Exciting and colorful stained-glass windows have remained through various time periods, and the church claims to have the most slender stone columns in the world.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sustainable Housing

Click to enlarge

More and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of Sustainable living and housing. Sustainable living is a way in which one attempts to reduce their use of natural resources and carbon footprint by altering methods of everyday living. Housing, transportation, energy consumption, etc., are all examples of this. We are seeing different designs of sustainable housing from across the globe, all accommodating the climate in which they are located. From small and simple housing, to very complex, to entire eco-villages, there is absolutely a creative outlet provided to get some designs going for this type of housing.

Sustainable housing aims to make the home or housing development environmentally friendly. Not only are solar panels used, but the building materials, appliances, and design structure is designed with the earth in mind. Like Le Corbusier's desgins, these houses may be built with gardens on top of the roofs. Gutter systems built around the house as well as slanted portions of the roof allow for rain water storage. The design possibilities are endless!

Examples of Sustainable housing designs

Saturday, June 13, 2015

An Architect's Tape Measure that Measures Up

When working on a project, measurements act as the skeleton of the skeleton of the design. They dictate where and how everything fits and eventually adds up to a completed final product. Because measurements are so vital, any miscalculation can result in disaster. With so much riding one just one aspect of construction, it's best to have exactly what you need.

Measurements have to be two things to work. They have to be exact, and they have to be right. If the distance between 1/4" and 1/8" isn't exactly consistent across the length of the tape measure, then the correct information isn't being applied to the project. Respectively, if the distance between 1/4" and 1/8" is wrong, then the same results will be met. The architect tape measure delivers on both aspects which means no second guessing the accuracy. At 5 feet long, this tape measure provides graduations at both 1/4" and 1/8" to the foot. This kind of micro-precision adds up to superior craftsmanship that is noticeable when compared to cruder measurements. Not only does the architect tape measure feature precise math, the bright yellow enamel coating makes everything easy to read, even in dimly lit areas.

This tape measure isn't just for the drafting table, either. It's compact design means it can fit in a pocket, and the spring-action tape return lets the user spool the tape back with the press of a button. Even at heights and in situations where hand usage is vital this tape measure shines with a looped cord that can be secured around a wrist. The best tools are the ones that can serve more than one purpose and be used in an array of situations. This product can go anywhere and deliver accurate and easy to read results, and then be tucked away until it's needed again.

Friday, June 12, 2015

What types of art portfolio cases are there?

When you create great art, you want to be able to protect it the way that it needs to be protected. It would be such a shame if something that you took hours to create got ruined just because you didn't have the right protection for it. This is where art portfolio cases come in. Art portfolio cases are different sorts of protecting units that can house all of your artwork, sketches, large documents, graphs and other important paper items. Art portfolio cases protect your documents and artwork that they don't get damaged, scratched or hurt while you are transporting them or storing them in your home or office. It is important that you always have the proper art portfolio case when you need a place to put your artwork.

What types of art portfolio cases are there?

There are many different types of portfolio cases that you can choose from. First, you have soft-sided portfolio cases that are expandable and can hold several different pieces of artwork as well as poster boards and foam boards. These come in various sizes and prices.

You also have portfolio cases that are made out of mesh material. Mesh material is great for portfolio cases because you can see what is in them from the outside, and you don't have to always reach in and root around for what you are looking for.

Finally, there are large, heavy duty portfolio cases. These often come in different sizes, but they are generally very big, so they are usually for larger posters and documents. Also, many of the heavy duty prestige portfolio cases have folds and other packets on the outside of the main pocket. These extra pockets allow you to put things like rulers, compasses and pens and pencils in them for easy access.

If you are a student of art, drafting or architecture, you need a portfolio case to store your documents and artwork. If you know someone who is pursuing one of these degrees or professions, can art portfolio case also makes a great gift for birthdays or holidays. Check out art portfolios for sale online or in some art supply stores.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Popular Fictional Architects on TV

Paul Newman in The Towering Inferno
Paul Newman plays the hero in this movie, where he discovers the true reason behind the fire set on the building he had designed. He also rescues two children and saves the lives of others!

Robert Reed in The Brady Bunch
Robert Reed plays Mike Brady in the classic U.S. Sitcom, The Brady Bunch. Reed plays widowed then remarried architect, where many of his scenes are shown hard at work at his drafting table in his den. One of TV's favorite dads has an exciting career!

Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother
Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor, is a young architect living in the city with his best friends on the hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother. One episode shows Mosby being told by his friend that women are more likely to date architects, and he uses his profession to try to meet more women.

Other popular TV architects worth mentioning... 

Woody Harrelson in Indecent Proposal

Steve Martin in HouseSitter

Adam Sandler in Click

Liam Neeson in Love Actually

Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle  

Drawing Necessities for Serious Beginners

One of the most wonderful parts to sketching and drawing is that it can be a successful career, or a fun and creative hobby to explore. Most artists began drawing at a young age, where a no. 2 pencil and some paper would suffice, however as we develop our skills an artist, there are a few essential materials you may want to consider purchasing as you become more serious about your skill.

Each drawing tool and material shown is presented with a link to purchase from Drafting Steals! Enjoy!

Drawing pencils
Quality drawing pencils allow for your drawing to look its best. Pencil sets are a great option because they contain pencils with harder graphite (9H) and softer graphite (6B). Harder graphite (typically H) will make lighter marks. Using harder graphite will leave impressions on the paper, so that is something to consider. Softer granite pencils (typically B) will make darker marks. Using a “B” pencil will give you more variety. Artists will generally use between a “4B” and “6B” because of that variety it allows.

Using a sketchbook allows you the freedom to sketch or draw any time you may feel inclined to do so. With a sketchbook, your creative ideas can now flow. A sketchbook is a great way to practice your skills, and also a place to look back through to see your improvements over time.

Acid free paper 
Acid free paper is more likely to withstand normal wear and tear. It will not yellow over time, and is much more resistant to fading from UV light.

Drawing space
Quality drawing surfaces give you your own space to work your creativity.

Art Portfolio
Keep your artwork protected and preserve its original state with an art portfolio case.

Erasers can greatly aid in your drawings. Not only do they erase your mistakes, but different erasers will create a different mark. For example, the Gum Eraser is a great tool to remove unwanted markings to any surface that may be sensitive to tearing. Rubber erasers are your typical erasers used for graphite. Plastic or vinyl erasers are known to erase almost anything but are also more likely to tear the paper, so watch out!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What to put in your art portfolio for college

Art portfolios are a small, representative collection of an artist's work. Deciding what to put into your portfolio when applying to college can be overwhelming. Every school is going to have their own unique set of requirements, so be sure that you check with each school first. It is important to only include finished pieces of work for your portfolio. Perfect the artwork you have selected, freeing it of fingerprints, etc. Be sure to organize your work according to style or subject type, making it appear together in some way. One example could be grouping your pictures in color schemes, or according to the type of media used. The order of your portfolio is important. You will make a big impression on those viewing your work if you show your best pieces first. That being said, also consider the way in which you photograph your artwork. Attention to lighting is important. Limit the amount of work you put into your portfolio to roughly 20 pieces. Twenty solid and sound pieces of work are enough to give the viewer an adequate idea of your brilliant artistic abilities! Other important tips to remember are that strong drawings are important, to demonstrate versatility in a range of several medias, and ask a trusted art teacher for help if needed.

Need a portfolio/presentation binder? What about a Prestige Studio Lite portfolio case to
keep your work preserved and at its best? Look no further than Drafting Steals. Follow the link below to purchase one of your own today.

Popular architectual design buildings

The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper located in Manhattan. The grand, iconic, world famous building was completed in 1931, in a remarkable one year and 45 days. The structure stands at a total of 1,454 feet, making it the fifth tallest skyscraper in the United States, but it was once considered to be the tallest in the world. This building was designed by William F Lamb in the distinctive Art Deco style, and had also been named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

Considered to be “the jewel of Muslim art in India”, the Taj Mahal was built by Shan Jahan, an emporer. Often mistaken as a palace, the Taj Mahal was actually built as a tomb for the Emperor's wife. Construction began in 1632 and was completed in 1648, 16 years later. Grandiose gardens and statues contribute to the beauty of such an amazing and iconic structure.

Considerably the most famous architectural icon in Australia, the Sydney Opera House was designed by Jørn Utzon, a relatively unknown architect at that time. Utzon won an international contest, allowing him to be the designer of this building. The facility opened in 1973 officially, but began in 1957 when Utzon won the competition.Three groups of interlocking shells create two main performance halls and a restaurant. This is truly an iconic symbol of Sydney, Australia.

Like the architect who designed the Sydney Opera House, architect Frank Gehry developed an incredibly unique concept for The Guggenheim museum after winning a competition to design the building. The museum officially opened in 1997 and is an admired work of contemporary architecture.

Of course, we have to mention the world's tallest building located in Dubai. Standing at a whopping 2,722 ft, this structure is no doubt the center of downtown of Dubai. It also holds records for building with the world's highest occupied floor at 1,918 ft, world's highest elevator installation, world's highest structure that includes residential space, world's highest restaurant at 1,450 ft, and several more. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Pros and Cons of an open floor plan concept

Generally, homes built before the 1990s were designed with the use of several separate rooms. This compartmentalized design was considered to be the preferred layout for a home. From a design perspective, it was believed that a house was most attractive with separating rooms throughout. Later, designers altered their perspective and saw the potential in an open floor plan. With the open floor plan, there is much more livable space that is freed up by removing the walls in an older home. By removing walls that were typically put in place to separate the kitchen and living room, the house becomes visibly more open on the main level. Columns or half walls may be needed to retain the homes structure, however doing so does not take away from the open effect.

Are you looking to redesign your home? Does an open floor plan work for you and your family's needs? We put together a list of pros and cons to having an open floor plan to consider before making your final decision.

  • When cooking in the kitchen, that person can keep conversation with family or guests in the other rooms.
  • If you have children, eliminating walls on the main floor provides you with excellent sight lines, to make sure your children are safe and out of mischief no matter where you are on the main floor.
  • With an open floor plan, the removal of walls allows for more sunlight into the home, brightening up your space and possibility reducing energy use.
  • When walls are removed you may be able to see every room of your main floor, providing with you much more space and really optimizing your square footage.

  • Less privacy on the main floor is certainly something to consider if you switch to an open floor plan. With more walls, families can be in separate rooms, which may be important for children of different ages, or a family with different work schedules. Enclosed spaces may be desired in a home where everyone is in need of their own space.
  • The lack of walls in an open floor plan leaves less places for artwork. A plus of having additional walls is that you can display your favorite pieces. If this is important to you, you should consider how you would display artwork.
  • Messes are more visible. Yes, knocking down your walls on the main floor would allow for you to keep an eye on your child at all times, but you must also consider that this means (if you have little ones) that their messes may be easily viewed at all times. You may prefer an enclosed space for a toy/play room.  

Alice Constance Austion- Influential Female Architect

Alice Constance Austin (1868-1930) was a female architect who planned houses designed to reduce domestic labor. This was to promote gender equality. Not only an architect, Alice was a city planner, feminist, socialist, and designer.

The Llano del Rio is Alice's most recognized project. In the early 1910s she was hired to help plan for a cooperative community in California. This city plan was a circular model including administrative buildings, restaurants, churches, schools, markets, etc. Houses included plans for kitchenless living spaces, communal daycare areas, built in furniture, and other various designs that were created to reduce a women's domestic workload.

Alice's radical feminist views were certainly in consideration with her city planning. This modern feminist design proposed the use of underground tunnels for laundry, transportation of supplies and goods, and hot mean delivery service. All of this was designed in hopes to result in less domestic housework, convenient child care, etc., freeing women of the traditional household duties and allowing her to become more of a member of society.

Although Alice's grandiose plan was never fully implemented, it is still a pivotal and important city planning design done by a woman who was looking to break the barriers of that time, and wanting to allow women to have the same opportunity and availability as men to become equal members of society.

Central City Plan Design

Friday, June 5, 2015

Finding The Right Plastic Map Tubes

When searching for the right plastic map tubes to transport or store your maps, there are some important things that you'll need to keep in mind. While it may be tempting just to grab the cheapest, most accessible tubes you can find, the fact is that this is not always the best course of action. In fact, this can sometimes be a big mistake that can create quite a lot of headaches for you.

To start, you'll need to consider the material your map is made out of. Maps that are made out of synthetic materials often don't require tubes with strong climate controls. For example, a map that is already laminated will likely be good in a simple plastic tube with a couple of end caps. However, this is not going to be true for maps comprised of other natural materials.

Maps made out of heavy paper or card paper may require stronger, specially-made tubes if they are being stored away. This is because humidity can absolutely destroy these maps with long-term exposure. While it's not generally feasible for you to store your maps in a climate-controlled room, the truth is that a sturdy map tube can do more than enough to protect your maps in normal conditions.

Of course, if you're just going to be transporting maps from one place to another, you can use just about any plastic map tubes you like. For international shipping, it's often best to use the sturdiest map tubes you can find. This is because local shipping companies in some parts of the world may not treat your map with the care you'd expect from your local shipping company. This is a small and somewhat obscure consideration, but it is one which will undoubtedly be helpful to you should you find yourself shipping internationally.

As with any other purchase, finding the right map tubes will rely on you taking your unique needs and situation into account. When you take your time and find the right tubes, you'll find that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to find the right ones.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Neustadt Kunsthofpassage- The musical building in Dresden, Germany!

Have you ever heard the story of the musical building in Dresden, Germany? This is creative engineering at its finest, done by tenants of the building. Engineering materials such as the ones sold by Drafting Steals can go a long way!

Three tenants of this building in Germany have installed beautiful and unique rain gutters in such a way, that the gutters actually play music when it rains!

As part of a series of courtyards masterminded by sculptor Annette Paul and a team of engineers, the system for their building was put in place. 

Check out this video to hear the musical rain for yourself!

Want to create your own design? Get started with some of these products from Drafting Steals!

Architectural and Engineering Drafting Kits! Includes many essential tools to begin the sketching and design process. The kit includes a compass, divider, scale, sketch pad, triangles, pointers, erasers, eraser shield, lead and lead holder, french curve, and a convenient pouch! 

Vellum paper for drawing, drafting, and tracing your new ideas!

Check out all of these quality products and more to start your new design and dreams! !  

Using blueprint paper to develop photos!

There are a ton of great uses for blueprint paper, beyond what one may expect. One creative way is to use blueprint paper and Windex to develop photos. Surprising, right? Windex would be the transfer chemical in this process. Photos cannot be developed from negatives, but you can transfer existing photos to the blueprint paper. The ending result would be a transferred photo with a purplish-blue print. Materials needed: container/tray, Windex, rack, Blueprint paper, plastic grocery bag, black and white photograph, flat moveable surface (ex: cutting board), and direct sunlight STEP 1.First things first, you will need to grab a container/tray. An easy and economic example to use would be a Styrofoam take-out container. Simply rip off the lid and you are good to go! You just want to make sure that is similar dimensions to the photo. STEP 2.Next, you should fill the container with Windex. You want to fill it up about half way. STEP 3.Then, grab your rack to use as something for you to set your paper on. You could use a rack from an oven, toaster oven, camping grill, etc. This is so the paper doesn't get wet, but will be able absorb the fumes from the Windex without touching the liquid. STEP 4. Place the container with Windex and the rack inside a plastic grocery bag. This will help contain the fumes. STEP 5.Grab the black and white photograph you chose to use for the contact printing. STEP 6. Now you will need some blueprint paper. STEP 7. Place the blueprint paper (sensitive side up!) on a flat but mobile surface, such as a cutting board. Then place the black and white photo face down. STEP 8. Next, you will need to put some weight on the paper and photograph by placing a piece of clear glass on top. STEP 9. Place the entire project (flat surface, blueprint paper + photograph, clear glass) in DIRECT sunlight for 4-5 minutes, leaving it between the glass and the flat surface. STEP 10. Check the paper. After it is exposed to the sun for 4-5 minutes, you should begin to see some discoloration on the paper that will resemble your photo. STEP 11. Finally we develop! Place the blueprint paper, sensitive side facing down, on the rack that is on top of your Windex container, and close the plastic bag. It is very important to close the bag, to be sure that the Windex fumes stay in. Leave in for 5 minutes. STEP 12. DONE! Open the bag to view your new Windex blueprint photo! Hope you enjoy! (Developing time may vary depending on the type of blueprint paper used. Feel free to leave the blueprint paper in the plastic bag until it reaches your desired darkness.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

3 influential architects

Throughout time, history has allowed us to admire the work of our most talented and skilled architects in the world. From Sir Christopher Wren, to Michelangelo, to Pierre Charles L'Enfant, we have been able to study their work, creativity, and their skill.

One very popular architect is Charles Edouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier, which is a name from his family lineage. Le Corbusier was a Swiss-French architect born in 1887. He embraced functionalism, and favored the modern materials of his time, such as concrete and steel. He is well known for his housing structure, using a free-flowing floor plan and column support for walls. He also placed his buildings on stilts, and quite remarkably, his buildings incorporated the use of flat roofs for gardening. This sums up his philosophy that a house is a "machine for living in."

Pierre L'enfant is the mastermind behind the very unique design of the city of Washington D.C. Originally, Thomas Jefferson had sketched a small design for the city, however President Washington was blown away by the grandiose plan brought to him by L'enfant. The center of his plan was to create a public walk, known today as the National Mall. This is a two mile strip of grass and trees extending from Capitol Hill to the Potomac River. L'enfants plan included a specific location for the White House and the Capitol. Plans for the White House included public gardens, with specific monumental architecture. Most streets would be laid out in a grid, some streets traveling east-west, others in a north-south direction. Diagonal avenues crossed the grid. Basing his designs off of the designs of several French cities, Washington D.C. had a design unlike any other city in the United States at that time. 

Another talented and favored architect is a man by the name of Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi's work was fueled by his admiration of nature, and his faith in God. A Spanish architect  born in 1852, Gaudi is known for his favoritism of curves rather than straight lines, using multiple textures, and his use of vibrant colors. His unique style can be somewhat categorized as part neo-Gothic, part surrealistic. His most famous work is the Cathedral of the Sagrada Familia. The Cathedral was unfinished by the time of his death in 1926, and to this day, despite continued work, remains unfinished. 

Advice for Using and Maintaining Architectural Drawing Racks

A drawing rack can be an incredibly convenient tool in any office or work site. They are compact, durable and simple to use. It is still necessary to take care of the rack and use it in the correct way. A few pieces of advice will make maintaining and using an architectural drawing rack easier.

Wipe Down the Rack Regularly

A large amount of dust is generated on work sites and in offices. Something many people do not realize is that much of the dust that will come to settle on items is very acidic. This means that it could actually start to damage or corrode drawing racks over time. The result could be a reduction in the lifespan of the racks. This can be easily avoided by wiping down the racks every week.

Maintain and Replace the Clamps When Necessary

The clamps that hold the drawings in the racks are usually very durable. Problems can still occur with them over time especially when opened and frequently closed every day. Stay aware of the condition of the clamps. Keep track of whether the springs, knobs or metal is starting to wear down. Worn or damages clamps can harm the drawing rack. Keep the clamps in good condition and replace them when necessary to protect the larger rack and the drawings.

Lock the Casters When Not In Use

An architectural drawing rack can come with casters that make it very easy to roll the unit to different places. Keep the casters locked when the rack is not in use. This is helpful because it will prevent people in the area from bumping into the rack and sending it moving across the room. It also reduces the chance of accidents if the rack manages to migrate through the worksite and get in the way of people moving around.

Label the Clamps

It is important to minimize the stress on the drawing rack whenever possible. Something that can potentially cause problems is the need to sort through every clamp and to draw on the rack just to find a plan. This can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the rack. A basic solution is to label the clamps so that only the one that is needed is removed.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Tips To Get the Best Results When Using an Alvin Parallel Straightedge

A parallel rule is one of the most fundamental tools for drafting. It provides a fast way to make perfectly aligned lines across the paper. It also serves as a base for triangles, templates, and other guides so that it is unnecessary to make complex measurements to get accurate angles. A few tips will allow anyone to get the best results when using an Alvin parallel straightedge.

Be Aware Of What Is On the Paper Underneath

The first tip is to be aware of what is on the paper underneath the straightedge while drafting. Something that can ruin hours of work is sliding the straightedge over ink lines that have not dried yet. The lines could smear and stain the paper. A ruler that is too low could also cause ink to bleed underneath while drawing lines. Always use the adjustment knobs to raise the rule high enough to rest above the paper. Check that there is a gap every time. Another piece of advice is to work slowly and let the ink dry before returning the straightedge to the same area.

Check and Maintain the Installation before Doing Precision Work

The reliability of a straightedge depends on proper installation on the board underneath. Check and maintain the installation of the Alvin parallel straightedge before doing precision work. Double-check the wires and the screws. Make sure the knobs are adjusted to the right height. Check that the ruler slides up and down easily. If there are any problems, then fix them immediately to prevent problems while drafting. If problems occur regularly, then it might be time to replace the hardware.

Clean the Straightedge Regularly

The last thing anyone wants is a dirty parallel rule. The dirt on the rule can easily stain or transfer to the paper underneath. It can cause ink, pencil or other mediums to not lay down evenly on the paper. It can even make the paper dull so that sharp reproduction becomes difficult. This is why it is necessary to clean the straightedge regularly. The top should be wiped down with a damp cloth. The ruler should be lifted up so the bottom can be cleaned. Let everything dry before drafting again. A clean parallel ruler will help to create quality work.