Design Blocks

Archive for the ‘AutoCad/Technology’ Category

Do you have a smart phone? Well then you are in luck and can check out some of these awesome design apps that stylist home rounded up. I am especially interested in this one called Photo Measures. It allows you to snap or upload a photo and then dimension on top of the photo. This could be invaluable if you are out field measuring for a job or at least showing your boss so you won’t be given anymore chicken scratch plans that you have to decipher. 🙂 Another one that seems interesting is the Home Design Interior Space Planning Tool one called Mark on Call for the Ipad. It is exactly what it sounds like and is a mobile app that allows you to space plan on the go. Another great way to not forget your measurements. Click here to view the full list, twenty one in all on Stylist Home!

{Images via Photo Measures – Itunes}

{Images via Home Interior Design Space Planning – itunes}

You know when you have that feeling that you have been meaning to do something and you just can’t remember what it is. Well that is how I feel about this post, I found the blog “A Schematic Life” by Michelle Morelan quite a while ago and for some reason I forgot to pass it along. Michelle is an interior designer and renderer by trade. Her renderings are very natural in style but still polished and detailed. On her blog she makes available three video tutorials where she discusses rendering techniques. I find her style refreshing because she uses SketchUp to her advantage by tracing a shell she has built and then she layers all the details on top by hand. What a time saver! I am all for combining techniques, anything to be more efficient is a good thing. I encourage you to check out her blog and the video tutorials here.

{All images via Michelle Morelan Website}

How many of you have heard of 3D printing? No I am not making it up  there really is such a thing and our industry does utilize it! Recently, one of our students sent me this video where they showed how they took a large wrench and created a 3D print of it. I thought this would be a post to share with you as many of you might not realize that this technology is available though it is quite expensive.

This video depicts recreating the wrench from start to finish using computer technology and a 3D printer.

The next two videos show how 3D printing is being used in architecture industry. The first one is about 5 minutes long while the last one is about 2 minutes in length.I hope you find them informative!

This months Google SketchUp newsletter featured two sites that I wanted to share with all of you. First I recommend checking out The Daily Catchup a daily SketchUp newsletter site that emphasizes workflow, plug-ins, photo-rendering and more. Also featured is SketchUp Artists a site that covers work flow, techniques and advice in text and images from SketchUp experts all over the world.

The Daily Catchup –

SketchUp Artists –


I know it can be very difficult for students to draw furniture in plan and elevation views when they are first learning to draft and use AutoCAD. For this reason I love when furniture companies include line drawings with dimensions in their catalogs and online website. It is an excellent resource for students to learn and interpret how furniture looks in a picture to a floor plan or elevation drawing. One such company that includes drawings in their catalogs and online is Design Within Reach (DWR). You can click here to subscribe to their catalog to start receiving it at home, it is free. 🙂 It is important to note that not every image includes a line drawing but there is a great many of them, including light fixtures and tables. It might just take a little time of looking and exploring their products. I also highly encourage you follow their blog or newsletter which you can view here, it is chock full of furniture design news and history.

I encourage all of you to actually pick a few furniture, lighting or case pieces and actually practice drawing them in plan and elevation view. The great part is if you are working in AutoCAD you can save them as a Wblock and add to your furniture library to reference in future projects. Also, for those websites that do not include line drawings the best tip I have is to look at all the furniture images. Look to see if it has a straight or dead on side view. This way you can look at the dimension specifications and still draw what you are seeing. You can also import the JPEG image into AutoCAD scale it and then trace the image. Though that can be time consuming and you might actually spend less time drawing it from scratch.Check out all the furniture images and their drawings below:

This one would be great for you to reprodce as it is a very simple chair and sectional design that could be verstile when illustrating furniture plans.

{The Simpatico Collection via DWR}

 {Nube Armchair via DWR}

{The Bantam Armchair via DWR}

{The Era Round Arm Chair would be a great one to practice for the curved lines. Image via DWR}

I love to create section views in when I am using Google SketchUp as it can be very effective in highlighting the interior spaces. However traditionally you have not been able to darken in the walls (Poche) to delineate them. Well this months Google SketchUp newsletter illustrates a “quick and dirty” way to poche when creating section views. Please click here to view the tutorial on how to do this as I think you would all find this beneficial for your projects! I also highly recommend subscribing to the Google SketchUp email newsletter and subscribe to their blog as each has loads of tips each month!

{Image via Google SketchUp}

This might not be directly design related but for those of you that are technology geeks I thought I would share. A new fully integrated keyboard is being released for the apple iPhone to make typing longer messages easier. Your phone actually docks on the side and you can operate it as a numeric keypad. This keyboard is set to release on May 24th and will cost around $100.00.

{Image via Dvice}

So excited that we can now bring designer Nina Campbell’s beautiful wallpaper designs to our smart phones for free! A select few of her wallpaper designs have been optimized for the Iphone so if you are browsing on your phone just save the image to your camera roll. Then you are free to set it as your locking or home screen.

{Images via Nina Campbell}

Students often struggle when they are first learning AutoCAD so I am always looking for great tutorials to help. One site I like to use in my classes is called My Cad Site, which covers material for beginners all the way to more advanced users illustrating 3-D. I hope you will all add this resource to your library and refer back to often.  It is especially helpful for students who may have not worked with CAD in a while and need a refresher!

I wanted to let all of the interior design students know that the student resource center in the library learning commons at Kent campus has Adobe photoshop and Google Sketchup on 9 computers! This is excellent news for those of you that would like to work on sketchup or portfolios when the D-265 lab is not open. The student resource center is open when the library is open which includes night and weekend hours. Their hours are as follows:

Mon.-Thurs.: 7:30 a.m.–9 p.m.
Fri.-Sat.: 8 a.m.–3 p.m.