Architects play a major role in the completion of basically every construction project. They’re in charge of designing new buildings and adding or modifying existing properties.
Aside from these duties, architects can give knowledgeable advice on restoring, renovating, or conserving historic buildings. They also determine the placement of electrical wirings, access doors and panels, and bathroom layouts.
While aesthetic and artistic values are important, architects must consider security and safety when designing blueprints. Unfortunate events like slip and fall accidents, electrical explosions, or in worse cases, building collapse could lead to lawsuits if the structure had defects caused by negligence.
Given the significance of their responsibility, the designs that architects produce should be precise. To achieve this, they use an array of specialized tools and equipment. Below, this article will discuss some of them and their functions.
Tools Every Architect Needs
Architecture students are initially taught how to create plans using physical drafting instruments. Here are several architectural tools they use for manual sketching:
- Tablet pen
Primary drafts or sketches are done using analog, tactile instruments. The process requires a lot of workspaces and can compromise the architect’s comfort when they’re not working in a proper studio.
A pen tablet, like the iPad Pro or an Apple pencil, saves modern-day architects the trouble of using analog instruments since it eliminates the need for bond blotter paper. Also, since the documents are stored in software, keeping them safe is much easier.
2. Architectural design software
Many architects use several applications to complete their work. For example, if you work in architecture, you may use an app to photograph your location.
Some apps can also create models automatically, streamlining the design process. Moreover, tools accessible to architects continually improve as technology advances, and more innovative apps may emerge soon.
3. Gloves for protection
Architects frequently work with knives and other sharp objects. Accidents and mishaps caused by a lack of caution or focus can easily lead to various hand injuries. Hence, most architects wear protective gloves when working on their buildings to prevent getting pierced and cut.
A T-square is an essential, classic tool in any architect’s toolbox. Students and professionals use this handy tool to draw various angles on the architect’s scale, allowing for a wide range of visual concepts.
5. Drafting paper
Architects can’t work without quality paper. The final structural plan is laid out on drafting paper that can accommodate prints in large format. Architects also use blueprint paper coated with a special film that turns blue when exposed to light. Project plans on blueprint paper are illustrated in white.
6. Tracing paper
One of the most fundamental tools that architecture students learn to use is tracing paper. Because tracing paper is transparent, they can create highly detailed and accurate replicas of the original illustration. Often, an architect must duplicate their work, and tracing paper will serve as a stencil.
7. Drawing board
The drawing board is a sturdy, multipurpose desk for creating and modifying drawings. It’s helpful whenever architects draw sections, floor plans, perspective drawings, and elevations.
Of course, architects need a smooth and stable surface to sketch on. It should also have a blocked edge to prevent the paper plans and tools from falling off.
8. French curve
Structural projects consist of more than just straight lines and circles. Thus, if a compass or a ruler is inadequate, architects turn to the French curve. Clear options are also available, which come in handy when the designer needs to see beyond the background while sketching.
9. Adjustable triangle
Adjustable triangles are made from two moveable triangular pieces. They’re connected to a gradated board with a protractor attached to it. With them, you can adjust the angles of the two pieces using gradation and make various angles. They’re also helpful for drawing accurate vertical, parallel, and other angled lines.
They’re vital measuring tools that no architect should go without. It’s used for measuring angles, so the architect can get all the sizing information required to generate an exact blueprint.
10. Scale ruler
The purpose of a scale ruler is to measure lengths so that the architect can transfer measurements at fixed ratios. It’s ideal for measuring and drafting multiview orthographic projections and building floor plans.
Since the scale of architectural drawings is much smaller than measurements of life-size structures, the ruler shows various length units in proportional increments.
Scale rulers need to be durable and dimensionally steady. While they were traditionally wood, most modern types are crafted from aluminum and plastic.
Something to Ponder On
Designing buildings entails a lot of work, from sketching plans to forming models. To bring their vision to life, architects need a set of tools that facilitate the creation of clean and accurate drawings. Moreover, these tools require proper upkeep to maintain their functionality and longevity.