Author Archives: Darren

  • May the 2D CAD Force Be With You…

    June 1, 2012 by Darren Hobbies 0


    We always love to hear about novel and unexpected uses for DraftSight, the professional-grade 2D CAD product (and free download) from Dassault Systèmes.

    Architectural technician Neil Warren, from Totnes, England, regularly uses DraftSight for work assignments, but he recently called in the program for extra special duty.

    DraftSight fan Neil Warren is also a fan of actor David Prowse, aka Darth Vader!

    Warren, who many of you on the DraftSight Facebook page may recognize as “that Stormtrooper guy,” recently visited London’s Estree Film Studios for a special gathering of Star Wars actors, directors and prop masters.

    Meeting Darth Vader and director Gary Kurtz — and scoring their autographs on Star Wars artwork — is surely worthy of commemorating.

    Warren is laser etching the Star Wars logo and celebrities’ names on a metal plaque to go along with his framed memorabilia. We’re proud that DraftSight is playing a role in preserving such great memories!

    Neil Warren's customized Star Wars plaque was designed in DraftSight (click to enlarge).

  • Join the Crowd: DraftSight passes 150,000 fans on Facebook

    May 31, 2012 by Darren Uncategorized 0



    Special thanks to our DraftSight Facebook fans for pushing our total past 150,000 likes. That’s enough CAD users to almost fill London’s Wembley Stadium twice!

    Come join in the conversation here…

  • So there IS such a thing as a good value

    May 30, 2012 by Darren DraftSight Premium Pack 0


    You know how many of us wish that the price of bread, milk and cars were the same as they were 30 years ago?  That’s just not the case with computer storage (as with most consumer electronics).

    Check out this vintage print ad from the early 1980s and how it compares to a random flash drive purchase on Amazon:

    Of course, we’re also witnessing historic savings in 2D CAD. Whether you opt for the free version for individual users, or the Premium Pack for companies or educational institutions, DraftSight can have an amazing impact on your bottom line!

    See what you can save with the DraftSight ROI Calculator.

  • Women in Construction: History of a Pipe Dream

    May 28, 2012 by Darren Construction 0

    susan miller

    There are plenty of educational programs out there to get school girls more interested in math, science and engineering — and it’s now far more common to see women working in a company’s CAD department. Though that challenge is far from over.

    The construction industry, however, remains a man’s world.

    Wyoming native Susan Miller has worked the past 27 years as pipefitter in industrial construction. She’s a rare sight, but gets great career satisfaction out of her chosen profession. Susan has previously worked as a nurse’s aide, a florist and cocktail waitress, but pipefitting gives her more of a sense of daily accomplishment.

    She shares her life story and encounters with workplace discrimination in a new memoir, “History of Pipe Dream.”  Winning With DraftSight recently caught up with her for a candid Q & A exchange…

    DRAFTSIGHT: Why is it so unusual for a woman to be a pipefitter?  When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

    SUSAN: There are very few women in the field of industrial construction probably because they have been told it is hard work and not a good place for women. I am a woman who always felt I could do anything I wanted to if I applied myself. Pipefitting is a demanding job, but the gratification I get from looking at a pipe system that I put in that will be there long after I am gone does not compare to anything else I have ever done.

    I grew up on a farm and worked hard as a young child. I really did not know what I wanted to be. I knew in junior high that I did not want a career that kept me indoors in an office nor did I want to work with the same people for the rest of my life. I remember when I was in my home education class that I really wanted to be in the welding class with my brother, but women were not allowed to take that course. When I found construction, it just seemed to be a perfect fit.

    DRAFTSIGHT: When and where was your first pipefitting job?  Did you experience any discrimination, prejudice, name-calling or resistance at that job or over the years? Read More

  • The Scale of the Universe from a teenager’s perspective

    May 26, 2012 by Darren Education 0


    If there isn’t already a bidding war for the talents of 14-year-old twins Michael and Cary Huang (at right), there will be.

    The California high school students have created a mesmerizing flash animation called “Scale of the Universe” that allows you to compare the sizes of the tiniest things and largest things imaginable by dragging a slidebar at the bottom of the screen.

    Our eyeballs don’t work this way. We have a limited scope of view, occasionally enhanced with binoculars, telescope or microscope, but there’s still no real sense of scale. Slowly trekking through the Huang brothers‘ animation is like starring in your own science fiction movie where you can control your size with a blink of the eye.

    What are the smallest and largest units of measurement that you’ve used in a recent CAD drawing?  DraftSight, the professional-grade free 2D CAD program from Dassault Systèmes, allows numerous options for scaling your drawings: Read More

  • Machines With Personality: How Many of These Famous Robots Can You Name?

    May 24, 2012 by Darren Pop Culture 0

    Name that Robot

    The engineering world is filled with folks who were first inspired by the fantasy gadgets in movies, television and cartoons. A Star Trek convention just might be the highest density of human intelligence on Earth.

    So hats off to Hopewell Studios artist Richard Sargent, who created the Greatest Robot Reunion of All-Time, presumably with an open bar serving motor oil cocktails.

    On first glance, the characters that immediately jump out at me are the “Lost in Space” Robot (who I believe is just named “Robot”), “Yo Gabba Gabba’s” Plex, C3PO (who looks like he found a new girlfriend), Rosie from “The Jetsons,” the Android mascot, Bender from “Futurama” and Wall-E’s girlfriend, EVE.

    Who jumps out at you?

    Where's WALL-E? How many robots can you name? (Click the image to enlarge)

    You can buy your own copy of the “Where’s WALL-E?” poster here.

  • DraftSight can’t give you courage, but here’s what it can promise…

    May 15, 2012 by Darren Architecture, Construction, Spotlight on the DraftSight Community 0

    hans glider

    As evidenced above, a splendid profile photo from his Facebook page, Hans Haveel Van Laethem is a sports pilot with an appetite for daring stunts.

    He has yet to draw anything in DraftSight while dangling in the clouds, but loves to spring our free 2D CAD program into action whenever he’s grounded.

    Hans works as a site manager for a residential construction company in Belgium that builds new houses and apartments and specializes in renovating old ones so they look brand new.

    He’s the liaison between the architect and the construction crew, making sure that everything dreamed out on paper is feasible within the budget.

    Hans' DraftSight sketch of pre-fabricated concrete beams for his construction crew.

    Hans says he especially appreciates DraftSight’s portability.

    “DraftSight is so easy to use and allows me to draw a fast sketch of how I see things, print them out and hand them over to my builders on the site,” he says. “It’s perfect for taking details from architectural or technical drawings and transforming them into understandable drawings.”

    (How do YOU use DraftSight?  Drop us a line at

  • Spaghetti Suspension: Barilla applauds engineer’s pasta bridges

    May 11, 2012 by Darren Education 0


    You remember the fun story about DraftSight enthusiast Richard Williams, a.k.a. “Corporal Willy,” and his pasta bridge project in the Nevada schools?

    Well, the Barilla pasta company was so tickled by this engineer’s passion for education that they just sent him a complimentary case of Barilla Fettuccine!

    Corporal Willy made the above photo with Photoshop to celebrate his continued leverage of noodles to teach kids about the world of civil engineering. There aren’t THAT many boxes in a case.

    If your life depended on getting across this pasta bridge, wouldn't YOU prefer Fettuccine over Angel Hair or plain Spaghetti?

    The Corporal, a retired U.S. Marine and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) electrician, is a dedicated volunteer in the Las Vegas public schools –  a system that has been devastated by a series of massive budget cuts. He’s been an enthusiastic advocate of teachers adopting DraftSight, our free professional-grade 2D CAD tool, to get kids excited about design.

    “The doorbell rang while I was in the shower and my wife received a gift from the Barilla company,” says Williams. “Can you imagine what I can build with this much Fettuccine?”

    Barilla naturally gets plenty of inquiries about recipes and coupons, but it isn’t often that they hear about such an innovative application of their products.

    “Ciao Richard,” the company wrote. “We were inspired by your passion and creative efforts to overcome the budget challenge in your teaching community so that you could continue to teach students about engineering. Encouraging kids to be creative and solve problems is a value that will live with them for a lifetime.

    Although it is a small token of our gratitude for what you continue to support and accomplish, we hope that this case of Barilla Fettuccine will help some of your students build unbreakable bridges.”

    “Wait till you see what comes next,” says Williams. “Bon Appetite!”

    We can’t wait, Corporal!

    And thanks, Barilla, for supporting this inspiring idea that can be replicated in other schools, too.


  • What happens when you tie a kite to a boat?

    May 10, 2012 by Darren Engineering 0

    skysails 1

    When SkySails CEO Stephan Wrage was boy in Germany, he loved to fly kites. And as kids’ minds tend to wander into the whimsical world of “What if…,” he wondered what would happen if he tied a giant kite to a real boat.  Would the wind be strong enough to tow it?

    Wrage, who grew up to study industrial engineering at the Technical University of Dresden, held on to that fantasy.

    Based in Hamburg, his SkySails company is now a world pioneer in creating wind propulsion systems for ships.  The sails, which they call “kites,” look a bit like parachutes and they tap into the high-energy potential of high-altitude winds.

    SkySails reduces fuel costs for cargo ships, consequentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The company designs its kites with SolidWorks, the 3D CAD cousin of DraftSight, which also plays a vital role.

    SkySails uses DraftSight, a free professional-grade 2D CAD tool from Dassault Systèmes, to import manufacturing drawings of new cargo ships.

    DraftSight is used by the company to import manufacturing drawings from various cargo ship companies to check if the wind sail components will fit properly.

    Estimated fuel savings are between 10-15 percent.

    We recently caught up with some of the brains behind SkySails at SolidWorks World.  Take a look for yourself at what could become the future of commerce!





  • Breaking News: You can now take your 2D CAD designs on the go with your iPad!

    May 1, 2012 by Darren DraftSight Tips 0


    This just in from our CAD cousins over at SolidWorks…

    You’re constantly on the go, and the process of making sure you and your customers can understand and see what’s happening with a project hasn’t always been easy–up until now. In an effort to give you what you need, when/where you need it, we’re happy to announce the availability of eDrawings for iPad, an application that lets you bring your 2D and 3D files to a customer’s site, or to a sales meeting, and share the design concepts quickly and easily.

    eDrawings® for iPad allows you to view and review native eDrawings® files, DraftSight® files, SolidWorks® parts, assemblies and drawings files, making it easy for engineers and non-engineers to interpret and understand 2D and 3D design using multi-touch gestures.

    You can download eDrawings® for iPad today from the Apple store , and you can learn more about the features and functionality on the SolidWorks website.

    How will you use eDrawings® for iPad? What files are you most looking forward to sharing? We welcome your thoughts below!

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