Monday, January 25, 2016

21st Century Drafting Dots for Trash or Bumwad

This post is for the fellow architects and designers primarily, those of us who still know how to break out a roll of "trash" and sketch up some concepts anyway.

Trash is the term we used at Ball State for tracing paper rolls.  It is a great tool for quickly sketching over a plan or drawing to quickly sketch and develop concepts.  Other common terms are bumwad, and onion skin.  It comes in white and yellow and while the yellow looks really cool I use white as I often scan these into PDFs.

For the schematic design phase of work to existing structures, I will plot a set of the as-built drawings in red (in most cases we have to field measure and create our own) and then trace over them with a black felt tip.  Then when I scan all can see the contrast between new and existing.

To hold the trace/trash in place, traditional methods are to use drafting tape, which is a lighter stick masking tape.  Cellophane tape with the end folder over to create a removable end works okay as well.  A product called Drafting Dots was more popular for holding down drawing sheets in the days of hand drafting, and I had a box of leftover ones I tried for a while to hold down tracings.  The adhesive on them was pretty intense and damaging when removed.

My accountant uses "sign here" Scotch Flags on tax forms.  I started saving them thinking I might reuse them for documents I send to others, but it eventually occurred to me that these would be perfect for holding small drawings down, and particularly the trace that goes them.  It has just enough adhesive on them to keep them in place, yet not too much to tear off any of the paper.  They also sell plain unmarked ones which I typically use.  They are available at most office supply stores.

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