Computer Assisted Design is our version of magic! Let’s go back in time to the dark ages of design – about five years…
Then, all our patterns were drawn in pencil by hand. If we wanted to divide a line into thirteen equal parts, for instance, out came the calculator and ruler then, invariably, the eraser. Try free-handing an ellipse or two and positioning them accurately in a design.
Let’s say the process goes smoothly but the pattern’s 5/16” too big…more calculations and more erasures. Two copies of the design are almost always required and each piece of the pattern has to be numbered. Imagine how labourious it was to accurately trace every line and transfer all of the numbers.
Flash forward to the present. It took us a couple of weeks to get used to the Glass Eye 2000 Dragonfly software design program. Not only did we have to learn to sketch with mouse in hand but there are dozens of nifty functions to speed up the design process. Now all our math is computer accurate! We can resize by the smallest increments. Photos can be scanned and used as guidelines for patterns. Design elements can be cut, flipped, rotated, stretched and pasted elsewhere.
The icing on the cake is an extensive library of glass choices that can be inserted to bring colour and life to a pattern and, it will automatically number all those pieces. The program can determine exactly how much glass is required depending of a variable percentage of wastage.
Let’s say we’re making sidelights and transoms for an entryway – a big project to which the customer wants to be confidently committed before paying a deposit. We can use photographs of the front of their house and the inside foyer. Then we superimpose the design on the those pictures so the client has a very good idea of what the finished installation will look like as they approach their house from the street and as they take their boots off at the end of the day. Customers from Calgary to Indonesia have greatly appreciated this service.
And that’s just the tip of this magical iceberg!