Architects design buildings and other engineering projects such as bridges and stadiums. In order to do their job, the architects use a variety of architect supplies from drafting items to computer software programs. Even when not working on a project, there are always extra supplies in the architect studio for portfolios and storage.
Some of the basic architect supplies used for projects include drawing pencils, graph paper, protractors, and drawing boards. An architect also uses a piece of equipment called a triangular scale. This scale helps the designer make reduced scale drawings and indicates the measurements for full-scale designs. Some of the drawings the architect would make using a scale include blue prints and floor plans.
For smaller scale projects, an architect often uses architecture templates for different drafting needs. Most templates are made with flexible plastic and have cutouts of furniture, fixtures, and plumbing. Some of the architect supplies used with the templates are technical pens, graphite pencils, and cardboard drafting triangles.
When an architect presents projects and ideas to companies or potential homeowners, he or she would most likely use a projector and slides. Homeowners usually like to see pictures in addition to blueprints because it gives a realistic idea of what the interior and exterior would look like. The architect would also add furniture, lighting, and wall color to show the homeowner different proposals.
Other architect supplies include computer laptops and software programs to make three-dimensional designs for landscape and realistic images. These software programs feature computer-aided design (CAD) for manual drawing. Another computer program that works in conjunction with the CAD software is computer-aided design and drafting (CADD).
Architects who work on massive projects such as designing parks, roadways or bridges often use surveying and mapping equipment. When surveying an area the architect would need precise angles and measurements. Most modern surveying tools use laser cameras with a zoom feature and reflector less technology to focus on long-range objects. The latest mapping instruments also use lasers and compasses, can make a computer image of trees and vegetation as well as configure height and distance. The software then calculates the data for the architect's project and saves it in the mapping program.
Architects use building manuals to stay up to date on building and municipal codes. There are also architect reference guides for building codes for other countries, such as the Architect's Uniform Building Code Compliance Manual. With help from modern technology, architect supplies have advanced significantly since pen and paper. Architects will always need fundamental items for small tasks. However, sophisticated supplies such as laser cameras and mapping software have really taken the guesswork out of the architect’s job allowing the architect to be more productive.