It is common knowledge that the average CAD task can be simplified with the right workstation. By workstation, I mean everything that plays a part in ensuring that you stay comfortable during your entire design career. Therefore, the first step every aspiring design professional must aspire to, is building the perfect workstation to simplify your professional life.
Here, we intend to provide some important tips on building the perfect CAD workstation. These tips will be provided with a twist; every tip or item that will be included in this list comes highly recommended by professional CAD users that you may probably know. So sit back, relax and soak in some wisdom from people who have been where you currently are. Also note that categories will be used to better explain the items on the list.
Source out A Comfortable Working Space
The feeling of true comfort might just be the most important aspect to your creative efforts. This is because once your heart and mind is at peace, the brain will also follow suit. According to E. N Corlett in his book—The Ergonomics of Workspaces and Machines, the best graphic designers and animators do their best work in an environment they are comfortable in. to achieve these sometimes elusive comfort here are 5 items you need:
An Ergonomic Chair
The average ergonomic chair is designed with only one thing in mind; to provide you with a seating support base that balances and conforms to your body type. To do this, most chairs come with adjustable features and tools that allow you organize it to fit you ergonomically.
A good example of an ergonomic chair is the Herman Miller Aeron This chair allows the user adjust almost every facet—back rest, arm rest, seat, chair height etc.—that provides you with balance. The perfect ergonomic chair helps your body posture and creates enough wiggle room to enable you stay balanced and focused while working for the long haul.
A Customized Ergonomic Desk
The life of a CAD user is centered around screens and productivity tools which will be housed on your desk. Therefore, the perfect desk is needed to ensure you achieve maximum productivity at all times.
An ergonomic desk is exactly the surface required to ensure your CAD workstation is comfortable. We highly recommend you should consider purchasing a desk with adjustable features, supports stand-working and other accessories. These accessories may be monitor mounts or arms. The least you are recommended to go with is the Adjustable height Desk.
Monitor Arms and Support
Animation is a procedure that always involves multiple designs, rendering and the animation process. In some cases, individual animators believe that each procedure requires its own monitor/display screen in order to work seamlessly.
Monitor arms and external supports are the perfect items to include in your itinerary for they provide adequate support for clamping the extra monitors you need in space. There are different types of monitor arms and you can learn more about them here
LED Desk Lamp
CAD projects can be tasking jobs especially when you have been tasked with large animation, character design and rendering projects. In times like this, the average CAD user may spend more than 10 hours working on a desk. Therefore, some tasks may spill into the night and it is really bad for the eyes working without surrounding lighting to aid your computer.
LED lamps are the perfect solution to resolve lighting issues. This is due to the colour of light they produce as well as the energy you save using one. Lastly, there are a couple of LED lamps aesthetically built to enhance the beauty of your workspace. Others are built to serve multiple purposes aside providing light.
A Mouse Bungee
Keeping your workspace organized and free of errant cables is a great way to stay comfy while enhancing productivity. This can be done with the use of a mouse bungee which will hold your wires in place and out of your pathway thereby creating a free desktop space that can contain other accessories.
The mouse bungee is usually built to look like a piece of art thereby adding some further aesthetic feel to your workspace. There are different types of bungees, you can choose from and they are covered in some detail here.
Enhance Productivity with Great Tools
Once you have made your workspace a haven with the above listed items, the next step is to focus on the machines and devices that simplify the technical work you do. According to Forbes, having task-specific tools make for greater productivity at work. So here are the top 5 you should consider including in your workstation.
A Powerful Workstation
Running your CAD applications with ease during design, simulation and animation is important to handling a successful project. To do this, one must choose the best desktop computer or laptops that have the capacity to run these apps.
The criteria for choosing a powerful workstation include graphic card considerations, operating system and internal memory. Using these specifications, the Cybertron blueprint is a powerful CPU that provides the support needed for any CAD app you may use. For laptops, the HP ZBook G2 is a powerful workstation you can consider for your workspace.
An Ergonomic Mouse
Working long hours using a mouse can take its toll on your hands. And for those who have experienced muscle strain or fatigue, continuous use of the traditional mouse can lead to permanent damages to your hand. Therefore, certain considerations must be made when choosing a mouse.
The first step involves understanding how your mouse hand works and how you make use of your mouse. The next is reading up on the different types of ergonomic mice in other to make an informed decision. Once you have chosen to go the ergonomic route, you will experience major muscle relief and would be able to work long hours without any hitches.
A Dedicated Storage System
Losing one’s work due to inadequate back-up culture can be heart rending and time consuming for the designer. Therefore, to ensure that your work is adequately protected from such mistakes, it is important that you develop a storage and back-up plan for your projects.
Most CAD systems now offer cloud storage opportunities you should take advantage. It is also important to note that accessing the cloud is dependent on the internet network connection available to you. Therefore, in situations where you have to work on the go, the cloud may not be your best bet. It is recommended that you purchase a dedicated hard disk drive for storing your projects on a periodical basis for it could be the difference between starting from scratch and having something to fall back to.
A Powerful Tablet
Every designer or CAD user has need for a smaller complimentary screen for a variety of reasons. This includes when the need to work on-the-go arises, organize presentations or to view how a character appears on a smaller screen. Therefore, it is important to consider a device that has support for mobile apps created by the CAD tool you use.
Today, most CAD manufacturers or developers integrate the use of apps with their major releases to aid mobile work. And with a good tablet such as the Surface Pro 4, you are covered working on the go.
A Large Screen Monitor
The tablet is for viewing your designed characters in mobile form same way a larger screen makes perusing these character’s features more accurate. A lot of designers work with two screens that serve multiple purposes which include viewing.
A lot of brands now produce quality display screens which give you a lot of choices to choose from. The Dell Ultrasharp curved monitor is one of the best out there and you can also consider the several options on this list. It is also good to note that the monitor screen can be supported by the mountain arm you choose for your desktop platform.
Accessorize your Desktop for other Activities
The last category to consider in our drive to build the perfect 3D CAD workstation, are accessories. These accessories may not necessarily be tools for design but they definitely simplify design tasks, organize your workspace, keep you motivated and increase your productivity. The accessories listed below can be purchased either singly or together as you wish.
How do you keep your pencils, markers, USB sticks and books out of your way? By using a multi-faceted desktop organizer which provides you with enough sections to hold your extra design items.
There are diverse types of desktop organizers out there so when choosing, simply focus on one that provides clear sections that can house every item on your desk without confusion.
3D Mouse Scanner
The 3D mouse scanner is a simple scanning device shaped just like the average mouse. It is a scanning device you can use to scan both 3D objects and paper surfaces to grab the information provided in them. As stated earlier, it is an accessory that can help you easily scan documents to your computer without having to stand-up and go across the room to use an actual scanner. There are a variety of 3D mouse scanners out there you can choose from, therefore when looking for a hand scanner make sure you consider the mouse scanner.
Like the mouse bungee discussed above, the need to organise cables coming from your keyboard, chargers and other devices is key for an organized workspace. This is where cable clips come in.
These are small clips that you can truly put to use in organising errant cables on your desktop as well as across every facet of your workstation or office. Cable clips are a cheap but effective way to achieve organization which in turn leads to comfort.
A Customized Designer Cup/Bottle
When working long hours, staying hydrated is a key factor to ensuring that you stay focused and eliminate the possibilities of a wandering mind. Customizable cups are the perfect liquid holders for hydration and inspiration.
These cups come with messages printed on them which you can customize to contain you favourite inspirational or productivity quotes. An aesthetic cup will enhance the beauty of your workspace, serve as your liquid source and also inspire your work through messages.
A Phone Holder
Once you have your screens already set-up, the next step is organizing your phone in such a way that makes it easily accessible to you. Phone holders come in diverse arrangement and designs therefore; you should choose a holder that can serve multiple functions. Features you should look at include; automatic charging ports and a stable structure for reading via your phone etc. Conversely you can employ the use of 3D printing to create your own unique phone holder with features developed for your specific needs.
Here, we come to the end of the list covering interesting items required to create the perfect CAD workstation. This list covers the three most important categories needed for developing your own perfect workstation—comfort, productivity and accessories—and included are factors that you can customize in your own way for your use. For those who believe we have left something important from this list, we recommend that you include your thoughts on this in the comment boxes below.