Continuing my backlash against CAD

I am still very much on the traditional pencil and paper design method, and it was recently suggested by Joe that I check out Accu-Line.

To quote from their website:

The ACCU-LINE Drawing System is a patented micro-grid surface that simply slips under a piece of paper and provides a sub-surface template in which a pencil or pen-tip follows in a dead straight line. The same way the stylus in an old record player follows the groove in the record it’s playing.

The Accu-Line drawing surface is embossed with more than 2,500 of these microscopic pyramids per square inch and more than 237,000 per sheet of A4 size paper. These pyramids force the point of your drawing instrument to travel in a straight line within the groove between them.

When I got my slate, I was a bit dubious – I could feel the pattern, but would it really have any effect on a pen running over the paper surface?



Short answer – simply: “Yes”
Longer answer: “Yes, and would you like parallel lines handdrawn perfectly 1mm apart or 2? Very cool.

Both the A4 and A3 slates came on aluminium clipboards (the “Tool Kit” version)- this is definitely a product designed to be used at the coalface – to be used in front of a client, sketching up an idea and yet nailing precise lines without waving a ruler everywhere.Β  I’m about to make up some toy kitchens, and was explaining to the person wanting one of them what my vision was – the Accu-line would have been perfect in that situation.

They have some other complementary products: a compass/protractor combo

CompassAnd templates

templatesSo continue the rebellion against computer drawings, pick up a pencil and create without restrictions!

(Ok computer design can be very creative, and there are programs such as Sketchup that do work, I just like the physical design process!)

I’ll be using the Accu-line shortly when I further plan out the toy kitchen.

16 Responses

  1. You could also look at other templates used by lapidary craftspeople – not just ovals but many other shapes – squares, crosses, hearts etc – and other quilting templates too.

  2. Stu,
    I’m with you on the pencil to paper method. I often find myself going through several changes on the way and find this easy to do with a pencil on paper at the workbench where it is all happening. Wonder if this is an age thing?

    • Does that make me young or old? πŸ˜‰
      I have a long history of draughting – right through school, Uni, even worked in London as a draughtsman (pen, not computer).

      I’ve used AutoCAD a lot, and enjoy the quality of the final product, but where it comes to the original design and visualisations, nothing beats picking up a writing implement!

  3. LOl… glad someone else uses pen & paper….
    January school specials @ Coles exercise books come out at 5cents each… no joke… so I purchase them 40 at a time… one book per-project…
    keep the books… to go back on…
    All hand sketched… extremely basic… yet you can see the finished pieces in my home & they’re near exact to the sketches…

    I write comment down on the book when I discover a quicker ways… or note a point of interest… or just discover something special….
    I’ve used that as my journel… with NO Ed… its like keeping myself sane… & allows double check…

    Essentially hand sketch what I want… by putting my thoughts onto paper… its double checking 3D…. & eliminating error…(mostly for when I rebate or plan doors… the rest its draw/ measure/ cut/ stain/ glue/ clamp/ polish … !!!! Oh new piece!
    Love wood…. cheers …
    …he he he… I’m off to woodshed now… nice piece comming together…
    Oh shed’s about 10 steps across patio… will put heater on before I go in there today… its cold… how many of you duck between the house & the shed… I can put a load of washing on while the glue starts to set…then start to cut another piece out before it drys..LOL

  4. Stuart,
    It is quite obvious you work for this company as a spammer/marketer. It is quite obvious by your choice of words / posting photos and referencing articles from their website.

    I’ve used this product and it doesn’t work that great. Once you take the paper of the textured plasic you can never get it aligned again with the grid.

    More useful in schools etc. grades 3-12.


    PS. I love how you reference “Joe” told me to go to the website. I wonder if “joe” told you to jump off a bridge would you do that also? get real.

    • Steven, thanks for such an amusing comment – I’ve never been called a spammer/marketer before!

      Hmm- choice of words/posting photos and referencing articles from their website – yeah, it is SO hard finding a website to do first-hand research, and then cutting and pasting content to include in an article, and using their images when appropriate.

      Yes – I work for a company that pays me to write 1/2 a million words, and over 1000 articles to disguise the 1 article about that company itself.

      “Joe” is a regular on this site, and I was grateful to him for bringing a product such as this to my attention. I had no problem using the product, and my article reflects that. Your mileage may vary, but given it is designed as a sketching tool, and they have made no claim that you can do what you are complaining about (realigning an existing drawing with the grid again) it, perhaps the rest of your comment is as well researched, and not so surprising. If Joe suggested jumping off a bridge, there would be some definite justification to it, and I would therefore give the suggestion serious consideration. In contrast to anything you might come up with that is.

      Oh btw- point of definition – being a spammer would require me to send out emails or something wouldn’t it?
      Eye Dee One Zero Tee.

  5. […] Apparently I’m a Spammer/Marketer! By Stuart Leave a Comment Categories: Uncategorized Tags: Stu's Shed From this post on the Accu-line: […]

  6. lol @ spammer….

    Trust me Joes a real person, i see him every morning, in the mirror!

    Eye Dee One Zero Tee, got to remember that πŸ˜‰

    I have to make one serious complaint though, your making me spend too much money!

    Keep those reviews coming.


  7. Obviously you have not used this product very much so i’ll spell it out for you.

    1. Draw something. yes i’m sure you can do this.
    2. Remove the paper from the textured grid
    3. Place the paper back onto the grid and try to draw parallel lines again with your existing drawing. You cannot align the paper with the grid with your previous drawings. The lines are no longer parallel. Does’t work well when your trying to “red line” drafting blue prints. Give it a try genius and you’ll see what i’m taking about or maybe you draw simple squares and thats it?

    • Good grief Stu- who is this wanker? He comes on your website, accuses you of being a spammer (without sending a single email), and even after you point out the stupidity of his statement (love the 1/2 million word site to disguise one pro-employer post comment) he ignores it and posts another pushing his own barrow.

      Steven, mate, you are getting seriously worked up over a $20 item designed for quick on-site sketches. I’ve tried it as well, and it worked ok for a quick sketch for a client- that’s all it is intended for.

      Don’t know where you are in the world, nor care- this Aussie saying should translate pretty universally. Mate, Fuck Off.

      Sorry Stu- sure you can delete comments etc, but dickheads like this shouldn’t go unchallenged.


  8. Oh yeah – love the Eye Dee One Zero Tee
    Pity is Steven sounds too stupid to work it out (and take the hint)

  9. Hey poop, you obviously have not used the product. If you actually used the product and had a 1/4 brain you would know what i’m talking about. You should stick playing playstation where no thinking is involved. Pick up the product and see for yourself instead of relying on stu or any of your other “buddies” to tell you.

    • I dunno whether to laugh or cry – perhaps that I am rolling on the floor laughing so hard that I am crying takes care of that problem. The sad thing is that not only are you going for it in a crusade against, as Simon put it, a $20 item, but the problem is you – the operator, and not the product.

      I’ve tried making a drawing, removing the paper completely, returning it to the Accu-line and drawing some more. Know what I managed? Perfectly parallel lines. Tried it again, same result.

      I know the pen is mightier than the sword, but right now you wielding a pencil is a cause of concern – don’t cut yourself.

      One last point. People might wonder why I haven’t blocked your Florida IP address before now, and the answer is simply that your vitriolic approach was particularly entertaining, and I give everyone a fair go to express their viewpoint, but my patience for your bullshit has run out. Grow up.

  10. A POOR TRADESMAN WILL ALWAYS BLAME HIS TOOLS,and if your taking it out on a $20 tool for its lack of ability,it sounds to me like you may perhaps lack something yourself,good luck with that though.

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