Whether you need assistance for a specific project or are looking for a long-term partner, Benchmarq can assist with your CAD Consultancy requirements. Benchmarq is a leader in providing outsourced CAD services. We’ve partnered with firms across the country to provide engineering and drafting services in:

  • Drafting and detailing
  • As-built drawings
  • Structural design
  • Steel detailing
  • Precast detailing
  • Civil engineering
  • Highway and roadway design detailing
  • Facilities management drawings

What is CAD?

To most people, CAD stands for Computer Aided Design.

However, in the context of the services that Benchmarq provides, CAD really means Computer Aided Drafting or, if you prefer the British English spelling, Computer Aided Draughting.

Essentially it means using a piece of software, such as AutoCAD (but there are many other examples such as BricsCAD, Vectorworks, MicroStation etc.) to provide an ‘electronic drawing board’ onto which points, lines, arcs, circles, rectangles, polygons and other geometric entities can be drawn on a screen and then printed on to paper.
As these entities are drawn, the CAD software can automatically dimension and label them, saving considerable time.

It also allows easy categorisation of the drawn elements by means of ‘layers’, enabling large and complex drawings to be conveniently structured and edited according to a hierarchy appropriate to the project in hand. For example, a drawing may contain a ‘water supply pipework’ layer, a ‘ventilation’ layer, an ‘electrical’ layer, and so on.

This being so, CAD in this context is essentially a 2 dimensional (2D) medium for the transmission of ideas and information.

Historically, engineers, architects, and designers have always set down their ideas in 2D form on paper and CAD is merely an electronic extension of that.

CAD entities, those points, lines, circles etc., have pretty limited intelligence, meaning that most CAD drawings can be considered as arrangements of linework, however elaborate.

It is this ‘lack of intelligence’ that has led to further development of CAD software over the years, especially into the realm of 3D CAD and further into ‘parametric’ CAD, where key relationships between entities within a CAD model can be automatically established and maintained. These relationships become even more important when developing design concepts in 3D space.

For example, the edge of a window could be specified as always being 500mm from the edge of a doorway such that when the doorway is moved, the window is automatically moved with it in order to maintain the 500mm relationship. That is a very simple example of parametric association.

What is CAD used for?

Being such a pervasive and generic application, CAD is widely used across many disciplines where technical information needs to be conveyed.
Here are some examples of CAD drawings prepared by Benchmarq for its clients over the years:

  • Building Floor plans
  • Building elevations and cross sections
  • Drainage long sections
  • Horizontal and vertical road alignments
  • Fire evacuation plans
  • HVAC plans
  • Pipework routing and other MEP layouts
  • Residential housing site plans
  • Structural detailing
  • Reinforced concrete detailing
  • Tunnel construction plans and detailing
  • Topographic survey plans
  • “As-built” drawings

What are the advantages of 2D CAD?

Being such a pervasive and generic application, CAD is widely used across many disciplines where technical information needs to be conveyed.
Here are some examples of CAD drawings prepared by Benchmarq for its clients over the years:

  • Building Floor plans
  • Building elevations and cross sections
  • Drainage long sections
  • Horizontal and vertical road alignments
  • Fire evacuation plans
  • HVAC plans
  • Pipework routing and other MEP layouts
  • Residential housing site plans
  • Structural detailing
  • Reinforced concrete detailing
  • Tunnel construction plans and detailing
  • Topographic survey plans
  • “As-built” drawings

As-built CAD Drawings

Crucial to an accurate record of what has been constructed are the creation of ‘As-Built’ drawings. Not only do these serve to record the correct location of constructional objects, equipment and artifacts; they also provide the basis for asset management for the future operation and maintenance by the owner/manager.

Our skilled CAD Technicians can work with you to produce As-Built drawings (or models) in both 2D and 3D.
Inputs can be simple notes, sketches and mark-ups on paper drawings, through to full electronic or online red-lining via the latest software applications and browser-based tools or even full-blown survey data from total stations or laser scanner.

2D to 3D Modelling Services

We can provide the following services:

  • Converting 2D CAD libraries to fully complete 3D parts libraries
  • 2D drawings to 3D components and assemblies for Interference checking
  • Production of 3D models for visualisation and rendering
  • Conversion to 3D CAD for 3D printing files

AutoCAD DWG files can be directly imported and converted to 3D parts, therefore, if any changes are made to the DWG file they will follow directly through to the 3D model.

There are multiple benefits to 3D CAD models including:

  • The ability to view and analyse components, schematics and assemblies in a 3D virtual environment
  • Increased communication of design intent and data capture
  • Improved, realistic visualisation with extra clarity

Why should I use Benchmarq's CAD services?

“I have a CAD software solution but I only use it occasionally”

This is a typical situation we encounter with our clients. They have an occasional need to use CAD but it is not frequent enough to keep their CAD skills up to speed.

Thus, when they do have a project which requires them to use CAD, they spend a disproportionate amount of time on this part of the project which means that:

  • Their hourly profit rate becomes reduced.
  • They take longer to hand over the final deliverables to their client, which means they lose capacity to take on the next project.
  • The quality of the output is not perhaps as high as they, or their client, would wish.
  • They still have the financial overhead of maintaining their annual CAD software licence if it is a subscription based solution such as AutoCAD.

Benchmarq’s CAD services are ideal for this type of client, enabling them to focus on their core business, safe in the knowledge that they can rely on Benchmarq to provide a cost-effective, high quality service.

“We are pretty good at CAD and are experiencing an increasing project workload based around our specialised engineering services; however, this is not to the extent that we want to take on the overhead of additional staff.”

This is another classic situation that we encounter with our clients.

The dilemma is centred on how best to use their limited time resource to maximum effect, maximum value and maximum profit.

Our CAD services clients are often in small, specialised engineering companies where they can add far more value by focussing on their core, specialist business rather than spending time on the rather more workaday task of turning their designs into CAD drawings.

Subcontracting the CAD task to Benchmarq keeps the specialist projects rolling in and, in turn, keeps their own clients happy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do your CAD services cost?
This is dependent on a number of factors, such as:

  • How many drawings need to be done and over what timeframe?

  • What is the source data? Sketches or some other type of electronic data?

  • Do you have specific in-house CAD standards that you would like us to adhere to and/or templates that you wish us to use?

  • The degree of complexity and repeatability within the proposed drawings?

Once we ascertain all the information we need we can create a tailored quotation for you.

Our prices are competitive and we will always be completely transparent about our rates when we discuss work with you. There will be no hidden costs or surprises.
All CAD project work is done here in our UK offices, we do not send anything abroad.
We have a large team of expert consultants that are ready and waiting to manage projects of all sizes.

Whether it's a residential property or a large nuclear power station, we have the experience to work on a variety of projects across the construction industry.
Security is extremely important to us and this is why all of our staff have been security cleared to work on government projects and as a company we hold a ‘Cyber Essentials’ certificate for our computer systems and procedures.
The disadvantages of 2D ‘linework’ CAD stem from a number of areas:

  • 2D representation cannot, by definition, capture the whole aspect of what is usually, in reality, a 3D object being represented. The 2D drawing is, at best, ‘sampling’ whichever aspects of that object are being drawn.
    In the case of a building, although we may have cross sections at certain points through the building, we have no information about what is happening between those cross sections.
    Additional cross sections can be created but this is a quite laborious, time-consuming process.


  • Unless using an ‘enhanced’ CAD solution, for example, AutoCAD for Architecture, there is usually no other association between the 2D CAD entities within the drawing.
    Returning to our example of the window and door frame, in a 2D CAD drawing, if the technician moves the position of the door, then he/she will also have to move the position of the window by the same amount in order to maintain the 500mm edge-to-edge relationship.
    This requires additional time compared with a parametric CAD solution.


  • The ‘flat-world’ nature of 2D CAD, by definition, means that clashes with other objects (e.g. complex pipework within a plant room) becomes extremely difficult to verify.
    This can lead to over conservative allowances in the design or, worst still, costly mistakes which are only discovered when the drawings are used to turn the design into reality.
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