The History of The CAD Zone
It Started in 1990
The CAD Zone, Inc. located in Beaverton, Oregon, was founded in 1990 with a goal of providing CAD training and program customization to all industries. The CAD Zone quickly earned a reputation as being one of the best application development companies in the CAD industry, working extensively with Autodesk and other CAD companies to help customize their software for specific types of users.
In 1992 The CAD Zone was approached by the Portland (OR.) Fire Bureau to create a custom CAD application for creating pre-fire plans for the fire service. When other fire departments found out what Portland was doing, they all wanted a copy of it for themselves. The Fire Zone™ Version 1.0 for MS-DOS was born and it quickly became a huge success. Since then The Fire Zone has been re-developed for Microsoft® Windows™ 3.1 and, more recently, the 32 bit Fire Zone Version 5.0 was introduced specifically for Windows 98/NT/and Windows 2000.
With the help of Equifax Commercial Services (now Choice Point), The CAD Zone next introduced The Insurance Zone for creating fire protection and loss control diagrams. The Insurance Zone is now the standard drawing software used in the insurance industry, with users like Royal-Sun Alliance, Zurich, CNA, Chubb, Allianz, and many others.
The Crime Zone drawing program was first released in 1995 for creating crime and accident scene diagrams. This program was the result of more than 12 months of working with law enforcement officers, and prosecuting attorneys. The Crash Zone was added later as the program of choice specifically for crash reconstructionists.
The CAD Zone now has many thousands of users around the world, and is the only software publisher to offer industry-standard drawing programs for the fire service, law enforcement, crash reconstruction, and loss control industries.
Why do you want to use CAD?
Why would a police officer, fire fighter, or fire protection engineer want to use a CAD (computer-aided drawing) program? There are three main reasons:
1) Accuracy - Only CAD programs offer drawing accuracy of more than 8 places to the right of the decimal point. Even if you don’t need that much accuracy, you can be sure that whatever you draw is represented exactly by the program. This is especially important if you need to defend your crime or crash scene diagrams in a courtroom, or if, in the case of pre-fire plans, fire fighter’s lives are at stake.
2) Flexibility - Because CAD programs are extremely flexible, you can use them to draw anything and to print your diagrams at any scale. Unfortunately, being flexible often means a program is hard to use because there are so many commands and choices to make. This is why The CAD Zone creates a specific application for each type of user, making the program easy to learn and use for creating your type of diagrams.
3) Compatibility - CAD programs also offer excellent compatibility with other drawing programs and with word processors and reporting programs. Often building floor plans and county street maps are available in an electronic format which can be easily imported into a CAD program.
Why software from The CAD Zone is different.
While CAD programs are very powerful, most "off-the-shelf" programs are too difficult for non-technical computer users to learn and use. As a law enforcement officer, fire fighter, or fire protection engineer, you probably don’t have the time or desire to make computer drafting your full time job.
The CAD Zone's answer to this problem is to simplify CAD by turning it into a tool that anyone can use, beginner or expert. We want you to have all the benefits of using a CAD program, with none of the effort. We give each application a completely customized interface, pre-drawn symbols, special commands, menus, and other tools that are specific to each industry. This means you can create neat, consistent drawings with ease, 3-4 times faster than by hand. You really won’t even know that you are using a CAD program, but rest assured you will have all the accuracy, flexibility, and compatibility that CAD has to offer.
We are often asked what is the difference between The CAD Zone’s drawing programs and other programs like AutoSketch®, Visio®, or DynaCAD®. The answer is that while these are excellent general-purpose drawing programs, they were not designed with any particular user in mind. On the other hand, each of The CAD Zone’s programs are created just for users in a specific industry. In addition to symbols, each program contains a variety of other features to help automate your drawing tasks - whether you are in loss control, the fire service, law enforcement, or crash reconstruction.