Succeeding in tough times through technology

Online software expedites the design process
By Charlene Kull
February 19, 2009

Hunkering down for 2009? Looking for ways to save costs without sacrificing efficiency? Technology is one of the keys to survival, and using design software is like hiring a field of experts without the cost.

Effective online design software can increase your productivity, allowing you to grow your business with the resources you already have while increasing accuracy, creativity and quality.

C.R. Laurence Co., Los Angeles, developed several online programs to help large and small glass companies. Among them are All-Glass Storefronts Online and Hand Rails Online.

All-Glass Storefronts Online

All-Glass Storefronts Online is for users who quote and install heavy glass entrances, run aluminum storefront programs, need help designing safe entrances and require drawings for proposals.

The program designs the entrance in 3D and adds the correct hardware, including pivots and closers. It covers all door styles from full rails to patch fittings, plus transoms, sidelites and fin support.

From the templates page, users select an entrance style, enter overall rough opening dimensions, choose a door style from the menu and select the sidelite style. On the last screen, the users review hardware and cutting sheets, and add comments. The program includes a quotation sheet, allowing users to create a quote or order the system directly through the program.

CRL recently expanded the choices of door styles and added specification of door handling, critical to certain types of hardware.

Hand Rails Online

Hand Rails Online allows users to create standard and custom railings, and has the option of 2D and 3D generated layouts. It supports CRL’s “ARS” Aluminum Hand Rail System, along with ½-inch and ¾-inch “all-glass” handrail systems, and supports stair railing designs.

This software is tailored to professionals working with handrails, guardrails, glass balustrades and windscreen applications. The steps to design a railing are easy. After answering a few online questions regarding the application, users drag and drop railing layouts, and modify or edit properties. They can mix and match glass and picket infills, core or fascia mounting, or change the finish; make size adjustments to individual posts and panels; review the fittings; and add or delete hardware. The program automatically calculates all the parts and components for an application.

For additional information and quick tours, visit and click on the online software banners. Contact CRL Technical Sales at 800/421-6144 in the United States, or 877/421-6144 from Canada, extension 7700.

The author is corporate communications director at C.R. Laurence Co., Los Angeles. She can be reached at