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Reg Whittaker: An Architect Shares His Story of Designing Buildings in Cape Town with ZWCAD

Reg Whittaker: An Architect Shares His Story of Designing Buildings in Cape Town with ZWCAD

Reg Whittaker, a veteran architect from Cape Town, South Africa has been in the industry for nearly half of a century. Driven by a great passion for architecture, he wrote the following article to share his feelings about the development of CAD technology and his experience of designing with ZWCAD.


My story is from a different perspective and I do hope that it spurs you on to greater heights.

I share with you that I had spent ten years or so on drawing boards in drawing offices until in 1986, when my purchase of an Olivetti® M24 Personal Computer (20 meg Hard Drive) changed my work life forever.

Life before CAD, Image Courtesy of NooPun / Imgur

Life before CAD, Image Courtesy of NooPun / Imgur

Computer Aided Design (CAD) was in its infancy at the time but my journey thereafter in CAD became a roller coaster ride.

I shall never forget my amazement of watching my first plotter perform all the moves that I had done on a drawing board for so many years, but in a miraculously shorter time.

This miracle drove my passion for architecture and computers.

One of the residences Reg designed for Pearl Valley Golf Estate and Spa

One of the residences Reg designed for Pearl Valley Golf Estate and Spa

The CAD years that followed 1986 have culminated in my current software of choice—ZWCAD 2019.

For umpteen years I had been using an old AutoCAD® software package and noted how both the price and the sophistication of CAD software was skyrocketing.

Over the year’s CAD software, with its continuing sophistication, was arguably proving to be more of a hindrance than a time saver for small to medium sized offices, whose main focus was on uncomplicated reasonably simple projects. An observation amongst coworkers and associates was that “The way things are going, one would soon need to go to University to operate CAD programs” and also “one would need to take out a mortgage loan to afford them”.

I did not wish, or have the time to “go to University to learn to operate CAD programs” so as a result my old CAD software, being highly customized (and having an architectural add-on package as well), became an increasingly frustrating platform to work on by its ability of not being able to execute advanced functions, such as inserting images and pasting spreadsheets and PDF’s underlays into my drawings, not to mention keeping up with the more sophisticated types of printers and plotters making their appearance from time to time.

ZWCAD therefore was a wonderful discovery, and there is little doubt that if it were not for ZWCAD, my architectural practice would be nowhere near as successful today.

A house designed by Reg in Durbanville, Western Cape province

A house designed by Reg in Durbanville, Western Cape province

I am truly grateful that ZWCAD found its way into my world—with release after new release ZWCAD has become more and more sophisticated and yet graciously maintained their affordable price.

My real celebration is however, that I still have the ability to speedily create my design-work on my old highly customized CAD package, and once the project is at a suitable stage, I move it across to ZWCAD to refine, insert, embellish and embed all manner of bells and whistles onto my drawings.

My hand drawn conceptual designs once approved by my clients, are easily transformed into perfect ZWCAD sketch designs.

My easily customizable ZWCAD tool palettes and keyboard shortcuts ensure great time-saving CAD functions.

Also, from a township planning and design point of view, my very large Site Development Plans comprising sometimes up to hundreds of homes in a village, are easily designed and laid out in ZWCAD.

One of Reg’s town planning works—Breckenridge Village

One of Reg’s town planning works—Breckenridge Village

In the ZWCAD layout mode, with all images and other peripherals added, the final plotted out drawings in either PDF files or hard copy prints, by way of my Hewlett-Packard® AO plotter, have become exceptional presentations. All thanks to ZWCAD! I therefore have nothing but high praise for ZWCAD as it has given my practice the ability to embrace the software sophistication of the day, and confidently move into the future.


Reg’s story is a manifestation of “it’s best only when it fits you”. Plus, he inspires us to keep dedicating to what we love as long as we’re capable. If you also have a story to share, feel free to leave a comment!

Try ZWCAD free for 30 days!

All the above opinions are from Reg Whittaker except where stated otherwise.

Christine Yin

Christine Yin

ZWSOFT Content Specialist

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