Use Pre-drawn Symbols For Faster Diagrams

crash zone symbol manager

The Crash Zone Symbol Manager toolbox showing just a few of the pre-drawn symbols.

If you are a Crash Scene Investigator, chances are you have better things to do with your time than spend hours and hours creating drawings of crash scenes. One way to really save on drawing time is to use pre-drawn symbols for commonly found objects.  Instead of trying to draw that vehicle or sign found at the scene, just select the pre-drawn symbol and drag it into place.

General purpose drawing programs may have pre-drawn symbols of furniture or trees, but they will not have many items found at a crash scene, such as vehicles, bodies, signs, or weapons. To get these types of symbols, you need a software program that is specifically for drawing crash scenes.The Crash Zone, crash scene diagramming software published by The CAD Zone, Inc., has thousands of pre-drawn symbols that are ready for you to place in all of your 2D and 3D diagrams. You can easily change any symbol’s rotation, size, and color as you place it in the diagram. Symbols can be placed at an approximate location in the drawing or snapped to an exact data point.

The Crash Zone symbols are first divided into libraries and then into smaller groups, so they are easy to find.  It also includes an extensive symbol library of crime scene symbols, so you can create diagrams of crime scenes without having to purchase another program. For more information, on The Crash Zone’s symbols, take a look at the program’s Feature List.

Create Your Own Symbols

The CAD Zone is constantly adding to its library of symbols, but it’s impossible for them to include a symbol for everything you might need to show in a diagram. There are just too many possible items that could be found at a scene. If you can’t find a symbol for something you need to show in a diagram, you can draw it yourself (using the program’s extensive drawing tools) and save it as a “custom symbol”. Once saved, you can select and place that symbol in all of your future diagrams, the same way that you place any of the program’s pre-drawn symbols.

You can create your own symbols and add them to the program’s symbol library.

The first step to creating your own symbol is to draw the object using the program’s drawing and editing features. Next, start the ”Symbol Create Wizard” (on the Draw pull-down menu) which will step you through the process of naming your symbol, assigning the “handle points”  that are used to place it in the diagram, and saving it.

When you select Symbols from the left-hand toolbox, a particular symbol library is loaded – it’s the Crime library in this figure. Click the down-arrow, to the right of the library name, to select a different symbol library. To see your custom symbols, change to the “My Symbols” library. From there you can select any of the symbols you created with the program wizard and place them in your diagram. You can use any of the tools for placing pre-drawn symbols like mirror, changing color and changing scale.

Custom 3D Symbols Drawn
By The CAD Zone

Since drawing in three dimensions is much more difficult and time consuming, some users who needed a specific 3D symbol have asked The CAD Zone to help. Over the years, we have generated many custom symbols for users, such as the exercise bike and 1998 Volvo, shown here.

These 3D symbols were created at the request of CAD Zone users.

If you have a photograph of an object with specific measurements, or a year and model of a vehicle, The CAD Zone’s professional drafters can create a 2D/3D symbol for you. Sometimes symbols are available from other sources that can be modified to work in The Crash Zone, sometimes we just draw them. Any custom symbols we create are always drawn to the correct ”real-world size” meaning a 1:1 scale. We also make sure the 3D version of the symbol is simplified as much as possible to reduce the loading time, but not too much so it is not a realistic representation of the object.

Completed custom symbol files are sent back to you with instructions on how you can add them to the Crash Zone symbol library. Then, when you bring up the Symbol Manager, the symbol is displayed on the toolbox for you to select and insert into any of your diagrams. When you open the 3D Viewer, the symbol will automatically be displayed as a three-dimensional object.

Many custom symbols can be created by The CAD Zone for no charge. Occasionally, there may be a slight charge to create a particularly complicated or unusual symbol. The CAD Zone reserves the right to include any custom symbols they create in future versions of the program so other users can have access to them.

© The CAD Zone, Inc.  2014  All Rights Reserved