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Design and Drafting

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The IIHR Engineering Services (IES) staff have extensive expertise in the design and drafting, particularly in the area of hydraulic design:

  • Laboratory models
  • Instrumentation
  • Experiments


Design services are available to clients who hire IES for a modeling project. Our design expertise provides significant benefits to the client, including a complete set of design documents created by the expert drafters at IES.

A large-scale laboratory model designed and constructed by IIHR's Engineering Shops & Services staff.

A large-scale laboratory model designed and constructed by IIHR’s Engineering Shops & Services staff.

Model design is a particular area of strength at IIHR. Engineers provide in-house expertise for construction of models, including large, complex physical models such as a recent project to help modernize the London sewer system. IES staff designed and constructed a complex inlet design, approach channel, tangential inlet vortex generator, drop tube, de-aeration shaft, and more to investigate and verify the hydraulics and airflows in the design.

Flume design is a specialty at IIHR. Our flumes have served industry, researchers, and students worldwide for decades. Our team can design a customized flume to meet client specifications, including size, height, tilt, and speed. We do the structural calculations to size the steel, glass thickness, and connections. With this information, we can develop a very detailed set of 2D and 3D drawings of the entire structure, and deliver this design to the client, along with a report document.

Electronics instrumentation design is another area of expertise at IES. Our full-time electronics and instrumentation specialist can provide whatever level of service your project requires, from advice on what components to use, to the purchasing, configuration, and installation of instruments. Our electronics specialist also works closely with staff in the machine shop to design and fabricate customized brackets and enclosures as needed.

Examples of IES design work:

  • Instrumentation to simulate lightning strikes on cloth
  • Flume design for clients including the University of Maryland, University of North Carolina, University of Wisconsin, University at Buffalo, and New Mexico Tech
  • Design and construction of enclosures and anchors for a network of water-quality sensors, including deployment and maintenance


The skilled technicians at IIHR develop 3D drawings for model construction projects at all stages of the design process, from proposal development to initial design and model layout, through construction and experimental equipment arrangements.

The IESS 3D printer can rapidly fabricate smaller products with intricate internal shapes.

The IESS 3D printer can rapidly fabricate smaller products with intricate internal shapes.

All drafting at IES begins in 3D, which supports greater efficiency and allows for better visualization of the final product by shop staff and clients. IES drafters primarily use PTC-Creo, a software package that allows them to quickly create, analyze, view, and control product designs. They are also proficient with ProE and Solidworks, as well as AutoCAD. IES technicians will choose the best package for each particular project; for instance, 3D drawings created with ProE can easily be converted into a format used by the shop’s CNC milling machines to quickly and efficiently fabricate the product. In other cases, the shop’s 3D printer can be used to rapidly fabricate smaller pieces with intricate internal shapes.

Contact IES today to learn more about our design and drafting capabilities.

Last modified on June 26th, 2018
Posted on August 6th, 2014

Site by Mark Root-Wiley of MRW Web Design