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What is Duct Stream?

It’s often hard for us to talk about what Duct Stream IS and probably easier for us to talk about what Duct Stream DOES. Because if you really make us define ourselves then I have to say something like: Duct Stream is a lean, efficiency focused set of AutoCAD tools paired with a robust database specifically designed for the HVAC Contractor. That’s a pretty complicated way of saying that our drafting system started in 1988 as a shop tool by a guy trying to feed his family. He was determined to make the drafting side as efficient as possible so that the shop could focus on hanging duct. Those tools were so good that they helped that shop to complete jobs more accurately by producing incredibly accurate fittings that needed less to no field trimming at installation. Simply put, Duct Stream has been designed for the needs of the HVAC contractor.

Example of specific elbow rolls for duct

We believe that staying lean keeps drafting snappy and responsive no matter how big or small the job is. AutoCAD is already handling a lot and can be incredible resource intensive when working on larger projects. We would much rather help AutoCAD to render our incredibly accurate 3D models of your “as-built” so Duct Stream only does drawing things in AutoCAD and passes all of the “non-drawing” database management to a separate tool. By keeping our software separated like this helps keep your shop drafting day in and day out the way you expect a tool to work.

Efficiency is our mission. We are always striving to get to the end result (duct in the air) faster and in the fewest steps possible. Duct Stream is built to save actual time while drafting, real hours in the shop, and labor when installing at the job site. For the drafting side, tools are designed around accessibility, customizability, and automation. Commands and menus can be user defined so that the tools you need most can be a keystroke or short click away. Our robust fitting library includes 99% of the fittings in the Cybtek and Vicon libraries and those fittings are parametric which means that they can be any size or shape so long as your shop can make it. No sliders or pop ups between the drafter and the job that they are working on. Every fitting that you need can be accessed with simple commands, or we have always supported the use of digitizers. Customers with these ancient devices can print out the included PDF, attach it to the digitizer with tape, then quickly configure the option to have a physical place to select the most used tools. Duct Stream draws exactly the fitting that you need for difficult situations, too. When you need that special offset fitting to get under an I-beam, around something pipe that is blocking the way, but the throat has to be a different size on the other side? No problem. Even if that throat has to be 5/16” smaller. If your shop can build it then Duct Stream can draw it. That’s because our Auto-Routing tools quickly calculate difficult fittings that often require no hand trimming on the job site. Exactly what you need to complete the job. Need to calculate a rolled elbow hookup at some funny angle on that renovation job where everything is in the way? Okay. Duct Stream can give you the exact angle that you need with a simple command and usually two clicks.

Sample drawing in Duct Stream of complicated duct

We have been around for a little while, so we understand that Duct Stream is one little part in your shop and in a much larger construction job. Our tools were made to work with many different types of shops with a focus on the end goal (duct in the air, job done!). That’s why Duct Stream is ready for whatever BIM requires. Our incredibly accurate models produce more accurate weight reports and our system is compatible with bidding software like Wendes. Our 3D models are compatible with Revit, Microstation, Navisworks, and many more BIM products so that users can bid on more types of jobs. Our database keeps accurate track of your fittings including tag numbering or whatever system your job site needs to stay organized and efficient. We do that by exporting our incredibly accurate fittings in PDF or CSV reports that can integrate with Vicon, Cybtek, or Camduct layout solutions (and we hope more soon!). Best of all, Duct Stream is ready for international jobs. Our Unit Conversion tool can quickly change all of the dimensions in an entire drawing from Imperial to Metric without changing special tagging or any non-dimensional objects!

Vicon duct work fabrication table

So, what is Duct Stream? We think that Duct Stream is a reliable drafting tool for helping HVAC Contractors get from bidding to submitting, fabricating and installing, to submitting a fully BIM compliant “as-built” 3D model as quickly as possible.

Sample 2D technical rendering of duct work

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