Even as computer technology continues to advance, industrial light tables continue to and will always be irreplaceable because of their versatility across multiple fields. There are a variety of light table uses, many of which are well known, but others that are slowly starting to become better known.
Light Tables in Graphic Design
Graphic design is perhaps the field where light tables are most appreciated, and one of the most well knownlight tableuses. Without a doubt, nearly everyone in graphic design has made use of a light table. The even illumination that the light table provides allows the artist to easily trace the original content. The light table can be used with a pencil to lightly trace the original image onto thicker or more expensive paper, such as watercolor paper. This will help the artist create a more accurate image. Cartoonists and animators find light tables incredibly useful because of the repetition that comes with their work. For these professionals, light tables with supports may be better suited for their use, as it allows them to sit while they work.
Light Tables for Architecture and Drafting
In architecture and drafting, light tables continue to be used on a daily basis. Though not used as frequently for drafting since the advent of computers, every architecture office will have at least one light table. In early stages of design, the fastest way to generate ideas is through sketching. When many iterations of the same sketch are needed, or when the sketch may need to be altered slightly, light tables are the simplest tool to use. Outside of early design, many clients, especially those with residential projects, continue to request hand drafted plans. In these cases the light table will be used extensively for every sheet of the project. The draftsman will place the original floor plan against the light table and use this as a base for all of the subsequent floor plans. This will greatly reduce the time and increase the accuracy when creating a set of plans.
Light Tables for Clash Detection
In the building industry, an inspection light table can be used to compare drawings from various disciplines and detect any clashes. So long as the drawings are using the same scale, they may be placed against a light table to detect where certain systems are in conflict with other systems. One of the most common clashes can be piping from the plumbing drawing, coming into conflict with ducts from the mechanical plan. The light table will allow the different disciplines to detect any problems beforehand, allowing them to save time and money when constructing the project.
Light Tables in the Medical Field
In the medical field, an inspection light table is the most appropriate type of industrial light table. Usually placed vertically, as many medical professionals work while moving, these light tables are most often used in hospitals to inspect x-rays. This is perhaps the most well known use of a light table for the general public, as we often see it in the media. Placing negatives of photographs against the evenly lit light table allows the doctor to more closely inspect the patient.
Industrial light tables are one of the most basic tools in any design professional’s office. It is their simplicity that will continue to make them versatile and irreplaceable. Even as technology advances, the ability to quickly trace or view a drawing more clearly will be hard to replace.