November 2013 Newsletter

Dear Friends:

Expressing true gratitude cannot be accomplished in one day, since good deeds span throughout the year. We thank each one of you who has graced us with your business at one time or another; thank you for your confidence and trust, as well as the opportunities you have given us.

All of us at Miller’s offer up a hearty “thanks.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Luci Miller


Miller Wall Calendars Available Soon!

Our annual Miller Wall Calendars, featuring the work of Don Collins, will arrive early in December. We hope those of you wanting them will drop us a line ( or just swing by either store for easy pick-up.



3D Printing: Next Step for the A/E/C Industry?

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3D printing has been available for three decades now, but its use in the design and construction industry has recently spiked. The technology has improved, the price has gone down, and the imagination of designers has risen.

Among recent applications are a 3D printed room, accomplished by two Swiss architects, Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger. Their project is no normal room, however – it’s a highly stylized piece of art that would be at home in a cathedral or art museum. Their use of 3D printing technology was more of an artistic decision than structural. Read more about their work and a watch a video here.

Another major project underway is the 3D printing of an entire house in the Netherlands. For this project, Dutch firms DUS Architects and Universe Architecture built their own giant 3D printer, which they call KamerMaker, or “Room Builder.” It’s too big to keep inside, so it’s planted in a garden outside DUS Architects’ office in Amsterdam.

The house they’re printing will sit along one of Amsterdam’s famous canals, and it will house an information center for 3D printing. That points to the real reason for this structure – to promote the idea of using 3D printing to create houses.

“That’s also why we want to do it – to see what this technique actually can mean for housing seven billion people on this planet – because at the moment, with the current construction techniques and how we play with resources in this world, it’s not sufficient enough,” says Hans Vermeulen, a partner in DUS. Read more about this project here.

For most architects, such giant projects are interesting to read about but don’t have any practical application. What may have practical application, however, is 3D modeling.

Creating a model of a proposed building with a 3D printer has several advantages over the traditional method of building one by hand. Perhaps the most obvious is the speed – a professional-level 3D printer can output a model in hours or a day, based purely on a converted design file. And the complexity doesn’t matter – the printer doesn’t care if it’s printing a highly detailed bridge or a simple house.

That leads to another key advantage often not considered – the 3D printer does not add a human interpretation to the model; it just prints out whatever the designer expects. A human model maker, on the other hand, is constantly making decisions about the structure that could affect the ultimate appearance of the model.

3D printing has traveled a long road to its current level of prominence, but this is likely just the beginning.


AEC Economy Recovering in Fits and Starts


The Great Recession seems to be fading in fits and starts in the AEC community. Several key indicators over the past few weeks reveal continued positive trends, but others show a limited recovery.

Dodge Predicts 9 Percent Rise
The 2014 Dodge Construction Outlook, published by McGraw Hill, predicts that total U.S. construction starts for 2014 will rise 9 percent to $555.3 billion, higher than the 5% increase to $508 billion estimated for 2013.

“We see 2014 as another year of measured expansion for the construction industry,” said Robert Murray, McGraw Hill Construction’s vice president of Economic Affairs. “Against the backdrop of elevated uncertainty and federal spending cutbacks, the construction industry should still benefit from several positive factors going into 2014. Job growth, while sluggish, is still taking place. Interest rates remain very low by historical standards, and in the near term the Federal Reserve is likely to take the necessary steps to keep them low.” Read more here.

AIA Billings Index Climbs
The AIA Billings Index also shows positive numbers; in September, it rose to 54.3. (Any score above 50 indicates billings growth). Firm billings have climbed every month since the beginning of the summer, and inquiries into new work rose. Read the entire article here.

Mixed Report from FMI
The FMI, a construction investment management consulting firm, in September reduced its annual Construction-Put-Place predictions to $909.6 billion, down nearly $4 billion from previous predictions. However, early forecasts for 2014 show annual CPIP will grow 7 percent, rising to $977 billion. Among the highlights of this 2014 growth will be 12 percent growth in residential construction, 5 percent growth in commercial construction, and 6 percent growth in healthcare construction.

Construction Employment Up, But Still Below Peak
Construction employment rose between July and August in 36 states, according to data from the Labor Department. However, Associated General Contractors warns that construction employment is still below peak levels and may be impacted by changes in federal plans.

“While we would all like to see even more robust growth, it is encouraging that most states have a larger construction workforce today than they did a year ago,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “It will take a lot more growth, however, before construction employment levels return to their pre-recession levels in most places.” Read more here.


Miller’s Graphic Department Expands Color Scanning Capability With The Kurabo 24×36 Flatbed Color Scanner

Carl Placing Picture On Scanner

Miller’s graphic department has expanded its color scanning capabilities by recently installing the amazing Kurabo 24×36 inch Flatbed Color Scanner.

Carl Hayes, Fine Art Graphic Specialist, believes that Miller’s artist, museum, and archivist customers will be especially excited about having their 24×36 originals scanned at an optical 400dpi resolution with no post-scan stitching required.

As a true 24×36 inch flatbed scanner, customers can have thick originals like canvas artwork or extremely fragile legacy documents scanned without fear of damage. Images larger than 24×36 can be scanned and electronically stitched together in Adobe Photoshop to form a single flawless image. Recently, Carl scanned and stitched a 46×62 inch aerial image of Austin.

For more information regarding Miller Blueprint’s scanning services or the Kurabo 24×36 Flatbed Color Scanner, please contact Ian Cousins at?512.381.5277 or


Tips & Tricks: Understanding Color Spaces


Color spaces determine how an image will be represented on screen or in print. Digital files usually exist in one of these four color spaces: RGB, CMYK, Bitmap, and Grayscale. Here are a few pointers to help you decide which one is best for your next printing job.

RGB (Red/Green/Blue)

  • RGB color space is used in electronic equipment such as computer monitors, televisions, projectors, color scanners, and cameras.
  • RGB is also the preferred color space for printing photos and artwork.

CMYK (Cyan/Magenta/Yellow/Black)

  • CMYK is the standard ink set used by printers. When designing for print, you should work in this color space.
  • While digital printers will accept RGB files, offset printers will require digital files be in CMYK prior to printing.

Bitmap/Grayscale (“Black & White”)

  • Not to be confused with the .bmp file format, the bitmap color space represents an image using one of two color values: black or white.
  • Grayscale consists of black, white, and gray values between these two points. It allows for a more detailed “black and white” image.
  • Bitmap and Grayscale are the preferred color space for black & white printing.

Keep an eye out for next month’s Tips & Tricks, where we’ll talk more about which color space is best for your needs, and converting between color spaces.

Still have questions? We’re here to help! Miller Blueprint can print in all color spaces, but please contact Ian Cousins at or 512.381.5277 to discuss which color space would be best for your needs.


Miller Blueprint’s New Mutoh Valuejet 1624 Eco-Solvent Printer Produces Outdoor Banners, Signs, Tailgate Wraps, and Window Graphics


Miller’s graphics department has always had a superior reputation for color accuracy and quality. Until recently, the graphic department was focused primarily on indoor applications.

“With the installation of the Mutoh Valuejet 1624 Eco-Solvent printer, we’ve expanded into outdoor applications,” said Tim DuPere, Graphic Department Manager.

“Our customers are very discerning, thus we have always focused on delivering the best color images – small and large – that we can. We are now going to bring that same commitment and attitude to outdoor applications,” DuPere said.

For more information on banners, signs, tailgate wraps and window graphics contact Ian Cousins at 512.381.5277 or


News You Can Use

Austin City Council Votes for Fair Wages for Construction Worker

Architects Cheetham and Tarsney Create “Floating Pavilion” at UT

Lakeside Apartment Construction Underway

Dallas Fund Buys Stake in Austin Offices

Construction To Climb 9% in 2014, McGraw Hill Predicts


Section 179 Tax Savings – Act before the end of the year!

Simply put, Section 179 is a provision in the US Tax Code that allows businesses to deduct the FULL purchase price of equipment purchased (and put into use) during the 2013 calendar year.

For more information on the Section 179 Tax Provision, you should consult with your tax and legal consultants. Visit Clune Leasing’s Section 179 Tax Savings Calculator to determine your potential equipment cost after tax savings. Clune Leasing is Miller Blueprint’s preferred equipment leasing provider.


Amazing Architecture: Classic Skyscrapers

The Ingalls Building in Cincinnati, designed by the architectural firm Elzner & Anderson in 1903, was the world’s first reinforced concrete skyscraper.

Chicago’s Tribune Tower, built in 1925, is a neo-gothic skyscraper noted for including fragments of famous buildings from around the world, including the Parthenon, the Great Wall of China, and Angkor Wat.

The American Radiator Building stands out for its black skin and gold crown. The 22-story building in New York was built in 1924.

The Daniels & Fisher Tower is a Denver landmark. The 20-floor building, built in 1910 as a Daniels & Fisher department store, now houses lofts and businesses.


Being Green

Bellmont Cabinets combine sustainable materials, low-VOC finishes, and energy-smart manufacturing in their kitchen cabinets.

Oceanside Glasstile creates beautiful tiles from recycled glass bottles.

Capri Cork Flooring uses renewable cork and recycled rubber.

Plybam Bamboo Plywood uses 100 percent bamboo, a fast-growing material.


Three Milestones in Concrete

Romans Use Concrete

Ever wonder how the Roman Colosseum has stayed upright for over 2,000 years? It’s not just good balance of the stones – concrete binds them together. Romans are credited with inventing an early form of concrete, recorded as one part lime to four parts sand.

Portland Cement Invented

Portland Cement was patented in 1824 by Joseph Aspdin, a bricklayer and mason in Leeds, England. Portland cement was used in the construction of the London sewer system 35 years later.

First Reinforced Concrete Skyscraper

The Ingalls Building, built in 1903 in Cincinnati, Ohio, was the first reinforced concrete skyscraper. It rose 15 stories. Supposedly one reporter was so convinced the building would collapse that he stayed beside the building the entire night after the supports were removed.


November Coupon


November Coupon - Art Reproductions










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