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Main CAD issues in your office

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Ryder76

This is on the bottom of all transmittals sent out to our customers.

 

,”One (1) copy of approved drawings must be returned by traceable means to the following address no later than DATE SLOT and late receipt may result in additional cost and/or delayed shipment. Return approved drawings and/or documents to: engineer’s email address Company Name – Houston, Company Address ATTN: “Engineer’s Name”.”

 

I guess they think it doesn't mean them!

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JoeC

I guess they think it doesn't mean them!

 

 

Of course it doesn't mean them!

 

Have you ever heard this? - "Your competitor doesn't require this, so maybe we'll just do business with them!":x

 

Six months after installing competitor's equipment..."Wow, this project didn't go too well. I wish we'd reviewed more drawing/layout details before we started!":shock:

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Ryder76
I guess they think it doesn't mean them!

 

 

Of course it doesn't mean them!

 

Have you ever heard this? - "Your competitor doesn't require this, so maybe we'll just do business with them!":x

 

 

Just tell 'em, "You are most certainly free to do so."

 

Bet they back peddle thier respective asses off. By the time they get that far into a project they would pay hell to switch to another engineering or manufacturing company.

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russell84

For any office i would say the following are very important

 

Document control (Revisions etc) - Track what revision all drawings are up to. For this we have disallowed using the acad 'plot' function but have instead created our own plot & pdf buttons. If the our pdf button is hit the macro searches for the revision within the drawing (attribute) and searches the appropriate pdf path and if that revision pdf already exists then the document is not allowed to be plotted to a pdf without 'reving' up the drawing. Once a drawing is reved up and a new pdf made using our macro the old revsion pdf is moved by the macro to the job folders SS folder and is replaced by the new revsion pdf. Its actually been designed really well and is a easy way of document control.

This way also you can set the correct ctb files for your plots and make sure different variables are set correctly before plotting. Also a tiny water mark is placed at the bottom of each pdf to show who created the pdf which makes it easy to look up the history of a drawing.

 

Drawing naming is very important. Being able to find

pdf's and acad files within a job folder for different stages i think is very important. You need to be able to determine what drawings are for Construction, development approval or just plan sketchs just by looking at the drawing name. I could write a million words on how we have our network setup but one of the first things that any companies standards should have in it is directory structure.

This i think needs the most thought.

Once a directory structure is standardised it is easy to write applications to reference the appropriate directories for a given job number.

 

Site experienced Drafters. A drafter who has had experience at a work site before has a greater insight as to what will actually get built on site and the construction methodology that will be used. Unless you have a huge work load and you need some 'tracers' on your team just to help get the markups done, i would avoid having people on your team that aren't site experienced, tertiary qualified or construction minded. It has helped our production time 10 fold when we started looking giving all drafters site experience every year with our site project managers. Red pen markup time has decreased dramatically.

 

Standards; well i think a for starters a standard set of drawing templates for all page sizes is vital. A method of setting up drawing templates for jobs that require different title blocks is also important. People who don't use attributes in their title blocks should start, there are so many advantages to using them.

A good set of standards are one thats easy to follow. But chief drafter involvement in all projects is vital to making sure that people are using standards. If they aren't its easy to walk over and kindly show them how and trust me next time it will be done correctly.

 

Xrefs - In my mind i don't think there is any question as to use xrefs or not. For efficifiency xrefs are great!!!

 

Lead drafter. Someone who is good at acad but also has experience with its customisation etc. An example; when i got to my company there were people using individual lines and seperate text to create a 'SW' line

(--------SW--------SW--------). This sort of stuff takes so much time. Anyone who has any experience with acad customisation knows to create this line type is simple enough. Or if they can't, well there is heaps of help on this site. But i think every company needs someone who is efficiency minded and is always looking at better ways to increase efficiency.

 

There is a lot more - but i think these few are very important

 

Cheers:D

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stevsmith

Bigotry, Racism, constant ridicule & sheer stupidity seems to be the thing in my office.

I hate it.

And thats just the companies director.

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ircreative

Something my engineering company did was give the CAD manager the task to put out a "weekly standard" on monday mornings. This really helped because it always linked to the company help file. The company help file was linked to autocad and had a search function. So it made sticking to standards easier to be able to search for answers. It also had little snippets of info like "Command of the week:"

 

This kept all the drafters thinking about standards all week.

 

The next way to help with keeping to standards - bi weekly, bi monthly, or whenever you choose. Print out a sheet with many errors and give to each drafter for a quick overview/redline and discuss the errors. This works very well especially if one of the drafters worked on the file and made most the mistakes!!!

 

 

Hope this helps

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29xthefun
Bigotry, Racism, constant ridicule & sheer stupidity seems to be the thing in my office.

I hate it.

And thats just the companies director.

 

 

My last job was exactly like that, they go on about foreigners working here then pay 30 quid to watch a football match full of foreigners and then get a curry after it made by foreigners and then go to the pub to drink foreign booze.

 

Very stupid people.

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stevsmith
My last job was exactly like that, they go on about foreigners working here then pay 30 quid to watch a football match full of foreigners and then get a curry after it made by foreigners and then go to the pub to drink foreign booze.

 

Very stupid people.

 

Very True,

 

I work just down the road from you.

In Kilmarnock.

 

Must be a weegie/ayrshire thing, lol

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Taamalus

 

Document control (Revisions etc) - Track what revision all drawings are up to. For this we have disallowed using the acad 'plot' function but have instead created our own plot & pdf buttons. If the our pdf button is hit the macro searches for the revision within the drawing (attribute) and searches the appropriate pdf path and if that revision pdf already exists then the document is not allowed to be plotted to a pdf without 'reving' up the drawing. Once a drawing is reved up and a new pdf made using our macro the old revsion pdf is moved by the macro to the job folders SS folder and is replaced by the new revsion pdf. Its actually been designed really well and is a easy way of document control.

Cheers:D

Can this be done in LT as well?

 

This button, how exactly did it get changed?

 

Sorry to butt in, yet we (my firm) got a lot of challenges dealing with wrongly overridden drawings.:?

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russell84

It was done by writing a macro within acad vba.

Not sure if acad has VBA in lite version.

 

Unfortunately this is a specific macro written by us for our companies directory structure.

 

There may be third party addons out there that you can purchase for a small price though that will suit your needs.

 

But noone ever wants to spend any additional money - even if its $50 a lot of people won't spend the extra money even if it will save them a heap of time.

 

Whats everyones thoughts on 3rd party Acad addons? Would you spend $50 - $100 for a addon that would save you heaps of time??

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warren architecture

I've just joined a new office and everyone just draws using layer "0" :huh:

 

they also don't use viewports, none of the guys are trained in autocad they have all just had to learn it the hard way....crazy if you ask me

 

I've been asked to set up an office standard...anyone got any ideas?

I've done the stardard drawing templates...just need to sort out the layering names and styles...oh joy

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Taamalus

Not sure if acad has VBA in lite version.

 

But noone ever wants to spend any additional money - even if its $50 a lot of people won't spend the extra money even if it will save them a heap of time.

 

Whats everyones thoughts on 3rd party Acad addons? Would you spend $50 - $100 for a addon that would save you heaps of time??

The problem I have with add-ons is that they wont interface with Autocad LT, not the fifty or hundred dollars. Speaking of money - we are engineers, we do lines, circles and a little text. I really don't need AutoDesk 3D abilities, yet I am almost forced to get the full version, just so we can have a proper data management system. In other words, I need to spend five big ones, per station, just so I can trace drawings? :cry:

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foster8

I have just produced a version of CAD standards for our company, we had had agency designers all working differently and altering their work took longer than it should have, example, when drawing electrical schematics, block cable diagrams etc we draw to a 3mm snap and all in paperspace. Some electrical designers use model space, bring the schematic into paper via viewport and scale the drawing at any scale using zoom to fit a sheet size, such that the text size could be any size and not the standard 3mm or 3.5mm, crazy to me and they think this is the correct way!!...Any comments..??

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Cad64

You draw everything in paper space? :?

 

Is this all "In House" stuff or do you share your drawings with outside consultants?

 

I rember getting files from an engineer one time who had drawn all of his plans in paper space. I sent the files back and told him to put them in model space so we could xref them into our plans.

 

I guess you have a good reason for doing this? :unsure:

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stevsmith
Any comments..??

 

Yip... Where are they????

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Strix

yeah, electrical drawings SHOULD be done in paperspace, for the reasons mentioned by Foster8

 

I've been given entire drawing sets done in modelspace to work on before, and of course this prevents multiple people working on the drawing set (great when you're battling for a shutdown deadline when the drgs don't tie up with the site actuals), and if your client has a booking out system, how do they book out one batch of drgs to one contractor and another batch to another contractor working on the same large project?

 

scaling the drgs to fit the page makes your drawing set a complete mess of randomly sized, impossible to read, junk

 

As for the snap, it works for drgs done from scratch, but client supplied ones rarely conform. And then there's the supplier supplied symbol libraries with insertion points that don't suit where you want them to be... so it may be easier to work to a grid instead of snap

 

eyed in electrical drgs are a complete mess too though - there are some good reasons to bring back hanging, and spaghetti control diags are one of them :P

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Taamalus

I've been given entire drawing sets done in modelspace to work on before, and of course this prevents multiple people working on the drawing set (great when you're battling for a shutdown deadline when the drgs don't tie up with the site actuals), and if your client has a booking out system, how do they book out one batch of drgs to one contractor and another batch to another contractor working on the same large project?

 

scaling the drgs to fit the page makes your drawing set a complete mess of randomly sized, impossible to read, junk

I don't get it. One takes a viewport to the right scale, (double click on the view port outline, it opens up anything you'll ever want to know about this view port), if it does not fit make a second drawing. My old team also used paperspace to draw in. Once they understood how simple it is to make a viewports they'll use it. We make a border from a view ports and insert it into model space to visually see the extend of a given viewport. And work from there.

On a large project, and our office has many, drawing anything in paper space except the title block is actually prohibited. In paperspace I control the layers. HVAC for example has the lighting turned on, Plumbing has lighting off, plumbing fixtures on, but all use the same xref. Just one example paperspace was designed in the first place.:)

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foster8

But there's no need to use model space when drawing schematics etc, it just lays us open to people not bringing the model in at 1:1, and if you bring it in at 1:1 why draw in model space. We do use modelspace for anyhthing that is drawn to scale such as panel arrangements etc. We don't use x-ref either

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Taamalus

to the above :oops: I better backtrack a little. If it works, it works and I should not have made a quoted response.

 

 

I guess it also depends who checks the work and how. When I check drawings, I import a drawing as xref, and highlight correction on mine, a separate drawing file. They in turn import my scribbles as xrefs and continue on their work. That way I have a flow and see patterns and stir things in the right direction or they show me where I am leading in the wrong directions. I don't see stuff in paper space. Now I would need to open the drawing, then what, yeah I remember now, that's when we moved to model space for everything. :)

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Tankman

A BIG problem is overwriting.

 

I always write protect the original drawing forcing a file name change if someone changes anything in the file; i.e.: DRAWING-D01 might become DRAWING-D01 Rev A.

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