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Setting up STANDARDS!


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I freelance for 2 small offices (2 people and 3 people) and both offices aren't incredibly saavy with autoCAD and have asked me if I could set up some drawing standards (standard layers with standard lineweights and linetypes, standard titleblocks for different sheet sizes, standard textstyles, standard dimstyles, standard plotstyle, etc.). Both are interiors firm that work with architectural backgrounds most of the time so we just use other firms' drawing sheets and build on those (this is why this hasn't come up before).


I see the importance of having firm standards, but I'm not sure where to begin. I don't want to waste a ton of time with trial and error (although I'm sure I can manage that way)... Can someone point me to a book or web site or even give me basic instructions? I'd like to be the most efficient and thorough I can. :)



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Ive started to do the same, If you have something that the company uses at the moment and is happy with looks wise start from there and develop that.


Decide on a font. Set up a template cad file, which includes text styles and dim style. Setup title blocks. I did mine dynamic with attributes and visibility states etc. Functionality was my aim. Then think about a layering system, colours and CTB files. Layering systems are widely varied from company to company. Generally though the information in the layer name is key for ease of use. CTB files are again widely varied. Not sure i helped much there but just start from the ground up. wont take long! Discuss with your clients what they like as far as fonts etc. Drawings are all about final presentation and functionality from a cad point of view.

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Start with the master template. You already know what you need to incorporate into it so I won't repeat it. Will you be designing a custom titleblock and border for both companies as well?

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Maybe I should have simply said create a template. A drawing of a titleblock & border, for example, can be "saved as" a template file (dwt). The user then loads this dwt file (just as they do acad.dwt) and when it comes time to save they do so as a dwg file. This "master" template can be used over and over again. If different sheet sizes are used a template can be created for each one.

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  • 4 weeks later...

1.If in the U.S., use AIA Layer standards. Most companies use this, so when getting files from other companies or sending them, it makes it much easier if the layer naming is already familiar.

2.Use a standard Windows installation font such as Arial. Avoid proprietary hand-letter fonts, since they typically get font-substituted when other firms open your drawings and then the drawings don't look correct. Set up one style for regular, and one for bold.

3.If in the U.S., check out National CAD standards. There's some good guidlines in there for titleblock formats.

4. If using ACA, try to stick with out-of-the box symbols and annotation. Much easier than reinventing the wheel.

5. For CTB file, keep it simple. Use first 8 colors or so and included a couple shaded pens.

6. Dim styles....keep it simple. One style, and use the Dim Scale setting to change size per detail etc. Otherwise you'll quickly end up trying to manage dim styles and corresponding font styles for every possible scale use.

Good luck.

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