Jump to content
howitzer

*.ctb vs *.stb: Which do you prefer, and why?

Recommended Posts

tzframpton
Styk, I saw mention in another thread about Revit that you don't use colors in Revit. I didn't understand why someone wouldn't use colors but did not want to discuss it at the time. After seeing such strong and repetitive comments by you from your soap box in this thread, I have come to the realization that you live in a black and white world or you may be color blind. No offense intended but I do think you might have been a little over the top with some of things you said.
I will openly admit that I was over the top with some of my points. It's great that we have guys like rkent who is patient and is much more diligent at explaining the point than I am. But I'm not the only one with a soap box here.

 

I use colors in AutoCAD. I use more colors than most people would imagine, because in STB you aren't limited to "well, I need this layer/object to print 'this' lineweight so it 'has' to be Color 3." Since I use STB mostly, I can use whatever color I choose - and I do. And it works great. It's just that colors don't equal lineweights. Colors equal.... well, colors.... just out of preference.

 

In Revit I don't need to use colors, but I do have Filters set in place for my systems when I need it (for instance, many different and congested piping systems). The man who introduced me and originally taught me Revit has been using Revit professionally as a registered Architect since it's release in 2000. He is phenomenal at Revit and is very well known in the Revit world. I just happened to be lucky enough to live in the same area as him and crossed paths with him years back. Anyways, he taught me that colors don't matter and he had a very good reason behind it, and I went with it. He also taught me not to invert the drawing space (in fact, he almost bribed me not to do it) and that was a hard one for me to get over in the beginning, but I listened and I'm glad I did.

 

Since Revit isn't a replacement for AutoCAD - nor is it intended to be - and is a design and engineering tool for people in the vertical work and building industry, there's no need to carry over AutoCAD techniques since Revit isn't a drafting CAD program.

 

Rob, the real reason I originally frustrated in this thread (which I apologize for now that I've severed my emotional attachment to this thread) is because people were knocking STB's without ever giving them a chance. It's hard for me to understand how people can have an opinion about something when they've never even made an attempt to use it for an extended period of time. I've used both for years now and I - like the few who do use STB's - understand the real benefits of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
howitzer
It has been made quite "clear" that there is no need for colors outside of a CTB, no need to restate it again. I'm just saying that I would still use them as a guide. I couldn't tell you how many times I've taken drawings on paper and highlighted the sytem types in different colors to make it easier to read while I am drawing them in CAD.

Bingo! And that's all I think most people are saying. With an *.stb you don't "plot by color", but most people still use colors as a guide. I would imagine that most people would be "self-confused" like me if they were to use one cyan layer for a thin line, another cyan layer for a thick property line, and yet another cyan layer for a 20% screen, for example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton

Where did this though come from that if you use STB you don't use colors? Like rkent and I already said, STB's change your perception to focus on what your drawing and not the color, but colors still play a big part in it - just in a different way.

 

In a huge job we just wrapped up, we had different colors for all mechanical equipment (air handling units, exhaust fans, fan powered boxes, VAV's, the list goes on etc). They were all different layers and colors, but at the beginning of the project we stated that all mechanical equipment will plot a certain lineweight. Same for all the unique duct and piping systems, with minimal variances for certain systems. Having all the equipment/duct/piping the same exact color would have been madness if you consider the size of the project. Each color helped distinguish each unique type of mechanical equipment and when you have 20+ engineers and designers in AutoCAD contributing to each mechanical system they were tasked with daily, the job became a huge success because you didn't have thirty different equipment layers all the same exact color. I can't even explain to you how many unique duct and piping systems there were. If all our piping would have been on separate layers but all one color..... you know, on second thought, I don't even want to think about how bad that would have been.

 

CTB's wasn't even considered when this three year multi-million dollar job was awarded to our firm. It was an executive decision and it proved its worth. A lot of previous CTB-only engineers and designers were converted because of this job. It might be different for people in Civil but in facilities engineering, a large project can get way too busy too quick and STB's are a much more intuitive method to have an easier and better drafting experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RobDraw

That situation doesn't scream STB to me. I work in a multi disipline team environment also. We use CTBs. After all, how many pen settings do you need? Let's say 12. That gives you at least 21 different colors that can plot the same. That means that all your equipment, piping, zebras, elephants, whatever you are drawing can be on different colors and still plot the same. Personally I don't care what drives my plotting as long as it is properly set up. I can work either way just as proficiently. In the end, it is just a different way of accomplishing the same thing. Let's face it. The only real advantage is that objects that use the same color can plot differently using a CTB. Is that truly an advantage? To me, no. Can I see how people would see it as an advantage? Yes. Is one better than the other? In my book, no.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton
That situation doesn't scream STB to me.
And this is the difference between you and I. That situation does scream STB and our job went far easier than CTB could have ever done for us. There's more details I could provide but it's irrelevant now as it seems a few in here simply are arguing with me from emotions and not experience, since the ones who are arguing have only used CTBs and not both. But, somehow y'alls opinion still applies without the experience in using both? :?

 

In a prior post I specifically explained STBs aren't superior just different in a better way. Quote:

This isn't the term to be using. It's not that they are superior, it's that they make more sense. And they are much easier to create, manage, and put to use for design production.

 

Either way you choose at the end of the day if you feel CTB's are where it's at then so be it. It's a preference is all.

 

I work in a multi disipline team environment also. We use CTBs. After all, how many pen settings do you need? Let's say 12. That gives you at least 21 different colors that can plot the same. That means that all your equipment, piping, zebras, elephants, whatever you are drawing can be on different colors and still plot the same. Personally I don't care what drives my plotting as long as it is properly set up.
And another reason why we both differ. You ask how many pen settings and you mention 12. Fine, we had the same. But what makes more sense when in need of a new layer generated for the job? Opening your CTB file, finding a color that is not in use already then applying the lineweight settings? Or create a new layer, set the color to whatever the CAD Coordinator assigned, and apply the lineweight settings based on the pre-existing standards? Big difference in those to procedures as a CAD Coordinator on a project the size we just wrapped up. Any project of this size couldn't have allowed us to have a fully working CTB file in place without having to make edits later, unless you want to have a huge mess of the same handful of colors everywhere which we were NOT going to attempt for obvious reasons. I'm sure you can agree to this since you're so adamant about colors "being used as a guide" because "you couldn't tell me how many times I've taken drawings on paper and highlighted the system types in different colors to make it easier to read while I am drawing them in CAD".

 

Seems contradictory to me. My $0.02 anyways. 8)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RobDraw
Any project of this size couldn't have allowed us to have a fully working CTB file in place without having to make edits later, unless you want to have a huge mess of the same handful of colors everywhere which we were NOT going to attempt for obvious reasons. I'm sure you can agree to this since you're so adamant about colors "being used as a guide" because "you couldn't tell me how many times I've taken drawings on paper and highlighted the system types in different colors to make it easier to read while I am drawing them in CAD".

 

Seems contradictory to me. My $0.02 anyways. 8)

 

This is where you are absolutely wrong. You are assuming that the CTB is not already fully functioning. It was designed with mutiple systems and sub-sytems in mind. It is old school but it does work. I have worked on many large and complicated projects throughout the years without the problems you mention, no handfuls of the same colors, no need for altering the CTB. Your arguements against CTBs are really unfounded. Your arguements for STBs are right on point, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton
This is where you are absolutely wrong.
Am I? Or is this just your opinion? I used to have the same opinion as you before I used STB's. Point is, I know where you're coming from but I'll still stand firm that STB's make more sense, are easier to use and understand, and mitigate unnecessary possible complications from their inherent nature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the ber

i think it's probably a case of what you are used to. but how about this for a thought: what would this discussion be like if STB's had been around before CTB's?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton
i think it's probably a case of what you are used to. but how about this for a thought: what would this discussion be like if STB's had been around before CTB's?
Personally, CTB's would have never existed. I think anybody who understands STB's would agree. There's a reason STB's came out, that's for sure. If CTB's are the end all be all, why did STB's come about?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Organic
I don't use .stb files, so perhaps I am wrong, although my understanding was that to use them you had to do it from the start of a file and couldn't easily switch to it after starting it with a .ctb. So if we as a firm have used .ctbs for 30 years, why would we create additional problems by trying to switch to .stbs? It seems a bit backwards given you would still have to maintain and use the .ctbs for the many .ctb initiated drawings that are still in use (some of the projects I work on have/are spanned over 20 years in stages etc).

 

So is it practical or not to make the switch?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton

In your case, no.

 

I don't use .stb files, so perhaps I am wrong, although my understanding was that to use them you had to do it from the start of a file and couldn't easily switch to it after starting it with a .ctb.
You can use the CONVERTPSTYLES command, but this should only be used when you need it. Whether you use STBs or CTBs - it's always best practice to begin and stick with whatever plot style you choose. If for whatever reason you were to switch, leave the old CTBs still in place and move forward from this point forward.

 

It seems a bit backwards given you would still have to maintain and use the .ctbs for the many .ctb initiated drawings that are still in use (some of the projects I work on have/are spanned over 20 years in stages etc).
It's not that it's backwards, it would actually be going forward. But in your case, maintaining production files that have been going on for twenty years just doesn't warrant a change for you.

 

For the record, STBs are in fact better than CTBs. This does not mean you automatically should switch. I'm only defending STBs with certain individuals in this thread who want to strip away the benefits of STBs that far outweigh CTBs. They are better and more intuitive and make more sense, BUT.... that doesn't mean you just have to throw away CTBs. I tell everybody you have to use them to understand them, and if you do try them then you decide for yourself if you want to make the switch. In your case I don't see any reason to switch. You and your firm are too ingrained in the CTB AutoCAD culture and it would really shake things up for you guys given your circumstances.

 

RobDraw defends CTBs in his last post by stating that a good CTB file should be in place. He is correct, but the problem is when you run into certain scenarios that call for plot style adjustments, most people that are CTB users simply make necessary adjustments with what they have. This means there's a good chance the CTB file might not be as good or as "fully functioning" as one might assume. They don't realize it but it's true. And making changes to CTBs scare most people because since it's "color dependent" any other working jobs would feel the impact too, so people don't even question changing up a CTB file. Most of the time it's just finding that "other color" you don't normally use that has the lineweight settings you need. Once it's found or adjusted, you keep moving right along with production not realizing that with with STBs you are free to intuitively make choices and audibles without hesitation, allowing an ever growing and ever changing Template file for future uses with virtually zero complications.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...