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tomspenguin

Drawing Register

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tomspenguin

Hi All,

 

I am new to this website but not new to CAD.

 

I would like to create a drawing register for my company to use.

We have some large files which multiple people use and constantly open for different tasks.

 

We all use AutoCAD LT 2012 (we may perhaps upgrade to full AutoCAD if it means a tool feature or script could help) and we all operate over a network.

 

My query is, I need to set up a task register for each CAD file once it is opened. As someone opens the CAD file I have created, they are asked only there name and tasks to carry out. They write a simple note and then carry out the changes and tasks they described. Once they close the drawing they are asked simply what they carried out again (just in case they changed more than asked ;) ) and then this is logged and the drawing closes.

 

I have looked at various software's designed to time users and track .DWG processes but all of them require the users to write the notes out of choice and open a separate program, where I need a process which prompts the user to add in the data every time.

 

If this could all then be saved data, even if it just landed as a .txt file or anything which I needed to collate later into perhaps an excel spreadsheet myself this would be extremely helpful.

 

Has anyone seen of anything like this? I just need a simple piece of software or script with a load in tool bar function (perhaps?!), but if there is something more masterful software out there which could do this anyway yet costs, then I would happily research that as an option too.

 

Apologies for the long winded explanation and look forward to any help or advice.

 

Tom

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ReMark

You basically want to know who worked on what. And the value of that information to management would be...? Is the time spent entering this information charged back to the client/project?

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tomspenguin

Cheers ReMark. Its to monitor the activity and see if certain personnel have made the changes asked of them yet. Its also to see why people are opening files, for observation or to made little adjustments (project managers who attempt to use CAD).

 

The time spent is not charged to the client, we have another time sheet logger for all of the activity on CAD which works well. Its just a task register

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Murph_map

I used a few extra lsp statements that would log the dwg name,time & date and the user in the ACADDOC.lsp then write it out to a txt file, however if you have Autocad LT that's out of the question.

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ReMark

Users who want to only look at a drawing should not be forced into writing a note stating that was the only reason to be opening the drawing. Clearly only some people should have the ability to edit a drawing while anyone else should only be able to view it. Sounds like management should decide as to who in the company falls in each category. Wouldn't that be the first logical step?

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tomspenguin

Yes that would be the logical step, but im not really working within a logical company. The people who would never use the files are equipped with Design review so that I don't have to ask them to use it. Its not the largest of companies but 20plus people try to access CAD and you clash usually with 5 different persons when you are operating a job.

 

That lisp sounds like something I could adapt or just place into CAD as a start point

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tomspenguin

I currently run a full version Murph so if there is anyway you could send those Lisps that would be great!:)

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tomspenguin

Are your lsp files available on here?

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Murph_map
I currently run a full version Murph so if there is anyway you could send those Lisps that would be great!:)

 

I'll see if I can find them but it's just a simple 4-5 lines of code.

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Murph_map

Here's the code, create a blank file in Notebook and save it as a csv file. Then edit the code for that file name and path.

(defun userlog (/ Draftername Job file line2write)
(setq Draftername (getvar "loginname"))
(setq Job (strcat (getvar "dwgprefix") (getvar "dwgname")))
 (setq file (open "C:\\UserLog.csv" "a"))
 (setq line2write (strcat
        Draftername
        ","
        (menucmd "M=$(edtime,$(getvar,date),MON D YY HH:MM AM/PM)")
        ","
      Job))
    (write-line line2write file)
 (close file)
(princ))

I used the CSV format to open the log in Excell and do searches and other things like see what drater was opening the most dwgs over a set period.

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Patrick Hughes

Tom,

 

Since you mentioned Chronos for AutoCAD I'll pipe up here, I'm the author of that program. If by chance you downloaded from that link you might notice that the program that the installer creates is named CadTempo which is the replacement program for Chronos. Chronos only worked with the full version of AutoCAD whereas CadTempo had been rewritten to work with many more CAD programs including LT, Inventor, Revit, etc. even non-CAD programs.

 

It works mostly as you describe however it does not request input with every opening of every drawing. It does work over a network if desired and it will record the opening and closing by all users that access the files.

 

If you have specific questions I'll be glad to answer them but please email me directly so the discussion board is not cluttered up with our messages.

 

Edit: If you really need to prompt the user with every open file I might consider adding an option that would allow that. My thoughts about that though is it might foster a resentment or "anxiety" in your users. As it is, the task timer in the program allows a user to bring up the prompt from Windows task bar. The downside of that is it would require disciplined use by your users.

 

Regards, Patrick

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tomspenguin

Hi Patrick,

 

I installed CadTempo yesterday and did some recording of my actions. I liked the software, thanks :) Your email would probably be very helpful so I can understand the drop down side menus a little better.

 

I noticed once I had AutoCAD open and continued to open drawings it didn't register with the pop up, but I can see how that would be difficult to recognise and control. The issue with that would be people keeping a CAD closure discipline which you mention unless they used, especially the ones with slower computers who dislike starting CAD anyway.

 

I can see the resentment in the users being something to bear in mind. Most of them are not proficient in CAD, and operate slowly so its not something to log time or put pressure on people. I basically divide out work to 3 people and they need to carry out the work on the file, I then need to go back into the drawing and check over the work that they have done to ensure its been completed (without being surrounded by post-its and lists for the rest of my courier.

 

Your email would be excellent I will continue to use the software and look at all of the read-me files to understand it better.

 

Cheers again.

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tomspenguin

Thanks Murph.

 

I turned the code into an lsp.

 

I'm not sure how to process it into the excel file like you want me too? (apologies for my lack of knowledge and skills there)

If the file TEMPLATE was on my desktop and my user name was toms how would I need to re write the code?

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Organic

In my opinion drawing registers are useless. It is a pain to fill them out when 50% of the rest of the team don't. Even when management have forced the entire team to fill them out, it remains a waste of time in essence as no one ever bothers to actually check the register in my experience. Instead they will pickup the phone and call someone about it or go and see them and ask if it is the latest version or not.

 

Having someone enter their reason for opening a drawing every single time they open it is going to be a pain. If you are working on a job for 3 weeks you don't want to have to enter the explanation every single time you open the file! Likewise if you open a job to just copy something out of it you don't want to have to write this. In essence I can predict that your users will simply hit enter on the dialog box (and enter a blank comment) or if that is not prohibited, then enter a space and then hit enter.

Edited by Organic

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tomspenguin

Well being a small company its going to be obvious when the personnel aren't using the system. A drawing register can compile information to be given to a project manager to ensure the changes have been made by each indiviual departement. Its a great way to check when x-ref's have gone wrong or (like Murph said) to see how drafters are using files inappropriately.

 

I typically work on 4 projects per day making small changes to most which by a maximum only take 3-4 hours. Only some of the draughtsmen in the set department use a .DWG for longer than 1 working day. Its about the type of practise you have and discipline you are using it for, but I think this could improve the knowledge of file use and application within the company and therefore drive efficiency. It could be something we step away from once all the work force has an applied level of communication and "get off your arse" mentality but currently I am the only one who does that.:glare:

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ReMark

The only thing it will drive will be inefficiency, frustration and resentment. Not what I would consider to be the hallmark of a good drafting/CAD department. Institute this procedure and within 3-6 months it will be scrapped.

 

Their are plenty of programs (drawing viewers) that have a feature called "red lining" that could be used in place of this register system that would function better.

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tomspenguin

As I have said, the register is to do is log the work carried out and by whom. Its just to know if the work has been done on the file. If it hasn't no one person is going to jump on anyone for it, instead just wait or ask someone to complete the work, who would then log that work. I think the Cadtempo might be the key but it has more systems within which seem intrusive when looked at but really aren't. Its not a test of speed or accuracy, its just a quicker explanation of edits made to a .DWG to someone who hasn't got time to contact everyone and talk back through the drawing with them and have them explain the edits.

 

I have just read a plethora of similar style arguments and debates on various forums and dont wish for this to go the same way, I genuinely didnt realise I was going to step onto a landmine subject. I can tell by reading that certain users have incredible skills and use CAD in certain ways that wouldn't want this type of incorporation into there work or workflow in any way shape or form. I will liase with Patrick on his software.

 

One final thing ReMark...I certainly wont start a new thread in 6 months, ill just message you quietly somewhere and let you know it all went badly instead.

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ReMark

I hope it doesn't go badly for you as I also hope you'll reconsider why you are thinking about doing this and what you have to gain. We use CADwizz (a drawing viewer) and the engineers (not all) create a redline markup which I can use to guide me through the edits that need to be made. When I'm done I post the drawing to our engineering website for final review. The engineer calls up his redline, which is overlayed on the drawing, and compares what he asked for to what I did.

 

Bottom line...I don't work for your company, you do. You decide what works best for your situation. Just be prepared for the negative feedback when the new documentation system is put into affect.

 

Good luck and please let us know how it all turns out as I for one would be interested in hearing. :)

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Patrick Hughes

Hello Tom,

 

Within the program's main menu bar go to Information>>E-mail Vendor and select support (at) cadtempo.com and it should open up your email client. If for some reason it doesn't go through and get to me visit the CadTempo web page - there are alternate contact addresses.

 

I do have a few ideas that come to mind to get a workable solution for you.

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