Jump to content
sonnyamorales

Client wants DWG files...

Recommended Posts

CADMASTER1128

Why not use a disclaimer in the body of the email or have then sign a seperate document? That's what my company does...

 

Once signed, your company can then send out the CAD file.

 

I did a quick Google search of disclaimer. You can see my one of my findings below:

 

http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/CAD-Managers/Disclaimer-when-emailing-electronic-files/td-p/1867814

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RobDraw
If the OP must give the files to the client, then I would recommend sanitising them first. That is, exploding everything in the drawing, making it all on later 0 and generally 'trashing' (the copy of) the drawing essentially so unless it was agreed to give them the good CAD file prior, it makes it harder for them to piggyback off of your work; there are exceptions to this always though.

 

To anyone reading this;

 

This is really bad advice. Deliberately sabotaging a product that is paid for is probably against the law and can open up the company you work for to legal action.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lkenshalo

CADVault software protects AutoCAD drawing files in that recipients will not be able to change or even see your valuable contents while concurrently continue to work with DWG files to which recipients may add their own digital data.

 

you buy cadlock from http://www.cadlock.com

 

I'm not at all affilaiated with CADlock - just thought you might be interested if this comes up a lot for you. If this is a one time only issue probably not worth the $300 investment, just send them a DWF or PDF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jarr3tt88
To anyone reading this;

 

This is really bad advice. Deliberately sabotaging a product that is paid for is probably against the law and can open up the company you work for to legal action.

 

Everyone drafts differently, how could the client possibly know that you dont draw everything in one layer, and not alot of people know of or use blocks (as I've seen in multiple companies I've worked for)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton

I was thinking the same thing but was gonna stay quiet about it. It's definitely not against the law to change everything to Layer 0 and explode all entities. That's to far of a stretch. As you stated that's no different than bad design practices anyways, which SHOULD be against the law, lol. j/k

 

8)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Organic
To anyone reading this;

 

This is really bad advice. Deliberately sabotaging a product that is paid for is probably against the law and can open up the company you work for to legal action.

 

Except that many organisations contracts will explicit state that the client does NOT own the CAD file. If we go out of our way to give it to them or sell it to them then it won't be in the same format as their CAD standards. Remember, some organisations have no CAD standards, draw everything on layer 0 and don't use blocks. Why should we give a superior CAD fiel to such an organisation, particularly if they are not paying for it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RobDraw

Really? I mean, REALLY?! I'm on the side of the fence where people want to give the client a quality product. Sometimes over and above what the contract says. Behind our good designs is good CAD work, too. What you all are describing is sabotage and does not look good from any point of view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Organic

It is not sabotage at all. As I said, it depends on the client and who wants the file. If it is a rival company which has underbid us (and won) for the detail design after we done most of the preliminary design, then they can do their own CAD work and not piggy back off of ours (unless in the contract with the client we agreed to supply the CAD work) and good luck to them; there is a reason they can do it so cheap and as the motto goes, people get what they pay for. Even if we agree to supply the CAD file in the contract I have rarely seen any standards requested (the exception being state road projects); so we can supply the CAD file using any, all or none of our own standards if none are requested (e.g. everything on layer 0 if we wished; believe it or not although some companies still operate this way and draw everything on layer 0).

 

I'm all for good CAD behind a good design. However that good CAD takes time and is proprietary info that is not essential to the design the client paid for. Whether we designed them a road and whatever else and used 200 layers or we done the same design but used 3 layers, they get the same design built at the end of the day. They are paying for the paper design unless specified otherwise. You can take our paper design (or that of any good company) and built it off of that; if not; it is a poor set of plans.

 

One aspect I have not seen mentioned here is liability arising from providing a CAD file. We've designed projects and provided CAD files (with all layers intact etc) to clients. Those clients have then though, "brilliant, I can go buy a handheld GPS and setout my own subdivision (roads, pipes etc) and not have to pay your surveyors"; they go off and do that and build their roads only to misinterpret/misunderstand the CAD file and screw it up (which is found out when for the final required surveys the actual surveyors find the problems after it has been built). It is then a question of who is liable and it is not as clear cut as it may first appear (and this is when the CAD file is correct, you don't want the CAD file to have an error in it or you'll be fully liable)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton
Really? I mean, REALLY?! I'm on the side of the fence where people want to give the client a quality product. Sometimes over and above what the contract says. Behind our good designs is good CAD work, too. What you all are describing is sabotage and does not look good from any point of view.
Could not have said it better myself.

 

r.k.'s and f700es' comments regarding contractual agreements, unfortunately, are true. Legal always seems to ruin situations like this because of people like the O.P.'s boss. It all boils down to insecurity and arrogance. A big problem in the AEC industry right now is in the BIM realm with architectural firms. Architects are the #1 group of individuals that believe their architectural design is proprietary and cannot be shared with absolutely anyone. WRONG.... I'll explain:

 

Buildings are being constructed at astronomically fast schedules nowadays. Architects, engineers and construction contractors are touting "BIM" and "VDC" in their marketing strategies and interviews for jobs. General contractors and building owners are finding out that VDC and BIM works incredibly well when done correctly, and so many things can be estimated, projected, scheduled and resolved much faster than ever before. But a majority of architects are still extremely hesitant on handing over their Revit models, throwing a wrench in the entire process. GC's must obtain the architectural model first or the entire VDC and BIM process breaks down, thrusting everyone back into the stone aged of construction and coordination making the building owner suffer when the architectural model is rightfully theirs. Quality control breaks down, the general contractor who is solely responsible for "coordinating" the project cannot leverage the power of VDC or BIM to plan and execute construction, putting the entire project at risk, potentially costing the building owner more money and a longer substantial completion date.

 

Let's see a raise of hands for those who's seen the infamous "contractor to coordinate" notes on a set of construction documents. Let me reiterate and emphasize... construction documents. I understand an architectural or engineering firm isn't responsible for every nut and bolt, but a minimal commitment to coordination should be an obligation to any design firm. If not, then as an architect you need to relinquish your design model to the construction professionals so they can coordinate what you disclaim in your now admitted "incomplete design" since a complete design wouldn't call for such a disclaimer.

 

If my wife and I were paying a custom residential design firm to design our dream home on our rural property in East Texas, and I call the architect/lead designer/etc. to send me over the design model so I can coordinate with the building contractor and they tell me no, we're gonna have some major problems. You do not own my house, I do. I'm not paying you to tell me no, I'm paying you to tell me yes. I am the second owner of the house I currently own and it's not a custom home so I have no right to call the architect and demand them for my original design because I wasn't apart of that process. That's a completely different scenario. But a design/build or design/bid/build is not that type of scenario.

 

How arrogant for someone to not understand a mutual alliance of customer and vendor? What ever happened to lawful and trustworthy transactions of services and goods between two parties? When did engineers start thinking their customer's have no right to what they're paying for? Owners paying a design team reserve the right to have access and to protect their investment however they so choose. It's amazing to me that there's even a debate on the issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Organic
GC's must obtain the architectural model first or the entire VDC and BIM process breaks down, thrusting everyone back into the stone aged of construction and coordination making the building owner suffer when the architectural model is rightfully theirs.

 

If it is in the contract for the architect to provide the BIM model, then they should. If not, then they own that model and do not have to provide it to you. You can't bid for jobs as a contractor and expect to piggy back off of another companies work; it takes a lot of time and money to construct design accurate models.

 

Let's see a raise of hands for those who's seen the infamous "contractor to coordinate" notes on a set of construction documents. Let me reiterate and emphasize... construction documents. I understand an architectural or engineering firm isn't responsible for every nut and bolt, but a minimal commitment to coordination should be an obligation to any design firm. If not, then as an architect you need to relinquish your design model to the construction professionals so they can coordinate what you disclaim in your now admitted "incomplete design" since a complete design wouldn't call for such a disclaimer.

 

This is still commonly done. My firm recently finished design works for a major medical facility; other consultants done other aspects (e.g. roads consultant, stormwater consultant, mechanical consultant, a separate plumbing consultant, electrical consultant, landscaping consultant, etc etc). There was no BIM although there was no sharing of CAD files whatsoever other than a base .dwg file from the architect as the client was not paying for any sub consultants CAD files. The project will still work fine once construction commences.

 

If my wife and I were paying a custom residential design firm to design our dream home on our rural property in East Texas, and I call the architect/lead designer/etc. to send me over the design model so I can coordinate with the building contractor and they tell me no, we're gonna have some major problems. You do not own my house, I do.

 

See, if we had designed the house and it was all done, you'd get your CAD file if you asked nicely. Although if you really wanted it you should have asked to put it in the contract. We will not give you teh CAD file (unless the contract says otherwise) if you get us to do concept sketches and development approval plans for you, then you want to take our CAD file to a different firm to do the construction documents for the project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton
If it is a rival company which has underbid us (and won) for the detail design after we done most of the preliminary design, then they can do their own CAD work and not piggy back off of ours....
Labor for CAD is a part of the fee. Why should the owner pay twice for the same service? If they pay you for a preliminary design then what's the big upset anyways? As long as they pay then both parties are whole.

 

One aspect I have not seen mentioned here is liability arising from providing a CAD file. We've designed projects and provided CAD files (with all layers intact etc) to clients. Those clients have then though, "brilliant, I can go buy a handheld GPS and setout my own subdivision (roads, pipes etc) and not have to pay your surveyors"; they go off and do that and build their roads only to misinterpret/misunderstand the CAD file and screw it up (which is found out when for the final required surveys the actual surveyors find the problems after it has been built). It is then a question of who is liable and it is not as clear cut as it may first appear (and this is when the CAD file is correct, you don't want the CAD file to have an error in it or you'll be fully liable)...
This is not a good excuse at all. All you have to do is get legal to write up a document that forfeits liability connecting back to your company. If the owner of the design wants to be foolish with your company's design, so be it. It's theirs, they paid for it and who are you to assume what they do or don't do with the design they paid you for.

 

So far you have generated no logical reasoning behind the rejection of handing over authoring files.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton
You can't bid for jobs as a contractor and expect to piggy back off of another companies work; it takes a lot of time and money to construct design accurate models.
It's not piggy backing if you have been fully compensated for your "time and money to construct accurate design models". What a part of this are you not comprehending?

 

See, if we had designed the house and it was all done, you'd get your CAD file if you asked nicely. Although if you really wanted it you should have asked to put it in the contract. We will not give you teh CAD file (unless the contract says otherwise) if you get us to do concept sketches and development approval plans for you, then you want to take our CAD file to a different firm to do the construction documents for the project.
So me being a paying customer, I "may" be able to retrieve something that's rightfully mine if I "ask nicely"? Yup, you're an engineer. Only an engineer can be this arrogant and have zero concept of ownership. You don't need to write items in a contract that are rightfully yours to begin with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Glen1980

When clients are able to squeeze fees and deadlines down to unprofitable levels can you blame people for being contractual and wanting extra money for things the client hasn't specified.

 

I recently knocked up some planning drawings to be submitted to the local authority for an extension he wanted. Nowadays all of the drawings are placed on the net so anyone can view and comment on the design. Low and behold a few weeks late the neighbour had an identical design to the one I produced, even down to the cock up I noticed after I submitted the drawings. All of this without me being paid (my friend only had pdf's and got a mates rate which was't financially worth it for me, but hey what are friends for!) any extra for my time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Organic
Labor for CAD is a part of the fee. Why should the owner pay twice for the same service?

 

Correct, labor for CAD is part of the fee. However, we are not charging for the CAD per-see, we are charging for the drafted plans. I absolutely agree with you about how the client should not have to pay twice which is why this should be clearly specified in the contracts with all consultants. However, it generally doesn't occur. We also have to recreate CAD work from other consultants as they will not provide the CAD files (as contractually they were not required too). Yes, the client has to pay more although there is nothing we can do about that.

 

If they pay you for a preliminary design then what's the big upset anyways? As long as they pay then both parties are whole.

 

As there is not much money in these; in-fact a lot of them we lose money on IF we do not get the detailed construction design.

 

This is not a good excuse at all. All you have to do is get legal to write up a document that forfeits liability connecting back to your company. If the owner of the design wants to be foolish with your company's design, so be it. It's theirs, they paid for it and who are you to assume what they do or don't do with the design they paid you for.

 

I've never seen your CAD files although in most peoples CAD files there are errors and they are rarely 100% correct. Too much data in the wrong persons hand is not always helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Organic
It's not piggy backing if you have been fully compensated for your "time and money to construct accurate design models". What a part of this are you not comprehending?

 

If it wasn't in the contract...

 

Our guys use Revit Architecture for architectural design (with outputs to AutoCad); there is not a chance anyone is getting the Revit model unless it is in the contract. If they get the 2D CAD model (sans all layouts) they are going well.

 

So me being a paying customer, I "may" be able to retrieve something that's rightfully mine if I "ask nicely"? Yup, you're an engineer. Only an engineer can be this arrogant and have zero concept of ownership. You don't need to write items in a contract that are rightfully yours to begin with.

 

Except it is not rightfully yours. Our terms of engagement specifically state in the many pages of fine print that you retain no ownership to the CAD files and that we retain all ownership and license etc (obviously worded a lot more legal than this).

 

Yes, I'm an engineer. Your point? Business is business; no one is in the business of giving away money or advantage to other firms. I'm not being arrogant either; it is the same way most consulting firms operate.

 

When clients are able to squeeze fees and deadlines down to unprofitable levels can you blame people for being contractual and wanting extra money for things the client hasn't specified.

 

Exactly. People pay a premium for premium service. There are cheaper firms out there although people pay for what they get. If they want the CAD file, we can provide it although it needs to be factored into the price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RobDraw

It's a CAD file. If it is that good and unique, then you have provisions in place for charging an appropriate fee and covering liabilities. If not, shame on you. If it's going to someone who did not request it in the beginning, you have the choice of politely saying that you charge for providing the file(s) or saying that you don't provide them. If they want them, they will pay and accept the legal terms. If it's a good customer, you may decide to give it to them for free as a business choice, but they still have to accept the legal terms.

 

Put your self in the rival companies shoes. If you received one of these trashed drawings, what would you do with it? I would laugh at it and show it to a bunch of other people and we all would get a good laugh out of it. Now instead of one person with a good drawing, you've got a number of people that have seen the trashed version. Guess what, those people have ammunition to trash your company to their clients, potential client of yours. Do you think those clients would consider using you, knowing the way that you play in the sand box? Something as trivial as a CAD drawing probably would not affect their decision but it does put that grain of doubt in their head.

 

It's this mentality of trying to figure out how to screw over the next guy in the guise of doing them a favor really gets under my skin.

 

"Why can't we all just get along?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RobDraw
that good CAD... is proprietary info

 

I disagree. How can CAD (and CAD standards) be proprietary when they can be reproduced so easily?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rkmcswain

If you really want to dumb down a drawing, plot the drawing to DXB (the driver comes with AutoCAD)

Then open a new, empty (no template) drawing and run DXBIN and import the previously made DXB file.

About the only thing that survives this is lines. You can also degrade the DPI setting in the DXB driver to further break up entities in the drawing.

 

Now, does this satisfy a contract where you are required to deliver a .DWG file? Courts may have to get involved to decide that.

Is it a smart thing to do? Depends on the circumstances.

If you enter into a contract that says you will deliver DWG files, you know the client expects your true working DWG files, not this garbage.

 

dxb2dwg.zip

Edited by rkmcswain
add attachment

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
f700es

It's funny that only RK, myself and a few others only see that the contract is the key to this. Morales, good feelings, whatever have nothing to do with this. If you hire someone to deliver designs, CAD files or whatever it is up to you to specify what you expect to receive and in what shape (format). They either agree or not. It's that simple. Same on your end you either agree or don't. No one holding a gun to your head to agree to terms that you are not in favor with. I don't see how it couldn't be a more free market system (capitalist utopia as it will) than this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rkmcswain
.... see that the contract is the key to this. .

 

I see a similar problem all the time. We have a contract with a sub to deliver a survey. The contract says something to the effect of "autocad dwg file containing the finished survey".....and that is it.

 

Wow. I've seen everything from a professional Civil 3D drawing to a non-AutoCAD DWG collection of useless garbage. The latter was not because they were trying to withhold data from us, that was just how they made drawings.

IMO, the problem is the people making the contracts and contract language have no clue as to what the real deliverable should be and how to specify it.

 

I would suggest spelling out every detail so nothing is left open to interpretation.

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...