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cadintern7896

What are the best ways to name CAD files?

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cadintern7896

Im interning for a medium sized company and I was tasked with creating a new file structure and naming system for our engineering files. I was wondering what are the best ways to name CAD files so that they are easy to find and make sense. Thanks you all your help guys. I really need it. Also we use both auto cad and solidworks to make mostly large metal parts if that makes any difference

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ReMark

Many companies will use job or project numbers.

 

What method is currently in use?

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cadintern7896

right now its honestly almost random. we have tons of folders under engineering and no really clear organizational system. I pretty much need to start from scratch

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ReMark

How does this company currently go about finding drawings for any of these large metal parts? Is it by client name? Size? Can you give us examples of folder names?

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cadintern7896

So we are a manufacturing and distribution plant. We have over 50 different manufacturing lines. Those all have their own folder, but they contain from 30 -100 different part and assembly files. Any ideas on a system to name those files so it is easier to navigate these folders? I wanted something most descrtive than just "hopperbackplate" or "left hinge" because those are really difficult to know exactly what they are. Thanks for the help. I know this is kind of vague and complicated

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BlackBox

How does the company market these myriad manufactured items, and is it reasonable to implement a file naming convention that allows you to either replicate the product codes used, or perhaps N number of character acronyms/abbreviations for each (for consistency)?

 

Remember, in CAD there are many ways to go about providing descriptions - using Sheet Set Manager, DWGPROPS, etc. - even outside of CAD, you can implement a simple Desktop.ini for each 'root' folder to utilize the Title, and Tags columns in File Explorer. :thumbsup:

 

Cheers

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Ski_Me

Isn't there a Autodesk product that can help with what the OP is asking. I don't have that many drawings from different jobs to keep track of but I thought I read somewhere that Autodesk has some sort of organizational software that can help keep track of your drawings. Not progress or changes per say but where they are and what they are.

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ReMark

Are you referring to AutoCAD Vault or the book "Popular CAD Drawing Names 2015"?

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BIGAL

Maybe some form of partno then adding tree info "BIGALS big part-part123", part123-hinge1, part123-hinge2, part123-hinge2-screws

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dbroada

my first job (1970) used a coding system where each number DESCRIBED what the part was.

 

The first number was (something like) 1=raw material, 2=mechanical component, 3=electrical component, 4=detailed item etc. Using this you could locate other 25mm metal spacers before drawing a new one. It was quite complicated and used many look up tables but resulted in a nice 5+3 number, the final 3 being the unique identifier. Of course this was long before the DOS need for 8 figure numbers. :)

 

At my last place we used Project Number, Area code, Identifier code, sequential number, sheet number. Identifier code included GA=general arrangement, MD=mechanical detail etc. While this didn't allow you to locate all 25mm spacers you did know that if you wanted to look for them they would be in the MD section within other projects. This wasn't perfect but was an easy system to get used to.

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stevsmith

pm me with your email address, I have several documents that I created for my old company that may help with what you require.

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stevsmith

Also, you may want to look into Solidworks' Workgroup PDM for document management of your cad files.

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dbroada
pm me with your email address, I have several documents that I created for my old company that may help with what you require.
I don't think he will be able to use the message system until he makes 10 (technical) posts.

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TheCADnoob

I deal with a lot of different sources for drawings. Most have a predictable number convention. Depending on how your company is set up there is (or should be) some way to uniquely identify the order or request or job. Ive even seen some use accounting codes, but i would recommend keeping the numbering system under your control. The last thing you need is something like the next Sarbanes Oxley come around and screw up your companies workflow if you are tied to accounting. Most ive seen look something like this.

 

XYZ34-3587-A-S-0001-R1

 

This would be 'Buisness unit-Job number-discipline-subdiscipline-unique sequential drawing number-Revision'

 

Business unit is if there are multiple locations you can subdivide by your east side west side branch. Job number is the job number. the rest are self explanatory. you can add, mix and match elements to make it fit your needs but the basic idea is start with the broadest description you wish to capture and then work you way to the most unique description. Something ive seen as well is breaking out sheet size (im not a fan of this), project start year, 2d/3d designations etc..

 

For assemblies there is usually some sort of hierarchy or classification that the company follows. Im not as intiment with these as they are driven by the scope of their manufacturing. Basically for each part there is a classification and that is part of the drawing number.

 

XYZ2-BB-10

"Model number-part classification (housing, bearing, etc.)-part number

 

The biggest hurdle is revision control and the rest of the naming convention should be driven by your companies structure and deliverable and management needs. Dashes aren't always used they just help visualize whats going on with the numbers.

Edited by TheCADnoob

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ReMark

And just how would you handle legacy drawings that were named using the max of eight characters back in the day?

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zaphod

are these numbers for standard parts? if so you should set up an excel file as well.

 

for customer drawings we use 4 sets of numbers, region_project_item-page

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TheCADnoob
And just how would you handle legacy drawings that were named using the max of eight characters back in the day?

 

Id find a corner to go cry for a little while, or i would go ask a grey beard how they did it.

 

I've seen some of the legacy stuff my company used. There have been a couple iterations. The longest lasting one i believe shortened all the preceding data to 4 digits and used the last couple for the drawing numbers. They just used a look up table to 'translate' them back.

 

They did this convoluted thing for a little while where they would have initial digits act as an analog to trigger certain classification and then add the values of the other two of the numbers, but i never quite understood how they later deconstructed the number. It sounded really cool, like something out of Shannon lossless coding theorem, but way to complex to make it viable.

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