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CAD Forums => CAD General => CAD Standards => Topic started by: Arizona on August 21, 2007, 06:19:01 AM

Title: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Arizona on August 21, 2007, 06:19:01 AM
Why does your company have Cad standards?
Are your Cad standards well thought out?
Do they lead toward increased productivity or do they hamper your progress?

How do you benefit from your Cad standards?
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: hudster on August 21, 2007, 06:35:20 AM
I want all of my companies drawings throughout a project to look the same so that multiple CAD staff can work on a project with no discernable difference in the final output.

Doesn't happen as there is always someone who like to do it that way they have always done it.

Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Slim© on August 21, 2007, 06:43:50 AM
I want all of my companies drawings throughout a project to look the same so that multiple CAD staff can work on a project with no discernable difference in the final output.

Exactly, when everyone is on the same page life is good.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: TimSpangler on August 21, 2007, 07:06:39 AM
Our Standards here were created so that the drawings that are created today look just about the same as they did when they were hand drawn, and they do, but the standards were not well thought out in my opinion.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: jonesy on August 21, 2007, 07:35:01 AM
We tend to work to client standards. Some are good, some are bad.

If the client doesnt provide us with a standard we have a set that we're supposed to use. However, not everyone sticks to the standards, and then they become pointless :x
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: DinØsaur on August 21, 2007, 07:57:09 AM
For many years, our only standard was for everyone's finished drawings look similar to mine.  Now, that feeble attempt at standards has been abandoned and the only persons with the authority to enforce standards if they did exist are the very ones that would not follow them.  My only recourse is to hold on to my own drawings as long as possible and hope I never have to work on them again once they are lost.  There is a quote I have heard many times form this group . . . "it doesn't matter, it's only drafting".
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: PHX cadie on August 21, 2007, 07:59:55 AM
Didn't like them at first.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: PHX cadie on August 21, 2007, 08:00:48 AM
But now I think they are great

http://www.cadcartoons.com/
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Josh Nieman on August 21, 2007, 09:20:49 AM
I would have liked to have selected 2,3, and 4.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: DinØsaur on August 21, 2007, 09:29:39 AM
I would have liked to have selected 2,3, and 4.
I would have liked to have chosen ANY but the one I had to.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Josh Nieman on August 21, 2007, 09:31:43 AM
I would have liked to have selected 2,3, and 4.
I would have liked to have chosen ANY but the one I had to.

Sounds like the last place I worked, which was a manufacturing setting.  I've actually heard "Who cares what the drawing says or looks like, as long as the part is made right."  well... erm... yea.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Keith™ on August 21, 2007, 09:38:54 AM
The best reason I can think of for having cad standards is that you can automate so much more of your drawing process if you have consistency in layering, linetypes, colors, locations etc.

The last job I held, we had very exacting standards, from the exact location of dimensions in relation to a part, to the layers, to the location of the drawing on the sheet. The development of these standards took nearly 10 years, and by the time they I left their employ, what had taken 7 to 10 days to design, could be done completely and accurately in 4 hours.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Krushert on August 21, 2007, 09:47:40 AM
For many years, our only standard was for everyone's finished drawings look similar to mine.  Now, that feeble attempt at standards has been abandoned and the only persons with the authority to enforce standards if they did exist are the very ones that would not follow them.  My only recourse is to hold on to my own drawings as long as possible and hope I never have to work on them again once they are lost.  There is a quote I have heard many times form this group . . . "it doesn't matter, it's only drafting".

This is the boat I am in.  This process plays Heck with the new hires, which in turns compounds the problem.
I am thinking of writing the 10 commandments of cad standards just so to promote some consistency.  The stuff that I am seeing is horrendous.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: mjfarrell on August 21, 2007, 09:47:56 AM
From my experience the Standards serve as a point of departure.  The goal being to create a standard that is, or should be easy to use and understand. The ease of use will lead to use of the standard. Discuss the standard with your users; often you will find that they can not use the standard.  Generally for one of two reasons, the standard is difficult to use, or they do not know the correct tools and their usage to maintain the standard.

Exhibit A:  I offer Exploded Blocks.

In several instances along my path; I have been or acted as the CAD Manager.  The time spent training the users was better spent than printing the Standards Manual.

The Standards serve as a target, than when achieved should result in additional profits; given one has good work flow and processes that tend toward profitability.  Standards allow for additional productivity through customisation that relies heavily on the standards being followed, or the time spent coding functionality is also lost.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Arizona on August 21, 2007, 09:55:25 AM
The best reason I can think of for having cad standards is that you can automate so much more of your drawing process if you have consistency in layering, linetypes, colors, locations etc.

The last job I held, we had very exacting standards, from the exact location of dimensions in relation to a part, to the layers, to the location of the drawing on the sheet. The development of these standards took nearly 10 years, and by the time they I left their employ, what had taken 7 to 10 days to design, could be done completely and accurately in 4 hours.

From my experience the Standards serve as a point of departure.  The goal being to create a standard that is, or should be easy to use and understand. The ease of use will lead to use of the standard....

...The Standards serve as a target, than when achieved should result in additional profits; given one has good work flow and processes that tend toward profitability.  Standards allow for additional productivity through customisation that relies heavily on the standards being followed, or the time spent coding functionality is also lost.

These are exactly what I was looking for!
That Cad Standards are not the end result... but only the stepping stone for where you want/need to go.
While Cad Standards do make pretty/consistent drawings... what do they do to increase your productivity (such as Keith's example above)?
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Josh Nieman on August 21, 2007, 10:05:44 AM
Yea, I would have to agree, too... why put that much time and capital into something that you won't see a return on?

I find also, that as the resident tech support guy for all CAD software (including software we don't even USE in my firm!) for 3 dif. companies in this building... that it's much easier to troubleshoot if we're all doing relatively similar tasks.  I hate going to an engineer's station, here, trying to figure out what is going wrong, sitting down, and looking through, going "what the heck..." and having to figure out just how he's working and organizing everything before I can make sense enough to find out why a certain thing is going wrong.

That really only applies to the occasional WEIRD circumstance, rather than the "did you update the xref", "make sure PSLTscale is set to 1, and LTscale is 0.5", "Try ATTSYNC on the block"  type of regularly asked questions.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Keith™ on August 21, 2007, 10:09:14 AM
One thing to remember, as the development of the standards progressed, more automation was introduced, as more automation was introduced, adherence to the standards became easier.

As employees learned that when they adhered to the standards, their job was easier, employees embraced the standard, offered suggestions for improvements, and we had weekly office meetings for an hour or so to go over specific areas of the standard.

Each employee was given a day. That employee was tasked with providing instruction to the rest of the department on the proper use of a specific area of the standards. We had about 30 different types of drawings and more often than not, we would refer to a specific drawing, the standards for that particular drawing, the proper programming tools to use, and the expected result of doing so.

In the end, we all learned, and it was a well rounded staff that knew exactly what to do in almost every situation.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: deegeecees on August 21, 2007, 10:09:37 AM
Guidelines for revolving door Cad shops. While I'm the only drafter/eng. (yeah, I said eng., what of it) here, I adhere to the standards I've learned over the years in these Cad shops. I'v got a little pile of Manuals/Handouts from fairly large companies that have exacted their standards from years of experience. I take what I need from them, plus a little common sense goes a long way as well. It's a lot easier to program towards drawing automation when you know there will be no deviation from layer to layer, block name to block name, etc..

I have worked for companies that had little/none standards, and the spaghetti mess is usually so far imbedded by the time anyone realizes standards are needed, the cost effectiveness to implement them is way off the map.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Krushert on August 21, 2007, 10:57:17 AM
I have worked for companies that had little/none standards, and the spaghetti mess is usually so far imbedded by the time anyone realizes standards are needed, the cost effectiveness to implement them is way off the map.
  This is why I am thinking baby steps with my office.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Shinyhead on August 21, 2007, 11:11:30 AM
There are two sides to that coin.
When I started here there was no automation or custom tools to speak of.
I waited till I had been in the position for about 2 years to really learn what we needed and I developed and tested the tools I wanted the drafters to use.

One day I loaded everything up and sat down with each person to show them how it all worked and we went over do's and don'ts so they knew where we needed to be.  We pretty much abandoned using all older drawings as they were no longer compliant, this way the old stuff would not creep in to the new stuff.

It wasn't without pain, but it made for a sharp transition, and it seems easier to set the drafter back so he rethinks everything then fight item by item to get them to comply with new methods.

Since then I try to time major customization changes with software upgrades and hit the users all at once (but not all users at the same time, usually spaced out over a week or two depending on project status). I think that people tend to adjust to a large change better then an endless series of smaller changes, but thats just me.  Plus you will need a thick skin as stubborn drafters dig out the torches and pitchforks!   :evil:
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: deegeecees on August 21, 2007, 11:17:02 AM
I've created tons of little specialty apps, just to correct some known consistent inconsistencies for a client or two. But then their is the "Brute-Force" method of grabbing an entire drawing, and putting it on a layer (as a loose example), just to meet some automation parameters. It just takes a little bit of "up front engineering" (my favorite saying BTW), to be able to tackle that kind of monster, one scaly bit of it at a time.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Shinyhead on August 21, 2007, 11:22:49 AM
grabbing an entire drawing, and putting it on a layer


It may be something you have to do, but it makes me shudder...   :-o

Of course we have had clients that had that as their drafting standard.   :ugly:
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Bob Garner on August 21, 2007, 12:01:12 PM
My company is one of those with a gazillion layers, all different colors, and at least a hundred different plot files.  I don't know if they have any dimension standards because I frequently get drawings with exploded dimensions, imperial scaled drawings with metric dimensions, etc.

So to keep my ability to make decent drawings, I made up and follow my own standards.  They're simple enough that any of our yahoo cadets can convert them to company standards. 

Also, I always draft and plot by lineweight.  No plot files needed.  That seems so easy, why don't more people do this? 

Bob
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: deegeecees on August 21, 2007, 12:07:48 PM
...Also, I always draft and plot by lineweight.  No plot files needed.  That seems so easy, why don't more people do this? 

Vendor Drawings.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: Josh Nieman on August 21, 2007, 12:12:14 PM
My company is one of those with a gazillion layers, all different colors, and at least a hundred different plot files.  I don't know if they have any dimension standards because I frequently get drawings with exploded dimensions, imperial scaled drawings with metric dimensions, etc.

So to keep my ability to make decent drawings, I made up and follow my own standards.  They're simple enough that any of our yahoo cadets can convert them to company standards. 

Also, I always draft and plot by lineweight.  No plot files needed.  That seems so easy, why don't more people do this? 

Bob

 :-D :-D :-D
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: SDETERS on August 21, 2007, 02:14:11 PM
When I hear standards I think of two types

1.  The standards on the CAD software layers text height or what not.

2.  The standards that the drawings call out. Or make part to or reference  SAE 4565 whatever

I think both are important.  An old man told me once that back in the days of hand drawings each hand drawn drawing had character.  Each drafter followed drafting guidelines but they all had small difference on how the letters were made and how the drawing had some unique characteristics of who ever made it.

I think having all of thees standards are good but one does depart from the character of the designer with over powering standards.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: M-dub on August 21, 2007, 03:48:06 PM
I would have liked to have selected 2,3, and 4.

Same here.  I was expecting an "All of the above" option until I saw "What are CAD Standards?" :)

Easy to follow, well written standards almost serve as a "How To CAD" manual for new hires and contractors.  If everything falls into place, it makes each phase of modifying / creating a drawing go so much easier, faster and with fewer questions, surprises and headaches.
It all stems from having well written standards and supporting documents.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: pmvliet on August 22, 2007, 09:44:19 AM
I agree with what most have said. The real benefit is consistency which helps training, job sharing, "look & feel" etc.
Along with this consistency comes the ability as Keith mentioned to automate much of that process. You have to have a system
to automate to make it go much easier.

The hard part that I had as a CADD manager was trying to make drafters/designers/architects/engineers understand that the drawings we create are living documents (well most of us). With the increased interest with BIM or electronic facilities management software, our 2D or 3D drawings are now being migrated into these new technologies. These drawings are then being used to manage the structure etc.  Most will argue, "I don't get paid to do that, I need to get this drawing out in 10 minutes!" I can't argue with that point, but if you work at a "Full Service" A/E firm, wouldn't you think that would be something you could offer clients.  Some will argue it's not a A/E responsibility to provide this benefit with a set of deliverable drawings, but many contract's do depict the drawings follow a set CADD standard and a set of drawings at the end of the project. Again it all depends what industry you are in.


Back in the day, many drawings were translated and if you wanted to see a mess, don't have any consistency or CADD standards to your drawings and try to do a batch conversion... Now it's migrating to BIM models, of CAFM software.

There are good reasons to not draw all objects on layer 0 with color set to 1....

Pieter
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: spittle on May 09, 2008, 01:34:56 PM
CAD standards! I don't think my company has any! I'm constantly working with *^&#!



Edit: *Whistle* 2 minutes for language infraction.
Title: Re: The Benefits of CAD Standards
Post by: daron on May 09, 2008, 01:54:29 PM
I'm in the long drawn out process of creating them for myself, as I'm the only one here who uses cad to any real depth. As for the poll that I missed some months ago, I feel they're important for most lines of work in this industry. They help when it comes to programming, using paperspace and probably a plethora of other things that I can't think of right now.