Author Topic: What are your CAD standards based on?  (Read 7774 times)

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mcarson

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What are your CAD standards based on?
« on: August 17, 2009, 09:54:08 AM »
The company I used to work for (not working there now!), when I started were not using a CAD standard, or at least a documented and consistent
CAD standard across the firm. I was put in charge of implementing a new CAD standard for use by 267 users across the UK. Didn't understand how
big this task was going to be.

Rather than pulling something out of my head and attempting to implement this, I decided to refer to the numerous BS and ISO standards worldwide
to create a CAD standard that was, at least collaraborative.

I used BS1192:2007: the file naming, the layers, everything for the specification of the standard. This may have been a mistake, however I never stayed
at the firm long enough to see the results of my long days programming to this BS.

What 'standard standard' do you guys refer to when creating a CAD standard?

The reasoning behind the question is the title of the BS1192:2007: Collaborative production of architectural,engineering and construction information.

It is all supposed to be collaborative...

James Cannon

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Re: What are your CAD standards based on?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2009, 09:58:00 AM »
Mine is very much based on BS as well!

Oh wait... ok yea... nevermind.

Mine follows the ideas put forth by the AIA standard, as far as layer naming.

Sheet numbering varies a lot... if we do a project that WE control the numbering of, it depends on the project, which of course defeats the purpose of a standard, I guess.  

File structure also depends on the type of project.

Ok so we have a very loose standard... our work is too varied to have "one" way to do things.

Layering is consistent through and through though, that's about the only "one way" I have, and it's based on the AIA description because it also seems to have been used for reference for the standard layering for most all architects and engineers and civils we do work with.

So in short, mine is also very much based on B.S. but it's of a different sort.

Keith™

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Re: What are your CAD standards based on?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2009, 10:20:41 AM »
Well, it really depends upon your needs. I have found that most published standards are much too complicated for the average user to comprehend and quite honestly cover much more ground than is required in most shops.

If the office has been operational for very long, there will be users that will have developed a certain drawing style utilising certain layers, linetypes, lineweights, etc. that work for the purpose. The biggest problem with getting users to adopt a set of standards is their complexity. No matter what, a standard will only cover most circumstances and there will always be a situation that isn't covered. The standard must be flexible enough to allow for this.

The real question you need to ask is not "What standards should we have?", but rather, "How will standards improve our productivity, accuracy, and subsequently, the bottom line profitability?" Once you have the answers to that question .. and answered the numerous other questions that will undoubtedly spawn, then you will have a good idea about what it is you need to have in your standards .. then you should find something that fits your needs specifically, barring that, develop your own from scratch. Beware though, developing a set of standards from scratch can be a time consuming and painful process.

It is also helpful to get input from the users ... how will a layer naming standard impact the users? Will it be easy to remember? Do you really need 27,000 layers? Do you need linewights? Can you plot with a CTB or would STB be better?

User interaction and flexibility will be key, and it is imperitive that the staff supports the standards, else compliance will bot happen, and policing them will become a full time job.

At my last employer, over the course of 10 years, we had developed a very complex yet very simple set of standards. The user didn't have to question most things ... after having a basic standard in place, within a few months we were able to implement creative programming solutions to assist the designers. These solutions further solidified the standard and soon, the users would find that compliance with the standards made their life simple, and unbearable if they did not. For example, we could automatically generate a roof section, size all beams, calculate supports, and label all pertinent details with the simple click of the mouse ... in 3 seconds ... however, if the user did not follow the drafting standards (layers, linetypes, colors, block names etc) the section would not generate properly ... creating one of these sections manually could take close to 2 hours. It was easy to guarantee compliance, if for no other reason than this.

In the end, your standards have to be workable for you, and so far, all of the standards I have found are essentially for offices that share with different organizations, where knowing one standard guarantees that you will be able to manipulate the incoming drawing. If you rarely share drawings and rarely use other's drawings, I wouldn't worry with using a published standard as long as you have one that can guarantee success within your organization.

As far as I can tell, BS, AIA, and ISO standards are much too complicated for most offices. Others may feel differently though.
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mcarson

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Re: What are your CAD standards based on?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2009, 11:02:27 AM »
Well, it really depends upon your needs. I have found that most published standards are much too complicated for the average user to comprehend and quite honestly cover much more ground than is required in most shops.

I took it upon myself to interpret the BS1192:2007, create mini processes and procedures that present the complicated BS standard in a simple way. This worked as far as I can tell (they certainly liked the time saving tools I installed with it) however I am asking myself the question: Is using the new BS1192: 2007 actually going to be collaborative?

For example:
Implementing a new layering standard was the easiest part. Take the BS1192:1998 for example. Layer name: S9000G300000 (whatever that layer means). The new BS suggested, as an example; C-H931-M_ALIAS. The problem here was the classification recommended: Uniclass. Almost two thousand elements for the users to choose for a code. This was NOT accepted by anyone.
As an alteration, I allowed the Cl/Sfb codes to be used as a classification for the element field. So the layering standard created was based upon, but not following the BS standard and hence not collaborative...

The real question you need to ask is not "What standards should we have?", but rather, "How will standards improve our productivity, accuracy, and subsequently, the bottom line profitability?"

Took me a few weeks to understand that the buy-in from the top required answers for improved productivity. I also asked the question: 'Why change?'. The company were embarking on extensive projects using the resources of multiple offices and several contractors and working in partnership with other firms. This would be fine if internally a consistent approach were used.

Being out of work now, and trying to stay 'in-the-game' I am using my .NET skills and my experiences with my last job to write a 'freeware' application for AutoCAD for standards (as far away from anything I wrote for my last firm)





KewlToyZ

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Re: What are your CAD standards based on?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2009, 05:14:37 PM »
We went with the NCS manual with a mixture of AIA.
Most of our symbols came from international standards.

Based upon my experience, enforcing what people will accept is about all you can do.
Most of the time I do it transparently by automating the Standards through routine implementation.
If it automates tasks to the point most users do not have to think, they will enforce themselves.

Writing the CAD Manual as a web interface has helped quite a bit too.

I use a centralized single profile then divide things up by department specific Workspaces in the Enterprise.cui.
My users find it has taken quite a bit of the worry out of their use.
Many items appear to work as they have for the last 3 years but the guts have been re-worked to compensate for the ever increasing complexity of file origins we receive from our clients.

So far it seems reducing everything to bare AutoCAD objects or Proxy objects has been the best approach as well to maintain predictability.

GDF

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Re: What are your CAD standards based on?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2009, 04:44:07 PM »
I have based our CAD Standards within the user interface of our routines and not a manual per say. I have found that you need to make the standards easy to implement by of behide the scenes drawing setup so that the user has to do a little as possible as far as thinking about a standard.
Why is there never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over?
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Shinyhead

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Re: What are your CAD standards based on?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2009, 07:05:38 AM »
BINGO, make it work with as little thought needed as possible.  Let the person use the tools at hand and make the tools do the work.


I have based our CAD Standards within the user interface of our routines and not a manual per say. I have found that you need to make the standards easy to implement by of behide the scenes drawing setup so that the user has to do a little as possible as far as thinking about a standard.

wwhittle

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Re: What are your CAD standards based on?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2010, 06:47:35 AM »
Ours was based on the Cl/Sfb codes ages ago, but Im now finding clienst asking for the AIA layer codes. Trying to avoid it to be honest, the AIA ones look very complicated.

We are only M&E, and Cl/Sfb suit us fine, also all the contractors know the codes, i.e. E(63) is lighting, M(54) gas etc.

But to confuse things in the AIA their lighting code is 54. lol.

A sales rep was telling me the AIA was supposed to superseded the Cl/Sfb codes back in 97. I've only just heard about the AIA codes.  :lmao:


KewlToyZ

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Re: What are your CAD standards based on?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2010, 01:35:17 PM »
A nifty little trick with AutoCAD 2007 through 2010,
You open the layer manager with Autodesks AIA template file.
Select all of the layers, copy to clipboard
Paste them into Excel.
Adjust the columns to fit to Contents
Freeze the frames row under the column names.
Voila, an instant AIA list related to AutoCAD aec content libraries.

On a side note we don't use them.
We went with the NCS standards based on AIA.