Author Topic: Drawing Library Setup  (Read 4911 times)

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Drawing Library Setup
« on: November 25, 2009, 03:15:37 PM »
I'm looking for some advice on how to deal with the drawing library I have assume ownership of after the departure of the CAD department here at work.

Short insight, the CAD department consisted of a manager and 4 drafters for nearly 4 years here. During that time, there were probably close to 200 house plans created for a "master" folder from which projects were built from. People came in, picked a plan, we built it. Each named "master" plan typically had 3 elevations: Craftsman, Traditional and French Country. Unfortunately, some of those "masters" had (2) traditionals, or (2) French Country's and so on. Each one a variation of the "master" plan, yet named the same, like the Mason Traditional plan or Mason French Country plan. Prior to that naming convention style, the CAD manager was using letters would have some "master" plans with 6 or 7 letters, like Mason A, B, C etc......Confused yet? Well on top of allof those plans were endless amounts of plan specific options that a customer could choose from such as a covered porch, sunroom, built-in's and so forth. Each "master" could potentially have 18 plan specific options to choose from and another 300 common options to choose from such as appliances, flooring options, plumbing options and on and on.

Prior to taking back over the drawing duties here, my role was to maintain an estimating database with all of those plans, their specific options and the common options to price and base jobs on. Problem was, those plans were libel to change from one week to the next and I was never informed about the changes. To say the least, when time came for me to estimate a job based on the assemblies I had created and nothing was matching, I became fairly upset. It was hard to hit budget numbers when an extra 50sf or something was added to a plan and the CAD manager just happened to forget to tell anyone.

So, now I am over all of that. I draw and estimate now. The former drawing system was set up using xref's, which works well for the most part. There is a "main level" drawing and "upper" if needed and those are xref'ed into a "master" file where the elevations, roof plans, electrical and finish plans are done. The title block is then xref'ed into the "master" and everything is plotted from that file when finished. Along with the plan drawings that are xref'ed in, the former CAD manager had a super detail drawing creted to hold all of the details we use in our construction. The detail sheet has probably 200 fully hatched details on it, showing everything from foundation to interier trim details. The drawing itself is over 4mb in size. When it is xref'ed into the "master" drawing, the size is still there and it just bogs the drawing file down with all of the hatch and text loading over and over. My question is there, what could I do to limit the size or overall mess that this sheet brings in when xref'ed in? I need those details to maintain the ability to be updated at a central location, but I only use like 10 or 15 of the details at a given time that is shown on the sheet. Any suggestions as too what I could do here or any examples of what some of you do?

This is my biggest area of concern right now. The CAD manager never creted any documented Standards or guidelines, so I am free to get those going also. The drawings are littered with multiple person drawing styles and it is really tough to work in sometimes. I wanted to lay out a game plan to get these files in order somewhat and I wanted to map out a plan for that detail sheet first. I've got a good start on notation, text, line types and so forth that I have used in previous jobs that will work great here. I do not have any expectations of blowing through this revamp in a matter of months considering they had 4 years to pack it up thick back there, but I do want to make a good stab at it.

Thank you for any suggestions or ideas.


  • Seagull
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Re: Drawing Library Setup
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2009, 06:57:44 PM »
Sometimes a good approach is to census the current users about what styles, and settings the currently use and why.
Then if there are clear favorites, or advantages to same adopt those.
Clean up a template and get as much as possible defined in there.  Standardize the location of your blocks and symbol files, and make sure users are NOT using old jobs' drawings as the 'library'.
Then hold a short class to review What, the standard is, Why it is what it is, When to use Which standard.
You may need a few preliminary meetings to keep the buy-in high.
Also you will need so easy way to verify that the new standards are being followed, and find a way to incentiv-ize compliance with same.  Like explaining to them that by folowing the standards productivity should increase as well as their bonus, or salary.
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Michael Farrell


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Re: Drawing Library Setup
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2009, 11:01:34 AM »
I use a dialog based routine for small block library based upon csi format, and design center for larger more complete blocks based upon construction type.

Hope that helps...
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