Author Topic: CAD Standards from the ground up  (Read 15146 times)

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Birdy

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CAD Standards from the ground up
« on: May 18, 2012, 12:32:11 PM »
For the sake of argument, assume vanilla AutoCAD (as opposed to C3D, Revit, MDT, etc.):

If you were to develop CAD Standards from square one, what would be your first order of business, second, third, etc. and why?

Try to keep this independent of discipline..... if you can.
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deegeecees

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 12:48:58 PM »
First order of business should be file/part naming and directory structure. A logical order will ensure a good foundation to build on.

After that:
Layers
Text/Dim scaling
Block Creation
etc.

Krushert

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2012, 01:07:09 PM »
First order of business should be file/part naming and directory structure. A logical order will ensure a good foundation to build on.

After that:
Layers
Text/Dim scaling
Block Creation
etc.
Agreed but I put one item before all that.  The cad manager and manamgement should sit down and discuss on broad terms the process for creating and distribution of a standard for a particular item and the enfrocement of the said standard.  With out buy in and enfocement you are wasting your breath time and energy. 
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TimSpangler

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2012, 05:00:20 PM »
First order of business should be file/part naming and directory structure. A logical order will ensure a good foundation to build on.

After that:
Layers
Text/Dim scaling
Block Creation
etc.

I would agree. 
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Drafter X

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2012, 09:20:47 PM »
First order of business should be file/part naming and directory structure. A logical order will ensure a good foundation to build on.

After that:
Layers
Text/Dim scaling
Block Creation
etc.
Agreed but I put one item before all that.  The cad manager and manamgement should sit down and discuss on broad terms the process for creating and distribution of a standard for a particular item and the enfrocement of the said standard.  With out buy in and enfocement you are wasting your breath time and energy.

As a follow up to that, a reminder that the standard should fulfill more then one goal, of course there is the efficient standardization and presentation of information..  but of nearly equal importance is a standard that makes sense with regard to how people work. I have seen so many standards that got into such minutia that they made the process slower and more cumbersome then any gain they got from having it all consistent.  Keep dimstyles and layering as simple as you can for your discipline, think about sharing the files outside your firm (if that is a possibility... i.e. dont redefine 'standard' dimstyles, textstyles, plotstyles and such).

Sit down with some of your better drafters and watch them work for a few hours.. long enough to see how they really work. Do it with a few of your best folks and make sure that standard will help them, not hinder them and you will end up with a much more likely standard to be followed. 

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JNieman

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2012, 09:23:10 PM »
Establish that there is repercussions for not conforming, and that someone who cares, has the authority to enforce it, or it's not worth wasting time developing it.

Keith™

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2012, 12:34:29 AM »
I agree with the order of standard defining, but disagree with it being defined outside of discipline.

On a previous job, we had every layer predefined, even if you didn't need it, you had it available in the template. It could be purged out later if you didn't need it.

I know lots of folks lament how blocks are defined, especially concerning layering, but, on my last job, every component of every block was created on the layer it would be on if the block were exploded. Nothing was defined on layer 0. the standard even went as far as to state that the use of layer 0 was prohibited. the reason for this was due to our block management software. Every block was forced to a specific layer to enforce standardization and automation.

I understand the problem of getting to the minutia of standard defining, however, compliance is not only enforceable when that happens, but it also allows for better automation and easier compliance because the designer does not have to make a decision on what to do in *this* situation ... it is already made.

Also, you should understand that standards MUST be open to revision otherwise they become unmanageable as needs change and new developments are incorporated.

One company I worked for had standards defined down to where the centermost point of the model must be located in modelspace and the offset location of dimensions from the item being dimensioned ... however, in that office we were highly automated .. to the point that we could take someone with absolutely no knowledge of AutoCAD or our design standards and teach them how to use our tools to design. Even the most novice person could be an effective designer within a week ... and they didn't need to know anything about the drawing standards.
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Daniel J. Ellis

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 03:32:14 AM »
One company I worked for had standards defined down to where the centermost point of the model must be located in modelspace and the offset location of dimensions from the item being dimensioned ... however, in that office we were highly automated .. to the point that we could take someone with absolutely no knowledge of AutoCAD or our design standards and teach them how to use our tools to design. Even the most novice person could be an effective designer within a week ... and they didn't need to know anything about the drawing standards.

Wow, Keith, that's a bit extreme :)  What discipline was that in?

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Keith™

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 09:58:05 AM »
One company I worked for had standards defined down to where the centermost point of the model must be located in modelspace and the offset location of dimensions from the item being dimensioned ... however, in that office we were highly automated .. to the point that we could take someone with absolutely no knowledge of AutoCAD or our design standards and teach them how to use our tools to design. Even the most novice person could be an effective designer within a week ... and they didn't need to know anything about the drawing standards.

Wow, Keith, that's a bit extreme :)  What discipline was that in?

dJE

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Over the course of 10 years I had developed the entire suite of tools used by the company. The designers who knew how to use the tools effectively could do a complete home design from foundation to rooftop in under eight hours, including framing plans for every wall, cut lists for every piece of lumber, cut lists for water and waste pipes, material lists etc. Those with less knowledge could do it in 12-14 hours.

That was the beauty of having such a well defined standard. Software could be written to handle just about every scenario. When we couldn't code a solution to an issue, we revised the standard to allow for that ability.
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cadtag

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2012, 01:13:09 PM »
First order of business should be file/part naming and directory structure. A logical order will ensure a good foundation to build on.

After that:
Layers
Text/Dim scaling
Block Creation
etc.

And add  questions at the beginning:  What are the goals, and which of the goals takes priority?  Is inter-organizational collaboration a 'higher' goal than minimizing keystrokes?   Repetitive work, or is each job wildly diverse?  A lot of standards seem to be defined on the idea that the company needs cad standards, and sometimes the end result is a standard that does not fit either the projects being done, or the organizations doing them.  But theya re 'standards', so the check list item for that can be checked.
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KewlToyZ

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2012, 09:34:58 PM »
I found the biggest issue of all was publishing.
It doesn't matter whats in the PC only what makes it to paper and on time.
No matter what platform, publishing the content is the product that gets the company paid.

Krushert

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2012, 09:45:36 PM »
And add  questions at the beginning:  What are the goals, and which of the goals takes priority?  Is inter-organizational collaboration a 'higher' goal than minimizing keystrokes?   Repetitive work, or is each job wildly diverse?  A lot of standards seem to be defined on the idea that the company needs cad standards, and sometimes the end result is a standard that does not fit either the projects being done, or the organizations doing them.  But theya re 'standards', so the check list item for that can be checked.

Good Point!  Very Good Point!
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Krushert

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2012, 09:49:22 PM »
I found the biggest issue of all was publishing.
It doesn't matter whats in the PC only what makes it to paper and on time.
No matter what platform, publishing the content is the product that gets the company paid.

Yes and No.  You are right about the "what is on paper gets you paid"  But if you can look at through the eyes of standards, then you might be able to reduce your going to print time and increase your quality/quantity using standards, then you increase your $$$.  Like Keith has stated.
I + XI = X is true ...  ... if you change your perspective.

I no longer CAD or Model, I just hang out here for camaraderie

KewlToyZ

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2012, 10:27:17 PM »
I found the biggest issue of all was publishing.
It doesn't matter whats in the PC only what makes it to paper and on time.
No matter what platform, publishing the content is the product that gets the company paid.

Yes and No.  You are right about the "what is on paper gets you paid"  But if you can look at through the eyes of standards, then you might be able to reduce your going to print time and increase your quality/quantity using standards, then you increase your $$$.  Like Keith has stated.

I agree, but as so eloquently stated, it really does depend on the scope of business performed as well. So I digress  :wink:

Keith™

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Re: CAD Standards from the ground up
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2012, 09:11:57 AM »
I found the biggest issue of all was publishing.
It doesn't matter whats in the PC only what makes it to paper and on time.
No matter what platform, publishing the content is the product that gets the company paid.

That is the kind of thinking that would have never worked in my previous company. Sure the documents are what the client ultimately pays for, but the process getting to those printed documents is how we made our money.

In architecture, there are many times that someone wants something that has already been defined elsewhere. With our system, we could make those changes very quickly due to the automation .... automation which wouldn't be possible without the strictest of standards being enforced.

As a designer, I always thought of the electronic document as the product of my job, not the printed product.
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