Here's a newbie's question for the group.
I recently began using CAD, and would like to improve work
I believe there must be more useful ways, in your experience, to organise
drawings [of which I have yet little knowledge].
For instance, what layer standard / arrangement would you recommend for
compatibillity or flexibillity or...etc. Where would one look up info like
Also, how would *you* assign colours from, say, the aCAD colour pallet. By
what rationale could one assign colours [CAD or other] ?
I am interested in both conventional practise and innovative concepts. What
structures do you find useful?
There are a bunch of standards, depending in which country you are working.
EU for Europe, BS for Britain and ANSI for America. There are also some ISO
standards supposedly for world wide conformity. Take your pick. BTW Autodesk
Architectural Desktop has its own standards.
1 Devising standards optimized for the work you do.
2 Making standards easy to follow.
3 Use letter/number prefixes/suffixes for layer groups.
4 Develop custom routines to make #2 above.
5 Depending on office size, provide a concise manual.
6 Centrally collect standard office blocks for consistency.
7 Insist on compliance, but build in some flexibility for individual and
8 Accept criticism from the people who draw, and be open to improvements.
9 Don't forget about accuracy. Always draw precisely.
10 Drawings should be easy on the eyes! We are still draftsmen.
Design your layer standards for what you do and try to keep it simple.
Generally assume a 6th grade understanding level. I say 6th grade
level not to insult anyone but if someone isn't conforming to the
standards they can't use complexity as the reason behind it.
I personally like keeping project xrefs and the project sheets in
different locations where the location name is easy to understand and
designed once again for a 6th grade level person to understand.
Well said Mike.....
I would add............
1) forget paper manual use an internal intranet. cover the items for
the three types of cad operators
a) Those that get the book out and record every thing you say
b) The normal get on with it user and...
c) The Power User (Normally the Official or Un-official CAD
2) Make the standards such that it makes AutoCAD LazyCAD and they will
3) Involve staff in the creation of them, in that way they make them
their own and will adopt them more readily
4) Spot the Maverick in the bunch and get him/her on your side or use
step 3) above to impose peer pressure.
5) Get Management behind you such that you do have the ability and
power to enforce if required (last step, if you have to do this then
you have failed to manage the staff, but then sometimes they won't be
All good points too, Alan, and from a more managerial perspective. Good
stuff. The best CAD shop I worked in had you sign a letter when you started
promising to only draw according to the protocol, and to make compliant
anything you did that wasn't .....
on your own time (without pay). That got my attention at the beginning, I'll
I went into it with my eyes wide open. I had no intention of deviating from
the protocol under any circumstances and took this to mean that this is what
the employer wanted. It was a contract. The employment agreement is a
contract too. They want you to do "A", and they will give you "X" dollars.
If you knowingly go and do "Y", and it is of limited or no value to them, it
seems like a breach of the contract to me, relieving them of their end of
it. I didn't HAVE to accept the terms...I could have worked elsewhere.
They want it done their way, and have the right to expect it IMHO. A
thorough manual was presented to new people, and time was allotted for
reading it. Senior cad staff were identified as the people to ask if you
were confused. They never said hesitated to help with questions. Everything
you needed to succeed in holding up your end of the contract was in place. I
had no trouble with it, and after a few months, they allowed me to deviate
from the protocol to explore the productivity of paperspace.....after I
proved that I was not a cowboy.
Consider the obverse position.
"I will not bother to learn my employers standards."
"I will not adhere to the standards, causing lost time for myself and
my co-workers and clients."
"My employer will pay me to do so."
Who'd want a guy like that working for them?
Happy Trails To You