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From: 	Bill Allen[:ballense(--nospam--at)]
Sent: 	Saturday, October 25, 1997 11:54 PM
To: 	seaoc

I agree that developing SEAOC-wide CAD standards is a non-productive effort
due to the variations in office setups, cad programs, etc. from office to
office. However, there are many issues that can be shared here that can help
each of us become more productive in preparing our drawings. In setting up
framing and foundation plans, the system I use is productive for me but
might not be for others. .....

Well, my point exactly.  Everybody has their preferences, but there are certain things like layering system, pen width setup, type of section and detail marks that may be standardized.

I too XREF (external reference) my client's drawings into mine and draw the
structural items over them. I may be getting away from this because the
drawings I get are usually not very well organized (at least for my setup)
or not drawn very efficiently. I am pondering just tracing over my client's
drawings and keeping all of the information I need "native" in my drawings.

Guys, let's not open America's again.  Nobody is against using x-refs.  Anybody who is vaguely familiar with AutoCAD should be using them as opposed to inserting clients backgrounds.

Regardless, I have my foundation and framing plans in one drawing (.dwg)
file. I change views (foundation plan, 2nd floor framing plan, etc.) by
turning on and off (freeze/thaw) layers.

This is definitely worth a couple of bucks.:>)  Wow, I guess I could not even think about it before when I had my 486 to play around with.  Now I my seriously consider with having a nice Pentium with 64 Meg of RAM.

With regards to layer names, I use a modified version of the AIA CAD layer standards, long version. A generic layer name that I use is:


S is the "Trade" modifier (S indicates structural, A for architectural, C,
M, E, L etc.)
AAAA is the item name like:
COLS for columns
NOTE, TEXT, TXTS (small text)
DIML (dimensions)
FRBM (framing beam)
FRJO (framing joist)
PATT (hatch patterns)
TTLB (title block information)
WABG (bearing wall)
WANB (non-bearing wall)
WASW (shear wall)
REVS (revision clouds), can be REV1, REV2, etc.
SLAB (slab edge)
RBAL (longitudinal slab reinforcement)
RBAT( trans. slab reinforcement)
etc. Notice all of the layer names are four characters.

BBBB is the level of the framing.
FL00  is foundation
FL02 is 2nd floor framing (FL01 is used for first floor walls)
ROOF is roof framing
MEZZ, PENT, BASE can also be used

CCCC is optional and is intended for remodel work.
EXIS is existing to remain
PROP is new construction
DEMO is work to be demolished

To tell you the truth, it is a little bit too detailed for my taste. Why would you want for example to have a separate layer for longitudinal and transverse reinforcement?  Unless you are using Softdesk or similar that changes layers for you automatically, it is such a pain to keep drawing layer consistent.  Personally my preference would be something similar to Dennis Wish layering system.  I guess I contradict here my own point about possibility of standardizing layers and such.:))

By using this system, it is easy to write script files (in AutoCAD) which
will turn on and off these layers. The reason to limit the layer names to
four characters is so that wild cards can be used when turning on and off
layers. For example if one wanted to freeze all of the foundation layers and
thaw all of the 2nd floor framing layers, this is what you would do either
from the keyboard or in a script file:

I wonder whether the script files were also available for AutoCAD 12 for DOS that I have been using until recently.  I used to write routines like that in AutoLisp, which is definitely is not that straight forward.

That's my two cents worth (O.K., maybe a buck fifty)
Bill Allen

Bill and Dennis, thanks for some interesting ideas.

Sasha Itsekson, P.E.