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-----Original Message-----
From: ITSEKSON SASHA <itsekson(--nospam--at)>
To: SEAOC <seaoc(--nospam--at)>
Date: Monday, October 27, 1997 9:43 AM

> ----------
>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
>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.

While things like layering systems, etc. might help get others productive, I
do not see how pen width setups, section and detail marks, etc. would.
>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.

I don't understand this comment at all. America's?

>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.

I used this system on a 486 w/32mb of ram. It's really not that bad. Even my
structural drawings (with very little white space) works fine.

>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?

If you are doing a structural slab, you would/could have a reinforcing plan
for transverse steel and one for longitudinal steel particularly if you have
two layers or you wanted to have different pen widths for the different
layers. You don't have to use all of the modifiers. This was an example of
what can be done.

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.:))

Exactly. My only real addition to Dennis Wish's system was to keep every
layer name to the same number (4) of characters so that wild cards can be
used in writing script files. This is extremely productive.
>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
>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.

Script files have been around for a long time. I don't know how far back.
I've only been working in AutoCAD since R10 :o).

>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.
Bill Allen