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RE: SEAOC CAD STANDARDS

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-----Original Message-----
From:	James A. Lord [SMTP:jlord(--nospam--at)pacbell.net]
Sent:	Monday, October 27, 1997 8:48 AM
To:	seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org
Subject:	Re: SEAOC CAD STANDARDS

I wanted to jump in here with a little more background as to the 
motivation
/ advantage of having a CAD standard.

#1 - I was looking to extend the recently released AIA CAD 
version 2.0
guidelines because in structural engineering they are rather 
vague.
#2 - Recently my firm developed a new set of in-house CAD 
guidelines and it
was a LOT of work.  I thought that providing one that is ready 
for use &
works within the AIA framework would be a true service to SEAOC 
members.
#3 - If there were a standard & your office adhered to it, you 
could hire
CAD drafters who were familiar with it, so bringing them up to 
speed would
be much faster.

Many of us are going to have to adapt to the AIA version 2.0 
guidelines if
you work with architects, anyway.  Why not use this opportunity 
to
standardize?

Any more opinions on this?

James Lord, S.E.
CAC Chairman
URS Greiner



[Dennis S. Wish PE]
Of course I have an opionon on this subject (wouldn't you be 
disappointed if I didn't).
Of course setting up a standard is a lot of work and for good 
reason. A standard within any office is to be used ad infinitum 
with the exception of improvements.
The methodology of the standard is arbitrary as long as the 
company adopts and uses it exclusivly. If the company is working 
with government on projects, there there are obvious standards 
that the client wants the engineering firm to adopt, but my 
opinion is that the majority of clients have varying standards 
and it is therefore a waste of effort to try and design one that 
can be a universal model.
Instead, a company needs to devote the time to create a standard 
that meets their needs and productivity. The standard must be 
documented and submitted to every existing and future employee 
so that standards can be maintained. Again, it does not matter 
what occurs outside your office since rarly will your document 
layers be modified by other trades.
In a small office there are very few standards to comply with 
other than simple layer names, size, fonts and colors as 
referenced to line weights. I don't even submit drawings to via 
DWG files any longer for other than review. I submit PLT files 
for final distribution because I fear that the client 
(architect) may turn a layer off or Xref a different background 
than the one I worked from. So, to control my lineweights, fonts 
sizes and borders, I don't let my client mess with my files 
except for review and comment.
I believe, also that most of us using a CAD have already solved 
the problem as to what works best for us. Twelve years ago when 
AutoDesk released 2.52 with more than 256 layer abilities did 
the community get excited and think "now how can we fill these 
256 layers uniquely so that we have total flexibility". Later, 
with 256 layers to keep track of, the smart engineer felt that 
the fewer the layers the better. So the approach was to develop 
a standard that would allow you to seek and find an optimum 
number of layers to work from. To this day, I am still 
searching. I often wish I would have separated wood columns from 
the drawing and simply x-referenced it into five or six other 
drawings. Now, after X-ref'ing multiple drawings, it is 
becomming an increasing pain in the but to make changes to one 
of the referenced layers. True, it is reflected into all other 
drawings, but opening and closing files is still time consuming 
and with my older age I often forget what I want to open after 
closing the previous drawing.

Here we go, on a trek for the perfect standard. May the force be 
with you!

Dennis