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RE: CAD - Standard for Detail Names?- LONG!

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We use a similar system at our firm. We do have a problem with it, however, and am wondering how you overcome the limitations of this system. When a change is made to the master CAD file, it is necessary to sort through and throw out all the hard copies of the old master. This means, of course, digging through file cabinets and the binders at all the engineers desks as well. That sometimes means that the engineers will be looking at old masters that do not reflect the most current stage of developement for a detail- if something was missed in the update process.

I would like to throw away all the hard copies in the office of all the details and somehow get the engineers used to looking at the actual CAD details in their native format via something like FastLook or some other viewing product. They can still print out hard copies for redmarking (or redmark online if they would prefer) and it ensures that the detail they are considering to include in a detail package for a project is the detail the CAD crew will be giving them.
Does anyone out there use any sort of Electronic binder system for purposes of viewing and identifying which details to list for use in assembling a CAD file? We've fiddled around with some...but would be interested in knowing of any other options.

For the record, our detail numbering system is rather arbitrary. All residential type details number in the 4000 series. All commercial type details number in the 6000 series. All notes number in the 5000 series. (Administrative/Clerical forms are 3000 series...etc.) Currently we use a thumbnail image binder and file cabinet system described, pretty much, as in the message I am replying to.

We currently have around 1200 standard details/notes. The arbitrary numbering system makes some sense for us, because many details don't have a clearcut neat pigeon hole to plug them into...jee- is this a roof to wall detail, a shear transfer detail, etc...And more often the type of detail we use for a project is more determined by if it is a residential (i.e. wood frame) detail or a commercial detail (i.e. cmu, conc, steel, etc.). We have a commercial and a residential engineering committee which meet regularly and modify and create new details as need be. Most details that get used regularly are known by the drafters by their numbers and when a project gets to us from the engineering department it has a stack of details that have been culled from the file cabinet and redmarked as need be for inclusion into the project. But it sure seems to me like a lot of wasted paper and the slow way of doing things.

Our standard detail sheets (typical construction details and notes) all xref in the standard details so as we make changes to the masters, the standard S1 and S2 sheets all get revised automatically.

It's kind of interesting hearing how other firms do this kind of nuts and bolts CAD operations stuff!

Robert Grandmaison
MKM & Assoicates
Structural Engineers

From: 	Parkerres(--nospam--at)[SMTP:Parkerres(--nospam--at)]
Sent: 	Friday, February 20, 1998 7:40 AM
To: 	seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject: 	Re: CAD - Standard for Detail Names?????

Dennis -

Back in the pre-CAD days, we had a similar problem in locating "typical
details" to reuse via stickyback on new jobs.  Very quickly our library of
details got into the hundreds, and it was impossible to find anything.  We
solved the problem by creating a Detail Book.  The details in the Book are
shrunk down to fit 12 to a page on an 8-1/2" x 11" page - just big enough to
be recognizable.  The book was organized by material (concrete, steel, etc.)
and the pages numbered.  In our files we kept full size copies of the details
for stickybacking.  I could then look at the Book and tell my drafter I wanted
Detail 5 on Sheet C-3 (C for Concrete) and Details 2 and 7 on W-12, etc.  We
even created a little ordering form.  Everyone in the office has a copy of the
Book at their desk. This method was very easy and convenient for the staff -
both the engineers and the drafters.

When we switched to CAD, we kept the same system in place.  I still have the
Book at my desk, and the details are now stored in subdirectories in the
computer corresponding to page numbers in the book.  In each subdirectory,
there is a maximum of 12 details that would be on the single page in the Book.
For inputting into CAD, this is now trivial.  I tell my drafter I need detail
5/C-3, and he goes to subdirectory C-3 and gets file "05.dwg."

It works great, but only if you take the time to set up the Book up front.  Of
course, you can add to the Book as you go.  We do this often and reissue the
new pages as they change.  All told, we probably spent 3 weeks of someone's
time doing this at the beginning (over 6 years ago), and we have recouped that
time many times over by now.

As you well know, if you can't find your typical details they may as well not
be typical.

Good luck,

Bruce Resnick, SE
Parker Resnick Str. Eng.