CAD Standards: How to Get Started Session ID: CM319-2

CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Beth Powell – CAD Fuel Design
Session ID: CM319-2
There is a lot of talk about CAD standards, and you may know of firms
that have a huge, thick binder that contains all their CAD standards. But what if you are a small office and you
have never had any? How do you get started? Maybe you've read articles or have sat in on some classes
that cover CAD standards, but you felt overwhelmed. In this class, we'll base our example on a small office
with no standards, and show you how to start with a few basics, including how to create a template. We'll go
slow and make it simple for those who are just starting out.
About the Speaker:
Beth owns and operates CAD Fuel Design in Roanoke, Virginia. She prepares drawings for the petroleum
industry and does contract drafting. She helps users with AutoCAD®, AutoCAD® Architecture (formerly
Architectural Desktop), AutoCAD® MEP (formerly Building Systems) software, as well as DWF™ and
collaboration. She provides training, support, and training materials on AutoCAD-based products and assists
firms with CAD Standards. She developed and implemented CAD standards for Jones & Frank Corp. where
she was CAD manager for 10 years. She is a beta tester and usability tester, and she was a premier user and
tester for the Buzzsaw® collaboration site. Beth served on the AUGI® Board of Directors, contributes to
AUGIWorld magazine, and serves as an instructor in the AUGI Training Program (ATP). Her blog is
[email protected]
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
What are CAD Standards?
You might get a different answer to this question depending on who you ask. In general, CAD
Standards are any formatable options that will allow a means for efficient productivity and for a
consistent output of your construction documents. That’s my ‘made up’ answer.
You may think that CAD Standards are this big, scary document or manual that is
overwhelming. CAD Standards can contain as little or as much as you want or need. That’s the
reason for this class!
If you are a one person office, CAD Standards might just be a template so that you don’t have to
set everything up each and every time you start a drawing. That qualifies because it improves
your productivity and it ensures that every time you start a new drawing you are using the same
styles so that the drawing you plot this week is consistent with the drawing you plot six months
from now.
CAD Standards can be as simple as setting consistent text and dimension styles or as extreme
as diving into the National CAD Standard (we’ll mention that much later).
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Why do we care about CAD Standards?
The answer to this is divided into three categories. First, CAD Standards provide a level of
efficiency so you gain speed.
My first CAD instructor told me that the best CAD user was one that could find the fastest way
and the most shortcuts to accomplish a task.
I’ve seen users that have either had to find their own way when thrust into the CAD world or
users that are self-taught or only taught by a fellow user that only knew one way to accomplish a
These types of users usually either start with an existing drawing and erase all the geometry or
set the dimension style and other settings for each drawing they create. If you are one of these
users, we’re going to help you find a more efficient way of working with a template.
Time savings is a benefit because users are not trying to guess what to use as well when you
have standards and a template.
Second, you want all your drawings look uniform no matter what user completed these. Be
careful, you’ll have some renegade users who want to have their drawings stand out as “unique”
with their own custom arrowheads or fonts. Be prepared to enforce your standards once you set
Lastly, training and working with other firms that you may share drawings with is so much
easier. Training is much easier since you can hand a new employee your CAD Manual and the
user will be able to know exactly what is expected.
Outsourcing or working with subcontractors is more efficient. You can share your CAD
Standards with them and they’ll know what to expect.
Let’s say, for example, that you have one other person in your office that you work with now.
You like to use solid filled arrows on your dimensions and Romans for your font with
dimensions. Jimbo, your co-worker, is the artsy-fartsy type. He likes to use tick marks on his
dimensions with an italic-style font. You each are using the same titleblock and sending your
drawings out of the same office, but totally differently. That makes you look less professional
and is much less consistent. By standardizing on what styles you will use, you now can have a
level of consistency that your clients will see and you’ll be viewed in a much more professional
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Who should make CAD Standards?
If you are attending this class or reading this material after the class, you may very well be the
person to do this.
In small offices, or any office with no real CAD Manager usually one person with some initiative
takes the lead on this. Again, it can be as simple as the template we are going to create in this
class or as robust as to incorporate the National CAD Standards that we’ll talk about later.
In larger firms, CAD Standards are best set by a CAD Committee and enforced by a CAD
Manager. CAD Committees should not be made up of the same people year after year. You
should have a method for changing members. You should also have an odd number of people
so that you don’t vote on a topic and have a tie. Also consider a range of members and not just
a group of users in larger organizations. And an outside member can add insight that those
within the company may not be able to recognize as well as to bring ideas in to the group on
how other firms handle CAD Standards.
CAD Standards also will need to be enforced in some way. Most of the newer versions of
Autodesk products have CAD Management tools built in so you can create a file of standards
and run a check against drawings to see if any standards were broken. If standards are being
broken, then you need to handle it appropriately. If you have a user that continues to be a
problem after several warnings, then that employee may not be best for your organization.
If you are seeing a lot of CAD Standards broken you should ask the question of whether your
CAD Committee is really functioning. Do you have a method for users to post requests for
review of possible changes? Does your CAD Committee meet frequently enough? Do you have
the right mix of people in the CAD Committee? Is the CAD Committee effective at reviewing and
deciding CAD Standards? Consider having an outside member on the CAD Committee to offer
input and ideas outside from outside of your organization.
At the end of this document I’ll list resources to learn more about CAD Standards, enforcement,
and CAD Management that may help you with this area. I would also encourage you to attend
other classes regarding CAD Standards here at AU or review the AU material afterwards.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
What should be included?
1. File naming convention
2. File locations
3. Layer naming convention
4. Text styles
5. Dimension styles
6. Multileader styles
7. Annotation scaling
8. Linetypes
9. Units
10. Layouts
11. Plot styles
12. Titleblocks
13. Named page setups
14. Blocks and symbols
15. Plotting standards
16. Electronic drawing output
17. Options/Profiles
This is just a list of some areas to consider. It’s a good starting point for you. If you are using
AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD MEP, you’ll want to consider some of these other areas.
The following list is not as complete as the one above, but just gives you an idea of some of the
differences in the programs.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
For AutoCAD Architecture:
1. Layer Key Styles
2. Styles from Style Manager
3. AEC Dimension Styles
4. Multiview Blocks
5. Display Configurations
For AutoCAD MEP:
All of the above, plus
1. MEP specific styles and preferences
2. MVParts
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
As CAD Manager, my first experience at creating CAD Standards and a CAD Manual are
outlined as follows. I created CAD Standards and gradually documented each of these areas. I
very simply typed up information for each section and bought a set of tabbed dividers to
incorporate the information in a three-ring binder. That was my first CAD Manual. You can do
the same for a very simple solution to documenting your standards. You can also just type
them up and put them on your web page or internal electronic bulletin board.
1. General Information – Contacts, decimal conversion charts, version
2. CAD Standards – System Variables & Settings (options)
3. File Storage, Retrieval & Transfer – When & where files are backed up, where to find
backed up files, how to handle final versions of files
4. File Naming & Drawing Organization – Directory structure for saving drawings and file
naming structure
5. New Drawings & Outside Drawings – AutoCAD templates, what and how to send
drawings to outside sources and how to handle incoming drawings
6. Titleblocks – Which titleblocks to use for which size and types of drawings, editing titleblock
data, xref or insert
7. Text Heights, Styles, & Dimensioning – All specifics of text and dimensioning
8. Details – Layers, scales, general information on creating details and using details in
drawing set
9. Layers – List of layers both in written and graphical form and description
10. Hatches & Linetypes – Specific hatch patterns and linetypes to be used with descriptions
and graphic uses
11. Plotting – Plotting sizes, pen settings
12. Miscellaneous – Other information such as tips and tricks, how to send plots to service
agency, area for personal notes
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Where do I start?
Before we start with a template, let’s briefly talk about where you are going to keep some of
your CAD Standard files.
Normally, when I go to assist a customer with CAD Standards or even a simple installation I
always ask if they already have a place on their network drive for CAD Standards. The
response is often “no”. In that case, here’s what I do.
1. Create a folder called CAD Standards.
2. Create subdirectories under this folder for:
a. Templates
b. Plot Styles
c. Titleblocks
d. Profiles
3. Create directories as needed for blocks and details to be inserted into drawings.
4. If there is an IT department or someone that handles backing up and maintaining the
network, I always write out these directories and their purpose and ask that they not be
deleted. In some cases this resource also handles who would have permission for these
directories and what type of permission (read only or full permission to save or write to
the files).
As we go through our template creation, you’ll discover why I’ve set these up in advance.
If you have been working on one or two computers in your office and simply using the default
locations of c:\documents and settingsQ, I want to encourage you to make separate directories
for anything specific. The reason is that if you upgrade AutoCAD you won’t be able to find your
CAD Standards as easily. If your hard drive crashes and dies, your computer is stolen, or any
other calamity some of the steps I’ll show you will help you to very easily recover from any
situation. Be sure you keep a backup of your CAD Standards too!
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Let’s Get Started
We are going to simply start a new drawing. Do you already have a template? Then follow
along to freshen it up.
When you start a new drawing, you have two choices to do so.
You can choose the tool button from the Standard Toolbar that looks like a plain sheet of paper.
Or from the File pulldown menu or the 2009 Menu Browser, you can choose New.
The difference is that when you select New from the File pulldown or Menu Browser, you will be
prompted for a template. You could even be prompted for a template by selecting New from the
tool button if you have not selected a template is automatically loaded. We’ll explain that once
we actually create the template. First things first.
So, we have this new drawing. Let’s go ahead and save it as a .dwg in our CAD
Standards\Template directory. We will save it as a template there later, but just in case
anything happens during creation we will have the drawing saved. We’ll name it Template.dwg.
What are we going to begin setting up?
One good place to start is from the Format pulldown menu or in 2009 from the Annotation tab.
Remember our checklist?
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Text Style
You probably already have some fonts that you prefer to use. We now have the option of
Annotation Scale in AutoCAD so that is another area of standards to set.
I recommend that you don’t use the Standard Text Style that comes ‘out of the box’ with
AutoCAD. Not only is it a choppy, rather ugly font, but if you use this and change the font you
risk a conflict if you are sharing drawings and someone else is also using Standard Text Style.
For the sake of this class, all the new styles we’ll create we’ll call ‘AUGI’.
We’ll set AUGI Text Style to be Annotative. That means that the height can be set with the
Annotation Scale of the drawing. If you haven’t already used annotation scaling, I highly
recommend that you learn more about it and take advantage of it. Annotation scaling is one of
the most efficient tools that have been added to AutoCAD since the Tool Palettes.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
If you are not using annotative scaling or have an older version of AutoCAD, be sure to leave
your Paper Text Height set at 0. Doing so allows you to set the text height when you create
You may also want to consider the width factor. The default is 1, but especially if you plan to
use this text style for dimensions or leaders, the narrower it is the less space it will take up in
your drawing.
Once you set your style, select the Set Current button for it to become the current text style and
then select Apply and Close.
If you already have some fonts you use now, take a good hard look at them. How many fonts to
you actually need? What are the names of your text styles? If you are using a Romans font, is
it named Romans or something else? You probably don’t really need 10 different text styles.
You may have had multiple text styles because you were assigning heights to each style.
Leave the height at zero and have just a few text styles. The fewer the better in my opinion.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Dimension Style
Just as with our Text Style, we are going to create a new dimension style from the New button.
When you create a New Dimension Style, you are prompted with another dialog box prompting
you for a name and what style you want to base the style on. We’ll just start with Standard. Be
sure you check the box for Annotative to have the style use the annotation scaling.
Once upon a time before Paperspace scaling and annotation scaling, people used to create a
dim style for each scale. You may have seen this as well. You might see styles such as ‘Arch96’ and ‘Arch-48’. If you do have dimstyles with different scales, now is the time to toss those
out with last week’s leftovers.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Choose the type of arrowhead or tick you
want at the end of your dimension lines
and the size. A common size, though not
the default, is .125 or 1/8”.
Under Text, here’s where you’ll use
the drop down arrow and choose
your AUGI Text Style. See why we
set the Text Style first?
I have set the text height to be 1/8”
here to match the arrow size. This is
the plotted text height.
Under the Fit tab, this will control the
scaling of your 1/8” plotted text and
arrow height. Checking Annotative
will allow the annotation scaling to set
this for you.
If you do not use annotation scaling
or have that option, the remaining two
options will be for Scale dimensions
to layout (to automatically scale per
viewport scale) or Use overall scale of
where you’ll enter a dimscale factor if
you are only working in model space
with no viewports.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
The Primary Units tab is for the
dimension style to read in decimal, feet
and inches (architectural) or other
formats and how precise you want your
dimensions to read.
Do NOT get the measurement scale
factor on this tab confused with the scale
factor on the fit tab. This scale factor
should not be changed from 1. It is only
for users who do not draw to scale as
people did on drafting boards.
Multileader Style
Beginning a new Multileader Style
is almost exactly like creating a
new dimension style.
Here is our new AUGI Style with the Annotative box checked.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
You may want to create two or three
different Multileader styles.
One for Straight Leader
One for Spline Leader
One for a block instead of
I’ve set the arrowhead and the
size to 1/8” here.
The Multileader style will be
Here’s our AUGI text style again
with a text height of 1/8”. The
leader attachment has been set to
middle of text whether it’s on the
right or left.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
In addition to text for your leader, you also have the option from a dropdown box under the
content tab and Multileader type to choose block. You can use a block of your own, or choose
from the Source block dropdown box to select one of several out of the block styles with
attributes. These are great for numbering!
If you really boil it down, you have two main choices for layers in AutoCAD, AutoCAD
Architecture, or AutoCAD MEP.
In AutoCAD you have Choice A, which is to create your own layer names. In Choice B, you use
the AIA Layering Guidelines.
Whichever choice you choose, the important fact to remember is to set your color and linetype
In AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD MEP you still have choice A, which is to create your own
layers. But Choice B, is notched up a bit from the AIA Layering Guidelines because those two
programs use Layer Keys. Layer Keys assign the AIA layers by object. So if you draw a wall
you don’t need to change to the A-Wall layer first. The wall will automatically be drawn on the
A-Wall layer.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Options for Standards
In order to have a good template, you’ll need to set some of your AutoCAD options. You can
find Options under the Tools pulldown menu or from the Menu Browser in AutoCAD 2009. As a
shortcut, you can also right-click on the command line and select Options.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
If you have AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD MEP, you will have more tabs in options than
Files through Profiles. We are only going to talk about just the AutoCAD options, but you should
learn about the options for your particular program and set those options as well in your
The files tab of Options mainly points to file locations. Remember the CAD Standards directory
we set earlier? Now those subdirectories are going to come into play.
The Support File Search Path is where AutoCAD looks for files it needs. Therefore, you need to
add any directories such as your CAD Standards directory and any directories where you keep
blocks and symbols. Add your main folder where you keep drawings here as well.
You do not need to add anything to the Working Files.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
If you customize your .cui file, you should keep that in a folder under your CAD Standards folder
as well as an Enterprise .cui file if your firm uses them. Use this portion of the Files tab to point
to those .cui files.
One area that is often
overlooked is the .cus
file. This file is for your
Custom Dictionary.
That is the dictionary
that is created when
you add words during
spell check.
This file can be opened
in Notepad to be
reviewed or added to
as well.
Make a custom
dictionary file and call it
your company
name.cui. Let’s make
one and call it AUGI.
When you receive drawings from an outside source and they don’t send you their custom fonts,
AutoCAD uses this Alternate Font File to substitute fonts. If you don’t like Simplex.shx, you can
browse and find Romans or whatever font you prefer.
Where your Tool
Palettes are stored
and additional Tool
Palettes can be
added are an
important part of CAD
Standards as well as
how Tool Palettes are
created and used.
Don’t overlook this
area of CAD
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
It’s not as important where you place them, as long as you know where and how to find them
are your Automatic Save File Location, Plot and Publish Log File Location, and Temporary
Drawing File Location.
In 2009 we now have the Action Recorder so the Action Recording File Locations are also
something that you should be able to find.
In our CAD Standards Directory, we made a subdirectory for Plot Styles. If you have your own
plot styles, you can copy them to this location. If you want to have some of the OOTB plot
styles included, you can copy them as well. Once you have your plot styles in your directory,
then point the Plot Style Table Search Path to this location.
Now we come to one of the most important areas for setting your CAD Standards. Your
Template Settings.
We are not quite ready to save our .dwg that we are making into a .dwt file, but when we
complete everything we want to include in our template we will point QNEW to this .dwt
template file. By default, it is set to None.
We will also save our template in our Template folder of our CAD Standards directory and then
point the Drawing Template File Location to this folder.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
As we go through the various tabs of the Option dialog box, you will notice symbols or icons
next to some of the
options. If you look
at the top of the
dialog box, you will
see that those
indicate options set
in the current
drawing only. These
icons may look
slightly different
depending on the
version of AutoCAD
that you have, but
they will always be
Since these settings are by drawing only, all the more reason to have these set in your template
so you never need to set them in each drawing.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
The Plot and Publish tab is also fairly important for setting you CAD Standards.
Set the plotter you use most often as your default output device. This may be a laser printer
that you use for test plots or it may be that you almost always print to your plotter and are tired
of scrolling down a list to find it. Set it here and it will be your first choice in drawings from this
date forward.
You can also set whether you
want to force your plot to be the
layout size or the paper size of
the plotter and choose your
default plot style.
I strongly suggest turning off the
plot and publish log unless you
really need this for record
keeping of your plots. It will turn
into a big file that you don’t need
If you need to have a .dwf file for
other non-AutoCAD users to view
or to publish to a website, you may want to set to Automatic DWF Publish.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
One of the big time savers in
User Preferences is the Rightclick Customization.
Setting this correctly, will avoid
that right-click menu that is set
by default with Enter as the top
selection. What you really want
for speed is to right click when
you are done with a command.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
The Selection Preview and
Visual Effect Settings under the
Selection tab control the
highlighting that you see when
you roll your mouse over
geometry that is not selected.
Visual Effect Settings also
control the colors when you do
a window or crossing selection.
* Tip:
Noun/Verb selection allows
you to pick geometry and
then a command or vice
Use Shift to add to selection
prevents you from selecting
more than one selection at a
Both are some of the biggest
culprits in troubleshooting
user problems.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Profiles are very important both in CAD Standards and in Options.
All of the settings that you change in Options, are saved in a profile. An AutoCAD profile is
similar to your Windows profile. When you log in each morning you expect to see your
Windows background of your beloved ‘Fluffy’ and a screen saver of your grandkids or your trip
to Tasmania. Those types of settings are part of your Windows Profile.
Your AutoCAD profile doesn’t control how AutoCAD visually looks as far as which toolbars or
ribbons you have active, but it does control almost all of the rest of your settings.
If you want to make a new profile for your company or you personally, Add to List first and Set
Current before making the above settings. It is not necessary to do that though.
Once you have all your settings made, even under the current profile of AutoCAD, you should
Export that profile. When you export the profile, save it with your name if it’s yours personally or
save it with the company name if it is meant to be your company profile. Save it under CAD
Standards and the Profiles
Everyone should be using
profiles. If your settings become
messed up, you can import your
profile. If you upgrade to a new
computer or new program, you
can import your profile and be up
and running to your standards in
no time. If your computer hard
drive crashes or your computer is
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
stolen or damaged, if you have your profile backed up on the network (which is also hopefully
backed up), then when you reinstall AutoCAD you can import your profile and be back in
business in nothing flat.
System Variables
If you want to see what System Variables are set on a given computer, you can do so as well as
print this out to include in your future CAD Manual.
To save these to a text file, simply turn on log file in Options (just make sure you turn it off
Type SETVAR at your command line.
Command: setvar
Enter variable name or [?]:
SETVAR Enter variable name or [?]: ?
Enter variable(s) to list <*>:
To know where to find your log file, look under Log File Location in the Files tab of Options.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Layouts, Named Page Setups, and Plotting
Create layouts that you would normally need and insert your titleblock. Save plotting and output
time by using the Page Setup Manager to created Page Setups for each layout (also called
named page setups).
If you already have a drawing with the layouts you want to use, let Design Center help you to
add them to the current drawing. If you already have other styles that we created here in our
example and would like to use those as a starting point and add the annotation to them, this
would be the way to do it as well.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
You’ll find Design Center in 2009 from the Tools
pulldown menu and Palettes. In some earlier
versions you may find it under Windows or on a
Design Center is something that I compare to Windows Explorer on steroids. You can browse
through any drawings on your computer, the network, a CD, or jump drive just the same as
Windows Explorer. The difference is that you can look inside the drawings at Blocks, Dimstyles,
Layers, Layouts, Linetypes, Multileaderstyles, Tablestyles, Textstyles, and Xrefs.
I’m going to drag some existing layouts to my template drawing.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Then I’m going to delete layouts that I don’t want.
Blocks, Symbols, and Tool Palettes
In Design Center you can drag blocks to Tool Palettes or you can populate Tool Palettes directly
from a drawing. If you drag from any drawing where you’ve used a block, the Source File for
the Tool ends up being the drawing you used to add the Tool to your Tool Palette.
The best way to use CAD Standards for this purpose is to create drawings in a specific
‘standard block’ directory and name them appropriately. In this example I have created a
drawing named ‘Site Plan Blocks’ for some standard blocks I want my users to use on site
I don’t want them to have to browse through our network to find
the blocks each time they need them and don’t want them to be
in my template taking up space when they may not always be
needed on every drawing. Therefore, I’m going to create a
Tool Palette. In keeping with the theme we’ve used in this
class, I’m going to name the new Tool Palette ‘AUGI’. Really
you would probably want to name it Site Plan or something with
more meaning. ☺
I’ve already used Design Center to add blocks that I want to
use in Site Plans to my drawing I named ‘Site Plan Blocks’.
Now I’m adding those blocks to the Tool Palettes from the ‘Site
Plan Blocks’ drawing.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Here is why that is important.
If I had made my
Tool with the
Source File where
I originally found
an example of the
block, the Tool
would cease to
work if that
drawing was
deleted or moved.
In having my blocks in a standard drawing and a standard location, I can alert anyone not to
delete or move these files and can always open just that file if I want to modify the block in the
future or add more blocks to the standard drawing. It just makes life so much easier.
If you are not using Tool Palettes, I strongly encourage you to learn more about them. They are
one of the best productivity enhancements to come out in Autodesk history in my opinion.
There is a lot of good material through AU classes and material as well as AUGI ATP courses
and many of the blogs and websites that show you how to use Tool Palettes effectively.
As you can see from this simple example, I can control the layers and other information on how
that block will be added to any drawing from the Tool Palette. That makes it great for CAD
Standards in my book!
If you are using AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD MEP, you have an even greater tool in the
Content Browser that allows you to create a standard catalog for your company standards. Be
sure an investigate this feature from other AU classes and materials if you don’t already know
about it.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Complete the Template
Once you’ve done everything that you can to your Template.dwg file, it’s time to make it a
template. Do a SaveAs and change the file type from .dwg to .dwt. A .dwt file is a template file.
Save it in your CAD Standards\Templates directory. You may want to call it your company
You will have an opportunity to add a note when you save the template. It is a good idea to
include at least the date in the note so you will know when it was created.
Newer versions of AutoCAD will have a New Layer Notification area in your Template Options.
Be sure to check to ‘Save all layers as reconciled’. This will avoid any of the alerts for
unreconciled layers.
Just because you have made your template, does not mean it cannot be changed. You can
open a template file(.dwt) just like a drawing file (.dwg). All you need to do is to change your file
type when you open a file to .dwt.
If you think of other settings you want to include in your template, have changes to the settings
you made after you’ve tried it, or perhaps your titleblock or logo needs updated you only need to
open the template and make the changes before saving.
The final step with your template is to make it load automatically. The only reason you might
consider not doing this is if you have need for several different types of templates and want the
user to choose. I don’t see that happen very often.
Remember in our Options dialog box we mentioned QNEW? Now’s the time to put it to work.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
In Options, under the Files tab, we scroll down to Template Settings and expand Default
Template File Name for QNEW. It currently is set to ‘None’ so we Browse to find our newly
create AUGI Template.
When we set this to be our QNEW Template, every time we open AutoCAD this template will
automatically load. Every time we click on the icon of the plain sheet of paper for a new
drawing, this template will load.
Congratulations, you now have set some very basic CAD Standards!
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
What do I do next?
CAD Standards should not be like a crock pot. You can’t set them and forget them! CAD
Standards should be reviewed annually. New technology may be the reason for a change. For
example, you may consider updating your titleblocks with fields in AutoCAD. You may decide
you no longer have a need for some sheets in your drawing set or may need additional sheets
now that you have better scheduling features available in AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD
The worst thing that can happen to CAD Standards and/or a CAD Committee is for either to
become stale.
Once you’ve set up some standards and a template, you should start documenting your CAD
Standards. You can use the Print Screen function in Windows, Snag-It, Jing, or some other
method for creating screen captures or you can simply write some brief text to make a list of the
styles you use for what purpose. Just like CAD Standards, the documentation can be as simple
or complex as you like.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
What other avenues are available?
There is a National CAD Standard. You can purchase this document and use it for your CAD
Standard. It is very in depth. Here is an outline of it.
National CAD Standard
Version 4.0
AIA CAD Layer Guidelines – layer name formatting
Uniform Drawing System – organization method for construction documents
Drawing Set Organization
Sheet Set Organization
Drafting Conventions
Terms & Abbreviations
Code Conventions
Plotting Guidelines
From the NCS website:
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
GSA CAD Standards
If you are doing any work for the GSA, they have their own CAD Standards.
CAD Standards: How to Get Started
Mark Kiker’s CADD
CAD Manager Blog
AU Materials
Look at other AU materials that you can download from this year and previous years.
And of course AUGI!
Be sure and check out the AUGI ATP programs under the Education tab.