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Who Needs CAD Standards?

Republished from my article in AUGI Hot News for November 2006

Many companies have not grabbed firmly onto the need for CAD Standards or for keeping them current. I was looking through some boxes of CAD Standards I have. Yes, that’s “Boxes,” plural. I have collected CAD Standards over the years and have seen just about everything from War and Peace-sized volumes to one-page standards. I have seen some of the best and many of the worst standards in the business over the years.

So, who needs CAD Standards? Everyone!
Here are a few reasons why you need a CAD standard and why you need to keep it up to date.

Why standardize?
Standards drive the unification of producing files. They also drive the automation of creating data. Of course, they don’t guarantee that the data will be technically correct or interpreted correctly, but that is the job of your designers.

I think standards allow us to share project development better through unified methods, layers, processes, and production shortcuts. We can automate the way something is produced but we cannot always make sure that the data input is correct. If an engineer types in the wrong beam size in vanilla AutoCAD, then the wrong size will be purchased and installed.

So CAD Standards are not a panacea for every CAD ailment, but they do alleviate most of them.

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