CADDManager on January 21st, 2014
This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Critical Conversations

Last time we discussed why some detrimental items in CAD may go unnoticed, avoided, uncorrected and worst of all seen by the client.  We encouraged CAD Managers to have these critical conversations with those on the production team and higher.

Topics that Might Trigger Critical Conversation

You might ask, “What areas should you be looking at that might cause troubles and that might generate a critical conversation?”

Anything can trigger a conversation about CAD, but what might trigger the critical discussions that can keep a project moving and avoid troubled waters.  You should be having general conversations about CAD topics with everyone on your team.  Just the casual style chatter that surrounds CAD work… you know, things like “what layer are you using for this? When do you update the backgrounds? who needs to know about this change and approve it?”  These short talks can keep things moving and are not critical in nature until something does go wrong.

But there are some areas that keep you up at night.  The ones that you see happening again and again.  The ones that infect a project and destroy any standards that you may be trying to maintain. Here is my short list of things that should be watched.

Violations of the CAD Standard – this is a big area, but a few quick checks on a set of project files can turn up areas of concern. I have listed the essential areas to look at, but they always deserve a review.  Here they are again.

  1. Standard Folders – names, locations, relationships, contents
  2. Project Names – numbering, names
  3. File Names – correct and consistent
  4. Layer Names, Line styles, Pen Weights
  5. Pen Tables – CTB, STB
  6. Lettering Fonts and Sizes – fonts, style names
  7. Dimension Styles – exact names, consistent use
  8. Drafting Symbols – your basic symbology is always used
  9. Xref Usage – naming, content, attachment method
  10. Layout tabs – names, format, page setup

Beyond the CAD standard you might pay attention to:

  • Consistent Presentation
  • Detail Sheet Layout and presentation
  • Level of Detail that is used
  • Title Block text, abbreviations and wording
  • Graphic element locations (Key map, North Arrow, Graphic Scale)
  • Spelling
  • Logos
  • Dates and Names (like client names – I have seen them misspelled)
  • Title of the Submittal (Plan Check, Client Review)
  • Cross Reference numbers are correct
  • Legibility of the drawings
  • Nomenclature – callouts
  • Project Title Block presentation and layout

When you see problems in these areas that are a pattern and not just random errors, you may want to consider having a critical conversation with someone.  Again – this is when you see a pattern… Repeating, recurring, over and over, etc.

Next post… Who to Talk To

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