CAD Manager's Newsletter (#176)

10 Jul, 2007 By: Robert Green

CAD Standards, Part 3: Crafting Your Standards

Create support materials that provide maximum information with minimal effort.

In the June 27 issue of CAD Manager’s Newsletter, I continued my series on CAD standards by emphasizing how critical it is to craft your CAD standards as a set of processes that enable people to work more effectively rather than some random set of rules they have to follow. I stressed that you should explain the “why and how” of CAD standards so your users will want to follow standards, knowing that doing so will help them. If you haven’t had a chance to read the last installment, I recommend doing so now.

This time I will talk about how you can craft CAD standards documents that will impart the maximum amount of information with the least amount of effort for you and your users. And I’m not just talking about written standards!

Imagine Explaining a Concept
If I asked you to explain a new CAD standard process to a user by simply showing them what to do and talking them through the process, I bet you’d be able to do so easily. After all, you’re comfortable with the CAD software you manage and you perform user support all the time, so you should be pretty good at explaining things. Read more>>

:: CAD Manager's Q&A

How do I get people to understand that how we name and store CAD files are a big part of CAD standards?

Robert Green replies: Good question! And, from my experience, one that isn’t talked about enough.

Frequently CAD managers talk about what layers things are drawn on, how to plot/print, or how to send files to vendors or clients, but then they let people name files however they’d like and store them on local drives. This lack of naming and filing standards leads to improperly resolved reference files and needlessly complex searches at best, and leading to file loss at worst. Either outcome is not acceptable.Read more>>

To view previous CAD Manager's Q&A topics, click here.

Submit your questions to Robert Green

:: Resources

Cadalyst Video Gallery
Visit Cadalyst's CAD Video Gallery for exclusive CAD software tips, how-to's, and more! Now playing: Autodesk Inventor 2008 highlights. Coming soon: AutoCAD tips and tricks with Lynn Allen.

Send us the address of your favorite Web site or other resource and a few words about why you like it. If we publish it, we'll send you a Cadalyst t-shirt!

:: Events

VisMasters Design Modeling & Visualization Conference
August 9-11, 2007
San Diego, California
This two-day event focuses on the business, art, and technology of design visualization, bringing together like-minded designers and industry leaders from around the world to share their accomplishments and vision for the future. Session topics are intended to benefit architects, designers, students, and professional visualization artists.
Read more

Ecobuild Fall and AEC-ST Fall
December 10-13, 2007
Washington, DC
Ecobuild Fall and AEC-ST Fall is an annual event that covers green building, sustainable design, renewable energy, environmental planning processes, and information collaboration strategies for commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential construction. Read more

Click here to view the complete calendar of events at