Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Deploying ADT & CAD Standards

I have spent a fair amount of time lately working on a project for a local firm that has seen the light and upgraded all users to AutoCAD, Land Desktop, and Architectural Desktop 2007 with subscription, training, implementation, and CAD Standards assistance. It's been a most enjoyable project and the people have been great.

I have always been a big advocate of placing any shared content on a network and pointing the user's Options to the location. I have read a few comments about that degrading performance and have done a fair amount of research on the topic. Just because I do something doesn't mean that I shouldn't keep looking for more information.

In doing so, I ran across an AUGI friend, Steve Bennett. Steve has been active with AUGI in working with Architectural Desktop and went to work for L.A. CAD almost two years ago now. He has a blog 2D or Not 2D that is loaded with great information.

I found his following posts helpful and asked him to elaborate more, which he has done. If you have any interest in CAD Standards or implementation of ADT or AutoCAD I highly recommend his reading.

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V

My only comment open for discussion with Steve is his suggestion and reasoning for keeping content on local machines and using methods for updating it. My disagreement with that is that it seems like a lot of extra work that needs to be done. I am more interested in whether there is any performance hit between keeping templates, plot styles, blocks on the network?

I generally install the basic AEC content in ADT that includes styles to the local computer because those are simply for users to reference. I then create a directory called companyname ADT Styles and another one called New Styles.

The first ADT Styles directory is where I create a drawing named Walls, one called Doors, one called Windows, etc. These drawings are where users will place new styles they create. I normally recommend that they start with an ADT Out of the Box (ootb) style and copy it to the appropriate drawing and then rename it and modify it. I often create these styles for them. These dwgs are also used to feed their palettes that I set up to update from Content Browser.

The second directory for New Styles is actually for downloaded styles. By going to the Autodesk website or anywhere else and downloading styles, users can often find a style they can use or use a downloaded style to reverse engineer how an object was created. I prefer to keep these separate so that it's known that these are styles they created to use. There again, a user could copy a style, rename it, and modify it for use.

It doesn't matter so much which method you use for your content, as long as you are consistent and it's documented.

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