Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why Templates Are Important

When it comes to CAD Standards, the very basic standard is a template. Why a template?

Templates are your biggest time saver and your easiest way to standardize. You already probably use templates and don't even realize it.

When you start Microsoft Word or your email program, you are creating a document based on a template. In Word, for example, the template that Word is using specifies what font is being used and what your margins are.

In AutoCAD (or any AutoCAD-based product), you don't want to take the time with each drawing you begin by adding layers, setting your dimension style, or changing options. For this reason, you create a template. You set a drawing up exactly the way you want it once, then you save it as a template.

In AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD MEP, templates can involve even more. For example, AutoCAD MEP has various preferences and system definitions. These need to be set to make the most out of using the program efficiently. Once you have these set to your desired results, they should be part of your template.

Templates are .dwt files instead of .dwg files. They are easy to make. That's the topic of my presentation at this year's AU.

You can set your template to be QNEW in Options so that it always loads when you start the program or begin a new drawing.

Templates are the building block of CAD Standards and the most efficient start of saving time in AutoCAD.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Autodesk University Time!

Due to some problems with blogger.com, that hosts this blog, my blog was marked as spam and I could not post for several days. I went through their process to have my blog reviewed and waited for notification that did not arrive. I finally found information that this was a problem they were having.

The registration is now officially open for Autodesk University 2008!

This is the one event of the year that you do not want to miss. If training budgets are tight, make sure you spend it on this for the best bang for your buck. You will get more learning out of the classes and networking at AU than anywhere else. And the learning doesn't stop with the flight home. You will have access to all class material presented at AU to read and share with your co-workers afterwards. Priceless.

I am very proud to be chosen for the second year in a row to present among the world's greatest presenters. Last year was my first year as a presenter. I taught a lab aimed at beginners with Autodesk Architecture. This year my topic is a CAD Management topic. CM319-2, CAD Standards: How to Get Started.

When I first learned about CAD Standards the topic was almost unheard of; not as popular as it is today. I took a class on CAD Standards and it made so much sense to a personality like mine that I began creating CAD Standards for the company where I worked at the time and documented them into a CAD Manual.

Later, when I became CAD Manager and found myself managing several users at several different offices, CAD Standards became even more important and a template to ensure compliance was very important.

Not everyone has CAD Standards and of those that do many of those don't truly have CAD Standards. My goal is to take users and managers by the hand and show them exactly what to do and how to do it. Everyone can have CAD Standards. No office is too small.

I'll see you at AU 2008!