Thursday, January 29, 2015

How to Send Your AutoCAD Project Files to Anybody, Anywhere, Anytime

Working with AutoCAD and AutoCAD Verticals (Civil3D, Map Mechanical, etc.) has become much more complex than it was when I first started over 20 years ago. We didn’t use reference files and we didn’t have source files like we do in Civil3D. We had one file, in model space (there was no paper space back then) to send. We put it on a 3.5” floppy disk and sent it on its way.  Much has changed since then.

Sending project files these days is a bit more complicated. We have multiple drawing files, xref files, point files, PDF files, data sheets, word documents, spreadsheets, DWF files, fonts, CTB files, Sheet Set data files, and more. How do you get the right files to the right people right now?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Don't Ignore Unreconciled Layers - They are there to Help You




Unreconciled Layers, you know, that pesky notification bubble that you close as soon as you open a DWG file, are very important and can save you a lot of time, effort, and work. Many AutoCAD users simply ignore the notification and move on. I suggest that you stop this practice and start using the notifications to help you out.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Day as a CAD Dork

The past few days have changed for this CAD Dork (CAD Geek or CAD Nerd are also acceptable terms). This past Friday I lost my job. It happens. It’s very annoying but it does. I’ll be fine so don’t worry.

The past two business days have been a bit different but also much of the same. I wake up at 5:15 a.m. (not my choice) to make sure my oldest child gets out of the house and doesn’t miss the bus. If this happens somebody has to provide a ride. I take this time to get myself ready for the day; shower, shave, put on some clothes and gather my things for the day. At 6 I wake my other child to get ready for school. If I have time I take a quick nap because 5:15 a.m. is a crazy time to get up. By 6:50 I’m dressed, walking the dog, getting breakfast, packing my lunch and am (or was) out the door by 7:30.
At work as a Senior Engineering CAD Tech for a civil engineering firm I was responsible for site design, potable water layout, waste water design, drainage design, site layout, as-builts, and any other drafting work. I was also the IT Manager there so if any tech broke I had to make sure it was fixed right away. Lucky for me we had an IT Consultant firm to do the heavy lifting. Once that happened if I couldn’t fix it in a few minutes I was able to delegate the problem. It made me much more billable.
Monday mornings and Fridays were often the most hectic. Monday was a day to do all of the things you put off last week. Friday meant there was a deadline to meet that the project manager promised to the client before consulting anyone else; at least it felt like that the majority of the time.

Some Thoughts to Employers About Training Your Employees

Train them or loose them.

Train them or your production will suffer.

Train them or you will loose even more money.

Train them or your competition will surpass you.

Train them or they will train themselves and leave you.

Stop fussing over training costs. Train your employees. It is the best investment in your company that you will ever make.

Learn how to use AutoCAD Sheet Sets

AutoCAD Sheet Sets is an out-of-the-box project management tool that will enable your users to work together more efficiently and help to manage project data. The Sheet Sets tool is available in AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, and AutoCAD for Mac. It is also available to AutoCAD verticals (like Map, Civil3D, Architecture, etc.) It may look slightly different across these different platforms, but it is there and is very powerful.

Sheet Sets can provide the following:

  • File Management
  • Batch Printing Tools
  • File Archiving
  • Project Data Management
  • File Creation
  • Standardization
  • View Management
  • Project Collaboration
  • Recurring Information
  • Automation
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