Saturday, September 8, 2007

September 9, 2007

Where do I start? Is there a target audience? I would hope my target audience would be interested in things to do with drafting and usage of Autocad. At present I am working for a large by NZ standards company as a contract draftsman, so I guess I should be circumspect about what I do say.

These last two years have seen a quantum leap in Autocad. With R2007 we have been delivered such wonderful goodies as presspull, sweeps and lofting. Not to mention such things as Section Tool and Flatshot.

I have been given the chance to draw a part of large food processing plant upgrade. To this end I have employed Autocad in 3D.

Because it is such a large model, I have split it into several models and then Xreffed these smaller ones into one overall "Big Momma". Luckily, I have bought a "New" computer ---not the hottest and bestest, more a middle of the road one---Core Duo-the top end one and a FX1500 Quaddro card. I am quite happy with this combination....but it always could be faster!

My technique for attacking the sections of the various models has been to
use the section tool and write block out the sections to a file of their own, eg called SectionAABagFiller.dwg. Then I create an "empty" drawing -ie just a title block saved as say 5046-112 Sections.dwg. In this drawing I xref in the section view just created, and then put on my annotation in model space. This one file may have many tabs on it and xref in several sections.

The huge advantage this technique gives, is only apparent when there are changes (The one thing a draftee can ONLY be sure of!).

If there are, you change the model, then regenerate the sections. Voila! All the sections in the sections drawing are updated automatically.

I cannot claim this as my own idea, as Autocad Architecture uses a similar system. (Not quite the same)

No doubt whoever is reading this knows that all draftees have their own funny ways of doing things. Seems I am no different, as there will be those out there that use 3DClip to achieve their automatic updates.

My feeling is now that the sectioning tool produces clearer sections.

I guess it all comes back to the problem: Is is necessary to produce something that can be admired for its graphic style, or is it better to just use the cheapest, easiest fastest method? (As long as the drawing can be understood)

In the past, I have probably steered towards the cheap and easy. Now retirement is on the horizon, I finding myself veering towards the "better looking is better" idea.