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Drawing is an important document in design projects. If you are using AutoCAD to create engineering drawings, then you must know how important it is. Especially in design consultant firm, creating the drawings take a significant amount of time of the whole project.
We created a series of challenges to help you improving how you work with AutoCAD. Our primary goal is to allow you to complete your tasks faster, make your drawing smarter and easier to modify. Because we always make changes in our design.
You can complete the challenges in your pace. The idea of publishing the challenges here is to allow you to learn from the others too. So don’t forget to share your thoughts, questions, and experience related to the topic.
Thank you to everyone who participated. If you haven’t participated yet, below are the challenges that you can follow.
Challenge 1: Preparation
In this first challenge, you need to prepare your data and requirements. This is important to set your goal and identify which area you can improve when working with AutoCAD. If you haven’t used CAD standard, this is a good time to implement it.
There are two major areas you need to identify: repetitive tasks and task that can be automated. You can improve productivity significantly if you can improve those areas. Identify them; then you can implement them in your workflow later.
You can complete the 1st challenge on this page: Challenge 1: Preparation.
Challenge 2: Working with Template
Template is an important part to improve your productivity. It keeps your drawing standards and reduces repetitive tasks. Once you start a new file, you can have many predefined settings ready for you. All the layers, styles, layout and more settings are ready to use. This will keep your drawing consistent. And obviously, you don’t need to redefine them when you start a new drawing.
Your task here is to create drawing templates.
You can complete the 2nd challenge on this page: Challenge 2: Working with Template.
Challenge 3: Reusable Contents
If you examine an engineering drawing, you can see that many parts in the drawing are the same. Common objects like columns, doors, standard parts, symbols and much more. If you create them repetitively, this time, you need to improve it. Create your own reusable contents and reduce those repetitive tasks. It allows you to work faster and also keeps your drawing standards.
Blocks will also help to reduce file size, allow you to complete certain tasks automatically (like creating schedules) and simplify your drawing process.
You can complete the 3rd challenge in this page: Challenge 3: Reusable Contents.
Challenge 4: Customization
Customization is a great benefit for AutoCAD users. AutoCAD is a general CAD software that is used by many disciplines. Each discipline and each person are unique. You can work much faster if you customize it to work best for you. AutoCAD allows you to customize it in many ways. From simple customization like command alias to complex programming using AutoLISP and .NET.
Don’t be intimidated. A simple customization can be a great help. And of course, you can also try to find an available plugin or AutoLISP program on the internet. Share your favorite, and read the community’s favorite here.
You can complete the 4th challenge on this page: Challenge 4: Customization.
Challenge 5: Learn the New Features
Autodesk releases a new version of AutoCAD every year. Certainly, there are new features and enhancements that can help you to work better with AutoCAD. If you are still using AutoCAD like the first time you use it, maybe it’s time to learn the new features. Learning the new features can also help you to avoid confusion and “problems” that waste your time. Many of us are confused about the parametric constraint symbol, annotation monitor, and several other “new features”. We can spend several hours to solve “the problem”.
Even in the end, you decide not to use the new feature, learning the new features can help you.
You can complete the 5th challenge on this page: Challenge 5: Learn the New Features.
Challenge 6: Plan your Drawing
You have completed improving on AutoCAD side. Now it’s time for a little planning.
In this challenge, Paul Munford shares how you should plan your drawing before you actually start to draw it. Proper planning will help you to effectively spend your time completing the drawing. Set your goals and plan the deadlines.
You can complete the 6th challenge on this page: Challenge 6: Plan your Drawing.
Challenge 7: Evaluate your Progress
We always need to update our standards and workflow. You also need to improve what you have done in previous challenges. If you feel there are some area to improve, identify them. If you installed new AutoCAD version, you may want to implement new features in your workflow. You may need to define a new template when you work with other company. Or you may need to create new blocks because you start to work on other disciplines.
So take the time to evaluate your progress, identify if you need to improve it. It may not be immediately, but when you need to work on it, you’ll be ready.
You can complete the 7th challenge on this page: Challenge 7: Evaluate your Progress.