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You may have developed a CAD standard that you think is fairly good. But that doesn’t necessarily mean users will be motivated towards complying with it. You can issue copies of the standard, and users can read them; you can even hold training courses to help users understand not only the ‘what’, but also the ‘why’ of the standard.

But you still find that there are projects that don’t fit the compliance demands and users who choose to ignore the standard. It will only be a minority who deliberately ignore it, but the bottom line is you need to work on a way to enforce it. And to verify compliance after the fact.

From standard to quality assurance document

If you have a document and procedure produced for checking CAD files, you may find it helps to get your firm thinking about the value of striving for real quality in their output. One way to achieve this is by using your CAD standard as a foundation for producing a quality assurance checklist.

Here is an example of how this can be done:

CAD Standard for Text Content

Text styles, sizes fonts and placement are crucial elements for communicating accurate information in your drawing files. All projects must use the following principles.

All text must be UPPERCASE. Standard Text Size is to be 3/32″. The colour will be 7, and G-ANNO is the general layer for all text content.

All text shall be written in the font ‘ROMANS’ or ‘ROMAND’ as a bold font is preferred. All generic text must be a plotted height of 3/32″, which reproduces effectively on modern printers and other devices.

Some True Type fonts are permitted, but only if they are defined as standard. Use the ARIA font for entering the Sheet Number in the Title Block, as this font easily distinguishes between the letter I and the number 1. This will minimise any confusion between the ‘Interiors’ Discipline Designator and the number 1. Sheet Number text should be sized at 3/8″.

Some fonts will fail to display on a machine that lacks those fonts, so custom fonts in the logos of clients are to be ‘drawn’, with a ‘block’ subsequently created from the elements. This would apply to all custom names/logos and signage elements, for example. It is vital to ensure that all parties in receipt of electronic files can view them without needing to download extra fonts.

In Tiles, the text height should be 1/4″ in a ROMAND font. Matchline text shall have a height of 3/16″.

Text Styles must define font at a height of 0, a width of 0.8, and oblique angle 0.

Text colour and pen widths for each text height should have its basis from Layer Names and Standard Pen Table, etc.

TEXTFILL should be switched on.

The details outlined in this example of a CAD standard for text do not all lend themselves well to being part of a basic checklist. A quality assurance checklist will be based on the standard, so it will not only verify that all items are checked, but also that they are being checked against the established standard. The checklist would look like this:

Done Topic
Is the Standard Text size 3/32″?
Is all text UPPERCASE?
Is Text layer G-ANNO – color 7?
Is all text “ROMANS” or “ROMAND” where the bold font is desired?
Is ARIAL font used for the Sheet No. in the Title Block?
Is the Sheet number text 3/8″?
Noo custom fonts on the DWG file?
Are text heights for Titles 1/4″ with a ROMAND font?
Are text heights for Matchlines 3/16″?
Styles Height set to 0, Width at .80 and Oblique Angle at 0?
Is TEXTFILL set to “ON”?

A quality assurance checklist is an effective measure for enforcing the regulations of a CAD standard. At Jensen Consulting, we can assist in the production of a solid, professional CAD standard and an accompanying quality assurance checklist for each section. With these in place, you won’t have to worry about inconsistencies and errors in the documents and drawings you produce, so you can focus your attention on the job at hand.