Whether you’re a small-scale engineer with a handful of clients or part of a larger firm, efficient design work should be key to your work.
Every phase of the design and build should be completed as quickly as possible while ensuring that quality isn’t lost in the process – this is the balancing act of a good engineer.
At Fimcen, we strive to be the drafting company Australia relies on for advice and engineering services, thanks to our expertise in CAD drawing.
If you need to become more efficient in your use of CAD software such as AutoCAD, Autodesk Fusion 360, or SketchUp, check out this blog and contact us for more information.
Create Templates for Each Project Type
They don’t call it AutoCAD for nothing. Automation is an important part of CAD drawing and engineers should take advantage of the technology that has developed over the last few decades.
Before the turn of the century, engineers relied on hand drawing to depict their designs. This made their work vulnerable to human error, and created difficulty in duplicating and sharing their work.
Nowadays, it’s so much easier to create templates for each project type, that not doing so would be a great loss to your overall capabilities.
Choose your desired preset styles, layers, blocks and more to create familiar and streamlined workflows for each new project.
By giving yourself a good base from which to start, you reduce the chance of cluttering the project with unnecessary elements that you might try when starting from scratch.
While we’re on the topic of mess and clutter, we should highlight how detrimental this can be to the final project.
Not only will it take you longer to sift through layers of mess as you design, but it will also leave you and the build team with a more plan that’s harder to understand and put into action.
This further increases the risk of human error and of misreading plans. At best, this could lead to inaccurate ordering, at worse, it leads to unsafe construction and potential accidents.
On AutoCAD, try using tools such as Purge, Overkill, and Audit which will help to remove unused elements and prompt you to fix errors in the design.
Good Layer Control
You may be detecting a theme as we move through these tips for efficient CAD drawing – organisation.
Keeping your project well-organised in labelled layers will allow you to edit only the pieces you need, while leaving the rest untouched.
At Fimcen, we always make sure to stay on top of this from the beginning of a project, removing the need to go back and clean things up at the end.
Examples of different layers could be strictly electrical, walls, doors and windows, or ceiling elements. Keeping these separate ensures you’re not accidentally placing a lightbulb in a window or a switch on the ceiling!
Use Dynamic Blocks
Dynamic Blocks remove the arduous task of editing every parameter individually. This can save time and remove human error in many cases.
One example might be when you are engineering an array of windows for a building and you decide to change one element such as size or material. With Dynamic Blocks, any changes made on one window can be applied to all blocks of the same nature.
This great feature of AutoCAD also reduces the overall file size, as repeated blocks are much smaller than drawing each individual element over and over.
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Make sure to ask the Fimcen team about our use of Dynamic Blocks as this is one of our favourite time savers and we’re happy to share such helpful tips.
Don’t Be Afraid to Google It
Let’s all be honest: everyone relies on Google from time to time.
While experts like us might know the intricacies of our work, programs like AutoCAD are so powerful that there is always something new to learn. Why else would you be here, after all?
If you find yourself searching for a way to make a certain process faster, Google it!
There may just be a way to knock five minutes off your design time, surprising your client with such increased efficiency.
It’s widely accepted that Google fields billions of searches every day, so there’s no harm in joining the masses and building your knowledge of CAD drawing.
Like we said, our expertise as a CAD drafting company Australia-wide allows us to provide advice and engineering services to engineers on any scale.
If you’ve tried these tips and tricks and still need to wipe some more time from your design process, get in touch and we’ll walk through your process together.