LayersA few things are niggling me. One is layers. Seems like they multiply like rabbits. If you are drawing a single level house it is nice to have a certain set of layers. If you are doing a reno, yet another set. Don't get me started about a 2 storey house because that is yet another set.
Oh yeah, what about that 3 level mansion? How about commercial stuff?
My dubious approach has been to run with what has gone before. Which is find a drawing that is nearest to what you are going to work on and do a save as of that. Trouble is, every time you do a drawing you have to insert blocks, and here they all come: the rogue layers!
Before you can blink, seems like just too many layers. My layer management system is very crude- I have scripts that work on the idea that anything on the ground floor is labelled something like
GF-DIM. Which begs the question: why have one layer for dimensions and one for text? Seems crazy to me.
I would love to have a couple of days to sort them out, but too busy working. One thing I am trying though is a scheme where all layers are the same, across all types of work. To this end you end up with layers like GF-NEW EXT WALL, which is pretty plain in it's meaning. This would enable me to use the same scripts for all work.
The problem can come when you want say a drainage stack to appear on say the second floor framing plan and the ground floor as well. Which can be got around in the script, but it means that layer must exist or the script crashes. I have started work on a script that blasts the drawing with all the layers I want in the colours I want.
Working StylesI am slowly evolving a work style that is supposedly working smarter, but was probably the lazy me thinking of the easy way out without giving things too much thought.
My technique is to have a plan view in the middle of the drawing, which has all the building stuff on it, no site stuff. Above this, but lined up with it is one of elevations, upside down of course, then the site with the house outline on it.
You might say not a good plan as the outlines now have to be updated each time something changes.
True, but if you ever reuse that building for a different site it makes it a straight forward job. Which you could counter which: No, it is better to have the site mixed in with the building and just manage your layers better. To which I say: It is better to get into model space and get on with the job, and not horse around with layers.
Same with sections: No, to having them plastered on your elevations! Just gets tedious filtering layers endlessly every time you want to work on something.
Using Autocad LT to draw housesYou may be aware that I have a copy of Revit, and have been trying to come up to speed with that, which is a bigger task than you might think. Any fool, (includes me!) can leap onto Revit and produce a sort of a drawing of a house. The fun begins when you find you want a window with a brick sill, and you cannot find one in Revit City.
Recently we had a job where the plan of the house was in the shape of an S. Which in Autocad LT meant hours of me tediously drawing windows which were oblique to the view. In Revit, no worries, just insert them in the wall and the go choose your view . Hmmf! Not to mention the lack of real customer engagement as any nicely drawn elevation is all very professional looking, but as far as I can see does not get the customer to appreciate what the house will look like in reality.
So, what is the answer? As usual, a lemon.
That Revit is where it at, is further enhanced by an add-on for Revit called Enscape, which allows real time rendering, as well as being easy to use. Yes, you can do renders in Revit, but the sky always looks unconvincing. Trouble is, it costs $45.00 per month.