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Thread: Considering trying SSM for LARGE civil set, need advice

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Considering trying SSM for LARGE civil set, need advice

    Figured it out!!
    I was finally able to get the Map Book to work. I'm not sure what was causing the misalignment between the viewports and modelspace, but the fix was to edit the sheet template. I deleted the viewport, created a new one of identical size, reattached the placeholder, and saved the template. The next time I built the map book, it worked!
    I now have a completed map book and sheet set. I've also discovered that AutoCAD has a maximum layout tab per dwg limit of 256, including the model tab. Yeesh. The remaining layouts are created, they just don't display as tabs along the bottom of the screen. They're still selectable from the map book or sheet set palettes, so at least I have a workaround.
    In addition, I found a wonderful tool from JTBWorld that allows me to make mass edits (including sequential sheet numbering) to all my sheets/tabs/layouts at once. I'm pretty sure I'll be buying it tomorrow.
    Thanks for your help. This has been a real ordeal, but I think I'm on the path to some form of increased productivity. The map book creator is a real lifesaver for larger sets, once you figure out how to bet it into submission.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Considering trying SSM for LARGE civil set, need advice

    I also attempted to utilize Sheet Sets just about one version after they first came out. I had a very similar experience as you with having to read lots of articles and the help file and searches to even get started. I managed to get them figured out and made it about 1/3 of the way through our (electric) substation drawing sets (about 75-100 sheets each). Then we got busy and it was several years before I got back to it, trying to train a new person on how to do it with a much newer Acad version. It no longer worked and seemed impossible to replicate what I had done previously.

    So I had to re-research all the sites, tutorials, articles and forums before we finally gave up again and stopped using Sheet Sets because it was just too cumbersome and none of us just do AutoCAD anymore and the learning curve was too steep to make them practical. I went back to using some autolisp tools and writing a custom cleanup routine using standardized templates and updating title blocks and revision blocks, sometimes using the express tools to export and import attributes, along with a Copy Attributes tool, and production has gone up.

    I believe Sheet Sets have improved and can definitely save time, but as you discovered, it takes more skills and is fairly easy to accidentally type over a Field with dumb text, particularly in an office with more CAD editors with fewer skills. A lot depends upon the company as well as individual workers. So in a very real way, you're trading efficiency in production work (especially printing and plotting) for extra CAD management duties.

    Like many features in AutoCAD, a lot depends upon your workflow and training level. Sheet Sets are very powerful and if properly set up and managed can streamline things and save time. But as of today, we're just a little too small and not as well trained so we stopped using this feature. Sometimes keeping it simple is the best approach.

    As a side note, we also tried using Tables for the index/cover sheet listing all the drawings in the set, and we ran into the same issues. I'm a bit of a grey beard with lots of CAD experience and I'm typically way to busy to do it all. If you're in a 1-person shop then it's easier to implement the newer 'power' features.

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