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Thread: Multiple layouts vs Multiple drawing files

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    Question Multiple layouts vs Multiple drawing files

    I am developing Cad standards for two companies that have recently merged.
    Both are or will be using Land desktop civil etc. and do similar sized projects. The bottleneck in rolling out the standard is that company "A" develops their project in a single drawing file utilizing multiple layouts. Company "B" develops their project using many drawing files (model space only) where each sheet is an individual file. I like the single file idea but realize cooperation among users is essential to complete a project. Multiple users must access a single file as "read only", make blocks and insert into them master file.
    Is anyone using this method?
    Does the simplification of file management justify going in this direction?
    Is the more logical option to take the best of both, create several drawings and combine types of drawings into a few files with multiple layouts to reduce the number of drawing files in a project?

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    Default Re: Multiple layouts vs Multiple drawing files

    I have worked on our standards for over the last year. We are in the Civil / Survey fields. We do not use Land desktop or Civil vertical applications. We use other thrid party add-ons for our Civil/Survey needs.

    What we have done is seperate the two types of drawings for the site. We have one drafter create the plat or property information in its own file on the same coordinates. We then have a civil base map that contains only the items that are to be constructed. We then create several Sheet dwgs for the Civil plans. Each sheet dwg references the property dwg and the civil dwg as overlays. This allows the other drafters to work on one aspect of the project without tying the basemaps or sheets down by one drafter.

    I hope all of that made sense.
    If you have a technical question, please find the appropriate forum and ask it there.
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    Default Re: Multiple layouts vs Multiple drawing files

    It depends on how your firm works and what is more efficient for you. Do you have to coordinate your work with other disciplines? How do they work?
    It may appear that having one file simplifies your file structure but you need to keep in mind how people in the firm approach their work. Is only one person working on the file at any one time?
    There is a reason why x-refs were created. It enables mulitple people to work on different files at the same time and to be able to refresh these files on a regular basis to remain coordinated firmwide. You could do this instead of having to redefine blocks in your master file on a regular basis. Imagine what would happen if after many hours of editing and revisions, somebody somewhere forgets to reinsert or redefine the block in the master file. No such problem with x-refs.

    Whether you have one file with multiple layouts tabs or many different sheet files with model files x-ref to them, is again dependant on how your firm operates. Consider a deadline situation.
    Situation 1: You have 100 sheets. All as layouts on one masterfile with multiple layouts. You have 100 cad drafters/ designers. You have 1 minute. But the revisions needed are notes on paperspace/ layouts.
    What do you do? How will you coordinate the work flow?

    Now situation 2: You have 100 sheets. All as separate sheet files(100 total) with the relevant files x-reffed into them. You have 100 caddies and 1 minute. But the revisions needed are notes on paperspace/ layouts of the sheets.
    Again, what do you do and how will you coordinate the workflow.

    Depending on your firms organization, you will see which method will be more succesful.

    Another word on x-refs. If for instance your files are being updated on a regular basis, but you forget to reload your x-ref. When you start to plot, you open up a sheet file, the x-ref is updated automatically when it opens. Or if you use the publish function. You might want to consider using x-refs for your master file.

    Something else to consider. If you work with other design disciplines and as part of a collaborative work effort, you upload your files for their reference on a regular basis. Do they want a file with all your layouts in them? Or would they prefer just the baseplans.
    Obviously you are not going to create your cad standards around the other design disciplines. Well actually, while you may not want your cad standards built around your fellow desgin disciplines, you may want to consider being more cad friendly to them. That's part of what having good cad standards is about. All the members of an AEC design team working together effectively.
    I'm glad your firm uses layouts. There are still some firms that draw their sheets in model space right over the topo info.

    Oh, to answer your question. I'm no fan of multiple layouts when it comes to sheets. While it reduces the number of files, I prefer to be able to track the number of sheets I have (it goes back to the old days of cartooning a set). But then different design disciplines have different number of sheets. Plus you have sheets for plans, elevations, sections, details, schedules, title sheet, wall sections, etc etc etc.
    For me it's a matter of being able to throw bodies on a project when it's crunch time. We can't afford to have three people sitting around waitting for somebody to exit a sheet with multiple layouts. But it's because of our organization structure. If most of your drawings are plan views, you may have a different approach.
    In your case, merging two different firms with different cad standards is a matter of which firm has a culture of being flexible and has the ability to adapt.

    Going one way or the other may alienate one group. You do not have an easy tasks.
    It maybe a combination of taking the best of both worlds with a twist. Seriously, is there really only one file with everything in it with mutiple layouts? So plans, sections, details are all in one file?
    Or are these already as separate files? If so, then getting the users to a mindset that they can have separate files with layouts is not a stretch.
    Anyway, just my two cents.

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    Member rowland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiple layouts vs Multiple drawing files

    Having multiple layouts in a single drawing containing many drawings is an easy trap to fall into, but a very hard one to escape from ( if you can ).

    There are many reasons as said in other posts to keep your drawings as single files.

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    Default Re: Multiple layouts vs Multiple drawing files

    We've leaned toward the single sheet model for compliance reasons at our site. Our reviewers and approvers are wary of placing their e-signature onto a file with multiple sheets, which might contain different content types.

    We do, however, keep files which contain an overall view, at a smaller scale, and additional views of specific areas in our facilities at a larger scale. Each of these drawings only contain one content type. (ie - first floor plan, first floor reflected ceiling plan, second floor clean steam piping plan, third floor water for injection piping plan, etc)

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    All AUGI, all the time bbapties's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiple layouts vs Multiple drawing files

    my two cents....individual dwg files for each sheet

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    I could stop if I wanted to LanceMcHatton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiple layouts vs Multiple drawing files

    We used to split our files based on the various categories: Cover, grading, plans/profiles, utility, and details. That gave us 5 drawings, each using multiple layouts.

    Having ALL of your sheets in one file is a huge red flag to me. Splitting them up per category was fantastic for us. One issue, however, was that sometimes we had 40 sheets in one category. At those times we limited the number of layouts to 10 per file. That worked very well.

    There are many ways that multiple layouts will save you time versus single layouts but some people either take it too far (all sheets in one file) or are afraid of crunch time (but that's why you limit the number of layouts per file).

    I would advise not going in either extreme direction but setting a limit. Both sides should be willing to compromise and then both sides will appreciate the benefits.
    Lance McHatton

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    Default Re: Multiple layouts vs Multiple drawing files

    Actually this is interesting to see/ read/ follow.
    I believe many of the supporters of individual sheet files are architecture based? Maybe a few structural & MEPs?
    So the issue of multiple layouts per single file per this thread is a civil issue and how the civil industry has standardized handling their files and layouts.
    Again, I have learned something from this forum.

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    Default Re: Multiple layouts vs Multiple drawing files

    Gerald, I am in civil and dorecommend using single file sheets with various basemaps. It allows for the use of additional drafters on the project without creating a bottleneck waiting on that one drafter to finish one drawing.
    If you have a technical question, please find the appropriate forum and ask it there.
    You will get a quicker response from your fellow AUGI members than if you sent it to me via a PM or email.
    jUSt

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    Default Re: Multiple layouts vs Multiple drawing files

    Aaaah,
    We're back where we started. So it's not a civil industry issue but a cad one.
    One drawing per sheet file. Multiple layouts a no no.
    As my post above.

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