Saturday, October 18, 2008

Standards - Everybody's Got Standards, their own!

Wherever I go I get the same story, we use the "standard". Yep, "you" and everyone else. Only trouble is the "standard" the last place is using doesn't look like the standard "you" say is the standard... No I'm not really going down this rabbit hole, as much fun as it might be.

I am however going to point out an issue that users have with content that comes from Autodesk, out of the box (OOTB), consistency or rather the lack of it. We'll look at two examples; the (RAC) stock door family template and the (RME) stock Automatic Transfer Switch family.

The door template looks like this in plan.
When you first start to use it you notice that there is no Width parameter in the view. You think, reasonably so..."I need a Width Parameter!". You add a dimension. Then you start to add a Width parameter but find one is already there!

Naturally you think, "I'll just use this one!". Now Revit yells at you!

Hmmm...if it is overconstrained by adding this, how might that be?? Well this forces you to examine the rest of the views in the template. Taking a closer look at the Front Elevation view we find that the Width Dimension and parameter are lurking here. What? What "standard" does this follow?

Moving on...

The Automatic Transfer Switch family looks like this in plan view.

Maybe I'm just a bit of a crank but this is one messy view. Reference planes all over the place. Nothing confuses me quicker than a messy layout. Next, notice the orientation of the Switch Width and Width parameters? If the front of the panel is at the bottom of the view wouldn't this Width parameter really be the "depth" of the cabinet? Now notice the Switch Length parameter, wouldn't this be "width"? Naturally there is another "width" is in the elevation view.

At least these two are consistent in this way.

It is my opinion that dimensions/constraints should be added to views such that X and Y information is described plan views and Z information is displayed in elevations views, primarily the front view unless that is unsuitable for some reason. Dare I say...consistent with drafting "standards" 8-). Further families that represent real equipment should be organized in the same way as their catalog "cuts" or data sheets indicate. Width should be width and depth should be depth, not length = width etc.

"Soapbox" explodes...and I'm done!

1 comment:

Erik said...

""Soapbox" explodes..." NEVER explode the soapbox, its far worse than exploded text OR dimensions. I always ask that we treat the soapbox with utmost respect...