Our office has begun the painful process of upgrading to AutoCAD 2005. An upgrade alone wouldn’t be so bad, if not for the fact that Corporate has insisted that we now use the ADT portion of the program for construction drawings- meaning everything is drawn in 3-D, using so-called “smart walls.”
I consider myself the last of a dying breed- those who once did actual hand drafting. Until graduation, I drafted everything by hand. Therefore, I have a tendency to use AutoCAD as a glorified electronic pencil. Because of Project B’s lingering for so long, I haven’t yet been able to attend the training for this software upgrade; this is causing much frustration on my part. I don’t know how to get the “smart walls” to behave themselves. If I try to move a door, sometimes it jumps into an entirely different wall. If I trim a wall, it moves a door that’s in the wall. Weird-angled walls (which the damn designers absolutely love to use) don’t fillet properly, causing gaps at the corners, and the appearance of an annoying “you’ve fucked up” red circle with crosshairs in it.
"Smart walls," my ass. Nobody has yet been able to show me what’s so friggin’ smart about them.
This whole concept was sold on the premise that it would give us the ability to draw all the walls, using wall styles, and then be able to simply “slice through the plan, creating an instant building section.”
In a meeting discussing wall sections for a project using The All-Powerful ADT, I asked a coworker, “are you using the ADT, or just regular lines to create these sections?”
“We’re creating them with regular lines.”
Nope, not seeing any “smart” yet.
I can see the relevance of drawing all the exterior walls in 3D, because those could be used to easily create exterior renderings and elevations. However, none of the project’s elevations have been created this way. We do have the ability to create a 3D rendering of the Housekeeping closets, though!
Whooo, “smart walls!”
In order to give me a task that I could do until I can attend training, I was charged with changing the wall styles in floor plan files from “standard style” to “Humongo approved style.”
Yesterday, the CAD Coordinator asked me, “How’s ADT treatin’ ya?”
“I hate it.”
CAD Coordinator assures me that, once I’ve had the training, I will learn to love ADT.
I said, “What I would love is if people would draw the damn walls as the correct style the first time.”
He said, “they couldn’t, because they didn’t know what wall types they were supposed to be yet.”
Let me translate: This means that, on every job, the walls will first be drawn as “standard,” then have to be changed to the correct wall styles later, next updated with the correct fire tape, and still have to be labeled with partition types.
Where’s the “smart,” again??
I hope whoever sold Corporate on the whole “smart wall” concept is enjoying his Hawaiian vacation. Or the absence of his soul. Whatever.