File names . Why do we denominate our files the way we do? What kind of Files we are dealing with? All here:

*.dwg File names in My World of CAD

2 AutoCAD Revolutions affected my World of CAD:

The 1st, at the early 90’s when AutoCAD Release 11 appeared with the Paper Space (there were no Layouts yet) and the 2nd, in Version 2004 or 2005 when the Sheet Sets made their premiere appearance This was the day, it became crystal clear to me that from now on there will be 2 kinds of dwg’s; The Sheet Files and the Reference Files.

*.dwg File Names & the Sheet Files

What are Sheet Files?

There are actually 2 types of Sheet Files: those that are created manually and those that are in the framework of a Sheet Set. In both cases, the Sheet File is a single layout dwg file that includes a Printable Page  Using a Page Setup, a Title Block, one or more Viewports showing the Geometry, the Annotations and More Design Data as referenced in the Model Space of the File [always attach your XREF(s) while in World Coordinate System]. Sheet Files are deliverable but  they should be transmitted with the Reference Files. The CAD Standard Compliant Naming Convention deals with the Sheet Files in a special way (according to specific CAD Standards- The Name should be as explicit as possible so before you open a file you already know what to expect for…

*.dwg File Names & the Reference Files

What are Reference Files?

Any dwg containing geometry, annotations and more can be a Reference File. We differ between 2 cases:

Reference Files & Sheet Set Management

In the case of a Drawing Sheet Set (Created and Edited Through the Sheet Set Manager Functionality) to turn any dwg into a reference file, a dwg must have at least one Named View Saved within the file. Then in the Sheet File, Using the Model Views AutoCAD will Attach the file’ create the viewport with the layers as You save at the event of the Named View creation. Select a Model View and “Place it on Sheet” -No Sweat

Manually Referenced Files

In the case of using no dst (Drawing Sheet Set Managed Project), a reference file is just a file that is going to be manually attached to the Sheet File as an XREF. In such a case, You have to manually create a viewport, Scale it and manage its layers – also manually. Many users neglect the Reference file naming convention using the save as option to create lots of versions and alternatives and creating a chaotic environment. If all the files are developing and still are using the same names, this might be a problem. If You play solo it is very different but in a design group framework, we can function properly unless the naming convention is kept “by the book” .

*.dwg File Names

*.dwg File Names & Naming Conventions

A special part of any CAD Standard is dedicated to Terminology.

Terminology deals with Naming Conventions TOP-DOWN: From the File Names, Through Layer & Block Names, Style Names etc.
Naming DWg’s has a gigantic possibilities Spectrum still the objective is always similar: Keep You Data well organized and accessible while You minimize the Human Error Feasibility.
There are cases, in which the file name is very explicit. It would include many fields that will make it easier to organize data, keep track of versions, revisions, Editions, etc.

If You avoid all that You’ll be definitely exposed to the dangers of:

***More Dangers in here

  1. Working a few hours before discovering the fact You’ve been working on the wrong file!!! So frustrating!!
  2. Using another designer’s file as a background for your design and then discover You’ve been using an incorrect file
  3. Wasting time trying to locate a file in a chaotic Folder Structure.
  4. Delivering the wrong Version/Revision of a dwg or a whole Set to the Field – Causing Damages to the Project and the Timetable.

What About You? How is your Work being Done?

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