Is his Blog article, Workflow - Modelling, Beau Turner commented on how ADT had changed his workflow in architectural projects. In reply to a comment I made he asked how it had changed ours. Coincidentally, a request at work for a drawing change was a perfect example of how ADT makes simple what could be a problem in a "non-object" CAD program. Seemed like a good idea for an article...
Before ADT our layout plans were drawn in 2d AutoCAD LT. They looked basically identical to the “medium ADT plan” view today but we used AutoCAD blocks for fittings and polylines with hatch fills to indicate department areas. This is a small section of a store & shows what we created in AutoCAD days (it's actually the ADT plan used throughout this article).
The request today was for a denser hatch shading to use on small sub-department plans. The normal merchandise plan hatch was too light at the larger scale. Had we still been on AutoCAD there would have been a few options but it would require either compromising between the scales or duplication of the hatch for each view with all the work that would require.
ADT’s display system made this simple as we can use mulitple display configurations in the space styles for different views of the same plan:
Low: Store view where no hatch is prefered to reduce clutter.
Medium: Merchandise View, normal hatch for 1:200 scale
High: Sub-department view, dense hatch for 1:20 to 1:100.
While making this change we also decided to alter the colour of a department. The power of styled objects meant that existing plans could be updated to these new settings simply by importing and overwriting the space styles. This takes seconds per plan compared to the minutes or hours that we would have spent reworking line and hatching, toggling layers on/off in conventional CAD.
Another advantage is that all Store Designers can apply the styles to a consistent standard from the nework based master style drawing. There is no need to remember and apply the different hatch/colour/pattern/line settings for each department and view scale or manage utilities & "configuration lists" as we used to have prior to ADT.
That is a huge time saver when you have many departments in a lot of store plans. With 2004/5 palette tools you can import/re-import or apply a style to existing spaces or line work from the palette tool with a click or two, no programming or 3rd party software required.
While those of us that deal with the plans often are comfortable reading them, converting 2d to 3d in ours minds, many people who don’t often see a store plan have little real idea what it translates into when the real thing is built. Compare the plan at the start of this article with the image below. I know exactly what style of fitting each plan block represents but which makes more sense to you?
So how has ADT changed our workflow?
We haven’t drawn a plan for years. We deal with objects; we style them and add data that describes their real world characteristics. These few simple examples alone show substantial benefits that ADT brings to our daily work.