Wednesday, August 16, 2006

2D or not 2D?

Funny how just after I started this blog, I was asked a question that leads right into the tile of my blog! A recent question I was asked was someone looking for a way to phase ADT into their drawing process. They wanted to know how to go from 2D to full 3D and if you could use ADT to be a halfway point between 2D and 3D. Full 3D is probably one of the biggest misconceptions about ADT. ADT is not for creating super detailed 3D modelsof your project. You will eat up all your time budgeted for the project very quickly trying to model every single detail. The other part of the question was how to implement ADT in an office with huge resistance to using a 3D application to do their construction drawings.

To give the short answer, yes you can use ADT to make a half way point between 2D and 3D.

The long answer: What was proposed is totally feasible! The cool thing is that they don't have to know they are working in 3D. Just tell them that these are the new tools to help you draw faster in 2D. Use the basic walls, doors and windows to get your floor plans drawn faster. Use the basic door, window and room tags to tag them. Use the basic schedule tables to schedule them. They should never really need to leave a top view in working on the files as all vertical adjustments can be made on the Properties Palette. If you don't want to use walls (I haven't a clue why you wouldn't) you can still insert ADT doors and windows and tag and schedule them anyways. They just won't cut holes in your walls.

Some basic steps:
Implement basic walls, doors and windows and show the users how to draw with these new faster tools. Don't go crazy with multiple component walls, just stick with a single line for each side of the wall and maybe add a hatch to represent the type of wall it is (of course that's provided your firm can deal with that approach - some insist on seeing the gyp, stud, insulation, airgap and brick). Then implement some basic documentation tools such as door, window, room tags and schedule tables to go with them.

Once they've gotten used to those tools show them some more. Hopefully by that time they will have begun to see the light. Slowly implement tools that will continue to bring in gains in productivity and overtime others will begin to use the more complex tools. Use the K.I.S.S. methedology and it will go smoothly. Get super complex with what you're trying to do in ADT right a way and you'll hit a wall with the users. DO NOT switch to full 3D right away as that is not really ADT's strong point. It's there to help you move your users to think more about the design of the building and help them feel more comfortable about 3D. They've been designing 3D structures all their life in a 2D method of conveying the information. Taking it slowly like I've outlined above will help them realize working in 3D for designing 3D buildings is more natural - just don't tell them all that right away! Maybe after a project is completed go back and show them in 3D what they did in 2D.

Hope this helps and didn't bore you too much!

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