Using the Best Practices in CAD Data Management
There are usually several ways to accomplish one task — different paths leading to a similar end. CAD data management is no different. While you can technically achieve your goals without adhering to best practices, you might not be giving your projects their best chance. Shoddy data management leads to an array of problems, including lost files, poor communication resulting in errors or lost time, and, ultimately, lost income.
A System of Organization
Management structure relies heavily on organization. For CAD data management, it’s essential to settle on a naming convention that the whole team can follow. Keeping track of your data by using version numbers and specific dates will help ensure everyone is viewing the most recent file.
When it comes to revisions, think about how the best way to save different versions of one document, while still keeping everyone on the same page. When you revise anything, save it in a way that accounts for revision number, date, and revisor. Save the most up-to-date version as a new file in case older versions need to be accessed, but utilize a structure that makes sense. For example, folders separated by a project with more specific subfolders that lay out the task and completion. Though this may seem like a pain, it’s necessary when it comes to staying organized and eliminating problems early on.
Ensuring files are moved around as necessary and renamed when needed will help prevent problems in the future. Keep old versions grouped together in an available but out of the way file, and make sure you have someone assigned to make frequent sweeps through your file system. Organization shouldn’t take long if it’s done little by little each day, and it will create a more efficient process overall.
Setting the Standard
Deciding what you’re committed to producing can help guide your data management practices. Determining recurring problems or issues within your current system will put into place more specialized methods that will help your process.
Outlining layering standards that provide details on nomenclature, visibility, color, and layer descriptions is another crucial data management practice. Thinking also about how your documentation will look stylistically — consistency across fonts, colors, etc. — will create a more organized look that results in more accessible and better documentation. Clarity of layering standards, external reference standards, and plot standards, among other things, is essential.
Fusion 360: Helping You Obtain the Right Tools
If you’re working with a large number of people, it may be necessary to use a cloud service. Even small teams can find benefits in storing data on the cloud. By utilizing the cloud, team members can make edits from virtually anywhere and communicate in real-time, resulting in less confusion and less wasted time.
Cloud-based programs like Fusion 360 can be a great addition to your suite of tools. From simultaneous editing to ensure there is only one version of a file to more convenient communication, Fusion 360 will streamline your data management process.
Not use Fusion 360 yet? Download Fusion 360 and begin instituting Data Management best practices today: