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Best procedure for revisions?

Anonymous
Not applicable
I am in the process of updating our drawing procedures. Currently its a free for all when it comes to revisions. Some people in our office save mulitle copies of the pln for each revision. Some overwrite the file without saving the previous drawing.

The way I see it, you have one drawing file (.pln), but before making any changes to the drawing, save the layout as a PDF in the project folder. Then make changes and overwrite the (.pln) file with a save. Obviously making your revisions clear on your layout notes!

This way you have a record of previous revisions without lots of large files floating around the server.

Am I right or am I way off? Your thoughts please before I get things set in stone! Lol
12 REPLIES 12

TomWaltz
Newcomer
r wrote:
I am in the process of updating our drawing procedures. Currently its a free for all when it comes to revisions. Some people in our office save mulitle copies of the pln for each revision. Some overwrite the file without saving the previous drawing.

The way I see it, you have one drawing file (.pln), but before making any changes to the drawing, save the layout as a PDF in the project folder. Then make changes and overwrite the (.pln) file with a save. Obviously making your revisions clear on your layout notes!

This way you have a record of previous revisions without lots of large files floating around the server.

Am I right or am I way off? Your thoughts please before I get things set in stone! Lol
The approach I like best is
1) before revisions, make a PLA of your project as it is
2) Make the revisions to the original PLN as revisions occur
3) Make PDFs of each sheet that is revised with an identifiying suffix, like A201-R2.pdf
Tom Waltz

Anonymous
Not applicable
Cheers Tom

Haneef Tayob
Newcomer
I have a revisions subfolder to which I make a copy of the plan file with a date suffix added.
eg. Cottage.pln is the current file. Cottage 28Jun06.pln, Cottage 15Jul06 are the old files.

I make sure the old files are kept in a separate folder to prevent them being opened up and worked on by mistake.
Haneef Tayob
Aziz Tayob Architects
AC23 INT rel 3003, OS X 10.14.6 iMac 3.3ghz i5 dual monitor, 24GB RAM

Anonymous
Not applicable
In my opinion you're right on, Richard. The issued drawing is usually what's important. Therefore the pdf retains the "issue". The model can evolve as needed. Of course if you anticipate the need for the earlier iterations you can obviously save them as AC files.

Anonymous
Not applicable
I've also been trying to sort out our office revisions, and have made a system that kind of mirrors our paper one. It's still a work in progress though.

In our job folders, we have a sub folder called PDF (this folder will probably change in name to something like Revisions).

Within that are folders called 'Issued' and 'Received'. Inside 'Issued' there are folders for 'Full Set', 'Planning', and 'Tender'.

When a new revision is issued, it is sent to the 'Full Set' folder (again, maybe not the best folder name, still working on it), and I've set publisher up so that it creates the appropriate folder and puts the drawing in it.

E.g - If drawing V1/100 from the 'As Proposed' folder is issued, publisher puts V1-100.pdf into PDF/Full Set/As Proposed (if the 'As Proposed' folder is already there, a new folder isn't created).

The issuer then has to go into the PDF folder, find the appropriate file and add the revision letter to the end of it. (V1-100.pdf becomes V1-100 A.pdf) This way when ever publisher creates a new file, it shouldn't overwrite an older revision. Unless the issuer forgets to up date the revision number, in which case they get hit with a large stick.

When ever we get to a key stage, planning, tender etc... the appropriate drawings are copied from the Full Set folder, and put into the Planning or Tender folders.

Usually there is just one .pln for the job, but if there are major changes, then we archive before doing these changes.

But as I said, still in progress, and keen to see what other people do.

Anonymous
Not applicable
We're doing something similar except we publish to a folder called [project#]\Issued Drawings\Current Set

Publisher is setup to publish PDFs into the "Current Set" folder always. When something is issued (distributed to someone else for a specific purpose) the contents of the issue are copied into a subfolder named after the issue, as in: [project#]\Issued Drawings\Bid & Permit

This keeps the Current Set folder always updated and anyone can know that this is, in fact the current set. Subsequent publishing always goes there, usually on a daily basis for check sets, etc.

Haneef Tayob
Newcomer
Haneef wrote:
I have a revisions subfolder to which I make a copy of the plan file with a date suffix added.
eg. Cottage.pln is the current file. Cottage 28Jun06.pln, Cottage 15Jul06 are the old files.
I note that many prefer to keep revisions as pdf files. This is probably best, especially for critical changes and stages of the development.

I however think that with AC10 and its integrated layouts, pdf's records are no longer the easiest way of keeping revisons. Keeping a backup of the PLN or PLA files will suffice should you have to call up an old drawing. This is possibly more convenient as you're only dealing with 1 file rather than a whole lot of pdf's.
Haneef Tayob
Aziz Tayob Architects
AC23 INT rel 3003, OS X 10.14.6 iMac 3.3ghz i5 dual monitor, 24GB RAM

Anonymous
Not applicable
Haneef wrote:
possibly more convenient as you're only dealing with 1 file rather than a whole lot of pdf's.


One must first decide what is needed to keep and why. In our case, we treat PDF as equal to paper. All of our documents are published to PDF prior to printing or otherwise distributing. The PDF file format is smaller, more flexible, and more understood by the masses. I would guess that the PDF file format would be around for many years to come and not be superseded by advances in CAD file formats - as in things not being forward compatible in their entirety.

When it is useful to keep the model, then so be it, but I would not necessarily recommend using ArchiCAD as a means of retaining records of "real" documents, only as a means of keeping the previous iteration of the building model itself.

Chris Phillips
Participant
Revision control is a nightmare for any system and the workrounds generally described really reflect the lack of a system at the application level. In the dim and distant past, working on C coding I seem to remember automated version control, much more advanced in concept than a simple undo list. The problem with linkages in to layout books, the horrible occasional needing to rebuild drawings within layouts and related bugs and undocumented software features makes such an undertaking a priority for a practice over the size of one man and a dog.

Anonymous
Not applicable
I agree, except that revision control with text documents is infinitely less complicated than with BIM. It is something that is sorely needed in BIM, but it should be something that is so easy and intuitive to control that it makes you laugh. It should be as easy as it is with paper documents or even more so. I honestly don't believe that software this complicated will create a solution that is as simple and elegant as it needs to be. Maybe we should keep discussing it for another year to iron the kinks out and decide on how it really shoul work for architects. 😉

Geoff Briggs
Booster
Any new revision control system needs to be forward thinking as well. So far the discussion has centered almost exclusively around changes to printed documents (or their PDF equivalents). But as we move toward more and more sharing of model data directly with other project team members an entirely new revisioning landscape opens up. This in turn needs to flow from the still nascent conversation the construction industry is having about how exactly to accommodate such sharing. I know this scares the bejeezes out of a lot of people, and rightly so, but this brave new world is now a fact of life for architects. Digital collaboration on high profile projects is earning a lot of headlines. Depending on how long you plan to continue practising this will trickle down to firms of all sizes, just as CAD and BIM have. Graphisoft can ill afford to ignore this as Microstation and Revit are garnering most of the attention. Check out these articles about this year's AIA BIM awards as an example, part 1 and part 2.
Regards,
Geoff Briggs
DeForest Architects
Seattle, USA

AC24 INT, Mac (home), Win10 (work)
Yes, you read that correctly, we are in the US but use the INT version.

Anonymous
Not applicable
We have some office management software called , which we use to do a lot of our archiving/revision/drawing issue stuff, and its a good solution IMHO, although I'm still quite new to it so we'll see how it goes, and we have one big glitch operating it with ArchiCAD/Plotmaker, which is where i'm looking for some help.

How it works is that within the software is an automated drawing issue system, which links to the actual drawings themselves, so that every time you update drawings it automatically updates the revision letter that will appear on the issue sheet and every time you issue new or revised drawings it automatically saves a zipped copy of the drawing to an archive folder. This avoids the need for big sticks when dealing with forgetful technicians like me, which i'm obviously very happy about.

The problem is that it's set up to work with individual drawing files rather than layout books and building models and things, so we have a dilemma similar to the one discussed above - do we link our automated drawing issue system to the model, and therefore archive lots of big model files which when opened don't look anything like the individual 'paper' drawings we are issuing, or do we link to pdf/dxf/whatever files which we have to remember to manually update every time we update an individual sheet in plotmaker, thus losing the automated-ness and reintroducing the spectre of the big stick when someone (probably me) forgets to update the pdf and it all goes horribly wrong... what we'd really like is either a) a way that we can link to individual sheets in plotmaker, rather than the whole file or b) a way (some sort of macro? way over my head) to get plotmaker to automatically set up a pdf file for every sheet in a layout book and then automatically update (overwrite) it every time we update the sheet in plotmaker.... help!

Any suggestions greatly appreciated. We are currently using AC8.1 and plotmaker 3(!) but are upgrading to AC10 (yippee!) in the near future.

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