PivoArch wrote:In setting up K&A's 30 users, a couple things became evident over time:
So, one of the first challenges that we are encountering in dealing with the number of users we have here is to get everyone up to the same level without hampering power users by restricting their efforts. ...Our goal is to move everyone into ArchiCAD, get them modeling and drafting and just using the software in an efficient manner. ... How can we allow them to move at a pace to the point that we don’t lose the standardization of the process and create a large gap in our user base? .
Who are the Right People?I disagree everyone can be trained. Some are simply unwilling. Others truly lack the foundation skillset (basic mousing and computer skills to click icons and type commands). Others lack the architectural/construction knowledge. Some are complacent with their current skills.
The goal of our use of ArchiCAD and BIM is not to work faster but to work more efficiently. ... In order to do this however you need “the right people.” Who are the right people and what makes them the right people? Now by right people we could care less about the skills on the computer, it is certainly a factor but now the deciding one. Everyone can be trained. We have found that there are people who are just more naturally adept at the BIM process. We have our theories on why, what would you guys say makes one person ready for this transition than the other?
The Future and the Next Step:Answer me this: how does a carpenter use a paperless drawing? Does he carry a laptop with him? A PDA? A plasma TV? At the end of the day, paper remains the easiest and (by far) cheapest way for the guy in the field swinging the hammer. Sure, you can deliver electronic drawings, but someone somewhere will probably be printing them.... assuming that there is still someone in the field swinging a hammer. If it's all pre-fab and assembled onsite, then it's another story. Then CAD/CAM becomes a little more applicable.
what is the next step? Paperless job sites? Estimation of materials for recycling? Or perhaps we will begin to close the gap on our closely related cousins in the aeronautic and nautical design and manufacturing world and immerse ourselves in CAD/CAM manufacturing. Now, I am well aware that there are a few firms in the world who already make use of this type of technology, what I mean is that it becomes an industry standard practice. Where does everyone see the technology taking us in the next 3 years? 5 years? 10 years? I will not bore you all with elaboration on my interest in the CAD/CAM world, if you would like to discuss it with me please feel free to get in touch. However, I will ask does anyone else think that the design/build firms of the world will be on the forefront of the 4D revolution or will BIM possibly allow architects and engineers to take back some of the responsibilities we used to have as master builders? .
PivoArch wrote:I convinced K&A's management a long time ago it was worth the money to buy lunch for the training seminars. It's usually just pizza & soda, but it draws people in.
It is also hard because I run my meetings as a bring your own lunch and I have to compete with the other free lunch meetings.
I am of the theory that all elevations and building sections should be live and generated form the model. However, I do feel that things like wall sections, details, and the such should be set to DRAWING and then copied to the side (for now), this maintains the link fo rhte tag and allows you a comparison to the information coming form the model. I think this also fits in well with the way our firm works in throwing bodies at a project when a deadline nears. The none live detail means that anyone can be brought in to work on that detail without an intimate knowledge of the model and without accidentally messing the model itself up. Our power users however, wanting to keep to the true BIMness of the program want everything to be live.The guideline I give is 1/4" = 1'-0" scale. Anything 1/4" scale or smaller (1/8", 1/16") AND visible in more than one drawing (plan, section, schedule, etc) must be modeled. Anything larger scale (3/4", 1 1/2", etc) should be based on the model, but is expected to be a hybrid of drawn 2D and 2D based on the model.
We have not come up witha good way to make everyone happy on this issue other than to have to ways to do the same task, now i'm not saying that we will never do live details but I think for the start up effort the none live details are the way to go.Honestly, I've seen a lot of projects where the details are completely 2D because they are copied from other jobs or from a standardized detail kit (like door and threshold details, window headers, etc). At that point, you kind of know there is no modeled content in them.
PivoArch wrote:WOW. I'll bet that was fun....As much as I hate to say it, almost any larger company is probably going to need its own custom object library too.Well I can say we do have that. We have built our own library and we don't even need to load the ArchiCAD Library anymore.
TomWaltz wrote:Great work Tom. It looks like you've taken my recommendations farther than anyone else I've worked with. Of course I haven't seen James Murray's docs lately and Aaron Jobson is hot on your heals out here.
I took an approach of:
1) Graphic Standard Manual. "Drawings shall look like this." No questions, no deviation, it must look like this when printed. Rarely updated.
2) Production Standard manual: Archicad project structure which defined pen and layer usage, project structure (file content, what is modeled and what is drawn, module organization, project folder structure etc). All tied back to the graphic standard. Updated with each release of Archicad to accomodate new functions like Plotmaker/Archicad integration.
3) A "Best Practices" manual. Every task (like making a DWG or creating a new project file) is broken down into a single-page tip sheet. If someone cannot perform a task, they can look it up. I always maintained ONE page. If something spanned longer, I broke it into smaller tasks. It grew over the years until it really became the office knowledge base. Once in a while a better method comes along and it gets updated. Everything in it tied back to the Graphics manual and the Production Standard. Updated as needed.
The attached screenshot is a page from the Production Standards manual describing the layer standard. Wherever possible, I tried to make recipes for creating things of their own, not make lists.
K&A has weekly CAD training (lunch & learn) seminars. The majority of the CAD team is always there and I've always pushed them for ideas and suggestions. I imagine that's easier with 20 people than with 200 though.
I've rather successfully impressed upon them that the standards are open to change if someone has a good idea, but they are law until that idea is approved as a different way to do something. I'm sure we've all seen someone go off on their own with some great idea that blew up in their face.
Matthew wrote:May I ask what these guys are doing? Will there be some extra resource material to help train new staff?
Great work Tom. It looks like you've taken my recommendations farther than anyone else I've worked with. Of course I haven't seen James Murray's docs lately and Aaron Jobson is hot on your heals out here.