This is a question that comes up frequently. I'm sure that you all have your own opinion - based on your industry and your companies needs.
I'm interested in hearing your views. Is accuracy important? Or is it a given that all drawings should be correct? Should drawings be done to a standard? Is it more important that your drawing are done on time, or within the budgeted hours? Does the CAD part of the job matter? If the information you need to communicate is on the page - that's good enough right?
I'm interested to hear what you have to say.
E- all the above.
No set is perfect and a professional office providing the service should help manage a client's expectactions of this item.
A client deadline should never be missed: do what it takes to meet it and ensure it's a complete and accurate set (within the guidelines I noted above).
My 2cents worth.
Time is definitely a factor. We have one client that feeds us lots of little jobs, where there is literally just a handful of hours for the CAD work. There's a *lot* of handwaving stuff through those projects on the standards like text and dimensions styles (doesn't help that its almost all juniors working on drawings that have gone piecemeal through several EPCMs) but the technical information is accurate and correct. QA/QC on the technical items is a big part of our process and what our clients like. Accuracy is *always* important when you are dealing with things like sour gas, H2S, and things that can (and will) go BOOM, as well as working with large quantities of exotic materials like heavy wall stainless steel pipe.
Lately as we do more and more work in 3D we do fewer and fewer drawings with full sets of dimensions. A lot more is being done with the clients fabricators extracting information directly from the models, as well as Navisworks Freedom files to clarify what the finished product should look like.
I was part of a converstaion recently that the comment was made that if you want it built a certain way then draw it.
I thought that pretty much summed up that it needed to be correct, accurate, and informative.
Time (at least for me) is somewhat secondary.
Is it not all part of the triangle?: Good, Fast, Cheap - Choose two of the three.
@dgorsman - Good point about 3D models. We are moving toward Inventor, which gives us a chance to create a cutting ticket based on the same data as the drawing.
This can serously cut down on the amount of details that we need to produce, in order to provide all the dimensions that we previously needd to show in order to create a cutting ticket.
The fact that we can send some parts straight to CNC without needing a drawing at all is also an area we wish to exploit.
'if you want it built a certain way then draw it'
'Good, Fast, Cheap - Choose two of the three'
Excellent points - well made :)
From Inventor, you would typically use it to automatically generate dimensioned drawings, BOM, etc.; in piping, we are used to using ISOGEN to create isometrics in the same fashion. Now as you go straight from the model to CNC (or through an intermediary file) we are doing similar things with PCF files, which is a virtual industry standard (albeit one that isn't well documented outside of those purchasing a license) for creating spool construction drawings. The general trend I see is towards more automated drawings with fewer annotations, and more automated data extraction. Fewer chances for error but more requirements at the front end/designer to get it right and understand the nuances of the software - no more "well, that looks good enough, they'll make it work in the field".
As others have said, everything is important.
Our clients know we will give them a technically correct drawing.
They also know if they don't want to budget for making the drawings pretty, it will cost them during construction.
If we do not meet the deadline, approvals and construction will be delayed.
In the end, if the client does not get the product they want in the time they want it in they will find someone else to do their future work.
Most clients (not all) are happy if you stay within the budget. (happier if under budget)
Its up to the project managers to set the budget according to the job.
The client pays the bills and they are all impresed with fantastic rendered images, so long as they don't cost a fortune. And I suppose it differs depending on what branch you are in. But in my area shopfitting / furniture (joinery), you can send everything to the CNC. automate cutting tickets and have whole packs of plywood ripped down on the panel saw that has been optimised down to the last matchstick. But what makes a drawing great is presenting enough detail and at a scale that the guy on the shop floor can build it, without having to ask which bit goes where, which way up and which way round. I have worked on that end too and try figuring out a drawing of a reception desk which curves and sweeps all over, and looks great in 1 million colours. and is full of plans and sections and all printed on A3. Some of the greatest technical drawings I have had to work from where on the back of a beer mat with just a couple of sizes. They got the job done, everyone understood what was expected, and it probably cost less than the pint that had stood on it moments before.
Thanks very much to all of you for all your help. I really appreciate it.
I've learned a few new things and you've really helped me to clarify my thoughts.
I have attempted to summarize everyone's contributions here:
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