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AutoCAD template.... Title block & layers


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#1 HP Junkie

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:19 PM

I've got a little renovation project to do and it looks like more will be coming on the way. I've worked on CAD for awhile, took classes in school but one thing I never had to do was setup was my own drawing from scratch. The firm I worked at did had everything setup so there was never a need. So I guess I need to setup my own template drawing with a title block, layers, etc.

Whats the best route for setting up my own sheets?

#2 blybrook PE

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:36 PM

What CAD product are you planning to utilize? They each have their own way of template setup. I will briefly highlight some options in AutoCAD (ACAD) as it is what my office utilizes on a daily basis and is the one I'm most familiar with (although I do play around in NX7, previously I-DEAS, from time to time).

If you are utilizing ACAD, there are several default templates out of the box that should be sufficient for typical drawings if you are not utilizing a company standard. If none of them are to your liking, you can open one of the default templates (choose a .dwt file under the open dialog); make the necessary changes (add layers, blocks, setup dimension style, text style, etc...), then save it as another name, or back to the template you originally opened. Blocks can be imported at any time, so they don't have to live in your template if you don't want them to. You can change the default template by typing "options", "Files Tab", "Template Settings", "Default Template File Name for QNEW". Under "Drawing Template File Location" is where the default templates are stored on your hard drive with the initial install. Also under the "options" dialog box, there are user preferences which will set the default insertion scale (best if this is unitless, but it defaults to inches).

I setup the initial layers I want for every drawing in the template, along with text style, dimension style and a few blocks for the mleaders arrowheads. It is just a matter of choice on how much you want in your template. Some people put in all of the plot style information as well, which is nice if you are sharing the drawing with others, but start to grow their size accordingly.

Hope this helps some. I would recommend you check out the AUGI Forums, they have some template files there are for free download if you want to see how others have created their personal templates. It may also be a good starting point if you see something you like there, you can customize it more to your liking without starting from scratch.

#3 HP Junkie

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:37 PM

What CAD product are you planning to utilize? They each have their own way of template setup. I will briefly highlight some options in AutoCAD (ACAD) as it is what my office utilizes on a daily basis and is the one I'm most familiar with (although I do play around in NX7, previously I-DEAS, from time to time).

If you are utilizing ACAD, there are several default templates out of the box that should be sufficient for typical drawings if you are not utilizing a company standard. If none of them are to your liking, you can open one of the default templates (choose a .dwt file under the open dialog); make the necessary changes (add layers, blocks, setup dimension style, text style, etc...), then save it as another name, or back to the template you originally opened. Blocks can be imported at any time, so they don't have to live in your template if you don't want them to. You can change the default template by typing "options", "Files Tab", "Template Settings", "Default Template File Name for QNEW". Under "Drawing Template File Location" is where the default templates are stored on your hard drive with the initial install. Also under the "options" dialog box, there are user preferences which will set the default insertion scale (best if this is unitless, but it defaults to inches).

I setup the initial layers I want for every drawing in the template, along with text style, dimension style and a few blocks for the mleaders arrowheads. It is just a matter of choice on how much you want in your template. Some people put in all of the plot style information as well, which is nice if you are sharing the drawing with others, but start to grow their size accordingly.

Hope this helps some. I would recommend you check out the AUGI Forums, they have some template files there are for free download if you want to see how others have created their personal templates. It may also be a good starting point if you see something you like there, you can customize it more to your liking without starting from scratch.


I have 2012 ACAD Architectural. Really good info, thank you for the tips and post. I bought a CAD book that has some templates on it and looked through some of the templates CAD has but haven't found anything I liked. The CAD template files are also lacking any layers, or at least the ones I came across..

#4 blybrook PE

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:55 PM

I have not utilized the Architectural version of ACAD; only plain "vanilla", but the templates should be compatible across the platforms.

As to the layers, I guess you will have to add your own so that they are to your liking (I thought they were in the default templates, but I just opened one up to check it out and found they were not there). Atleast Autodesk is giving the end user full control of their individual layers.

There are some lisp routines available on the web that follow the NCS (National CAD Standard) for typical layers that may help you get initial layers into your template. You can also use the "layer" command to create additional layers in hand once you have your drawing opened.

Here is one link to the AIA layers if that is of any assistance. I did a general search for "NCS Layer LISP" and had several thousand results.

#5 ptatohed

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 08:05 PM

HP, can't you just do a 'Save-As' from another drawing? That's what I do. I don't think I have ever created a 'from scratch' drawing.

#6 HP Junkie

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:58 PM

HP, can't you just do a 'Save-As' from another drawing? That's what I do. I don't think I have ever created a 'from scratch' drawing.


I could but since I'm on my own I need to create something that represents me, besides I think that would be questionably unethical or infringe on copyright laws.

#7 IlPadrino

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:15 PM

infringe on copyright laws.


I'd think you're infringing on copyright only when you take the entire drawing and pass along as your own. But using an electronic drawing as a template to start your own design should be just fine.
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#8 ptatohed

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 04:20 AM


HP, can't you just do a 'Save-As' from another drawing? That's what I do. I don't think I have ever created a 'from scratch' drawing.


I could but since I'm on my own I need to create something that represents me, besides I think that would be questionably unethical or infringe on copyright laws.


I'm not following you. Just open a drawing you've worked on before that's set up the way you like (units, dimension style, text styles, layer names etc.), save as, delete the stuff you don't need. You could even use the title block, just change the company and engineer. Right?

#9 HP Junkie

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 04:42 PM

I'm not following you. Just open a drawing you've worked on before that's set up the way you like (units, dimension style, text styles, layer names etc.), save as, delete the stuff you don't need. You could even use the title block, just change the company and engineer. Right?


I don't want someone looking at one of my drawings and say 'that looks familiar'.

Some are okay with that I'm not. Someone left my previous employer to start his own firm. I came across a set of plans he put together and when I saw his plans they looked just like the firms he left. Same line weights, details, title block style.. etc. I dunno, you want your own firm, don't you want to distinguish yourself from the last place? I know I made my life a little more difficult but it's worth being different.

#10 ptatohed

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:20 PM

OK, it's up to you. I learned how to draft in my previous company and had really good training. I learned a lot. I learned the pen table we used well, I liked the LISP routines, system variables, etc. Now all that is just part of me. So yeah, my drawings with my new organization have similar lineweights and arrow head sizes to those drawings I did with my last firm. But who cares? I think my drawings look good, that's all that matters to me.

#11 EnvEngineer

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:50 AM

I paid a guy to set mine up, for me it was well worth the money, most of the CADD guys are so quick they dont charge much. The big issue I always had was setting up the plotter, he set up for at 8 x 11 and 11 x 17 PDF which works great.

#12 cdcengineer

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:49 PM

I set mine up myself. I plot by line-weight, not pen color b/c that's the way my first job did it.

I used to have the number for a CAD guy, but he's since moved. He was cheap labor and fast. You could probably get the (3) main sizes (8.5x11, 11x17 & 24x36) set up for under $200.

If you get stuck, PM me and I might be able to pint you in the right direction.

#13 HP Junkie

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:04 PM

Thanks guys, I didn't think about hiring someone to set it up, that makes sense and is an option I'll look into if what I put together doesn't work out too well..

Thank you all for the feedback!

#14 ptatohed

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:56 PM

Guys, maybe I am not understanding the desired end result but, if all you want is a title sheet, there is no reason to pay anyone to set it up for you. Find a free one (they are available on many City's websites) and modify it to your needs, or just draw one from scratch.




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