CADnoob digital pollution

Ok so if you follow my writing you know I put a lot of thought and work into these articles... ok well maybe... ok, ok... its more like I spilled the scrabble tiles on the floor and posted it to the internet, but hear me out. I'm writing this article because I'm in the heat of a passionate rant!

WTF are you engineering firms doing for quality control as you push out your files!!!

Recently it seems like every turnover package I get my hands on has some gross negligence in regards to quality of their files as a product. Clean up your damn files!! I have seen unused Xrefs [think some company logo that was traced and deleted but never detached], Overlapping geometry, unused templates, unused blocks, unused tabs, OTHER COMPANIES DATA! etc etc etc. These are just a few of the things I've come across.

This garbage is nothing short of digital pollution or as the kids would say #digitalpollution fam. The actual data worth keeping in the files is around 500kb yet the file is 30,000kb equates to a whopping 98% WASTE in data storage. Fucking WASTE! Worse off the files get thrown into severs and often never get touched again so its not like this waste will ever be recovered. you start multiplying these file across serves and every iteration of the file version and this efficiency in data usage can only get worse.

So how do we stop this... unfortunately the first question is weather or not the contract asks you to use the bad data drawings. If you are doing brownfield work you might be stuck using your clients old drawings. In that case, you didn't start the fire so just do what you are contracted to do and let it be. (Though I might be inclined to inform the client of the waste and let them resolve it)

If its your drawing here are some things you should try:

  1. Templates - If you use them (which you should) clean out any and all unused data (e.g. unused layouts and title blocks)
  2. XREF - If they are not needed in the final drawing... remove them! This is probably the most frequent offender. Just take a second and look in EXTERNALREFRENCES
  3. OVERKILL - This one is so simple it could be part of you close drawing script. If you don't do that just hit Ctrl+A and run OVERKILL every now and then.
  4. PURGE - This should be a no brainer!! just do it. Purge the garbage
  5. -PURGE R - Purge regapps. If you use verticle and other such items you often litter drawing with garbage. clean it up please.
  6. -EXPORTTOAUTOCAD - If the drawing is complete and design work is done you can clean a lot of stuff using export to autocad.
  7. AUDIT - Use Audit to clean out problem junk in the drawing. If you use non Autodesk program you definitely want to give this a run.

OK... now that I've got some of that out I think I can get back to the work of fixing this BS that got turned over to me. So in closing this is how to clean your drawing. Optimize it for long term storage and save me the twitter bitch fest. Stop #digitalpollution!!

PS as an after thought it might be nice to know what causes this type of thing. R.K. McSwain of cadpanacea.com suggested on twitter that it was likely because of one or a couple things. Ill list below so if you are playing with these types of things in your work flow, look out for me on the back end.

  1. Regapps
  2. DGN line types
  3. Scale List Entries