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Provide For a Learning Curve When You Outsource CAD Drafting

his article is intended for engineering or architectural companies that are planning to find a vendor to whom they can outsource their CAD drafting requirements.

No matter how experienced the vendor may be, they will have to take time ascending a learning curve. This can take up to 100 hours of drafting if there are many unique style criteria.

Some of the style criteria are automatically absorbed if the vendor is given a drawing template, which is basically an existing drawing of the outsourcer with the image erased. What remains in the drawing will be the layer list, the dimension styles and the sheet template.
Style criteria that cannot usually be automated are:

The points in drawings where these should be placed:
Dimensions (e.g., inner dimensions or outer?)
Leaders (e.g., at boundaries of areas or within them?)
Leader text (e.g., at the edges of the viewport, near the image drafting services or either?)

Layer assignment for the various elements of the drawing (unless the elements and their layers are preprogrammed into the drawing platform, as in Architectural Desktop ®)

Positioning criteria such as:
The vertical distance from image to title and from title to subtitle
The vertical distance between stacked images in the same drawing

The assignment of elements in the drawing to appropriate layers usually involves the most learning on the part of draftsmen. This is because frequently this assignment requires specific domain knowledge.

By way of explanation, if the drawing were an HVAC layout with separate layers for fresh water pipes, hot water pipes and cold water pipes, the draftsman would have to understand the overall working of the particular system to know the layer associated with each section of pipe.

This is alright if the draftsman has hundreds of hours of exposure to HVAC, but such individuals are rare in the CAD drafting services landscape. The outsourcer would have to contract with a more expensive, specialized CAD drafting service.

In effect, the outsourcer must pay for the learning curve either with time or with mo


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