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Implementing Change With Turn-key AutoCAD Management

Barrie Mathews, Softco Engineering Systems April 2, 2004

With such wide variations of application, fixing suitable AutoCAD standards for your particular operation can be a daunting task that can take many years. The amount of work involved to develop a high level system from the beginning is immense. Because of new technology, standards must be dynamic and that requires re-assessments and upgrading at one year intervals.


The common tendency in a large number of firms is to postpone getting started because of constant change. Your systems development becomes predicated on piecemeal solutions that are determining the direction for further development. This happens with nothing at the helm to ensure that the potential for future benefit does not become gridlocked and you are forced to start over.

To overcome the tendency to postpone, S-Man AutoCAD management systems have been developed for consultants and CAD managers to help design firms get a leg over that starting phase. By focusing on objects, S-Man sets you on a course of development that will not be affected by changes in technology. The work will be scalable, not lost, and it does not have to be done all at once.

Getting from A to B

There are many choices, but the most important thing is to have a standard, any standard. Because when you have standards, those standards can be transformed over time. You will have the ability to use conversion programs to update drawings as newer standards evolve, a kind of metamorphosis that gets you to the leading edge of technology without constant re-learning.

If you are unable to decide which CAD standards data to use, you can use the default S-MAN standards as a turn-key system out of the box. The following is a list of the fully operational S-Man CAD standards data provided in the software package for each industry version:

  • Standard object coding systems that can co-exist and be used for overlapping work in Architecture, Structural Engineering, AEC Mechanical Engineering, and Civil Engineering, including: Plotstyles, Layering Systems, Color codes, Linetypes, Lineweights, Textstyles, and Dimstyles
  • Plotstyle Tables containing the S-MAN Plotstyle standard for AEC and naming for alternate presentations
  • Page Setups and naming (more than 60 to choose from)
  • Example Symbol Library and naming
  • Example Detail Library and naming
  • Generic Border Library and naming
  • Template Drawings containing S-Man standards
  • Standard AutoCAD system variable settings

All of these systems can be integrated and used in conjunction with overlapping work for another discipline. This is because object codes have been developed extensively for common classes of work and the codes are all unique. Colors, Linetypes, and Plotstyles aren't re-used for other objects by the other disciplines. System resets allow you to work in metres, feet, inches, or millimeters as required. S-Man systems are the only published object coding standards available for color, Linetype, and Named Plotstyles for AEC work. All systems are compatible with AutoCAD 2005 platforms.


If you want to avoid the pressures of having to undertake your CAD standards upgrade all at once and without re-inventing the wheel, you have the opportunity to use the S-Man AutoCAD standards as a turn-key system to help you get started. This makes it especially easy for new employees and any other CAD techs who are willing make the change. You can also upgrade and merge parts of your existing system to operate under the S-Man umbrella as you go. Over time you will be able to crystallize your standard, adjust to other industry standards, and upgrade your older drawings with automated conversion.

For further information on S-Man CAD standards development systems for CAD managers, Click Here.

Barrie Mathews is president of Softco Engineering Systems Inc., developers of the S-MAN AutoCAD standards management systems and may be contacted by email at barrie.mathews@softcosys.com.

About the Author

Barrie Mathews is president of Softco Engineering Systems Inc., developers of the S-MAN AutoCAD standards management systems, and may be contacted by email at barrie.mathews@softcosys.com.

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