Two Steps Back

So I was at work today, slowly but surely chugging through a set of construction documents. I’m not the fastest in our office by any means, but I like to think that I’m getting better. Even if I do have to occasionally stop from comparing myself to my friend who graduated about the same time I did (they’ve been working in the field about a year more than I have, so of course our skills will have diverged). But as I prepared to set up the next drawing, I noticed that dimensions weren’t adding up.

The base plan, on which everything else was built, was wrong.

Needless to say, I was thoroughly annoyed. I mean, I’m already a bit self-conscious about how much time it takes me to produce a drawing set. Throw on top of that needing to go back and fix everything you already “finished?” Yeah, I wasn’t a happy camper.

Now, I know that it’s a good thing I caught this error now, rather than later in the CD phase. After all, if you’re building in an existing structure, it kind of makes a big difference whether or not your dimensions are accurate. And the longer you wait, the more costly mistakes get to fix. But since we use AutoCAD, I have to do all the updates by hand. Other programs, like Revit, allow you to build a digital model of your project, which is then manipulated to get the views you need. One of the advantages of this method is that if you make a change in one view (say, move a door on a floor plan), it automatically updates your other views (say, elevations or sections). AutoCAD doesn’t work like that. AutoCAD uses dumb lines, which, while they may have color and thickness data, are really not that far removed from dragging graphite along a straightedge (by comparison to something like Revit).

Anyway, yeah. I thought I was halfway done with something, but I wasn’t. I’m already worried about appearing “slow” to produce drawings, and this didn’t help. Time to put the Ranty Pants on and get the Drama Llama out of the stable.