I have recently been building a template for a client. If you build a template for your company you will find that it speeds up your drawing enormously. For example, starting a project with a template file will save the time it takes you to set up your printing area, common layers, common classes, hatches, line types, text styles, common symbols, and so on. These are just a few of the things that you can incorporate into your template.
Even if you just incorporated these few items you would be able to save yourself a couple of hours on every project. If you add title blocks, sheet layers, and standard viewports to your template you can save yourself another couple of hours that it takes to create your drawings. Just using the example so far you would be able to save yourself about four hours on every project. Regardless of where you are, and regardless of your charge out rate, saving a few hours on every project is certainly worth a lot of money.
You can start building your template from a recent project. It is important to make sure the you are using the correct layers, stories, classes, and class attributes in your drawings. Since you be using this template to create several projects, it’s important to spend enough time to get this file right. Some people like to take a shortcut at this point thinking that nobody will notice. You are only fooling yourself. The shortcut you take here will have a knock on effect with every project you create from your template.
Check through the hatches on this project. Remove hatches that are unsuitable, and import hatches that you wish you had quick access to. This file does not have to include all of your hatches, that’s what the default content is for, but this file should include the major hatches that we you would use on every project. Remember that all the hatches from your library should be included in your default content.
As with the hatches, work through your line types, text styles, symbols, textures, rendering styles, and so on to make sure that all the important ones are included in your template file, and ensure that all of your resources are stored correctly in your default content.
It does sound like there is a lot of work to building a template, and you’re, right there is. But do not underestimate the rewards for building a good quality template. It’s possible that a good quality template can save you one third of your drawing time for the construction drawings on a project. Instead of the drawings taking 150 hours to complete, you might be able to complete the drawings in 100 hours. This is a huge saving regardless of your charge out rate.