52 Replies Latest reply on Feb 5, 2018 12:32 PM by Mike Pogue

    what format size do you use?

    Dan Golthing

      Wondering what is the typical format sizes you use?  I like to typically use a D size and print on a B size, this is so the title block doesn't take up too much of the drawing but is still readable.  And the B size paper is easy to handle.

       

      How about you?

        • Re: what format size do you use?
          Dan Pihlaja

          I try to stick to D and B as well.  We don't even have a template for A size.

           

          Sometimes I have to resort to E.  And very rarely I use C.

           

          When I worked for an Automotive Supplier (Tier 1), sometimes the final prints would be E size vertically, but could extend double or triple the length of a standard E size document.

          • Re: what format size do you use?
            Jim Sculley

            A,B,C,D.  Most parts are B, unless they are small and simple in which case they will be A.  More complicated drawings will utilize C and D, printed on A and B respectively.  It's easier to do that than it is to change the text height of all the notes/dimensions to make more room.

            • Re: what format size do you use?
              Christian Chu

              B size (11x17) is the only allowable size here while any size from A to E could be used in my previous job

              • Re: what format size do you use?
                Glenn Schroeder

                I created one or two drawings on 11 x 17 years ago.  Everything else has been 8.5 x 11.

                  • Re: what format size do you use?
                    Dan Pihlaja

                    At my previous job, we had some pretty complex stuff (Gas Masks) and most of our prints were D size or larger. 

                     

                    We had been working with the government office for at LEAST 8 years (sending them drawings, etc...).  Then, all of a sudden we get a question from them regarding our drawings:  "Why is it that we make all the text so small?  It is way too small to read without magnification."

                     

                    We sent them PDF files.   The next time we were able to talk to one of them, I told them to open the PDF on their computer and look at it.  They told me: "No, we can't do that.  We only look at drawings once we have printed them off."   I asked them if they had a plotter there.   They had no idea if they did or not, or if one was available.   The had been taking all of my drawings and scaling them down to 8.5X11.

                     

                    *sigh*

                  • Re: what format size do you use?
                    Steve Calvert

                    I'm surprised that they're not a lot of ISO formats here.  Most companies are going global or work with global suppliers that want to use only ISO standards.  Having said all that, I do use both sets ANSI and ISO.  I'd rather work in metric and ISO and it's real easy EXCEPT for that stinking first angle projection, just doesn't make sense.

                     

                    Steve C

                      • Re: what format size do you use?
                        Dan Pihlaja

                        Steve Calvert wrote:

                         

                        I'm surprised that they're not a lot of ISO formats here. Most companies are going global or work with global suppliers that want to use only ISO standards. Having said all that, I do use both sets ANSI and ISO. I'd rather work in metric and ISO and it's real easy EXCEPT for that stinking first angle projection, just doesn't make sense.

                         

                        Steve C

                         

                        Agreed.  We have been bitten by that.    Every once in a while we get a drawing from a customer that originated from somewhere in Europe.  Then it just gets placed on the customer's title block with no changes and suddenly we are looking at a 1st angle projection drawing from someone who is referencing ANSI standards on the print!  LOL

                      • Re: what format size do you use?
                        Alex Lachance

                        Parts are on letter (8.5 x 11), assemblies are on tabloid (11x17). I have some assemblies that ''count'' as parts on the shop floor so those are also on 8.5 x 11.

                         

                        Don't really see the point to use a format bigger to then print in a smaller format. Why not just fit your template to the size you want it in the first place. If it isn't too small to be readable on a D template printed as a B, why would it be too small to read on a B scaled accordingly?

                          • Re: what format size do you use?
                            Josh Brady

                            Alex Lachance wrote:

                             

                            Don't really see the point to use a format bigger to then print in a smaller format. Why not just fit your template to the size you want it in the first place. If it isn't too small to be readable on a D template printed as a B, why would it be too small to read on a B scaled accordingly?

                            Some places have drawing standards for things like dimension spacing, line fonts, text fonts, etc. that you simply can't cram into a B template.  Using a larger template, you can create drawings that meet official drafting standards when printed full size, but are still plenty legible for "unofficial" (meaning practical) use when printed scaled down, either for cost reasons or handling. 

                            • Re: what format size do you use?
                              Jim Sculley

                              Alex Lachance wrote:

                               

                              If it isn't too small to be readable on a D template printed as a B, why would it be too small to read on a B scaled accordingly?

                              Because notes and text don't scale with the view or sheet scale.  If you take a cramped and crowded drawing on a B size sheet and move it to a D sized sheet, you can increase the scale by at least a factor of two and it is much less crowded.

                              • Re: what format size do you use?
                                Dan Golthing

                                As was mentioned, the D can be printed on 11 x 17 and for the most part still be legible.  Then if needed, it can be plotted on the D format.

                                 

                                If you use a B format for 11 x 17 drawing then the title block eats up quite a bit of the drawing.

                                 

                                I've had a lot of drawings that a D was necessary or have a whole bunch of smaller pages.  Usually one page is better than multiple pages. 

                              • Re: what format size do you use?
                                Josh Brady

                                B size are easiest to handle, but for drawings with lots of detail I like to use a D size sheet/title block/etc in SW and then save as PDF and let whatever program prints it to paper do the scaling to 11x17 paper.  If you let SW scale it to smaller paper, it will actually not scale lineweights etc, so some details sort of blob together.   A full size PDF scaled down by Acrobat Reader looks a lot better than a direct scaled print from SW.

                                • Re: what format size do you use?
                                  John Pesaturo

                                  Virtually all of our product ends up on B-Size (11x17) ...

                                   

                                  Back in the day when pen plotters were all the rage and inadvertently huffing ammonia from the blueprint machine was still a thing the standard was C-Size and D-Size but this went away with the advent of the office copiers and their multi select sheet trays.

                                  • Re: what format size do you use?
                                    Chris Saller

                                    We have A, B, C, D. Most are D. Only D are multiple sheets (makes sense, you need more room on smaller sheets move to larger sheet).

                                    • Re: what format size do you use?
                                      Matt Peneguy

                                      ANSI D is the HQ standard.  Our districts put out some 11x17 (ANSI B).  But, with everything going digital, I'm pushing our CAD group to just make it all ANSI D and let people print it how they want.  It's less work for everyone if there is only one format.

                                      • Re: what format size do you use?
                                        Bobby Penland

                                        Available printers could play a part in this decision. If all you have is a copy machine to use as a printer then B size could be appropriate. Any larger size will make the title block too small to read. If you have access to a plotter this point is mute.

                                        • Re: what format size do you use?
                                          Andy Sanders

                                          A, B, C, D, E4 through E9.  Yep, NINE feet wide.  Those are super fun to fold up!

                                           

                                          I'd say my most used size is C or D.  A may be one in 100 drawings.

                                           

                                          e9.jpg

                                          • Re: what format size do you use?
                                            Bob Van Dick

                                            Dan,

                                             

                                            Our standard here is a "B" size.  This works most of the time, but on larger parts I prefer a "C" size.  We have one particular customer that puts everything on "E" size.  Needless to say, printing on a "B" size doesn't work unless you are 17 years old, have 20-20 vision, and a good magnifying glass.  My personal preference is to match the paper size to the drawing template size.

                                             

                                            Bob

                                              • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                Glenn Schroeder

                                                Bob Van Dick wrote:

                                                 

                                                Dan,

                                                 

                                                Our standard here is a "B" size. This works most of the time, but on larger parts I prefer a "C" size. We have one particular customer that puts everything on "E" size. Needless to say, printing on a "B" size doesn't work unless you are 17 years old, have 20-20 vision, and a good magnifying glass. My personal preference is to match the paper size to the drawing template size.

                                                 

                                                Bob

                                                 

                                                I agree.  Someone here mentioned the title block not taking up as much room using a certain size.  I also size my title block to fit the sheet.  Pretty much all the text in my title block uses smaller text than the notes and dimensions in the drawing views.

                                                 

                                                By the way, in my earlier reply I said I almost always use 8.5 x 11.  That's because in addition to my drawings being used to fabricate or build the test installation and parts, they're included in the test reports, which are of course on 8.5 x 11 paper.  If I used a larger size paper for my drawings then they'd be illegible when the report was printed.  And I happen to like that size anyway.  When I hit the Fit button on my new 3d mouse it's pretty close to real life size on my monitor.

                                              • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                David Matula

                                                I'm with Bob, use the paper size that fits your part.  Or use multiple sheets if required and print to that size paper.  If you are limited to a B size printer then that should be your size of choice.  Remember that your customer is the one that has to read your drawings.  So the 60 year old machinist that can make any thing that you dream up needs to be able to read your prints easily, not spend time looking for a micro scope to see if the print says 1/4" or 14" 

                                                  • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                    Dan Pihlaja

                                                    David Matula wrote:

                                                     

                                                    I'm with Bob, use the paper size that fits your part. Or use multiple sheets if required and print to that size paper. If you are limited to a B size printer then that should be your size of choice. Remember that your customer is the one that has to read your drawings. So the 60 year old machinist that can make any thing that you dream up needs to be able to read your prints easily, not spend time looking for a micro scope to see if the print says 1/4" or 14"

                                                     

                                                    Yes, but if you read my response above, it says that we had been dealing with them for at least 8 years.....they had no complaints or requests for drawing sizes in that time until the end.

                                                    • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                      Dan Golthing

                                                      The problem is that on a B format, if you're prone to printing on 11 x 17, the title block eats up a lot of real estate.  If you draw on a D size, then it is fairly legible still if printed on a B, depending on font selection.  AND, you still have the option to plot on a D size if desired.  I would leave it to the customer (shop workers) if they want a larger print, just let me know.  But if the 11 x 17 was OK, the save a tree.

                                                    • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                      Ignacio Vital

                                                      In our company we draw in A3 and we print in A4, we receive sometimes A2, and we print them in A3.

                                                       

                                                      We prefer add more sheets in our drawings to explain better the assemblies than do a bigger drawing.

                                                       

                                                      I am from Europe and I prefer first angle projection, I think it is easier, maybe because I always worked this way.

                                                        • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                          Steve Calvert

                                                          1st angle is just not natural to us ANSI guys.  If I want to look at the right side of the car, I walk over to the right side.  I don't walk over to the left side and imagine what the right side projects to.  Just weird, but if you're used to it, that's fine.

                                                           

                                                          Steve C

                                                            • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                              Ignacio Vital

                                                              Jajajaja, I understand, I prefer to think that if you are looking in the right side you "see" it in the left wall of the cube which contains the car. I don't know how to explain better this, but for me this is the natural way.

                                                                • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                  Matt Peneguy

                                                                  Once your brain is "trained" one way or the other it becomes natural.  But, I never did understand the first angle thing.

                                                                  If I gave a drawing to someone who had no CAD training whatsoever, I'd expect them to be able to figure out third angle projection.  I'm not sure they would ever figure out first angle projection on their own. 

                                                                    • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                      Ignacio Vital

                                                                      This looks like one of the topics between engineers like others I saw in other disciplines. And it happens when there are more than one standard which are right. Vim vs emacs, Windows vs Mac, etc..

                                                                        • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                          Matt Peneguy

                                                                          I thought it was obvious, VIM, Windows and Third Angle Projection.  Just kidding, btw.

                                                                          I wonder if anyone has actually done a study to see which actually is more intuitive to non-CAD people.  They publish enough useless studies, why not study that?

                                                                          https://www.improbable.com/ig/winners/

                                                                            • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                              Richard Gergely

                                                                              Being in the UK I do most of my drawings in 1st angle, if a client requests 3rd then they get 3rd. It's no big deal for me TBH.

                                                                               

                                                                              What intrigues me is that strange alien measurement system used in the US though I hear metric is getting more popular now days. 

                                                                                • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                  Bobby Penland

                                                                                  That is a myth. 3rd angle projection with standard units still prevails. Why would we want a simple system based on multiples of 10 when we can be proprietors of a complicated system based on a measurement system the divides by two, 1/2, 1/4, 1/16 ,/32 ....

                                                                                    • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                      Dan Pihlaja

                                                                                      Bobby Penland wrote:

                                                                                       

                                                                                      That is a myth. 3rd angle projection with standard units still prevails. Why would we want a simple system based on multiples of 10 when we can be proprietors of a complicated system based on a measurement system the divides by two, 1/2, 1/4, 1/16 ,/32 ....

                                                                                       

                                                                                      LOL, I had to show this to a few of my co-workers who are from India.  We got a good laugh over it.   They argue every day about the simplicity of Metric over English units.

                                                                                        • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                          Rick Becker

                                                                                          Dan Pihlaja wrote:

                                                                                          ...They argue every day about the simplicity of Metric over English units.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Human brains is like the electric system in your house.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          In America we wire our houses for 110/120 volts.

                                                                                          In Europe the houses are wired for 220 volts.

                                                                                          Sure, they sell converters. They sell calculators also.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Once you brain thinks in a specific measurement system, it's hard to think in a different system. I need to convert metric measurements to English in my head (usually on the fly) on any print to understand just how big anything is and to what tolerance level I am working with.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          I just can't think in metric.

                                                                                            • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                              Dan Pihlaja

                                                                                              Rick Becker  wrote:

                                                                                               

                                                                                              Dan Pihlaja wrote:

                                                                                              ...They argue every day about the simplicity of Metric over English units.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              Human brains is like the electric system in your house.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              In America we wire our houses for 110/120 volts.

                                                                                              In Europe the houses are wired for 220 volts.

                                                                                              Sure, they sell converters. They sell calculators also.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              Once you brain thinks in a specific measurement system, it's hard to think in a different system. I need to convert metric measurements to English in my head (usually on the fly) on any print to understand just how big anything is and to what tolerance level I am working with.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              I just can't think in metric.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              We were discussing that very thing in the office here.   I have now used Millimeters enough, that I can think in millimeters now (to an extent), but that being said, I would rather you tell me something is 1500 mm long rather than 1.5 meters long.  I know, simple conversion....but its how my mind works now. 

                                                                                              • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                                Alex Lachance

                                                                                                To be honest, I'm Canadian(eh?), our standards is metrics and most people who actually need to work with dimensions prefer imperial over metrics. There are exceptions of course but the general exception is someone who has never worked in the imperial system because his job requires government certification(They force us to be in metrics) or something around that line.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                The only time I'd rather work with metrics over imperial is if I'm a guy working on a paper with numbers and have to calculate. I'd say it's easier to multiply 1000mm x 1000mm in your head then it is to multiply 39 3/8" x 39 3/8''.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                So yeah, maybe it's easier on the mathematic side but that surely doesn't compensate for everything else. Just like you, I can't visualize the size of something generally when it's in metric.

                                                                                            • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                              Richard Gergely

                                                                                              Bobby it was the 1960's when the UK started going metric, to this day people still talk on occasion in inches and feet.

                                                                                              If I'm totally honest I do sometimes as well. I can only think in the height of a person in feet and inches for instance.

                                                                                              It's a hard habit to kick.

                                                                                            • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                              Matt Peneguy

                                                                                              What a nightmare!  The Department wanted to be ahead of the curve years ago when the country decided to "go metric".  Problem is nobody else bought into it.  Everything in our plans from that time is "soft" converted.  Want to specify a 2x4 (which is actually 1 1/2 x 3 1/2) well that's very confusing.  Do you specify it's actual size or the 2x4 size.  Not to mention all the contractors had to soft convert back...  What a mess that fiasco was!

                                                                                              • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                                Dan Golthing

                                                                                                Caterpillar switched to metric years ago, and from what I heard, they no longer use 1" bolts.  They switched to 25.4 mm bolts instead.

                                                                                    • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                      Dan Golthing

                                                                                      Having sent out millions of dollars worth of parts for quoting over the years, I've noticed that things cost less if you can fit it on one sheet.  There's a "psychological cost" involved with multiple sheets, I've observed.  Not a hard and fast rule, but overall, the person quoting will think, hey this part is so complicated it needs multiple sheets, I'm going to charge more.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Most importantly, though, is reduced dimension drawings.  Using the 3D model as the standard and only putting critical dimensions on the drawing greatly simplifies the drawing and more often than not will save you money when quoting the part at a job shop.

                                                                                    • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                      Rick Becker

                                                                                      Our shop standard is to plot everything actual size. We have found that reduces errors as some peoples brains can't "see" the actual size of something in their heads when viewing a scaled down version on paper.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      We plot from A thru E both ANSI and ARCH

                                                                                      One detail per sheet. Smallest sheet that will properly hold detail.

                                                                                      Landscape or portrait.

                                                                                      I have done a few Extended "D" & "E" prints over the years.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      I'm as flexible as a gymnast.

                                                                                        • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                          Edward Poole

                                                                                          Rick Becker Same here, we rebuild and update old machinery, parts can be very large, even scaled down by 1/2. If you have a 36" x 60" part 12" high with over 100 different holes in it, you can't squeeze it down to 11 X 17, you're asking for errors!

                                                                                          I too have worked pure metric, once I got used to it, it was easy, but it did take some getting used to after 30+ years of ANSI, but, I haven't worked in Metric now for a number of years.

                                                                                          I use mostly "B" or "D" or "E"-size formats here. Some places I've only used "B"-size, that was all that was allowed-make it fit, legibility seemed to be secondary. After all, there was always the model to consult.

                                                                                        • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                          Timothy Taby

                                                                                          We standardized on B size prints about 10 years ago when we started going fully electronic on storing drawings instead of keeping paper copies of everything (we had a full room full of file cabinets and large drawing cabinets).  We have ANSI A - D size boarders available, but most parts end up on the B size.  Small parts that can fit full scale on 8-1/2 x 11 go on A size, and large assemblies tend to go on C or D boarders.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          I did make a custom sized boarders for our building prints, it was 36 x 60 since our new building is 3 times longer then the width.

                                                                                          • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                            Arthur McRae

                                                                                            At our company we have standardized using size B..... but.... always a but.   WE are "supposedly" going paperless, but we have project managers that insist on printing out every sheet on 8.5 x 11 paper... We did a couple projects @ 8.5 x 14... have you ever seen what 8.5 x 14 looks like when printed off on a home printer on 8.5 x 11...   Well when the project manager complains that your drawings and markings  (he doesn't understand "notation") either are too small or get cut off when he overrides the setting to print @ 100% zoom....  It doesn't matter how forward thinking you company is as long as there is still a dinosaur in an office with enough say things will never be smooth.

                                                                                            BTW I'm not saying that all older people are dinosaurs so no offence, just the techno-phobes.

                                                                                            • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                              Carrie Ives

                                                                                              I try to use B for most things since we print B size. We do have a D size format though if we need the title block to take up less of the drawing space.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              I think if you do a D size and then create the PDF, you may be able to have more detail in the PDF since you can zoom in the PDF.

                                                                                              • Re: what format size do you use?
                                                                                                Mike Pogue

                                                                                                Same as you, for the same reasons. I find about half of companies do this, the other half use A and B size formats but typically cheat on font and title block sizes, which might be reasonable.