Insisting on the best — How CAD Manager Donnell Griffith handles the constant pressure to get the job done faster and easier

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  • New York City, New York, USA — CAD Manager Donnell Griffith was so impressed with Axiom products at his previous job, that when he came to work for Urbitran, he requested Title Block Manager, RefManager and Microsoft Office Importer straight away.

    Donnell Griffith jumped at the opportunity to learn.

    MicroStation Today: Hi Donnell, what are some of the problems you encounter in your position?
    Donnell: Some of my problems? Well, I guess the same as any other CAD manager: drafting production, quality assurance – and anything else they decide to throw at me. The biggest problem I face is the constant pressure to get the job done faster and easier. Axiom’s products help me do that. The Axiom tools I currently have are Title Block Manager, RefManager and Microsoft Office Importer. Axiom products help me by saving time through automating time-consuming tasks.

    I had this one situation on my last job, when I was at Jacobs, Edwards and Kelcey. We had a job that was over 1,000 drawings. The job was broken up so that we were working on it in three of our offices: Miami, Chicago and my office in New Jersey. We had three sub-consultants working on it as well. When the time came to combine all the work, there were many little changes that had to be made to make it all consistent. Then we would get new drawings, from Chicago or Miami, which meant all of the existing sheets had to be renumbered. Title Block Manager made it very easy to do the renumbering in batch. About 900 had to be renumbered in all. We basically had one title block we used on all the drawings but each office, with the help of Title Block Manager, would change it slightly to reflect that it was drawn in that office, you know: “drawn by,” “checked by,” and so on.

    When the drawings were finally combined, with all the references attached, we used RefManager to handle the levels that needed to be turned off. Using RefManager allowed us to do this on many files at the same time.

    We used Microsoft Office Importer to import large quantities of data from Excel. Since Microsoft Office Importer establishes a link between the spreadsheets and the design files, it was easy to update the many little changes we had to make to that data. That is why I requested getting those Axiom products at my new job. I have a job I am working on now that will require me to renumber about 500 title blocks. Title Block Manager will come in handy.

    Another big way Axiom helped me was through their training. The trainers at Axiom showed me the best ways to use the products. It made life much easier.

    MST: Donnell, you have a pretty interesting story on how you began in the CAD field. Can you tell us about that?
    Donnell: I was introduced to CAD through a minority training program called JUMP in 1994. I couldn’t afford to continue in school and needed a job. I went to the business library in Manhattan and found a book on scholarships and internships. I made a few calls and got in the program. I have been in love with CAD ever since. [Editor’s note: The Joint Urban Manpower Program helps New York engineering firms meet equal opportunity and affirmative action requirements by recruiting and training females, minorities and disadvantaged individuals for entry-level drafting and construction inspection positions on New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Engineering Agreements.

    MST: What would you like to be doing in ten years?
    Donnell: I would still like to be working within the CAD industry, something other than engineering and architecture. I would like to be doing something more creative and pushing the limit of what CAD can do.

    MST: What do you think is your greatest accomplishment?
    Donnell: I don’t think I have accomplished it yet. I am still young and I feel very good about the future. I see myself growing in the CAD field. I want to see how the CAD field grows too.

    MST: What’s a book you wish you’d written?
    Donnell: CAD: Making the Most of Computer Aided Design.

    MST: If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would it be?
    Donnell: New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg – he doesn’t need money.

    MST: What do you predict will be the “next big thing” in CAD?
    Donnell: I think the next big thing will be with hardware. The way we communicate with CAD drawings currently involves a lot of input. You don’t have as much freedom as you do when drawing with a pencil.

    MST: Thanks, Donnell.

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