RBF Consulting Senior Designer shares his opinions about MicroStation Productivity Toolkit and the future of CAD.

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IRVINE, CALIFORNIA, USA — Lee Youngs, RBF Consulting’s Senior CAD Designer and 20-year CAD veteran, knows that by using the many utilities in MicroStation Productivity Toolkit he can have complete control over his design projects and can prevent disasters that can turn a project into a big headache.

Lee Youngs — with his daughter and wife (Jessie and Jan) — standing inside Big Ben in London, England

We recently had a chance to get some insight on how Lee Youngs utilizes MicroStation Productivity Toolkit on a daily basis.

MicroStation Today: Can you tell us a bit about your 20-year experience using CAD?
Lee: I started my CAD career in 1985 working on an Intergraph system using the old double monitors with the digitizing table attached. I started out as a Facility Planner for Hughes Aircraft. I switched over to civil in 1990 and have been doing work for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and local cities ever since.

Currently, I am the CAD Senior Designer for the Transportation and Public Works Department for RBF Consulting in Irvine, California. I have been with RBF for over five years. RBF Consulting – recently ranked “Best Firm to Work For” in the nation by CE News Magazine – provides consulting services for planning, design and construction throughout the western United States and internationally. The firm, with a staff of nearly 1,000 employees, maintains fourteen offices located throughout California, Arizona and Nevada. Our Web site is www.RBF.com.

MST: Tell us about how you use Axiom utilities?
Lee: I have MicroStation Productivity Toolkit installed on my machine and I find myself using it on a daily basis. One great tool is FileFixer. I use it to clean up drawings before converting them to V8 and to correct problems in MicroStation/J files so errors don’t get passed from one drawing to another.

I use Duplicate Element Remover to eliminate any extra elements that may have been accidentally duplicated or placed several times. I use Microsoft Office Importer to import Microsoft Excel spreadsheets into MicroStation. This saves the time of drafting tables by hand using graphics and text. RefMerge comes in handy when Caltrans wants all the design information copied into individual cut sheets (sheet files) with no reference files attached.
I don’t use all the tools in Toolkit yet — yet being the key word. Axiom has always been willing to give me lessons over the Internet to teach me how to use the tools and what to use the tools for. That is a great help in time and cost savings.

MST: What is the most recent project that Axiom has assisted you on?
Lee: Right now, we are going through the painful process of converting our cell libraries from Metric to English units and I have relied on Axiom for assistance during this ordeal. I got instructions on how to use CellManager to help make this conversion less cumbersome. The cost of redoing all existing cell libraries one cell at a time would be a small fortune and would take countless days to accomplish.

MST: What would you like to be doing in ten years?
Lee: Ten years from now, I hope to be retired and traveling with my wife, Jan. We love to go to London, England and have made three trips so far. The highlight of our last trip was being allowed to go into the tower where Big Ben is located. We reached the top — over 300 steps — just before Big Ben rang twelve o’clock noon. Now that is an impressive sight and sound! Big Ben is not open to the public or foreign visitors and we had to get special permission from Parliament to enter the tower. We also toured Liverpool to see all the sites written about by the Beatles with a stop at Abbey Road in London to make the experience complete.

Also, we really enjoyed our trip to Australia. Our daughter, Jessie, sang at the Sydney Opera House with her high school choir. Jessie is now in her second year of college and our son, Jason, has made us proud grandparents with two fine boys.

MST: If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would it be?
Lee: If I could change places with anyone for one day it would have to be with Sir Paul McCartney. Just to have the memories he has would be fantastic.

MST: What do you predict will be the “next big thing” in CAD?
Lee: I think the next big thing in CAD is going to be the ability to use both MicroStation and AutoCAD on the same project. MicroStation can already read and manipulate AutoCAD files and it will be nice to have AutoCAD manipulate MicroStation files, as I heard will be the case with the 2007 version of AutoCAD. This will allow a designer to always work in the CAD program they are most familiar with.

MST: Thank you so much for your time, Lee.
Lee: Thank you.

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