Introduction to Layer Standards

General discussion about layer and color standards, etc.

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Introduction to Layer Standards

Post by Clive » Mon May 28, 2012 10:06 pm

For those new to QCAD or CAD in general this may be useful.
I have attempted to keep this as short as possible but trying to keep the essential information included - is not an easy task I can tell you! :lol:

CAD layer standards
Using Computer aided design (CAD) has become an essential tool for producing working drawings in the fields of engineering, architecture and construction.
Drawings are often shared between the different fields and therefore world and localized (to different countries) CAD 'standards' are in place to allow good communication between users. These standards would include things like having the same colour 'Red' for all center lines or 0.25mm line weight for drawing all outlines for example!
To give another example if we read the following sentences, only some of us will understand one or more of them.

"Zeichnung Standards wurden geschaffen, um eine gemeinsame Sprache für den Austausch von Informationen zur Verfügung"

"Normes de tirage ont été créés pour fournir un langage commun pour échanger des informations"

"Gli standard di disegno sono stati creati per fornire un linguaggio comune per lo scambio di informazioni"

"Normas de dibujo han sido creados para proporcionar un lenguaje común para el intercambio de información"

The above sentence in the English language says something like this - "Drawing standards have been created to provide a common language for exchanging information".
So you can see the importance of using CAD standards, they have been created to share information around the world regardless of the language spoken or in a certain country or indeed to an individual company. If somebody the 'other side of the world ' sends me a drawing using the ISO CAD standard for example and I am using the same standard, I should be able to interpret the drawing because we are both using the same language (CAD standard).

In my opinion CAD layer standards should at least cover the following:
1. Drawing units.
2. Scale - drawings in model space at 1:1 (full size). Finished drawings should be scaled in print preview (paper space) / Viewports.
3. Layer - colour, all colours ( White, Black, Red etc.) should be BY LAYER.
4. Layer - line weight, all line weights (0.25mm, 0.5mm, 1mm etc.) should be BY LAYER.
5. Layer - line types, all line types (continuous, dashed, center etc.).
6. Dimension styles, Text height, Arrow style, Format -Decimal, scientific etc...
7. Text style, font style, font height etc.

There are many, many more that I could mention but the above should suffice for most drawing standards.
The most common CAD standards 'out there' are:
- BS-1192, which relies heavily on the Code of Procedure for the Construction Industry
- AIA Cad Layer Guidelines, 2nd edition (1997), has a great usage in the USA.
- ISO 13567-1/3, International standard, common in Northern Europe.
- AEC (UK), an adaptation of BS-1192 based on Uniclass.
- A/E/C CAD Standard, Tri-service (USACE/Air Force/NAVFAC) CAD standard created/maintained by the CAD/BIM Technology Center for Facilities, Infrastructure, and Environment.
- SIA 2014 (1996), Swiss standard for engineers and architects, based on ISO 13567.

(the above list was sourced from Wikipedia)
For me personally I base my CAD drawing standards on AEC (UK) CAD standards. With similarities to the ISO and BS-1192 standards.

I have attached a dxf file with my AEC (UK) CAD standards for use - see here in 'Tips & Tutorials' ... =47&t=2021

It can be saved as a template file 'ready for use' - see here in 'Tips & Tutorials'. ... =47&t=1975

Hope this is useful :wink:
layer standards.png
layer standards.png (33.43 KiB) Viewed 51216 times

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Re: Introduction to Layer Standards

Post by frotico » Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:57 pm

Here in Brazil, AsBEA did a good material not only about layers, but also about directories and archivies names based in ISO 13567.

The guide can be find at

It name is

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