CADDManager on January 11th, 2010

Page Setup and Plotting

This is an area that is constantly a battle. Getting the output to look consistent is the goal of all CAD Managers and firms. Get it right and no one will complain (or compliment) – but get it wrong and the all of your efforts will be for nothing. Everyone will complain.

I think that everyone complains about plotting anyway. It is the most frequent area of concern. Every firm has problems. It never seems to work consistently. It is always a pain.

Plotting must be standardized in order to achieve a consistent look and feel. This process incorporates the pen table, standard Symbology and presentation of the plotting area in a Paper Space Layout. Some of the uses of the Layouts in Paper Space allow us to achieve differing looks for presentations, marketing and illustrations. Some firms use these and others do not.

While this is allowable in the early stages of a project, when construction docs are created we must confine ourselves to an agreed upon procedure and presentation for plotting. This will allow for streamlined tools and batch plotting.

When creating Construction Documents plots:

Each sheet file should have only one border located in paper space at 0,0. One file will be used to create one plot.

All plots should be created from paper space using one layout tab.

All plotting config files, pen tables and plot styles should be stored in one common location on the server and should be set to read only.

Plotting scale shall set to 1:1 in Paper Space.

Reminder – One Sheet file represents one Plot file.

The first Layout Tab should be used for full size plotting. It should keep the default name “LAYOUT1”. Why bother changing it. Some people use sizes or other methods of naming this tab. I don’t bother.

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5 Responses to “Plotting – Getting it Right”

  1. I’ll have to differ on keeping the layout tab named as the default “Layout1.” This isn’t the most common method out there but, when using the “Rename and Renumber” feature of the Sheet Set Manager in conjunction with the CTAB system variable within an AutoCAD Field, quick and orderly sheet numbering/renumbering can be a huge time saver.

  2. Bryan,

    I agree – the advanced tools allow you to better manage the tab names. If you are using SSM – then rename them.

    But the average user may not avail themselves of those tools. So my perspective is – keep it simple.

  3. With AutoCAD, the customization I was most complimented on by users was the Import Page Setups tool. Modified from code by others, it was slick in that if you ever ran into an issue, you would run this little LISP utility once and it would import the page setups, and associated pen tables from a template to provide that consistency. The only person who was not a fan, was the reprographics salesman who couldn’t determine why the firm was printing less linear feet of paper per month, on their leased equipment. ;)

  4. Leaving the default layout tab as “Layout1″ might work with only 1 or 2 sheets, but if you have a project with 20+ pages, it makes more sense to name the tab the same as the sheet, ie. A2.1, A3.0…etc. I have found that it makes it easier to publish multi-sheet projects easier. For one thing, you can make sure the sheets plot in the correct order so you don’t have to reshuffle them later. And if you include other disciplines in the mix, naming your sheets is even more important.

    Just my 2 cents.

  5. how to plot about 4 meter long sketch 1:1 in roll by using hp deskjet 500 plotter

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