AutoCAD 2007/2008/2009

Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-30-2010
Message 1 of 6 (538 Views)

Beginner question

538 Views, 5 Replies
06-30-2010 09:33 AM

Sorry if this is in the wrong area.


I an fairly new to AutoCAD 2009. I have been asked to help my department with their electrical drawings. They have all been done in AutoCAD Electrical. The drawings were drawn in the moddel tab and then use the Layout tab to center/zoom the drawing and print them. I am trying to set up a standard method of creating new drawings. I have already created a template dwg for futer files to based off of.


My main question is, since we dont do any 3D modeling, should we jsut focus on drawing straight to the layout?


My other question is, is there a PDF with recommended linewidths and text sizes. Some kind of standards that people tend to follow. Right now its jsut what ever the engineer/technitian wants to do it. I would like to implement a standardize method for everything so we have consistancy.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Randy L.

Valued Mentor
Posts: 658
Registered: ‎06-02-2010
Message 2 of 6 (531 Views)

Re: Beginner question

06-30-2010 11:11 AM in reply to: RandyL

No 1 - you don't need layout. Printing from Model space is just fine.

No 2 - Line weights are generally 0 (zero width) but can be changed by either changing the pen width or using polylines with differenct line weights.

No. 3 - ANSI (American National Standards Institute) says 1/8" for text height (but many companies use 3/16") and text should be single stroke gothic. Romans is the closest to ANSI but Arial will do the trick. I prefer Arial as it displays better than thin line text such as Romans.

Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-30-2010
Message 3 of 6 (524 Views)

Re: Beginner question

06-30-2010 12:36 PM in reply to: wengle

We currently draw 1 to 3 diff parts of a drawing package into the model. One could be the electrical wireing, another the physical layout and the third a schematic or what not. We then use the layouts to zoom into the section we want for each page. The layouts also already have our borders and title blocks. The problem we have been having is by drawing on the moddel and sizing it to fit in the layout. You have varying sizes of text and end up with stuff too small or stuff thats larger then need be.


I dont know how to add more models or even set them up to only print a certain section of the model.


I was thinking of setting up the templates to print 1:1 and have everyone draw on the layout itself with lineweight default to 0.25mm and text size of 0.1 to 0.15 default. We need to be able to change lineweight because we add P&ID drawings to the packages also.



Distinguished Contributor
Posts: 123
Registered: ‎01-04-2010
Message 4 of 6 (519 Views)

Re: Beginner question

06-30-2010 03:03 PM in reply to: RandyL

There are several ways to handle text... and all other things autocad. Please don't take this personal - but if you don't know the program well, you may not be the best person to choose drawing standards... that aside here's my take on things:


Personally, my preference is to do all linework in model space and all text in paper space (layout tabs). You could use annotative text in model space and then it will come out the right size in your viewports, but i think that is too much trouble to set up.


I have one sub-contractor who does all their work in model space... and unless I move all their b.s. into a paperspace viewport it does not print consistently (scaling and margin issues). Needless to say I'm not a fan of printing from model space, it is simply not what the program designers intended.


0.125" is a standard text height for full size sheets, however my firm does very little full size and we use 0.06" for 11x17 (half-size) sheets. Use layer controls to set linewidths... forcing per object is sloppy technique (unless its a pline...).


Good luck getting everyone to agree to one set standard... many small firms (including mine) struggle with that.

*Expert Elite*
Posts: 2,125
Registered: ‎12-11-2003
Message 5 of 6 (516 Views)

Re: Beginner question

06-30-2010 04:35 PM in reply to: RandyL

I'm not sure where this comes from...

"0.125" is a standard text height for full size sheets"

This is a paper space setting?


In Imperial units we use the following for model space nominal text height:

1/4"=1'-0" scale drawing - 4" text height - 3 1/2" minimum.

1/8"=1'-0" scale drawing - 8" text height - 7" minimum.

1"=30'-0" scale drawing - 30" text height.


You get the idea...


Pen weights can be defined on a scale of -2 to +2 where

-2 is the lightest pen weight and +2 is the heaviest.

For us we do not use more than 5 weights and 3 grayscale values.


For nominal text we use pen weight of -1

For strong nominal text: 0

For room names and small titles: +1

For regular drawing titles: +2


Next comes text height minimums for the pen weights.

Based on a 1/4 scale drawing, 4" text height has a weight of -1.

5" text height: 0

6" text height: +1

8" text height and above: +2


Next comes standards for text heights:

Nominal text: 4"

Small room names: 6"

Large room names and small drawing titles (details): 8"

Drawing titles: 12" or 16"


Of course every office has it's own standards.


Good Luck!




Dyslexia is a permanent physical disability that cannot be seen.
Posts: 2,699
Registered: ‎04-14-2009
Message 6 of 6 (508 Views)

Re: Beginner question

07-01-2010 06:39 AM in reply to: scot-65

OP for the sake of being able to include it on your resumé, advance as much as possible. While it is possible to plot from model space, that is only the most effective if your plotted product is all at one scale. To get multiple scales in model space you might as well throw out the PC and go back to board drafting. Layout tabs (paper space) are there for a reason. Your model is drawn at 1:1 scale in model space. A layout tab is where you draw your border and title so it matches the size of your output (we use 24"x36" D size sheets) and set it up to plot at 1:1 scale. You create the many different views of your model on the layout tab. Think of it like a TV production studio, with many monitors looking at the stage. Some are at different angles, some are closer and some farther away. You can apply different effects to different monitor screens.


Okay these days setting the scale of the view is a snap. You highlight the border of the viewport and there is a scale list popup on your taskbar (look down lol). You select a scale from that, which matches as close as possible the size you wish the model to show up at in the viewport. You use the PAN command to adjust the model's position in the viewport, and then you highlight the viewport and lock it -- this means if you go into the viewport and pan or zoom it won't mess up the scale. Remember this -- one huge benefit of layout tabs is multiple views of one model, so no duplication of effort.


Okay that's enough for one post. Hit F1 and start reading into layouts, paperspace, CAD standards, and start learning about annotative objects. By the way, two tips: first, you can either create a layer that doesn't plot and draw your viewports on it, or you can draw them on your defpoints layer (if you don't want to plot viewport borders). Next, the same pop-up scale thingie exists in modelspace. If most of your viewports have a scale of 1/8" = 1'-0" for example, I advise going into modelspace and setting its scale list to the same thing. You still draw in 1:1 scale, but this adjusts the way your linetypes display, to match how they would display in that 1/8" scale viewport. Good luck and report back to us with your progress!

I hope my info was useful, but if by some odd chance it actually solved your issue, feel free to mark your post as "Accept as Solution". Thanks! :smileyhappy:

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