AutoCAD Civil 3D General Discussion

Reply
Contributor
skyfog
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎08-20-2008
Message 1 of 9 (2,406 Views)

Fundamental Plotting Question

2406 Views, 8 Replies
02-10-2012 05:07 AM

This is a difficult problem to explain.  I hope someone has the patience to understand it and provide some insight, because it is a problem of long-standing with AutoCAD, even as far back as LDT 2004 (in my experience); probably something I just don't understand.

 

We are a surveying company. When we create a survey drawing, we set up our title block in paper space with 0,0 margins.  That is, plot Extents, X=0, Y=0 (relative to edge of paper set in Options/Plot and Publish), and Apply to Layout. then we have a number of standard page layouts for different sizes of paper, each with appropriate margin values (X=, Y=) and scale factor, and which plot Layout rather than Extents (there is a reason for this*).

 

When we want to plot a drawing, we simply go to Plot and select the desired page format, and click OK, without clicking Apply to Layout.  Preview shows the correct placement of the drawing, and indeed it plots correctly as well.  After plotting, the title block remains aligned to the layout at 0,0.

 

However (and here's the problem) if you do click Apply to Layout, Preview still looks OK and the plot still comes out OK, but when it's all done, the title block is left lying at some seemingly random place on the layout.  To get a correct plot any time after that, you must again plot extents, X=0, Y=0, and Apply to Layout.

 

This occurs even when the lower left corner of the title block is positioned at (0,0) in paper space coordinates.  At a plot scale factor of 1:1, the Apply to Layout misses the proper position by something like X=0.9656, Y=0.3618 inches.  Where are these odd values coming from?  If the title block is positioned to compensate for these displacement values, then everything appears to work as you would expect, but the displacement values don't seem to have any rhyme or reason.

 

So, There must be something basic to plotting that I have missed all this time.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.

 

-------------------------------------------------

 

*The reason for plotting Layout rather than Extents is because, when plotting Extents AutoCAD does not (cannot?)allow for line widths specified in the pen table, and the wide border lines of our title block get split in half by the limits of the extent plot. But this is a problem for another day.

*Expert Elite*
Joe-Bouza
Posts: 4,803
Registered: ‎12-15-2008
Message 2 of 9 (2,405 Views)

Re: Fundamental Plotting Question

02-10-2012 05:14 AM in reply to: skyfog

I don't follow exactly. But you should plot by layout anf your border frame has to lie within the allowable margins of your device.

Thank you

Joseph D. Bouza, P.E. (one of 'THOSE' People) Civil 3D 2012 & 2013
HP Z210 Workstation
Intel Xeon CPU E31240 @ 3.30 Hz
12 GB Ram


Note: Its all Resistentialism, so keep calm and carry on

64 Bit Win7 OS
Contributor
skyfog
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎08-20-2008
Message 3 of 9 (2,402 Views)

Re: Fundamental Plotting Question

02-10-2012 05:23 AM in reply to: skyfog

Joe, Thanks for your reply.  Yes, we try to always plot Layout and the title block borders are always within the printable area.  (That is a subject where I have a whole raft of questions regarding altering the printable area and the interaction of those settings with the plotter driver, etc.  But as they say, "You had to be there."  I can't imagine exploring it via postings or email.)  

*Expert Elite*
wfberry
Posts: 1,773
Registered: ‎09-05-2006
Message 4 of 9 (2,389 Views)

Re: Fundamental Plotting Question

02-10-2012 07:54 AM in reply to: skyfog

Perhaps if you shared your plotter (printer) with the group there might be better feedback.  (& Driver setup).

 

Have you tried printing to a pdf "printer"?   Then plotting from there.

 

Bill

 

 

*Expert Elite*
MarySeufert
Posts: 575
Registered: ‎04-19-2011
Message 5 of 9 (2,376 Views)

Re: Fundamental Plotting Question

02-10-2012 08:35 AM in reply to: skyfog

skyfog wrote:

This occurs even when the lower left corner of the title block is positioned at (0,0) in paper space coordinates.  At a plot scale factor of 1:1, the Apply to Layout misses the proper position by something like X=0.9656, Y=0.3618 inches.  Where are these odd values coming from?  If the title block is positioned to compensate for these displacement values, then everything appears to work as you would expect, but the displacement values don't seem to have any rhyme or reason.


The odd values come from the plotter's printable area. The Layout (and Extents/Window) option puts 0,0 (or bottom left of extents/window) at the bottom left of the plotter's printable area.  Under Options->Display check the display printable area under layout elements. The printable area will be as I described. This is quite strange to me, but is what it is.

 

I prefer using the window plot area, with center the plot checked. I use polylines with a width in my borders, so I've never run into the issue you are describing when using extents.

 

~ Mary


_______________________________________________________________________
Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Software Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.
Contributor
skyfog
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎08-20-2008
Message 6 of 9 (2,373 Views)

Re: Fundamental Plotting Question

02-10-2012 08:46 AM in reply to: wfberry

Bill, Thanks for your reply.

 

To address your second item first, yes, the same thing happens whether plotting to a PDF or to a h/w device. From all appearances, everything goes well once the plot is handed off to the plotter, leading me to believe that it is not a plotter/driver problem.  The most interesting aspect is that, when the smoke clears, AutoCAD does not leave the layout looking like what it just got done plotting!  There is some kind of meddling going on after-the-fact, if you will.

 

For the record, we plot to a variety of devices (hence the multiple page layouts) including a H/P 1050C, a H/P 1050C+, a Xerox 7300, a Ricoh 2018D, and a Ricoh C2051. But it doesn't seem to matter.

 

I'm aware that there is an intimate and sometimes deceitful relationship between software and device drivers, so if I'm making too many a priori assumptions let me know.  Thanks for your help.

Contributor
skyfog
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎08-20-2008
Message 7 of 9 (2,363 Views)

Re: Fundamental Plotting Question

02-10-2012 09:24 AM in reply to: MarySeufert

Mary, Thanks for your reply.  I do not see the same results that you experience.

 

In our Options setup, "Display printable area" is always checked. And we always select "Specify plot offset relative to Edge of paper" under Plot and Publish.

 

But, for example, when AutoCAD finishes a 24x36 plot to PDF, with 1.5-inch left margin and 0.5-inch bottom margin (which he plots correctly), he leaves the lower left corner of the paper display at (-0.5357, -0.1387) and the lower-left corner of the printable area display at (-0.4107, -0.0137) regardless of where the title block borders actually are. The printable area margins specified in the PDF properties are 0.125 all around (and that is displayed correctly, as you can see from the coordinate values).

 

So, there must be some difference between your setup and mine.  Perhaps if we could identify it, that might shine some light on the problem.

 

 

*Expert Elite*
MarySeufert
Posts: 575
Registered: ‎04-19-2011
Message 8 of 9 (2,353 Views)

Re: Fundamental Plotting Question

02-10-2012 01:23 PM in reply to: skyfog

There is a difference... my 'Specify plot offset relative to' is set to 'Printable area'. I think this is the standard setting, since I have never changed it. For a quick test, I changed it to 'Edge of paper', and I can't even get close to replicating your problem.

 

I am at a loss as to what is going wrong with your set up.


_______________________________________________________________________
Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Software Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.
Contributor
skyfog
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎08-20-2008
Message 9 of 9 (2,319 Views)

Re: Fundamental Plotting Question

02-14-2012 10:32 AM in reply to: skyfog

Mary (et al),   I think I've finally figured this out.

 

At the time that you define a page setup with the Page Setup Manager, your extents need to be lying at (0,0) (mine were not) because AutoCAD records that location (somewhere in the page setup, and you can't change it). Later, when you plot using that page setup, he plots by offsetting your margin specifications (X=,Y=) from the current location of the page (he always moves the page outline, not your stuff) so everything proceeds as you would expect.  But if you Apply to Layout then when he's done plotting he positions the page outline according to the location he recorded when the page setup was created, and if that's not (0,0) then things are now messed up.

 

When you define the page setup, it doesn't seem to matter where the page is lying at that moment, what matters is where your extents are lying.  Ours were arbitrarily placed by whoever originally drew the title blocks because they didn't think it mattered.

 

(Maybe everyone else already knew this ... ?)

 

Thanks to everyone who expended their mental energy on this.  I hope this info will be helpful to someone in the future.

You are not logged in.

Log into access your profile, ask and answer questions, share ideas and more. Haven't signed up yet? Register

Announcements
Are you familiar with the Autodesk Expert Elites? The Expert Elite program is made up of customers that help other customers by sharing knowledge and exemplifying an engaging style of collaboration. To learn more, please visit our Expert Elite website.

Need installation help?

Start with some of our most frequented solutions to get help installing your software.

Ask the Community


Civil 3D Exchange Apps

Created by the community for the community, Autodesk Exchange Apps for AutoCAD Civil 3D helps you achieve greater speed, accuracy, and automation from concept to manufacturing.

Connect with Civil 3D

Twitter

Facebook

Blogs