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*Schmidt, John
Message 1 of 10 (52 Views)

Layer Verification before Plotting?

52 Views, 9 Replies
12-06-2002 01:42 AM
We've go about 50 LDD2i users here, and at our weekly CAD Standards meeting,
the subject was raised about the problems of drawings being plotted without
all the correct layers being turned on. Since most of these civil drawings
are fairly complex, it's easy for a few things to get missed, even during
the checks. It's apparently become such an issue, (quality control), that
management has asked me to come up with possible solutions to prevent plots
from going out with the wrong layers being plotted. We realize it should be
the users responsibility to be on top of this, but many are still going out
incorrectly.

The only partially practical solution we've come up with so far is
implementing standard layer states for plotting, (Express Tools Layer
Manager), then redefining the Plot command to first bring up the Layer
Manager, which would at least force the user to be aware of checking to see
if his current layer setting are correct for plotting. However, we realize
this method is full of loopholes, and wondered how other companies are
dealing with this issue?

Thanks for any ideas or suggestions.

John Schmidt
CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering
*Alexander, Dave
Message 2 of 10 (52 Views)

Re: Layer Verification before Plotting?

12-06-2002 02:05 AM in reply to: *Schmidt, John
Good luck John,

About the only sure thing is to organize your layer names so that all the
layers that are required to be plotted in a particular drawing all have a
common designation in their names. You can do this by type of drawing. Some
are some are underground services, some are site grading etc. Underground
services could have ug somewhere in their name for example. Layers that are
common to more than one type of drawing could be attached as and xref and
the xref name renamed to include the "ug" for instance.
Then just before plotting, turn on all the *ug* layers or thaw in the
viewports.

This is the only way I can think of that witll always work. Of course you
cannot have your users making up their own layers.

Dave Alexander

"John Schmidt" wrote in message
news:29826DB0DD82E78BEC761406524D850C@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> We've go about 50 LDD2i users here, and at our weekly CAD Standards
meeting,
> the subject was raised about the problems of drawings being plotted
without
> all the correct layers being turned on. Since most of these civil drawings
> are fairly complex, it's easy for a few things to get missed, even during
> the checks. It's apparently become such an issue, (quality control), that
> management has asked me to come up with possible solutions to prevent
plots
> from going out with the wrong layers being plotted. We realize it should
be
> the users responsibility to be on top of this, but many are still going
out
> incorrectly.
>
> The only partially practical solution we've come up with so far is
> implementing standard layer states for plotting, (Express Tools Layer
> Manager), then redefining the Plot command to first bring up the Layer
> Manager, which would at least force the user to be aware of checking to
see
> if his current layer setting are correct for plotting. However, we realize
> this method is full of loopholes, and wondered how other companies are
> dealing with this issue?
>
> Thanks for any ideas or suggestions.
>
> John Schmidt
> CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering
>
>
*Connor, Robert
Message 3 of 10 (52 Views)

Re: Layer Verification before Plotting?

12-06-2002 02:52 AM in reply to: *Schmidt, John
What we do, and it is still subject to users following though, is to have
all drawings set up with the layers frozen only in the viewports. This
means that you start from seeing everything in model space, move to your
plot layout and freeze what you don't want through the viewport. Then when
it is time to plot all of the layers are turned on and thawed with a lisp.
This is working well, but we are a smaller office where I can control the
process pretty well.

Robert Connor
Thielsen Architects


"John Schmidt" wrote in message
news:29826DB0DD82E78BEC761406524D850C@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> We've go about 50 LDD2i users here, and at our weekly CAD Standards
meeting,
> the subject was raised about the problems of drawings being plotted
without
> all the correct layers being turned on. Since most of these civil drawings
> are fairly complex, it's easy for a few things to get missed, even during
> the checks. It's apparently become such an issue, (quality control), that
> management has asked me to come up with possible solutions to prevent
plots
> from going out with the wrong layers being plotted. We realize it should
be
> the users responsibility to be on top of this, but many are still going
out
> incorrectly.
>
> The only partially practical solution we've come up with so far is
> implementing standard layer states for plotting, (Express Tools Layer
> Manager), then redefining the Plot command to first bring up the Layer
> Manager, which would at least force the user to be aware of checking to
see
> if his current layer setting are correct for plotting. However, we realize
> this method is full of loopholes, and wondered how other companies are
> dealing with this issue?
>
> Thanks for any ideas or suggestions.
>
> John Schmidt
> CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering
>
>
Distinguished Contributor
cprettyman
Posts: 1,029
Registered: ‎12-09-2003
Message 4 of 10 (52 Views)

Re: Layer Verification before Plotting?

12-06-2002 02:52 AM in reply to: *Schmidt, John
There is an old fashioned answer to this, that still works, even if it seems archaic, which is to have a sheet file in which nothing resides at all, except xrefs. All the layer states, and colors are set, and never need to be changed at all. The sheet files are used solely for plotting.

I've read through a bunch of CAD manuals recently, from other firms, includign some from larger firms, that were relatively early adopters of CAD. IT seems liek most of them broke there drawings into three files - a model file, which had all the geometry; an annotation file, which had all text and dimensions; and a sheet file, or plotting file, into which both the model and annotation were referenced. THis was done largely as a means of controlling file sizes, and improvements in both hardware and software have made this superfluous, but it would still address the problems you describe.
*Schmidt, John
Message 5 of 10 (52 Views)

Re:

12-06-2002 03:16 AM in reply to: *Schmidt, John
We do generally do xref the model files into sheet
files, but most annotation is also in the sheet files. But even doing it this
way still requires the operator have the correct layers turned on for plotting,
if they've turned stuff off while working on annotations, etc.

 

I've also discovered that redefining the PLOT
command won't really help us, since the Plot (<right><click> on
Layouts), uses the .Plot function, so it ALWAYS brings up the Plot dialog, since
"." functions can't be redefined. Our users are very used to plotting this way.
Because of this, I'm more interested than ever in how companies are dealing with
this problem.

 

John Schmidt
CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering

 



style="PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; BORDER-LEFT: #000000 2px solid; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px">There
is an old fashioned answer to this, that still works, even if it seems
archaic, which is to have a sheet file in which nothing resides at all, except
xrefs. All the layer states, and colors are set, and never need to be changed
at all. The sheet files are used solely for plotting.

I've read through a bunch of CAD manuals recently, from other firms,
includign some from larger firms, that were relatively early adopters of CAD.
IT seems liek most of them broke there drawings into three files - a model
file, which had all the geometry; an annotation file, which had all text and
dimensions; and a sheet file, or plotting file, into which both the model and
annotation were referenced. THis was done largely as a means of controlling
file sizes, and improvements in both hardware and software have made this
superfluous, but it would still address the problems you
describe.

*Follmer, CJ
Message 6 of 10 (52 Views)

Re:

12-06-2002 03:32 AM in reply to: *Schmidt, John
The best advise i could give you is to setup a system where by freezing a
layer means it should be permanently off and turning off is a temporary
measure for clearing up a drawing while you're working.

as for the plot command, you can build a LISP reactor which would fire
before the plot command started and turn the layers on. You would have to
also possibly set the reactor to fire with a preview as in my own effort to
try to get a plot log reactor working, found out that it wouldn't work if
the user previewed a dwg and then plotted from there.

Go to the customization ng and see if anyone can get you started there.

cj


"John Schmidt" wrote in message
news:7F40995371D8A2DBB5654C76998DF711@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> We do generally do xref the model files into sheet files, but most
annotation is also in the sheet files. But even doing it this way still
requires the operator have the correct layers turned on for plotting, if
they've turned stuff off while working on annotations, etc.
>
> I've also discovered that redefining the PLOT command won't really help
us, since the Plot ( on Layouts), uses the .Plot function, so
it ALWAYS brings up the Plot dialog, since "." functions can't be redefined.
Our users are very used to plotting this way. Because of this, I'm more
interested than ever in how companies are dealing with this problem.
>
*Allen, Dan
Message 7 of 10 (52 Views)

Re:

12-06-2002 04:40 AM in reply to: *Schmidt, John
we do the separate model & sheet files with the following logic:

in model files, no layers should ever be frozen, use on/off for isolation
while working

in sheet files, layers that shouldn't be plotted are frozen, on/off is again
just used for isolation while working on notes

we have a command OA that turns on all layers but non-plotting reference
layers prefixed with Z-
command OALL turns all on regardless

the mantra is, run OA before plotting


"John Schmidt" wrote in message
news:7F40995371D8A2DBB5654C76998DF711@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> We do generally do xref the model files into sheet files, but most
annotation is also in the sheet files. But even doing it this way still
requires the operator have the correct layers turned on for plotting, if
they've turned stuff off while working on annotations, etc.
>
> I've also discovered that redefining the PLOT command won't really help
us, since the Plot ( on Layouts), uses the .Plot function, so
it ALWAYS brings up the Plot dialog, since "." functions can't be redefined.
Our users are very used to plotting this way. Because of this, I'm more
interested than ever in how companies are dealing with this problem.
>
> John Schmidt
> CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering
*pkirill
Message 8 of 10 (52 Views)

Re: Layer Verification before Plotting?

12-09-2002 03:29 AM in reply to: *Schmidt, John
We had trouble here with users plotting to the wrong devices so I wrote a
routine that plugs in all the correct information for a specific device and
then created a Plot Toolbar. You click the button for the device you need.
It could be modified to freeze/thaw layers for a specific sheet - your plot
toolbar would be based on sheet types rather than devices. Might make for
an unwieldy toolbar, but then there is a dialog box interface used to pick
the layout tab to plot - that could be converted to sheet setups instead...
The routine is at www.kdcad.com/downloads if you're interested...


"John Schmidt" wrote in message
news:29826DB0DD82E78BEC761406524D850C@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> We've go about 50 LDD2i users here, and at our weekly CAD Standards
meeting,
> the subject was raised about the problems of drawings being plotted
without
> all the correct layers being turned on. Since most of these civil drawings
> are fairly complex, it's easy for a few things to get missed, even during
> the checks. It's apparently become such an issue, (quality control), that
> management has asked me to come up with possible solutions to prevent
plots
> from going out with the wrong layers being plotted. We realize it should
be
> the users responsibility to be on top of this, but many are still going
out
> incorrectly.
>
> The only partially practical solution we've come up with so far is
> implementing standard layer states for plotting, (Express Tools Layer
> Manager), then redefining the Plot command to first bring up the Layer
> Manager, which would at least force the user to be aware of checking to
see
> if his current layer setting are correct for plotting. However, we realize
> this method is full of loopholes, and wondered how other companies are
> dealing with this issue?
>
> Thanks for any ideas or suggestions.
>
> John Schmidt
> CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering
>
>
*Schmidt, John
Message 9 of 10 (52 Views)

Re:

12-09-2002 03:29 AM in reply to: *Schmidt, John
Thanks for all the ideas so far. It looks like there's no easy or foolproof
way around this - whether using a custom toolbar for plotting, changing our
standard layers, or just modifying habits, retraining and persistence look
to be the only real solutions. I really do appreciate all the input.

John Schmidt
CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering

"pkirill" wrote in message
news:262BF276BF09F7A8FA80049BF9EDB6BF@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> We had trouble here with users plotting to the wrong devices so I wrote a
> routine that plugs in all the correct information for a specific device
and
> then created a Plot Toolbar. You click the button for the device you
need.
> It could be modified to freeze/thaw layers for a specific sheet - your
plot
> toolbar would be based on sheet types rather than devices. Might make for
> an unwieldy toolbar, but then there is a dialog box interface used to pick
> the layout tab to plot - that could be converted to sheet setups
instead...
> The routine is at www.kdcad.com/downloads if you're interested...
>
>
> "John Schmidt" wrote in message
> news:29826DB0DD82E78BEC761406524D850C@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> > We've go about 50 LDD2i users here, and at our weekly CAD Standards
> meeting,
> > the subject was raised about the problems of drawings being plotted
> without
> > all the correct layers being turned on. Since most of these civil
drawings
> > are fairly complex, it's easy for a few things to get missed, even
during
> > the checks. It's apparently become such an issue, (quality control),
that
> > management has asked me to come up with possible solutions to prevent
> plots
> > from going out with the wrong layers being plotted. We realize it should
> be
> > the users responsibility to be on top of this, but many are still going
> out
> > incorrectly.
> >
> > The only partially practical solution we've come up with so far is
> > implementing standard layer states for plotting, (Express Tools Layer
> > Manager), then redefining the Plot command to first bring up the Layer
> > Manager, which would at least force the user to be aware of checking to
> see
> > if his current layer setting are correct for plotting. However, we
realize
> > this method is full of loopholes, and wondered how other companies are
> > dealing with this issue?
> >
> > Thanks for any ideas or suggestions.
> >
> > John Schmidt
> > CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering
> >
> >
>
>
*Friedrich, Peter
Message 10 of 10 (52 Views)

Re:

12-12-2002 04:02 AM in reply to: *Schmidt, John
CJ,
Your method is what I'm familiar with-- Since I'm among the 'new kids' at
this office, (and in charge of implementing standards) I can tell you it's
sometimes like herding cats to get everyone on board that boat.

By building some display macros into my menu-- they see how this method
benefits them, so having tools in place is the best persuader (short of pink
paper).

(example)
our layers have AX_ prefixes - A for discipline, X for phase of project
(new, existing, demo... 1, 2, 3, whatever). They have P suffixes for
piping, so we can see duct+pipe or duct-pipe or pipe-duct in our mechanical
layouts.
Macros are run prior to plot:
All AE_* and AD_* layers = project's demolition work
All AE_* and AN_* layers = project's Construction work
Architecture is xref'ed in... so it's usually a static layer setup.

Civil work? I can imagine that it creates a snake pit of settings....



"CJ Follmer" wrote in message
news:034D04B2D2550D54FF2454D0B602B7B4@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> The best advise i could give you is to setup a system where by freezing a
> layer means it should be permanently off and turning off is a temporary
> measure for clearing up a drawing while you're working.
>
> as for the plot command, you can build a LISP reactor which would fire
> before the plot command started and turn the layers on. You would have to
> also possibly set the reactor to fire with a preview as in my own effort
to
> try to get a plot log reactor working, found out that it wouldn't work if
> the user previewed a dwg and then plotted from there.
>
> Go to the customization ng and see if anyone can get you started there.
>
> cj
>
>
> "John Schmidt" wrote in message
> news:7F40995371D8A2DBB5654C76998DF711@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> > We do generally do xref the model files into sheet files, but most
> annotation is also in the sheet files. But even doing it this way still
> requires the operator have the correct layers turned on for plotting, if
> they've turned stuff off while working on annotations, etc.
> >
> > I've also discovered that redefining the PLOT command won't really help
> us, since the Plot ( on Layouts), uses the .Plot function,
so
> it ALWAYS brings up the Plot dialog, since "." functions can't be
redefined.
> Our users are very used to plotting this way. Because of this, I'm more
> interested than ever in how companies are dealing with this problem.
> >
>
>

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