- Written by CADnoob
- Category: NEWS
- Hits: 105
I know it has been some time since my last post. I didn't want 2019 to go by without a post so in a true procrastinators fashion in posting this on the last day of the year.
I haven't forgot about the website, it has just been the nature of my work lately. About a year and a half ago I accepted a new position with my company. This new role greatly expanded my reach and scope of what I have been doing and has given me a much better perspective on all things CAD though this has come at the cost of productive free time. I currently have an article in the pipes as well as another podcast so hopefully you seem something new soon.
All that said I've been having a really rough go with the inner working of ye ole website. I'm looking to change provider for these services so the efforts which usually go into content creation have been directed towards site maintenance.
Thats not to say the noob has been asleep at the wheel. As ive mentioned before i spend a lot of time in the Autodesk Forums. I cant recommend visiting that place enough. Its an outstanding place to learn so much from so many people. Also im kinda active on the twitter and a little on Facebook so check me out there as well.
Well, i did it. I made a post in 2019!... Lets hope i get a handle on things in 2020! Happy new year!
- Written by CADnoob
- Category: Tips, Tricks & Nonsense
- Hits: 828
Ok so if you follow my writing you know I put a lot of thought and work into these articles... ok well maybe... ok, ok... its more like I spilled the scrabble tiles on the floor and posted it to the internet, but hear me out. I'm writing this article because I'm in the heat of a passionate rant!
WTF are you engineering firms doing for quality control as you push out your files!!!
Recently it seems like every turnover package I get my hands on has some gross negligence in regards to quality of their files as a product. Clean up your damn files!! I have seen unused Xrefs [think some company logo that was traced and deleted but never detached], Overlapping geometry, unused templates, unused blocks, unused tabs, OTHER COMPANIES DATA! etc etc etc. These are just a few of the things I've come across.
This garbage is nothing short of digital pollution or as the kids would say #digitalpollution fam. The actual data worth keeping in the files is around 500kb yet the file is 30,000kb equates to a whopping 98% WASTE in data storage. Fucking WASTE! Worse off the files get thrown into severs and often never get touched again so its not like this waste will ever be recovered. you start multiplying these file across serves and every iteration of the file version and this efficiency in data usage can only get worse.
So how do we stop this... unfortunately the first question is weather or not the contract asks you to use the bad data drawings. If you are doing brownfield work you might be stuck using your clients old drawings. In that case, you didn't start the fire so just do what you are contracted to do and let it be. (Though I might be inclined to inform the client of the waste and let them resolve it)
If its your drawing here are some things you should try:
- Templates - If you use them (which you should) clean out any and all unused data (e.g. unused layouts and title blocks)
- XREF - If they are not needed in the final drawing... remove them! This is probably the most frequent offender. Just take a second and look in EXTERNALREFRENCES
- OVERKILL - This one is so simple it could be part of you close drawing script. If you don't do that just hit Ctrl+A and run OVERKILL every now and then.
- PURGE - This should be a no brainer!! just do it. Purge the garbage
- -PURGE R - Purge regapps. If you use verticle and other such items you often litter drawing with garbage. clean it up please.
- -EXPORTTOAUTOCAD - If the drawing is complete and design work is done you can clean a lot of stuff using export to autocad.
- AUDIT - Use Audit to clean out problem junk in the drawing. If you use non Autodesk program you definitely want to give this a run.
OK... now that I've got some of that out I think I can get back to the work of fixing this BS that got turned over to me. So in closing this is how to clean your drawing. Optimize it for long term storage and save me the twitter bitch fest. Stop #digitalpollution!!
PS as an after thought it might be nice to know what causes this type of thing. R.K. McSwain of cadpanacea.com suggested on twitter that it was likely because of one or a couple things. Ill list below so if you are playing with these types of things in your work flow, look out for me on the back end.
- Written by CADnoob
- Category: About
- Hits: 834
It's 4:30PM on a Friday and you need to print 5 drawing on the old trusty plotter. Its true she has seen better days, and given the trend that everything is moving digital, ole Bessy isn't likely ever to see relief. She is hopefully the last plotter we ever buy. At 4:31PM I initialize the publishing job. The computer signals to you that its off to the printer and the plotter makes all the old familiar warm up buzzes and whirrs. The paper shuffles into place and the ink carriage is ready to launch into action and then you hear that loud BEEP! "Shit! No! Bessy, its Friday and I've got debauchery to get to!!"
Yep, it never fails. Murphy's law is never stronger than when facing old equipment late on Fridays...
After getting slapped around a couple time by Bessy, I spoke with our plotter service tech. His suggestion was that sitting idle just might be whats causing the issues. So if you have some ageing equipment that seems to be getting cranky this may help you. Perhaps taking the ole girl for a whirl once a week will stop the fits of malfunction.
All BS aside what am I talking about: Setting up an automatic scheduled plot to keep the plotter from falling apart.
The method I'm using is partial specific to the software I have and partially not. I will be using Adobe to print and I will be using windows Task Scheduler to schedule the printing. So if you don't have adobe, the first part is not for you.
Part 1 : Getting Acrobat to print.
Unfortunately I'm not sure how long I will be able to get away with using this method as from what I have read the process which I am about to show is no longer supported. That's fancy talk for " if that shit don't work, we don't care."
What I do is I set up switches when I call adobe acrobat. This is how I get it to print. This could be done with a .bat file but plugging in my string right into the task scheduler will work for me.
What are switches? These are little things that follow the program "call." In other words when you click on an icon on your computer, you are just initializing a program. One could just as easily put "myprogram.exe" in the command window to run a program. So a switch might look like "Myprogram.exe /x" where /x executed some special feature in the program. A description of the switches or options avalible to acrobat can be found here. The general look of this is below:
AcroRd32.exe /t filepath "printername" "drivername" "portname"
Now for me I have to input the full path of everything. mine looks like this.
C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat 2015\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe /t B:\Plotter Scanner\print.pdf "\\nethost\plotter" "Plotter Driver" "IP_10.10.10.10"
I tested this by throwing this 'script' in the "Run" area of the start button. It might just be listed as the search area, but it likely serves the same purpose on your machine as well. If it doesn't, type Run in the search window and then use the run window.
Some of the information for this string is a little difficult to get.
First you have to get the exact path of your Acrobat program. The path to mine is listed above.
Next in the string is just the switch "/t". This switch is a switch to print with a specific printer you want to use. This is convenient when you have multiple printers available to you.
Next in the string is the file path. This is where your PDF that you want to print lives. I personally Google searched for a color wheel so that I could have an image that would give all the color heads a good work out.
Next is the Printer name. This was a little tricky for me as my printer was on a network. I couldn't just use the printer name, I had to include the host server in the name.
Next is the driver. You can find this by going to your control panel > devices and printers then locate your plotter and right click on it and select printer properties. Then click on the advanced tab.
Next for the port info you just pop over to the ports tab and grab that info. You may have to expand the column with the port number so that you can actually see your information.
With all that info gathered you are ready to move to the next step.
Part 2: Putting it on a Timer
So this is fairly straight forward. Go to your start menu again and search Task Scheduler and click on it.
This will open the task scheduler. Yours may look a little different but the main idea is that you will create a new task. For me I just click on the Create Basic Task action. If your panes are hidden you might be able to open them by clicking on the pane button on the tool bar.
The next couple steps should be self explanatory, you name the task and set the time and frequency you want to plot.
Next you select to start a program
In the next window you dump the string we put together in part 1. NOTE: the string is a little different! You will need to add quotation marks around the Acrobat exe location.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat 2015\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe" /t B:\Plotter Scanner\print.pdf "\\nethost\plotter" "Plotter Driver" "IP_10.10.10.10"
It will recognize that the last part of the string is not the program and it will separate it for you and give you the message.
Tell it yes and then tell it to finish.
That's about it... unless you are like me. If you are like me, none of this worked. This is when you start screaming and pulling hair out.... hopefully not.
So if its not working for you can try running test and making changes. to do this, you can open your Task Scheduler and scrolling to the bottom to your task.
Once there you can run your script, and click properties to edit actions etc etc.
The things I stumbled on while trying to get this done was not including quotations when I needed to and not including the network path name when needed. Hopefully you can get through it with out much fuss.
So when you find yourself in your time of need you will have already have set this up and not be left in the dark by ole Bessy.