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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A different look at the model

As you folks have figured out, CADWorx Plant and Plant Professional run a quit a few Autodesk platforms besides “Vanilla” AutoCAD. And for the most part that’s all we do is run CADWorx on the AutoCAD version of the vertical. But sometimes we can make use of the tools in the flavor of AutoCAD we are using. Or we can see about working with someone in a different discipline/department (preferably a Civil designer). As an example, with AutoCAD Map 3D there’s a little something you can do for your ‘Overall” or “Project” model that has everything referenced into it. I’ve done this on a few projects, and know some other folks that like it and use this as well. Long before we had annotation objects, Map 3D has “Visual Scale Thresholds” in the Display Manager.

What this tool allows us to do is set which layers are visible at certain viewing scales. Or in other words, you could start our zoomed to extents on the site model. At this point you could see the property boundary, maybe the main roads or streets. As you scroll your wheel to zoom in, at some point you would begin to see a little more detail. It starts to look more like an equipment arrangement drawing for the facility. As you continue to zoom into the model, more detail pops into the view such as the pipe racks and main structures. As you get closer, more and more detail is visible. At some point you will see all the piping and geometry in the model, but by then you are zoomed in enough to select lines easily.
Now keep in mind, this is really only for presentation and review. And is even easier to set up on a grass roots project too! But that’s a bit of work just so you can zoom in and out while you’re working on a single model.
Hey, working with the other departments/disciplines can come in handy. Besides, there are so many different design disciplines at engineering companies involved with any project, why not collaborate.

So anyways, what have some of you done with other Autodesk applications to help improve the presentation of your drawings? Aw come on, I know folks working with Civil 3D surfaces to make it look more realistic. So come on, tell me what you do.

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