Eliot Sinclair has been using 12d Model for 100% drafting since 2004. The
techniques described below were developed to make plan preparation accessible to
even the most basic 12d Model software users within the firm. Customisation of
the software can give users truly amazing results.
The team’s main problem was how to simplify, standardise, speed up, and improve
their drafting processes.
Solution 1 - processes - they were using Plot
Frames (in 12d Model) extensively, not only for main sheets but for all
diagrams, inserting into other sheets and preserving title block information.
All but a few plans were plotted to a model first. This policy was strictly
enforced for several reasons: to have a backup copy of the plot data in a form
that would be possible to modify in CAD (12d CAD tools, PMF, etc.) should they
lose the 3D digital data, to see a preview of the data before sending it to a
printer, to enable adding more information to the plot such as tables and
paragraphs, and to enable plotting of reduced or enlarged plans.
Solution 2 - plot management macro - the vast
majority of their jobs involved plans with multiple sheets, and the team was
seeking the ability to quickly view all sheets or scroll through the entire plan
set, so they created a macro that allows for the plot models to be organised
into a grid, and enables users to check many plot previews at once. This proved
particularly useful when plotting cross sections of rivers etc as users can
visualise their plots easily.
[This macro has since
been added to the 12d Model User Forum.]
Solution 3 - simplified
plot view option - a simplified plot view panel was necessary as some users
could not master the two available in 12d Model (Quick Plot and Quick Sheet
It was decided the best
solution was to create one small panel with a maximum of eight input boxes
(inbuilt options have up to 20 inputs), to focus specifically on what the user
wanted at the time. This enabled individual users to pick a Plotter type and
give the plot a name file/model, size/factor the area that’s picked to be
plotted. If they failed to pick an area that matched a sheet size, it was simple
to modify the Original Sheet box to a standard sheet size. Zoom, size or factor
of each plot could be performed via a simple process of choosing output paper
size or typing in a size factor.
With the three solutions described, the team at Eliot Sinclair & Partners was
able to standardise, simplify and speed up plotting from 12d Model.
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