Friday, December 08, 2006

File Collaboration

Why do users need to share data?
To send data to subcontractors to perform work.
To send approval drawings to customers.
To send approval drawings to supervisors.
To send finished sets to field.

How can data be shared?
Sheets plotted and shipped.
Autodesk .dwg files or model(Inventor or Revit) files
Adobe .pdf files
Autodesk .dwf files

What is the end result need?
How little can this cost?
How little paper can be involved?

The solutions:
Plot and ship drawings. Requires plotting time and lots of paper and ink as well as overnight shipping costs.

Send the original file. Good for sharing the “real” data, but loses proprietary status. There are many files to share. Sometimes we forget one. Recipients may have different versions of AutoCAD.


Send a .pdf file. Good universal “language”, but file is large, not always good resolution, cannot be “read” in Autodesk file.


Send a .dwf file.
-Smaller file size
-Better image quality
-Better control
-Can be referenced to Autodesk file to make changes to original DWG
-Can include drawing information as well as Word documents and Excel spreadsheets in the same DWF file (using DWF Writer)


How do you create a .dwf file?
Plot or Publish to .dwf from within any Autodesk product.

What else can you do with DWF?
DWF can be embedded in a web page for clients to place their designs safely and accurately on the Internet. See Project Freewheel from Autodesk Labs.

Project Freewheel supports both 2D & 3D


What’s coming?
Microsoft Visa (the new operating system) will allow for viewing of .dwf files.

Microsoft .NET 3.0 Framework for Windows XP will allow .dwf viewing.


Best sources of information about DWF related topics
Scott Sheppard’s Beyond the Paper Blog

DWF FAQ

Master list of DWF related tools, viewers, and a variety of related items.

Autodesk Collaboration Page

Free Tools from Autodesk

Autodesk DWF Viewer
View 2D & 3D .dwf files; zoom and pan; view layers or in some cases block information; print a single sheet, the entire set, or a specific view. Free download from Autodesk.

DWG TrueView
Ability to open any .dwg or .dxf file. Looks almost like a mini-AutoCAD. Layer list, zoom and pan, plot and publish to .dwf or plotter. No editing, but full viewing and plotting capabilities.

DWG TrueConvert
Will convert any .dwg file up or down from R14 to 2007.

DWF Writer
Will write other documents to .dwf format.

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