Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Start DWF'ing!

From AutoCAD and most Autodesk products, drawings or models can be plotted to a .dwf file. This can be done either through the PLOT command and choosing one of the DWF choices or with the PUBLISH command (allows you to publish your entire set at once). You can control the resolution (.dpi) as well as check to include layer information through the Properties button and custom properties of the plotter.

When you send a .dwf file to someone, you should always include the link to the free Design Review software so they can view it. I usually phrase my email to the effect “this free Autodesk software will allow you to view the drawing(s) as well as zoom, measure, print, and markup…”

Sending a .dwf file is much smaller than a .pdf file and just like a .pdf file you can include the entire 3D model or all the sheets in the set.

If you, or someone you know, has a .dwg file and not a .dwf file, you can still use Design Review. Instead of File>Open, you would choose File>Import.

You can also open and plot a .dwg file without markup abilities with the free DWG TrueView.

Once your customer marks up the drawing or model, you can use that markup within AutoCAD (or your specific Autodesk program). The location to do this has changed from release to release. Some releases of software had “Markup” listed under the File pulldown.

In 2008, it has been integrated into the Insert pulldown menu similar to external references and raster images. It is also controlled with the reference manager.

If you can attach an external reference (XREF), you can attach a DWF Underlay.

When you have finished your changes, simply detach the overlay. What could be easier?

Right clicking on the .dwf reference will get you this menu with various options.

If you are not sending files in .dwf format, give it a try. If you receive .dwg files and have to depend on someone else to open them, try one of the free programs listed above.

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