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  1. #41
    Quantum Mechanic ReMark's Avatar
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    I work for a specialty chemical manufacturer. I do a little bit of everything from P&IDs to civil to architectural and structural.
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    There is only one drawing. The 2D views are part of the original drawing unless you WBLOCK them out. Actually two or three of the options available for extracting 2D views create additional layers automatically so must of the work is already done for you.

    Speaking of options with AutoCAD 2012 I think there are five ways to extract 2D views of 3D objects. They are (in no particular order)....

    Flatshot

    SectionPlane

    SolProf

    SolDraw/SolView

    View Base

    The possibilities are endless.
    "I have only come here seeking knowledge. Things they wouldn't teach me of in college." The Police

    Eat brains...gain more knowledge!

    I'm now a full member of the Society for the Promotion of Mediocrity in CAD. Standards? We don't need no stinkin' standards! Take whatever advice I offer and do the opposite.

  2. #42
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    I wanted to drop in and say thanks to everyone that offered advice to me in this thread. I finally got around to starting up a library of parts in 3D. Finding dimensions for some of the more complex parts like Butterfly Valves and Ball Valves has been the biggest chore so far, and in some cases I've had to just to a best guess and fudge it enough so they look reasonably correct, but I'm off to a great start.

    I still have issues at times slapping everything together in 3D but mainly when butterfly valves are part of the assembly (there are an insane amount of "center snaps" resulting from the somewhat complex shape of the valve) another issue I have at times is when I get the correct center snap to appear, it disappears before I can get my crosshairs to it. However sometimes zooming in closer remedies that.

    All in all though, I've had a few projects recently to draw up for the boss and he's been greatly impressed with the drawings I've been doing. I've mainly been using flatshot to get my 2D drawings as it seems to be the simplest by far, and I also like the way you can create a 2D DWG of the flatshot.

    Switching to wire frame view has been a great help in most situations, although... there are some times where it just makes things worse because there are so damn many lines. Especially when I have a few parts already snapped together. Sometimes there's so many lines I can't even tell which angle I'm looking at it from. Which reminds me... any idea why there's 2D Wireframe, 3D wireframe, and then just Wireframe? Switching between them, I can't tell any difference. They all look exactly the same as far as I can tell.

  3. #43
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    Depending on what size and type you work with, you can find "some" dimensional information on butterfly/ball valves here here. and here, although if you need to draw all the intricacies accurately, you pretty much need to hand measure them.

    All my parts are blocks, so it's easy to "snap" them into place using the Basepoint (point) osnaps. Also, when using Center Osnap, there's no need to actually move the mouse to the "center" and pick the "center" osnap.... if you see the OSnap marker when you're on the circumference of a circle, <Enter> will snap to it.
    valves.gif

  4. #44
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    Thanks for the tips nestly. I've been doing all of my blocks pretty hastily, trying to get to the point where I can get the more common tank battery designs done in a timely manner when the boss requests them and so far I've just picking a random snap point on the object and moving on to the next part. One weird thing... I don't know what I've done wrong but one some blocks I've done the insertion point winds up being kinda far away from the actual part. I'll have to go back through and start organizing things a little better, and start fixing my blocks insertion points once I have time. I was able to to do all the butterfly valves using dimensions from two separate sites (the site with the style use was missing the diameter of the "outside edge" around the bolt pattern, if that makes sense) so I was able to piece them together that way. They turned out rather nice as well! (to pat my own back :-p)

    My problem with the ball valves was I'd find them on a site, but I don't know all the different specifications to the various types of ball valves and most of the ones I came across didn't have the right bolt pattern or something along those lines. I just used the dimensions from the supplier we get our flanged ball valves from to get a few needed dimensions and just used dimensions from flanges for the flanged ends of it. The stuff I didn't have dimensions for I just guessed at, but they're pretty darn close. I don't really need the bolt pattern, but I'm frustratingly **** about things like that. Aside from that, everything I've been doing trying to get these things drawn has helped me get better over all at using autocad and also helped me become a little more resourceful when it comes to finding documentation (and "inventive when it comes to figuring out how to draw something). Plus... when the boss walks in and says "Wow... that's a nice looking valve, you're getting better at this stuff.", it's an added bonus. He loves how accurate and professional looking my new drawings are, and how it makes us look much more professional to the customer, thereby making it easier for him to sell the job.

    Especially thanks for the Osnap tip... now that you mention it I remember learning that a couple of years ago when I 1st started learning autocad from the tutorials on mycadsite.com. After my boss asked me to start learning it I started getting good at it, but he rarely ever had me draw anything and I forgot a great deal of what I originally learned, and the class I ended up taking many many moons later didn't even touch on 3D.

    Oh, also I wanted to ask. How do you save your blocks? Do you just save the dwg you created the block in, or do you use wblock? I think wblock was responsible for at least one block that I had to zoom out to find it once I inserted it into the drawing.

    Thanks again!

  5. #45
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    I save my blocks within "master" drawings so they can be quickly previewed/inserted via Design Center (which I keep open all the time). Basically, I have a drawing with all my commonly used fittings, another drawing with common valves, and another with common equipment. If you're not familiar with DC, here's an overview on youtube

    If you're not using logical/consistent basepoints for you blocks, you're probably going to regret it soon enough. 1st the basepoint is the easiest way to position a block accurately in a drawing. (Insertion Osnap) As you've figured out, center OSnap doesn't work well on objects like flanges and valves that have multiple circular geometry in the same vicinity (it's especially difficult to pick the center of a raised face flange) 2nd, it's difficult to change/replace a blocks when the basepoint isn't logical and consistent. Changing a block's basepoint is as simple as opening the block and moving it to 0,0,0, however it's even easier than that using LeeMac's Change Block Base Point lisp

  6. #46
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    Thanks nestly. At one point I did try putting all of my blocks in one drawing when I was doing 2D blocks, but for some reason I thought it would be better to keep them all in their own files. I do remember using Design center in the class I took but I kinda forgot about it. That would be nice to reduce the number of files I've started accumulating. I'll definitely check out that lisp program as well.

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