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  1. #1
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    Default Masking Parts of Blocks

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    Hello All,


    Here in my office (oil and gas facilities planning) we're looking at revising some of our CAD practices. One of these involves drawing certain blocks that describe machinery (pumps, motors, gear boxes, loading arms, etc) so that when they lay over each other on plan drawings, you don't see wireframe bleeding through from the blocks underneath. In the past, drafters have exploded and trimmed these blocks to get the right look, but that way (obviously) lies madness.

    I am toying with the idea of adding a masking solid shape into each block to mask the parts that lie beneath, but how to best do that I don't know. It would be nice to just draw a filled solid PLINE shape that plots white (that is, doesn't plot on paper) but I can't figure out how to do that. There's also the solid option, but I don't like that much because you can't draw them with true, smooth curves.

    So how would y'all tackle this? All I can think of given the above constraints is to create pre-trimmed versions of each block, since our pump assemblies tend to go together only a few different ways each time, almost without exception...

  2. #2
    Forum Deity Dana W's Avatar
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    Solid hatch with draw order set properly should work. Set the draw order for the hatch to "bring to front". You need to use true color, RGB, 255.255.255 on the hatch for it to plot as white rather than black.
    The S197 gen Ford Mustang, and the F-4 Phantom both prove the same theory. "With enough power applied, a school bus will fly."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana W View Post
    You need to use true color, RGB, 255.255.255 on the hatch for it to plot as white rather than black.
    Wouldn't this depend on the pen settings? Isn't it possible that that color could be set to plot black or shaded?
    Drafting is a breeze.

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    Personally I like wipeouts in blocks, others don't. I'll attach a file with some blocks for example. Basically just draw the block as you want, then send the wipeout to the back of the block. The block thats placed ontop of anything will make it disappear.

    Wipeout Block Examples.dwg

    I love the door block in particular, talk about a time saver!

  5. #5
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    It is well known that wipeouts do not always work as expected, especially when it comes to display order. Also, some PDF programs plot them as solid blocks. That is why Dana suggested using a hatch that plots white.
    Drafting is a breeze.

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    I haven't run into any issues with them yet, so I would recommend them. I like to give alternate solutions as you know :p Autocad has a built in DWG to PDF printer, and the sheet sets help to combine them. Not sure why there would be a need to use a 3rd party PDF maker.

    Yes the wipeouts have their issues, but so do other things. Draw order isn't a big deal to me cause I can fix it pretty quickly selecting the object, typing DO, enter, enter. So it still saves more time than making a door or window the old fashioned way of extend/trimming. I like being able to just pop in the door block and it self rotates, and "trims out" the wall lines, which I can leave to center the doors quickly; plus I can move a door a foot if I want and not have to fix the wall lines left behind without the wipeout technique.

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    So, you would recommend something that has documented issues just because you have not had any problems with it?

    I went for years without any virus protection on my personal computer without ever getting a virus. I practiced safe browsing. On the other hand, I have gotten viruses on computers with protection.

    Do you think that I should go back to not having any installed since I did not get any viruses?
    Drafting is a breeze.

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    Could you show me some threads where the issues are? Aside PDF issues. PDF printing through autocad doesn't have an issue like that printing wipeouts solid. If its draw order issues, mostly you can do a regen and its fixed.

    I have dozens of blocks with wipeouts, and for me, the issues aren't there to not justify not using them as a time saving technique. I'm just providing a secondary solution to solid hatch, which I don't think is really a good option to begin with. I use cycle selection, and I'd hate for it to be popping up every time because there is a hatch object there. The wipeout borders don't show, as you can turn them off (and I've even created a turn on and turn off wipeout frame custom commands).

    As you know, everyone drafts different. Two options were given, maybe there is more. Its up to Dal decide which they would prefer. I don't think its fair to out right call another option not worthy just because you don't prefer it.

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    I am not making any recommendations that the OP not use them or for you to change, just pointing out that wipeouts have known issues especially with display order. Either solution will work. The solid hatch solution was given by Dana because of the known issues with wipeouts.

    I won't site specific instances. If you are that curious, you can do your own research about issues with wipeouts.
    Drafting is a breeze.

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    Thanks for the advice. While WIPEOUT is definitely handy, the whole, "polyline must be made of line segments" is a problem. Some of our equipment has curved parts, so WIPEOUT would only work if each curve was made of a lot of line segments. Yes, I want my masks to be that exact, because they have to be that exact to look good at certain scales.

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