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  1. #1
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    Default Annotation/dims to print as black?

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    Many of the 2D drawings we produce can become 'crowded' with information. This includes a lot of drawing detail lines, shapes etc. and also the required text, dims and leaders to annotate everything.

    Drawing details (lines, shapes, symbols etc.) are usually printed as black as this gives the best contrast and clarity for those items.

    What is the general consensus of setting annotation to print out as a different bold colour in order that drawing details and annotation can have a clear differentiation ?

    ie. providing clarity between what is annotation and what is drawing detail.
    (often dimension and leader lines can become mixed up with drawing details when everything prints as black)

  2. #2
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    What kinds of drawings are we talking about? Civil, structural, electrical, architectural, other?

    At one time distinctions between elements of a drawing were strictly based upon lineweight not color for obvious reasons. The only time we print in color is for producing presentation type drawings and that only happens when we present plans to city officials and various public agencies in the permitting process for our second site. All in-house drawings are printed in monochrome.
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  3. #3
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    Civil.
    Roads / bridges etc.

    Monochrome? - blimey
    I'm trying to drag our business in to the 21st century as we all have colour printers/plotters.

  4. #4
    Quantum Mechanic ReMark's Avatar
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    I work at a chemical plant and most of the drawings used from day to day are piping and instrumentation diagrams and building plot plans. Color is of no real use to use although both of our large format inkjet printers are capable of producing a wide range of colors. 99% of all drawings are used strictly in-house and not for public distribution.
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  5. #5
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    No problem, my previous comment was a little "tongue-in-cheek", any drawing should be tailored for maximum 'efficiency' for its application.

    For many of our typical styles of drawing, to describe it as basically as it can go, there are a lot of black lines overlapping - when all these black lines overlap it becomes difficult to easily read the drawing.

    Hence my push for a colour set up that allows better clarity.
    But then there will of course be different office policy across the industries regarding cost per printed drawing etc. Using colour obviously pushes up the cost slightly.

  6. #6
    Luminous Being RobDraw's Avatar
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    A lot of people have been plotting busy complex drawings without the aid of color for a very long time. Any drafter worth their salt should be able to present a drawing that is easy to read with just a handful of lineweights and shading as color printing is not widely accepted, yet. I personally can't wait for color plots to be used for our construction documents. They do present quite well.
    Drafting is a breeze.

  7. #7
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    That is true, historically monochrome has been used extensively.
    The type of drawings we often produce include mapping back grounds (coloured grey 253 to display as 'supporting' information), then over the top of these we have details such as road markings, kerb and drainage details etc., all with annotation.

    It could be argued that we could simply 'split up' the drawings and present less information to the reader, but if we have the option to use colour to make drawings easier to read then this is what I would like to see.

    Modern software and plotters should see old style drawings adapt to the 21st century, but like I mentioned earlier, if offices have policies for keeping traditions or simply due to cost savings then that it well within the rights of the company in question.

    Thanks for the discussion, especially taking in viewpoints from across the pond

  8. #8
    Luminous Being RobDraw's Avatar
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    Let this thread serve as fair warning. Even if you go color, you still need to be able to produce a quality print in B&W. More than likely those color prints are not going to make out to the field where the information you are conveying really needs to be clear.
    Drafting is a breeze.

  9. #9
    Quantum Mechanic ReMark's Avatar
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    Many years ago when I worked in the civil engineering field, highway design/layout, we typically drew all the existing information using a thin lineweight. All structures/features were then hand-lettered (upper/lower case AND on a slant). The proposed highway (centerline, pavement, R.O.W. lines, etc.) were drawn using heavier lineweights and everything was called out using Leroy lettering templates. There was a very CLEAR distinction between existing and proposed and no matter how congested the sheet became with notes, stationing, benchmarks, etc. drawings were quite readable especially in the field. Back then it was strictly black and white; no color what-so-ever. Yet people were able to read the drawings and build what was shown. Sometimes I think we have strayed from the basic premise of drawings and that is to be as clear, concise and unambiguous as we can be. We aren't recreating the Mona Lisa here.
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    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.

  10. #10
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    I produce drawings for environmental remediation projects. Mostly asbestos abatement, but a handful of other types of work as well.


    Many times, I'm using a background that consists of a scanned image of an eleventh generation copy of a drawing that was originally produced in 1985.*


    Everything I add is in red. The largest size we print out is 11x17.


    The field project manager always has a color copy with him/her.


    * I've also gotten good at converting a scan into a monochrome TIFF or a JPEG, opening that up in paint, and spending a couple hours cleaning it up. As long as the contractor knows to remove all the pipe insulation from this room, but not that room, all is good.

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