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Bill Tillman

PDFIMPORT

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Bill Tillman

Been searching for info on doing PDFIMPORT stuff. The task is to import the architect's floor plan, clean it up as much as you can and then use it for locating scope of work areas. So basically I want the imported drawing to be slightly a lighter shade that the other objects in the model but detailed enough so there is no confusion. Here are some of the points I addressed in my research on this. Please feel free to enhance or add to this list.

 

  1. The drawings come in all broken up. Dimensions and leaders are just lines and text so it get's confusing.
  2. Hatches and heavy lineweights are a drag sometimes. But using the Quick Select tool helps a lot with this. Getting rid of hatches and and adjusting the lineweights on the thick lines makes it easier to get the reader's focus on the work area.
  3. One PDF file I tried to import was 12 MB in size. AutoCAD pretty much crapped out with this one. Another user in the office had the same problem. We let the system run through our lunch break and after 30 minutes it was only about 20% done. I'd like to test this on my home computer to compare, but with all the NDA's I had to sign on this gig I will have to find another file to use for testing outside of the office.

 

Of course a lot of these issues would disappear if we had access to the CAD files, but that is not always possible.

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BIGAL

Raster to vector has been around for years and it is a pre cursor to convert a pdf, the headaches and unusable results is well known, better algorithm's have helped improve it over the years.

 

I converted a pdf and it did the majority of lines ok but no text at all.

 

So unless the pdf has vectors and fonts embedded it may be a bit hit and miss.

 

Maybe try save as a raster and convert would be interesting if any better.

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Bill Tillman

At the risk of sounding redundant, I'm revisiting this post. After a few more experiences with PDFIMPORT I'm finding that some PDF's work better than others and some don't work very well at all. There is for example a PDF floor plan from an architectural firm which looks nice in it's PDF format. But when you import it into AutoCAD it come in as a big white block the size of the paper it's drawn on which is Arch D (24x36). There are other files that when you use Raster image it comes in rectangular sections which cannot be seen or edited. What I seem to be finding is that some files from certain sources are just not doable with PDFIMPORT. And if they do come  in there is so much work needed to make it usable that one might as well redraw the whole thing.

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Dana W

Items 1 & 2 on your list are not going to change unless your architects include layer and block information in their publish options.  That will be a small improvement.  I have yet to experience leaders or Mleaders with text to come in as anything but MTEXT with a couple of lines beside it.  However, when they do include layer & block info, it often results in item 3.  Concerning item 3, 12 meg seems kind of normal for the average pdf from an architect.  I am not running a hotrod computer and I don't have that problem.  I5, 3mhz with 12 gig ram and a Nvidia Quadro K2200.  Not 15 minutes ago, I inserted a 9 meg page from a 35 meg multi-page pdf, and then converted a segment of it to AutoCad objects in about 3.5 minutes.

 

Most of the 2D pdf views from architects are created from flat shots of 3D drawings, and often have every line in the 3D geometry stacked on top of each other.

 

Before starting to "clean up" the converted lines, run OVERKILL after converting the PDF without as many chosen limits as possible.  My aforementioned conversion contained over 88,000 lines.  Somewhere around 70,000 of those were duplicates and/or overlapping lines.  Overkill got rid of them.

 

If the sender does not include layer info in the pdf, AutoCad creates a layer for lines, images, solid fills, text styles and line types, if more than one type.   If there is layer information, AutoCad brings in each PDF-LAYER______ in addition to your own existing layers.

Edited by Dana W

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