Author Topic: Multiple layouts  (Read 5719 times)

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yyou

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Multiple layouts
« on: July 11, 2004, 09:07:51 PM »
Hello everyone

I am not sure if the questions I am going to ask can be posted in this forum?  Please tell me if I need to post it in the general area.

Recently we have a project that need to be splited into 9 portions to fit in the client sheets.  So at the initial set up, I have 9 dwg files a, b, c, d...then at the end of 1st submittal, plotting time, I realize that we can have 1 file contains 9 layouts so that we do not have to open 9 files (file kinda big, it takes time to open).

I re-set up the files, after 1/2 day, end up with 6 file of 9-layouts: 1st & 2nd floors for each discipline MEP.  Then...we plotted...It took more than 4-hrs to complete sending.  The first few layouts went well but then computers started getting really so. I had to reboot the system several times. Seems like memory was sucked in by the regen, when going from 1 layout to another.  

Is there a problem w/ Acad or our system? Pentium 4, 2.0 G.  Or Does multiple files set up work better than multiple layouts?

CAB

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Multiple layouts
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2004, 10:25:37 PM »
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CADaver

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Re: Multiple layouts
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2004, 07:13:33 AM »
Quote from: yyou
Hello everyone

I am not sure if the questions I am going to ask can be posted in this forum?  Please tell me if I need to post it in the general area.

Recently we have a project that need to be splited into 9 portions to fit in the client sheets.  So at the initial set up, I have 9 dwg files a, b, c, d...then at the end of 1st submittal, plotting time, I realize that we can have 1 file contains 9 layouts so that we do not have to open 9 files (file kinda big, it takes time to open).

I re-set up the files, after 1/2 day, end up with 6 file of 9-layouts: 1st & 2nd floors for each discipline MEP.  Then...we plotted...It took more than 4-hrs to complete sending.  The first few layouts went well but then computers started getting really so. I had to reboot the system several times. Seems like memory was sucked in by the regen, when going from 1 layout to another.  

Is there a problem w/ Acad or our system? Pentium 4, 2.0 G.  Or Does multiple files set up work better than multiple layouts?
Sounds to me like a hardware problem.  We regularly have 1 or 2 dozen layouts in a single file without the degredation you're experiencing.  What's your system setup?

yyou

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Multiple layouts
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2004, 11:52:23 AM »
We are running windows 2000 workstations (4 workstations) not server.  We have 750c plotter connected to 1 of the computers.  Acad2002 is on 2 of the machines, the other 2 have 2000 lite.

We have bkgs, working files, plotting files.  Bkgds are xrefed to working files, working files xrefed to plotting file.  We purge dwgs before existing it.

One of the thing I should mention.  Bkgds are very big.  Architect use architetural desktop.  We have to burst everything (proxy entities) in the bkgds to get them to color bylayer.

The problem happened on every computer.  The newer, faster computer can send more files (layouts) before it's getting slow.

nivuahc

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Multiple layouts
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2004, 11:57:08 AM »
I'm moving this to CAD General...

CADaver

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Multiple layouts
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2004, 12:55:05 PM »
Quote from: yyou
We are running windows 2000 workstations (4 workstations) not server.
What's the machine setup speed/memory wise?  Could be the lack of server is bogging down the host machine.

yyou

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Multiple layouts
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2004, 03:06:22 PM »
I'm sorry Nivuahc.  I'll be posting new topics in here form now on.

Cadaver, We have 1 computer that hold all the files at 1.2Gb, 256 RAM; (1) 2.0GB 516 MB RAM connected to plotter.  (2) older machine I belive at 550mhz with 128 Ram.

Trev

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Multiple layouts
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2004, 08:11:03 PM »
More questions.
what is the file size of each.
architectural?
working drawing?
and plotting drawing?

In you plotting drawing how many viewports do you have per layout.
In your working drawing how many files are xref'd?
Then in your plotting file how many are xref'd?
When you xref do you use overlay or attach? (this can make a big difference)


If your xrefing and using attach this is a possible scenario

Your xref tree structure looks something like the following.
Code: [Select]

plotting file < working dwg 1 < arch dwg
                              < working dwg 2 < arch dwg      
               < working dwg 2 < arch dwg
               < arch dwg

If your plottting dwg xref's WD1 and WD2 plus an arch draw note that your WorkingDwg's also xref an arch dwg. You are essentially ending up with your arch dwg xref'd into your plotting dwg 4 times and if that arch is a huge drawing that can create quite a problem. Then multiply that by the amount of viewports you have per layout, multiplied by the amount of layouts. And your PC quickly runs out of resources hence the long plot processing time.

Thats on possible scenario as to why. Add to that a PC that may not be able to handle the huge file structure that is created and you crash.

Take a look at using overlay instead of attach when xref your dwg's as overlay does not process any nested xref's whereas attach does process them all. That may help your plight.
Also in the Architectural dwg you may want to clean out all the unused layers etc. that you don't want to see on your dwg. maybe things like dimensions, door & window numbering etc. etc. or if you keep them and turn the layer 'OFF' try using 'Freeze' instead. (acad does not process the entities when they are frozen but does if they are turn off.)


As a little test, instead of sending the plot directly to the plotter, select write to file (creating a PLT file) and take a look at how big that file is.
And that is basically the size file you are working in.

Hope the above makes sense and helps.

CADaver

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Multiple layouts
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2004, 08:27:07 PM »
Quote from: yyou
I'm sorry Nivuahc.  I'll be posting new topics in here form now on.

Cadaver, We have 1 computer that hold all the files at 1.2Gb, 256 RAM; (1) 2.0GB 516 MB RAM connected to plotter.  (2) older machine I belive at 550mhz with 128 Ram.


And these machines are actively running ACAD sessions while you're trying to plot?  You don't have half enough RAM for that setup, if your cad files are of any significant size.  I don't run less than a Gig for anything. And if you're "time-sharing" the processors that'll choke it down pretty fast.

yyou

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Multiple layouts
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2004, 05:15:40 PM »
File sizes:
  Bkgds:     6 MB
  Working:  700 KB
  Plotting:   140 KB

There are 2 vports through out 9 layouts:
  1 shows flr pln
  1 shows design notes

In working files (x-1mech, x-2mech, x-1plum...) there are 4 xrefs each:
  x-1flr .................. x-2nd
  x-grid ..................x-grid
  x-found ................x-framming
  x-2nd ...................x-1st   (shall be overlayed)

In plotting file there is only 1 xref: x-1mech, or x-2mech, x-1plum....
Every xref was attached.  X-found, x-framming shall be overlayed however, I did not think of that untill lately.

Cadaver, I wasn't aware that we need that much memory.  Long time ago, when machine with 32 MB of Ram was considered top of line, I read an article in a Micro-computer magazine states:  "You do not need more than 8 MB of RAM unless you plan to build an atomic bomb in your basement."  Therefore 256 or 512 are very big to me. So when I bought the systems I only concerned about mother board, video card and hard drive. Memory is at the dealer suggestion.

CADaver

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Multiple layouts
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2004, 07:19:16 PM »
Quote from: yyou
In plotting file there is only 1 xref: x-1mech, or x-2mech, x-1plum.... Every xref was attached.  X-found, x-framming shall be overlayed however, I did not think of that untill lately.
That shouldn't make that much difference, donsn't for us

Quote from: yyou
Cadaver, I wasn't aware that we need that much memory.  Long time ago, when machine with 32 MB of Ram was considered top of line, I read an article in a Micro-computer magazine states:  "You do not need more than 8 MB of RAM unless you plan to build an atomic bomb in your basement."  Therefore 256 or 512 are very big to me. So when I bought the systems I only concerned about mother board, video card and hard drive. Memory is at the dealer suggestion.
Yeah, well I remember a dealer telling me that there was absolutly no reason to need more than a 10 Meg hard drive, any more was a waste.  The times they are (and have been) a-changin', intelligent graphics (and sloppy programing) have hammered memory usage in the last half dozen years, I'd never consider a CAD station with less than a Gig.

Trev

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Multiple layouts
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2004, 08:20:10 PM »
Quote from: yyou
File sizes:
  Bkgds:     6 MB
  Working:  700 KB
  Plotting:   140 KB

There are 2 vports through out 9 layouts:
  1 shows flr pln
  1 shows design notes

In working files (x-1mech, x-2mech, x-1plum...) there are 4 xrefs each:
  x-1flr .................. x-2nd
  x-grid ..................x-grid
  x-found ................x-framming
  x-2nd ...................x-1st   (shall be overlayed)

That is a large architectural background, I'd be try to reduce that file size by eliminating entities that you do not require ie:dimension, door & window no. etc. arch drawings contain a lot of stuff that you may not require and sometimes you can reduse their dwg by half.

Since you have 2 viewports per layout, 1 containing floor plans and the other notes. Have you frozen the un-neccesary layers in your notes viewport? ie:you arch is on layer name 'xref' use 'vplayer' or in layer manager freeze items in 'current viewport'
This will eliminate a lot of processing, & with your limited RAM you need to do this.

As CADaver has said in the old days that may have been fine, but as time passes new versions of windows & acad etc. gobble up all the computers resources leaving nothing left. Hence the crashing out or the time it takes to process drawings. Your plotting file is affectively a 12+meg file so every time you change layouts & plot your computers resource run lower & lower, hence it get slower as you go. With files of that size a ram up date is in order.
Otherwise you need to look at everything to limit the size of your drawings.
clean out all un-neccessary architectural items, purge & purge again until nothing left to purge.
use 'overlay' and not attach' when xrefing
freeze layers within your current viewport. (particularly your notes: viewport) think about putting your design notes in paperspace rather than a viewport. (I take it that you design notes, are a general notes: column & note drawing notes with leaders pointing to your drawing entities) If they are typical notes per drawing, maybe you can create a notes dwg & xref them into paperspace instead or make them part of your title block.

Andrew H

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Multiple layouts
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2004, 03:46:40 PM »
We sometimes have the same problem your when we receive large drawings files from the architects. We usually start by purging and auditing the drawings (wblock is what I recommend). I will usually make sure all the xrefs are in the same folder as the parent drawings to speed up AutoCAD's search for them.

In my experience with ACAD (over 7 years), ACAD has trouble with 10-15+ vports in the same drawing especially if they're each referencing a large xref. I would recommend staying with the several drawings rather than one drawings with several layouts. You may also want to try the xclip command (if you have the express tools).

I have also found that if I PDF a large drawing which is giving me trouble when trying to plot, then sent the pdf to the plotter it seems to go a lot faster. You could even try .plt for that matter.

I don't know what your company's protocol is, but if you have the freedom you can try deleting the unused information from the xrefs making them smaller (but you may have to leave the drawings as originally received).

One other thing I would recommend is to use a program called CDG Purge 3.0 (http://www.caddevelopmentgroup.com/downloads.htm). It's a free program that runs inside ACAD that will purge out the unused information that the purge command doesn't get.

I hope at least some of this helps.

yyou

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Multiple layouts
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2004, 03:48:35 PM »
I've just found out something strange with the bkgds that cause it went so big.  I just receive a new bkgd for same hospital, same floor; however, the working area is diff.

The file is at 10 MB.  It made my machine go real slow.  I listed one of the grid line (using crossing) found out there are 11 entities (proxy entities). I then moved each of them out into space and they were all same: duplicated portion (not whole bkgd) of bkgd lie on top of each other.  I erased 10 and exploded the last one then there were 4 more in that block.  Finally after I deleted all the block the file reduced to 500 kb.

This architectural firm, to my knowledge, has only started using Acht desktop recently. Do you know what has cause the duplications?

Andrew H

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Multiple layouts
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2004, 03:54:51 PM »
I'm not sure about what caused the duplications, but I know I've seen some lisps that will delete duplicated items in a drawing. Put a post in the lisp portion of this website to see what you come up with. (or I can if you need).