The Whole Enchilada… A typical project in our office uses most if not all of DataCAD‟s advanced features. Even a small project. We don‟t do it just because “we can”, we do it because it‟s the most efficient way to assemble and manage a project. Although this is especially true in a networked office with two or more CAD drafters, it can be equally true for a sole proprietor. 1. Start with a Titleblock/Sheet in its own .DC5 drawing file (TTLBLK.DC5). We have layers for: a. Border/Titleblock (we have symbols for each size sheet), with common text, like project information, etc. b. Key Plan, if required. c. Layer for each hatch area for match-line areas. d. North Arrow. e. Architectural stamp (not in MA) f. Other special text for Addendum, Progress Drawing, Not for Construction, etc. Assuming you know how to use Multi Scale Plotting we suggest you always create your Title Block/Sheets at REAL scale (12” = 12”). That way there is no fiddling around with different scales for different sheets, and all text in the titleblock is always true size). 2. In Titleblock/Sheet insert Date, Time and File Path stamps (Insert/Stamp). 3. Start each new drawing sheet, using pre-made default drawing files. 4. XREF the TTLBLK.DC5 file into each drawing sheet. Use the XREF Manager to turn on/off appropriate layers. 5. Add titleblock text specific to each drawing sheet (Drawing No., drawing title, scale). 6. DRAW! 7. Use Clip Cubes (3Dviews/ClipCube) and Multi-Scale Plotting (Plotter/MltLyout) where appropriate. Start with the Titleblock/Sheet XREFs (External Reference Files) XREFs enable you to view, or reference, another drawing file from within your current drawing file. As a reference drawing it cannot be edited, but you can see it, snap to it, draw on top of it, and turn its various layers on and off. Because the referenced drawing file is actually another drawing file outside of, or external to, the main drawing file, it is called an External Reference File, or XREF for short. Any .DC5 file can be XREFed into any other .DC5 file. You can XREF multiple files into one drawing, and you can even XREF the current drawing into itself (Drawing A can be referenced inside of Drawing A). This is referred to as a “self referencing XREF”. Or you can XREF another drawing file that also includes the current file (Drawing A contains an XREF of Drawing B, and Drawing B then contains an XREF of Drawing A). This is called a “circular XREF”. Because the key to good CAD coordination is to draw things only once, XREFs are an excellent way to do so. For instance, you can draw the main floor plan at 1/8” scale, then use that same file, XREFed, for an enlarged bathroom plan at ½” scale in another drawing file. XRefClips (XREF Clip Cubes) An exciting new feature in DataCAD X is XREF Clipping. XREF files may now have their own unique clipping boundaries (Clip Cubes), independent of standard Clip Cubes. One of the best aspects of these new XRefClips is that, unlike regular Clip Cubes, you can draw outside of the XRefClip boundaries, including text and dimensions. To access the new XRefClip feature: 1. Go to the standard Clip Cube menu (Edit/DCAD_3D/3DViews/ClipCube). 2. Select XRefClip. You are prompted to “Select XREF to modify ClipCube.” 3. Click on the XREF in the Drawing Window. All the entities of the XREF will be displayed as dashed lines to signify that that XREF has been selected. 4. Make sure your Z-Min and Z-Max settings are set appropriately to include the entities in the XREF. 5. Select NewCube. You are prompted to “Select the first corner of the clipping cube.” Pick the first corner. 6. Then you will be prompted to “Select the second corner of the clipping cube.” Pick the second corner. 7. Select ClipOn, then Right-click and you are done. Right-click to exit the menus. Here are some things to keep in mind about XREF Clip Cubes (the shaded items below are two of the key reasons for using XRefClips: Unlike regular clip cubes you CAN rotate XRefClips. And rotated XRefClips will display properly in QwkLyout and Multi-Scale Plotting (MltLyout) with the Rotate options turned ON. Unlike regular Clip Cubes, you can draw outside of the XRefClip boundaries, including text and dimensions. Any XREF can have only one XRefClip defined for it. Unlike regular Clip Cubes, Goto Views cannot save different XrefClips for the same XREF file. That means if you want an XREF to have a different XRefClip for use in different details you actually have to insert additional copies of that XREF for each XRefClip. You may have to experiment with this one to really understand it. An XREF Clip Cube is ignored completely by regular clip cubes. In other words, if you have an XRefClip turned ON, and then you try to further clip part of it out with a standard Clip Cube, it won‟t work. You will see even the parts of the XRefClip that are outside the boundaries of the standard Clip Cube. Like standard Clip Cubes, remember to select ClipOn after defining a new XRefClip. It‟s easy to forget. Like regular Clip Cubes, unless a line of text is fully enclosed within the XRefClip none of the text will be displayed within the XRefClip. SKETCHES & ADDENDUM We used to make sketches “the old fashioned way”, by cutting and pasting (actually, Scotch tape) changes onto sketch (SK) sheets. Now we are doing it all via CAD. The process is the same as for a standard drawing file, but ALL changes are XREFed or XRefClip‟ed. This method requires the use of XREFs and Multi-Scale Plotting. 1. Make changes in the original files, create a new layer (like ADD1-01), identify the changes with “clouds” on the new layer. Depending on how you have your layers and Clip Cubes set up you might need more than one “cloud” layer to avoid overlaps. 2. Start with an „SK‟ Titleblock/Sheet in its own .DC5 drawing file (SK-TTLBLK.DC5). Again, we suggest you always create your Title Block/Sheets at REAL scale (12” = 12”). We have layers for: a. Border/Titleblock (we have symbols for each size sheet), with common text, like project information, etc. b. Common text for titleblocks (date, project name, etc.). 3. Start a new drawing file for the Sketches or Addendum. Let‟s call it SK-DWG.DC5. 4. XREF the SK-TTLBLK.DC5 file into the SK-DWG.DC5 file. Use the XREF Manager to turn on/off appropriate layers. 5. Add titleblock text specific to each drawing sheet (Drawing No., drawing title, scale). 6. XREF all the .DC5 files containing changes, into the SK-DWG.DC5 file. 7. Use the XREF Manager to turn on/off appropriate layers in each XREF, or: a. Open each original file, display the correct layers (including the “clouds” layer), save the drawing. b. In the SK-DWG.DC5 file select that XREF and use the Reload command. 8. Use XRefClip or standard Clip Cubes to mask out each change. Save each one as a GotoView (for convenience). 9. Use Multi-Scale Plotting (Plotter/MltLyout) to lay out each Sketch sheet: a. Start with the Titleblock/Sheet, with the correct text for that Sketch sheet. b. Lay out the appropriate sketches on each sheet.