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TOPIC NUMBER: 149 TOPIC TITLE: Colors in CAD Drafting By: Ralph Grabowski TOPIC DATE: 2002 & 2005 WEB ADDRESS: •ARCHITECTURE WEEK.COM •Amazon.com Presented By: Arch. Amr Yahia Ahmed Kandil CAD for AEC Principals Susan Smith by Whereas CAD systems of yesteryear limited you to 255 or even just fifteen colors, today's CAD systems support the 16.7 million colors. That leaves new CAD users in a quandary: What color coding system? Why use colors at all? Color was rarely used in manual drafting, so you may question the thought of using color in an electronic drawing. The Case for Color CAD programs use color for two purposes: (1) operator cues, and (2) controlling the plotter. When a drawing contains colored elements, the colors provide cues to the operator, making him or her more efficient. While a structural engineering firm may Consumer-oriented CAD decide against a color display, they still need to use systems, such as Floor plan color in drawings — even if the colors are not 3D, pre assign colors and displayed or plotted. That's because all CAD systems texturesto pre drawn objects. use color to control the plotter's pens. Other CAD systems use color numbers to assign textures to surfaces. Image: Ralph Grabowski CAD for AEC Principals Susan Smith by When it comes time to plot the drawing, the CAD program asks you to map color numbers to the plotter's pen numbers. Drafting software match color numbers with pens of different thickness. For example, the operator matches color numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 with the plotter's 000 pen, color number 5 with the 00 pen and color number 6 with the 0 pen. Everything drawn with color 1, 2, 3 or 4 is plotted with thin lines. When color output is needed, the CAD operator TurboCAD allows the user to matches the color number with the plotter's pen number. select colors from a palette of For example, color number 1 is matched with the red 16.7 million via the RGB and pen. Everything drawn with color 1 is plotted in red. HSL color specification systems. The WYSIWYG approach to line weight and color in Image: IMSI most Macintosh-based drafting software often leads to a different approach, where each value retains its own independent meaning. Following this approach, line weights are represented directly by line weight, and line colors are simply and directly colors. Naturally, you can map all colors to pen #1 for draft plots or for output to a monochrome laser printer CAD for AEC Principals Susan Smith by The Case for Monochrome When it came time to upgrade their CAD hardware, the firm's principals got the CAD operators involved. The operators decided on a very high-resolution monochrome display system for two reasons: (1) the final output would always be monochrome, and (2) they would be more productive since the extra-high resolution meant less time-consuming zooms and pans. The money saved on losing color allowed the firm to ArchiCAD preassigns a pen spend that money on higher resolution and bigger number and width to every one screens. its 99 colors. Some plotting software allows users to apply a Image: Graphisoft "screen" to objects based on layer or level. Screened objects are plotted in a light gray shade, which makes them less conspicuous. Typically, existing features such as contour lines are screened, while new features are unscreened. AutoCAD's Plot Style Table Editor allows detailed user control of plotted output including dithering, screening, linetype, and lineweight. Image: Autodesk, Inc. CAD for AEC Principals by Susan Smith Color Numbering Systems — What They Mean RGB: Red-green-blue is the system used by Windows. Each of the three primary colors ranges in intensity from 0 (black) to 255 (full color). HSL: Hue-saturation-luminance is an alternative color specification system. Saturation ranges from 0 (gray) to 255 (full color). Image: Ralph Grabowski EGA: Named after IBM's enhanced graphics adapter, used by many CAD systems. HTML: Hypertext markup language includes a color specification system used by Web sites. DGN: The color numbering system (and file format) used by Bentley Systems' MicroStation. ACI: Autodesk's AutoCAD color index, also used by AutoSketch. A pistonhead hand- CYMK: A color system of cyan, yellow, magenta, and black, drafted by the author's used by color printers. father, demonstrating a disappearing skill. Image: Herbert Grabowski CAD for AEC Principals Susan Smith by How CAD Works with Colors: CAD software doesn't work with color names but with color numbers. The software matches the number to a color. (Sometimes, the CAD software lets you specify a color name as a pseudonym for the number.) There are different ways of matching the number with the color displayed on the screen. The following table shows the color names for the first fifteen color numbers for several color systems: Color Numbering Systems: AutoCAD matches a number to each of 255 colors. The first fifteen are listed under ACI above. MicroStation is similar, but uses a different set of numbers, as listed under DGN. In addition, MicroStation allows you to change the color associated with each number. TurboCAD specifies colors via the RGB and HSL systems Where to Assign Colors The correct method is to assign color by layer. AutoCAD uses a special color name: color Bylayer means the object takes on the color assigned by the layer. Colors are assigned to layers in AutoCAD's Layer Properties dialog box. CAD for AEC Principals Susan Smith by The incorrect method is to override the layer color and specify the color of individual objects in the drawing. Matching Colors to Pens In the early days of CAD, you would match color numbers to pen numbers at plot time. For example, when CAD color number 1 was assigned (which might be red) to plotter pen #1, the plotter used whatever pen was in holder #1, whether red or black, thin or wide. Some systems allow you to assign one CAD color to multiple plotter pens. For example, you could match CAD color 1 to physical pens 1 and 2. ArchiCAD, for example, assigns each color to a pen number and a pen width via the Options/Pens & Colors command. Some of today's CAD systems go far beyond simple matching of CAD colors to pen colors. A new Revit drawing preassigns named (not numbered) colors; the user can add additional named colors. Dithering: Allows the plotter to approximate colors with dot patterns. Useful when the plotter supports fewer colors than does the CAD system. Grayscale: Converts colors to gray equivalents. Virtual Pen Number: Useful for specifying a virtual pen number between 1 and 255 for those nonpen plotters that simulate pen plotters. Linetype: Overrides the object's line type at plot time. Adaptive Adjustment: Adjusts the scale of the line type to complete the line type pattern. Lineweight: Overrides the object's line weight at plot time. Line End Style: Specifies how the end of wide line should be drawn: butt, square, round, and diamond; overrides the object's line end style at plot time. Line Join Style: Specifies how two lines are joined: miter, bevel, round, and diamond; overrides the object's line join style at plot time. CAD for AEC Principals Susan Smith by MicroStation MicroStation is Bentley's flagship product for the design, construction and operation of the world's infrastructure. MicroStation and ProjectWise, Bentley's server line for AEC collaboration, form a robust foundation for Bentley's comprehensive portfolio of software solutions. Market researcher Daratech, Inc. ranked Bentley the leading AEC software vendor to plant owner-operators, as well as the leading provider of plant-specific platforms and conceptual plant creation solutions to EPC firms. Most of Engineering News-Record’s Top 150 Global Design Firms rely primarily on Bentley software for their AEC projects. MicroStation Extensions are specialized tools available to all users that integrate with and expand MicroStation's core technologies. Discipline-specific Extensions, like MicroStation GeoGraphics, enable easy adoption of Bentley's vertical application solutions. Brochure (PDF) Core Technologies Technical Requirements CAD for AEC Principals by Susan Smith ArchiCAD gives users the ability to create great architecture and increase productivity. From day one, ArchiCAD has been designed by architects for architects, and over the years it has gradually become more and more refined to allow its users to better: Focus on design, Manage change, Evaluate design alternatives, General Value Proposition Collaborate, for ArchiCAD Coordinate. ArchiCAD testimony ArchiCAD 9 transforms the workflow process and delivers massive benefits to the architect - both financial and personal. Claris Keong-Tan from T3M Architects and Urban Designers in Singapore explains how she has secured new business with her ArchiCAD 9 modeling tool, and in the process discovered new motivation and enthusiasm for her work CAD for AEC Principals Susan Smith by ArchiCAD® offers a different approach to your workflow process, which gives you more control over your design, while maintaining accuracy and efficiency in documentation. While you raise walls, lay floors, add doors and windows, build stairs and construct roofs this Building Information Authoring Tool creates a central database of 3D model data. From this you can extract all the information needed to completely describe your design - complete plans, sections and elevations, architectural and construction details, bills of material, window/door/finish schedules, renderings, animations and virtual reality scenes. That means while you're designing, ArchiCAD is creating all the project documentation so there's little repetitive and tedious drafting work. The most comprehensive architectural tool available: The Virtual BuildingTM approach gives you the competitive edge today while integrating your work into the Building Information Solution. Builders can plan tasks, create time-based animations and document any phase of a building's construction or demolition. Highlights of ArchiCAD The Virtual BuildingTM: ArchiCAD stores all the information about the building in a central database; changes made in one view are updated in all others, including floor plans, sections/elevations, 3D models and bills of material CAD for AEC Principals Susan Smith by Intelligent Objects: ArchiCAD's intelligent building elements like doors, windows, and columns understand and react to their environment. Even working from drafted lines, arcs and splines, the Magic Wand can create intelligent building elements. The ability to think and work 'live' in 3D: You can design and edit the model in 3D view, navigate in real time to check the design, and hold interactive design sessions with clients. Efficient documentation: Construction documents and files can be derived automatically from the Virtual BuildingTM model. Automatic labeling and enhanced Detail Tools ease tedious drafting work. Automatic page numbering and master pages save you time and the direct connection ensures document integrity - all changes to the Virtual BuildingTM are automatically updated on the layout. Clear communication: ArchiCAD's TeamWork makes sharing your project with colleagues easy. Changes can be easily merged back into the project. Product Information Work better, have more fun, and improve your business with Autodesk Revit 7 software, the building design and documentation system that works the way you think
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