PPF Plot formatting into AUTOCAD

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Harrison Madew
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2022 1:04 pm

PPF Plot formatting into AUTOCAD

Post by Harrison Madew »

Hey all,
This is my first forum post, I've been using 12 D for a couple of weeks now and this is my first assignment. I've talked to Tony Ingold from EXDS and he pointed me in the direction of this forum.

OBJECTIVE
Basically I'm looking to standardize the way my company plots from 12D to AutoCAD such that the AutoCAD plots are mostly automated and require minimal tinkering, saving everyone a lot of time in the long run.

PROBLEM
I’ve got my PPF file the way I want it with headers and such but I’m now having trouble making it plot cross sections in a standardized way. It’s plotting into the CAD 'model' tab such that the different cross sections aren’t aligned with each other in box format and generate directly adjacent to each other(Image 1)
I need them to line up in formation such that space consistently so my AutoCAD boxes can be set as default OR (preferably) snap directly into my AutoCAD boxes.
This is where and how they currently generate, I believe this is ‘default’.
1.png
1.png (27.27 KiB) Viewed 1820 times


This is an example of their inconsistent spacing such that I can’t put then box generated for them by my CAD file around them, they don’t have consistent spacing and aren’t aligned around anything but the road-centerline.
2.png
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This is what happens when I tell the CAD model boxes, not the 12d plots, to generate at the corner.
3.png
3.png (54.77 KiB) Viewed 1820 times

As you can see even though the box could be edited to have room for the first 8 plots in that format they are generated right next to each other and not in grid format.
4.png
4.png (33.78 KiB) Viewed 1820 times
I’m happy for them to generate there as I can easily have my CAD model boxes generate down there but I need help making them fit or at least have consistent spacing so they can be easily moved INTO the CAD boxes.
Below is when I’ve manually space them out.
5.png
5.png (61.4 KiB) Viewed 1820 times

This is how I want them to generate with the bottom left corner of each plot being in line. This way they can be scaled to fit easily with minimal input from whoever is plotting, note how they’re in a grid pattern which I’ve done manually.

What I need

I’m just trying to have them plot in a consistent manner into AutoCAD and I’m unsure how best the automate the process.
TO be clear I don’t expect to be able to fully automate the plotting into the model boxes but rather get a consistent plot format that is easy, and replicable, for the whole company, particularly those unfamiliar with 12D to be able to edit inside CAD.
I'm just hoping there is some option in the PPF I’m missing that you can point me towards or any relevant resources I can study.

This is the PPF I’m using as a template.
6.png
6.png (47.52 KiB) Viewed 1820 times

This is the PPF I’m using/created to make such plots to model then importing in AutoCAD. This is standardized with necessary criteria.

Thanks in advance for any help offered, I understand this might be basic in the extreme.
Harrison
Matthew Monk
Posts: 3175
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 2:46 pm

Re: PPF Plot formatting into AUTOCAD

Post by Matthew Monk »

Make sure you're running V14C2k or V15C1a.

In order to align each section sub-plot in a regular grid, you're effectively either asking them to all be the same size or the insertion points to be at a fixed interval. If you open the Section X Plot PPF Editor and select the Plot parameters branch on the tree to the left, I think you'll find most of the settings you'll need. I haven't done it myself, but it looks like if you choose a fixed sub-plot size, they'd be plotted in neat, aligned rows and columns. You might need to tweak with a few of the other settings depending on your sections and how much they vary.
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Harrison Madew
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2022 1:04 pm

Re: PPF Plot formatting into AUTOCAD

Post by Harrison Madew »

Thanks Matthew really helped got my plots looking much more reasonable and clean.
Clean layout.PNG
Clean layout.PNG (75.05 KiB) Viewed 1779 times
One follow up however, I’ve managed to get the format, spacing and alignment sorted as per my requirements using Matthew’s suggestion. Now I was just wondering if there was a way to group them into anything other than single columns.
I just need to group them such that I can assign them to auto generate into CAD boxes, they have the correct formatting, but they currently have no distinguishing feature by which to group plot without plotting to different sheets.
I need to expand the space between such groups, so they auto generate into boxes without inconsistent overlap.
Full layout.png
Full layout.png (46.88 KiB) Viewed 1779 times
I just need to be able to denote larger spaces between sheets. As i can have my Cad windows generate and display but no effective way of grouping into separate sheets automatically in CAD
Boxed Layout.PNG
Boxed Layout.PNG (32.56 KiB) Viewed 1779 times
Let me know if anyone has any tips, EXDS support has recommended writing a macro to solve this problem but would like to avoid this if possible as i have little programing knowledge.

Cheers
Harrison
Sam Cech
Posts: 3851
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:56 pm
Location: Silverdale, NZ
Contact:

Re: PPF Plot formatting into AUTOCAD

Post by Sam Cech »

I think this is possible out of the box

the internal margins can be achieved via the Plot Parameters as Matt noted

the Sheet margins can be achieved if
- plot to a model
- set the correct sheet size
- go to the tree section Plot To Models and choose the row-wise translation
- set horizontal spacing to something little bigger than your sheet (say 500 for A3), set the origin to move them up/down etc
- do an export to DWG via the menus File I/O output DWG/DXF (if your plotter uses amf specify that file as the acad map file)

red arrows indicate margins by model translate
ppf.PNG
ppf.PNG (6.5 KiB) Viewed 1769 times

if all that fails, plot to models and use this macro before you send it to Autocad
https://tatras.co.nz/product/12dpl-4do-plot-management/
the source code for it is here:
viewtopic.php?f=56&t=14245
Cheers
Sam

Tatras Consulting Ltd
www.tatras.co.nz
Harrison Madew
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2022 1:04 pm

Re: PPF Plot formatting into AUTOCAD

Post by Harrison Madew »

You are a legend Sam thanks so much!
Yeah 12D support just said to design my own macro to fix it , glad to see you're way ahead of me! Cheers!
Lee Gregory
12d Support
Posts: 1908
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:06 pm

Re: PPF Plot formatting into AUTOCAD

Post by Lee Gregory »

I don't know of any Support person who is across all the capabilities of 12d Model.

Hence why posting on the 12d Model is so useful - it allows all the support people, all the programmers and all users to help with a solution :)
Sam Cech
Posts: 3851
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:56 pm
Location: Silverdale, NZ
Contact:

Re: PPF Plot formatting into AUTOCAD

Post by Sam Cech »

Harrison Madew wrote: Fri Feb 11, 2022 9:45 am You are a legend Sam thanks so much!
Yeah 12D support just said to design my own macro to fix it , glad to see you're way ahead of me! Cheers!
Glad it helped

Yeah sounds like an odd thing... I must say in the two decades I have not experienced that, 12d support has always been helpful, and the guys at EXDS have been great spite being over the ditch....

Forums are great heaps of great free macros and nuggets of wisdom....
Have a good weekend
Sam
Cheers
Sam

Tatras Consulting Ltd
www.tatras.co.nz
Owen Thornton
Posts: 5310
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:50 pm
Location: Brisbane
Contact:

Re: PPF Plot formatting into AUTOCAD

Post by Owen Thornton »

As a 12d support person, if I had seen this request before Matt and Sam [was probably giving training at the time] I would have advised along the same lines. :-)
Ed Wilson
Posts: 2595
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 7:49 pm

Re: PPF Plot formatting into AUTOCAD

Post by Ed Wilson »

Matthew Monk wrote: Wed Feb 09, 2022 2:42 pm Make sure you're running V14C2k or V15C1a.

In order to align each section sub-plot in a regular grid, you're effectively either asking them to all be the same size or the insertion points to be at a fixed interval. If you open the Section X Plot PPF Editor and select the Plot parameters branch on the tree to the left, I think you'll find most of the settings you'll need. I haven't done it myself, but it looks like if you choose a fixed sub-plot size, they'd be plotted in neat, aligned rows and columns. You might need to tweak with a few of the other settings depending on your sections and how much they vary.
BINGO - NEWS TO ME 8)
Matthew Monk
Posts: 3175
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 2:46 pm

Re: PPF Plot formatting into AUTOCAD

Post by Matthew Monk »

Ed Wilson wrote: Sat Feb 12, 2022 9:54 amBINGO - NEWS TO ME 8)
So you can teach an old dog new tricks. :lol: :wink:
Advanced12d.com - Tips, tricks and tutorials for users of 12d Model and 12d Synergy

Check out the *NEW* 12d Synergy Community Forum- share your ideas and ask questions.
Lee Gregory
12d Support
Posts: 1908
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:06 pm

Re: PPF Plot formatting into AUTOCAD

Post by Lee Gregory »

I believe the functionality has been in there since at least V12.
But like everything, if you don't need at the time, you gloss over it.
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