I have a CAD DWG file that I need to edit for a client. What limitations do I have so that when I export it will display properly in CAD?
It mainly is text and highlighting sections of the floor plans. Am i limited to lines and text?
I hope that is clear.
Thank you in advance for your wisdom.
so that when I export it will display properly in CAD?
Don't even dream of that. Seriously, this is strictly a one-way road. After your edits, the CAD data will have lost all its magic - meta data will be gone, layers will be merged/ flattened, objects re-grouped down to the quantization of the measuremnts affecting precision. Whatever you do should be strictly seen as complimentary work and kept separate (which of course could be a separate worksheet/ drawing in the CAD program as well), but never be re-integrated in the data it originated from.
Thank you for that input.
What would be your simplest solution for me. I'm willing to acquire the software needed (compensated by client) and the knowledge needed to execute the simple request I have been given.
I need to add simple shapes (hashed marked as they said) to highlight areas on the floor plan that will require work, with a description of the work needed. It is a nice little gig as there will be a couple of thousand of these for me to do at around $80 each. They understand that I'm a designer at heart, but this is too good to turn down me thinks. Ask me that when I'm reaching 500... haha
For their pupoises they will just want a pdf of the final result there is no reason to return to the CAD program though you can export the file back out as a dwg or dxf and they will be editable in CAD as long as you understand CAD version 2006 is the lastest version supported by Illustrator.
If they plan to print this art or place it in a lyout programn then they want either a pdf, ai, eps. wmf or emf file and not a CAD file.
You should advise them of the logisitics and say you and them the possibility of unneccessary difficulties.
They may simply not realize that it is unneccessary to return back to the CAD program.
I would agree with Mylenium. Find out what program they are using. It it's AutoCAD, and you are on a Mac, take a look at:
It is a free program that works with native DWG files. Does a pretty good job, and they have a Mac version. You could test it out with a few of their files, and see if they are happy with the results.
I don't think you want to use AI for this project. CAD work should be done in CAD, and it allows the client to edit your files in the DWG format without the translation headaches.
There's several cheap-ish 2D CAD programs like ViaCAD or TurboCAD that can open DWGs with all that intact. The problem is that they don't export back to DWG/ DWF to save licensing cost.... Therefore your best bet is to stay in AI and do it there. If all you need to do is mark out areas and add comments so this can be printed and handed as sheets to the contractors, I see no requirement to do this in CAD. Even in CAD/ technical documentation this sort of thing is done on flattened duplicates of the original drawings and then converted to TIFF or JPEG for archival. If in the long run you need to do more, then perhaps you will have to get your own licenses of autoCAD or whatever, but it seems that is far away. Rather invest a bit in AI plug-ins like VectorScribe and CAD tools to facilitate your workflows if you decide to stay in AI.
Both TurboCAD and ViaCAD export to DWG. They, along with many others including Adobe, are members of Open Design Alliance.
It all depends on how well the individual systems incorporate the ODA translation libraries. Adobe does a fair job, but it was never developed as a CAD program. The nice part about Draftsight is that DWG is its native format. I use it a lot, and it is pretty easy to use, but I started out with AutoCAD, which is very similar.
If the first requirement is keeping the files in the DWG format, AI should be an afterthought. If it is OK to provide PDF files edited in AI, I would use AI.
Thank you to everyone's comments. This gives me a lot to go with. Opening DraftSight now to have a look.
My client wrote this: "
Most of what we will be doing can go flat... and it's good that the client can't play around with them and screw them up. For our application that should be no problem. Will we retain color, like say for instance, if we have a black line building floor plan and we overlay a red dashed line indicating a path of travel, when it goes flat we will retain the red colored line, correct?"
Should be easy, yet I think there might be layers (not sure that is what they're called), and to minimize what is on the plan it would be nice to turn some off since when I place it in Illustrator there's a lot going on.
I'll keep you posted on how DreafSight works out.
Thank you all for your time in helping me with this. It means a lot.
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