THE INTERNET AND CAD...
COLLABORATION - The internet is obviously here to stay. Just
the fact the you're reading this means that it's a great way of communicating.
Transferring letters back and forth is nice, but there is no reason why
drawings can't be created, developed and revised online.
The company that I worked for (TRIRIGA)
offers one solution. They link your drawings to the specification database
so that all aspects of the project are available to other users via the
Internet. Go to their homepage for more information.
FILE SHARING - The internet is also there for ANY company
that wants to share files on-line. This can be achieved in any number
of ways. At the most basic level, it can be attaching a file to an e-mail.
From there, you might decide to use FTP to post files on a web server
for other to access on their time. From there, a project group can 'meet'
on-line and discuss and revise a drawing in real-time. Another great use
of the web is to have drawings available on-line for clients to view using
only their web browser and the voloview
plugin. This involves using the new DWF file format.
LEARNING - To me this is an avenue that needs to be more developed.
If you have looked around this site, you know that there are a few things
that I have posted that can help you. The beauty of it is that you can
access these pages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although there is a
lot on this site, there is too much in AutoCAD and its related products
for one person or one site to provide all the information you will ever
need. On my links page, you will find some other free sites that provide tutorials and information.
GROUPS - This is a great resource for people that have a specific
problem. By going on-line and finding out that someone else has encountered
your problem (and solved it), you will save hours of time and frustration.
Begin by checking out the list of Autodesk's discussion groups here.
WITH DWF FILES
you haven't worked with DWF files before, there are a few things that
you need to know:
vector based images files (unlike raster images such as JPG or GIF).
- this means that they are smaller, and still contain objects.
They are compressed files,
similar in compression to ZIP files.
- they are MUCH smaller than DWG's.
They are generated in the plot command.
- what ever can be printed becomes part of the file
- XREF's are not translated and get behind.
You can add 'properties' to the file.
- insert info like copyright, date, keywords, etc.
They are NOT viewable or usable in AutoCAD.
-this maintains content security as nobody can use your designs unless
They require a separate
either the Autodesk's Voloview viewer, or WHIP! browser plugin.
DWF files are 'web-enabled'.
You can add hyperlinks to objects in your DWG and they become part
of the webpage.
are a few basic steps needed to create a DWF file:
the drawing and save as a regular DWG file.
Open up the PLOT dialog box.
In the plot settings tab, select the parameters that you need as if
you were creating a
In the plot device tab, choose the DWF eplot option.
You will be plotting to a file, so choose your name and location.
And that is
about all there is to it.
If you have Voloview installed on your system, just double click the new
DWF file in Windows Explorer and see the options that you have available.
As you can
see, this is a great way of letting people see your work. There are some
not be active.
3D Models are now 2D, although you can save named views and recall them
You can turn layers on and off.
Raster images are now vector.
People viewing your DWF file can not modify or steal your designs.
you can look at a DWF file, you have to have a compatible viewer:
the logos below to find out more about these viewers:
is a stand alone DWF viewer
Express Viewer is the browser plug-in from Autodesk used for viewing
DWF's on the web.
is a java based viewer used for sharing DWF's on the web.
View not only views DWF files, but 255 file types from images to
viewer is NOT a DWF viewer, but easily previews so
many other CAD formats such as SV$ and BAK that I thought you might