Creating drawings in Autodesk Fabrication ESTmep and CAMduct is not the most intuitive or CAD-like experience so I thought I would share a few tips here to get you started.
Setup Report Printer
When designing your reports, you may find you use up lots of paper only to find the report is not quite right.
A useful tip here is to add a pdf printer as your report printer until you have the Report looking like you want. This will save paper and many trips to the printer.
Most printers can be made to print black and white as default and the options can be found in the printer setup dialog box. Try the awesome Bluebeam Revu CAD – it does a lot more than just creating great pdf’s. Bluebeam Revu
To create drawings in Autodesk Fabrication ESTmep of a selection of items you should add a layout with those items in it.
Most of us have seen the Global Tab at the bottom of the page but paid no notice to it. It is, in fact, the second tip here. You should add your own Layout Tab and give it a short meaningful name. My example uses really good names – test and test2!
Nothing more to say about that.
When you create your own Layout Tab you will have to select the Items you want to see. It is useful here to use the windows selection methods.
If you stuff it up, never fear, go back to the Global Tab, right mouse on the Layout Tabs and select show objects.
Create Camera Views
For those of you that have used AutoCAD or some other modern CAD product, this is where it gets weirder. A camera view will show the items in the layout including annotations and dimensions that have been turned on. There are always default Cameras, and in this example, they are view1 and PLAN.
Attach a Worksheet
In order to make Drawings in Autodesk Fabrication ESTmep, you must attach a Worksheet to each Layout Tab.
Worksheets describe the format of the Layout for printing. There are 4 default worksheets that you can find by typing LAYOUT SHEET in the 3D Viewer. This displays a report form with the file extension .DWN. This Worksheet is like other reports in ESTmep.
The last 3 digits in the name of the Worksheet refers to the quantity of viewports on the sheet.
To get the items in the Layout to fit on the paper, right mouse button on the Job Viewer Graphic and bring up the Properties.
The Use Camera is the default setting but I find that the ‘Adjust to Fit All Visible Objects’ does a better job – either select all the items you want to see or don’t select any. If you use Camera you will have to be even more careful with your camera.
You are getting close to being able to create drawings in Autodesk Fabrication ESTmep!
In order to create Drawings in Autodesk Fabrication ESTmep that can be read once printed, you will need to change the size of the text that gets printed. This can be done object by object or a lot smarter by using Styles.
Type STYLES in the graphics area and watch the dialog appear. On the Dimensions tab, select the Properties for STANDARD.
It is a good idea to set the Precision to 0, but if you want more precision you can suppress trailing zeros for whole numbers.
Now change the Text Style by selecting the properties as shown above.
The Model Height is what text looks like on screen in your Layout, Presentation is the text height used on the Worksheet. There are a few other things in here worth playing with.
Make Everything Black
The default method of colouring in ESTmep is by Service. To avoid making a mess of your other colouring in methods, use the Colour by = Job Colour and set the Job Colour to black.
Show Item Data
The whole point of creating drawings in Autodesk Fabrication ESTmep is to show some of that metadata from the database on the output. Use these Annotation tools to make sure only the correct information is shown. Only use manual dimensions and text for information not automatically shown.
Printing Drawings in Autodesk Fabrication ESTmep
Drawings in Autodesk Fabrication ESTmep are printed from an unusual location – the Layout Manager.
There are so few options in the Layout Manager that nothing more needs explaining.
Printing good looking drawings in Autodesk Fabrication ESTmep or CAMduct is not easy to achieve. Don’t expect them to be as good as you can make AutoCAD drawings because the tools are just not in the product.
You will need to cycle through the above steps many times until you get the hang of it. The output will be adequate for conveying the details you need.