AutoCAD Layouts and plotting
Printing in AutoCAD is called plotting. This is a general introduction to plotting and will teach you how to print a simple drawing on an A3-sized paper. But the same procedure applies to plotting on a large-format plotter (A1, A0)
AutoCAD makes a difference between the model in which you're working and the layout you want to plot. To switch to the layout screen, click the layout 1 tab:
A white screen displaying your drawing appears. This is the page we are going to plot. First step is to setup the weight of the lines being printed and their print color. This is done using plot styles.
Since AutoCAD 2000 there are two main types: the color dependent plot style and the named plot style. Named plot styles are relatively new, the color dependent plot styles have been used before AutoCAD 2000, so most existing drawings are color dependent. This page covers the color dependent color tables (ctb).
Before we can start plotting, we first need to load a color table. A color table tells AutoCAD which color relates to which line weight. You can find a basic example on the TOI website, which uses the same values as we've learned in Organizing your Autocad work.
Save the file on a location you can remember, and unzip it.
Now go to AutoCAD -> File -> Plot Style Manger (or Command: STYLESMANAGER)
In the window that appears copy-paste the 'zwart-wit.ctb' file.
If your drawing is set to used named plot styles and you want to convert it to use color dependent plot styles, use the command:
Enter this command on the command line. It will convert your drawing to use color dependent plot styles instead of named plot styles.
Now that the right color has been imported, we have to change the page size and settings:
Right click on Layout 1 -> Page Setup Manager, or go to File -> Page Setup Manager
Select layout 1 -> Modify
After clicking on modify, the Page Setup will appear:
Now we can set the printer, this can either be a printer (or plotter) at the faculty, or an Adobe PDF printer.
For our purposes we'll select the Adobe PDF printer.
Next up is the Paper size: 'A3' and Drawing orientation: 'Landscape'.
The plot scale needs to be set to 1:1 and millimetres. If this is not done correctly the scale of the drawing will be off.
Finally, the right color table has to be set by clicking on the drop down window:
Select the appropriate color table (in this example: zwart-wit.ctb).
The Page Setup should now look like this:
Press OK to close
After pressing OK in the Page Setup the layout will change, it will now look similar to this:
The layout now represents the A3 we are going to print. The dotted line is the page border, and shows us which part of the page can be printed (everything inside the rectangle).
We can also see a viewport; this is essentially a 'window' into the model. A layout page can have multiple viewports, but for now, we will keep it at one.
In the layout there is a difference between 'model space' and 'paper space', in model space we can move and scale the viewports. In model space, the scale of the model can be adjusted.
Let's go to paper space by clicking on the MODEL button, it should now change to PAPER:
Now scale the viewport to a bigger size by first clicking on the viewport itself and then on the upper right corner
Right now, the viewport has the correct size, but the model has the wrong scale (in this case its to small, but it could also be to big.)
To correct this, click on the PAPER button, which then changes to MODEL.
We can now zoom and pan in the view port, but we still want to set a correct scale.
Now pres 'z' to activate the ZOOM command:
we can now input the desired scale, a scale of 1:500 for instance, should be typed like: 1/500xp
Execute by pressing [space] or [enter]
AutoCAD zooms to the correct scale, and we've just got to position the drawing with the middle mouse button (be careful not to scroll, as this changes the scale!!)
Return to paper space, by changing the MODEL button to PAPER, the layout should now be ready for plotting:
Check your settings one more time and then go to File -> Plot
The Plot screen appears with the correct settings:
Press OK to plot.
Because we've selected an Adobe PDF printer, we've got to select a location somewhere on the D:\ drive to save the PDF file, like the My Documents map.
But if you selected a regular printer instead of an Adobe PDF printer, you should now be running toward the printer to eagerly await your very first AutoCAD plot!
-Standard layout (naam schaal etc.)