Any CAD pro's out there?!?! How to flatten dwg with colour into greyscale?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by patent10021, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. patent10021, Nov 15, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013

    patent10021 macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #1
    Screenshots of dwg and PDF files. The PDF was mostly black simply due to the way it was exported and to sent to us. It was technically full colour though and that is why it kept coming out super faint grey on my home black laser printer. I didn't realize this until we sent it out to a reprographics place to have them print it out on 36x24. I was wondering why it printed 'black' on their machine but not mine. Confusing prepress issues. Has something to do with cyan even though the lines look black. I flattened the multi layer PDF using Acrobat Pro PreFlight tools and saved it as pre-press ready and emailed it to them. Screenshot of saved PDF attached.

    So I finally decided to install TurboCAD 7 on my Mac just to see what the original CAD file looks like and that's what the screenshot is. It's an eye-opener because the faint white lines you see are why it turned out so faint on my black printer. I'm not a CAD pro so I would like to know how to make everything black and how to get control of all the layers in the dwg file. I'd like to simply if possible export as greyscale jpeg/tiff/pdf all flattened AFTER I hide the objects/layers I don't want.

    I want to make the dwg file look like the PDF and/or hide certain layers in the dwg file and make everything black. Or maybe even just tell me how to make the PDF file print all black and ignore any colour.

    You can see the goal I'm trying to achieve (hide layers and print in greyscale) by comparing the colour dwg with the simplified PDF with many objects removed because I was able to hide many layers in Acrobat.

    Thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  2. tdiaz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    #2
    From the Window menu, select both TurboCAD Explorer, and Inspector.

    You can toggle the layers from the Explorer, and turn off the ones you don't want, and then Select All (Command A) and on the inspector, change the color to black.

    Then print it.
     
  3. patent10021 thread starter macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #3
    Thanks! Not at the computer now to try it out but is it also possible to hide objects like those stairs without deleting them? All of this should work like Illustrator layers right? Layers and objects can be hidden/unhidden?

    Btw, can you think of why the attached PDF that looks like it has black lines would print so faintly on my laser printer? Was my explanation on the right track?
     
  4. tdiaz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    #4
    A CAD document is two different things. On screen the design elements can only get so small. 1 pixel or equiv. on a scaled display. Where as that same element can actually be a hairline thickness.

    The PDF being a natively generated document, will print exactly what it's comprised of.

    Another way to look at it, think using a pen plotter (rare, but still in use), the thinnest line is still the thickness of the pen tip when printed. On a 300 dpi laser printer, it's still a fairly visible line.

    So check in the inspector, when you've selected various items, that they are something thicker than "superfine", and they should print more visibly.

    Anyhow, to "hide" things you don't want to see, just create a new layer called "hidden", or use any other hidden layer as a repository. Select the item, change it's properties in the inspector window to be on that layer, apply and "poof". Gone.

    TurboCAD is kinda 'different' with some of it's UI behavior. Things where key presses should work for dialog boxes, don't. Tab order, clicking things, etc.

    To figure out which colors are best for printing in gray scale, you can make a sample drawing, type some text "RED" "BLUE", etc. Make the text the color of the word, and print that.

    Red text prints pretty well. Something else with TurboCAD, though I will say I have not tried this with 7 yet, but 6 and prior, will print the items darker if you select them, then print.
     
  5. patent10021, Nov 16, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013

    patent10021 thread starter macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #5
    Thanks tdiaz.

    Important question, see the red grid and faint white lines? Those are the main lines I need to print as we've discussed.

    I opened the dwg in TurboCAD (which took 10 minutes on an old 2007 iBook lol) and hid the unwanted layers thanks to your help. Fine…but now what's remaining is all the lines are faded white and there are the red grid lines. I've gone through the layers and inspector window countless times and cannot hide the red grid layer nor can I change the colour of the white lines to black. I tried the select all function but no go.

    Also I noticed there is an export to AI option. If I open in AI I think I'll have major control over objects/layers and colours will I not?


    EDIT: Holy! AI is powerful! I was able to open the original DWG in AI and it's all controllable. Best part is all previously faint white lines are all black.

    This file is massive!! I found all these layers in AI. The part I'm working on is in the art board.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. patent10021, Nov 16, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013

    patent10021 thread starter macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #6
    In AI I was able to eliminate thousands of layers, keep only what I wanted to work with and control everything from colour to stroke size. AI is amazing. Kicked the azz over Acrobat and all other consumer (non-pro) CAD and design apps. Was weird TurboCad took 5+ minutes to open the dwg on my older macbook but in AI it opened immediately without changing anything formatting or anything to the CAD file.

    The only thing that was odd was one art board in the centre of the AI document with 10 other floor layouts in the AI doc around the art board. I guess I just needed to make the documents one art board covering the entire document. At any rate, the layout I wanted was in the middle of the art board anyway so I just deleted the surrounding CAD layouts. I guess the main layout of the CAD doc always ends up in the centre of the single AI art board.

    .
     

    Attached Files:

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