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Amanda Patton

scale problem in importing dwg file

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I use Landmark 11, and often receive dwg files from surveyors. I've just received one and can't manipulate it into a useable scale. Normally Vectorworks adjusts the scale automatically, so that I end up with something on A0ish at 1:100, but whatever I do I can't amend the scale without it reducing the whole survey to something tiny on an A0size, unusable and with great fat lines. Any ideas?

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Check the units you are importing. It is likely that the units in the file are set to inches (or feet/Inches) or mm/cm while the file you are importing from is set to feet or meters.

It is easiest to fix this before the import, but you can also fix it after the import.

Before the import, set the correct units for the import.

After the import zoom so you can see an object with a known dimension. Draw a new dimension object. Compare the two dimensions. Scale the Entire Drawing (and Scale Text) by the desired Dimesion divided by the measured dimension. You can do the division in the scale dialog box, but you will have to use decimal units (no feet and inches or unit marks).

Also, always import into a blank file so you don't accidently change scales/lineweights/dashes.

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thanks, but it doesn't seem to be working! The cad file is set in mm at 1:1, I need it in m at 1:100. I've imported into a new file, either set to 1:1 and mm or set to m and 1:100 (and all possible combinations!). I've tried copying and pasting as a new layer with a 1:100 scale (I think that's worked before) but that's not working either. Normally it's an automatic adjustment, ie I set a new file to m and 1:100, import the dwg and it comes out as such and ready to use. So it needs to be reduced to 1:100 but enlarged to fit the nominal A0 sheet - so it's reducing but not then scaling to fit the page. I've tried all the options before importing including custom settings set to mm (as the import file) and 1:100, and again all combinations of this, and it's still not working. I've never had this problem before so don't know if the surveyor is using an older/newer version of CAD which isn't compatible, or whether I should ask him to send it in a different format (eg dfx) or whether I'm missing something and could sort it from here...?

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Are you saying objects are not the correct size?

Pat is correct, it's probably a problem with units.

Find something in the drawing that you know the size of, measure what the size of it is currently, do the math to find the correct multiplier, select all, and scale all objects with the scale command.

No matter what the layer scale is, objects need to have the correct units, or be the correct size.

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thanks, I seem to have done it though not entirely satisfactorily as I can't now manipulate the data on the survey (eg can't snap to object) but it is at least telling me that my building is 13.1 metres wide and not 13.1mm as it insisted on before! If anyone else has the same trouble, I did as you suggested (thank you!) and enlarged using the enlargement on the scale within the layer options, and it automatically created a new layer with the info on at the correct scale - though if I select active only layer the page is blank - very strange and I'm sure that can't be quite right. I do have to redraw, and am slightly worried that I'll adjust the data by having to do that, fortunately this isn't mm critical. If you happen to know why that's happening and how to get round it?...

Thanks!

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I'm not understanding, you may want to break out the manual and use VW terminology. Scale can mean two different things in this conversation, when referring to the scale of a layer you should use the term "layer scale". I don't know what "the enlargement on the scale within the layer options" means, are you changing the layer scale?

What created a new layer?

Are you setting Active Only in layer options or class options?

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sorry, comes of being self-taught! The layer scale of the imported file was 1:0.1; I 'selected all' with 'active only' in layer options, then opened the layers dialogue box, clicked on 'scale' and then under 'enlargement' clicked on 100x; this then automatically created a new layer ('design layer two') which, in the layers dialogue box, stated that the scale was 1:100. However, if the layer options tab is set to 'active only' the screen is blank, if it's set to 'show all' it's showing the survey at 1:100. If I return to the imported survey layer, it's still saying it's 1:0.1 and measuring the external dimensions of a long wall at 13.1mm - this wall is measured at 13.1m when I return to design layer two. It's really strange! But as I said, even when I set the layer option to 'show/snap/modify' I can't actually modify the survey unless I'm on that imported survey layer, and then I'm in the wrong layer scale! I can't see any way round at the moment other than to redraw in design layer two over the existing survey, and hope that I 'trace over' in the right place... Does this make sense?

thanks for your patience in this!

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I don't have version 11 to know where it is, in v2008 Modify menu>Scale Objects... is the scale command. You may have it under a different menu in v11. Select all and run the scale command, input .1 in the symmetric box, click the Scale text box, and hit OK.

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thanks for your help! I suddenly have a memory that Vectorworks fixed the importing dwg/dfx problems in a later version than mine, perhaps I've been lucky not to come across it before! Anyway, I do now have a usable survey and thank you!

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Another benefit of VW 2008 (and 2009!) is the ability to reference external files. Importing dwg files can have other issues when mixing with VW files - its not uncommon to see line properties change. Keeping imported dwg data in its own file, along with all the spurious classes that often accompany a dwg file, make it much easier to manage.

I always keep the survey in its own file then reference it into my design files, even If I took the survey myself. VW2008 has something called design layer viewports (DLVPs) which are similar to sheet layer viewports, but reside on a design layer. Thus, a design layer can actually be composed entirely of the contents of an externally referenced file but without the spurious clutter. And having it in its own separate file means that it will not interact with the VW attributes. Being a viewport, you can also override line attributes to suit.

It also provides a separate file which you can print out at different scales to 'doodle on' without affecting any work in progress.

As the project progresses, I use less and less of the survey data, and replace it with my own data, for example, building outlines become 3D models, so the original survey data is superceeded with the 3D model in the design file. This is very easy to manage with viewports as classes can be turned on and off at will in the viewport.

Another advantage is that if you have more than one version of a design file, you still reference the same underlying survey data, so you don't have to manage/backup files containing duplicate data.

As the project progresses, I create a new file for the planting plan that simply references my design file. So I am working on a file that only contains planting plan information, not clutter from the design process - a fresh start for each stage of the project. It can even be made up of multiple views of different parts of the underlying design.

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