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Andy Kovach

Autocad splines hard to work with

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I sent an Architectural Site plan (DWG format) to a civil engineer. He complained that it contained Autocad splines and that it was very hard to work with.

What is an Autocad spline? Why is it hard to work with?

How should I prepare my files to make life easier for AC users?

VW 10.5.1 Mac version

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A Spline is the same as a VectorWorks Polyline by Cubic Spline Point.

They're easy to edit in Autocad now, at least when moving spline points. I don't think there's any way yet to add spline points in the middle, as we can in VW with the 2D Reshape tool.

I can think of 2 things that might help your correspondent.

1. Autocad can display regular polylines (all straight line segments) as if they were Splines. That can be undone, and the polyline, even when displayed with curves, is much easier to edit than a Spline. So maybe it would help to provide only polylines with straight line segments, and let the engineer "Fit" the splines to them in AC.

2. AC Splines, when offset, acquire many more points than the original, as do VW Polylines with spline points. BUT AC polylines with only fillets (curves defined by radius) and straight lines DO offset properly (unlike the same in VW, which have the same problem when offset as do spline curves). So maybe it would help if you draw curved polylines using only straight segments and fillets.

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What I do, when possible, is to convert the polylines to polygons. The polygons convert better to Autocad than the polylines. I try to draw using polygons firts,adjust them for the curves using the poly reshape tool. However, sometimes whan I adjust the polygon, it turns into a polyline (probably because of the arcs). I wouold then change it back to polygons. The only drawback here, is that the resulting polygons would have numerous vertices, so adjusting them afterwards would be too time consuming. I would convert to polygons in a copy of your drawing just before exporting to autocad. Hope that helps.

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