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erminio

Reducing exported DWG files size

Question

Hi guys
I wanna submit a request based on the topic linked below

 

https://forum.vectorworks.net/index.php?/topic/51777-vw-17-massive-file-size-for-dwg-export/&page=0#comment-259615

 

In my opinion VW till the 2014 release was great in exporting 2D manageable DWG files with many Viewports, while maintaining a good compatibility
From 2015 till now every viewport doubles the file size
In effect Vectorworks creates a symbol with the FULL drawing inside for each Viewport included all nested symbols
So if you export the only model space with about 10 symbols in a DWG file, its size could be for instance 10MB, while the same file exported in in 7/8 Sheet layers with 4/5 Viewports for each one can reach the file size of 170/200MB with 1300 blocks/symbols inside
For each Viewport a new AutoCAD layer is created, so you really can't work

Every time I was exporting in Vectorworks 2014 and then to DWG, but 2014 isn't compatible with High Sierra 

It should be nice having a flag, permitting you to export in the old way at the cost of a minor (not sure about that) DWG compatibility

 

 

Erminio

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Thank you, sent you a download link to the file.

 

 

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On 2/13/2019 at 8:52 AM, erminio said:

Personally I get best results by exporting in  IGES/SAT but I think the problem is exporting in AutoCAD

Yes, IGES/SAT is another option that I forgot. It can produce nice(r) geometry that is better than you may get when exporting to DWG even though SAT is basically what in DWG is called ACISOUT for exporting and ACISIN for importing. AutoCAD uses ACIS for its 3D, though it is a slighty different version than the standard ACIS from Dassault.

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On 2/16/2019 at 12:32 PM, Amorphous said:

Vectorworks should- ‘out-of-the-box’ - be able to export to these industry-standard documents (ie DWG) without users wasting valuable time and multiple steps to find work-arounds. If we tally  the wasted charge-out time we all put into to ‘trial and error’ to find a workaround, we’d probably be a lot more profitable.

 

I have put a senior VW architect onto the case of finding a solution to this problem and he spent two days on various combinations of settings and methods. We have nothing replicable, easy and efficient. It is up to Vectorworks to give us a solution.

You might be even more profitable if you would work in DWG as you would get to write more hours on the projects because it probably will take you more time to get the project done. 😉

That being said, using VW has made it possible to meet project deadlines that would not have been possible when using AutoCAD because VW was (and is) so much more efficient for certain things than AutoCAD.

 

However, I do fully agree that the DWG compatibility needs further improvement as I too still need to "fix" DWG files too often to make them comply with client's or other (inter)national standards or to simply make them usable in AutoCAD as you have noticed. Some basic things are still missing in the import/export that simply makes VW a no go for certain projects even though from a drafting perspective VW can do the job but the DWG conversion is simply lacking too much on those basic missing things.

 

But... given the differences between VW and DWG there will always be things that will need fixing by opening the DWG file in a DWG based program (AutoCAD/BricsCAD/Draftsight etc) and fix those things in there. The better the conversion is the easier it may be to fix those remaining things that cannot be easily translated and less time we have to spend on that.

I don't expect perfect translations to DWG because after all there will be a point where VW will have to consider whether it is worth the investment in time and money to get those rare things translated 100% correctly, especially if there is no real equivalent in DWG. If you have ever seen a DGN to DWG conversion you'll know what I mean, as e.g. those are rarely usable from a layer management perspective even though Bentley and Autodesk have an agreement on using each others API's/code for importing/exporting into each other's file format.

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On 2/12/2019 at 2:44 AM, Amorphous said:

Thanks @erminio for raising this important issue and thanks @Art V for offering a possible solution.

 

Fact is, this process should just be a simple, straightforward process and does not require VW users to come up with 'workarounds' to make it work.

 

We use Vectorworks in 3D, and there is NO POSSIBLE WAY to get our models into a usable DWG file to our consultants, collaborators and consultants. 

 

We have spend many hours in our office trying to resolve this issue, and in the end the only possible way to create a usable, small-sized DWG file from our 3D model is to 'save as' a PDF, reimport the PDF to VW, and explode the PDF just to get the lines.

 

Not ideal at all but no other options we have found so far. 

 

Is it really that bad. 

 

I agree this should be a simple process. The software costs a lot and should have this functionality without having to work around, going from 3d to a 2d export.

I'm going to try your suggested route. 

 

Thanks for the advice.

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6 hours ago, Pabs said:

The software costs a lot and should have this functionality without having to work around, going from 3d to a 2d export.

Unfortunately cost generally isn't related to import/export options and their quality but market position probably is. I know software that is more expensive than Vectorworks has less import/export options and it's DWG export isn't really that much better than VW's.

 

The best way to get this improved is to keep contacting support when you run into issues and to keep raising feature requests on this in the Wishlist forum. Or (sometimes repeatedly) explain clearly why it matters to have a certain improvement implemented in the near future instead of years from now and why it would benefit a large part of their customer base.

Eventually it will get in if enough people do this and support/upvote similar requests. It is not necessarily lack of willingness why some things don't get improved but lack of awareness because they don't run into this issue (or not often enough to realise what the downside is of something missing).

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I got some pretty good advice on this dwg size issue from VW support staff. 

 

Set up a saved view for export, then choose export to dwg from the file menu (not publish menu) and choose "flattened 2D" graphics option. The LTS scale will remain at layer scale setting as well (important for the upcoming file user). The resulting file size will be 2MB instead of 15MB from a sheet layer with one viewport.

 

The only problems are: No batch publishing (important for professional workflow since it eliminates naming errors and allows for large sets) and text linked to custom records won't export properly.

 

If saved view export is done via the publish menu, the flattened option is not available, only available for sheet layer exports. Thus stuff will be at DL elevation in the resulting dwg. The same linked custom record issue remains here as well. Additionally, the LTS is set at 1 even though DL scale is as 1:50. 

 

As to the single viewport export from a dummy sheet layer, everything listed above works perfectly, except the file size.

 

VW support promised to look into the possibilities of enabling batch-exporting saved views with the flattening option available, linked text intact and correct LTS scale.

 

Should this be implemented then we would have a proper and professional method of exporting 2D dwg's with a small file size. I'm rather confident the functionality needs just a little adjusting and we will be there soon.

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3 minutes ago, JMR said:

I got some pretty good advice on this dwg size issue from VW support staff. 

 

Set up a saved view for export, then choose export to dwg from the file menu (not publish menu) and choose "flattened 2D" graphics option. The LTS scale will remain at layer scale setting as well (important for the upcoming file user). The resulting file size will be 2MB instead of 15MB from a sheet layer with one viewport.

 

The only problems are: No batch publishing (important for professional workflow since it eliminates naming errors and allows for large sets) and text linked to custom records won't export properly.

 

If saved view export is done via the publish menu, the flattened option is not available, only available for sheet layer exports. Thus stuff will be at DL elevation in the resulting dwg. The same linked custom record issue remains here as well. Additionally, the LTS is set at 1 even though DL scale is as 1:50. 

 

As to the single viewport export from a dummy sheet layer, everything listed above works perfectly, except the file size.

 

VW support promised to look into the possibilities of enabling batch-exporting saved views with the flattening option available, linked text intact and correct LTS scale.

 

Should this be implemented then we would have a proper and professional method of exporting 2D dwg's with a small file size. I'm rather confident the functionality needs just a little adjusting and we will be there soon.

Thank you JMR

I've tried that, but my goal (and I think the goal of a lot of people) is to export also AutoCAD paper space for most compatibility

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With paper space I don't know if it is possible to get the file size  much smaller, unfortunately. We export complete floor plans for engineers to XREF them, therefore paper space is not important for them. However when exporting as-built set for the client's archives, then it is. 

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