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David Bertrand

Construction drawings in color?

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Is anyone making construction drawings in color? I've not seen any examples of that yet. Even the VW literature shows black and white only, except in 3D renderings.

It seems that only the high cost of color printing and copying would limit color to presentations or 3D.

If an architectural firm is large enough to own a large size color laser printer, it might not be prohibitively expensive.

VW is very capable in the color areas, yet I find myself focusing on B/W in my self-training. Should I be experimenting with color floor plans and details?

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I always present town planning drawings in colour, I am not sure of any advantage of construction drawings being in colour.

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I have a couple of civil engineering firms that produce construction dwg in color. When working with them, I also use color.

I personally like using color. It makes a complex

dwg more readable, especially when working contractors who are not the most reliable.

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I've done construction drawings using color for finishes, when there are lots of different colors and it might be hard to figure out what goes where.

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Very interesting ideas. I'm definitely going to experiment with it.

Another drawback I can think of is that some of the detail will be obscured by the color fill. One would have to watch that carefully.

You could use gray for footings, tan for wood framing and reddish brown for brick, etc., with black outlines of differing thicknesses.

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For an excellent example of color in CDs, I'd encourage you to take a look at the Terry Ackerman set of prints at http://www.vectordepot.com/gallery1.shtml#TMA

We've been using color extensively for three or four years. It's even penetrated to our shop drawings. You'll want to establish some working standards so colors have a consistant meaning.

As one who both reads 'prints and oversees their creation, I can vouch for the increased clarity consistent color can add. In many cases, it's simply easier to discern the difference between colors than between hatches or fills.

Good luck,

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We publish all plan sheets & details in color via PDF accessible from servers & CD/DVD. Nevertheless, all the hardcopy plansets are plotter B&W and copied on Xeror3030 for consistently and legal sufficiency. Each set is numbered stamped & signed prior to distribution.

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I provide my working drawings in colour via PDF format. It is useful for contractors and clients to have these produced at 11x17 size full colour. The 22x34 size are printed in grey scale for cost reasons. My thought is if the project is being designed using a 3D model why not provide the 2D drawings with full rendering for the contract documents. The whole idea is to convey as much information to the builders as possible. I also include perspective views of the interior and exterior of the project as part of the working drawing set.

______________________

Don Samuelson

Samuelson Timberframe Design

Mac G4 500 dual OS 10.3.9 VW 11.5 Architect RW

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Don,

How do you print in grey scale? VW only give the option to print in B&W from a color drawing.

Thanks

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quote:

Originally posted by LarryAZ:

Don,

How do you print in grey scale?...

My GimpPrint driver allows greyscale printing. A color drawings is output in greyscale. This is not a VW setting.

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Colour is used for road design drawings, but have not set up a colour standard.

Contractors have commented that colour makes it much easier to identify & separate design elements from existing features. Roads are long skinny entities, therefore, use of colour allows using a smaller scale while still retaining the amount of detail for the printed sheet. Colour is essential for the digital files.

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Printing in grey scale depends on the printer and the related driver it uses. For instance, I use a HP 11x17 printer for my in-house check sets and the HP print driver has a grey scale option. When printing I do not change my VW document settings to 'Black & White Only' and continue work in the color environment. I select the grey scale option that is accessed from the 'properties' dialogue of my HP printer within the VW 'print' command. You can also set it up to print Grey Scale by defualt in the printer settings of your OS.

Additionaly, while retaining the color VW document pref, you can print grey scale using Adobe PDF from your 'print' setup and selecting Black & White from the PDF 'Paper/Quality' properites.

Bottom line; when trying to print in grey scale in VW, do not use the 'Black and White Only' VW Document Preference - retain the color profile and use the Grey Scale or Black & White setting within your printer settings.

[ 11-22-2005, 01:30 PM: Message edited by: Runtime Error ]

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Developing 3d colored and textured drawing packages has been a great tool for us and I have to echo the sentiment of a few other posters in this thread. With a fair amount of tinkering around and setup time required, 3d colored and textured drawing packages are the way to go. The modeling tools in VW are there in order to execute this process however, VW still has a lot of ground to cover to develop the necessary 3d production tools we require in order to make 3D & color a more cost effective platform for drawing production.

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quote:

Originally posted by Runtime Error:

VW still has a lot of ground to cover to develop the necessary 3d production tools we require in order to make 3D & color a more cost effective platform for drawing production.

Please elborate on this statement Runtime Error.

I'd be interested to know what, in specifics, does it lack and you require in its colour to make it a more cost effective platform for drawing production ?

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Wow. Ask the right question.... excellent responses.

I see that a lot of people are drawing in color.

I think I'll work up a system using color. Instead of drawing by line-type in b/w, I'll try drawing by function in color.

Perhaps the lines can be in black or a dark color and the fills can be in a light shade of color. This will allow me to print either in color or gray scale, both with good results.

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David,

Our lines are nearly always a darker shade?but the same color tone?as the fill. That way, in Hidden Line Render, the color still comes through.

I agree that thinking through your methodology so both color and greyscale still work is well worthwhile. However, I find it difficult to see how the extra output cost (of doing color hard copies) outweighs the benefit. We give the client the choice and I can't remember the last one that didn't specify color for all sets issued.

You started a very useful discussion. Good variety of responders.

Good luck,

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Alanmac, I should have clarified my opinion in regards to color and its cost relation to printing and not necessarily to VW. Color printing in my neck of the woods costs an arm and a leg and quite often the client can't justify the cost for color mark-up sets unless they're for a presentation.

[ 11-22-2005, 08:52 PM: Message edited by: Runtime Error ]

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Travis said: Our lines are nearly always a darker shade?but the same color tone?as the fill.

Exactly what I was thinking.

I suppose that color would only be economical if it clarifies the drawing; otherwise, it would be a waste of money.

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Hi Runtime Error

Yes I know what you mean. I've often thought that colour was a logical step to help clarify the detail on a drawing. Whilst its easy and pretty cheap to get a colour A3 set up in house, above that we are talking serious money in both initial outlay and consumables.

It's only the print houses with their volume output that can get the price to a level that justifys the investment cost.

I'm lucky in that I do very few drawing sets for a job but I would imagine the cost could be outrageous once you factor in changes and amendments on complex projects.

Of course all this goes pear shaped when the person reading them tells you they are colour blind ;~)

Alan

[ 11-23-2005, 04:35 AM: Message edited by: alanmac ]

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Goodness the cost of issuing A1 colour sheets would be serious, as others have said, gain against cost ?

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Fortunately, it's no more expensive to draw in color than b/w. The added cost is in printing. So we can make color drawings and then print them in gray-scale or color depending on the budget.

Since I started drawing in color, I've realized that I have to do everything in "shapes" rather than lines, because lines don't have color fill. I hadn't thought of this before. I'm still learning how to manipulate shapes.

It's good because VW is strong in shape drawing, but weak in line drawing (at least for me, a former AutoCad user). Another advantage is that it's only a small step from shapes to 3D modeling.

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It's incredible, David, that no one has pointed out to you how critical the "leap" to shapes is for former ACad users. My best drafter (now) struggled for weeks before she finally "got" it. The difference in both initial speed and editability (going on to 3D, as you point out) are significant.

Continued good luck,

Viper, we figure color output costs about 18% additional. 5?8% for ink and 10% for better paper. We add a surcharge of 20%. The big Epson printer does run a little slower than a plotter, so having a 30-sheet set in an hour isn't going to happen!

[ 11-24-2005, 10:14 AM: Message edited by: Travis ]

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