Plotting Tools - Eliot Sinclair and Partners

ClientEliot Sinclair and PartnersLocationNew Zealand
ConsultantEliot Sinclair & PartnersContractorSam Cech

Plotting Tools

Project Summary

Eliot Sinclair has been using 12d Model for 100% drafting since 2004. The techniques described below were developed to make plan preparation accessible to even the most basic 12d Model software users within the firm. Customisation of the software can give users truly amazing results.

The Challenge

The team’s main problem was how to simplify, standardise, speed up, and improve their drafting processes.

The Solution

Solution 1 - processes - they were using Plot Frames (in 12d Model) extensively, not only for main sheets but for all diagrams, inserting into other sheets and preserving title block information. All but a few plans were plotted to a model first. This policy was strictly enforced for several reasons: to have a backup copy of the plot data in a form that would be possible to modify in CAD (12d CAD tools, PMF, etc.) should they lose the 3D digital data, to see a preview of the data before sending it to a printer, to enable adding more information to the plot such as tables and paragraphs, and to enable plotting of reduced or enlarged plans.

Solution 2 - plot management macro - the vast majority of their jobs involved plans with multiple sheets, and the team was seeking the ability to quickly view all sheets or scroll through the entire plan set, so they created a macro that allows for the plot models to be organised into a grid, and enables users to check many plot previews at once. This proved particularly useful when plotting cross sections of rivers etc as users can visualise their plots easily.
[This macro has since been added to the 12d Model User Forum.]

Solution 3 - simplified plot view option - a simplified plot view panel was necessary as some users could not master the two available in 12d Model (Quick Plot and Quick Sheet Plot).

It was decided the best solution was to create one small panel with a maximum of eight input boxes (inbuilt options have up to 20 inputs), to focus specifically on what the user wanted at the time. This enabled individual users to pick a Plotter type and give the plot a name file/model, size/factor the area that’s picked to be plotted. If they failed to pick an area that matched a sheet size, it was simple to modify the Original Sheet box to a standard sheet size. Zoom, size or factor of each plot could be performed via a simple process of choosing output paper size or typing in a size factor.

The Result

With the three solutions described, the team at Eliot Sinclair & Partners was able to standardise, simplify and speed up plotting from 12d Model.

Download this Case Study as a PDF HERE