Use this forum to ask questions about DataCAD 18 and DataCAD LT 18.
#68920 by nwilkey
Thu May 19, 2016 1:48 pm
Can someone explain how this works? I can't seem to find it in the manual--the search options don't recognize the 'Scl2Pen'. I've already spent 30 min trying to search the manual and another 30 searching the forum.

This is how I am trying to use it....
I will often print half scale drawings. I thought if I set the Scl2Pen to have a pen table for 1/8" and 1/4", depending on what scale I selected, the appropriate pen table would be applied. That doesn't appear to be the case.

Thank you!
#68995 by Ted B
Tue May 24, 2016 9:14 am
For years I have produced full-size and half-size prints. One way to deal with this is to plot-to a .PDF-file, then to either a full-sheet or a half-sheet. .Pdf will compensate the line-weights as appropriate automatically -- independent of the printer -- so it's perfect for not-only in-house printing at various formats, but also for e-mail distribution.

For years I have used a .PDF virtual printer to create individual .pdfs of each page, stored in the project folder on the computer. From there I either directly print each page -- or merge all the pages into one multipaged .pdf-file as my record set; then print that-file out at full or half-size on paper -- or e-mail the merged .pdf-file directly to the client.

In the days of hand-drafting and CAD plotting on pen-plotters, we always worked on the typical Architect's 24x36 page-format for construction docs. But with inkjet and laser printers' greater graphical-clarity of line, what was originally a half-scale 11x17" office-use drawing is now my office-standard format for distribution. With std.letter as the reduced-sized set at about 2/3-size.

In nearly 15 years, I've only had two jurisdiction insist on 24x36" permit drawings. While New Jersey jurisdictions still require paper originals with the Architect's impressed-sealed and signature, some jurisdictions in Pennsylvania now require digital-submittal-only for permits and approvals -- no paper accepted - either e-mail or on disc. Another advantage of merged .pdf-files at 11x17" I can combine print/plot-files from various sources -- Datacad, Sketchup Layout, and text documents, spreadsheets and cutsheets into one record file for printing or e-mail distribution -- even scanned hand-drawn sketches.

And the cost savings are huuuuge! So even if I need a few additional pages of paper for drawing legibility at a decent readable scale, the savings definitely outweigh the aggravation of sending-out for engineering copies made at $10-12 per-page vs $0.08 per page in the office or at the local Staples.
#68999 by Roger D
Tue May 24, 2016 9:35 am
[quote="Ted B" engineering copies made at $10-12 per-page[/quote]
You sure have some expensive printers in your area. Kinko's used to be high at 5/24x36, but the local "blue" print shops that are set up for this are much more reasonable, mine are 0.54 per sheet plus tax.
But yes, now with more going digital, I don't print for the contractors any more. Just a couple copies for Owner's records and mine.
#69007 by nwilkey
Tue May 24, 2016 1:22 pm
Thanks, Ted. Good info.
I'd still like to know how the Scl2Pen is suppose to work. Anyone?
#69008 by joshhuggins
Tue May 24, 2016 2:20 pm
It just allows you to set a specific pen table override to be used when you plot to a specific scale. Say you want 1/4" plot scale to always use a pen table named 1-4.dpf. And you always want 1/2" plot scale to use a pen table named 1-2.dpf. It won't actually change the currently set pen table set in the Datacad menus, it does it in the background when you print, that way you can have your main drawing set to a main pen table and batch plot with that, and if any GTV's or MSP's are set to plot at a scale that you have set an override for they will print using the Scale To Pen override.

One thing to note is if your scale file list changes say by adding or changing a scale in the list, you will have to make sure the scale/pen tables assignments still match up with what you want them to be set at as the Scale To Pen overrides relate to the F# position of the scales in the scale list, not the scale itself.
#69025 by Ted B
Tue May 24, 2016 9:49 pm
The nearest Staples is a 25-miles round-trip, Kinko's is nearly 40-miles. Copies are about $4/page at 24x36", but printing e-files onto paper is about $10/page each for small orders...and you have to drive there, they don't deliver.

Ironically, the Princeton New Jersey area doesn't have a bulk "blue-print shop" anymore. You have to ship large orders to Northern Jersey, or drive into Philadelphia -- they don't pickup or delivery this far away.
#69028 by MtnArch
Wed May 25, 2016 12:16 am
From the Staples online costs for me on the Monterey Bay peninsula I'm looking at a MINIMUM of $5/sht for 24x36 - more if it's 30x42! If I use the ARC Monterey reprographics service, I'm looking at almost $10/sheet!!! YIKES!!!! Guess I'd better order more roll paper and ink cartridges for my Canon plotter!!!
#69029 by Ted B
Wed May 25, 2016 5:13 am
That's a major reason I've kept with the 11x17" originals, almost everyone has a tabloid-size printer somewhere in their office so I just e-mail them the drawings directly. The primary reason I still have to print-to-paper for distribution is that here in New Jersey you have to submit multiple paper original sets with the embossed Architect's seal and signature to the Building Departments. I don't even keep record copies on paper anymore. The original merged .PDF stays as record in that project's folder in the computer. I might print-out on reduced letter-size a few key pages just for quick-reference in the Manila-folder for that project in the file-drawer.

It wasn't s bad the first 10-years I was in practice, the local Staples was withing walking distance of my office next to McDonalds. But now it's a 25-mile round-trip into the next county so I have to wait and try to combine the trip with some other business or household shopping errand. It's over an hour up there and back, just to make photocopies, so I recently bought an Epson Workforce tabloid printer; it's much faster than my HP printer was, and I don't have to deal with the accursed HP Inkjet cartridges anymore.

It also scans up-to 13" wide so I can now scan hand-sketches from 8 1/2 x 11", 11 x 17" or 12"-roll tracing paper directly to .PDF for inclusion and e-mail distribution.

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