ACS Sales Solutions Engineer, Jason Pratt has been around DWF almost as long as I have. In fact, Jason is the reason that DWF files have page sizes in them. At the time, I thought DWF files should remain like JPEGs that a user could zoom. Jason chided me: "Why do you want them to be geometry floating in some boundless, unitless space?" He was right, and I was wrong. The ePlot capability was added to AutoCAD, and we haven't looked back since.
Later then-CTO Carl Bass wanted us to add 3D to DWF. I was unsure. We had this whole ePlot thing all worked out. Why muck up the works by adding 3D? Now that we have composite DWF files, there's no going back. He was right, and I was wrong. I'll bet Carl makes something of himself one day. :-)
Jason holds biweekly Autodesk Round Table discussion sessions where he demonstrates the benefits of Autodesk Buzzsaw and DWF. These are held over the web via MyMeetings.com. Recently Jason provided some tips on what to do and what not to do regarding DWF.
- The first thing you want to do when you receive a DWF file is check the scale. This can easily be accomplished using Autodesk Design Review. A copy of Autodesk Design Review is available for free for anyone who has a subscription to a Buzzsaw site. The easiest thing to do is measure something that was dimensioned by the author.
- If the scale is off, you should check the sheet properties to see what application created the DWF.
- A common problem is that some architects generate a PDF from AutoCAD and then use the Autodesk DWF Writer to generate a DWF from the PDF. Although you may get something that can be printed, the scale information will not be preserved.
- The most optimal and metadata-rich DWF files are generated directly from Autodesk design software like AutoCAD, Revit, or Inventor.
- The resulting DWF files retain the ability to determine measurements accurately.
- In the event that more precision is desired, a larger vector DPI can be specified for imperial or metric AutoCAD users before generating the DWF.
- DWF files are viewport aware when measurements are taken from them using Autodesk Design Review. It is possible to have multiple viewports on the same sheet - each with a different scale. Autodesk Design Review takes the scale factors into account and provides accurate measurements.
- In this example, a measurement inside the viewport is returned in feet and inches, e.g. 8 feet 4 inches, but a measurement outside the viewport reflects the size of the paper, e.g. 2.1 inches.
Every other week, Jason conducts his sessions on Tuesdays at 11 AM Pacific Time. If you are interested in learning more about DWF and/or Buzzsaw, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jason is a San Antonio Spurs fan. I think the Phoenix Suns will defeat the Spurs in the NBA playoffs this year. Maybe it's my turn to be right for a change.