If you wish to print DWF files at a desired scale, there are some factors to consider when creating them.
Senior Architect and DWF Technical Evangelist, Brian Mathews recently shared some tips:
The first thing to note is that sheets in a DWF file that are created from paper space layouts are more powerful. It is more difficult to get a DWF file to print to scale if it has been created from model space. Sometimes you plot your AutoCAD drawing from model space to your printer using “Fit to Page” after selecting a “What to Plot” value of “Window” and selecting the corner “registration marks” you’ve added to the drawing. This can work if you’ve been very careful about defining your AutoCAD paper size and print margins exactly for your printer. While many people who have used AutoCAD a long time work this way, it exposes you to problems if you use different printers with different characteristics.
Another potential problem is that your print settings are device dependent. Generally you should never use “Fit to Page” if you want drawings to print to a particular scale. “Fit to Page” means that the drawing should be grown/shrunk to fit the printable region of the particular printer device at hand (and different printers differ in their printable region sizes). That means you’re just “lucky” if the fit-to-page scale happens to come out to be what you want. The DWF “virtual printer” likely has slightly different margins than the physical printer you are using. For example, when you “fit to page” on your physical printer, it might be fitting the image to a 41.5 inch printable region of your 44 inch page, but when using the DWF virtual printer you might be fitting to a 42 inch region of a 44 inch page. Hence the print scales are different and you get a different result. This isn’t a DWF issue per se since any other printer that has different print margins would do the same thing. Almost every manufacturer’s print margins differ by some amount, which is why Fit to Page isn’t good if you care about scale.
The solution is that if you care about print scale, then you need to specify the print scale you want. AutoCAD’s print dialog allows you to specify the desired print scale. Some users complain that drawings “clip” when specifying a print scale. If so, that generally is a good thing, since it shows you’ve made a mathematical mistake in your setup that needs to be fixed. If you use Fit To Page then you often aren’t getting the scale you think you are getting, especially if you change devices.
To avoid clipping, when you define your title blocks you should make them small enough that they will fit inside the printable region of any printer someone might print to (not just your printer). You should then add 50% to that margin size if you want people to be able to print half-size prints (since when you scale a drawing by 50%, the vectors are half size but the printer’s margins remain the same size meaning you are more exposed to clipping).
The PUBLISH command is more powerful than the PLOT command. The DWF Publish command is smarter when working with layouts, since the DWF Publish code knows how to directly pull the desired paper definition from the layout without having to change driver specific settings. It is less error prone, lets you see how things will print before you print, and makes getting the right DWF simple with the Publish command. Thus it is always at least the same or better to use PUBLISH instead of PLOT.
The ability to go beyond paper is based on the ability to get to paper first. Taking heed of Brian Mathews' tips help in this regard.