Drawing Flattener is a free product made available due to user demand and the simple fact that AutoDesk does not have anything that will flatten custom objects properly. However, is it always the best method for creating 2D vendor/client drawings? What are the limitations to this method? What are the alternatives? This Tech Note explores the use of published 2D and 3D PDF files as an alternative to Bentley AutoPLANT Drawing Flattener.
Flattened drawings or unintelligent 2D autocad DWG files can be provided to vendors and clients for multiple reason. Here are a few typical reason.
But are these good enough reasons? Have there been any advances in plant design software applications that would allow the users, vendors and clients to have the intelligence and easy-to-use tools while the design engineering company retained ownership of the plant projects.
Isn't the real objective when providing flattened drawings to allow clients to be able to review the designs in a popular file format allowing for mark ups while restricting manipulation of the actualdesigns?
The PDF file format is a global standard for electronic document sharing. PDF files can be used to comment on, mark up, view, print and allow designers to still retain ownership of the original models. In addition, free viewers or readers are available to download at no cost to the client.
Bentley Navigator also has the ability to create a 3D PDF, giving the client a true representation of what has been modeled.
To see how easy it is to creating PDF files, see the steps below. This workflow is already common practice in AutoCAD through the use of the Publish tool.
In addition to providing flat PDF drawings, Bentley Navigator has the ability to create a 3D PDF for a true representation of the modeled components, also viewable through the free download Adobe Reader.
But why not send an intelligent published model? An imodel can be viewed with the free product Bentley View. If a client needs more tools, they can run Bentley Navigator, which allows the user to see full intelligence on all elements and AutoPLANT components and actually walkthrough the plants. From here, a user can run clash detection, create markups, perform schedule simulation as well as create animations, take measurements and more.
Why not give your clients the option. You may find this alternative will save you time and money.
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