autoCAD > illustrator, what's the most effcient way?

MArch n' unemployed

i use to control lineweights in cad and print to .eps and then bring those into illustrator. but i don't like the detail and quality of the linework the eps seems to bring.

i just triedexporting to .ai from rhino, but i couldn't do 1:1 scale [just showed a blank screen in illus] and besides all those layers and lines make the dwg very slow.

any tips, or better ways of doing it?

May 2, 07 9:09 pm

I typicallly just save my ACAD file as a 2000 .DXF file and open it up in Illustrator. It allows you to bring the drawing into the .AI file to scale or change the scale upon opening the file. It also preserves layers and blocks and other objects which saves tons of time. From there, as long as you've used your layers properly, lineweights are a breeze. Memory also isn't an issue since the .DXF breaks the drawing file into its simplest form, thus not slowing down your production.

May 2, 07 10:17 pm
MArch n' unemployed

interesting blulite, thanks. i hate scaling in illus, but this sounds better than what i've been through

May 2, 07 10:29 pm

if you know your sheet size already, set it up in autocad paperspace. print as a pdf and open it in illustrator.

May 2, 07 10:30 pm

there's a great little app by HotDoor called CADtools which allows illustrator to draw completely to scale. A little spendy for just another app, but for someone who loves illustrator...

Includes a whole bunch of standard drafting conventions and tools also. Makes remarkably quick work of simple drafting tasks in Illustrator.

I worked with this wacky arch/eng for a while who did all of his CD's for residential projects, footbridges, everything, in Illustrator.

I was pretty cool actually, because i think illustrator's a nice and intuitive application...for the most part.

May 3, 07 1:05 am
Ben Foster

I've had luck printing PDFs in paper space- you can edit the lw's in Illustrator

May 3, 07 1:58 am

edit: It was pretty cool actually...

May 3, 07 2:01 am
david yang

you can literally copy+paste from autocad into illustrator. the lines will come in all grouped together so you have to go through the process of regrouping and relayering them, which isn't bad as long you had all the layers as different colors.

after you've brought int your drawing from cad, ungroup the object. click on a line, then select by color. place the newly selected objects onto a new layer. do this for each color. the lines also come in with no lineweight so that needs to be adjusted too.

illustrator has problems with brining in hatches so watch out for those. i found that this process is simple and effective. it requires a little fudging here and there but once you get used to the process, it goes quickly.

May 3, 07 9:52 am

adobe just needs to make its own cad program

May 3, 07 11:11 am

what dy said ~ defintely stay away from acad hatches...

Ill sees each "tick" as an individual line = viewport perf slow to a standstill and increases the overall file size which is important because Illustrator is already a memory hog.

May 3, 07 11:19 am

what I do is open my DWG file in Rhinoceros (free eval) and save as .AI file.

i wouldn't ever want to go to DXf unless it was something I didn't intend on editing or changing.

May 3, 07 11:33 am

spaceghosts' method produces the most consistant lineweights for me. But once you bring the pdf in, do a visual check to make sure there aren't any random hatches or anything, as there are occasional random errors.

May 3, 07 11:54 am
MArch n' unemployed

thanks guys, lots of things for me to try out...

May 3, 07 1:18 pm

current method:
in acad i create a reference for scale -- typically a 36x24 rectangle.
explode all hatches, dims and blocks. purge. save as 2000
open in ill cs2 as actual size -- scale appropriately using reference rectangle.
change line color and weight if necessary -- usually i have to adjust dashed lines which is always a pain.

May 5, 07 2:50 am
MArch n' unemployed

so i've settled on scaling in acad, exploding hatches, open in rhino, export as .ai at 1:1


May 5, 07 3:53 am

why use rhino?

May 5, 07 4:00 am

because it opens and saves AI files

May 5, 07 4:12 pm

y use autocad would be a better question ;)

but yes the pdf way would work fine too pdf your dwg out of rhino/autocad/progecad then open that in illustrator with whatever PDF printer works best for you

May 5, 07 4:17 pm

But does the PDF keep the layers?

I just open the .dwg in Illustrator and adjust from there.

May 14, 07 11:53 pm

isn't there a plug-in, where it uses allows for illustrator to act as a drafting tool? has anyone used this before?

May 15, 07 12:27 am
Chase Dammtor

I've been having tons of trouble getting from MicroStation into Illustrator ...

I save as a DWG and then place into Illustrator but a lot of the lines are missing. Even though the DWG looked fine when I checked it in AutoCAD.


Jun 7, 07 11:32 am

Rhinoceros could do it all y even use autocad or illustator now?

if you must print to PDF and that will keep line weights when importing to illustrator after setting your widths in acad or rhino.

but again y do you need layers in PDF?

oops i already replied
oh well i post again because it is that important to say adobe and autodesk are inferior.

setting line weights is a art there are so many standards i can see how you could be dizzy ;)

Jun 7, 07 7:51 pm

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