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Layouts - how do you make them static?

I drew up a desk for my welding shop as part of my trial evaluation of BricsCAD.

I don't know what common CAD practice is for dimensioning a drawing, but I created a separate dimension layer for every drawing layer.

Now I want to print the various drawing layer/dimension layer pairs and I can't get the layouts to freeze. Every time I change the Model to pick a new pair of layers to create a new layout, the previous layout changes along with it.

I've watched the tutorials with layout in their names and read up on layouts in the users guide, but I don't see a way of creating multiple FROZEN / STATIC layouts.


  • You can achieve what you want by creating multiple layouts with multiple viewports ( see MVIEW). Paperspace viewports can have independent viewpoints, scale, and layer control. This allows you to orientate to the view that you want, then freeze/thaw the layers you want to display in that viewport, (see LAYER). Attach an update to your drawing to demonstrate what I mean.

    For this type of model, I would personally prefer to dimension in the paperspace layout rather than modelspace. It eliminates the need to create multiple annotation layers, and avoids needing to scale dimension sizes.

    You could look at using VIEWBASE which will generate a drawing view for you from your model. If you use this option, then it is best to go into SETTINGS and check the GENERATEASSOCVIEWS option. This will maintain associativity between the 3D model and your dimensions.

    Jason Bourhill
    CAD Concepts

    Come to the Australasia BricsCAD Conference

  • @Jason Bourhill

    Thank you for the reply.

    I read your post several times and looked up the mentioned commands. It was the 'Paperspace viewports can have independent ...layer control' that intrigued me most. I wasn't aware of independent layer control, which is exactly what I needed, and didn't know how to get at it.

    So, I played with your version of my desk document and finally discovered that putting the layout viewport into M mode and bringing up Layers in the Drawing Explorer presented where you manipulated the VP Freeze column that doesn't exist in the models Layers display. It's obvious now how to achieve freezing what's displayed. I couldn't get that from all the reading and searching I did before posting.

    Thank You.

  • edited January 2019

    I would strongly advise you to use the ViewBase command to create documentation drawings of your 3D model. In the attached copy of your model I added a layout in which all standard views (top, front, left, right, back) and two isometric views are added. Starting from one of the standard views I have also added two sections. All in less than 2 minutes!. Dimensions must be added in the layout views.

  • @Louis Verdonck

    I will definitely experiment with ViewBase and I agree that dimensions belong on the layouts now that I see a way of creating them.

    For you fighter pilot CAD people, what takes you 2 minutes is going to take me a whole lot longer as I'm just folding paper airplanes on the ground in comparison. :)

    As always, thanks for the input.

  • @Louis Verdonck
    I experimented with ViewBase and it brought back memories of my architectural drafting classes in high school using a T-Square and drawing board many decades ago. I realize BricsCAD has to have these 2D views of 3D objects because that's what everyone is familiar with. Very horse and buggy in a space shuttle world.

    For my purposes, I prefer a 3D view with the dimensions directly on the 3D object as I'm the designer, the metal cutter and the welder all rolled into one. The 2D views hide objects that then can't be dimensioned directly. Sectioning can expose those otherwise hidden objects, but a 3D view avoids that.

    I now see how dimensioning the 2D representations of the 3D object works in layouts. I also see how trying to dimension a 3D layout object transmits those dimensions back to the original model. That pollutes that model with unwanted detail.

    Am I correct in assuming that there's no way to stop dimensions from appearing on the primary model when 3D layouts are dimensioned directly on the primary layers?

  • edited January 2019

    Dimensioned 3D models are fine when it's a naked frame like you're doing - not so good when the assembly has multiple layers e.g a wall-roof junction, and you can only see the outermosr layer. Then a 2D section will expose all the layers of both wall and roof and how they meet up, and is fine as long as the assembly is just a simple extrusion.

    But when (parts of) the wall and/or roof are not a simple extrusion but vary along their length, you have to do multiple sections, one for each case/combination - or else have to trust that the builders' conventional wisdom will adequately picture most of the variant cases.

    Gets even more interesting when it's say a wall/gable/roof junction - three 'planes' coming together at a corner. No 2D section can unambiguously illustrate what happens at the corner - again much is left to the builders' conventional wisdom. But that's exactly where detailing gets constructed wrong, indeed the designer often hasn't properly visualised how all those layers come together, so used are they to only thinking in 2D sections. Even if it's modelled in 3D, how to illustrate it in a drawing that doesn't require the builders to go switching off layers so they can 'see inside'?

    But the unambiguous solution can only be a 3D illustration - with 'peel-back' of layers so that the really critical junction e.g. how the waterproof membranes of each of the three 'planes' lap over each other, can be illustrated (one way drains safely outward, the wrong way channels water into the interior). It's more like repair manual/technical illustrating.

    This is something that no 3D/CAD software tackles AFAIK, with tools to make it easy, even automated (subject to tweaking, like Brics Propagate).

  • @Tom Foster

    I can't disagree with anything you wrote. Of course, as things get more complicated, the transmission of concepts from one person to the next has to be achieved some how. In olden times when paper was the only available transmission medium, the concept of 2D views to represent 3D objects was invented as there was no other choice. Today, when everyone walks around with a computer in their pocket, I submit that 3D views in full color with the ability to rotate parts is a superior mechanism.

    I've been welding for 15 years. I have always used primitive CAD applications to design whatever it was I wanted to build. In all that time I have never produced any paper output of a project. I'm a professional computer geek and engineer and use the tools commonly available to everyone IF they stopped to consider alternatives to paper. Designers use the old techniques because they expect to hand off to someone expecting them. At the other end of that transaction is probably a person that would rather have the information digitally available to view on their own computer. At some point they'll both decide to forego the old techniques.

    Free dwg viewers exist. Moving video Screencasts in full color can be made by the designer to point out details that could easily be missed in static 2D representations. Simple screen captures can be brought up on any mobile device to transmit requirements. Paper and 2D is so last century. CAD applications must support the old paradigm but that shouldn't prevent the adoption of a more modern approach given today's tools and technologies.

  • edited January 2019 has a lot to say about all this.

    It's not reliable to just hand say a builder's estimator a 3D model and hope they'll explore it thoroughly enough to comprehensively price the work. And having won the contract, that everyone right down to the bricklayer will similarly explore the 3D model and correctly construct their bit of it.

    Guaranteed that each person, in order to do it properly, will each end up making copious notes/sketches, unless they have prodigious mental visualisation/memorisation capability. Duplicated process all the way, with no guarantee or even hope that everyone will discover all that they need to know.

    The ebook linked to above is a deeply-thought-out suggestion about how to go about this conundrum.

    'Do it all in 3D' is naive ideology, which breaks down seriously in practice, and in fact never happens; instead an ill-considered mashup of old and new.

  • @Tom Foster

    If I were to limit my view to just today, I'd agree with you. Taking a longer view means the old dinosaurs in the various businesses down stream from CAD die off and newer more tech savvy individuals will take their place. Competition alone will see to it that the most efficient will eventually win. The younger generation has grown up with high tech gadgets and will not be looking for output on paper for them to scribble on. They are going to want the drawings to manipulate themselves for their own purposes.

    Just look at CNC machines. No paper involved to take a sheet of steel and run it through a plasma cutter to knock out shapes. No paper to tell a mill how to sculpt a billet of metal. Houses are already being 3D printed by robots. The future is paperless and 3D, as it best describes the real world.

  • Agreed, end of paper - but still 'drawings' other than 'the 3D model' issued electronically as the definitive contract/construction/fabrication documents.

    The 3D model isn't issued, is just the working repository of 'everything', in the designer's computer, from which 'drawings' - 2Ds, 3D diagrams and whatever else constitutes BIM (or other disciplines' equiv) are extracted. The output of BIM is never just the 3D model.

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