Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Put dimensions to the DIMS layer

Most of you have probably come across a drawing where annotations and dimensions were randomly split in multiple layers with cryptic names.

AutoCAD should have a mechanism to force users putting right objects into the right layers. Otherwise it can be very difficult to manage drawing information and edit such DWG drawings.

If you use an add-on application, it probably employs some standards for placing drawing objects into predefined layers. AutoCAD Mechanical is a good example of such well-behaving tool.

To force users to keep at least some minimum standards for layers I have been experimenting with a LISP application AutoLay (picked somewhere in newsgroups). This is probably a way to go. It uses reactors to switch layers automatically when drawing a specific type of entity.

Xanadu (CAD Studio) has recently published a similar application - FLay. Is seems to be easier to configure tha AutoLay and it works in the same way - when you start any dimensioning command, it automatically switches to a predefined layer - e.g. "DIMS". The same for texts, hatches, etc. I don't have any deeper experience with FLay yet. But as a CAD manager I like its principles of using configuration files and the transparent use for end-users.

Download FLay

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