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Printing vs Plotting; long standing issues

Hi all,

 

Long time ago when starting with NX we couldn't find a way to use "printing" to scale. Seemed impossible to get this done with "printing and the Windows Printer Drivers.

So we went the "Plotting" way using the SDI plotting routine. After 2 - 3 day of headaches it finally worked. A few versions and years later we upgraded to a laserprinter. Again several phone calls to GTAC to get that printer to do what we want. Still all succesfull.

 

But now we want to make double-sided prints... And that's something we can't do with "plotting"

We probably could with "printing" but then we can't have scaled prints...

 

"plotting" also doesn't recognize the paper format... so always manually choosing between A3 or A4 format. "Printing" would...

 

I can't imagine I'm the only one feeling bad about the "plotting vs printing" in NX...

I guess +90% of NX users are on Windows machines, so why is the SDI plotting still the way to go if you want prints to scale?

please share your experience...

 

Does anybody know the solution for our problem? I'm curious to hear your comments on "printing/plotting" in general...

Huysmans Metalen n.v.
2x NX 11.0.1.11 MP2 Mach Designer
on Win7 64bit
NX Beta Tester with focus on Sheet Metal
Command Finder is your friend
20 REPLIES

Re: Printing vs Plotting; long standing issues

I've never tried to scale plots to be accurate.  (I'm assuming you are trying to get a 100.00 mm long line to be exactly 100.00mm long on the paper?)

The plot is just a picture.  Here we typically plot to all "B" size paper (no matter what the original drawing sheet size, although "A" size drawing will be plotted to "A" size paper).  Particularly as paper shrinks/expands with humidity and temperature.

 

I imagine a lot of companies are similar.  Maybe it would be useful to set up a poll to see how many people actually try to plot to scale?

 

You could always try exporting a PDF and then printing from Adobe or whatever.

Ken Akerboom Sr CAx Systems Engr, Moog, Inc.
Production: NX10.0.3.5 MP5 + patch/TC11.2
I'd rather be steemed than diseaseled


Re: Printing vs Plotting; long standing issues

I have to Plot to scale on a regular basis for our pattern makers and some of our fab people like things plotted to scale so they can lay the part on the drawing.

 

 

Re: Printing vs Plotting; long standing issues

At one point in my past, thru trial and error we came up with a print scale for an A, and a B size sheet, so we could "print" to scale.  Problem is a driver change, version change, or new printer would put us back to square 1.  I gave that up, and started to figure out how to "plot" to a printer, which has been much more stable in my opinion.  Biggest obstacle now is getting new users to hit plot instead of print, so they don't come back to me with a stack of prints, wondering why they aren't to scale.

-Dave
NX 11 | Teamcenter 11 | Windows 8.1

Re: Printing vs Plotting; long standing issues

The same here for sheet metal profiles / cross sections

Huysmans Metalen n.v.
2x NX 11.0.1.11 MP2 Mach Designer
on Win7 64bit
NX Beta Tester with focus on Sheet Metal
Command Finder is your friend

Re: Printing vs Plotting; long standing issues

We are the silent minority in this paperless world. I work in a job shop where I never know whats going to be thrown at me next.

A lot of times a "to scale" section or flat blank printed on on letter or tabloid is good enough to get the job done.

 

The tolerance on my plotter isn't good enough to do larger parts or patterns outright , over say 1500mm it'll grow 12mm but if I draw a 100mm grid on it the pattern makers and glue up people and get it close enough.

I've tried different papers, HP says its in tolerance for the designjet 800.

 

Re: Printing vs Plotting; long standing issues

I too have spent countless hours trying to get NX to plot to scale on an HP500 plotter. Never succeeded. My workflow now consists in the following:

 

1) Export NX drawing to DWG format.

2) Open DWG file in AutoCAD.

3) Ensure drawing is scaled appropriately (i.e. metric to imperial conversion, view scale, etc).

4) Plot 1:1 scale from AutoCAD with ease!

 

This approach works flawlessly, but it shouldn't have to involve these steps. I SHOULD be able to simply go to File, Print in NX and select 1:1 scale on our plotter.

Windows 7-64 - Precision M4800 - 16GB - Quadro K2100M - NX 10.0.3.5 MP13 - Teamcenter 11.2 - ANSYS 17.2

Re: Printing vs Plotting; long standing issues

So my problem isn't the plotter but NX?

I don't have autocad to try your workflow,

Re: Printing vs Plotting; long standing issues

One option that might work for you is to try using DWG TrueView from Autodesk. It's a free download and allows you to open and view/print AutoCAD drawings. The only risk is that it won't let you change the scale of the drawing first if required. That won't likely be an issue if you're working in a consistent unit base and first ensure that your NX views are scaled 1:1, etc. I haven't tried this approach myself since I have full AutoCAD.

 

For us, our most common drawing view scale is 1:4 on C size paper. However, NX exports the drawing to DWG format in millimeters (since all our parts are metric), but in my AutoCAD, everything is configured for inches, so I have to scale the drawing first. You may not have to if you if you plan accordingly.

 

Just a suggestion to see if it works for you.

Windows 7-64 - Precision M4800 - 16GB - Quadro K2100M - NX 10.0.3.5 MP13 - Teamcenter 11.2 - ANSYS 17.2

Re: Printing vs Plotting; long standing issues

All these workarounds for a "high end" system... I don't get it. Smiley Frustrated

Huysmans Metalen n.v.
2x NX 11.0.1.11 MP2 Mach Designer
on Win7 64bit
NX Beta Tester with focus on Sheet Metal
Command Finder is your friend