13 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2017 12:43 PM by John Stoltzfus

    Printing different sheets in a drawing to different printers

    David Brandwood

      Well, I've searched to no avail so I'm hoping you guys can help.

      In our company we use a laser printer to print A3 & A4 and a HP Deskjet for A2 upwards via a roll. Often we have drawings with multiple sheets of varying sizes. As an example we'll have the fabrication assembly drawing in large format and then have several sheets for the individual parts as they go to many departments depending on what is needed (Fab shop, machine shop etc).

      So when you go to print set up you can allocate the various page sizes but only one printer. messing about loading the feeder with each size, unloading/loading the roll is a major pain, along with trimming down what is 24" paper to smaller sizes is not only wasteful it's damn-right soul destroying. So it means setting up for one an stating which pages you want then having to go thro it all again for another printer, it's barmy. Surely there's a way to setup your sheets for multiple printers so you just hit print?

        • Re: Printing different sheets in a drawing to different printers
          Bjorn Hulman

          Hi David, I've never seen such functionality in any print dialog, solidworks or otherwise. You might want to send this request in the direction of the macro/API gurus. they may be able to concoct a macro that will identify and group sheet size and send to appropriate printer.

          • Re: Printing different sheets in a drawing to different printers
            Chris Saller

            From my experience, variable size sheets of a drawing is bad practice. Make them all the same.

            But, every company had their own set of standards these days.

            • Re: Printing different sheets in a drawing to different printers
              Elmar Klammer

              Check out this tool Pac4SWX PAC4SWX Overview

              It does what you want and much more...best 100$ I have ever spent

                • Re: Printing different sheets in a drawing to different printers
                  David Brandwood

                  I'll check that out later Elmar, though convincing those in charge to spend it may be the issue there but hopefully I'll convince him. He bemoans paying for something he'll likely feel should be a feature in Solidworks as it is in AutoCAD but we'll see......

                   

                  Chris, I'll not challenge the theory of bad practice but what I will say is we tend to try and keep together associated equipment into one drawing stack but provide for several manufacturing departments, so for example we could have an 8m long skid detailed on an A1 and only have one small part that needs turning, we're hardly likely to drop a 20mm bush on a A1 drawing using your principal of sheet sizes and our way of working with grouping drawings into sheets, so we're stuck with it for now. Individual standards, now there's a contradiction but you're quite right, they do tend to all have their own way of working. I remember arguing about the toss about having side elevations with view on arrow x when there's a bloody great symbol showing it's drawn third dimensionally and any bugger who couldn't understand that shouldn't be making things without supervision, alas all to no avail, they still insist on the arrows.

                • Re: Printing different sheets in a drawing to different printers
                  John Stoltzfus

                  Here is what I would do.... 

                   

                  1.  Have a Master Drawing file

                  2.  Save the Master Drawing file using the file name plus a - and the printer name

                  3.  Save as many Sub-Drawings that you have printers for

                  4.  Delete the pages that don't apply to that printer

                  5.  Create a folder for the Sub-Drawings

                  6.  Any time you add one sheet to the Master Drawing you would just need to save per the printer it needs etc

                   

                  This way you would keep all the references in tack and no extra dollars, just a little bit of time..

                    • Re: Printing different sheets in a drawing to different printers
                      David Brandwood

                      A good idea John but (I should perhaps of explained this earlier) We store our masters on the vault, only us draftsmen have access to it, so others can't access the drawings and meddle , we create a PDF file for general viewing. Again, in AutoCAD there's no issue because in Adobe you can set it to print orientation, size & printer all from the original document settings, Alas as we can't set them that way in Solidworks, it doesn't make it a simple case of just hit  'Print' for other personnel.

                        • Re: Printing different sheets in a drawing to different printers
                          John Stoltzfus

                          David Brandwood wrote:

                          Alas as we can't set them that way in Solidworks, it doesn't make it a simple case of just hit 'Print' for other personnel.

                          Forget AutoCAD

                           

                          It's not a simple case, but I'm still confused why you couldn't split it out to the different printers and save the PDF's accordingly...

                            • Re: Printing different sheets in a drawing to different printers
                              David Brandwood

                              We could in the great scheme of things, it's simply a matter of the way we tend to work and the structures we have in place, which in fairness largely came about pre our having Solidworks. There's many ways to get around it but in fairness to everyone's suggestions (and they are genuinely appreciated), they don't actually answer the question I posed. We have a structure we work to and I asked if it was possible and if so how, it just seems a glaring omission to me in this day & age. How many printers actually cope with loading and using automatically the majority of paper sizes we use? Very few and especially in the price bracket of an SME . All these suggestions 'work' but they're all work-a-rounds and not a solution to the original issue and as such involve time, equating to money ultimately. As designers and the ilk we are an overhead to any company, we don't actually produce any profit, we cost. Granted without us nothing gets made which does (or should) turn a profit but ultimately we're a cost, just like the paper we waste or the premises we buy or rent.  Spending half hour a day running work-a-rounds is no different to being half hour late every day and being paid for it, would your boss accept that? As designers and the like we constantly strive to save the company money and be as efficient as possible in doing what we do. So I just find it odd that when others have addressed the issue, why haven't Desault? Their advertising blurb constantly bangs on about 'Speed up your processes', Be more efficient in your work' and 'Save time and money with our products'

                               

                              Regards 'forgetting' Autocad' it's not quite that simple, we still use it as we produce P&I diagrams via it (Solidworks doesn't yet supply a respectable alternative) and it has been used in the company for twenty plus years so to access all that post work it's simpler to keep it around and run both. Generally I love Solidworks and 3D in general but from a drawing perspective you still cannot beat the power and flexibility of AutoCAD, it stands head and shoulders above the competition for producing drawings, like it or not. Personally I don't like it but until Desault et al get their heads around that it'll always be secondary to AutoCAD for producing drawings.

                                • Re: Printing different sheets in a drawing to different printers
                                  John Stoltzfus

                                  It's always a challenge when your between what's wanted and what you got to work with....

                                   

                                  Don't get me started on the advertising blurb, especially for Engineers and Designers, good things take time to develop and sometimes you need to get away so to speak...

                                   

                                  And the AC comment - when your using SW forget AC, they are totally different animals and yeah the 2D drawing side AC might have it over SW, but not the Custom Property side and just listen to the difference of an AC designer and a SW designer, the AC guy is  constantly typing and re-typing, name of the beast..

                          • Re: Printing different sheets in a drawing to different printers
                            Bernie Daraz

                            Over my many years in manufacturing I have jokingly referred to sheet sizes as the number of folds required to do them. What I might suggest here is a rolling paper cutter and just throw away the waste paper or recycle it. A crisp and clean table edge and a cutter of the sort shown might do you well. Of course if you want to go pro you can spend north of $300 for one with a guide shaft and mounted. I have one like this and it was less than $8.

                             

                            Olo Rolling Scissors.jpg