12 Replies Latest reply on Nov 15, 2012 11:07 AM by Mike Agan

    Plotting high quality fast

    Jeff Parmentier

      I'm new to this blog so please bear with me.

      I need to plot drawing files with shaded views and embedded jpeg files in high quality to an HP Designjet T1200 Postscript plotter.

      The drawing file is 42 MB and the part model is 42 MB.

      I'm running 2011 SP 4.0 on a Dell T7500 64 bit work station with 12 GB ram. It takes me roughly 23 minutes to spool a high quality plot at my computer before it is sent to the plotter. This locks up this session of Solidworks.

      Then it take another 30 minutes for the plotter to process and 2 minutes to plot.

      I created a PDF file. If I do get a good PDF file which only takes about 1 minute, it takes about 2 minutes to send to the plotter.

      It then takes between 5 & 10 minutes at the plotter processing before plotting.

      I want to avoid this PDF step if possible.

      We have a batch program to plot, create a jpg of the part model, create a pdf file of the drawing and a parasolid of the model file for the shop.

      Thanks for any help.

        • Re: Plotting high quality fast
          Anna Wood

          What is your question?  It is not quite clear from your post what you are looking for.

           

          Cheers,

           

          Anna

            • Re: Plotting high quality fast
              Jeff Parmentier

              I'm looking for a quicker way to plot high quality details (with shaded images or jpegs) without waiting for 40-50 minutes start to finish.

              Is there a different way to plot these type of files right from SW? 4-5 minutes would be acceptable.

              I'm sure others that need to plot high quality from SW don't want to wait this long??

              I've been through my VAR without success.

              All of my drivers are current also.

              Thanks.

                • Re: Plotting high quality fast
                  Anna Wood

                  How big are the plots?

                   

                  Do you have an example you can post so we can see what you are working with?

                   

                  So it takes 40-50 minutes direct from SolidWorks to finished plot and only about 5 minutes if you create a pdf and then send the pdf to the plotter.  That is what I am understanding from what you wrote.

                   

                  Does the pdf work all the time?  It appears from your original post that you do not always get a clean pdf so you are looking for another option that will get the plot process completed correctly each time in 4-5 minutes.

                   

                  Cheers,

                   

                  Anna

                    • Re: Plotting high quality fast
                      Jeff Parmentier

                      The plot is 60 MB.

                       

                      Both files zipped up are 64 MB. Too large to post?

                      This is the high quality image I need for the shop to see clearly on an E size drawing.

                      10-11-2011 2-57-20 PM.jpg

                      Yes and Yes to the time and pdf question.

                       

                      Creating a pdf file does work most of the time. Plotting the pdf file is usally the problem with this. It looks fine on the preview but you don't know until it comes out what you get. We're using custom sizes for plotting. This one happens to be 42 x 60.

                       

                      It looks like we'll have to work with this some more using pdf files.

                       

                      Thanks

                       

                      Jeff  Go Cards!!

                • Re: Plotting high quality fast
                  Glenn Schroeder

                  If you're having problems with pdf quality, are you saving as pdf or printing to pdf?  Printing to pdf often produces better results.

                    • Re: Plotting high quality fast
                      Jeff Parmentier

                      Hey Glenn,

                      I'm plotting to a pdf file and saving it on my local drive.

                      I'll open it from there and then plot it. The E size drawing seems to be a problem when plotting.

                      When it does work properly, I do get a good quality plot.

                      If it doesn't fit the plotter specs, it shrinks it down to a different size and not actual? Something is going on.

                      I may have to tweek my border size down a little bit and try this to see if this helps.

                       

                      Thanks

                       

                      Jeff

                        • Re: Plotting high quality fast
                          Anna Wood

                          Have you played with any of the settings in your pdf plotter?

                           

                          What specific pdf creator are you using?  Adobe Acrobat Distiller or something else?

                           

                          There are a lot of settings you can manipulate in the pdf plotting software.  Let us know what you are using and I think someone can help you with possible setting changes.

                           

                          Cheers,

                           

                          Anna

                            • Re: Plotting high quality fast
                              Jeff Parmentier

                              We're using Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard.

                              I have been trying different settings when time permits.

                              I may have found the plotting problem. I found an error notification at the bottom of the print page. I had it set for landscape which made the plot larger than the available paper width.

                              The preview looked fine with this setting but wouldn't plot properly.

                              I changed the setting to portrait so this should fix the problem.

                              Thanks

                              Jeff

                        • Re: Plotting high quality fast
                          Mike Agan

                          Be sure to install the HP Utility (from their website)UTILITY.PNG

                          • Re: Plotting high quality fast
                            Keith Frankie

                            Mike, what benifit does the utility give?  I can check status by using the plotters built in web page.  HP software generally just seems like bloatware to me.

                             

                            I just got bit by this myself; 8mb PDF took half an hour to "process" at the plotter.

                             

                            I theorize the 'high quality lines' and 'high quality shaded edges' hurt my plot time, but I done any experiments to prove it.