How to Clean Up Your AutoCAD Drawing

When it comes to your AutoCAD drawings, some people like them nice and tidy. That might sound a little obsessive, but rest assured that cleaning up your AutoCAD drawings does serve a purpose. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to go about actually cleaning up your drawings.

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Guest post by Eric Hoover, on behalf of SEER Interactive:

Why clean up your drawings at all? For starters, getting rid of extra objects can help free up and speed up the program and your drawing process. Not to mention, it also keeps the courtesy of other users’ interests in mind - such as sending or receiving files to work from. A large file size can be a hindrance to emailing a drawing and hamper the ability to import your drawing into other applications.

Keep Your Drawings Trimmed and Efficient

Start by incorporating good habits into your computer aided design techniques, like using standard layers, linetype and text styles. Automating your drawing standards, and using object insertion instead of copying one job to another, will also help maintain tidiness in your drawings.

Check for Drawing Errors

Using the “Audit” command is beneficial because it checks for errors in your open and active drawings. To run the command, just click the application menu, then drawing utilities and finally audit. From there, simply sit back and watch as it cleans up errors you didn’t even know you had in your drawing.

The PURGE and Other Built-In Cleaners

If you really want to get serious about cleaning up your AutoCAD drawings, utilizing the program’s built-in tools, like “Audit” (explained above) “PURGE,” “QSelect” and “WBlock,” are great places to start.

  • PURGE – True to its name, PURGE eliminates any unused/named objects or unused registered applications (regapps), including things like block definitions and layers, from your drawing. To run the command, simply enter “purge” into the command line, and then enter the command option “r” to remove regapps.
  • QSelect – Allows you to find redundant objects in your drawings, so long as you know have an idea of what you’re looking for. If your list includes more than the necessary number you need, such as alignments, you can easily find them and delete any extras.
  • WBlock – Lets you save selected objects out of your current drawing or convert an existing block to another, specified external drawing destination/file.

The “Join” Command

The “Join” command is a nice tool because it allows you to convert multiple attached and/or bordering objects into one. You can fill in gaps between lines, arcs, open splines and more to form a single, new entity to replace the existing separate ones. And by reducing the amount of objects, you’ll create a smaller drawing size, and the smaller your drawing, the faster it will go.

Map 3D Cleaning

This convenient cleanup utility enables you to delete duplicate objects, trim polylines and an assortment of other tidy and orderly actions. When you enter “mapclean” on the command line, a drawing cleanup box will open giving you several cleanup actions, such as Erase short and/or dangling objects, simplify objects, break crossing objects and much more.

Other Miscellaneous Tools

While all the tools mentioned in this article can be very helpful to maintaining and cleaning your AutoCAD drawings, it is by no means a complete list. Several of these tools, among others, can be used individually or in combination with others to help expedite the cleaning process for your drawings. It’s also important that you test these new cleanup techniques first, most likely on a non-production drawing or a copy of an existing one so you can get the gist of them before applying them to a real project.


guide to CAD file management

Struggling with CAD file management?  

Unmanaged CAD data can lead to wasted time and  expensive mistakes, but traditional PDM and PLM solutions are too costly for many companies. This guide, written by industry analyst Jim Brown, will help you find the solution that fits your needs.

guide to CAD file management

 

 

  • Mike V

    As a note that if you use Architecture (ACA) you can also purge Styles (wall, window, door, etc) from the Styles Manager. From the FORMAT tab go to STLES MANAGER. Then right click on the drawing in the browser that shows up, then select PURGE. You can keep all the selected (checked) items (default) or uncheck the Styles you don’t want to PURGE. Then click APPLY then OK. This will significantly reduce the size of drawings, especially if you need to send them to someone that does not have ACA.