Thursday , 19 July 2018

Autocad standard line weights – No. 2

Following on from our last post about Autocad line weights, plot styles etc – we have had a query from one of our readers about what the standards are for line weights when drawing, for example, windows, walls and so on.

So, to make it easy for you guys we have put together a template model file for you to download. The model file contains basic standard layers to use when drawing. The colours of these layers correspond with the plot style file that you can also download here. We figured this was the easiest way to demonstrate the standard line weights for objects.

Layer Standards

Download Layer Template Download Plot Style

How to use the template:

This is super simple – either save the dwg file and use it every time you start a new drawing – this way the layers are already set up. Or, you can copy and paste the layers from the template file into your own drawing.

How to use the Plot Style:

The plot style file is for when you print (or pdf) a drawing. This contains the line weights that correspond with the layer colours. All you need to do is put the ctb file into the plot style location. This is usually in Autodesk/AutoCAD 2013/Contents/UserData/Plotters/Plot Styles or something like this depending on your version and operating system. Then when you go to plot, select plot style, and find the FIA plotstyle template. Simple!

Hope you found this post useful – hit us up with any comments, we would love to hear what you guys think of the website – and what else we can do to help.

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  1. hi, thanks so much for your template! Just one question though, what scale is this plotstyle designed for? I ask this because different scales require different lineweights for the same objects.

    • Hi, thanks for your question. This layer set up and plot style should work with pretty much any scale. I use a similar one for most of my drawings – so it works well for A3 1:100, 1:50 drawings. However, if doing detailed drawings at A1, then it seems to work ok for that too. Sometimes I create a couple of extra layers/colours and edit my plot styles if I am needing more line widths.
      Generally your scale corresponds with the paper size you are using – so the line weights should work. Hope that helps but if you have any more questions just ask!

  2. Hi, both of these seem incredibly useful. I’m new to CAD and computer drawing, I successfully loaded your Plotstyle and Layer, however in the Layer Template there were no lineweights assigned to each layer. Could you help me out?

    • Hi Patrick, I don’t assign line weights to layers, I tend to use the plot style to assign line weights. What this means is when you come to print or pdf the drawing, if you select the plotstyle the line weights will then show up on the print out at the different thicknesses according to the colour. So effectively the layer colours are the line weights. Hope that helps…

  3. A much better way of doing it is to assign a lineweight to each layer then plot with monochrome. That solves the problem of emailing drawings around and the recipient not having (or not understanding how to use) your custom .CTB file.

    • Hi Paul,
      Good point. I think the trouble is that there are so many different ways of doing it, and usually most practices have their unique standards and guidances so it varies from one person to the next. I don’t use the method you suggested personally, and have never worked anywhere that does it like that – but it certainly seems like a good option. Thanks for your thoughts – much appreciated. 🙂

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  5. This was VERY useful for my Acad works. Really helps my designs/drawings. Much thanks \!

  6. can i get the line weight values in mm.

  7. How do you see your line weights as they will be printed in the paper space rather than the allocated colours?? thanks 🙂

    • Hi Lucy, the best way is to print a pdf to preview your work. I am not aware of any other way of previewing the line weights.

  8. Hi, great post, do you know what convention/protocols the above layering is using? Is it the AEC UK? or is it your own?

    • Kind of my own really – I have found that most practices I have worked with don’t stick to the full conventions and have their own methods. Usually there are far too many standard layers so we use a simplified version.

  9. Hola, este estilo de trazado funciona perfecto para escala 1:50? O existe uno más específico para dicha escala. De ser asi, donde puedo conseguirlo? Gracias

  10. This was almost extremely useful but i have no idea how to see the mm for each layer and as you said it only works in combination with the plot styles which i can’t seem to get working.

    If anyone knows the line weights for the layers that are previewed in the dwg file that would be super

  11. Thanks for the files! I think it’s best to have two ctb files. One for big A1 and one for smaller A3.
    The Full Size pen would be roughly twice the pen thickness than the Half Size.

    I notice that the smallest you go to is 0.13. I think this is way too thick for any drawings I am doing in A3. Windows etc look thick.

    I generally like to have 0.05, 0.12, and 0.1 added in. Also I never ever use anything greater than 0.4 so prefer to assign the colors after 0.4 / 0.5 to other values already used. I mean 0.6, 0.8, 0.9 are almost useless so why assign a useful 1-10 color to them at all.

    This is more advice for anyone else on the search, rather than for you guys.

    I do have one question though. Do you have advice for getting a drawing to Photoshop so the lines are really high quality? DWG to PDF pc3 often doesn’t produce the best. This is a question mainly for portfolio work.

    • Hi there Michael, thanks for your comments. It is strange that you find 0.13 too thick at A3, as I have used these thicknesses for many years, as have the practices I have worked for and we have never experienced issues with these linetypes. Perhaps you are trying to display too much detail at small scales? I’m not sure. If you would like me to send examples I would be happy to. I also don’t think it is necessary to have different plot styles for A1 and A3, you are creating more work for yourself! You can select “scale linewieghts” in the plot window, which can usually combat any linewieght issues when plotting at different paper sizes. In my experience with plotting to pdf generally the quality always comes out pretty well, make sure you plot to a large paper size which helps and scale down if necessary. Feel free to send me an example of the issue and your cad file and I would be happy to take a look for you. My email is 🙂

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