Do Translations Between DGN and DWG Files Make You Want to Scream?

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How to get your composure back!

By Rick DeWitt, Lead Solutions Provider for the Men in Black Translations Team

I’ve talked to hundreds of AutoCAD users and even more MicroStation users over several decades and they all agree — the other guys do it wrong! Any time you have to fix something that shouldn’t have broken in the first place or worse, recreate something from scratch, the frustration can make you feel like you’re turning into a screaming space alien. Translations between DGN and DWG files can be incredibly frustrating for those who have to maintain CAD standards on the translated files and often results in hours of cleaning up files.

So, why do translations between AutoCAD and MicroStation files get messed up? The primary reason is, while both are CAD programs, the way they store data and the generally accepted methods of creating CAD designs are very different. While AutoCAD will read and write MicroStation files and MicroStation will read and write AutoCAD files, the results are often not what was expected.

How Do You Get Translations Right the First Time?
Getting translation right the first time requires several things. Number one, you have to know what the source files contain in terms of levels or layers, line styles or linetypes, line weights or line thickness, colors, fonts, working or drawing units, special characters used for things like degree symbols and sometimes even cell or block names. Another thing you must know is the CAD standard requirements you must meet, in the translated files, for them to be accepted.

Axiom’s Translation Manager provides an easy method to extract, in a batch process, the vital data you need for all the MicroStation or AutoCAD files you’re going to translate. Once this data is known, you can use either Translation Manager’s wizard or its expert interface for configuring the translation options needed to get the results you want — the first time — according to the CAD standard that the translated files are required to follow.

PreProcess

Translation Manager easily extracts all the data needed from the files you want to translate. Simply select the data you want Translation Manager to keep track of and click the {Process} button.

What Else Can Go Wrong with Translations?
The list is a lot longer than you might expect but here are some of the more common issues:

  • Phantom elements that do not display but cause the “fit” or “zoom extents” commands to reduce the whole design to a dot.
  • Special characters like the degree symbol, diameter symbol or the plus/minus symbol that display the wrong character in the translated file.
  • Lots of unused levels/layers, cells/blocks, line styles, text styles and dimension styles that need to be compressed or purged.
  • Missing graphic elements.
  • In MicroStation files, the color table and the view attributes are not the way the CAD standard requires.

PostProcessModify

Translation Manager can repair, compress and modify your translated files to meet CAD standards.

Translation Manager also provides a complete set of tools to repair, compress and modify the translated files, in a batch process, to handle these and many other problems that were not possible to correct during the translation.

Keeping Your Profits in the Black!
If you’ve ever had to clean up translated files, you know the kind of messes they can be and how much time you lose to fix them. Translation Manager is a complete set of tools that keeps your project in the black by providing the control you need to do all of the following in batch:

  • Correctly evaluate and prepare your AutoCAD or MicroStation files for translation.
  • Correctly configure and translate those same files using the right settings.
  • Repair, compress and modify the translated files.

MainCityHall

Translation Manager provides a complete set of tools for all three phases of translating files between AutoCAD and MicroStation, including pre-processing, translating and post-processing. These three phases help ensure that your translated files come out as expected every time.

These points ensure that the files you translate are done right the first time you submit them to your customer or use them in your own projects, reducing the urge to scream like a space alien!

Bonus!
In addition, everything that you set up gets saved into a Translation Manager project file that can be reused whenever you need it, which saves you even more time and frustration on the next project or submittal.

Get Your Translations Done Right the First Time and Eliminate All That Screaming. Call Now!
For more information on Translation Manager or to schedule a free, online demonstration, contact an Axiom MicroStation Consultant today! Call 727-442-7774 extension 3915, e-mail 3915@AxiomInt.com or visit Axiom on the Web at www.AxiomInt.com now!

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