Working with CAD

FAQ–Working with CAD Files in Right-Draw

Frequently asked questions about importing and using CAD files in Right-Draw in the Right-Suite™ Universal program.

Q. How do I open a CAD file in Right-Suite Universal?

A. For a one story house:

  1. Once the program is open and the drawing screen is shown, CLICK on the CAD button.
  2. The cursor will turn into cross hairs when moved into the drawing area. DRAW a rectangle, which we will call an object box. You will only see the handles. When this is done, a dialog box entitled ‘Open AutoCAD File’ should pop up.
  3. SELECT a one story file to be opened and CLICK OPEN. The AutoCAD drawing should appear on the screen.
  4. If you only see a portion of the house, the object box can be resized using the handles to view the entire house.
  5. By right clicking on the AutoCAD drawing, a ‘Property Sheet’ dialog box appears; here the scale, color, and units of the AutoCAD drawing as well as which AutoCAD layers are displayed can be changed (see the FAQs). To simplify your AutoCAD drawing in Right-Draw, you may deselect AutoCAD layers.
  6. To move the whole AutoCAD drawing within the object box, without moving the object box, press SHIFT and drag the drawing with the mouse. This is the method used to line the drawing up with the margins.
  7. Now you can trace the rooms in the same manner that you would draw any Right-Draw rooms.

Q. What file types does RSU recognize for CAD files?

A. RSU recognizes both .DXG and .DXF file types. These are associated with AutoCad version 9 through AutoCAD 2000.

Q. Why is only part of my drawing shown when I open the AutoCAD file?

A. After you click the AutoCAD button, cross hairs show up and you draw a rectangle (called an object box). When you open the AutoCAD file, Right-Draw shows the portion of the drawing that fits in the box, given the scale. To view the rest of your drawing, increase the size of the object box using the handles.

Q. How do I change the AutoCAD object scale?

A. There are three scales that can be used. Open the ‘Property Sheet’ dialog box by right clicking on the AutoCAD layer. You will see the field 'AutoCAD scale'. 'Current scale' is the default. With ‘Current Scale’, the AutoCAD drawing scale will correspond to the Right-Draw current scale. Only the part of the drawing within the boundaries of the object box is displayed. The ‘Rectangle to fit’ AutoCAD drawing scale will correspond to the Right-Draw current scale and the size of the object box will change to fit the entire AutoCAD drawing. In other words, the object box will automatically change size to display the entire AutoCAD drawing. With ‘Scale to fit’ the entire AutoCAD drawing will fit into the object box, but the AutoCAD drawing scale will not correspond to the Right-Draw current scale. With this scale, Right-Draw sizes the AutoCAD drawing to fit into the object box. The AutoCAD drawing will shrink or grow to fit the object box, but the scale of the AutoCAD drawing will not correspond to the Right-Draw scale.

Q. How do I change the units?

A. AutoCAD stores drawing dimensions in abstract AutoCAD units. Each unit usually represents one inch in an architectural drawing. The default setting used by Right-Draw is one inch to correctly size the AutoCAD object. To change the AutoCAD units in Right-Draw, right click on the AutoCAD drawing to pop-up the ‘Property Sheet’ dialog box; click on the ‘AutoCAD units’ field and choose the appropriate units from the list that drops down.

Q. Can I change the color of the AutoCAD drawing?

A. Yes, right click on the AutoCAD drawing to get the ‘Property Sheet’ dialog box. The AutoCAD color is 'Automatic' and corresponds to the colors in the original AutoCAD drawing. To change the color, click on the ‘AutoCAD color’ field and choose a color from the ones provided in the drop down list. Changing the color in Right-Draw does not change the color in the original AutoCAD file.

Q. How do I get rid of some of the AutoCAD layers to simplify the drawing? Can I get the layers back?

A. Open the ‘Property Sheet’ by right clicking on the AutoCAD drawing. Click on the ‘AutoCAD layers’ field. In this dialog box, you can select or deselect layers as desired. The original layers still exist in the AutoCAD file; you are only choosing the layers displayed in Right-Draw. With many layers, it will be easier to clear all of the layers and click only the layers needed. You can add or remove layers at any point in the drawing process.

Q. What if the rooms I draw with Right-Draw don’t line up with the AutoCAD drawing exactly?

A. The differences in the load calculations are negligible if the walls of the rooms drawn in Right-Draw do not match up exactly with the walls in AutoCAD. If you want to line up the Right-Draw rooms exactly with the AutoCAD drawing, the grid size can be reduced or turned off and the rooms drawn more accurately. But this is not necessary to get accurate, usable load calculations.

Q. How do I add ducts to the Right-Draw drawing?

A. If you have a license for the Right-D module of RSR, Right-D will add supply and return registers in Right-Draw as you add rooms. In the drawing menu, select 'Duct System Type' and then either 'Plenum', 'Radial' or ‘User defined’ where you can draw your own duct system. Right-Draw will generate the duct system. You can then modify the generated duct layout if you wish.

Q. How do I save my Right-Suite Universal duct layout to my AutoCAD file?

A. In the menu bar, click on Drawing, then Write to AutoCAD files, and a ‘Write to AutoCAD’ dialog box will appear. Here select the Right-Draw layers you would like to add to your AutoCAD file. 'Ducts' is selected as the default. Once you have selected the layers, click on WRITE. When you right click on the AutoCAD drawing to get the ‘Property Sheet’ and select ‘AutoCAD layers’ field, a new layer titled in the format: RSU_(sheet name)_(layer) will appear (ex.‘RSU_SHEET_1_DUCTS’).

Q. If I add designs to my AutoCAD file, can they be removed?

A. Yes, Open the ‘Write to AutoCAD files’ dialog box as described above. Select the layers you would like to delete but this time click DELETE (instead of WRITE). To check to see whether the RSU layer has been removed from the AutoCAD file, open the ‘Property Sheet’ dialog box by right clicking on the AutoCAD drawing and click on the ‘AutoCAD layers’ field.

Q. What is the viewport offset and how is it used?

A. If you look at the ‘Property Sheet’ dialog box by right clicking on the AutoCAD drawing, you will see ‘Viewport offset X’ and ‘Viewport offset Y’. This is similar to the viewport in AutoCAD. When you first open the AutoCAD drawing in Right-Draw, the original location of the drawing is considered viewport offset X=0 and viewport offset Y=0. As you move the drawing using SHIFT and dragging it with the mouse you will change the viewport. It is sort of like looking out a window at some trees, now move the window. The part of the trees that you will see changes but the size of the window does not. You can view your drawing in this fashion. This is also very helpful when drawing additional stories and lining up the two floors.

Q. How do I work with two or more stories?

A. Working with additional floors is not difficult especially if you are familiar with AutoCAD. First, open your AutoCAD file. You want to resize your object box so that only the first floor can be seen. You may want to move your drawing so that it lines up with the margins. To do this, press SHIFT and use the mouse to drag the building where you would like it. Once you are satisfied with the placement of the first floor, add a new sheet (you can call it ‘Second Floor’). Now open the AutoCAD file again. It will be opened on the Second Floor sheet. Move the drawing (using SHIFT and the mouse) until only the second floor is in view. Now line up the two floors (again using SHIFT and the dragging the building with the mouse). You can treat these sheets as you would other Right-Draw sheets.

Q. Do the two stories have to line up?

A. The two floors should line up but they do not have to be exact. It is more important to be sure that the stories line up in the Right-Draw sheets because that will affect your calculations. You can look at sheets simultaneously to determine how well they line up.

Q. Can I use RSU to print the duct system on the AutoCAD drawing?

A. Yes. In the RSU menu bar select File then Print Preview. You can select the layers that will be printed. You may want to overlay the duct system over the AutoCAD drawing on your printout. To display the ducts on your AutoCAD drawing, select ‘Ducts’ and ‘AutoCAD’. If you would like to restore the AutoCAD colors for your printout, right-click on the AutoCAD layer to bring up the ‘Property Sheet’ dialog box then select ‘AutoCAD color’ and choose ‘Automatic’.