General HydroStatics
Ship Stability Software
Command of the Week
(New or interesting aspects of GHS that you may not know about)

CG -> PDF -> CAD
(Requires GHS version 16.74 or later with Condition Graphics)

John Bonn often calls before he knows what he's calling about. That's OK though, because after a few minutes catching up on, say, his recent fishing trip, he usually realizes what needs to be done. This time he wanted to import a waterplane from Condition Graphics into AutoCAD. Could it be done?

The answer is yes, it can be done, and it is actually quite easy to do with some file manipulation.

The first step is configuring your printer to print to PDF. A little known feature is that PRINT CONFIGURE SECONDARY allows you to set a secondary printer for, well, secondary use. It's handy to set this to your preferred PDF printer. Just typing PRINT CONFIGURE SECONDARY will bring up the printer dialog, but you can also go to Report > Setup printer > Secondary... from the menu bar. With these settings, printing a PF to PDF is accomplished using:


The second step is to use AutoCAD's PDF import tool to bring the PDF into model space. With standard options, you'll notice that the entire PF page will be imported: filled areas will be converted to hatches, lines converted to polylines, and text annotations converted to mtext.

Why does this work so well? It has to do with how GHS prepares graphics. When Condition Graphics (or any GHS report file graphics for that matter) are printed to a PDF, the graphics are embedded not as raster images, but as vector graphics. This is good news, because it means PDF import tools in AutoCAD (or other CAD programs) can import the graphics as CAD objects and not static images. It's all because GHS uses its own custom (and awesome) graphics engine called PP, but that's a topic for another day.

Wait, what about scale? Unless you're clever and scale your drawing using a tank of known length, we've added a /SCALE parameter to the DISPLAY STATUS command available in version 16.74. This parameter will include the displayed scale in the lower right corner of each CG viewport block. CG always scales graphics to fit the available space so while your engineer's scale won't often be useful, the /SCALE parameter makes scaling the graphics in CAD easy.

Questions, comments, or requests?
Contact Creative Systems, Inc.

USA phone: 360-385-6212 Fax: 360-385-6213
Office hours: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Pacific Time, Monday - Friday

Mailing address:
PO Box 1910
Port Townsend, WA 98368 USA

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