On Land

Environment Information
At Rill Architects we run ArchiCAD on Mac OS X. If you work at Rill, this is your stuff. If you don't, but you work in ArchiCAD, you may find something interesting. Anybody else, I don't know.

(Similar to: In-House Printing (PlotMaker 9))

For large format output we use that enormous, hot, 16-amp-pulling thing in the middle of the office.

(Note: This is about printing layouts. 'Check printing' from AC, for the heck of it, is another matter.)

Here is how to install the plotter on your machine. Page Setup is also covered there.

Remember, we want to print via Publisher as much as possible.

Assume for the moment that we're not using Publisher.

Page setup: Covered at the plotter installation link above.

Print Dialog: Click 'Copies and Pages' and choose 'Archicad'.

• Print Area: In Archicad 10, it is possible to print only a portion of a layout, just like you can with a project window. You can restrict the area to the current zoom, or use a marquee. You can still use 'Selected in Navigator', but in that case you should really Publish instead.

• Nameless area on the right: Black & White is a no-no, it will turn your grays black. Hairlines do what you expect. (Replaces the hairline/true weight switch in the AC9 Display Options. With this box unchecked, all pen output is true weight.) Header/Footer, no.

• If 'Fit To Page' is giving you a number other than 100%, it means the Page Setup doesn't agree with the size of the layout. Gotta fix it, assuming you want the whole sheet at the right size. You get visual feedback on this in the 'Preview' at the right.

And the Print button prints.

All of the above can be automated by using Publisher, which is a really good idea. Publisher remembers all the settings of the Page Setup and Print Dialogs.

When you print, the print job actually goes to the PC [insert snark] next to the plotter. Depending on the size of the job, it can take a while for the job to process. If you bring the PlotBase application forward, you should see your job at the bottom of the list. It will read Preparing Data, Pending, then Plotting. To reprint a job, right-click on and choose Status -> Pending. I know, real intuitive. The last 50 jobs are saved.

Plotbase troubleshooting: Make sure the "Play" button is pressed (gray). Make sure the "reader" is on (Configuration Menu).

Once the sheets start coming out, it's quick, seven D sheets a minute. Right now we don't have any facility for catching the sheets as they come out. You can grab them one at a time, or pick up the pile at the end. We'll keep working on it. Also not well-solved: binding.

Plotter Installation (OS X 10.4 Tiger)