AutoCAD 2004 New Plotting Features
By Alireza Parsai,
April 22, 2003
The new plotting enhancements in AutoCAD 2004 have turned it to
the best AutoCAD release for plotting 3D models. The good news
is that you can plot shaded models. There are also some
enhancements for plotting 3D models through layouts.
Plotting in Model Space
Figure 1 shows the new Plot dialog box. The area enclosed in red
rectangle contains the new features.
Figure 1 -
Click image to enlarge
When you are plotting a 3D model you can select one of the
following options in Shade plot drop-down list [Figure 2]:
► As Displayed
If the objects are shaded in the drawing area, selecting the
first option results in a shaded plot. Select the Rendered
option to plot objects as if they are rendered. The result
depends on the render settings. You can set rendering options in
Rendering Preferences dialog box [Figure 3]. Invoke RPREF
command to view this dialog box.
If you select either As Displayed or Rendered you have the
chance to set the quality by one of the following options
► Draft: Plots the models as Wireframe objects, regardless of
the selected option.
► Preview: The quality of rendered or shaded plot will be up to
► Normal: The quality of rendered or shaded plot will be up to
► Presentation: The quality of rendered or shaded plot will be
up to 600 dpi.
► Maximum: In spite of its name sets the quality to the current
settings of the plotter not to the maximum capabilities.
► Custom: You can set the quality by enter a number in DPI edit
box. The valid numbers that you can enter depend on the
printer/plotter that is in use.
Figure 5 compares different plotting outputs for the same model.
Figure 5 -
3D Objects in Paper Space
Paper Space is a 2D environment but you can still create 3D
models in it. There are many limitations. You can only create
the model and there is no chance to use viewing commands. In
AutoCAD 2004 you can remove the hidden lines at the time of
plotting. Select "Hide paperspace objects" option in Plot or
Page Setup dialog box [Figure 6]. This option is only applicable
for those 3D objects that are created in Paper Space (i.e. in a
Although you can hide such models in AutoCAD 2002 the result in
AutoCAD 2004 is better. Figure 7 compares the plot outputs for
such models in AutoCAD 2002 (left) and 2004 (right).
The "Hideplot" option of MVIEW command is replaced by "Shadeplot".
The new option enables you to plot your drawing in one of the
► As displayed
Invoke the MVIEW command. Select Shadeplot option. Select the
proper mode. Click those viewports that should be affected.
Press Enter. Done!
About the Author
Alireza Parsai is the founder of cadpanel.com. He is a
mechanical engineer with more than 12 years experience with
AutoCAD. Alireza is an Autodesk Authorized Author, the AutoCAD
consultant for Al Khawarizmi Institute, a contributing editor
for Augiworld magazine, a writer for CAD Digest, an instructor
for AUGI Training Program, and an elected speaker for Autodesk
University 2002. He has written 7 books in Farsi, 3 booklets in
English, and more than 30 articles for different magazines and
newsletters. You can reach him at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website