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Minimize 3D File Size with WBlock
Tip# 3376 By Mike O'Flaherty On 22-Mar-2010
Rated By 1 users
Categories : Solids
Software type : AutoCAD 2010
Rename File To : No Files to download.
Make the final part file smaller than the original file.

CAD Administrator Michael O'Flaherty sends us a surprising way to reduce the file size of 3D drawings.

"When creating a library of 3D standard parts, it's important to keep the size of the part as small as possible; smaller part files result in smaller assemblies. Make the parts without any unnecessary detail, and to finish the job, WBlock them.

"Make your part in a drawing with a name other than the finished block drawing name, something like JUNK.DWG (it saves renaming a file later). When it's done, save it and execute the WBlock command. In the dialog box under Source, select Objects, and leave the Base Point at 0,0,0; under Objects, click on Retain, and set the file name and path to the desired part name and location. Now click on the Select Objects button and select everything you want in the final part file. When everything is selected, click on OK to create the new part. Open it up to check that all is well, but don't save it, just quit. Saving the file adds back the extra bulk we just got rid of.

"In Windows Explorer, compare the size of the original JUNK.DWG and the final part file. Depending on complexity, the final part file can be quite a bit smaller than the original file. I have slimmed down 3D parts that started out at 250 KB to as little as 70 KB. It's a small individual savings, but when multiplied by hundreds or thousands of parts, it adds up."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: I'll be honest — I didn't believe this tip would work when I first read it, but it was true for the files I tested. Using the Wblock command created the same object file, but with less "fluff" in the file. It was more than one-third smaller!


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User comments
Comment by Laugisch,Andy
Posted on 2010-03-22 16:03:58
Another method that I found to be very useful in reducing file sizes & performance of stuborn 3D files is to: 1) freeze each layer one by one & export the contents of each layer using "export data" under the file menu and saving as .SAT 2) delete the items in the current layer and immediately insert the exported data. freez this layer & thaw the next. 3) repeat until all layers are exhausted. this will eliminate all extranious data while retaining layer/color definitions within the model.
Comment by Welsh,James
Posted on 2010-03-23 10:54:56
This is an old acad trick that I assumed everyone knew about
Comment by Anonymous
Posted on 2010-03-23 17:03:52
This is a great tip but - how do you get the wblock command to use your standard template when it creates a new drawing?