2D Drawings - Advice

Hi All,

Loving shapr so much. A few little items that im hoping there is a solution for is the following:

I have a small steel fabrication business. Mostly the model is just for myself but I do need to produce 30-40 sheets of drawings of each member of the steel structure.

  1. Is there are way to create multiple sheeets in a drawing, cant seem to find it?

  2. Can you get ride of the numbers and letters around the border, looks really messy and takes up space?

  3. If you cant do multiple sheets per drawing, is there a way to bulk export the drawings in a project, very tedious if there is a change. There are ofter a few revisions for each project I do.

  4. Would I be better off producing some drawings in a different program for more flexibility like the larger set out drawings for my steel that require more flexibility, what program would you recommend. Note I love shapr for the individual member drawings. Its so quick and easy.

Thanks in advance

Hi Dylan,

I’ll answer as best I can.

  1. There isn’t unfortunately. I can only presume it’s on their todo list.

  2. If you go into the Properties panel and then Title Block, you’ll find various options but there isn’t a specific one to just get rid of numbers and letters.

  3. As far as I’m aware, there is no bulk export functionality. When you make a change to an object, you need to go back into the drawing, click update and export again.

  4. If you’re talking about CAD drawings then I’d have to recommend something like Inventor (I haven’t used Fusion in a while) but if you’re splashing out then you might as well use that for the models. Can you provide an example of what you you have in mind. Shapr3D drawings are actually very good and simple to use. I also used to use Sketchup and they have a dedicated app named Sketchup Layout which is really really good but has a small learning curve (included in their subscription).

If you’re asking about a software to make your drawings look more presentable, I use Affinty. I export drawings from Shapr3D and dwg and into templates that I have in Affinity Publisher (Designer would do the trick but I’d always recommend buying the entire suite as it’s cheap as chips and really awesome).

Hi Shaun,

Thanks heaps for the reply.

Its funny you mentioned sketchup and layout and fusion because that is where I have come from.

Sketchup and layout:
I do love how quick it is to model, I get frustrated at the way they deal with circles and some of the limitations of layout. To get the most out of it I think plugins are essential but they always seem to crash on me. I can get quite accurate with it and it works but documentation is tedious for my shop drawings

Fusion 360:
After sketchup i went to fusion to learn HBPM. I do love the ability to go back in time but it can get quite complicated. It has a great documentation ability and heaps of features I don’t even use. I think price and the feature bloat/user interface and complicated nature of it is making me avoid it. I really like fusion and have enjoyed modeling in it.

I’m loving the user interface, how simple it is. I think the team are getting it really right, we just have to wait for features as they are released. It’s amazing how quick the transition for me has been. I really appreciate your response as it got me trying a few things. It just is a pleasure to use

  1. Looks like I can export to STL and back into Sketchup. This means that I can use Layout/Sketchup for my “set out drawings” for my structural steel for architect approval. Gives me the ability to fine tune the detail, add other features etc. I have a pro license. I have also been getting architects DXF files and cleaning them up/making them simpler so they are easier to work with in Shapr. It seems that when I import larger DXF’s from revit Shapr struggles.

  2. I’m interested in your affinity workflow? Do you create a drawing, dimension it and then export the dwg to affinity? It does look affordable as a work around until the drawing feature is a bit more robust for architecture.

  3. Finding the translate feature was a game changer for me, and also the fact you can extrude and reference a face in another body. Similar to sketchup. It feels like Shapr is somewhere in between my two original favourite programs.

  4. I think some of my frustrations with Shapr are actually a sign of it being a great program. It’s just super simple. Its great that I can create my own folder structure and get some 2D documentation out the door at a blistering pace. It may not have all of the exact features I won’t but that also means the UI isn’t clogged up with crap I don’t need.

  5. For what it is worth, the only thing that seems to be missing for my work flow are:

  • bulk PDF export (previously mentioned)
  • multiple sheets per drawing
  • ability to adjust visibility of bodies in drawing environment
  • ability to “see” sketches in drawing environment to add detail and reference to drawings (I might be able to do this in affinity?)
  • I think i’m realising that im caught between two drafting worlds - Buildings and Manufacturing. Both have different requirments. Im going to have to use two programs. One to deal with the architectural plans and interface with that world and one to deal with fabrication. However I think Shapr will increasingly be able to do both.

@Istvan I think you and the team really are on the right track and Im glad I came across Shapr.

Thanks again Shaun for your help!

1 Like

With Affinity, that’s pretty much what I do mate. I have a template laid out, or Master Sheet as they’re called with a table on it. I export the bare dwg without the tables etc. and import into Affinity. There’s a bit of cleaning up to do but it’s second nature now.

I’m kind of in the same boat where you’re stuck between different professions. I miss Sketchup’s ability to save scenes and being able to export images easy (still missing from Windows, much to my despair as I have to switch to my iPad). Layout was great if you had a specific workflow setup but a very clunky. I hated having to use plugins for everything, especially things like filleting. It’s been a few years since I’ve used it though.

As a lot of my drawings end up on paper for approval, rendering is also part of my workflow and I use Twinmotion which, like Sketchup, is more aimed at architects. I’ve used Shapr3D models in a lot of other stuff though, including creating a little VR experience for work (it turns out that CAD models aren’t great for that).

I’m now also experimenting with Plasticity as it has direct modelling and is aimed specifically at computers, with links to Blender.

  • ability to “see” sketches in drawing environment to add detail and reference to drawings (I might be able to do this in affinity?)

    The good thing about Affinity is that you can actually set the scale of the page. So I can add hashed boxes for example and know the correct sizes as I’ve scaled it against the dwg. Notes etc are all easy to add as well as things like Key. The suite is basically a good alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

Shapr3D does have a very helpful community so feel free to reach out on here or their official facebook group.