I am having trouble envisioning the optimal structure of a HighDesign document into multiple sheets given the fact that only one document can be open at a time. I am using the program to generate technical drawings of scientific apparatuses (essentially mechanical engineering). I have been doing this kind of design for many years, first using a drafting board (!) then Claris CAD, followed by MiniCAD, followed by VectorWorks.
With other programs, I would put the mechanical drawings (e.g., dimensioned top and side view) of each piece of an apparatus in a separate file. I could then generate an assembly drawing (e.g., in top view) in a new file by copying the top view of each piece and placing them on different layers of the assembly drawing file. This approach does not work in HD since only one file can be open at a time.
Over the weekend, I tried the opposite approach: I designed a new apparatus in top view, placing each of the dozen or so pieces in a different sheet of the document. Things look great -- the bolt holes all line up, and the light path makes the desired twists and turns. Now it is time to make the side views and generate a side assembly view, but I am stumped how to best do this. I can't draw the side views on the same sheets as the top views, because the side views will then be stacked willy nilly on top of one another.
One possibility would be to duplicate each layer, add the side view and dimensions, then use this new layer as the drawing that goes to the machinist. I could then copy this layer, remove the top view, and move the side view into the appropriate position for the side assembly. The sheets in the final document would then be:
Part 1 Top View
Part 1 Full Mechanical Drawing (w/ dimensions, title, etc.)
Part 1 Side View
Part 2 Top View
Part 2 Full Mechanical Drawing
Part 2 Side View
In this approach, the final document would have 36 sheets (!) for a 12-piece apparatus; 12 of the sheets in the final document would be destined for the machinist. The different sheets would have to have different scales to accommodate the different sizes of the pieces. A small piece might be at 4:1, whereas a big piece might be at 1:2. In spite of this different scaling, I think (?) that making all of the top view sheets visible will still generate a top view assembly? In other words, the following should "fit" to make an assembly:
Part 1 Top View (1:1 scale)
Part 2 Top View (4:1 scale)
Part 3 Top View (1:2 scale)
In my old work flow, there would be 14 documents: the 12 diagrams for the machinist, a top view assembly and a side view assembly. I didn't really have to worry about the scaling of the assembly views, since cut-and-paste always took care of this.
I am worried that there is some fundamental capability or approach that I am not understanding. Any suggestions would be welcome.
I understand (for the most part) what you are explaining, but we all know what a picture is worth… it might be helpful for you to upload some PDFs or JPGs of a typical project that you've created previously. I think that would make it easier for some of us to bring our knowledge and experience of HD to bear on what you are doing.
Happy to help though… and I don't think the developers would mind me revealing that the next version will indeed allow you to have multiple files open.