Step-by-step instructions on how to make your CAD files faster. You need to do these 6 things:
- Reduce .DWG file size
- Clean up files
- Convert to .DWG
- Disable strtup programs
- Remove clutter
- Set priority
While you are working on your newest CAD project, you may notice that some of the files that you are using might start to lag. Fear not, as there are ways to improve your CAD file speed without spending too much time deleting and/or re-organising manually yourself. We will go through the six ways you can make your CAD files faster to help you get that project finished on time!
No matter what software program you are working on, it is likely that when you are given a project file, it will be huge. It will take up a hell of a lot of space on your drives and it will definitely be way too big to send through email. When you open the file, you notice your computer slows way down, and you’re left wondering what to do. Well the main strategy will be to try and find ways to reduce the .DWG file size, which we will explain in the next two points.
We know it is anyone’s favorite thing to do, but you may have to do a little bit of housekeeping in order to bring down the size of the project file you are working on. With 3D models, there is a chance that you could have 2D geometry that you are not using anymore from when you sketched up the model. Usually there will be a “tree” structure menu that you can use to delete this.
In many software programs, there are similar commands that can be used while in your files to get rid of unnecessary geometry that is taking up space. The PURGE command is common across multiple platforms, and this command automatically finds and deletes unused named entries from your drawings, including line types, block definitions, groups. Commands like there are invaluable as they help to keep your file size from becoming too large and ending up being unworkable.
The .dwg format is the preferred file format that the majority of professionals prefer to work with. They love dwg! But why? Because it is reliable and works pretty much all of the time, and is supported by almost all platforms and machinery. A simple hack for reducing a file’s size is to save it as a .dwg (if it is not .dwg already of course). There have been cases where .stp files have taken a couple of minutes to open in a program, but when the file was saved as .dwg, its size reduced by over 60% and it took mere seconds to open in the program. Magic!
While this isn’t a way of reducing your file size, it is definitely a way of making sure that the computer you are working on is performing at its optimal level. Disabling the startup programs on your computer is widely known as one of the best ways to optimize the computer’s performance. You must go to the Control Panel on your computer, select Administrative Tools and from there go into the Startup tab in the System Configuration Shortcut. This window can also be brought up in Windows 8/10 by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys together and launching the Task Manager.
Once you are in the Startup tab you will be able to see all of the apps that are booting up automatically when the computer is turned on. Disable all of the apps you deem unnecessary, and restart your computer afterwards. You should notice a significant increase in the boot up speed of the computer, and the general performance when you are using your favorite CAD programs.
The more memory that the CAD program you are using has, the better it will perform. The memory can be freed up by getting rid of unnecessary programs altogether from your computer altogether, doing this will also get rid of the background processes that these programs run which have been slowing down your computer. Make sure to keep all of the necessary software on the computer that you need and also the vital programs that your operating system uses to operate. If you are unsure do not delete something as it may be important!
Your disk space can also be cleaned up to free even more memory up. This can be found in Disk Cleanup in the Start menu, you can select your C drive to clean, and once it has checked your C drive you can select what you want to be deleted, and press the Clean Up System Files button.
While you are in Task Manager, you can also change the CAD program’s priority you are working on as this will prioritize performance allowing you to work more efficiently. You are basically telling your computer that your CAD program is more important than other processes. This can be found in the Details tab of the Task Manager, and with a right-click on your particular program, the priority can be changed to Realtime, which is the highest priority available.
Once you close your session on your CAD program or restart your computer, the priority setting will return back to default.
By employing these tricks to keep your files and computer performing at their best, we are sure that you will be able to complete that project you are working on in no time! Keeping on top of your computer’s performance is the best way to keep it running smoothly, and remember to always update your software!
Will you be using some of these tips when you are working next? Do you think it will speed up your workflow? We would love to hear your thoughts and if you have anything to add to the list it is very welcome!