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Huge File Size - and what to do about it?!

Huge File Size - and what to do about it?!

Huge File Size - and what to do about it?!


For an extremely strange reason the plan view drawings I've been working one have "depth." I'm working in 3D (harbor soundings) but the straight line I've drawn is really at an 11.617 degree angle when looked at from the "left" (not "top") view. This has the annoying added bonus of, I think, inflating the file size to enormous proportions, like instead of a neat, compact, 600K, I'm working with at 30 MB file. What's really great is that I get these "file too large" messages when I try to copy something (I'm leaving out a lot of details). The only remedy I can think of - "help" as usual is not helpful - is to move what I want to move in an isometric view such that all my stuff is on a single Z-plane. This, naturally, will be time-consuming and error-prone and I'm not convinced it will reduce file size (my ultimate goal). Any recommendations? I'm thinking of simply "starting over" by using the mess as a reference file, then fence>copying the mess into a new file. Thanks in advance!

RE: Huge File Size - and what to do about it?!

Option1: Export the file to a 2-D file. It will planarize all elements to z=0;
Option2: Use MicroStation V8. It compresses file size and also does not have any file size limitation.
Option3: Create a new file and reference this file. Copy all patterning or heavy elements to this file. Now you can delete these patterns and heavy elements from main file and refer from this dummy file containing only patterns.
Option4: Drop complex elements and compress.
Option 5: Set scale as xs=1,ys=1,zs=0.00001; Place a fence around all the details and scale several times. You are scaling only Z values so that all elements come to same depth.

Hope anyone or combo of these ops will work for you.
Wish you a small file size!

RE: Huge File Size - and what to do about it?!

I'm with flame - unless you need the 3d for some reason, export that baby to 2d. The first thing that I would do for file size is compress the file. I have my MS set to compress on exit (set from the Workspace>Preferences menu). another option for decreasing file size is to use associative patterning (which requires a shape around all pattern elements, but decreases the total number of elements on your drawing).

Finally, if you need to work in 3d, once you have gotten all the elements on the same plane (I would use flame's method for this), set your Active Depth (from the 3d view button bar) to 0 and Save Settings.

Hope this helps,


RE: Huge File Size - and what to do about it?!

Thanks, folks!

Here's what I did: Since I need the 3D file, I have to work in 3D. I also have to use Microstation J, ver. 7.0something - company's decision. Going back and forth from 3D to 2D didn't have an acceptable reduction in file size (it went from 28 MB to 27.8 MB). Scaling everything to a single depth (.0001 or similar) worked in that all the elements were on the same depth, but again, no reduction in file size. Also, I compress the files on exit, too, and even that didn't reduce the file size.

What I'm drawing has a lot, a whole lot of elements: it's a cellular cofferdam, built from flat web sheet piles, with each cell being 36 ft in diameter and the whole thing is about 1200 ft long. Hence, lots of elements.

Now, two things did it for me. The first, was to simply control-select the monstosity and drop the complex elements. This reduced the file size all right, but it also took away my neat sheet pile cells courtesy Arbed Steel. The second, and what I've decided to use, is to go with using the big file as a reference file. It still takes a few seconds to draw the cofferdam, but saving the file takes no time at all. The main topo is at the same scale and georeferences as the cofferdam, so my reference file lines up perfectly with the main layout. (Note: fencing the reference file and copying into the main file had the effect of boosting file size by, argh!, 27 MB!)

I'm not necessarily please with this, but it works and is easy to follow.

As a further note, Arbed has sheet pile .dxf and .dwg files available for download on their web site (can't remember the url right now, sorry!), which is great - I think. Each little sheet pile section comprises something like 25 line segments. Looks good, though.

Thanks again!

RE: Huge File Size - and what to do about it?!

Something else you might want to try in the original file is deleting all of the duplicate lines. In any file there are usually a few and in your huge file's case, there may be many duplicate lines (which in turn jack up the file size).

Try using the mdl application deldup.ma to do this. It's at least worth a shot!


RE: Huge File Size - and what to do about it?!

Thanks, breaks!

Well, that does something - but in my case it took more than an hour!

Here's a sample of the log file deldup.ma generated:

Original   Block=-11537  Word=  19  Type=  17  Level=  44
Duplicate  Block=-11537  Word= 229
Duplicate  Block=-11536  Word= 226
Duplicates=      2
289 elements deleted
Time consumed: 1 hour(s) 39 minute(s) 53 second(s)
d:\cofferdamline.dgn Complete

But ultimately file size wasn't reduced by more than a few hundred kB.

BUT... Here's what I did and got exactly the results I wanted.


First, I set up a new window as a "left" view - usually I work in "top" view. Then I used the align tool to line up everything in the left view - this didn't reduce the file size, but it made me happy that it worked... So, I converted my file to a .dxf file. Boom! The .dxf file was a whopping 861 kB vs. a 32 MB .dgn. I opened up this .dxf file and saved it as a .dgn. Voila! small file size in .dgn.

RE: Huge File Size - and what to do about it?!


Hey, there's no such thing as cheating in CADD - either it works or it doesn't!!

RE: Huge File Size - and what to do about it?!

Dave, could you do me a favor? Hit Edit>Select All and then look down at the lower right-hand corner and read off how many elements are in the file. I'm curious...


RE: Huge File Size - and what to do about it?!

In the "final"  (1.7 MB) file there are 16,120 elements.

In the "huge"  (32 MB) file there are 19,808 elements.

Odd, isn't it?

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