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New Model

This command creates a new empty DesignWorkshop model.


Use the Open command to open standard DesignWorkshop models and 3DMF files saved in DesignWorkshop or any other 3DMF capable application.

Merge File...

The Merge File command is used to join two 3DMF models into one. It is only active in QuickDraw 3D mode. Upon selecting it an open dialog box will appear, select the model you want to merge with the currently open model. The model you select will be merged with the model in the foremost window.


The Close command closes the foremost window. If a particular file has multiple windows open the file will remain open, but the front window will close. If the window being closed is the last open window for that model and changes have been made since last saving you will be presented with a dialog box asking if you want to save the changes before closing.


The Save command saves a model in DesignWorkshop format when you are in the standard DesignWorkshop mode or in 3DMF format when in QuickDraw 3D mode. When you save a temp file is written of the model and when that finishes successfully the temp file replaces the real model file on your disk. The first time the Save command is issued on a model it operates like a Save As command.

Save As...

The Save As... command is used to save a model with a different name or in a different location than the model was opened as.

Save As dialog box in QuickDraw 3D mode.

In QuickDraw 3D mode you have the option of saving the file as a 3DMF binary file or a 3DMF text file. Binary files are smaller and almost always the preferred format.

Revert to Saved...

This command will change the current 3DMF file to it's exact state when it was saved last.

Revert to Saved dialog box in QuickDraw 3D mode.

You can not undo a Revert to Saved command and all unsaved changes will be lost. The command is not active with standard DesignWorkshop models, but you can simulate it by closing a model without saving changes and then reopening the model.

Background >   Open...

Use Background >   Open to open any PICT image file as a background image to the 3D work space. In wireframe and shaded rendering modes, this image will appear as a backdrop to the model. In shaded rendering mode you need to turn off the ground plane in Sun and Shading Settings to see the background below ground level.

In plan, elevation, and axonometric views the background image will scale correctly as you zoom in two-dimensionally. You can zoom in on a small part of the background and trace from it with the polyline tool and then zoom out and the model and background will line up properly.

Background >   Close

Use this command to close a background. You must close the current background before you can open a different one.

Page Setup...

This is the standard Macintosh page setup for printing.


follows standard Macintosh conventions to allow you to print whatever is displayed in the front window in WYSIWYG fashion, according to the current view and rendering settings. Printing large color rendings of complex scenes requires substantial amounts of application memory. You can use Get Info in the Macintosh Finder to assign more memory to DesignWorkshop if necessary.

Import >   DXF Drawing or Model...

This command brings up a standard Open File dialog box for choosing a text file containing DXF format data describing 2D or 3D graphics. DXF objects are read in at their native 1:1 scale. DXF layers will be translated to DesignWorkshop phases. New phases will be created for imported objects unless there is already a phase with the same name as the DXF layer in the current DesignWorkshop document. In that case, the objects will be read into the phase with the matching name, adding to whatever objects are already in that phase.

When preparing a drawing or model in another application for import to DesignWorkshop 1.0, it is usually helpful to set units to feet, or to meters if you are working in metric units. Also, spline curves should be converted to polylines. (Do not, however, explode the geometry further than necessary.)

Also, note that because of the differences in how basic text files are handled on different computer platforms, DXF files have different file formats in Macintosh, DOS, and UNIX. Thus, when importing DXF files from other systems, you must adjust the text file format before DesignWorkshop can read the foreign DXF file. For instance, if you are using Apple File Exchange to read a DOS disk onto a Macintosh system, do not use the default translation. Instead, set it as follows:

The DXF format is interpreted differently by different software developers, and Artifice is continuosly refining and adjusting the DesignWorkshop translators to work with as many other applications as possible.

Import >   Object PICT...

This command imports object PICTs converting the PICT objects to DesignWorkshop polylines. These objects can then be scaled and extruded into three dimensions. This command also imports PowerCADD Scaled PICTs which will be imported at the proper scale. PowerCADD Scaled PICTs can be created in PowerCADD 3.0 and DesignWorkshop.

Import >   Architrion Text...

Import >   Architrion Text lets you convert Architrion models to DesignWorkshop models. Through a standard Macintosh open file dialog box, it opens files describing 3D models in the Architrion II text format (produced from ArchiDesign models by the Architrion II "3D Translator"), and reads the Architrion blocks into the current DesignWorkshop document. Openings in Architrion blocks translate into fully editable DesignWorkshop openings.

Export 2D >   Object PICT...

Object PICTs can only be exported in the standard DesignWorkshop mode. This command produces 24-bit color object PICT files editable in most Macintosh drawing applications. The PICT file is based on the current view and rendering method. Since most Macintosh image-editing software (such as Adobe Photoshop) can read object PICTs into their own image-based format, these exported PICT files serve for both drawing and image export purposes.

Export 2D >   Object PICT dialog box.

In the dialog box you can set the size of the PICT. The proportions are constrained to match the current window, but you can set the percentage or the width or the height of the PICT.

Exported PICT files are often brought into Photoshop for additional hand rendering, compositing with a scanned photograph, for color correction for offset printing, etc.

Export 2D >   Pixel PICT...

This command exports pixel PICTs while in QuickDraw 3D mode. It is not active in the standard DesignWorkshop mode. The resulting file can be edited with Photoshop or other painting/image editing programs.

Export 2D >   Pixel PICT dialog box.

As with Object PICTs you can set the size of the PICT to be exported. Pixel PICTs are much more memory intensive than Object PICTs, so memory has to be a concern when exporting pixel PICTS. Making the size of a PICT too large will cause memory errors. You can turn the bit depth down from 32 color bits per pixel (millions of colors) to 16 color bits per pixel (thousands of colors) to cut memory requirements in half.

Export 2D >   PowerCADD Scaled PICT...

This command exports files in the PowerCADD Scaled PICT format, this format was devised to make translating between DesignWorkshop and PowerCADD as easy as possible. PowerCADD 3.0 ships with an XTNL for importing and exporting in this format. Using this format you can open files in DesignWorkshop and PowerCADD without losing the scale of objects when going between the programs. This command is only available in standard DesignWorkshop mode in plan, elevation, or axonometric views.

Export 2D >   DXF Drawing...

This command produces DXF version 10 drawing files, readable by most 2D CAD programs. The drawing exported is based on the view projection in the current active window. For example, to export a plan, get the plan view on screen and give the Export >   DXF Drawing command. A standard file naming dialog box will appear, and after you specify the name and directory for the drawing file and click OK, a DXF drawing file of the drawing will be created.

If you have organized the objects in a model into phases, this organization will be preserved in layers in the DXF file. Because DXF requires that layer names be unique, unlike DesignWorkshop phases, the DesignWorkshop phase names will have a number added at the beginning. Also, spaces in phase names will be filled in with the underscore character.

Export 3D >   DXF Model...

This command produces DXF version 10 three-dimensional model files, readable by most 3D modeling applications, Mac or otherwise, AutoCAD included. All the objects currently available (visible and editable) in the DesignWorkshop model are included in the exported file. Because of limitations in the DXF format, faces of objects which contain openings may be subdivided in the resulting DXF file. DXF model files will be interpreted as 2D plan drawings by many 2D drafting applications.

Export 3D >   Radiance View...

This command exports a Radiance rif file for the current view. The rif file is fully commented and has everything set. You can edit the file with a text editor to make any changes you see fit or you can use the resulting rif file without any changes. The rif file contains only view information, no geometry or materials are in this file. You can use multiple rif files on the same rad and mat files of a model to produce multiple views.

Export 3D >   Radiance Scene...

This command exports three files, a rad file containing the model gemoetry, a mat file containing material information, and a rif file containing view information.

The rad file contains model geometry and sun settings. The sun settings are based on what was set in the Sun and Shading Settings in DesignWorkshop.

The mat file contains material definitions for Radiance. Material names in the mat file are based on the material assigned the object in DesignWorkshop and the color assigned the object in DesignWorkshop. You need to edit this file to add materiality to objects in Radiance.

The rif file contains view information. This file is fully commented, and explains how you can edit it to achieve the rendering you want.


The Quit command will close all currently open windows and quit DesignWorkshop. If a model is open which has been changed since it was last saved a dialog box will appear asking you want to save changes before quitting.

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