Making a CAD Lift Plan with Load Values Inserted via Script

Making a lift plan in CAD is the best way to have a robust plan. Unfortunately it is tedious to transfer the information from .pdf crane charts into CAD software.

Some tips and tricks can help speed up the process.

Crane charts like the below: cranepdf401


contain a lot of valuable data, it would be more useful however, the have this data laid out on a plan/elevation to demonstrate the cranes capability with respect to the context of the site/structure.

If we have this data in a CSV format, we could import it to CAD and do some useful things.

Loading the pdf into an OCR reader such as: gives out a csv file with the load chart. I have included the file here franna-load-chart-csv


This table is easy to read in a pamphlet, but needs to be converted into a simple data set with one tuple per line to be interpreted for scripting. Some quick excelling later…


An XY scatter plot proves the data is correct


CAD allows scripting for automation of tasks:

The command:> SIMPLENOTE 0,0,0 1 0 example

Will give the text “example”at position [0,0,0] height 1, rotation 0 degrees

Concatenating each line of the dataset into the following format gives text at the correct position relative to the crane lifting point. Example

SIMPLENOTE 9,1.53387179990532,0 0.1 45 .3.5t (2.95) …, and so on for each lift case

The text for the script can be generated by Excel, copy pasted into a text editor and saved .scr . Draftsight (free CAD similar to AutoCAD) Scripts are executed by selecting: tools>run_script. Output below:


Combining with the crane outline generated from key dimensions and the raster images gives us this result


Insert this as an external reference into the design CAD file



And the lift plan is complete


One thought on “Making a CAD Lift Plan with Load Values Inserted via Script

  1. I want to thank you for your answer key for Repase y Escriba 4th edition. I am a retired Spanish teacher, using the book to tutor a friend in advanced Spanish. I am using your key to compare with my own answers.

    Muchas gracias por todo su trabajo.
    Marilyn (Canadian, spending winters in Mexico)


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