2DE is the $100 alternative to MUTCD road and street sign design software that can cost thousands of dollars. It is an Excel© spreadsheet template that is used to write a script for AutoCAD® or LT® to draw the 2009 Federal Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Chapter 2 D (Conventional) and E (Freeway) Series signs per the 2004 Standard Highway Signs and Markings Book. 2DE's primary function is to provide letter and arrow spacing for the FHWA standard alphabet, and to draw the sign borders. 2DE individually places each letter, number, arrow and space with individual and overall dimensions. While this can be done by hand, 2DE significantly speeds up the process and reduces the potential for errors. Play the video for a demonstration of the software.
These are not generic AutoCAD blocks. The AutoCAD blocks are drawn to scale using the appropriate dimensions, boarders, fonts and graphics. The FHWA Standard Highway Signs and Markings Book has several versions of the same sign for the difference sizes. For example, a 24x30 speed limit sign has different proportions than 36x48 with different boarders and proportionally different interline spacing. Each sign is labeled with its MUTCD number and size. Many sign blocks available elsewhere are generic and don't use the correct fonts or spacing.
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2DE can be used to draw multi-line signs with up to five lines of text, but typically five lines are not needed. One or more of the second, third and fourth lines can be used for horizontal lines, as shown in the Horton, Hanover and Liberty sign. As shown in the Exit 240 sign, 2DE can eliminate boarders and draw square corners when desired. While not specifically designed for other signs, such as parking signs, 2DE can also be used to provide letter spacing for other signs, but may not provide the appropriate borders, sign colors, symbols, etc. Since the end result is a drawing with plain AutoCAD objects, the user can modify the drawing as needed.
2DE was written to work with AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT and Excel. Most of the programming was done on a computer with LT 2011, so no LISP or other higher level programming is used inside AutoCAD. The 2DE scripts are simple AutoCAD commands and inputs created in Excel and copied to the clipboard for use in AutoCAD or LT. It has been checked in AutoCAD versions 2011 to 2018 and Excel versions XP to 2016 on 32 and 64 bit Windows XP to Windows 10 computers. 2DE is currently being tested on newer versions of AutoCAD, and should run on 2019 - 2021.
2DE comes with street sign fonts for the FHWA Series 2000 letters. The FHWA Series 2000 are sometimes referred to as Highway Gothic. FHWA Series fonts are available separately, see below. Clearview fonts are also available for an additional charge; however, FHWA for a time decided to disallow their use, but now has reinstated their use as before. See their March 28, 2018 Memorandum for more information.
2DE comes with AutoCAD blocks for Interstate, Interstate Business, US, National Forest, State, and County shields. State shields are available for all 50 states and DC. Generic city logo blocks are also available for use on street name signs. 2DE also contains arrow blocks for use on guide signs.
2DE, including the fonts, is licensed per computer. Data files can be saved as many times as needed and may be saved on server or network drives. The drawing files may also be saved on a server or network file, and may be opened on any computer running AutoCAD, but the computer will need the 2DE fonts.
Pricing for 2DE is $100 per single computer license with the blocks and 2DE Series 2000 fonts. Additional font sets are available at $50 per set per computer.
To purchase 2DE, call Yarger Engineering, Inc. at 317-475-1100, or email 2DEsales@yargerengineering.com.
Yarger Engineering also provides sign design services. Call us at 317-475-1100 or Email Us for 10 FREE street name sign designs!