February 04, 2005

Removing Unsightly Bottom Frames at Doors

Ever use a Door/Window Assembly to model a door with an integral sidelight and/or transom? Ever wish you had not done so, because you just can not get rid of the lines that make it look like there is a bottom frame at your door opening? Or maybe you got rid of those lines, only to lose the frame at the sidelight? And to make matters worse, the pesky frame is still there in that grand rendering you had planned? If so, read on.

First off, let me note that I tested the following in Architectural Desktop 2004, and the same principals apply in 2005. My memory is fuzzy on this, but I do not believe you can do all the things noted below in 3.3. For 3.3, you need to turn off the entire bottom frame of the Window Assembly [as they were called in that release] by not assigning a frame to the bottom location, then "simulate" a bottom frame at the sidelight by creating an infill panel with a width that matches the mullion width. The out-of-the-box styles use this technique; you can reverse engineer it from one of those.

The first thing to realize - assuming that you are using the out-of-the-box display settings - is that the two lines that appear to be the bottom frame in a Door/Window Assembly are in fact not that, but the Sill A and Sill B components of the Sill Plan display. Those of you who managed to turn off those lines already know that. You have a choice to make here. If most of your Door/Window Assemblies are in exterior walls and the doors would have thresholds, then you may want to keep the drawing default display settings as is - with Sills A and B turned on, and apply style overrides to your interior Door/Window Assemblies to turn them off. If the converse is true, you may choose to turn off the sills in the drawing default, and use style overrides for your exterior styles.

So now your door panel looks great in plan, but you only have the glass lines at the sidelight. What you need to do now is edit the Plan Display Representation and turn on the Below component.

April 29, 2005 Update: Unanchored Door/Window Assemblies will not display the frame lines even after the Below Component is turned on. You will need to set a "manual above and below cut plane height" on the Other tab of the Plan Display Representation at a height that passes through your frame or mullion below. This is not necessary with Door/Window Assemblies that are anchored to a wall.

Again, you can do this either at the drawing default level or as a style override. You will now either see a frame [or, if you have a mullion in the sidelight below the cut plane, the mullion] all the way across your assembly, or, if you did not assign a frame to the bottom location in your assembly style, you will continue to see nothing. Should you have a mullion below the cut plane at the sidelight, you may have just what you want in plan view - but chances are you are not getting the 3D view correct - unless you are using the 3.3-era technique of simulating the bottom frame with a wide panel as noted above. There is nothing wrong with that - but consider the following as an alternate, and perhaps cleaner way to model that bottom frame.

What you need to do is make certain you have a bottom frame defined, then override that frame by removing it from any cells with doors or other infills where you do not want to have a bottom frame. The following steps outline the procedure.

  1. Place a instance of your Door/Window Assembly in the drawing using the DoorWinAssemblyAdd command, or a tool - use the generic Door/Window Assembly tool if you do not have one set up for this purpose. Set the length and height to values appropriate to the style.
  2. In an elevation or isometric view, select the Door/Window Assembly, right click and choose Infill > Show Markers from the context menu. A magenta cell icon should appear in each cell.
  3. Select the assembly again, right click and choose Infill > Override Assignment... from the context menu. You will be prompted to "Select infill to override". Select the infill marker in the door cell and press Enter.
  4. In the Infill Assignment Override worksheet, place a checkmark in the Bottom toggle in the Frame Removal area. Select OK. The bottom frame will disappears from the door cell .
  5. That takes care of that single instance, but we are not done yet. After all, who wants to go through that every time you place one of these assemblies? Select the assembly, right click and choose Design Rules > Transfer to Object from the context menu.
  6. Select the assembly again, right click and choose Design Rules > Save to Style... from the context menu.
  7. In the Save Changes worksheet, you can save the overrides you made to this instance to a style. You have the option to save them to any existing Door/Window Assembly style in the drawing - including the current style of the selected assembly, the default choice, or you can create a new style. You can also choose which types of overrides to save to the style. If your style did not previously have any overrides, the infill override will be the only toggle active - the others will be grayed out. Place a checkmark in the "Transfer Infill Overrides to Style" toggle. If there were other overrides and you want to keep them, check the other active toggles as well, then select OK.
  8. Add a new instance of your modified style and look at it from various vantage points to confirm that the overrides are now part of the style. Edit the Door/Window Assembly style and click on the Overrides tab. Expand the Infill Assignments category, which now has a "+" next to it, to see your newly created infill override. You can look at and even remove the override here [right click the name], but you can not create one here.

If you like, you can find a sample file in which I have done the above, in the Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2004 Discussion Group, in a thread titled "window assembly". In the sample file, there are two Door/Window Assembly styles, Style1 and Style2. Style1 is the starting point, without the override; Style2 is the finished style, with the override at the door cell. The post that has the attachment has a version of the above tutorial, with the directions specific to the sample file.

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