November 25, 2009

ACA Scheduling by "Mark"

The out-of-the-box Door and Window Schedules and Schedule Tags are set up to identify each Door or Window with a unique identifier and list each one in the Schedule Table. While that suits many practices (including mine, for Doors), there are many who prefer to assign a "mark" to a particular Door or Window configuration and use that mark on all instances of that configuration. The Schedule Table would then list each mark only once. This is easily done in Autodesk AutoCAD® Archtecture, with the addition of a few properties and some tweaks to the Schedule Table and Schedule Tag you are using.

You can find a sample file done in the 2010 release (and, therefore, in the 2010 drawing format) posted in a reply in this thread in the Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture Discussion Group. The purpose of the sample file is to demonstrate a way of scheduling Doors by Mark, and the Property Sets, Schedule Table Style and sample data focus on that, and are not meant to represent a finished system, ready for use (or a compelling architectural design). Several other properties are included in the Property Sets and Schedule Table, to give a sense of context, but do not show all of the information you would want in a Door Schedule.

I made the following assumptions:
  • There would be a unique mark for each combination of Door parameters, including size.
  • Most Doors would be a "standard size" and that the mark for those Doors would be entered in the standard size description.
  • The system had to allow for an occasional, non-standard-size Door, without requiring that the Door Style of that Door be edited to have the non-standard size added.
  • An office-wide set of standard mark designations can be established and built into the office-standard Doors Styles, so that the standard sizes and associated marks do not have to be added to the Door Styles for each project.
If you have a unique Door Style for each mark you require, then a simple manual property in a style-based Property Set can be used to hold the mark value, add that to your tag and schedule and you would be done. If you can not establish office standards that will cover a large majority of the Doors on your projects, you may be better served with a manual property in an object-based Property Set and entering the value for each Door.

In the sample file, there are four Door Styles in which standard sizes have been entered and the desired mark has been assigned as the Description. The image below shows the Standard Sizes tab for the Single - Wood Full Flush - No Light Door Style.
There is an automatic property source for Doors, Standard Size Description, that will make the Description entered in for a Standard Size available in a Property Set. The DoorObjects2 Property Set in the sample file makes use of this for the MarkFromStdSize property. If you only use Standard Sizes, you can use this property directly in your Schedule Tag and Table. This property will display the value of the Not Applicable property of the assigned Property Data Format (NA for the out-of-the-box Case - Upper Property Data Format used in the sample file) if a non-standard size is used for a Door, so I included two additional properties: a text-type manual property (MarkOverride) to hold the value of the mark for non-standard-sized Doors and a formula property (Mark) to pass through the appropriate value for each Door.The Mark property is the one that appears in the tag and schedule. The MarkOverride property has a default value of EDITME, so that if a non-standard size is used and a MarkOverride value is not entered, it will be obvious in the tag or schedule.

The formula property checks the value of the MarkFromStdSize property. If it is "NA", then the value of the MarkOverride property is passed through; otherwise, the value of the MarkFromStdSize property is passed through. Note that in this example, changing the value of the override property is not the trigger for the formula property - the override value is only passed through when a non-standard Door size is used.
Add the Mark property to your Door Schedule Table Style, and delete any other "Mark" or "Door Number" column. To get all of the Doors with the same Mark to collapse into one row, add a quantity column to your Schedule Table Style. Hide this column if you do not want it to show in the final Schedule Table, as I did in the sample file.Keep in mind that for rows to collapse, all of the columns must show identical information. If you have an object-based Remarks column, such as the sample file has, you would need to add the exact same text the to Remarks property for each Door of a given mark for the rows to collapse. The same will hold true of any other columns in your Schedule Table.

The Door Tag in the sample file is simply a copy of the out-of-the-box Aec6_Door_Tag that has had the Multi-View Block and the assigned AutoCAD block renamed. The Attribute Tag of the assigned AutoCAD block was edited to reference/display the DoorObjects2:Mark property.

All of the Doors in the sample file are a standard size of their Door Style, except for the A4 Door, which is not and derives the "A4" mark from the MarkOverride property.


Anonymous said...

I have found it impossible to follow your example and I have the sense that you feel most of your readers share your expertise level.

I do residential work and tagging by style & size is quite important to me. Perhaps if you would fill-in the blanks as to what exactly to do where during the process, your post might be even more useful to us who are less advanced.

Thanks, Dave Sopko

David Koch said...

Most of the people with whom I work have different professional priorities than I do, so I am quite aware that most users of AutoCAD Architecture do not have (and do not want to have) the same level of knowledge of the Schedule feature that I have. That said, I re-read my article, and while it certainly is not (and was not meant to be) a click-by-click tutorial, I am not certain where the blanks that are giving you trouble lie.

If you are totally new to customizing the Schedule feature, you can find resources that can get you up to speed on the basics in this article, which I periodically update:
(A link to that article appears under the "Oldies But Goodies" heading in the right column of the blog.) The course materials for the two AUGI Training Program courses would be of particular interest. Written some time back, they still should provide a good grounding in the basics of the Schedule feature and a good start on formula properties.

If you are already familiar with customizing the Schedule feature, if you can provide more detail on where you are having trouble, I may be able to find time to fill in the blanks.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to create a schedule as you've described, but with one exception. I'd like to see the schedule show only Mark A, for all Style A door sizes - not Mark A1, A2 for different door sizes. Will the schedule resolve itself... can't tell if I'm doing something wrong, or if the software can't do it.

Sabrina Pilon

David Koch said...

As I noted in the article, if all doors of a given style are to receive the same mark, regardless of any instance-based variations, like size, then you could create a text-type manual property in a style-based Property Set Definition. Attach that Property Set Definition to each style and enter the Mark that all Doors of that style are to receive. Then use that property to display the mark in a Schedule Tag or a Schedule Table.