December 27, 2011

ACA - Multiple Cut Planes in One Sheet

You may have a situation where you would like to show the same plan area more than one time on the same sheet, with the same Display Configuration, but with two different cut planes. For example, you might have a door with sidelights and transom, and you might want to show a plan view cut at the usual cut plane height, through the door, along with a plan view cut through the transom.
This can be done, but you need to remember that the cut plane height is set in the Display Configuration. Recent releases of ACA have had a control on the Drawing Window Status bar that lets you change the value of the cut plane without having to edit the current Display Configuration through the Display Manager.
Someone unfamiliar with the way the cut plane is set in the Display Configuration might think that you could set up two viewports of the same plan area
and make model space active in one and simply change the cut plane for that viewport. Because both viewports use the same Display Configuration (High Detail in the example shown), using the Cut Plane Control to change the cut plane height in one viewport
changes the cut plane in both viewports.

Changing the cut plane back to 3'-6" will, of course, change it back in both viewports. In order to have different global cut planes for the two plans, you will need to have two separate Display Configurations. This is easily done in the Display Manager:
  1. With model space in one of the plan viewports active, on the Manage ribbon tab, on the Style & Display panel, choose the Display Manager tool.
  2. In the left pane, select the Configurations node under the current drawing.
  3. In the right pane, right click on the current Display Configuration, which will appear in bold type, and choose Copy from the context menu.
  4. In the right pane, right click in the white area below the list of Configurations and choose Paste from the context menu.
  5. In the left pane, expand the Configurations node and select the copied Display Configuration - in the expample, High Detail (2).
  6. In the right pane, on the General tab, rename the Display Configuration with a more meaningful name, if desired.
  7. On the Cut Plane tab, set the desired Cut Height for the cut plane of the new Display Configuration.
  8. Click OK in the Display Manager to accept the changes and return to the drawing.
  9. Set the new Display Configuration current in the plan viewport where you want the new cut plane applied.
Because the two viewports now use different Display Configurations, the global cut planes can be different.


Nathan Ellery said...

Good tip David.
At Step 3. I discovered that if you expose the Display Rep in the LHS panel, you can simply Select and hold with your mouse, then drag and drop to create a new DR, rather than go thru the copy - paste routine.

Wei said...

Dear David Koch,

Your blog post is exactly what my office is trying to do! Is this method applicable in a View drawing? We have all the floor plans in one view and right now we have a global cut plane so things are not cutting at the correct level or height. If we can apply this display configuration method in the View drawing it will be awesome.

We are trying not to use the sheets that much other than to just drop in the view ports but so far we've been really unless full because when we drop in our viewport it automatically makes a cut plane for us. Is there a way to turn off the cut plan in the sheets? Or is the changing of the display configuration in the sheets the way to go?

Thank you,


David Koch said...

My post was focused on trying to show multiple cut planes at one level.

I would not combine floor plan views from multiple levels in one View drawing. That might work assuming that the external references for each view are placed such that the floor being shown is at Z = 0, but it seems like asking for trouble for little gain over using separate View files.

Are you trying to have a multi-floor View with just one instance of each external reference, stacked like it would be built, and then generate multiple plans out of that? That is not how the software was intended to be used, and you will definitely need separate Display Configurations for each level, since only one level would be at Z = 0.