October 16, 2010

ACA 2011 - Opening Location Changes - Part 2

First Post in Series: ACA 2011 - Opening Location Changes - Part 1

The first post covered the splitting of the Offset/Center option into separate Offset and Center options when placing a opening (Door, Window, Door/Window Assembly or Opening) object in a Wall, and showed how that worked for a Door, using Wall ends or intersecting Walls to define the Wall segments to which the Offset or Center applies. In this post, we will look at the newly added "Relative to grid" property, which only applies to Doors and Windows.

When set to "No", Walls are used to define the segments, as in previous releases. When set to "Yes",AutoCAD® Architecture will use grid lines that intersect the Wall to determine the Wall Segment over which the Center or Offset will be applied. In the image below, the Center option has been selected, and, as you can see, the Window is centered between the two grid lines crossing the Wall, ignoring the intersecting Wall.*
The Offset option works in a similar fashion, using intersecting Grid lines to define the offset points.
As mentioned in the first post, any type of Grid can be used - Ceiling Grids, Column Grids or Layout Grids - provided that the Grid is visible in the currently active Display Representation Set. Ceiling Grids are less likely candidates, given their usually small cell dimensions.

The next post will examine the new multiple option when placing openings.

Next Post in Series: ACA 2011 - Opening Location Changes - Part 3

* - For the purposes of this article, I extended the Column Grid by one additional bay, so that the Column Grid lines perpendicular to the exterior Wall would actually cross the Wall. If I had not done so, ACA would have found no grid lines and would have acted on the entire length of the Wall instead. Adding Grid Labels does not change anything, as what appear to be Grid Line extensions are actually the Anchor objects that attach the grid bubble Multi-View Blocks to the Grid, masquerading as Grid Lines. This is a major drawback for this feature in my opinion, as I can see wanting to have multiple, evenly spaced openings in a structural bay on an exterior Wall to be relatively common, but do not expect to be using this on interior Walls very often, if ever.

October 09, 2010

ACA 2011 - Opening Location Changes - Part 1

One item that has changed in the 2011 release* of AutoCAD® Architecture is the way that openings (Doors, Windows, Door/Window Assemblies and Openings) are placed in Walls. Instead of a choice between Unconstrained and Offset/Center, you now have three choices: Unconstrained, Offset and Center. While you may initially miss having Offset and Center available at the same time, I am told that these needed to be split into separate options, in order to enable the new "Space Evenly" options that allow you to place multiple, evenly spaced, Doors or Windows in one operation. Also new is the choice to have the offset or centering boundaries be Walls (as before) or Grid Lines. Any type of grid (Layout, Column, Ceiling) will work, although Column and Layout will most likely be the ones most often used. I will take a look at these new options in the next few posts.

You will want to have your Properties palette open when placing openings in order to have control over the placement. (You can also make use of Command-line prompts or Dynamic Input, although the latter is failing to display a list of Position options for me.) Look on the Design tab, under the Location category, which is at the bottom of the tab. Notice that the first three properties have an eight-pointed asterisk icon at the left side. That indicates that these properties are only available at the time of object creation.Note that until you select a Wall (the first prompt of the DoorAdd command), the Multiple insert property will be grayed out and inactive. This post will focus on placing a single opening relative to Walls. With Relative to grid set to no, the Position setting will be relative to Walls. As in previous versions, setting Postion to unconstrained allows you to move your cursor to the place where you want the Door and click to place it - or, for more precision, you can type a value into the Dynamic Dimension Input, if enabled. You may also want to turn off any running Object Snaps when placing openings.
Changing the Position property to Offset in the Properties palettewill add a new property, Automatic offset,in which you specify the distance from which the Door is to be offset from the Wall end or intersecting Wall. This should be be familiar, as it worked the same way before, only now you can only place an offset Door, rather than being able to offset or center the Door, depending upon your cursor position. With the Position property set to Offset, the Door can only be placed offset from the Wall End or from an intersecting Wall.

Setting the Position property to Center will remove the Automatic offset property, if it was previously present.With this Postion setting, the Door will be constrained to the middle of the Wall or Wall segment.
So far, the only new thing has been the splitting of Offset and Center into separate options. The next post will look at the new Relative to grid option.

Next Post in Series: ACA 2011 - Opening Location Changes - Part 2

* - Subscribers who installed the 2010 Subscription Advantage Pack have already seen these changes. The ribbon tools associated with them have been integrated into the ACA 2011 ribbon, rather than being on a separate ribbon tab, as was the case with the Subscription Advantage Pack.

October 02, 2010

The Aubin Academy Series Books

Those of you who have enjoyed Paul Aubin's books may be glad to know that the first of his books for the 2011 releases, The Aubin Academy Master Series: Revit® Architecture 2011, is now out. The AutoCAD® Architecture 2011 book, with which I assisted, is due out October 27, as is the AutoCAD® MEP book. The Revit® MEP 2011 book is expected in December. You can read more about this year's books and the rebranding in Paul's blog.