November 26, 2010

ACA 2011 - Opening Location Changes - Part 4

First Post in Series: ACA 2011 - Opening Location Changes - Part 1
Previous Post in Series: ACA 2011 - Opening Location Changes - Part 3

To wrap up this series on opening location changes in AutoCAD® Architecture 2011, we will look at the ribbon tools that have been provided to make using them somewhat less tedious. Several choices have been combined into one ribbon tool, reducing the number of steps needed when working "manually", as presented in the previous articles.

These tools are located on the Wall contextual ribbon tab, on the General panel, so in order to access them, you will need to select a Wall. The Door and Window tools are now split buttons, and if you click on the lower half of the tool (the part with the arrow icon), you will get a list of tools from which to choose. For Doors, these tools are Door (DOORADD command), Offset from Grid Line (DOORADD GRID YES POSITION OFFSET command), Center between Grid Lines (DOORADD GRID YES POSITION CENTER command), Evenly between Grid Lines (DOORADD GRID YES MULTIPLE command), Evenly between walls (DOORADD GRID NO MULTIPLE command) and Entire Wall (DOORADD WIDTH MAXIMIZE command).The same options are available for Windows (substitute the WINDOWADD command for the DOORADD command).Since Openings and Door/Window Assemblies do not offer the relative to grid line or multiple options, there are no additional choices on the Opening-Door/Window Assembly tool.
One thing to keep in mind is that when you choose one of the Door or Window tools from the flyout other than the "plain" Door (DOORADD) or Window (WINDOWADD) tool, some of the options associated with that tool will become your new default options. The Relative to grid and Position properties will retain the selected option. The Multiple insert property will maintain a default value of No.

I personally do not see much use for the Entire Wall tools, particularly with respect to Doors, but if you need to fill an entire Wall segment with a Door or Window, the option is there. I would be more likely to want to use the Entire Wall option with a Door/Window Assembly, but that is not an option for Door/Window Assemblies.

November 16, 2010

Aubin Academy Books for ACA and AMEP 2011

The 2011 edition of Paul Aubin's books for AutoCAD® Architecture and AutoCAD® MEP are now available. You can read more about it in this article in Paul's blog (click on the BOOKS link at the top of his site to find more detailed information on any of his books).

November 12, 2010

ACA 2011 - Opening Location Changes - Part 3

First Post in Series: ACA 2011 - Opening Location Changes - Part 1
Previous Post in Series: ACA 2011 - Opening Location Changes - Part 2

Another new feature is the ability to place multiple openings at once. As with the relative to grid feature, the multiple openings feature only applies to Doors and Windows. The openings can either be spaced evenly on the selected segment or centered on the segment with a fixed offset between the openings. Relative to grid can be set to either No (use Wall Ends or intersecting Walls) or Yes (use intersection Grid lines) to determine the Wall segment over which the multiple openings will be placed. In the images here, a Window object will be placed with Relative to grid set to Yes.

The sequence of picks and settings is somewhat fussy, so pay close attention to the following. If you prefer, you can also read the Command: line prompts and set the property values there using the command options.
  1. Start WindowAdd command by whatever means you normally do (eg, tool palette tool).
  2. Select a Wall in the drawing.
  3. On the Properties palette, on the Design tab, in the Dimensions category, set the desired Width and Height (or choose the desired Standard size).
  4. In the Location category, set Relative to grid to the desired value. The value of the Position property does not matter.
  5. Set the Multiple insert property to Yes. Notice that the Command line prompt now asks you to select a Wall segment. Yes, you will need to select a Wall again, but this time you need to pick the exact segment you want. As you hover over a Wall, notice the solid red line that shows up, in addition to the Wall highlight (assuming you have highlighting while selecting turned on).The red line defines the extents of the Wall segment over which the multiple openings will be inserted. When you have the segment you want, select the Wall
  6. You can now set the number of openings to insert, either in the Number to insert property or at the Command: line prompt. The initial default value will be the maximum number of openings that can be fit along the selected segment. For the example here, the default was 6, but I changed it to 3.
  7. In the Location category, choose the desired value for the Spacing property, Equally or Offset.
    • If you choose Equally, then the difference between the segment length and the sum of the Widths of the openings, will be divided into equal segments, at the beginning, between each opening and at the end.
    • If you choose Offset, another property, Offset multiples, appears, allowing you to specify the distance between the openings. The entire array is centered on the segment, so the additional space is divided equally to each side.
  8. Finally, left click in the drawing area to accept the arrangement ghosted on the screen and continue on with the command in progress (WindowAdd in the example). The Multiple insert property will reset to no, so if you want to add another set of multiple openings of the same object, you will need to start the sequence above from Step 3 (Step 5 if the opening size and Relative to grid are to remain the same).
The next installment will look at the ribbon tools that can make using these features less fussy.

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