Joe_Carrick

CAD Block Template - Creating a Detail Plan Database

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Chief provides a Template CAD Block Template that contains on Floor 1 a variety of CAD Blocks that are useful for creating Details.  I use this template to create my Detail Plan Database.  The Basics are that I have a Detail Plan for each category:

 

Railing

Foundation

Roof

Doors

Windows

etc....

 

For each of those I've enhanced Floor 1 by adding additional CAD Blocks that can be used to build up new details.  I also have a Detail Title and a Frame to contain the detail.  After I've created a detail I copy it to a CAD Detail Window in the Plan and name it so that the Project Browser acts as my INDEX.  These Detail Plans are always available, independent from the Library and make it much easier to copy and modify.  Since the Details are sent to the Layout(s) and always link back to the Detail Plan(s) - any modification of the Detail will be reflected in the Layout of any project where it was used. 

 

Typically my Layouts (including my Default Layout Template) have not only the Project Plan linked, but since the Details have been sent from the Detail Plans - all of those Plans are also linked.  Whenever I open a Layout and select a Layout Box with one of my Details - I can open the Detail in its Plan directly.  I never have to go searching thru the Library for a Detail.

 

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Just a side note about this system - all the Details are "To Scale" and you can use not only CAD Objects but you can use walls and any other Chief Object to create the Details. 

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This is a great idea - just starting to build a library now and was looking for an efficient technique. This sounds like a good way to do it. Thanks!

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Why is each separate category in a separate plan? You've got thirty floors. Why not make each floor a category of details, and keep all your details in one file?

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Why is each separate category in a separate plan? You've got thirty floors. Why not make each floor a category of details, and keep all your details in one file?

1.  It gives me a way of keeping all details of similar things in one place - It's my Master Index - Plan Names

2.  I can't name the Floors but I can name CAD Detail Windows - that's my Secondary Index - Project Browser

3.  I only need 1 Floor as a place to work on Details.  Once done I copy/paste to a CAD Detail Window and clear the Floor for the next Detail.

4.  All my detail blocks and standard notes are on Floor 1 where I can just copy and paste into the Current Detail.

5.  It's easy to copy an existing Detail from a CAD Detail Window to Floor 1 and make modifications to create a new Detail

6.  The Details in the CAD Detail Windows are all exactly the same size so they fit nicely on my layout pages.

7.  The CAD Detail Window names (%view.name%) are the names of the Detail and transfers directly to the Layout

 

Do you need more reasons? 

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Joe,

I was not arguing with the CAD detail window concept, just the advantages of having these detail windows split up in a multiplicity of files. IOW, you can keep detail parts for foundations on Floor 1, parts for floor details on Floor 2, parts for roof details on Floor 3, stair parts on Floor 4, etc. With a consistent detail naming system, like Uniformat, locating details within a single CAD detail list is easy.

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Joe...so, do you have to link all the plan detail files to each new project plan?  Does this slow things down?  

 

What about the comment that plan files and layout should be in the same directory?  Do you copy the plan detail files into the new project file every time?  

 

Thanks.

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Steve,

 

The Plan File Details are linked to the Layout Template (assuming that you have sent them to the Template and saved the Template).  There is no slowdown associated with this.

 

There is no need to have the Detail Plans in the same folder as the Project Folder.  In fact, only the Main Plan File and the Layout should be in that folder.  By keeping the Detail Plans in a single "Detail Folder" they will always be found by any new Project's Layout created from the Layout Template.  You never have to relink them.  Each Layout Box knows where it's contents came from (full path and file name) so as long as that location doesn't change it will always be found.

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Joe:

 

Trying to understand your Layout Template process a little better in regards to your response to Steve's question.  Are you telling Steve that in your Layout Template, that you have sent "all" of your CAD details, whether it be for the foundation, windows, doors, roof, etc. CAD Detail Plans to the Layout Template such that that is the way "each" CAD detail is linked to your respective CAD Detail Plans (foundation, windows, doors, roof, etc.) such that you don't have to copy each of those CAD Detail Plan files to the current project you are working on?  That suggests to me that each of your project folders has only two files in them - your Project.plan file and your Project.layout file.  It also suggests to me that you would have to go into your Project.layout file and delete all of your CAD details that do not apply to your current project.  Is this correct - the way you do it?

 

Also, if you modify or make improvements to any of your CAD details, do you typically do it in the respective CAD Detail Plans instead of accessing the detail from your Layout Template (now saved as your Project.layout) while working on a project?  Seems like updating your CAD details to your CAD Details Plans can get a little quirky depending on how you are getting into/accessing the CAD details and then making sure what you just improved on is updated to the proper CAD Detail Plan file.  Maybe I am just not clearly thinking my way through the process.

 

Also, I am curious as to about how many different CAD Detail Plan files you have/use (beyond what you already mentioned) and about how many CAD details you have created/saved in each ... more or less?  I am thinking "bunches" but maybe not.  Do you have a plan notes and text CAD Detail Plan as one of your many categories or do you keep that stuff in your Project.plan template on Floor 1?

 

I suspect one time or another you've answered  many of the questions about your methods in the past.  Thanks in advance for answering them one more time if my questions are duplicate of what others have asked you previously.  I haven't been spending quite as much time on ChiefTalk as I have in the past so I know I've missed some good stuff from you and others.  To me this template stuff is potentially more important than doing a good job on setting up layer sets and anno sets ... but maybe not ... maybe they're both equally important when thinking about how to be most productive.

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Curt,

 

I have most of my details in my Layout Template(s).  If I don't want a particular detail in a project I delete it in the Layout.  OTOH, if I find I need to make a change to a detail I have 2 choices:

 

1.  Modify the Detail and Save it (all instances of the Detail will change in all Projects)

2.  Copy the Detail to a new CAD Window and modify that (creates a new Detail)

 

I do not copy the Details to the Project Plan.  I like to keep my Project Plan as trim as possible. 

When I open a Detail from the Layout it opens the "Detail Plan" (CAD Detail Window).  ie: the location "Sent to Layout"

 

I'm only using those Detail Plans that I listed.  A lot of the "Boiler Plate" notes and NTS Details are in CAD Details in the Layout. 

 

Plan Notes, Schedules and Job Specific Notes are in the Main Plan CAD Detail Windows - most of which is in my Plan Template and already sent to specific Layout Pages in my Layout Template.  I like this because it gives me the flexibility to locate them on the Layout Pages independent of the Plan View(s).  IOW, separate Layout Boxes that can be easily moved.

 

Typically my Detail Plans have only about 10-30 Details each and about 1/2 of those are specials that are only used on a few projects. 

 

IMO, there are 3 main areas of setting up the Templates:

 

1.  Annosets, Layer Sets, Annotation Styles (Text, Dimensions, Callouts, etc)

2.  Defaults in the Plan Template(s) - including predefined Labels for just about everything (text, macros or a combination)

3.  Views already sent to the Layout Template from:

  a.  Project Plan Template

  b.  Detail Plans

 

If you have all those done ahead of time, ConDocs are almost automatic.  When you change something in a Plan, it's already in the Layout and is automatically updated. 

 

My Templates are not static.  I have a system driven by a macro that can create a new project from an existing project, copying and renaming on the fly with a complete Project Folder setup.  Any existing Project can be a set of "Templates" for a new Project.  I try to pick an existing similar Project for this purpose so that most Defaults and Details are what I need.

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Thanks Joe.  I think I understand most of your system much better now ... other than all that stuff you do with your macros etc.  I remember attending a GoToMeeting Scott hosted where you demonstrated on screen some of what your are talking about which, I suspect, you've refined to be much better. 

 

Do you use the Chief Designer and Client tools information to populate your project information macros etc. or do you use some other method to put that information into your project plan?

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Do you use the Chief Designer and Client tools information to populate your project information macros etc. or do you use some other method to put that information into your project plan?

I use both of those - but I typically have several other sets of data that I read from text files in the Project Folder:

 

Project Info

Builder Info

Geologist Info

Structural Engineer Info

Surveyor Info

T24 Consultant Info

 

Those are all read and displayed by a series of custom macros.  I asked CA a couple of years ago to add those like the Client and Designer Info - but so far I haven't seen any indication that they are interested in doing so.

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Thanks Joe ... meant to tell you that way back when you answered my last questions and guess I forgot to.

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