AutoCAD Advantages: What is Polylining?

This week’s article comes to you courtesy of our very own Matt!  Matt is our AutoCAD expert here at RSC.

Drawing clean up consists of:

  1. Determining accurate locations of physical objects
  2. Reconciling the drawings to CAD standards (using proper layers, naming conventions, and blocks)

Someone must walk the floors, taking measurements and accounting for the space.  They will then provide a fairly accurate representation of each floor of the building.  They will indicate where walls, windows, doors, stairs, offices and desks are located.  Their completed drawing will look something like this:

 Polylining Consists of:

  1. Creating representations of physical objects (usually polyline shapes) in the drawing.  In this case, it will be the physical area occupied by each room, using BOMA standards.
  2. Connecting those drawing objects to the database, by providing a primary key (or unique identifier) that specifies that particular room.
  3. Adding additional information to each room object in the database so that properties of the space can be tracked.  We add room types, categories and standards, so that the database can run reports on how much space is occupied by services (Primary Circulation and Mechanical Rooms, for instance.)

Polylining basically starts with a drawing that is essentially a collection of colors and shapes and adds a layer of information on top of it.  This information can be mined for interesting relationships and reports.

Here is an image of a shaded floorplan indicating all the room types on this floor.  The polylines are the boundaries of the individually shaded rooms.


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AutoCAD Advantages: RSC AutoCAD Interface

Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC maintains AutoCAD tools that help manage drawings for our staff and clients.  We’ve recently updated the RSC AutoCAD interface.  Here are some of the new features:

  • Simplified AutoLoader installation (for ACAD 2013 and above). The RSC commands are available on the ribbon, as toolbars, and as drop down menus for access in classic view.
  •  All the Hatch and Query Text commands function against the HQ database.
  • New icons.
  • All ARCHIBUS Smart Client ribbon functionality has been migrated into the Classic View.

To showcase a single tool, you can view an example of the List
Layers
function in action.

This tool helps with drawing clean up by providing a list of layers inside the drawing.  This list  can then be edited with any AutoCAD tools.  You can merge layers (LAYMRG)  in this  list with the standard layers or delete (LAYDEL) them entirely.

Disclaimer

These tools have been collected and developed to improve the
workflow at RSC and to provide a starting point for adding client specific
customizations.  They range from ho-hum to awesome.  Some of them
work flawlessly, and just how you expect.  We are constantly striving to improve the ways we help clients.

Special Thanks to:

Lee
Mac Programming

AfraLISP
The Swamp.org

And many others!


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Thoughts? Questions? Comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear your insights.

What’s wrong with my AutoCAD file?

AutoCAD used to have a reputation for crashing and corrupting files regularly.  Talk to any long time CAD user and you’ll hear plenty of horror stories.

The program has gotten much more reliable, but it is still very complex, and there are a lot of moving parts, so I am often consulted on drawing problems.

There are a lot of tools for investigating what’s in a drawing.  One of my favorites is the QSELECT command. QSELECT provides a console to create a selection based on various criteria.

Certain objects tend to be problematic:

  • Points
    • Since they don’t print, points can be placed anywhere.  They often throw off the drawing extents.
  • Blocks
    • Blocks are extremely useful, but blocks can also become corrupted.  It is worthwhile to keep track of your blocks and know what blocks are supposed to show up in your drawing.
  • Attributes
    • Attributes are ALWAYS supposed to be contained in a block.  If you have an attribute outside of a block, it should be deleted.
  • Proxy objects
    • Proxy objects are created by add-ons to AutoCAD.  They can become corrupted or they may not render properly in a version of AutoCAD that doesn’t have the add-on.
  • Splines
    • Splines are not always rendered properly.
  • 3D shapes
    • 3D shapes add a lot of extra data to the drawing.  It is an extra burden that can cause a drawing to render slowly.  I prefer to remove them when possible.
  • Empty text
    • Text and Mtext containers without text inside can increase the size of a drawing with no benefits.  Recently the PURGE command was adjusted to deal with empty text objects.

By using filtering abilities in QSELECT you can find, adjust, and potentially delete individual items that cause drawing issues.Like what you read?  Subscribe to the blog and follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest to keep up to date with the latest news from Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC.

Thoughts? Questions?  Comment below and let us know what you think!  We’d love to hear your insights.

This phenomenal article was brought to you by our very own AutoCAD Wizard Matt R!  Matt is our go to guy for all things AutoCAD.  Matt is always willing to help out no matter what the task or assignment is.  His knowledge and expertise in AutoCAD is one of the many things that makes him an invaluable member here at RSC.


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Thoughts? Questions? Comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear your insights.

AutoCAD Advantages: BPOLY Command

Here is a little tip shared by one of our AutoCAD experts, Matt, at Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC.  Enjoy!

Background

The BPOLY command is useful to create a polyline that bounds existing geometry. It is much like the HATCH command or a paintbucket/flood-fill in a paint program.

General Usage

Often lines around a room are determined as LINEs or XLINEs. BPOLY is then used to create the polyline that fills the Remaining Area without any gaps.

After all the rooms have been PLINE’d, BPOLY is used to create circulation and other remaining spaces.

Cautions

We’ve found a little problem with the BPOLY command.  The BPOLY command may skip vertexes when you use it on

  • A fairly large area
  • Containing small vertex offsets

There are two solutions:

  1. Split large areas into smaller ones (particularly large circulation spaces).
  2. Use special care to be certain that vertices align.

How big is this problem?  This appears to happen with distances on the order of 1/100,000.  It could cause your total area to be off by fractions of a percent overall.

The real problem arises when we have to track down a remaining area in a drawing and run across these little glitches.  It is becomes difficult to tell where the actual problem lies.

  • Polylines should be Concave whenever possible
  • BPOLY is view dependent, the entire area to be filled needs to be viewable on the screen before running the command.

A complicated area, like this:

Should be simplified to something like this:

As always, we hope you enjoyed our post.  Please comment below with any thoughts, feedback, or questions.  We love hearing from you!


Like what you read? Subscribe to the blog and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin to keep up to date with the latest news from RSC, LLC.
Thoughts? Questions? Comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear your insights.