Thursday, June 28, 2007

Unable to use shared ABS 2007.1 content with network deployment

You created a network deployment for Autodesk® Building Systems 2007.1 (ABS) and placed shared content for your ABS catalogs in a shared network location. However, when you tried to add a part, you received an error message stating that the part could not be found.

When you create a deployment for Autodesk® Building Systems that includes shared ABS content, you need to include the profile. Otherwise, you will not be able to load the content from a shared location onto other computers.

To resolve this error, you need to edit the registry keys on each of the computers where this error occurs. Follow these steps:

  1. Click Start menu (Windows) > Run.
  2. In the Run dialog box, enter regedit
  3. In the Registry Editor, browse to the following key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R17.0\ACAD-5106:409\Profiles\Building Engineering - US Imperial\Preferences\AecbCatalog50

  4. Edit the ConfigPath registry subkey so that it points to the location of your shared content.
  5. In the Registry Editor, browse to the following key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R17.0\ACAD-5106:409\Profiles\Building Engineering – US Imperial\Preferences\AecbEnumMap50

  6. Edit the ConfigPath registry subkey so that it points to the location of your shared content.

Warning! Problems caused by improperly editing the Windows registry could render your computer operating system unusable. Microsoft provides a wealth of critical information that you need to know about the registry in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Use the Microsoft® Registry Editor only at your own risk and only after backing up the registry as well as the system.dat and user.dat files as outlined for your operating system in the Microsoft Knowledge Base and in the related Autodesk solution, TS66513. Additional information about the registry is also contained in the Help topics in the Microsoft Registry Editor.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Calculating Heating and Cooling Loads using gbXML

Software supporting a gbXML import has been;

The gbxml format is not written by Autodesk, and any information that is imported into gbXML program is based on what that program reads from the file, and not necessarily what Autodesk exports to gbxml. I would contact these 3rd party program manufactures to see what type of documentation they have available on how they import gbxml data.

There is a room name and room number issue that Autodesk’s development team is aware of and is investigating.

These programs will not know the information about the wall construction type from the model. Currently, there is no way to bring this type of information in from the model. You will need to input all of that information into the gbXML program. I have submitted a request for Autodesk to provide more documentation about gbxml export and the type of settings that are exported by the software.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Armundo's Tutorials

Armundo's Tutorials
Learn how to get the most out of AutoCAD® MEP with Armundo's free tutorials. Each one contains valuable information but is only a few minutes long, so you can watch them as many times as you like.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Adding base AutoCAD menus to the AutoCAD MEP user interface

You noticed that menus available in the AutoCAD user interface, such as the Viewport or Dimension menu, are not available in the AutoCAD MEP user interface, and you want to add them.

You need to transfer the AutoCAD menu items from the acad.cui file to the abs.cui file. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click any of the toolbars. Click Customize.
  2. Expand the Customize User Interface dialog box by clicking the arrow located in the lower-right corner of the dialog box.
  3. Click the Transfer tab.
    Note that there are now two panels in the Customize User Interface dialog box: a left panel, "Customizations in Main CUI," which contains the settings for the current user interface, and a right panel, "Customization in New CUI File," which can be used to load external CUI files.
  4. Click New CUI file menu > Open.
  5. In the Open dialog box, browse to the following file:
    • On Windows XP:
      C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Autodesk\ACD-MEP 2008\enu\Support
    • On Windows Vista:
      C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\ACD-MEP 2008\enu\Support
  6. Open the file.
  7. Expand the Menus item in both the left and right panels.
  8. Drag the Dimension menu item from the right panel (acad.CUI) into the left panel(abs.CUI). Note that the Dimension menu item is now available in both columns.

If you want to change the order in which menus are displayed in AutoCAD MEP

  1. Click the Customize tab.
  2. Select the Current workspace and click Customize Workspace.
  3. In the Workspace Contents panel, expand the Menus items that are not highlighted in blue.
  4. Drag the Dimensions menu, currently at the bottom of the list, to the desired location between the other menu items.
  5. Click Done.
  6. Click OK.

These changes are stored in the current workspaces and saved in the Main Customization file, which for a default installation of AutoCAD Architecture is .

If you want to use this customized configuration on another computer, replace the Main Customization file on the target computer with the customized one.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

64-Bit Workaround Available for AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD MEP

Autodesk has experienced a number of customer reports regarding the install of Vertical AutoCAD 2008 programs on a 64-bit Operating System. Their development decided to not allow installation on a 64-bit Operating System because the QA team was not able to fully test and certify the application to run in a 64 bit environment.

Autodesk realized that users were able to install previous versions of Autodesk programs on 64 bit systems. They are aware of the growing number of users who are upgrading their machines to these 64-bit systems, and because of this demand their development team has provided a workaround for the issue. You will need your local Autodesk reseller to get you the ACA.msi and setup.ini files necessary to install your product in a 64 bit environment in a zip file.

Here are the instructions:

  1. Install the latest .NET Framework (64 bit) from Microsoft on the destination workstations.
  2. Copy the contents of the installation DVD to a local drive or network location.
  3. In the main install folder, rename the original ACA.msi and setup.ini files to preserve them.
  4. Copy the provided replacement ACA.msi and Setup.ini files you received from your reseller into the main install folder.
  5. Run the installation/deployment procedure as normal.
It is very important to reiterate that this is a workaround as development has not fully tested vertical AutoCAD 2008 programs in 64 bit environments. If you choose to implement the workaround, you must be aware that this will allow the product to be installed on a 64 bit system, but if you experience crashes, drawing corruption, or other abnormal behavior we may not be able to provide aid in the troubleshooting process.

Autodesk's development team is working on a true 64 bit application but cannot provide any further details at this time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Anchor It!

Once you investigate the use of anchors in your AutoCAD MEP environment, you won’t know how you ever lived without them. In this example we will use anchors to link switches to doors. If a door moves, the switch moves with it. If the door swing changes. The switch updates automatically.

First, let’s take a look at what anchors do for you and what types are available.

An anchor is a general linking mechanism within AutoCAD MEP. AutoCAD MEP and AutoCAD Architecture objects can be anchored to each other, enabling you to create a relationship between objects. Anchoring objects can be useful for positioning air terminals or light fixtures in a ceiling grid, or switches to walls or doors. You can choose from three types of anchors to attach building systems objects.

AutoCAD Architecture Anchors
You can locate these anchor tools in Content Browser / ADT Stock Tool Catalog / Parametric Layout and Anchoring Tools
  • Object anchors are used to attach AEC objects to another AEC object.
  • Curve anchors are used to attach objects to the base curve of other objects.
  • Leader anchors are used to attach nodes on a layout curve with a leader.
  • Node anchors are used to attach nodes on a layout curve or grid.
  • Cell anchors are used to attach objects to positions on a 2D layout curve or grid. You an also attach cell anchors to 3D volume grids.
  • Volume anchors are used to attach objects to a 3D volume grid.

AutoCAD MEP Anchors

You can locate these anchor tools in Content Browser / ABS Stock Tool Catalog / Common / Common Items
  • Curve anchors are used to attach objects to a base curve, typically the centerline of other objects.
  • System anchors are used to attach objects to a system run. Anchored objects can be moved along the entire run to other runs assigned to the same system.
  • Reference anchors are used to attach objects by reference to other objects, such as attaching an end-of-line schematic symbol to a schematic line. When the symbol is moved, the line maintains connectivity and is stretched to the new location.
Anchor Device to a Run
The first example we will try is to anchor a switch to door in the architectural reference file. Yes…you can anchor through to the reference file AEC objects.

Select the AutoCAD Architecture Object Anchor tool and identify your switch symbol and the object you want to anchor. Then press to continue and identify the door you want to anchor the switch to.

Next, we need to simulate the architect moving the door in the floor plan file. To do this I will use the Edit Xrefin- Place command available on the menu.

Move the door you anchored to along the wall to a new location and save the changes back to the reference file.

Your switch should automatically move to the new door location.

Try it for the emergency exit light moving with the door too! You might have to edit some of the run linework on this one! Try it for a ceiling diffuser or a light fixture moving with the ceiling grid.

To remove anchors you can use the grips provided to release the anchor.