Monday, January 29, 2007

Enabling custom sizing for ABS parametric parts

To enable custom sizing for a parametric part

  1. On the command line enter AecbContentBuilder to open the Content Builder. Note: This command is available on the CAD Manager Menu in Building Systems 2007 or the MEP Common menu in previous versions.
  2. In the Getting Started – Catalog Screen dialog box, select the part that you want to modify and click the Modify Part Definition icon.

  3. Click the Options icon of the part that you are editing.

  4. Select the Custom Sizing Flag check box and click OK.

  5. Click the Save Part Family icon.

Note: Not all parts are designed to have the Custom Sizing option enabled. Unexpected results may occur if you create custom sizes of such parts.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Exporting Autodesk Building Systems Designs to Revit Systems

The first step in linking an Autodesk Building Systems MEP design to a Revit Systems project is to use the Export to AutoCAD functionality included within Building Systems. This feature saves all design data as AutoCAD entities (such as lines, circles, arcs, and blocks), which can then be read and understood by Revit Systems.

Creating a Design with both 2D and 3D Views

Autodesk Building Systems, through its use of intelligent objects, automatically creates 2D and 3D representations of the MEP designs which can be viewed by other AutoCAD-based applications, as well as Revit Systems. Use the following steps to create an Autodesk Building Systems drawing with both a 2D and 3D display for use in Revit Systems:

  1. With the MEP design open in Building Systems, create a new layout and then two viewports.
  2. In one of the viewports, set the view to Plan. Use the built-in display configurations of Building Systems to set the view to either 1-Line or 2-Line.
  3. Set the second viewport to an Isometric view.
  4. With the layout page still current, use the Export to AutoCAD feature.

Use the Export to AutoCAD feature in Autodesk Building Systems to export an MEP design for use in Revit Systems. Note the Export to AutoCAD feature exports all linework/objects in the Building Systems drawing, regardless where the linework/objects reside. Therefore, before using the Export to AutoCAD feature, detach the external reference of any structural floor plan. This will enable only the Building Systems data to be exported.

The exported file contains two block representations in model space; one in 2D and the other in 3D. These blocks represent the Display Configuration Views that were currently active in each viewport of the layout prior to export. Furthermore, each block representation is on its own layer (named for the layout viewport) as well.

When linking this file into Revit, users can control the appearance of the floor plan and 3D views by working with the visibility of these layers. The exported file contains the 2D and 3D representation of the MEP design in model space.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Phasing using ABS Classification Tools

Classifications provide additional control over the content of schedule tables. You can include:
  • only those objects that meet the classification criteria.
  • classification definitions as columns.
  • additional information from property sets you create and attach to individual classifications
So you want to place new VAV boxes in a schedule without scheduling the existing VAV boxes that you have in your project. You can do that by creating some CLASSIFICATIONS. Classifications can be used for many different things such as scheduling only a particular pipe size, or scheduling interior lights separate from exterior lights. The possibilities are limitless.

In our example, we need to start by creating our PHASE classification.
  1. Click Format menu and go to the Style Manager.
  2. Expand Multi-Purpose Objects, and expand Classification Definitions.
  3. Select the classification definition.
  4. On the Classifications tab, click Add.
  5. Select the new classification, and enter "Phase" under Item.
  6. Click the "Applies To" tab, and Select All. This way, we can assign any object to be part of any of the phases we create. In other circumstances, you could select only Pipe, or only Devices if you only want those objects to be part of this classification.

The next thing we need to do is go to the Classification Tab and click on the Add button and create a New, Existing and Demo classifications like the picture below.

Now that we have the classifications set up, we can now apply them to our objects and to our schedules. You can change the classification of a specific object on the Extended Data tab of the Properties palette. If this change causes an object to not display, a warning dialog appears on your drawing screen.

Now that we have assigned our objects to our phase classifications, we can schedule our objects. The classification criteria that an object must satisfy needs to be included in the schedule created from a schedule table style. You can specify more than one classification for an object type. You can specify those criteria in the schedule table style. In our case, only VAV boxes that are in the New classification will be included in the schedule table.

  1. Click Format menu and Style Manager.
  2. Expand Documentation Objects, and expand Schedule Table Styles.
  3. Select the schedule table style that you want to change.
  4. Click the Applies To tab, and select the object types to be tracked for schedule tables using this style. In this case, it will be MvParts.
  5. To specify classification criteria, expand a classification definition, and select one or more classifications. In our example, we can select a phase classification of New. For an object to be included in schedules of this style, its object style must specify New for the phase classification, and the classification.

Classifications enable us to sort objects by creating a classification style that contains user-defined values to choose from. These classification styles are stored within the object style. You can use the classification styles to display and schedule objects. Autodesk Building Systems automatically classifies objects such as MvPart, Devices and fittings. This means when you insert an air terminal into your drawing, the air terminal is classified as an MvPart with an Air_Terminal type. This enables you to create a schedule that only contains air terminals, without having to include all of the MvParts in your drawing. You can take this another step further by creating a sub-type under Air_Terminal such as diffusers and grills if you wanted to schedule them in separate schedules.

Because most equipment in ABS are either Devices or MvParts, most of our schedule styles will use classifications to ensure that the schedule table is only populated with data from the desired part types.