Author Topic: Title block details & updating  (Read 2847 times)

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Craig Davis

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Title block details & updating
« on: May 03, 2007, 12:25:07 AM »
How do you control your drawing issuing?

We do Civil Engineering drawings and have various issues such as Concept, Preliminary, Tender, Construction and As Constructed. We can have any number of drawings sheets within the one drawing drawing file or spanned across numerous drawing drawing files.

My thoughts was to some how create an excel spreadsheet with all of the various title block attribute information which would be linked to the title blocks and once the excel spreadsheet was updated with the latest issue information you could get the autocad title block attributes to update. Is this even possible?

At one stage I was trying to write a lisp file to list the attributes and allow them to be updated but I couldn't get part of it to work so scrapped it.

Does anyone have a similar program that can do what is needed or have any suggestions.

Like most I'm flat out with work and trying to save a bit of repetitive drafting.

Thanks in advance.

Craig
« Last Edit: May 03, 2007, 09:16:35 PM by Craig Davis »

Strucmad

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2007, 12:43:08 AM »
A non-lisp approach could be to xref the title blocks, then just update the one file.
A copy of each drawing should be saved (bind xref) as a record of what was issued.

Btw craig what part of vic. I do alot of industrial structurals in Melbourne.

deegeecees

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2007, 01:24:21 PM »
How do you control your drawing issuing?

We do Civil Engineering drawings and have various issues such as Concept, Preliminary, Tender, Construction and As Constructed. We can have any number of drawings within the one drawing or spanned across numerous drawings.

My thoughts was to some how create an excel spreadsheet with all of the various title block attribute information which would be linked to the title blocks and once the excel spreadsheet was updated with the latest issue information you could get the autocad title block attributes to update. Is this even possible?

At one stage I was trying to write a lisp file to list the attributes and allow them to be updated but I couldn't get part of it to work so scrapped it.

Does anyone have a similar program that can do what is needed or have any suggestions.

Like most I'm flat out with work and trying to save a bit of repetitive drafting.

Thanks in advance.

Craig

Depending on your programming knowledge, it IS possible to tie attributes to a spreadsheet, or database. I created just that a few years back, and with alot of help from members here. What I came up with was a combination of VBA and Lisp with calls to an Access database, using bi-directional functionality.

Where do you want to start?

Craig Davis

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2007, 06:57:44 PM »
A non-lisp approach could be to xref the title blocks, then just update the one file.
A copy of each drawing should be saved (bind xref) as a record of what was issued.

Btw craig what part of vic. I do alot of industrial structurals in Melbourne.

We could xref the title blocks but we'd still have a problem with the attributes. I think by having them inserted into the drawings it gives us more access to manipulate the attributes. We currently keep a PDF of all issues as well as archive major changes to the designs.

I'm in Geelong and work for a private consultant in Colac who does a lot of work for various Victorian councils quite a few in Melbourne.

I try to spend more time here but like most Engineering consultants in Australia these days we're bloody flat out. I'm sure you know this. :-)

Strucmad

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2007, 07:11:51 PM »
Thought my reply was a bit simplistic for your needs, deegeecees one seems to be a good one,

I'll step aside and let the guys/girls here do what they do best

cheers

Craig Davis

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2007, 07:29:19 PM »
Depending on your programming knowledge, it IS possible to tie attributes to a spreadsheet, or database. I created just that a few years back, and with alot of help from members here. What I came up with was a combination of VBA and Lisp with calls to an Access database, using bi-directional functionality.

Where do you want to start?

I'm still trying to decide on the overall setup of the program. I've always tried to stay away from external links to various programs as these usually break as well as programs change over time and need to be tweaked to keep working.

What I would like would be to have a program that opens a dialogue box within AutoCAD that has a list of drawings currently open. You can then pick which drawings are the ones that need an issue change. These drawings should all have the same title block text block in them with attribute tags and prompts. You can then choose which attributes you wish to change across all of the selected drawings ie Issue number, total number drawings, automatically increment drawing number etc. I'd also like it to be able to count the number of inserts of the revision text block in each drawing and add the correct next issue and insert the block in the drawings. It could also have a possible export of attribute information to a spreadsheet for documentation of transmittal.

To me that sounds quite complicated and is the ultimate program that I'd like. I've done some complicated LISP programming before but of course with each program comes new challenges. I did do a VBA course for AutoCAD a few years ago but haven't used it since although a work mate has more experience in it and I'll call him in to help me on this one. I want to expand my programming experience and keep up with the times so would like to do it in VB if possible.

So is this workable?

I thought I'd ask here as I'm sure we've all come up against this annoying repetitive tasks although in slightly different ways.

Thanks for the help.

Cheers

Craig

Craig Davis

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2007, 07:32:20 PM »
Thought my reply was a bit simplistic for your needs, deegeecees one seems to be a good one,

I'll step aside and let the guys/girls here do what they do best

cheers

At times I can overlook the simplistic solution. On one of my more complicated LISP programs I must have wasted a day or so. Once I explained to a work mate what I wanted it to do it only took a half dozen lines of code.

Thanks anyway for the suggestion.

Cheers

Glenn R

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2007, 07:46:20 PM »
Make sure your attribute tags are unique, otherwise you're in for a world of hurt.
Me

Craig Davis

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2007, 07:59:02 PM »
Make sure your attribute tags are unique, otherwise you're in for a world of hurt.

Pretty sure they all are. We use the same title block text block for all sheets and I think in about AutoCAD version 14? The block attribute manager would alert you to duplicate attribute tags.

Thanks

Craig

Kerry

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2007, 08:21:38 PM »
................... I'd also like it to be able to count the number of inserts of the revision text block in each drawing and add the correct next issue and insert the block in the drawings. ............
Craig

Craig, Does this mean that your 'revision description table' is not a part of your primary border, and that your border block does not actually contain the drawings history ?

... just trying to understand what you're doing.

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Craig Davis

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2007, 08:46:32 PM »
................... I'd also like it to be able to count the number of inserts of the revision text block in each drawing and add the correct next issue and insert the block in the drawings. ............
Craig

Craig, Does this mean that your 'revision description table' is not a part of your primary border, and that your border block does not actually contain the drawings history ?

... just trying to understand what you're doing.


Kerry,

I best go into a bit more detail. Below is what a standard sheet would contain and their descriptions.

Primary title block = PD_TITLE_BLOCK (which contains all text which does not require any changes ie. company name and labels etc. and an area in the bottom left for revision descriptions)

Title block text = PD_TITLE_BLOCK_TEXT (Which contains various attributes to be changed depending on ie. project location, type of project, sheet no. & total number of sheets etc.)

Block revision text = PD_TITLE_BLOCK_REV contains revision date, revision detail, revision authorised by (Which is inserted into the area bottom left to reflect all of the drawing issues through that issues stage ie. Concept, Preliminary, Tender, Construction & As Constructed. When it's at Concept = CA, CB, CC etc. Preliminary = PA, PB, PC etc. Tender = A, B, C etc. Construction = 0, 1, 2 etc.) So there will be more than one insert of the block in each drawing and they can vary across the entire set of drawings.

I hope this makes it a bit clearer and doesn't confuse things.

Cheers

Craig

Kerry

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2007, 09:05:10 PM »


Thanks Craig, got that now.

How about this ??

............ We can have any number of drawings within the one drawing or spanned across numerous drawings.

................
Craig

Can you elucidate ?
Perfection is not optional.
Everything will work just as you expect it to, unless your expectations are incorrect.
Discipline: None at all.

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Craig Davis

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2007, 09:18:36 PM »


Thanks Craig, got that now.

How about this ??

............ We can have any number of drawings within the one drawing or spanned across numerous drawings.

................
Craig

Can you elucidate ?

Sorry about that. I've amended it in the original post.

What I meant was that we can have any number of sheets within the drawing file or across numerous drawing files.

Hope that makes more sense.

Is the issue system we use similar to what you guys use? Are you as stringent?

Kerry

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2007, 09:53:49 PM »
......................
Is the issue system we use similar to what you guys use? Are you as stringent?

Similar nomenclature for revisions, yes.
As stringent, probably.
We differ in methodology.
Each border block we use contains all attributes describing it's title and revision history .. where you use multiple blocks inserted into the same space.

We do Structural Steel Workshop detailing ... and dont need quite the same revision catagory capability .. but it could be incorporated easily ...   

Unfortunately I can't share the logic or functionality at the moment.
 
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Everything will work just as you expect it to, unless your expectations are incorrect.
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deegeecees

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Re: Title block details & updating
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2007, 04:43:37 PM »
Mr Davis,

Sorry for the delayed response, been puting out all kinds of OSHA fires today. The basic outline of the "Drawing Tracker" program I created for Commonwealth Edison went as follows:

Borders - Xref
Title Block - Xref
Tblock Info - Insert (attributes)
Rev Block - Xref
Rev Info - Insert (attributes)

Since ComEd doesn't use Pspace, all geometry inserted in modelspace @ 0,0 @ a standard scale. All other macro's Lisp proggy's checked the drawing for the Title Block, if found, open up a dialog with all job information to be input. This info was checked against a database, if found fields are appended, if not found fields are added. Changing the database would impact the drawing as well (bi-directional functionality).

So, in theory you would be able to open the database and change the fields for the drawings you want to revise, never having to open the drawings (ObjectDBX).

I am pressed for time, so I will try to get back to this ASAP, but for now, I'd suggest outlining what you need to see where the logic goes.

Cheers!