Drawing output is largely driven by the model role of an object. For example, in the UK drawing styles there are specific drawing styles for rafters. If you use the model role of beam for a rafter the rafter drawing style would not be invoked! Drawing styles are important for controlling drawing output!
In this simple example we have drawn an access platform with PFC support structure and open mesh Grating flooring panels. The flooring has 25 x 5 flat bar welded on each edge to close off the edges of the panel. The support beams have the model role "Beam", the grating panels have the model role "Grating" and the flat bars surrounding the panels have the model role "Flat" (or "Beam" if you like – there is no special model role for this object)
Figure 1.The Exercise - Access Platform
Using "Cameras" a GA drawing was created.The drawing is fine providing we wanted to show the open mesh flooring as well as the support structure. Using cameras to create the view will show everything in the model even if the objects are turned off or the layer they are assigned to is turned off. The only control is via the Drawing Style.
For this exercise the GA was created using the Drawing Style "Floor Plan – Hot Rolled, all". A number of other drawing styles could have been used but the output would have been the same – the grating would be detailed or the grating would have been turned off or not included but the flat bar edging would probably be detailed.
Figure 2. GA Drawing using Floor Plan - Hot Rolled, all
The answer may be to open the drawing, delete the grating detail and the associated flat bar surround and regenerate our drawing and we will have a drawing of only the support structure.
Figure 3. GA Drawing after editing
Another option would be to edit the Drawing Style and turn off the Grating element by default, but that would not address the flat bar surrounding the Grating. Of course we cannot turn off the Beam element as that would also include the main structure! We need more control over the flat bar element. The answer may be to create a new model role specifically for the flat bar surrounding the grating.
Creating a New Model Role
There are two methods for creating a new model role.
Method 1 - In later versions of Advance Steel there is an option in the Management Tools called Object Property Editor. To access the feature start the Management Tools from the Home ribbon:
Figure 4. Management Tools
Select Object Property Editor and expand the menu option Model Roles. Select any one of the existing model roles in the list. The resulting screen shows the properties of the model role selected and two buttons at the top of the page – New and Delete – click on the New icon.
Figure 5. Expand the menu option Model Roles.
The fields Name and Group become empty and ready for our new input.
The Name field is the name that you will see when selecting a model role for an object. Enter the name as you would expect to see it – Grate Edging in this example.
The Group field is important and some thought should be given to this setting. By clicking in the field a drop down menu is enabled giving a number of options, for example, All steel beams. If we enable All steel beams for our model role the model role will only be available if we draw our flat bar surround as a beam. However, we may also draw the flat surround using the plate tools – the flat is now a plate and not a beam but the model role will not be available. What we need to select is a Group that will allow us to use the model role in both cases. In our case we could use All Objects or All linear and planar objects. We will use All objects for this exercise.
Click Apply and the new model role Grate Edging has been created.
Method 2 – Alternatively, the Model Roles in Advance Steel are listed in a database table called ModelRole in the AstorBase database.
In Management Tools click on Table Editor followed by the small icon in the top left of the Table Editor dialogue box labelled Open ODBC
Figure 6. Open ODBC Icon
Select the down arrow adjacent to the AstorBase label and the AstorBase database will expand to show the tables contained within. Scroll down until you find the ModelRole table and click on the name.
Figure 7. Open the "ModelRole" Table
The data shown in the right hand panel are the existing model roles. You can add to this table by scrolling to the bottom to reveal the empty last line of the table. In our example we wish to add a new model role specifically for the flat bar surrounding the grating panels – we will call the new model roll Grate Edging
The first column is the Key, this is the name that Advance Steel will use to identify the new model role. Convention dictates that there should be no spaces between the word Grate and Edging so we can use the name GrateEdging or even Grate_Edging. For this exercise we will use GrateEdging.
The second column is the RunName. This is the name that you will see when selecting a model role for an object. Enter the name as you would expect to see it – Grate Edging in this case.
The third column is OwnerText. Although it is not critical to change this from the default AUTODESK it is advisable. If the OwnerText is left as AUTODESK, the new data will not be copied across to later versions of Advance Steel when combining databases. In this case select the name AUTODESK and an arrow indicating a drop down menu will appear. Change the OwnerText field to UK.
The last field, ObjectGroup, is important and some thought should be given to this setting. By clicking in the field a drop down menu is enabled giving a number of options, for example, All steel beams. If we enable All steel beams for our model role the model role will only be available if we draw our flat bar surround as a beam. However, we may also draw the flat surround using the plate tools – the flat is now a plate and not a beam but the model role will not be available. What we need to select is an ObjectGroup that will allow us to use the model role in both cases. In our case we could use All Objects or All linear and planar objects. We will use All objects for this exercise.
Your table should now look like this:
Figure 8. Finished "ModelRole" Table
We can now close the Management Tools. There is no need to save the table or the database as the new information is saved automatically on exit. We do, however need to Update Defaults in Advance Steel before the new model role becomes available.
The Update Defaults button is on the Home ribbon under the Settings tab – where we found the Management Tools icon earlier.
Figure 9. Update Defaults
Creating a Prefix for a New Model Role
We now have our new model role – Grate Edging. However, when we draw the object the numbering will not be complete because we do not have any numbering prefix set for the object.
To create a new prefix for our model role, select the Prefix Settings tool on the Output ribbon. The tool can be found in the Part Marks tab.
Figure 10. Prefix Settings
In the Prefix configuration window expand User > Default > Any object type > Any and you will be presented with a list of model roles.
To enable the new model role (Grate Edging) it is necessary to create a new entry in the Prefix configuration. Select the Any heading and the New icon in the top left of the dialogue box will become active. Select the New icon and the New prefix dialogue box will be displayed.
Figure 11. Prefix configuration dialogue
Select an object type from the Object Type field – this will be the object type that best describes the new model role. In our example Beam would be the most appropriate. In the Model Role field, search for and select the name of our new Model Role, Grate Edging in our example.
Figure 12. Populating the fields in the New prefix dialogue
Click on OK and the New prefix dialogue will close and return to the Prefix Configuration dialogue. Enter prefixes for Single part and Assembly numbers. There are no rules for the prefix but for this example we will use "F" for the Single part to follow the convention for other single parts and we will use "GE" for the Assembly prefix to denote Grate Edging. Click Apply and then OK and the Prefix configuration dialogue will close. Again, click on the Update Defaults button which is on the Home ribbon.
Using the New Model Role
We have our new model role and we have our new prefix for the model role but what is the point? We now have just another model role to choose from!
Let"s return to the example of the landing drawing with grating panels – the object is to be able to turn off or enable both the grating and the flat bar surrounding the panels from within a drawing style. In the example the drawings style used was "Floor Plan – Hot Rolled, all"
In order to change the settings for the drawing style it is necessary to access the Drawing style manager. Click on the Drawing Style Manager icon in the Document Manager tab of the Output ribbon and the Drawing Style Manager dialogue will open.
Figure 13. Drawing Style Manager
WARNING - The Drawing Style Manager is a powerful part of Advance Steel and controls the drawing output, dimensioning, labelling, detail view positioning etc. on your drawings. As such there are two possible sections where changes to the settings within the system can be made – Advance and User. The Advance section has been temporarily disabled for editing and acts as a backup! The User section is enabled for editing and this is where you will make changes. During editing you will receive a warning dialogue telling you that any change made is a global change and will be reflected in any other instance of the setting being changed.
In the Drawing Style Manager expand the Drawing styles as follows – Drawing Styles > User > GA – Plan > Floor Plan – Hot Rolled, All and click on the heading Objects presentation.
Figure 14. Expand Drawing styles > User > Ga-Plan > Floor plan - Hot rolled, all
You will notice in the right hand table that the Model Object, Grating has a Presentation type of "VisibleHiddenSymbol". We could select the Presentation type and in the drop down menu, set the Presentation type to Off and the Grating will no longer appear for drawings using the "Floor Plan – Hot Rolled, All" drawing style. Of course the object of this exercise is to also include Grate Edging in the same Presentation style.
Let"s expand the Drawing Style a little further by expanding Object presentation and also expand the Grating option.
Figure 15. Expand the Object presentation option followed by the Grating Option
Click on the option Selected model objects to display the Selected model objects dialogue for Grating. You will see that the list of model objects for Grating is limited to grating only and all grating model roles – "All model roles" may include Grating, Grating Treads etc. We want to add our new model role to the list of Model objects.
To begin we need to Add new pair by highlighting the existing line 1 (Grating) and then selecting the icon.
Figure 16. Add new pair
The line Grating is duplicated and requires editing. The Model object field relates to the type of object from the model. In this example the object will be either a beam (flat bar) or a plate. The object could also be a kick plate or even a curved beam in the case of an edging about the end of a curved Grating.
Click on the new Model object, Grating, and in the drop down menu change the object type to Beam. In the Model role field change the model role to our newly created model role – Grate Edging.
Again, using the Add new pair tool copy the new entry and edit/change the Model object to Plate – the Model role will be Grate Edging again.
Finally, using the Add new pair tool, create a new entry for Curved Beam and finally an entry for Beam but using the model role Kick Plate – some of the edging may be kick plates.
Your Selected model objects dialogue should now look like this:
Figure 17. 'Selected model objects' after editing
Select Apply to apply the changes.
Because the changes we have made are global changes, each time that Grating is included in the Object presentation table of ANY drawing style the edging surrounding the grating will be included in ANY Presentation of the Grating.
That is, if we return to the Object presentation of Grating in Figure 13 above and change the Object presentation of Grating to Off, the Grate Edging will also be turned off – providing of course that the edging has been given the correct model role! Model roles control the drawing output!
Figure 18. Example Drawing style with Grating Presentation set to Off
Finally, for the changes to take affect it is necessary to Update Defaults in Advance Steel before the new model role becomes available.
The Update Defaults button is on the Home ribbon under the Settings tab – where we found the Management Tools icon earlier.
The Drawing Style Manager is a powerful tool and changes made can adversely affect your drawing output as much as enhance your drawing output. Care should be taken when modifying any drawings style.
Before any changes are implemented a warning will be displayed stating that the changes are global and will affect any other instance of the setting being changed. It is possible to turn off the warning dialogue but that is not recommended for inexperienced users – heed the warning and consider how the changes you make will potentially affect other drawing styles.
The changes made in this exercise are unlikely to lead to global problems and may enhance your drawings. If you wish you may reverse the steps outlined in the section Using the New Model Role by merely changing the Presentation type for Grating back to VisibleHiddenSymbol at the final step above and apply the changes. Any other changes made will not affect the drawing style and were included to demonstrate the method of creating and using a new model role.