by Josh Taylor
Solutions discussed: Documentation of concrete buildings
Products discussed: RAM Concept V8i, SELECTseries 4 (r3.4), Structural DocumentationCenter V8i
**NOTE: In a future version of Structural DocumentationCenter, slab reinforcing will be automatically placed on plan drawings during the import of an ISM model. This is expected to be available by the end of 2011. This will make the work around discussed in this article unnecessary.
You have just completed the design of the slab reinforcing in RAM Concept. All bars have been tweaked and adjusted to fit within the geometric constraints imposed by the architect, as well as the mechanical and electrical consultants. One last design run has been done to assure the final layout fulfills all code requirements. Now it's time to move all these bars onto the plan drawings! You may well be doing this with a red pencil currently. If you are, you are certainly not the only one still using a manual mark up process. But let's see if we can save ourselves some effort. Let's develop a system that allows us to reference the RAM Concept slab reinforcing directly into our Structural DocumentationCenter plan drawings.
First let's create a new plan view in RAM Concept that will be reserved for showing exactly what we want to reference from Structural DocumentationCenter. Let's assume that our drawings will be organized such that top bars will be shown on one plan and bottom bars will be shown on a separate plan for each level.
Starting with the completed design in RAM Concept, go to Layers -> New Plan.
Name the drawing "Bottom Bars - Plan Drawing". This plan will be reserved for the bottom slab bars. Set the layer to Reinforcement. Select OK.
When the Visible Objects dialog appears, first select "Show Nothing on any Layer" at the bottom left corner of the dialog. Then select the checks shown in the dialog below. Select OK.
This plan will always reflect the ongoing slab bottom reinforcing whenever changes are made to the design.
Next let's make some changes to the style of the reinforcing. Let's change the color of the bars and text to blue so that it easier to see once exported to Structural DocumentationCenter. Select View -> Appearance. Within the Object Colors group, set the object to Rebar-Design. Then change the color to blue. Let's also reduce the scale of the text to 50 (within the Font group) so that the drawing does not look cluttered. Select OK.
Now let's change the text format of the bar callouts. Select all the reinforcing in plan. Right click and select "Selection Properties".
Note: If multiple types of reinforcing exist at the level, you will need to filter the selection and set the text format separately for each reinforcing type.
Select the Presentation tab. In the "Callout By Quantity Format" line, put a space between the quantity callout "($Q)" and the bar size designation "$B".
Select OK. The plan drawing will now reflect the changes to the formatting.
Next select File -> Export Drawing. Save the file in *.dwg format. Place the drawing in your Structural DocumentationCenter project folder so that it will be easy to find once we are in Structural DocumentationCenter. Select Save. Close RAM Concept.
Now open the corresponding Structural DocumentationCenter project. Open the design file containing the plan drawing for the floor we just designed in RAM Concept. Go to File -> References. Select Tools -> Attach. Select the dwg file that was just generated in RAM Concept. In the Reference Attachment dialog that appears, set the scale to the same scale as used for the plan drawing in Structural DocumentationCenter. Select OK.
The plan drawing now includes the reinforcing designed in RAM Concept.
Two additional points:
1) The slab reinforcing dwg that is being referenced may be edited in Structural DocumentationCenter. To do this go to File ->References (while on the plan drawing). Then select Tools -> Open in New Session. Make any modifications you need to the file and select Save. When you return to the master project, select File -> References again. You will notice there is now a little pencil next to the file in the references list, indicating that it has been edited. To refresh the file for the updates you made, select Tools -> Reload.
2) To trim the heading text contained in the referenced dwg, the clipping boundary of the reference may be adjusted. See the Structural DocumentationCenter help for more information on how to do this.