ABD. Container File / Printing Help.

Hi all,

I am new to Aecosim Building Designer and have just started trying to use the software in my day to day production. I have fumbled my way through setting up ABD on a network, and have a grasp of basic modelling. However I am now trying to generate some output which is where I am coming unstuck...

Would someone please be kind enought to explain the basics of the various files needed to get a typical drawing (say floor plan) on to a sheet. I am especially confused as to what a 'container' file is?

Thank you in advance.

  • At it's simplest,:
    You might model a building so the external envelope, each internal floor with it's associated walls etc, maybe the core, were in separate Design Models each in its own file.
    These would be referenced into a 'container' or 'composition' model. You would use the callout tools to cut plans sections and elevations in that file.
    Each callout would generate a Drawing Model and a sheet Model. The Drawing Model is automatically referenced into the Sheet Model.
    Depending on the content a sheet model might have one or more Drawing Models referenced to it.

    How you choose to structure this depends on the scale of the project and your organisation.
    A large firm/project would split the project into more Design Models/files to facilitate team work. Each Sheet File would also be a separate file.
    A small firm/project might chose to do all of the above in one file, generally not the best approach, but demonstrative of the range of possibilities.

    I hope that at least explains the container file.
    We have some (free) online training material that I will ask a colleague to post some links to.



  • Hi Marc,
    Thanks very much for the response. So a master model and container file are one and the same? This mimics my current workflow. I think my confusion came as I have read that some people seem to be creating a master model which is then referenced into a container file....I cant see the logic in this unless there are multiple master models?
  • Hi Morgan,

    The term 'container' is used fairly liberally to describe a file that 'contains' project information. With MicroStation's and AECOsimBD's ability to have multiple models inside a .dgn file, we think of the .dgn files as 'containers'. Sounds like you are on the right track with the way you have your file organized.

    Some organizations/companies/users add another level of organization and create what could be called a 'Drawing Composition Master Model' or as I called it in my diagram 'Construction Drawing Master Model' (it is a container) that references the Discipline Master Model. And use that file to generate drawings. Just another level of organization.

    I diagrammed this out, using mechanical and structural, keep in mind it depends on the project, size of the project, number of designers working on the project, etc. as to how to split it up. I call the initial files 'Working Models', this is where you do your modeling work. These are referenced to a 'Discipline Master Model', and the 'Discipline Master Model' is referenced to the 'Construction Drawing Master Model'. The drawings and sheets are generated from here. Keep in mind the drawing to sheet ratio is not necessarily one-to-one, think of large narrow projects where the plans may not fit on one sheet. 

    One thing this does is keeps the 'Discipline Master Models' pristine, in that they don't end up with all the saved views, markers, etc that are generated during the dynamic view process. 

    If I am working on HVAC, I can reference the structural 'Discipline Master Model', using Live Nesting and turning on the 'Ignore Attachment when Live Nesting' reference setting to keep the structural models from nesting up to the mechanical discipline master model.

    Each discipline can organize the working models as needed - as Marc noted, architectural might have a core model, exterior model and floor-by-floor interior models, structural might have a foundation model, a primary framing model, a secondary framing model as it might not make sense for structural to go floor-by-floor. 

    Finally, I talk to a lot of our users who are small one person architectural shops, they could theoretically do their whole project in one .dgn file. The file is the 'container' of the project.

    (Well I was trying to keep this succinct!) Hope this helps.

  • Hi Paul.

    Thanks very much for the reply, it is very useful and much appreciated.
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