Composing Drawings Blog Series: Building Design – Blog 2 of 4

Setting Up and Customizing Drawing Seeds

Seed files are kind of templates that can be used for working on repeated tasks to achieve a consistent output. Drawing seeds are seed files that are used while placing callouts and automating dynamic views in a project. The drawing seeds define the settings and properties while placing a callout, which simplifies the dynamic views creation process. A drawing seed can contain seeds for callouts, drawing boundaries etc. In the drawing seed, you can set the default values for various settings in the Create Drawing dialog. For example, discipline, purpose, whether to create drawing and/or sheet models, seed sheet and drawing models, annotation scale, detail scale, etc.

In this blog, we will learn how to customize existing drawing seed for use in dynamic views automation. We will also learn how to use the seed while placing a callout in a DGN file.

Setting Up the WorkSet

The WorkSet MSBasicsBldg is shared and the same is used as sample in the procedures in this blog series. You can download the MSBasicsBldg WorkSet from here. If you want to try out the procedures using the WorkSet, you will have to copy the .zip file into the Example WorkSpace (..\Example\WorkSets\).

Using the Drawing Seed

In the previous blog, we saw how to place a callout. That was a simple workflow, where the drawing seed was not selected. The drawing seed can be selected from the Drawing Seed drop-down in the callout’s tool settings window.

When you select a drawing seed, the detailing symbol style used in that drawing seed is used while placing the callout. Also, in the Create Drawing dialog, various settings such as view type, discipline, purpose, annotation and detail scales, and creation of drawing model are inherited from the drawing seed.

Prerequisites for Customizing Drawing Seeds

It is recommended to create a new drawing seed by creating a copy of a delivered drawing seed. Create a copy of the delivered MetroStationDrawingSeed.dgnlib and rename it to SampleDrawingSeed.dgnlib. The seed file SampleDrawingSeed.dgnlib should be kept at a location pointed by the MS_DGNLIBLIST configuration variable. In the case of MSBasicsBldg WorkSet, it can be copied to the ..\MSBasicsBldg\Standards\Dgnlib\DrawComp folder.

Creating a Sheet-Only Drawing Seed for a Plan Callout

The following steps explain how to create a sheet only plan drawing seed.

  1. In the model Design, orient the model in the front view and start the Place Plan Callout tool (Drawing > Annotate > Detailing > Plan Callout).
  2. In the Place Plan Callout tool settings, make sure the following is set:
    1. Drawing Seed = (none)
    2. Detailing Symbol Style – Default
    3. Create Drawing - On
  3. Enter a data point to define the start point of the callout.
  4. Enter second data point to define the end point.
  5. Enter third data point to define the depth of the callout.
  6. Since we had turned on the Create Drawing check box, the Create Drawing dialog opens.
    1. Make the following settings in the Create Drawing dialog:
    2. Name – Plan-AA
    3. Discipline – Building
    4. Purpose - Plan View
    5. Create Drawing Model - Off
    6. Create Sheet Model – On
    7. Detail Scale – 3/16”=1’-0”
  7. Click OK.

The following actions take place:

  1. A plan callout with the selected detailing symbol style is placed.
  2. A plan view named Plan-AA is created and stored in the design model.
  3. A sheet model named Plan-AA is created with its properties derived from the seed sheet model.
  4. The plan view is referenced into the sheet model.
  5. If the Open Model check box in the Create Drawing dialog was turned on, the Plan-AA sheet model is opened.

This customized drawing seed can now be used in any DGN file in your WorkSet. Following are the steps to use the same:

  1. Save and close SampleDrawingSeed.dgnlib and open design-composition.dgn file in the \DGN\Ref folder of your WorkSet.
  2. Orient the model in the front view.
  3. In the Design Composition model, start the Place Plan Callout tool.
  4. In the Place Plan Callout tool settings window, make the following settings:
    • Drawing Seed – Select Plan-AA
    • Create Drawing – On
  5. Enter a data point to define the start point of the callout.
  6. Enter second data point to define the end point.
  7. Enter third data point to define the depth of the callout. The Create Drawing dialog opens.
  8. In the Name field, enter Floor Plan.
  9. Observe that the status of the following settings is inherited from the drawing seed that we created in the previous procedure:
    • View Type – Plan
    • Discipline - Building
    • Purpose – Plan View
    • Create Drawing Model – Off
    • Create Sheet Model – On
    • Detail Scale - 3/16”=1’-0”
    • Turn on the Open Model check box.
  10. Click OK.

The following actions take place:

  1. A plan view and a sheet model, both named Floor Plan are created.
  2. The plan view is referenced in the sheet model at the detail scale 3/16”=1’-0”. This scale is inherited from the drawing seed. 
  3. Since we turned on the Open Model check box, the sheet model Floor Plan is opened.

In the next blog, we will learn about using the sheet index feature.