Drawing Boundaries -- A Solution for Accelerating Sheet Creation and Layout

Within the MicroStation CONNECT Edition's modeling environment, the technologies collectively known as the Documentation Center will be the focal point of this blog. Let’s take a look at one of the new features of the Documentation Center that can enhance project delivery – the Drawing Boundary.

Traditionally, the laying out of drawings onto sheets is a time consuming and error-prone process that is done differently by everyone on a team and can cause inconsistencies and delays in getting projects delivered. To overcome this, as part of the Documentation Center's solution for accelerated sheet creation and layout, the Drawing Boundary feature is provided to allow you to quickly and easily define the location of a drawing on a sheet. A drawing boundary is a predefined area on a sheet model which may contain a drawing.

The Drawing Boundary tool replaces the Drawing Title from the previous releases of MicroStation. From the delivered Drawing workflow, the Drawing Boundary tool can be found in the Detailing ribbon group of the Annotate tab.  Upon selecting the tool, you will find there are several options in the tool settings window.

The Detailing Symbol Style will define the detailing symbol style to be used for the drawing boundary.

The Show Detailing Symbol Style Settings provides a convenient way to open the Detailing Symbol Styles dialog, in which you can create or edit a detailing symbol style.  In the Detailing Symbol Styles for Drawing Boundary, two new settings have been added, namely, Annotation Display and Boundary Display. These properties can be set to visible or hidden.

The “Drawing Type” is where you can set the type of drawing boundary to be created. Selecting the appropriate Drawing Type is critical since the Drawing Boundary will only allow a certain saved view type to be associated to them. The table below lists which tool or saved view type that will be allowed to populate its respective drawing type.

Then, along the bottom of the tool settings window is where you will find two methods for placing Drawing Boundaries. The By 2-Points method lets you create the drawing boundary by interactively defining a rectangular boundary with two data points.

The By Element method lets you create a drawing boundary from an existing closed element. Using this method you can convert any closed shape on a sheet into a drawing Boundary. This gives you the freedom to create a Drawing Boundary that is in the shape of a circle, an ellipse, or even a cloud.

When you want to create a Drawing Boundary, you should know that you can create a Drawing Boundary in any Sheet Model. And while this is acceptable, it would be more advantageous to create your Drawing Boundaries in a seed file and/or a DGN Library (DGNLib). That way every time you create new sheet model, the drawing boundaries are in place, standardized, and waiting to be populated with references. Furthermore, these can become part of your Drawing Seeds in DGN Libraries to facilitate your Dynamic Views workflow.

In this example, I have a sheet model that will serve as detail sheet. It has my company title block and border with some simple line-work to divide the sheet into sections. It is within these sections that I will place Drawing Boundaries.

With the method set for By 2-Points, I define the two opposite corners of the drawing boundary and then I enter a data point to define the location of the annotation of the drawing boundary. Continuing in this example, I finish placing the remainder of sections on the detail sheet with Drawing Boundaries for a total of six.

Now, whenever this seed file is selected in the future to create sheet models, these Drawing Boundaries will be part of that. Remember, the property, “Drawing Type” that is selected when creating Drawing Boundaries is critical. In my example here, it was set for Detail so this will only accept saved views from either the Place Detail Callout or from the Named Boundary tools.

Fast-forwarding to the point where I would be using this seed in a live project. When you attach a reference to a sheet model, you can choose in which drawing boundary that reference should be attached. You can see the six Drawing Boundaries in the drop-down as shown in the below image. In this example, I will be placing a saved view that was created by the Place Detail Callout tool and selecting Detail-2 from the Drawing Boundary drop-down menu.

The reference is attached into the selected Detail-2 Drawing Boundary.

This Drawing Boundary is now occupied and the next time that I go to reference another detail, from the Drawing Boundary drop-down menu of the Create Drawing dialog, only the vacant Drawing Boundaries will be available. From here, I could continue to populate the remaining 5 details on the sheet.

Let’s take another look at how Drawing Boundaries can facilitate your documentation workflow. This time using a Civil example. I’ve already created a Plan & Profile sheet seed that contains two Drawing Boundaries. The top Drawing Boundary is designated for Plan Views and the bottom Drawing Boundary is designated for the Plan View’s respective profile view.

Utilizing the Named Boundary tool, I select the, “Plan&Profile – Plan” Drawing Boundary that will following the centerline of my mainline corridor.

The sheet models are created with the contents of the Named Boundaries referenced to the “Plan&Profile – Plan” Drawing Boundary.

Next, I go into my file that contains the profiles and once again, utilizing the Named Boundary tool, I select the, “Plan&Profile – Profile” Named Boundary and set the mode to, “Place a Single Named Boundary.”

The profile is then referenced to the respective Drawing Boundary in the sheet model. Then I continue to place the remaining profiles to their respective sheets.

The Drawing Boundary feature found in the MicroStation CONNECT Edition will allow you to overcome time consuming and very manual process for sheet creation and layout. As you can see, you can quickly and easily define the location of a drawing on a sheet.

If you have an interest in this topic, be sure to log into the Bentley LEARN Server and you can seek out the course, “Sheet Creation and Indexing with Named Boundaries - Civil Workflow” or “Sheet Creation and Indexing with Named Boundaries – Building Workflow.”