(New in SS3) Drawing Seeds in DGN Libraries

The process of creating drawings and sheets is a complex operation since it involves several subsystems. The outcome is effectively a chain of objects as follows: Clip Volume > Saved View > Drawing Model > Reference Attachment in Drawing Model > Sheet Model > Reference Attachment in Sheet Model > Drawing Title.

The following poster describes these objects and their relationships.


In order to comply with your company’s CAD standards, each of these objects needs to be configured according to a seed or template that is pre-specified by your CAD Administrator. This is where drawing seeds come into picture. A drawing seed is simply a complete chain of these essential objects, pre-configured by a CAD Administrator in a DGNLib. One or more of such DGNLibs are shared among the team members. A DgnLib can contain several drawing seeds. Open the delivered DrawingSeed.dgnlib from Workspace\System\Dgnlib and inspect the Saved Views dialog and the Models dialog to get an idea.

Now, let us try to use one of these drawing seeds. In your master file, start the Place Section Callout tool (from Tools > Detailing Symbols). In the Tool Settings dialog, notice a drop-down called “Drawing Seed:”. Expand it to see the list of drawing seeds available in DGNLibs. They are classified by two essential properties - Discipline and Purpose. For convenience, the drawing seed ‘Section_English_C’ is set up according to ANSI C sheet size and ‘Section_Metric_A2’ is set up according to ISO A2 sheet size. One more point to note is that ‘Section_English_C’ follows the ‘Design > Drawing > Sheet’ model hierarchy where as ‘Section_English_C_SheetOnly’ follows ‘Design > Sheet’.

Select one of the drawing seeds and proceed to place the section callout on your model geometry. When placement is completed, the Create Drawing dialog comes up with the settings pre-populated from your drawing seed. Click OK button to complete the creation of your drawing and sheet chain. To understand the details of which settings are inherited from where, go to MicroStation Help > Composing Drawings > Drawing Composition > Automating Dynamic Views > Source of Settings for Saved Views and References.

 Refer to the (VBA Macro) Automating Drawing Composition Workflow blog for a sample VB code to automate drawing and sheet creation using Drawing Seeds.