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Now this is really cool!! This article, written by Mr. Thor Leslie, explores the uses of 3D custom linestyles and even includes an exercise to do!
Caution: Regarding MicroStation pre-V8: Custom linestyles created in a 3D file will not display in a 2D file. This has been resolved in MicroStation V8.
How many elements do you think this took to produce this 3D model?
Well, if you answered four then you would have been correct. The four elements are custom linestyles: one line for the stair, one for the handrail, one for the conveyor and one for the skirts and guards. Interested? Then read on!
MicroStation is delivered with seven basic linestyles that we're all familiar with and most of us are content to use these without ever having to use a custom linestyle. However, custom linestyles are available for the user to define and with a little practise you can incorporate them into your designs.
As with most learning experiences, I found myself in a position needing to produce a simple custom linestyle. It was a line complete with a balloon on one end and a dot on the other. Never having created custom linestyle, I refered to the manuals and Inga's two articles:
Give your files some style...with Custom Line Styles - Part 1
Give your files some style...with Custom Line Styles - Part 2
I managed to create the linestyle by assigning two point symbols, a dot and a balloon to the line. Once I got the concept firmly planted in my brain I experimented with “maybe this could be a 3D point cell”. Bingo! It worked!
Next came these questions: How can I utilize this? What are the limitations? What are the rules? And, what will it achieve for me?
Having worked with 3D modeling since MicroStation V4, my greatest desire was to create a handrail. Having used PDS, I knew that it was possible to place handrails using third party applications, but had not found a way using MicroStation “out of the box” to achieve this same task.
I managed to create a series of handrails and place them in the plan (top) view and discovered that I could use all the linear modification tools to manipulate my custom linestyles to my hearts desire. I could copy parallel, project to another line, insert vertex, break line, change linestyle, extend by a specific distance, extend 2 elements to intersection, modify, delete vertex, trim and so on.
I then turned my efforts to “what else can I define?” and ended up creating stairs, ladders, ladder cages, columns with baseplates and foundations, bracing, beams, conveyor modules, conveyor skirts with guards, conveyor trusses, crash barriers, windrows, chains, bolts and piperacks. Just about anything that has a repeating symbol along it's length can be created.
What will it do?
By placing a custom line in a file and you can: