DraftLogic Electrical 4.1: Now AutoCAD 2013 + 2014 Compatible, 140+ New Devices, Genius Luminaire Tags

October 4th, 2013

The world’s first building electrical design expert system just got even smarter!

In addition to the minimum 200% building electrical design productivity increase we have always provided, now you can create your own luminaire naming systems and have them implemented completely automatically. We have also added over 140 new devices, including combo emergency / exit lighting. Release 4.1 also adds compatibility with both the 32bit and 64bit versions of AutoCAD 2013 and AutoCAD 2014.

There is also a smattering of performance tweaks, process improvements, and issue resolutions. Finally, for our CEC users, the default feeder selections have been modified to use the 75 degree column.

We strongly recommend that all DraftLogic Electrical users update to 4.1.

Important Details

Luminaire Type Naming Now Retained & New Naming Systems

The 4.1 release of DraftLogic Electrical will now remember your selections and the last used names for luminaire types. No more changing type assignments between executions of the Luminaire Schedule and Luminaire Catalogue, unless you want to change them.

The enhancements to luminaire type naming also include a number of new luminaire type naming systems & provides you with the ability to add your own new naming systems. The current ‘categorize by light source into numerical ranges’ system remains available among a number of new ones that are ready to go (‘Light Source Subcats: ### ‘).

There is also a new dialog to give you the ability to change TYPE selections for any CODE or TYPE, no more messing with AutoCAD Quick Select & Find/Replace.

See this forums item for details: http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=148

 
Controlling Which Motors Show on the Single Line Diagram

With the 4.1 release of DraftLogic Electrical in October 2013, you now have more granular control over which motors show up on the Single Line Diagram.

There is a new parameter in the ‘Motors’ parameters category, ‘Motor Display on Single Line Minimum FLA’ for you to set the FLA cutoff for motors to be shown. This value is the minimum FLA for a motor to appear the Single Line Diagram. As before, MDP & MCC motors are always shown.

See this forums item for details: http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=150

 
Suite Protection Calculation Factor

In the 4.1 release of DraftLogic Electrical, shipped October 2013, the protection calculation factor has been split apart for suite panels and all other panels. Now when you run any report that uses the Load Calculator, if you have any suites they will use the new ‘Suite Protection calc Factor (%; No min)’ project parameter for their feeder and protection calculations. The default value on this new parameter is 0% versus 25% for the ‘Protection calc Factor (%; CEC Min 25)’ project parameter.

See this forums item for details: http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=149

 
CEC Feeder Calculations Updated

The CEC feeder calculations have been updated to use the 75 Degree Column on Tables 2 & 4 in compliance with recent CEC direction. If your organization desires to default to a different column, please contact us for a database script to meet your needs.

See this web page for the details about all tables referred to in the CEC and NEC by DraftLogic Electrical: http://www.draftlogic.com/cms_pages.php?id=157

 

New Building Electrical Design Symbols

Over 140 new symbols have been added to our already-robust symbol library of building electrical design symbology. The new arrivals include such things as combination emergency floodlight / exit signs.

http://www.draftlogic.com/cms_pages.php?id=162

In addition to a large number of new devices added to the symbol library, many existing symbols have been enhanced with additional attributes.

*** As per all releases that affect symbols in any way, please run ‘PDLFIXBLOCK’ to update the symbols in a drawing that you started in a prior version of DraftLogic Electrical. There is more information on ‘PDLFIXBLOCK’ at the bottom of this forums entry: http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=142

 

Regards,
Dean Whitford
Chief Executive Officer
DraftLogic
Phone 780-906-2888 (9AM to 6PM MTN time)
Email dwhitford@draftlogic.com
Blog http://www.draftlogic.com/blog
Visit us on the Internet: www.draftlogic.com

DraftLogic Electrical and Untrained Users…A Cautionary Tale

May 13th, 2013

This cautionary tale applies to all software that provides any degree of automation, herein we will focus in on the DraftLogic Electrical building electrical design expert system.

The Power of Automation…and Power Tools

Comparing the productivity of DraftLogic Electrical versus raw AutoCAD, Revit, or the MEP versions thereof is like comparing a jackhammer to a 10 pound sledgehammer…the productivity difference on a job of any material size is immense!

The Danger of Automation…and Power Tools

Similar to the jackhammer versus sledgehammer comparison, however, the user of the tool must know how to properly use the tool. An untrained jackhammer user is likely to hurt themselves rather than do a quality job in an efficient manner without injury. DraftLogic Electrical adds lots of building electrical design functionality to AutoCAD. Much of this functionality is highly automated expert systems tools.  Typically, the more a particular tool does for you, the more important it is to provide good base data to that tool.

A designer untrained in the use of DraftLogic Electrical is highly likely to feed bad data into the expert system automation and thus make things harder for themselves. How can a designer create bad data? Well, AutoCAD is basically a completely open design environment…you can design what you want how you want. This is great for design flexibility, not so great when you are trying to help a user create a CEC or NEC compliant building electrical design and using expert systems automation to help the user get to a completed design a lot faster.

What are some of the things that untrained users can do that will make trouble for themselves?  A good example is failing to use the Circuit Manager to create relationships between distribution devices. Users manually filling in the parent ID and circuit attributes on distribution devices will often mistype in one or the other, or leave one of them completely blank. They will also use the same circuit number for multiple devices. Phase, pole, and voltage incompatibilities are often created. None of these things can happen when the Circuit Manager is used–that’s why the training videos tell users to use the Circuit Manager many times.

The Cautionary Tale

I recently assisted a client with a fair-sized project, likely 400 person hours of design work if done in raw AutoCAD or AutoCAD MEP…more if done in Revit or Revit MEP. The project was started by one user on DraftLogic Electrical but due to resource constraints in the design firm was handed to another user early on. Unfortunately, only the initial user had taken the time to carefully go through the training program.

The second user ended up manually populating their circuiting relationships, with errors in almost every one, rather than using the Circuit Manager & also manually populated feeders rather than let DraftLogic Electrical supply code-compliant feeders for everything and only after that override those select few feeders that are desired different from a basic code compliant calculation. These errors jammed up the reporting automation completely.

Much badness resulted: I had to perform a detailed review on the drawing, the user was frustrated because their project was halted, and after my review they had to rework basically all of their distribution circuiting. We got everything sorted out and put the project back on track, but at a cost–the project should have taken 120 hours or less in DraftLogic Electrical rather than 400 in AutoCAD but due to the errors I am pretty sure the hours ran up to over 250.

Let Their Painful Lesson Save You the Same

In summation, AutoCAD is the wild, wild west for the variety of data that a user can create. In DraftLogic Electrical we attempt to balance between placing restrictions to ensure that users create good data versus not restricting their design efforts. It’s a tough balancing act, and throwing an untrained user into the mix is highly likely to make problems for all concerned. So please ensure that anyone you desire to enjoy the DraftLogic Productivity boost is given ample time to learn how to use DraftLogic Electrical properly. Their ongoing productivity gains from efficiently using everything that DraftLogic Electrical has to offer will make the upfront few days training time investment completely insignificant.

 

Regards,
Dean Whitford
Chief Executive Officer
DraftLogic
Phone 780-906-2888 (9AM to 6PM MTN time)
Email dwhitford@draftlogic.com
Blog http://www.draftlogic.com/blog
Visit us on the Internet: www.draftlogic.com

 

DraftLogic Electrical: 2013 Soon, Revit Best Source Data

January 31st, 2013

Greetings DraftLogic Electrical Users!

We hope that the New Year is progressing well for you & that 2012 credit card hangovers have started to heal.

No new release this month, but updates on several topics: the next release, a Revit export done right is the best source, features list, and reporting on attribute values.

Next Release—AutoCAD 2013 Compatible

DraftLogic Electrical V4.0 is scheduled for release at the end of February or very early March.  This release will maintain compatibility with all the AutoCAD versions we used to support and add AutoCAD 2013 (32bit and x64).  There will be a Release Candidate available early for those who want to run AutoCAD 2013 ‘now’.  See this blog entry for more details on where we are at and about the Release Candidate.

For anyone who has installed or is installing AutoCAD 2013 and desires to keep older versions of AutoCAD around, see this forums item about a ‘non-error’ error dialog you might run into.

 

Revit Export to DWG Done Right is the Best Source

If you have spent any time doing electrical design, you know that one of your highest risks in any project is in dealing with what the architect supplies as a source floor plan for your electrical design.  This is true whether you are using DraftLogic Electrical or not.  Since DraftLogic Electrical needs room and floor boundaries to do everything it can for you, your time in what we call the ‘Drawing Discovery’ phase of work is purely dependent on the quality and completeness of what the architect supplies.

Want to minimize your time spent in ‘Drawing Discovery’ but still want top quality room boundaries?  If the project architect is using Revit and is willing to check off one extra checkbox during their ‘Export to DWG’ process, you can end up with ready-to-use room boundaries!

See this forums entry for more details about the export process.

See this webpage for details on how to utilize the better source data and get out of ‘Drawing Discovery’ quickly with great room boundaries.

 

Can DraftLogic Electrical Do This?

Many of the support questions we get are related to things folks want to do with DraftLogic Electrical & they think DraftLogic Electrical is not able to do what they want in that regard.  We find that a fair number of these questions actually tie into an existing function that the user in question simply did not know existed!  So to answer the questions you or others in your company may have regarding ‘Can DraftLogic Electrical do this?’, we have compiled a functional inventory.

See these two webpages for the current list:  features A & features B, or click here to download the PDF version.

 

Reporting on Attribute Values

When you design in DraftLogic Electrical, you create a wealth of information in the electrical design symbols’ attributes.  This is especially true if you are an avid user of the ‘Remarks’ attributes.  It is very easy to create reports of any of these attribute values, see this forums item to download a ready-to-use reporting template and for instructions on how to use it.

 

Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

Regards,
Dean Whitford
Chief Executive Officer
DraftLogic
Phone 780-906-2888 (9AM to 6PM MTN time)
Email dwhitford@draftlogic.com
Blog http://www.draftlogic.com/blog
Visit us on the Internet: www.draftlogic.com

AutoCAD 2013 Compatibility Update

January 31st, 2013

We have been hard at work on our AutoCAD 2013 compatibility for some time now, and are very close to being able to release it to you.

The Big Picture

AutoCAD 2013 is the start of a new ‘family’ of AutoCADs (usually three years makes a family), and it is the new family starts where Autodesk typically makes their big moves in regards to the API (application programming interface).  Everyone that wants their application to work on AutoCAD 2013 versus 2012 or earlier needed to update to minimum Visual Studio 2010 in order to be able to generate executables of the higher .NET Framework level required by AutoCAD 2013.  Also typically, once developers like DraftLogic Inc. have migrated their software to run with the first member of a new AutoCAD family, it is no work or minimal work to maintain compatibility with the next two members of the family  :)

Our Status Today

We have the bulk of the work done & have started to use the new version internally for all our testing and demonstration purposes.

For anyone that has been eagerly awaiting our AutoCAD 2013 version, we are happy to arrange a Release Candidate update for you.  This involves updating a few folders and one file & setting up your profile manually in AutoCAD 3013 (unless it was migrated automatically like mine was when I installed AutoCAD 2013), estimated total time 10 minutes.  Contact me if you are interested!

A Release Candidate should be available within a week (i.e. February 7) followed a few weeks later by the full release of DraftLogic Electrical 4.0 which will be compatible with AutoCAD 2007 to AutoCAD 2013.

Regards,
Dean Whitford
Chief Executive Officer
DraftLogic
Phone 780-906-2888 (9AM to 6PM MTN time)
Email dwhitford@draftlogic.com
Blog http://www.draftlogic.com/blog
Visit us on the Internet: www.draftlogic.com

Winter is Here and So is a New Release

November 16th, 2012

Welcome to winter!

DraftLogic Inc. has a gift for you to soften the blow of the oncoming cold season.  On Monday, we will release the latest version of DraftLogic Electrical, V3.0.0.671.  The new benefits in this version coupled with the benefits from the optional upgrades in September and October make this release strongly recommended.

 

Data, Fiber, Voice, Coaxial Symbols

The first round of our symbols updating efforts is ready for release.  We have added new fiber communications symbols and new combo (data, voice, and coaxial) symbols.  All communications symbols have been enhanced to show on plots, in abbreviated format, the number of ports/jacks they have on them.  For example: 2D, 2D/2V, 2F, and 2D/2V/1C.  There is now also a list to select details about the jacks, wall plate, or cable on each communication symbol.  Both lists are database driven, so adding / changing / removing items from the list is quick and easy.

 

One Touch Removal of Branch Circuit Wiring Elements

There is a new ‘Erase Lines Keep HR’ tool on the BCW tool palette and in the BCW submenu of the DL Electrical menu.  The tool gives you a one touch removal of BCW elements for those that want to use Automated Branch Circuit Wiring.  You can remove all interconnect related BCW lines and symbols, leaving only home run text blocks and arrows, or use the second offered option to retain home run symbols, like junction boxes, that were placed during Automated Branch Circuit Wiring or manually.  In the future, we will activate a third option that allows you to additionally retain all multicircuit interconnects.

 

More Intelligent Suite Related Bill of Materials and Export to ConEst IntelliBid

Prior to this release, BCW interconnects and home runs were only associated with a particular master suite if they were completely enclosed in the suite in question.  This required you to ensure that such drawing elements were completely in the suite’s service area.  With this release, DraftLogic Electrical will first look at the wire configuration details on BCW interconnects and in home run attributes to determine suite membership.  This association will be used regardless of the location of the interconnect or home run, so suite multiplication will happen as desired even if, for example, an interconnect runs outside the walls of the suite’s service area.  Only in the case where the wire configuration data (that includes the servicing panel) does not exist or is invalid is the location used to determine if the interconnect or home run should be multiplied as per suite contents or not.

 

Protection Overrides Now Smarter Than Us

Prior to this release, you could select an incompatible protection type override and protection size override, for example a 225A fused disconnect.  DraftLogic Electrical would slavishly create the nonexistent for you.  Now, DraftLogic Electrical looks upon the protection type override as ‘king’ and selects a legitimate protection size and frame size based on that.  If you have selected a nonexistent combination, DraftLogic Electrical will select the next highest legitimate protection and frame size.

We have also added more messaging about the rectification and application of overrides through dialogs in the Circuit Manager and warning arrows in Automated Circuiting.

 

Goodies from Optional Upgrades the Last Couple Months

If you haven’t upgraded since the August 28, 2012 V3.0.0.603 release or prior, these blog entries detail what was included in the optional upgrades in September and October:

http://www.draftlogic.com/blog/2012/09/

http://www.draftlogic.com/blog/2012/10/

 

Upgrade Effort

We estimate that running the Client and Server upgrades will take just a few minutes.  Overwriting the three databases completely will take another couple minutes.  If you have Room, Luminaire, Project, or Design Parameter Library records that you have added or modified and desire to keep, it will take another few minutes to run a script to update the DraftLogic database rather than replacing it (the DL-Config and DL-Control do not house any of your data so can be overwritten).

 

We’ll follow up on Monday with a note to point you to the updates and quick instructions on performing the update!  Let me know if you have any comments, questions, or concerns.

 

Regards,
Dean Whitford
Chief Executive Officer
DraftLogic
Phone 780-906-2888 (9AM to 6PM MTN time)
Email dwhitford@draftlogic.com
Blog http://www.draftlogic.com/blog
Visit us on the Internet: www.draftlogic.com

Tips and Optional New Release: Block Clusters Tool Palette and Dead Stripe

October 23rd, 2012

Greetings DraftLogicstitians (?),

 

Some tips, some news, and an optional update for you this week.  Headline items are the release of the block cluster tool palette and the death of the nefarious Stripe.

 

Block Cluster Tool Palette

 

The ‘add new blocks’ work that we started after the last major release is ongoing.  Today we have a palette of block clusters ready for you.  A block cluster is a bundled set of standard DraftLogic Electrical devices that you place with one click.  The devices can have any sort of values/status attached to them that you like:  specific wattage load, usage, emergency service status, etc.  For example, we have a hospital bed headwall that includes a couple quad receptacles (one emergency power serviced), a nurse call, a code blue, and data/telephone ports.  Normally, even with DraftLogic Electricals auto snap and rotate, you are looking at just over 10 mouse clicks and some keyboard strokes to get this all done.  With the block clusters, it is two clicks to place the first cluster and just one more click for each subsequent one.  Think of the time savings in a facility with hundreds of beds!

 

See this forums item for information.

[http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=136]

 

 

High Volume Move & Copy Tools – Stripe is Dead!

 

Remember Stripe, the evil leader of the Gremlins?  Well, I have been hunting him in the high volume move & copy tools for quite some time.  In training, I tell folks to escape out of those tools and restart them if Stripe shows his ugly mug.  Last week we discovered his hiding place and disposed of the nasty green fellow.  The high volume tools now initialize and function as desired all the time!

 

 

Easy Room Creation with BOUNDARY & Room Creation Method Summary

 

Long ago, we experimented with using the AutoCAD BOUNDARY tool as a semi-automated method for room creation in circumstances where Automated Room Creation was not suitable to use.  Since BOUNDARY relies on a good set-up of active layers/lines, we couldn’t reasonably automate its use.  Our newest user Chris reminded me last week of how BOUNDARY can be very handy to ease the making of manual room boundaries.  See this forums item to learn how BOUNDARY  can significantly reduce your time spent when you need to manually draw room boundaries.

[http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=133]

 

Using BOUNDARY gives us a fourth general method for creating rooms.  See this forums item for a summary of each method and when its use is best called for.

[http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=138]

 

 

Expanding on the Use of Room Gap Lines

 

Sometimes it will be of benefit for you to use room gap lines instead of windows.  A great example is where exterior wall offices have glass walls and doors facing into shared office space in a building’s core.  See this forums item for details.

[http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=137]

 

 

Luminaire Tags in Tiny Spaces

 

We recently discovered and partially resolved a sensitivity that the Automated Luminaire Tags code had for tiny spaces, like closet sized or if you use super slim spaces on exterior walls to capture plugs and receptacles mounted on the building exterior.  Before this optional build, Automated Luminaire Tags would halt when it encountered such spaces because it couldn’t find room in the space to place a luminaire tag.  In the optional build being released this week, we have enabled Automated Luminaire Tags to recognize such ‘impossible’ situations and not attempt the placement of a tag.  Sometime in this quarter we’ll take the final step of empowering Automated Luminaire Tags to place a tag near but outside the space so you get automated tags for exterior wall fixtures.  If you want automated tags to work for these exterior spaces, just ensure they are drawn large enough, say 3m minimum face width, to contain a luminaire tag.

 

 

Optional Update Available Later This Week

 

The optional update that includes any DraftLogic Electrical code & tool palettes updates mentioned above will be available later this week, let me know if you desire to take delivery of it.  Will take just a few minutes to run the updates, a bit extra for those that desire to retain additions and changes they have made to any of their four Libraries data.

 

Regards,

Dean Whitford
Chief Executive Officer
DraftLogic
Phone 780-906-2888 (9AM to 6PM MTN time)
Email dwhitford@draftlogic.com
Blog http://www.draftlogic.com/blog
Visit us on the Internet: www.draftlogic.com

 

DraftLogic Electrical News: Luminaire Category Changes, CEC/NEC Tables, and Improved Circuiting Service Areas

October 5th, 2012

Happy Friday-Before-The-Long-Weekend Everyone!

 

DraftLogic Electrical news this week: You Control Luminaire Categories, CEC/NEC Tables Details, and Improved Circuiting Service Area Validation

 

Luminaire Categories In Your Control

 

You have all seen the 41 categories that the luminaires are organized in when you open the Luminaire Library or select luminaires in the Room Library or Attribute Editor in AutoCAD.  Did you also know that the category names, the order of the categories, which category a luminaire is in, and the contents of the list of categories is all under your control?  That’s right, you can add categories, reorganize luminaires into new and different categories, reorder categories, rename categories, and delete categories.  See this forums entry for details on how to do so.

[http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=132]

 

CEC/NEC Tables Details

 

Interested in knowing the tables and columns that DraftLogic Electrical uses for its automatic protection and conductor selection calculations?  If you prefer data from a different table or column to be used at your site, you can update the relevant DraftLogic Electrical table to make it so.  Contact us for the options on making such changes.  See the NEC and CEC Tables webpage for details.

[http://www.draftlogic.com/cms_pages.php?id=157]

 

Improved Circuiting Service Area Validation

 

In a recent training session, one of our trainees discovered a ‘rabbit hole’ where they were allowed to set up an emergency service area to a panel that was then unable to take any emergency circuiting to it.  In some circumstances, the panel type and segregation were not set to allow emergency circuiting, but the circuiting service area setup process allowed the service area to be created.  In other circumstances, the circuiting service area setup process did not allow the service area to be created, which was correct behavior, but it didn’t tell the user why their desires were not being fulfilled.  Both situations were frustrating!  In our current release, which is an optional upgrade of some files (eta to perform 3 minutes),  we have increased the intelligence of the circuiting service area set up code to offer to automatically make destination panels compatible with the service area being set up & furthermore we added all the necessary messaging to let the user know what is going on with their service area creation.  Thanks go to Chris for finding these issues so that we could improve the situation.  Drop me an email or give me a call if you want the files for the optional upgrade.

 

 

Regards,

Dean Whitford
Chief Executive Officer
DraftLogic
Phone 780-906-2888 (9AM to 6PM MTN time)
Email dwhitford@draftlogic.com
Blog http://www.draftlogic.com/blog
Visit us on the Internet: www.draftlogic.com

 

DraftLogic Electrical News: Optional New Dialog, AutoCAD and its Eating Problem, Your Input on Symbols

September 18th, 2012

Good day, Building Electricalizens!

 

This week we have a goodie to offer you, some tips about keeping your workstation running at peak performance, and a request for your input.

 

The New Units Reconciliation Dialog

 

OK, quick survey: everyone who likes having to jump between the units mismatch warning dialog and the Project Library raise your hand! What, nobody???  Well, today you can get an optional upgrade to get the new Units Reconciliation dialog & be done with ‘the old way’.  See this blog (http://www.draftlogic.com/blog/2012/09/new-units-reconciliation-dialog/ ) and this forums entry (http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=129 ) for information.  Contact me if you want the files to do the upgrade—estimated time to perform is two minutes with no database complexities involved.

 

AutoCAD Eats Memory

 

Any long-time CAD user knows about AutoCAD’s tendency to munch memory and not give it back…due to the tens of thousands of automatic operations typically executed in a DraftLogic Electrical session, DraftLogic Electrical  both exacerbates the memory eating and suffers from it.  This forums entry lets you know what to keep an eye on and how to avoid being the victim of plummeting performance due to memory munching.

( http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=130 )

 

Need Your Symbolic Input

 

OK, let’s straighten that out…we don’t need your ‘symbolic’ input, we need your input on symbols aka blocks!  One of our upcoming releases is going to focus on adding blocks to the DraftLogic Electrical CAD Standard.  Let us know what you would like to see included.  We would love to see what you want, so please also send DWG samples of blocks you would like added to DraftLogic Electrical.  Marty & Julie…I know you would like to see a exit light with floods symbol to complement the entries we added to the luminaire library for them in the last release, let us know how you want it to look  :)

 

Regards,
Dean Whitford
Chief Executive Officer
DraftLogic
Phone 780-906-2888 (9AM to 6PM MTN time)
Email dwhitford@draftlogic.com
Blog http://www.draftlogic.com/blog
Visit us on the Internet: www.draftlogic.com

New Units Reconciliation Dialog

September 15th, 2012

OK, quick survey: everyone who likes having to jump between the units mismatch warning dialog and the Project Library raise your hand! What, nobody???

The Old Way

You are probably very familiar with the couple of different dialogs that appear when you start up AutoCAD and the ‘Drawing Unit Represents’ parameter is a different units type versus the type assigned using our hidden tag inside the drawing you are opening. If your AutoCAD acts like mine, it insists on loading a blank template all the time–so I am always getting the units mismatch dialog telling me what the project units are and offering to change the drawing to be the same. Much of the time, I need to change the active project so end up opening the Project Library to sort that out & then having to reload the drawing to get everything back in sync.

The New Way

Today we are pleased to introduce the new ‘Units Reconciliation Dialog’, which enables you to see each of: the active project, what the units are set to for that project, and what units the drawing you are opening is set to. You can also change any of these three right on the Units Reconciliation Dialog–changes to the project insofar as units setting and which project is active are all sent back to the database and synchronized with the Project Library. So now we have a ‘one stop’ dialog on load to smooth out the selection of active project and units.

Please see the forums for more detail on what the new Units Reconciliation Dialog looks like and how to use it: http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=129
Contact me if you want to get this dialog now, this is an optional upgrade that involves updating just one file in the \Server folder and one set of files in the \Client\bin directory–estimated time for the upgrade two minutes.

Regards,
Dean Whitford
Chief Executive Officer
DraftLogic Inc.
Phone 780-906-2888 (9AM to 6PM MTN time)
Email dwhitford@draftlogic.com
Blog http://www.draftlogic.com/blog
Visit us on the Internet: www.draftlogic.com

New Release 3.0.0.603: Need for Speed II, Block Clusters Introduction, and Data Updates

August 28th, 2012

Greetings DraftLogicers,

We are pleased to release build 3.0.0.603 to you. This release focuses on further improving the new Drawing Validation, a vast speed jump in Automated Circuiting, data updates that affect conductor and protection selection, and introducing a new feature–‘block clusters’!  What follows is a summary of the differences between this build and the prior.  Given the extra functionality and fixes, we strongly recommend you implement this build ASAP.

NEED FOR SPEED II

Automated Circuiting’s main function has been vastly sped up.  Small projects will complete Automated Circuiting in about half the time (i.e. our tutorial school now completes in about a minute versus just over two minutes prior).  Large projects will see even more of a speed increase, for example a 350K ft2 fitness center used to take about 37 minutes for Automated Circuiting on one of our test machines, now takes about 8 minutes on that machine, about a five times speed increase.

BLOCK CLUSTERS

Have you ever needed to put a repetitive cluster of the same blocks to service the same type of device throughout a project?  It gets pretty boring after the first five, or ten, or twenty, right?  Well, the same auto placement and auto snap and rotate features that you have seen in action for single blocks in DraftLogic Electrical can be applied to groups of blocks.  In this build, we have dipped our toes in those waters and included a couple of new rules that support block clusters:  a hospital bed rule and a computer rule.  The hospital bed rule places 4 receptacles and a data/telephone port behind the bed.  Two of the receptacles are pre-tagged as ‘emergency serviced’.  The computer rule places a receptacle for the computer and a data/telephone port alongside it.  So block clusters can contain any combination of DraftLogic Electrical blocks & they will retain all of your attribute and xdata settings that you had when you create the block cluster.  In a near future release, we’ll add a tool palette to support some premade clusters and to support ones you make.

In conjunction with the release of this new ‘Computer’ autoplacement rule, we have downgraded the existing ‘Desk Receptacle’ rule to specifically look for desks rather than doing so but falling back to placing a receptacle opposite the door if desk not found, now will only place receptacle behind desk.  I would recommend only mapping computers during drawing mapping if they are in the architect source unless you want both the regular desk receptacle and the computer package where desks + computers are both mappable from the source.  Alternatively, if you have desks as blocks or closed polylines in the source but no computers, you can choose to map the desks to computers if you want the computer block cluster for each desk.  To support the new rule, we have added ‘Computer’ as destination category in Drawing Mapping Wizard so if there are blocks representing computers or a layer with closed polylines representing computers they can be mapped during the Drawing Mapping process.

There is information on making more types of block clusters added to the forums at: http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=122

 

DATA TABLES UPDATES

This release includes 124 additional luminaires (now 1,638), 36 additional room definitions (now 1,554), and some additional project and design parameter templates.  We have gone through each and every table that affects protection and conductor selection and made a number of updates.  Some other tables have also been updated, like the addition of a computer rule that you can apply to rooms that applies a receptacle+data block cluster to computers & hospital bed clusters that apply four blocks to beds in hospital rooms.

 

AUTOMATIC DRAWING VALIDATION 

The  automatic drawing validation feature included in the last release checks your drawing for the most common trouble spots.  It will completely automatically fix issues that we are 100% confident can be resolved without your interaction & identify the rest with error arrows.  This tool checks out the issues that are behind about 70% of our support calls, specifically issues with:  room boundaries, room IDs, floor boundaries, floor match blocks, duplicate blocks, and bad polylines.  In  this version, we have added some more automatic fixers, added more issue identifications, and also excluded some ‘non-issues’ that were causing false positive issue identifications.

See the Drawing validation forums entry for detail on what it does and how to take advantage of it, changes for this release have been appended to the bottom of the original entry:

http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=116

The near-zero length polyline cleanup will affect those who edit DraftLogic Electrical block definitions, please review this forums item if you plan on editing DraftLogic Electrical blocks, including block clusters:

http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=126

As you probably already noticed, the Automated Drawing Validation threatens that you must resolve critical issues before you can continue…this is hot air right now, we are not yet preventing anyone from continuing with known issues.  This will be left this way until we are comfortable that the validation checks are all identifying only valid issues & when we do make a change, you’ll still have an ‘out’ to simply continue onward with the identified issues left as-is.

 

OSNAPS ACTIVE MANAGEMENT IMPROVED AND NOW OPTIONAL

Osnaps Active Management has been audited, over 200 instances of it have been checked to ensure that user osnaps are saved and restored before/after DraftLogic Electrical functions.  Also, we have added a user preference to allow expert CAD users to disable the Osnaps Active Management, see this forums entry for details:

http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=124

ACAD x64 ISSUE RESOLVED

This release includes resolution of the harmless-but-annoying Automated Exception error on exit from AutoCAD 2011 after using Automated BCW, it manifested as an empty dialog box in AutoCAD 2012.  See this forums entry for information: http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=123

NEW CLIENT and SERVER UPDATE INSTALLS

For those who have already updated to DraftLogic Electrical V3.0.0.545, we have new update installers to take you from 3.0.0.545 up to this version (3.0.0.603).  The server and client update installers take care of all the updates except the database update for now.  If you were not already at V3.0.0.545, contact me to plan your update as the update installs may not catch everything that is out of date on your installation.

 

IMPLEMENTING THE RELEASE

For those who have already upgraded to V3.0, this update will take 10-15 minutes.  See the attached instructions on downloading and installing, it has been written to apply to this and future updates so file references are generic (files specific to this update are mentioned below).

 

Give me a call or drop me an email if you want to arrange a time for me to execute the updates or a complete V3.0 installation for you via WebEx.

 

The two upgrade packages & database update needed for this specific update are:

‘DraftLogic_Electrical_V3.0_ServerUpdateOnly_603.exe’

‘DraftLogic_Electrical_V3.0_ClientUpdateOnly_603.exe’

‘DraftLogicDatabaseUpdate_3.0.0.603_20120828.zip’

The database update is for all three databases.  Refer to the attached update manual for details on whether you need to do anything with your database pointers or not.

*** If, however, you have added data that you desire to retain in any of your four libraries, you MUST contact me and let me know what data you have added & we need to execute a manual update by running SQL scripts to make the updates without harming your added data!

Regards,
Dean Whitford
Chief Executive Officer
DraftLogic
Phone 780-906-2888 (9AM to 6PM MTN time)
Email dwhitford@draftlogic.com
Blog http://www.draftlogic.com/blog
Visit us on the Internet: www.draftlogic.com