Archive for June, 2012

Speed and Usability Focused New Release 3.0.0.545

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Greetings DraftLogicers,

 

We are pleased to release build 3.0.0.545 to you.  We have been very busy since our March 2012 release, we have some excellent new speed and usability features to share with you!  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.  Detailed update instructions are available, please email me if you have not already received them.  Call Dean at 780-906-2888 if you need any assistance in doing the updates.

THE NEED FOR SPEED

Do you feel the need for speed?  So do we!  We’re always optimizing the speed with which our functions complete, usually getting a few percent here and there, so good but not headline news.

Well, this build includes about a 75% increase in speed in our ‘Load Calculator’.  “So what,” you say, “I never run the Load Calculator.”?  Well, in reality, you run the Load Calculator with all reports that have anything to do with power tree protection or conductors…so that includes the Single Line Diagram, Panel Schedules, Motor Schedule, Kitchen Schedule, and Bill of Materials.  OK, so we know the Load Calculator is an important part of many reports.  Depending on the size and complexity of your power tree, the Load Calculator used to take anywhere from tens of seconds (e.g. our tutorial 26.5K ft2 school) to over an hour (e.g. a 700K ft2 Automated Warehouse/Distribution Center).  That was the March and prior releases.

With this release, the Load Calculator is approximately FOUR TIMES FASTER.  So although you may not notice it too much on small projects, you will definitely notice it on the large projects, i.e. the Single Line Diagram for a 700K ft2 Automated Warehouse/Distribution Center we designed that took 75 minutes start to finish to generate with the prior releases now takes only 16 minutes!

 

ANNOTATION ORGANIZER DIALOG

You asked, we produced:  the DraftLogic Electrical Annotation Organizer now has a snazzy new dialog to run it with!  The dialog allows you to control all aspects of the Annotation Organizer tool & further allows you to create, save, edit, and delete templates of settings.  Our June 2012 release includes the dialog with a number of preloaded templates suitable for the most commonly needed metric and imperial plot scales.

Learn more about how to use the Annotation Organizer through its dialog at this forums entry:

http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=119

Get a quick overview of what the Annotation Organizer does at this web page:

http://www.draftlogic.com/cms_pages.php?id=139

Please give the new user interface for the Annotation Organizer a try and let us know what you think.

AUTOMATIC DRAWING VALIDATION 

We have added an automatic drawing validation that 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.

See the Drawing validation blog entry for the feature announcement:

http://www.draftlogic.com/blog/2012/06/automatic-drawing-validation/

See the Drawing validation forums entry for detail on what it does and how to take advantage of it:

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

 

SUPER LUMINAIRE TAGS PART 2

The new luminaire tags can be placed in several density levels and with a buffer, scale, and maximum service distance that you choose.

The ‘Luminaire Tag Mode’ is the density level that tags will be placed at.  You can select from: One-to-One, Dense, Thin, and One per Room.  You dictate the buffer distance that the luminaire tags will look to have with anything in their collision group (i.e. other lighting related plot items).  The ‘Luminaire Tag Maximum Distance’ is the furthest that a tag can be from a luminaire and still be considered as ‘servicing’ it for the Dense & Thin tag modes.  As per the other parameters, the buffer and maximum distance are input in inches.  The ‘Luminaire Tag Scale’ is a value from .1 to 10 where ’1′ means the tags are placed at the same scale as the luminaires.  Smaller values (i.e. below 1) will result in tags that are smaller relative to the luminaires, and larger values mean the reverse.  Lastly, ‘Luminaire Tags Avoid XREF Entities’ is a yes/no value to tell DraftLogic Electrical whether it should attempt to avoid collision with xref’d entities or not.  Typically, the architect source is your xref.

This release includes luminaire tag automated placement with three enhancements versus March’s version:  faster execution, specific handling for centering in tbar cells, and some further enhancements throughout.

Please try the luminaire tag automated placement out with various settings and let us know what you think and if you have any suggestions to enhance the use/results.

See the forums entry for more detail on how to use the new luminaire tag automated placement:

http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=115

See our blog for the announcement of this new functionality:

http://www.draftlogic.com/blog/2012/06/new-and-improved-luminaire-tagspart-2/

 

NEW CLIENT and SERVER UPDATE INSTALLS

For those who have already updated to DraftLogic Electrical V3, we have new update installers to take you from whatever version you were on (i.e. 3.0.0.###) up to this version (3.0.0.545).  The server and client update installers take care of all the updates except the database update for now.

 

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_545.exe’

‘DraftLogic_Electrical_V3.0_ClientUpdateOnly_545.exe’

‘DraftLogicDatabaseUpdate_3.0.0.545_20120625.zip’

 

The database update is for all three databases.  Good news it is the one that does not contain any database pointers, so if you are OK with replacing all your library data with our base library data, you can completely overwrite the ‘DraftLogic’ database as per the attached PDF and you are done.

 

*** 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

 

Annotation Organizer Dialog

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

You asked, we produced:  the DraftLogic Electrical Annotation Organizer now has a snazzy new dialog to run it with!

The dialog allows you to control all aspects of the Annotation Organizer tool & further allows you to create, save, edit, and delete templates of settings.

Our June 2012 release includes the dialog with a number of preloaded templates suitable for the most commonly needed metric and imperial plot scales.

Learn more about how to use the Annotation Organizer through its dialog at this forums entry:

http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=119&sid=e48ca9a13920c08ac804bf4a00b83066

Get a quick overview of what the Annotation Organizer does at this web page:

http://www.draftlogic.com/cms_pages.php?id=139

Please give the new user interface for the Annotation Organizer a try and let us know what you think.

Regards,

Dean Whitford, CEO
DraftLogic Inc.

New and Improved Luminaire Tags…Part 2

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

The June 2012 release of DraftLogic Electrical includes further improved luminaire tag automated placement with three enhancements versus the earlier version: faster execution, specific handling for centering in tbar cells, and some further enhancements throughout.

See the forums entry for more detail on how to use the new luminaire tag automated placement:

http://www.draftlogic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=115&sid=19bdf5d530398a7ce7e7d6f43d4d5315

 

FUTURE ENHANCEMENTS

At some point in the future, we desire to release the luminaire tag automated placement with three enhancements versus today’s version: even faster execution, better logic for maximizing the number of best location placements versus secondary placements, and last but not least, some enhancements based on your feedback.

So, please try the new and improved luminaire tag tool out and let us know how you would like to see it enhanced!

Regards,
Dean Whitford, CEO
DraftLogic Inc.

 

Automatic Drawing Validation

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

After working with a variety of DraftLogic Electrical users for some time, it became apparent that certain issues in the drawings were much more common than any others.  These are issues related to room and floor boundaries & duplicate symbols.  In order to minimize the time that these issues cost our users, DraftLogic Inc. has built an automatic drawing validation tool that will be included in our June 2012 release.

 

What is Checked?

Most of the ways that a room or floor boundary can go wrong are checked, things like unclosed polylines, overlaps, missing or too many floor match symbols and room IDs.  Including these and other checks that are done, there are well over twenty conditions checked in this first release of the automated drawing validation tool.

 

Does the Automatic Drawing Validation Tool Do More Than Identify Issues?

In addition to checking for common issues, the automatic drawing validation tool will resolve issues that have only one possible resolution, saving you immense time in tracking down and fixing this type of issues.  So things like unclosed polylines, zero length lines,  zero length segments in polylines, and completely duplicate blocks are all automatically dealt with and reported to you.

 

When Does the Automatic Validation Happen?

The automatic validation happens on load of any DWG and also at critical points in the reporting process, for example before the single line diagram or panel schedules are created.  You can trigger it anytime you want using the ‘Check Blocks & Polys’ tool from near the bottom of the Drawing Discovery tool group on the Command tool palette.

 

We Need Your Feedback

Please let us know what you think of the drawing validation tool & if there are any tests  you disagree with being done (especially any of the automatically fixed issues) and if you have an idea for another test that would help you with a troublesome area.

Since the test automatically runs on drawing load and we did not want old error arrows causing confusion versus new ones dropped by the drawing validation tool, we are now clearing all error arrows from the DWG on load.  Let us know what you think of this, as it prevents you from leaving unaddressed error arrows in a save for reloading tomorrow.  The only way to do that now would be to WBLOCK the errors out and xref them to the drawing after loading in the new AutoCAD session…so very inconvenient if you want to keep error arrows active between saves!

 

For More Information

See the detailed forums entry about the drawing validation tool at this forums page.

 

Looking forward to your questions & feedback,

Dean Whitford, CEO
DraftLogic Inc.
dwhitford@draftlogic.com
780-906-2888