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#23344 by Mark Toce
Tue May 01, 2007 2:51 pm
Using smart walls will save you a lot of time, but understanding a few things will make it easy to master them:
  • Type rules how the wall looks in both 2D (Plan) and 3D (Perspective).
  • Control Line determines the reference line (or “anchor”) for a wall.
  • Node determines the look and behavior of wall ends and intersections.
  • Types - Various wall types are listed in the leftmost panel of the Wall Type Manager. Once you load a wall type, you can activate it and use it in your drawing. Some wall properties (number of lines, width, and caps and openings) are type-dependent, so you can change them only in the Wall Type Manager – but not while you are drawing or editing your design. Other wall properties (control line, Z-Base and Z-Height) are type-independent, so you can change them while you are drawing. Display / Rendering Attributes can be either type-dependent, or type-independent (Use current settings).
  • Control Line – You decide which line (outside, center, inside, line 2, or line 3 options are available, depending on the wall type you loaded) you want to use when you are drawing your structure. The control line is type-independent, so you can change it when necessary while you are drawing
  • Nodes – At intersections and wall ends, nodes influence how two wall surfaces interact as far as cleaning, moving, and stretching are concerned. DataCAD automatically inserts nodes (indicated by an X) when you start or end a wall or when you make a corner. Virtual nodes (indicated by an open diamond) are automatically inserted when two walls cross (for example, at an X intersection) or when you place a smart door or window on a wall. Of course, you can use Edit Walls to add, delete, or convert nodes and virtual nodes.
Before you set up your drawing, there is one important fact to remember: smart walls must all be on the same layer if you want them to clean to each other. That means exterior walls will not clean to interior walls if they are on different layers. Doors and windows do not have to be on the same layer as walls (for example, walls can be on Layer 1 and windows on Layer 2).

:arrow: To create walls with smart entities:
  1. Make sure you are on the layer that contains your walls. This assures that the walls will be able to clean properly.
  2. Go to the Edit menu in the Menu Window and select Architect.
  3. Toggle on Auto 3D in the Architect menu. The Walls menu appears. This allows you to work with the smart entities. If Auto 3D is toggled off, you can draw walls the old-fashioned way.
  4. Select Manage to display the Wall Type Manager dialog box. Notice that the default is a 2-line wall suitable for an interior wall. If this is what you want, just select OK and begin drawing walls. Otherwise, make sure a checkmark appears in the Display External Types box and continue to refine your choices.

    Image
  5. Select the wall type you would like to use instead of the default by double-clicking or by highlighting it and clicking on Load. Notice that when you make a selection, the illustration in the preview window and the wall and line properties change.
  6. Refine the wall and line properties by using the options in the Wall Properties, Caps and Openings, and Line Properties sections of the Wall Type Manager.
    • Number of lines – select from the pull-down options (2, 3, or 4) to indicate how many lines will appear in the 2D drawing.
    • Control Line – select from the pull-down options (Outside, Center, Inside, Line 2, or Line 3) to indicate which line is dominant when you are drawing.
    • Caps inherit line properties from – select Inside Wall or Outside Wall. (This option is available for 2-line walls only. On 3- and 4-line walls, material is applied from the outside line to the next one in and from the inside line to the second line from the outside.)
    • Openings inherit line properties from – select Inside Wall or Outside Wall. (This option is available for 2-line walls only. On 3- and 4-line walls, material is applied from the outside line to the next one in and from the inside line to the second line from the outside.)
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      When you use a 3- or 4-line smart wall, the material always extends from the outside face to the next line on the interior of the wall and from the inside face to the second line from the outside wall.
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    • Line – select the line number you want to describe and then make offset and display/rendering attributes choices to control how each line will appear in your drawing. If you are not satisfied with your choices, click Revert. When you want to test your choices for each line, decide which field you want to be active, then click Apply and look at the results in the preview window.
    • Offset from previous – use this option to indicate the width of a 2-line wall or to show the offset for 3- or 4-line walls. Changing the offset values, affects the overall Width shown in the Wall Properties section. Do this for each line except line 1.
    • Use current settings – controls your ability to change display/rendering attributes. If you want to make changes to the color, line type, pen style, and material defaults supplied by DataCAD, click to remove the checkmark from this box.
    • Color – select the line’s color from the pull-down options. Do this for each line.
    • Weight – control the line’s weight for the 2D drawing. Do this for each line.
    • Line Type – select the line’s appearance (Solid, Dotted, Dashed, Dot-Dash, or -dash-) for the 2D drawing. Change the value in the Spacing field to control the line. Do this for each line.
    • Pen Style – select the option you want from the pull-down menu and indicate a Spacing value. Do this for each line. This scale-independent feature always appears and prints in one size.
    • Material – select an option from the pull-down menu to describe the material associated with each line. If you are not satisfied with the available materials, click Load to display the Load Material File dialog box, highlight the option you want, click Open to add that material to the list of available materials, then select it from the pull-down menu. Do this for each line.
  7. Make sure you are satisfied with your choices for each line of the wall, click Save or Save As, name the wall type in the dialog box that appears, and click Save. Your new wall type appears in the Wall Type Manager list.
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    What’s the difference between Save and Save As? When you select Save, the changes you made are stored on the hard disk in place of the original file. That means the original file no longer exists because you wrote over it with your changes. When you select Save As, you supply a new name for the changes you made to the original. That means the original file still exists and the new file you just named contains your customized version.
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  8. Highlight a wall from the list and select Set Active to indicate which type of wall you want to draw. Notice that the name of the active Wall Type is displayed in a red font. Select OK and begin to draw the wall.
:arrow: To quickly access the Wall Type Manager:
  • Press [A] to display the Architect toolbar, toggle Auto 3D on in the Walls menu, and select S from the Architect toolbar or Manage from the Walls menu to open the Wall Type Manager. If Auto 3D is toggled off in the Walls menu and you select S from the Architect toolbar, the old Wall Style Manager dialog box appears.
  • Or select the first button in the Types toolbar
:arrow: To create your own smart wall type:
  1. Select New in the Wall Type Manager.
  2. Enter a distinctive name in the New Wall Type dialog box and select OK.
  3. Highlight the name in the Wall Type Manager’s list and define the wall and line properties.
  4. Select Set Active. Then select OK to exit the Wall Type Manager and begin using it in your drawing.
:arrow: To draw with smart walls:
  1. Highlight the wall you want to use in the Wall Type Manager, select Set Active, and select OK to exit to the drawing window.
  2. Activate Walls in the Walls menu.
  3. Decide which options you want to use in the Walls menu:
    • Trim Out – trims wall segments by the outermost line. If you activate this option, you cannot use Trim In. This option is available only when Clean is activated and Cap is not.
    • Trim In – trims wall segments by the innermost line. If you activate this option, you cannot use Trim Out. This option is available only when Clean is activated and Cap is not.
    • Clean – automatically cleans wall intersections.
      Shortcut: Press the [\] key to toggle Clean on while creating a smart wall.
    • Cap – places a cap at the beginning and ending of each wall segment.
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    Shortcut: Press [Shift]+[\] to toggle Cap on while creating a smart wall.

    If you activate both Cap and Clean, the beginning of the wall is capped, the linked segments are cleaned, and the ending segment is capped.
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  4. Draw your walls.
:arrow: To quickly access activated smart wall types:
  1. Make sure the Types toolbar is displayed. If it isn’t, select Toolbars from the View pull-down menu, check the Types box, and click OK.
  2. Select the wall type that you want to use from the Wall pull-down list on the Types toolbar.
:arrow: To edit smart walls:
  1. Activate Edit Walls in the Walls menu.
  2. Decide which function(s) you want to use on a particular wall segment:
    • Add Node – lets you add segments to an existing wall. Just click near the wall where you want to add the node, then drag your mouse and click to establish the position of the new node.
    • Poly to Wall – converts existing polyline edges into wall segments.
    • Swap In/Out – lets you swap the outside wall line with the inside and vice versa. This is easiest to see when the outside and inside wall lines are different colors.
  3. Activate the function(s) you want to use. Then follow the prompts shown on the Message toolbar.
:arrow: To add an adjoining smart wall to your drawing:
  1. Press [A] to display the Walls menu and make sure Auto 3D is on.
  2. Toggle on Clean and either Trim Out or Trim In (depending on the way you want to trim your walls).
  3. Open the Wall Type Manager, highlight the wall you want to use, select Set Active, and select OK.
  4. Draw the additional walls, starting at one of the existing smart walls.
:arrow: To cut an opening in a smart wall:
  1. Press [A] to display the Walls menu and make sure Auto 3D is on.
  2. Select Openings to display the Openings menu.
  3. Select the Layer that contains the wall you want to cut.
  4. Toggle Cap on if you want to cap each end of the cut.
  5. Select the wall where you want the cut to begin; then select the wall where you want it to end. If you toggled Cap on, each end is capped.
:arrow: To change a smart wall’s base elevation (Z-Base), height elevation (Z-Height), and overall height
  1. Go to the Change menu by pressing [Alt]+[C].
  2. Toggle on Z-Base, type a different value in the insert field, and press [Enter].
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    If you change only the Z-Base of a smart wall, the bottom of the wall will move to the specified Z-Base. The top of the wall will be determined by the wall’s height property. For example, if the original Z-Base was 0 and the Z-Height was 8, the wall was 8 feet high. By changing the Z-Base alone to 4, the wall would still be 8 feet high, making the top reach a height of 12.
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  3. Toggle on Z-Height, type a different value in the insert field, and press [Enter].
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    If you change only the Z-Height or a smart wall, the top of the wall will move to the specified Z-Height. The base of the wall will be determined by the wall’s height property. For example, if the original Z-Base was 0 and the Z-Height was 8, the wall was 8 feet high. By changing the Z-Height alone to 6, the wall would still be 8 feet high, making the base extend down to -2 feet.

    If you change both the Z-Base and Z-Height in the same operation, both the top and bottom of the smart wall will change. For example, if the original Z-Base was 0 and the Z-Height was 8, the wall was 8 feet high. By changing the Z-Base to 6 and the Z-Height to 16, the wall would now be 10 feet high.
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  4. Select the wall to change.
:arrow: To switch between drawing smart walls and regular lines:
  1. Draw the smart walls.
  2. Press the [=] key and draw using regular lines.
  3. Press the [=] key again and return to drawing smart walls.
When you are entering smart walls and have the Walls menu displayed, snapping works like this:
  • If Clean is activated, Pick or Snap projects the node point to the control line of the intersecting wall and cleans the intersection.
  • If Clean is off, Pick or Snap places the node point at the selected point and does not clean the intersection.

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