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RE: Exporting Bill of Materials from Aut

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G Vishwanath,

Have you considered exporting the BOM to a database program instead of a 
spreadsheet?  Can you export the BOM as a Comma Delineated Variable 
(CDV)/Comma Separated Variable (CSV) text file.  Then you can import it into 
a database file indexed on the length field plus shape field (or vice versa, 
depending on how your client wants the output listed) and,

   COUNT FOR LENGTH = mvlength TO FILE etc., etc. (or something similar)

The database program that I use, FOXPRO, permits using delimiters other than 
commas or spaces.  For my old ship's crew member roster, I use the $ as the 
delimiter as it is highly unlikely that a dollar sign would appear in 
anyone's address or telephone number.


A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

G Vishwanath wrote:

. > Dear List members,

. > We are working on a Steel Detaling job with about 60
. > sheets.
. > All the drawings are almost ready.
. > The Bill of materials  has been entered in the
. > drawings by our draughtsmen. We use Acad 14.

. > The client has suddenly asked for a tabulated summary
. > of all sections with the same length for the entire
. > set of 60 drgs for this project.

. > For example he wants the following information:

. > W 8x13              10'   long       15 numbers
. > W 8x13             12' 6" long       20 numbers
. > L4x3 1/2 x 1/4         8" long       40 numbers
. > etc. etc.

. > The simple but laborious way to do it is to enter the
. > data from the drawing into a spread sheet and sort it
. > and process it using spread sheet techniques.

. > However, I am not too keen on using this method (it
. > will be my last resort if smarter ways are not
. > available by Monday evening ). We may make mistakes
. > while transferring the data to the spreadsheet. 
. > Besides I may have to do this again and again in
. > future also. I am looking for a better solution. 

. > I tried copying the text of the  bill of materials in
. > the drg to the clipboard and using Paste Special in
. > Excel. It pasted the contents as a picture. I could
. > not parse the entries into separate columns nor could
. > I arrange each line in a separate row which is
. > necessary to process the data in Excel.

. > The entries in the Bill of materials are on a separate
. > layer in the drawing.

. > If there is a direct way to select the entire bill of
. > materials and convert each line of the Bill of
. > materials in the drawing to plain ascii text, and save
. > it in a file,  I can do the rest. My Excel skills are
. > above average. I have only a nodding familiarity with
. > Autocad 14 / 2000 commands. I was confident with using
. > Acad 10 for Dos 10 years ago. I haven't kept pace with
. > the developments since then.

. > While we are working on this I would welcome any
. > helpful suggestions on how to do this the "quick and
. > smart" way. 

. > I have done the reverse of this problem without any
. > difficulty before. We made the bill of materials in a
. > spread sheet and pasted it into the Acad drawing.

. > In this project , entries in the bill of materials
. > have already been made by the draftsmen as text.

. > Writing  a lisp routine for this will be considered
. > later. (Any available already ?)  We have some young
. > Autolisp Gurus here who will be eager to work on this
. > problem after the drawings are shipped.  But I need to
. > get these drgs out  in the beginning of next week so
. > there is no time to attempt AutoLisp programming now.
. > Besides the people who can do the job are pre-occupied
. > with finalising the drawings.

. > I have (from previous experience) realised that the
. > young and the smart jump on to the Autolisp bandwagon
. > too early when problems like this arise. That's
. > because they love this work. 

. > But sometimes it pays to wait  and see if Autocad
. > already has a facility, which is hidden away several
. > levels deep in some obscure and rarely used menu item,
. > which makes Autolisp programming unnecessary. 

. > The drafting team uses  Acad 14. But I have one copy
. > of Acad 2000 on my system which can also be used for
. > this purpose. I am hoping that  with so many
. > improvements in Autocad since Rel 10, there must be a
. > way to do this in Autocad itself with a few deft
. > clicks of the mouse.

. > Any ad hoc ideas or suggestions are welcome. 

. > I normally post questions like this related to steel
. > detailing on another list of which I am a menber. I
. > have done it already. I am hoping some of the members
. > on this list will also be able to suggest something
. > useful.

. > Have a happy weekend. (Not for us. We work tomorrow,
. > like we do on all Saturdays)

. > Regards
. > G Vishwanath

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