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Re: AUTOCAD: "Parametric" Sizing of Structural Sections

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Bill Polhemus wrote:
From: "Polhemus, Bill" <bill.polhemus(--nospam--at)>
Subject: AUTOCAD: "Parametric" Sizing of Structural Sections
To: seaint(--nospam--at)

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I haven't had that much time to fiddle with Autocad LT 2006 since
obtaining it last week. But I did run across something this morning that
was intriguing.

There is a menu of "civil/structural" entities available, just a few of
which are of intense interest but one I played with was the "Wide Flange
Steel Section". You click the menu button and it creates a "generic" WF
section. But what's REALLY cool is, you can click on one of the
"handles" and up pops a menu of a whole bunch of WF steel section sizes
arranged alphanumerically by the AISC designation! All you have to do is
select the right one and *voila!* you have that section right there on
your drawing!

Although this is pretty dang cool in itself (especially as it is
integrated into ACAD and you therefore don't have to purchase a
third-party library), what I'm really intrigued about is how this works.
Is it possible that you can create your very own library of shapes with
parametric values available for input? This would be "keen."

As I said, I haven't had time to look at this--and I upgraded from ACAD
LT 2002, and have 2004 here on my machine at the office, so I don't know
if it came in with 2005. Someone out there may have more hands-on
experience. If so, I'd like your comments.

I have Architectural Desktop 2006 and it has a similar feature. If it is the same, there is a database of section properties. You can modify these and create additional sizes that run within a paramentric routine. I'm not sure how these are created as 2006 changed to XML programing to be compatible with MS Office and othter products. Originally, this was part of the Softek AutoArchiect package that was an add-in to Autocad. Then when they created Autocad Architectural Desktop 2 the sections were included but hidden in a directory that you had to seach for in order to install. Now it is fully integrated into ADT 2005 and ADT 2006. You can modify the databases but you need MS Access to do this. I found that the free "Open Office" (this was the opensource Star Office) contains an "Access" compatible database function and I downloaded this so that I could use some of the features legally since there was an issue with the MS Office Standard for Students and Teachers. There is no restriction on the current Open Office and the interface is the same as Excel and Word but I have not worked with the database functions yet.

For those who are interested, there is also a new Developers Kit for TEDDS 8.0. CSC/Softek is hoping some of us will start developing tools to use that integrate into TEDDS in the same way as their analysis for steel and wood sections do. Personally, I see all kinds of possibilities for proprietary wood products like the full line of residential TJI sections as well as the commercial sections and even integtation with Simpson, USP and other hangers. If I can do this as time permits, I'll post them for download on the Structuralist.Net.

One final comment - there is a major change to the Structuralist.Net website coming - more integration of the Blogs and an easier navigation system on a new web page design. The pages will have more links to direct material (product) and published code information and less rhetoric on my part. I hope you will visit the new site which I am working with now, but will probably not load on the website until August. If you see it up now, please remember that the Blogs and Lists are connected as well be the download section, but other information resources are still under construction

I'm glad to see some compatiblity on the Lite version for those who can't afford to upgrade to the ADT 2006 version.




Dennis S. Wish, PE
California Professional Engineer
Structural Engineering Consultant (Photo Blog) (Launch to Professional Discussion Blogs)


760.564.0884 (office - fax)

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