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Autodesk Architectural Desktop: The Detailer - Part 1

By Ed Goldberg
Last month I shared some interesting Autodesk Architectural Desktop Release
3.0/3.3 productivity hints with everyone. This month and next month I want to talk
about Architectural Desktop's Detailer tool.
The Detailer
If you are new to Autodesk Architectural Desktop 3.0/3.3, you probably haven't
heard of the Detailer. This set of routines has been included with Autodesk
Architectural Desktop since Release 1, but is seldom mentioned. The Detailer does
exactly what the name implies: it aids in the creation of 2D details. Take the
following steps to install the program if it is not already installed:

Figure 1: Use Explore to look at the contents of the Autodesk Architectural


Desktop 3 CD.

Figure 2: Double-click the Details folder to see its contents.

1.
2.
3.
4.

Place the Autodesk Architectural Desktop CD in the CD drive.


When the installer tries to install the software, cancel the operation.
Double-click the My Computer icon on your Windows desktop to bring
up Windows Explorer.
Select the Autodesk Architectural Desktop 3 CD icon, right-click, and
select Explore from the drop-down menu that displays to show the contents
of the CD (see Figure 1). The explorer window displays.

Installing the Detailer Program


1. Double-click on the Details folder to show its contents (see Figure 2).

Figure 3: Double-click setup.exe to install the Detailer.

2. Double-click the setup.exe icon to install the program (see Figure 3).

Figure 4: The Detailer has four modules.

Figure 5: The Details Manager fly-out menu.

Starting the Detailer


1.
2.
3.
4.

Start Autodesk Architectural Desktop 3.0/3.3 in the standard manner.


Right-click in any viewport and select Options from the drop-down
contextual menu that displays to bring up the Options dialog box.
Select the Profiles tab.
Select AEC Detail, click the Set Current button, and then click OK to
close the dialog box.

The main menu should now include the Details drop-down list. As you can see in
Figure 4, the Detailer consists of four modules: the Detail Manager, Compose
Details, Detail Utilities, and Annotation.
Using the Detailer
Note: The Detailer does not take advantage of Autodesk Architectural
Desktop's multiple document capability.
The Detailer modules provide the following capabilities:
Details Manager: This module is used to set up scales and to organize
and insert details.
Compose Details: This module gives you access to materials by CSI
division numbers, as well as routines to create and modify steel base plates, shear

plates, and steel connection angles.

Figure 6: The Compose Details fly-out menu.

Figure 7: The Detail Utilities fly-out menu.

Detail Utilities: This module allows you to modify materials in your


Details, as well as automate the creation of holes, ellipses, and slots. There is also
a routine for quickly creating concrete keyways.
Annotation: This module includes routines for automatically labeling
your details as well as routines for adding welding symbols and notes.

Figure 8: The Annotation fly-out menu.

Figure 9: Use the Detailer's Drawing Scale and Units dialog


box to set the scale of your detail.

The Detail Manager... Hands On


1. Start Autodesk Architectural Desktop 3.0/3.3
2. Select File > New from the main menu, and create a new drawing using the
AEC arch [imperial-intl].dwt template.
3. Right-click in any viewport and select Options from the drop-down contextual
menu that displays to bring up the Options dialog box.
4. Select the Profiles tab.
5. Select AEC Detail, click the Set Current button, and then click OK to close the
dialog box.
6. Select the Model layout tab.
7. Select Details > Detail Manager > Setup New Detail from the main menu to
bring up the Drawing Scale and Units dialog box.
8. Select the 1 " = 1'-0" drawing scale, and click OK (see Figure 9).
9. Draw the detail shown in Figure 10, or download the file from here.

Download (zip - 107 Kb)

Figure 10: Download file for use in this tutorial. Create your own if you wish.

Figure 11: Save your detail with its title and description in a library.

10. Select Details > Detail Manager > Create Detail from the main menu.
11. The command line should read "[Detail Creation in progress] Insertion base
point."
12. Select the lower-left corner of the detail you have drawn.
13. Select the entire detail with a crossing window.
The command line should tell you that the original drawing factors have been
restored. This is fine since you had only set the scale for your detail, and the
Detailer was resetting your drawing editor back to the scale of your drawing.
14. Accept the default <Yes> when the command line asks "Save Detail to
library?" to bring up the Save Detail dialog box.
15. Fill in the boxes as shown in Figure 11, and then click OK to close this dialog
box.

Figure 12: Insert your detail using the Detailer's Insert Detail
command.

16. Type N at the command line when asked if you wish to "Insert Detail<:Yes>?"
For the purpose of demonstration, close the drawing, and start a new drawing. Be
sure to select the AEC Detail Profile.
1. Start Autodesk Architectural Desktop 3.0/3.3
2. Select File > New from the main menu, and create a new drawing using the
AEC arch [imperial-intl].dwt template.

3. Right-click in any viewport and select Options from the drop-down contextual
menu that displays to bring up the Options dialog box.
4. Select the Profiles tab.
5. Select AEC Details, click the Set Current button, and then click OK to close the
dialog box.
6. Select the Work-FLR Layout tab.
7. Change to Paperspace.
8. Select Details > Detail Manager > Insert Detail from the main menu to bring up
the Library File dialog box.
9. Select Typ Wall from the Drawing list, and click OK (see Figure 12).

View Larger Image


Figure 13: The detail is inserted in PaperSpace.

Figure 14: The detail is automatically inserted with title, scale, and
reference numbers.

10. Accept the default at the command line <Block>, and press the Enter key.
11. Place the detail by clicking on a location in your drawing.
12. Press the Enter key to accept the default <0> Rotation angle.
13. Accept the default <Yes>to the command-line question "Add detail title?" by
again pressing the Enter key.
14. At "Detail identification:" enter 1, and press the Enter key.
15. At "Detail reference:" enter A3, and press the Enter key.

16. At "Drawing Sheet:" enter A3, and press the Enter key.
17. Select a point at the lower left of your detail, and then select a point at the
upper right of your detail to complete the command (see Figures 13 and 14).
You have now inserted and labeled your first custom detail from your library.
Using the Detailer, you can create, customize, and store dozens of details for use
in your Autodesk Architectural Desktop 3.0/3.3 drawings.
Next month we will continue to explore the Detailer.