Using Common Layer Names
Architectural Production Software 2005
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Common layer names

We have found that it can be very helpful to devise a layer strategy that uses common layer names for objects that can be shared between drawings. We will demonstrate this with two examples:

Example 1

The walls and doors from a floor plan could also be used in another plan type, like a reflected ceiling plan.



In this example we have a floor plan with the layers shown above left and a reflected ceiling plan with it's layers shown above right. You will notice that they have two layers in common: the "WALLS" and "DOORS" layers. This allows the same wall lines and door blocks to be used in both plans. You should also notice that the doors are shown in the reflected ceiling plan with a different color, linetype, and (even though you couldn't tell from the images) a different lineweight. This is not by accident, in this example's layer strategy they are to be a lighter pen thickness and dashed when shown in a reflected ceiling plan. When using layer schemes the Software layering system allows common layers to have unique properties in each scheme.

Common layers and XREFs
How you bring in the information that is shared between drawings (the floor plan above) is up to you. The Software layering system works whether you draw the different plan types in a single drawing or XREF in the plan components. The layer system allows for XREFerenced layer names when manipulating layers. In the above example if you had XREF'ed the floor plan in to the reflected ceiling plan the wall and door layers will have the floor plan's filename in the layer name. They might look like "03-123-FLRPLN1|WALLS" & "03-123-FLRPLN1|DOORS". The Software layering system will automatically manipulate all layers that share the same name regardless of which XREF they come from. So the "03-123-FLRPLN1|DOORS" layer will be treated the same as the "DOORS" layer.



Example 2

Another way to use common layer names is in an example with details, wall sections, and building sections.

By carefully selecting which layers are common and which are not we can set up a system where details can be inserted or XREF'ed in to wall sections and wall sections in to building sections with only the appropriate information showing up.

When creating this example layering system we will create it so that each type of drawing has it's own notes, drawing symbols, dimension, and title layers. We will have the layers for objects and section cut lines common to all of the drawing types and then we will separate the fills and only show certain fills depending on the level of detail needed. Details will show all of the fills, wall sections will eliminate some of the fills and building sections will have only the most basic of fills (many don't have any fills in building sections and would not have the "BS-FILL" layer in their scheme). Now lets see how this works in a drawing.

We will start with the details...


We have three details for a project. Each is titled, noted, and uses the layer scheme shown above. We need to construct a wall section that uses these detailed conditions.


We could create our wall section drawing and bring in our sheet title at the scale that we would like (good time to use the DWGSETUP command). We can then either insert or XREF in our details from above (we recommend XREF so any future changes to the detail will reflect in the wall section) and place them where they occur in the wall section. Once the details have been located we can connect the details together using whatever entities are required (it is up to you whether you want to use the detailer commands to connect your details or just lines etc.) Break lines (try the BREAKLIN command), dimensions, and any other information needed can be added (we showed all the added information in blue so you can see how it would connect).



Since our layer scheme for wall sections does not include the detail layers for notes, symbols, dimensions, titles and fills when the wall section layer scheme is made current just the information needed from the details remains visible in the wall section. The image on the left shows the information drawn in the wall section in blue and the details in their normal color so you can see that when the extra detail layers are turned off how the detail information fits right in. The details blend seamlessly inside the wall section with only the correct level of detail shown.

Now lets take this wall section and use it in a building section...


We would start by setting up our drawing title for the building section and then we could either insert or XREF in our wall section we just created above. In this example we are going to assume that each side of our building uses the same section so we will mirror the wall section as shown above. If the other wall was not the same section we would bring in the appropriate wall section and mirror it as needed so they faced each other. Once the wall sections are placed the correct distance apart we can connect them as shown in the right image. The types of objects you use to connect the wall sections is up to you.



Make the building section layer scheme current and the extra information from the wall sections that is not needed in the building sections disappears. Once again we have shown the information drawn in the drawing on the left in blue and the wall section information in it's normal color so that you may see how they fit together. It is now ready for symbols and notes etc.

Note: All of the information from the details and the wall sections is still in the drawing so if you needed to see a note or something  from one of the details or a wall section you could just turn all of the layers on and see everything.

This extra information all conveniently disappears again when the building section layer scheme is viewed or the scheme is made current again. (See "Viewing just the current layer scheme" and "Changing layer schemes" in Using layer schemes)



Is there anything that you find confusing or difficult? Please let us know so we can help!

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