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How to Make Dashed Ductwork

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

It is possible to make ductwork that is dashed using Design Master HVAC, but there are some limitations.

Set the Layer System Options Correctly

Run the DM HVAC->Customization->Layers->Edit Project List command.

Select the layer system that you want to be dashed n the Layer System grid. Press the Edit System button.

Uncheck the Ducts are solid box.

Set the Main Ductworks to Not Plot

Stay in the Layers dialog box. Keep the layer system that you want to be dashed selected in the Layer System grid.

The layers used for the main ductwork need to be set to not plot. Select the following layer keys in the Layer Key grid in the top right. When each is selected, modify the layer definition in the Layer grid so that the Plot box is not checked.

  • DUCTWORK: EXHAUST
  • DUCTWORK: OUTSIDE AIR
  • DUCTWORK: RETURN
  • DUCTWORK:SUPPLY

Set the Linetype of the Hidden Ductwork Layers

Stay in the Layers dialog box. Keep the layer system that you want to be dashed selected in the Layer System grid.

The layers used for the hidden ductwork needs to be set to the dashed linetype you want to use. elect the following layer keys in the Layer Key grid in the top right. When each is selected, modify the layer definition in the Layer grid so that the Linetype column is set to the dashed linetype.

  • DUCTWORK: EXHAUST-HIDDEN
  • DUCTWORK: OUTSIDE AIR-HIDDEN
  • DUCTWORK: RETURN-HIDDEN
  • DUCTWORK:SUPPLY-HIDDEN

Limitations

The first limitation is that the lines will appear continuous while you are working on the drawing in AutoCAD. It is important for the double-line redraw function that you not freeze the non-plotting duct layers.

The second limitation is that dashed duct systems will no longer generate hidden-lines automatically. You will need to draw those in yourself.

The limitations are an unfortunate result of how AutoCAD generates hidden lines and not something that we can work around.

Updating Existing Drawings

If you make these changes in a project where you already have demo duct drawn, run the DM HVAC->Customization->Layers->Update Drawing Layers to Match Project List command to update the layers in your drawing to match the changes you made in the Layers dialog box.

Redraw the double-line on the demo ductwork using the DM HVAC->2D Drafting->Draw Double Line (Branch) command.

How it Works

Normally, the main ductwork lines are drawn at the proper elevation for the ductwork using faces. Hidden ductwork lines are drawn at a very high elevation.

When the AutoCAD HIDE command is run, the faces properly obscure other faces below them. The dashed hidden lines always appear.

Unfortunately, the face entities used for the main ductwork always appear as a CONTINUOUS linetype, no matter what setting you choose for it.

When you uncheck the Ducts are solid box, the hidden lines are drawn at the same elevation as the faces.

Setting the faces to not plot turns them off so they do not appear on your final drawing and all you see are the dashed hidden lines. The hidden lines can display your dashed linetype.

Even though the faces do not plot, they still hide items, giving you some of the benefits of automatic hidden lines.

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