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One-Line Diagrams: Creating Custom Blocks

Friday, December 11th, 2015

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Several blocks are included in the default customization with our software. If you do not find graphics in our included blocks that you like, you can create your own.

Creating a Custom Block from Entities Inserted on the Current Drawing

The simplest way to create a block is to use the Create Block from Entities command.

Ribbon: DM: Customization->Block Creation->Create One-Line Block from Entities

Pulldown Menu: DM->Customization->Block Creation->Create One-Line Diagram Block from Entities

Before you run the command, draw what the block should look like in your CAD program. You can insert a block you have previously created or draw it from scratch.

Once the graphics look correct, run the command. A dialog box will appear with the following settings to configure your block:

 

Block Drawing File Name: The name of the drawing file that will be created to store this custom block. Enter a name you can use to determine when this block should be used.

 

Folder: By default, the block will be saved in your customization folder. Generally, this should not be changed. If you do change it, the block needs to eventually end up in a support path recognized by your CAD program for our software to use it.

 

Move Entities to Layer 0: If this box is checked, all of the entities in the block will be moved to layer 0. Our blocks treat layers the same way your CAD program does. If you are unfamiliar with making blocks in your CAD program, leave this box checked. If you are experienced with making blocks and know what layers you want to use, you can uncheck this box and set the layers manually.

 

Block Type: Whether the block is being created for a piece of Distribution Equipment; an equipment connection or other Branch Circuit Device; a block that will be inserted on a Feeder, such as overcurrent protection or a fuse; or a Meter. The type you select will control which block list it will be added to.

 

Upstream Connection Points: The number of connection points for upstream devices. The upstream connection point is used for the default ending location of the feeder to the distribution equipment or branch circuit device. This field is disabled for feeders and meters.

Select None if the block will not be used for distribution equipment that has a feeder, such as a utility transformer or generator.

Select Two if the block will have two incoming feeders, such as a transfer switch or UPS.

 

Upstream Feeder Connection Direction: The direction the upstream feeder will come from to connect to the distribution equipment. It can come from the left, above, or below. This value is used during the dm_elec-old-drawRiser Generate Riser command for the initial placement of the feeder. This field is disabled for feeders and meters.

 

Downstream Connection Point: Whether the equipment has a connection point for downstream feeders. The downstream connection point is used for the default starting location of any feeders leaving the equipment. This field is disabled for feeders and meters.

 

Downstream Feeder Connection Direction: The direction the downstream feeders will leave the distribution equipment. The feeder can go to the right, to above, or to below. This value is used during the dm_elec-old-drawRiser Generate Riser command for the initial placement of the feeder. This field is disabled for feeders and meters.

 

Create Slide: Slides are used in the dialog boxes to display a preview of the block. If this box is checked a slide will be created based upon the block automatically.

Block Color: The color of the block in the slide that is created.

 

Create record in project database: Whether the block is added to the list in the current project. Check this box to immediately insert the block in your project. Uncheck it if you do not plan to use it in the current project.

Create record in master database: Whether the block is added to the list in the master database. If this block is added to the master database, it will be included for use in all projects that are created after it is added. To add the block to projects that have already been created, use the Copy Master List to Project command after the block has been added.

Display Name: The name displayed for the block in the block selection list.

After everything is set correctly, press the OK button to create the block. You will be prompted to select the entities to use in the block and specify the connection points if appropriate. The slide will be created and the records in the block lists will be added if requested.

Creating a Custom Block from an Existing Drawing

If you already have a drawing file for the block you want to use, use the Create Block from This Drawing command to turn it into a block that works with our one-line diagram.

Ribbon: DM: Customization->Block Creation->Create One-Line Diagram Block from This Drawing

Pulldown Menu: DM->Customization->Block Creation->Create One-Line Diagram Block from This Drawing

Open the drawing in your CAD program and make sure it has all of the graphics in it that you want to include. Then, run the above command to add some additional information for use as a one-line diagram block. You will be asked a series of questions about how the block will be used and for the locations of various connection points.

For more information about this command, visit the Create One-Line Diagram Block from This Drawing page of the Design Master Electrical User Manual. The command works the same way in Design Master Electrical RT.

Creating a Panel Box or Custom Block with Labels

 
 

Distribution equipment can be represented by a special entity we call a panel box. It is a resizable box that can have a bus bar and a few other graphics included in it. Typically, panel boxes will be configured the same way for most panels in your projects. You can use the Create Block from One-Line Diagram command to save a panel box layout that you have created. You can also use the command to save the label layout of a custom block.

Ribbon: DM: Customization->Block Creation->Create One-Line Diagram Block from One-Line Diagram

Pulldown Menu: DM->Customization->Block Creation->Create One-Line Diagram Block from One-Line Diagram

Before you run the command, insert a piece of distribution equipment using our custom panel box entity. Set the size and shape of the rectangle correctly. Turn the bus bar on or off as desired and locate the main disconnect. If you insert a meter on the bus bar, the meter will be saved and inserted along with the panel box.

Insert any labels you want to have on the panel box or custom block. Their locations and settings will be saved.

Once the panel box or custom block looks correct, run the command. A dialog box will appear that is similar to the Create Block from Entities dialog box described above. The connection points for a panel box will be based upon the location of the bus bar. The connection points for a custom block will be based upon the original definition of the block. The slide fields are left out because a slide will be created automatically.

After everything is set correctly, press the OK button to create the block. Select the panel box or custom block. You can also choose to select additional entities at this time. These entities will be inserted at the same time. You can use these additional entities for graphics you want to include beyond the basic box, bus bar, and labels. For example, you could add graphics that represent a ground wire.

Once you have selected all of the entities, a custom block and slide will be created. The block is used like other custom blocks for distribution equipment. If the block is based on a panel box, it will still behave like a panel box and its size and shape can be modified. Labels will be inserted along with the block. You can modify them using our standard label commands.

Updating the Image Displayed in the Dialog Boxes

 

The various Create Blocks commands also create a slide file. The slide file is used to display a preview of the block when it is selected in a dialog box. The slide file has the same name as the block file, but uses an SLD extension instead of DWG.

If a slide did not get created or you want to change it, you can use the Create Slide command.

Ribbon: DM: Customization->Block Creation->Create Slide

Pulldown Menu: DM->Customization->Block Creation->Create Slide

Before running the command, stage how you want the image to look. The slide will be a snapshot of what is currently on your drawing. Once you are happy with how it looks, run the Create Slide command. You will be prompted to enter a name for the slide, then draw a box around the area of the drawing to use for the slide.

To use the slide for a specific block, the slide file name must be the same as the block file name.

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