Project Drawing and Database Management
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Design Master Electrical allows you to create intelligent entities on your drawings. This intelligence is what makes Design Master powerful, as it enables the software to perform many engineering calculations, eliminating the need to complete them by hand. These intelligent entities are stored in both your project drawings and in a project database. This database is a new concept for many of our customers and thus may require you to adjust how you think about, organize, and handle your projects and drawing files.
When you start a new project in a drawing using Design Master Electrical, a database file will be created in the same folder as the drawing. The file will be named dm_elec.dm. If you entered a project name when starting the project, that will be included at the end of the file name (e.g. the project name "Seattle" will create a file named "dm_elecSeattle.dm"). This is the database file where all of the information about your project is stored. Your project drawings are now connected to this database file, and the information contained in the drawings and the database must match.
Changes to your drawings require that you consider the implications those changes have on the database. The following is a list of common scenarios and how you should handle them when working on a Design Master Electrical project:
Each project needs to be in a separate folder. There will be one dm_elec.dm database file in each folder. All of the drawing files for the project need to be in the same folder as the database. You should not copy drawings from one project to another.
Saving Your Changes
Always save your changes to a drawing with Design Master Electrical devices in it. Never close a drawing without saving your changes.
The changes you make to the drawing are immediately saved to the database. If you close the drawing without saving, the database no longer matches the drawing.
If you forget and close a drawing without saving, or AutoCAD crashes, use the DM Electrical->Database Utilities->Coordinate Drawing and Database command to make the drawing and database match again.
Creating a Backup
To back up your project, you need to copy both the drawings and the database file. Copying just the drawings is not enough.
Copying the whole folder to a new location is a simple way to make a backup.
You can also use the DM Electrical->Database Utilities->Copy or Backup Project command.
To try an alternative design in your project, make a copy of the project. Treat the alternative design as a separate project.
Either copy the whole folder to a new location or use the DM Electrical->Database Utilities->Copy or Backup Project command.
Copying a Drawing
To copy a drawing that contains Design Master devices, use the DM Electrical->Database Utilities->Copy Drawing command. This will create an exact copy of the drawing in the project folder.
The devices on the new drawing that were circuited in the original will still be circuited. This causes your loads in your panel schedule to double. If this is not what you want, connect the devices on the new drawing to different circuits.
(You can use Windows Explorer or the AutoCAD saveas command to copy a drawing. These methods add some complications so we do not recommend them.)
Renaming a Drawing
To rename a drawing that contains Design Master devices, use the DM Electrical->Database Utilities->Rename Drawing command. This will rename the drawing. The original drawing will no longer exist.
(You can use Windows Explorer or the AutoCAD saveas command to rename a drawing. These methods add some complications so we do not recommend them.)
AutoCAD crashes can leave your drawing and your database in an inconsistent state. This is a special situation that needs to be handled carefully to prevent your database from being corrupted.
AutoCAD Created a Recover Drawing
If AutoCAD created a recovery drawing, try to open that file. If it opens, compare it with the original drawing file. Decide which you want to use. If you want to use the recovery drawing, rename the original drawing something different using Windows Explorer, and rename the recovery drawing to the original drawing name using Windows Explorer. Run the DM Electrical->Database Utilities->Coordinate Drawing and Database command in the drawing to make the drawing and database match, then continue working.
If you choose to work in the original drawing, delete any recovery drawings that were created. Run the DM Electrical->Database Utilities->Coordinate Drawing and Database command in the original drawing to make the drawing and database match, then continue working.
AutoCAD Did Not Create a Recover Drawing
If AutoCAD did not create a recover drawing, then you have to open your original drawing. Run the DM Electrical->Database Utilities->Coordinate Drawing and Database command in the drawing to make the drawing and database match, then continue working.
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