Adding a New Hardware Item to the Foundation Library

Overview: Adding a New Hardware Item to the Foundation Library

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview on the process of adding custom hardware items to your Foundation Library. The process is similar for pulls, hinges, catches, locks, latches etc. A more comprehensive tutorial on working with Hardware can be found in the Associative Hardware Tutorial article. 

Add the Material to the Database

1. Create the location of the Hardware:
To organize your hardware items, navigate to the Hardware Library tab in the Material File at the Library level. Locate the appropriate folder for the item, such as Hinges, Locks, Pulls, etc. If a suitable brand or category is not available, create a new one.
As an example, if the hinge being added is from the brand Hafele, but it is not a concealed hinge, create a new subfolder labeled "Institutional" within the Hafele category for proper classification.

2. Create the Hardware Material: 
To add a new hardware item to the Hardware Library, first locate a similar item in terms of dimension (distance between holes) as a reference. For example, you can use a Hinge Plate Blum Straight 0mm Knock-In as a reference for the Hinge Plate Hafele Aximat and a Hinge Rockford Institutional Five Knuckle Overlay 376 for the Hinge Overlay.

Right-click on the reference item, select Copy Selection to Another Category and choose the desired folder. Rename the copied hardware item to match the corresponding drawing saved in the Graphics folder by right-clicking on it and selecting Edit Selected Material.

Adding an @ symbol at the end of the Hinge name will add the measurement for the distance the hinge is offset from the edge of the door to the center of the hinge cup. Formulas are written to use the value in the hinge name first. If not found, then it will use the value of Hinge Offset From Edge Global Variable.

Adding New Hardware to the Database

There are two options to edit the parameters for the new Hardware items to match the drawings and dimensions:

  1. Right-click the Hardware in the Material File and select "Hardware Machine Tokens" where you can then add a token and edit the parameters.

  1. Copy and paste the Hardware Machine Tokens from a Hardware Material with similar dimensions in the H! worksheet, then customize the parameters to fit the new Hardware. This method allows for faster data entry, use of the Find & Replace tool, and the ability to compare multiple tokens at once.

Setting Defaults in the LookUpTables

It is possible to change the default hinge type in the H! Workbook by editing the name in the LookUpTableHingeBrandDefaults. To do this, you can add your desired hinge brand to the bottom of the table under the "Default Hinge Table" section. If the hinge brand already exists in the workbook, you can navigate to the corresponding door type and change the name under the selected door type to match the name of the hinge you created in the Hardware Material File. This will save you time by not having to manually change the hinge type in the Hardware Wizard every time you use it, especially if you frequently use the same hinge type. Other default Hardware materials such as locks and lift up systems can be edited here. 

Adding a 3D Image for a New Hardware Item

To include a new hardware material in the library with its corresponding drawing, you can either create the drawing yourself or download it from an external source. Once you have the drawing, you can save it in the "Hardware" folder within the "Graphics" directory of the Path to Microvellum Data. This will allow you to see and use these images in your 2D/3D product drawings. 

To locate the Microvellum Factory Data folder, select Help > Browse to Factory Data. The Graphics\Hardware folder is located therein. Save the .dwg Hardware with the same name as entered into Microvellum.

Once the drawing has been saved in the Hardware folder, select the Microvellum Icon in the top left of the Toolbox window > select Open > navigate to the newly added .dwg file and select it. 

To accurately position the center of the drill hole at the origin in your drawing, you can utilize the Rotate, Move, or 3DROTATE commands. For example, this hinge hardware requires the 0,0,0 of the drawing be the center of the 35mm cup hole.

It is essential to ensure that the units of your drawing match the Insertion Scale, as this will affect the size of your hardware item. You can check the Insertion Scale by typing "UNITS" in the command line and verifying that it is set to inches if you are working in Imperial units, or millimeters if you are working in Metric units. To confirm that your units are correct, you can use the DI (Distance) command to measure a part of your hardware item. If the measurement is not as expected, you may need to adjust the Insertion Scale to ensure that your hardware part is drawn at the correct size. MVUnits custom property is required to tell Microvellum that it can scale the drawing as needed. 

Save the Drawing. 

Using the command PURGE, you will be able to eliminate any unused/named objects such as block defiinitions and layers. This may be necessary to rid the drawing of any blocks with no instances in the drawing and have your hardware show up correctly. 

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