Formula Driven Hardware Drawing and Other Changes (Overview)

Formula Driven Hardware Drawing & Other Changes (Overview)

Microvellum build 15.6.1806, and greater contain several material-related improvements involving the way we work with hardware. See the figures below for screenshots of the new interface and text below that for a brief description or each change.


Fig. 01 – Access Point for Material Edit Screen



Fig. 02 – Specification Group Screen for Hardware Library Access Point



Fig. 03 – Current Formula Type Material Edit Screen with Text Displayed in Red for the Evaluated Formula



Fig. 04 – Current Non-Formula Standard Type Material Edit Screen



Fig. 05 – Previous Build Material Edit Screen


3D Drawing Name from a Formula

Microvellum now contains the ability to add a 3D drawing name from a formula. This is possible with program build 15.6.1806 or greater. Program builds in that range support this ability with most recent libraries, but you may need to add the required data if it does not already contain it. As of October 2019, the only default library to contain formula-driven hardware materials is the Office Furniture 001.1 Metric Library.

Before this change, using a standard hardware item (non-formula-driven), you could use the same associative block for multiple hardware items by giving the associative block a generic name and placing that generic name in the block name field for multiple items. For example, the specific hardware item “Epco 96mm Brushed Chrome” could use the generic 3D associative block named “Pull Wire Straight 96mm.” That same generic 3D associative block could be used with other specific 96mm wire pulls as well. The problem was that previously, that ability was not available for formula-driven hardware materials. As of the program build noted above, that has changed, and it now supports formula-driven materials.

There are two distinct types of Microvellum materials – formula materials and non-formula (traditional) materials. Formula materials are displayed in red in both the list of materials and in the edit material screen. You cannot convert a non-formula material to a formula material.

Fig. 6 – Current Hardware Library List Screen with Text Displayed in Red for Formula Material



Fig. 7 – Current Formula Type Material Edit Screen with Text Displayed in Red for the Evaluated Formula


Dual Access to Hardware Drawings

Also, as of the program build noted above, formula-driven hardware materials will now store the hardware drawing name and the 2D elevation drawing name in the spreadsheet instead of only in the database. Therefore, they both may be formula-driven.

Improved Flexibility of 3D Associative Drawings

A third change increases the flexibility of the options for displaying a 3D drawing of associative hardware. Previously, the drawing name had to match the hardware name for 3D associative hardware. For example, if you had a hardware item named “Epco 96mm Brushed Chrome,” your 3D drawing had to be named “3D_Epco 96mm Brushed Chrome,” so the two would find each other and the correct hardware drawing would be used.

That is no longer the case as an additional property has been added to hardware items with which you use to specify a 3D Associative Drawing name for the hardware item. If this is populated, it will be used instead of looking for an AutoCAD drawing of the same name as the hardware item. This property can also be formula-driven if the material is formula-driven.

You may use either the Add Formula Material interface, the Edit Selected Material for a formula material or the “H” workbook of the spreadsheet.

Fig. 08 – Formula Type Material Displayed on the “H” Workbook


New Hardware Properties

We have added four new properties to materials: Extended Data 1, Extended Data 2, Extended Data 3, and Labor Value. These properties can be used to store additional information about the material. Three of those four properties (Extended Data 1, 2, 3) exist in three tables of the work order database – Parts, Hardware, and Sheets. One of the four (Labor Value) exists in the parts table and hardware table. From there, you may use them in reports.

Other Material Improvements

  1. Edit material interface can now be resized.
  2. Hide parameters for materials that did not use them in the edit material interface.
  3. Copy material will now allow you to cancel and not copy materials to the project level.
  4. All materials will now be sorted in the material tree in alpha-numeric order.
  5. Allow the ability to edit spreadsheet formula-driven values and update to material in the interface.
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