Workzones & Overlay Drafting

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Workzones & OVERLAY drafting

ACADUI Workzones are quite distinct from AutoCAD's Workspace, LAYERSTATE and Sheet-set concepts. Because LAYERS-UI uses the last six characters of 12 character layer names to identify the drawing type, view point and specific view that objects with that layer name belong to ACADUI is able to automatically filter layers by name into specific WORKZONES.  This facilitates the process of combining multiple drawing types and multiple plan, section or elevation levels in a single model by using Layer control to selectively view, edit or plot individual drawings.

LAYERS-UI generates and manages layers semi-automatically according to the function and level of the drawing being created so that an entire model can be built in the one location while keeping each level and drawing type individually visually separate.   This is similar to the concept of using the VPLAYER command in Tilemode 0 (Paperspace) to control the visibility of layers within the floating Viewports but applies also to Tilemode 1 (Modelspace).  Information can be both separated and combined level by level and drawing function by function.  The big difference between ACADUI and generic AutoCAD is that this is all automated using single commands to create layers and resolve layer visibility in both Paperspace and Modelspace while keeping the entire model as one unified co-located collection of drawing objects. The ability to view and edit multiple levels and drawing types concurrently allows checking of alignment and interaction of drawing objects. An added benefit is the ability to copy one floor level to another while automatically adjusting layer names with a single command.

LAYERS-UI commands manage layer visibility in a composite model:
(model separated laterally to show some of the components)


LAYERS-UI uses a built-in automated Layer naming protocol to create and manage Layer names.  Names are made up of twelve characters with the last six characters defining the Workzone.   Workzone definitions permit the resolution of each drawing from all the others combined in a single model.  A LAYERS-UI name will be something like “WAL37-511P01”. The first five being a specification of the drawn object, the fifth its status in the construction or manufacturing process and the final six being the Drawing-type,Viewpoint and view ID, e.g. 511P01 = General arrangement Plan level 01. (GP01 for short).

Automatic layer creation dialogue: 
(Scroll columns for additional options Pick options as required.)

A typical LAYERS-UI command is LR (Layer Resolve) that prompts the user to enter layer field codes for Drawing-type, View-Point and view-ID and will then freeze and thaw relevant layers to reveal the required drawing. 

Layer commands guide user through layer naming and reject errors:
(Command line temporarily expanded to show process)

In a crowded drawing environment it might also be convenient to allow elevations and sections to partially interfere with each other, particularly when dimensions, notes or grid-lines from one elevation interfere with those of another. 

LR+ (Layer Resolve plus) and LR- (Layer Resolve minus) allow for various combinations of drawings to be compared for alignments and completeness.

LR is designed for Model-space and a complimentary function WR (Workzone Resolve) manages the VPLAYER command in Paper-space to freeze and thaw the contents of Viewports.  ACADUI  performs the WR operation automatically, simply by scanning the layer name of each selected Viewport using the embodied Workzone information to automatically VPLAYER FREEZE and THAW layers as required.

Workzone commands:

The distinction between AutoCAD and ACADUI layer control functions is in the layer naming protocols.  ACADUI 12 character layer names include the Workzone definition in the last six characters. Thus whereas AutoCAD LAYERSTATE functions can only save and restore fixed collections of layers and ignores any new layers created since a State was saved ACADUI's Layer Resolve and Workspace Resolve functions freshly filter ALL layers new and old to produce a correct and up-to-date display thus avoiding the need for new layers to be added by the operator before re-saving the state.

(Note that in the following descriptions although the same Aliases WS and WR are used in the different TILEMODE conditions the ACADUI commands are Tilemode sensitive and execute the correct function for that Tilemode condition). 


In Tilemode ON - Modelspace active: 

WS, Workzone Save, uses AutoCAD's Layerstate Save command to save the current conditions of Layer Freeze and Thaw and requires the operator to supply a Save name.

WR, Workzone Restore (in Tilemode ON) prompts the user for a previously saved name and restores the conditions applying at the time of that Save. This command does not newly Resolve layers.

LR, Layer Resolve, newly resolves layer visibility but does so without changing Viewpoint or UCS. 


In Tilemode OFF - Modelspace active: 

WS, Workzone Save:  Saves the Layerstate and other conditions of the current Viewport similar to Tilemode 1 (above)  but automatically derives a name from the Viewport layer name and Viewport number.  This Workzone can be Restored in Tilemode ON.

WR, Workzone Restore:  As in Tilemode ON this command restores a previously saved Modelspace LAYERSTATE.


In Tilemode OFF - Paperspace active: 

WM, Workzone Make:  Creates a Viewport prompting the user for a Workzone name consisting of Drawing-type, View-point and View-ID.  This name is then used in the layer name of the Viewport.  The user is required to draw a rectangle for the Viewport.

WS, Workzone Save:  Saves an existing Workzone prompting the user to select a Viewport then uses the layer name of the Viewport and the Viewport Number to save a named Viewpoint and UCS.  This enables WR  to Restore a previously saved Viewpoint and UCS.  This command is very useful for allowing restoration of a pre-saved view in a floating Viewport after editing within an active Viewport.  Avoids unlocking and re-locking and re-focussing of image and resetting of layers within Viewports that have been edited with Modelspace active.

WR, Workzone Resolve:  Resolves  a Viewport using VPLAYER FREEZE and THAW to Resolve all current layers defined by the Workzone embodied in its layer name. It also restores  a Viewpoint and UCS if previously saved by the WS command. If a Workzone has not previously been saved the WR command will Resolve the layers but not change the Viewpoint and UCS and then WS  Workzone Save the Viewport as above.    One or more Viewports may be selected for processing.  Note that WR Resolves all current layers unlike AutoCAD's Layerstate Restore command that only restores the conditions applying at the time of an earlier Save,  The user is not required to enter Workzone names for floating Viewports as these are recovered from the Viewport Layer names.


Related Workzone and Layer Tools:

UZ (UCS Z axis) allows the rotation of the UCS around the Z axis.

UV (UCS View) rotates the UCS to match the current view.

VU (View UCS) or PLAN rotates the view (together with the UCSICON) to the orthographic position and adjusts the zoom to approximate the starting condition.

PLAN (AutoCAD command) rotates the view to the orthographic position but does a Zoom-Extents.

WZ (Workzone Z axis) is a combination of UZ and VU.  It rotates the UCS around the Z axis, rotates the view to match the UCS and rotates the view and UCSICON to the orthographic position.

L* (Thaw and Turn on all layers)

L# (Turn on all unfrozen layers)