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How to create a unique symbol

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Hello, I am working on a large file that has about 40 various symbols, each one representing a different length piece of wood trim. All is all, there are about 6,000 pieces of wood trim, made up from these 40 lengths, (or "symbols") The reason for creating these as symbols is so that when the drawing is completely laid out, I will be able to print off a spreadsheet and use it as a cut list for the trim manufacturer.

The problem I am having is that I need to alter some of these pieces of wood symbols in the drawing, without affecting every other piece that is the same symbol. For instance, the drawing has 150 pieces at 60" (this is a symbol called 60" trim). One of these runs into on obstruction and needs to shrink to 58", but if I try to change just this one, it will change all of the others. For the purposes of my spreadsheet, I need to keep the symbol at 60" long, as it will be field cut to the final 58".

There are about 200 of these instances in the drawing, so creating a symbol for each of these smaller trim pieces is not an option.

Does anyone know how I can change some of these symbols here and there, keeping the symbol's count in the spreadsheet, but have the appearance of these symbols be unique in the drawing?

Thanks for any advice!

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In the resource browser, duplicate 60" trim symbol. Rename it 58" trim. Right click on 58" trim symbol in the resource browser and choose Edit and then choose either 2D or 3D. Edit the 2D and/or 3D portions to be 58". (you can jump back and forth between the 2D and 3D parts of the symbol by right clicking on an empty spot in the drawing) Insert the 58" symbol or choose one of the 60" symbols and in the OIP click replace and navigate to the 58" symbol.



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I don't think bhagood is looking to create 200 more symbols, but in VW2009 that is probably the only choice.

A different way of doing this instead of using symbols would be to create a record and store data in there that specifies the "blank" length regardless of what actual length it is cut to in the field.

In VW2011, you have Scalable Symbols so you could shorted the length of a single instance and still get a count of the overall number of "blanks." The problem there is that the symbols scale from the insertion point, so you need to be careful about how you insert the symbols or you will have to shift each instance after you scale them.

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I would look at attaching data to your symbols. This would allow you to change the information attached to the symbol, without duplicating the symbol.

For example, you might have a symbol 60" long, but on the worksheet you could say that the object is cut on site to 58", you could have the workshop cut length and the site cut length.

The symbol would be the same for both objects.

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Would something like this be easier?

Use a symbol for full sticks. Just count them.

Convert the symbol to a group and change the length as needed for cut pieces. Create a database to get their lengths so you have an actual cut list.

This is for a 3D trim. But the 2D analog should also work.

It saves having to enter data for every piece of trim.


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Thanks for all of the replies!-- mk, I think your last post hit the nail on the head for what I need-- a list of blank sizes required, and a drawing that accurately represents what the trim will look like for my installation crew to follow.

I think I will dink around with the file you created and figure out how to apply that to my drawing. I don't have a lot of experience with the records and data, so I am stumbling at best! Might I pick your brain on how you created the database?



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There are probably many ways of doing it. And I bet Pat and Jonathan will be able to offer improvements.

What I did was this:

Set up classes:

Trim - This class is assigned to objects who's length we want to list in the data base.

Profile - Not necessary, but I used it to illustrated where the value of the area of the cross section came from.

- Create an extrude 60" long. Turn it into a symbol. Set the insertion point to something that makes sense.

- When you need a shorter piece, insert the 60" symbol then Command-K (Control-K on a PC) to "desymbolize" it. If the symbol was two or more objects, it turns it into a group. If only one object was in the symbol, you get that object. My symbols were simple extrudes, so I got the extrude. Making changes to the original symbol will NOT be reflected in these objects!

- Grab the handle at the mid point on one end to resize. It's important that you don't grab a corner vertex handle and stretch the profile of the object.

To create the worksheet:

This method of finding the length of a solid object works by finding the volume and dividing by the area of the cross section.

To find the area of the cross section, place the profile of the trim on the drawing and assign it to the profile class.

Select the profile object. In the cell ((D3 on the example) type "=" then

-click little triangle in the upper left corner of the worksheet and choose Paste Function... > Area

-Click the little triangle again and choose Paste Criteria... > Class

NB: There is a note that AREA is an obsolete function and CRITERIAAREA should be used. They both seem to work. AREA returns square inches and CRITERIAAREA returns whatever units you have set for area in File>Document Settings>Units. Probably square feet. You have to keep an eye on this and be ready to multiply or divide by 144 to get the correct result. And we haven't switched to the metric system because why?

Then right click on a row header (4 in the example). Choose Database. A criteria dialog box opens up. You want to get objects whose Class = Trim. I also added a Type = Extrude criteria just incase I inadvertently put something else in that class.

New rows will appear: 4.1 through 4.x. One for each object that meets the criteria. In the cells of row 4 you enter the attribute you are interested in.

-Type "="

-Little triangle > Paste Function...>Volume.

-add "/" and then then click the cell with the profile area or just type in the area.

-multiple or divide by whatever multiple of 12 will allow us to continue using King George's foot as a unit of measure - 'cause that doesn't make us look ridiculous at all.

NB: Same discussion about VOLUME and CRITERIAVOLUME.

If you have lived a virtuous life, data will appear in the column below.

Format the cells (little triangle>Format Cells...>Number>Dimension) to be dimensions.

To count the full length pieces:

- Select one of the symbols

- Click into a cell (NOT a cell whose row header is a .x ~ie. not a row in your database)

- Little Triangle > Paste Function... > COUNT

- Little Triangle > Paste Criteria... > Symbol Name

After you get it looking the way you like, Little triangle > uncheck Database headers. This will make the header row of the database go away.

I'd advise making a test piece of trim of a known length and making sure it comes out correctly. It's easy to multiply by 144 when you mean divide.

Cool trick: If you right click on a row header in the database (ie 4.3) and then left click on the only choice in the flyout "Select Item" the drawing will change to that layer and class (if necessary), zoom to that object, and select it. Great for troubleshooting.

Final NB: This method assumes square cuts on both ends.



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