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multi geometry symbols?

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I would like to make a smart symbol with different geometries based on data record pop-up.


This is a set for an opera where a bunch of different objects will be built out of 1" square aluminium tube with plastic connectors in various configurations.


I will be using a lot of these and it would be handy to be able to include the connectors and pipes in reports. 


I can attach a data record to each individual symbol for the connectors and thats fine, but it would really handy to have a pop-up data entry that would change the geometry in the symbol. So if I choose 3-way "T", the appropriate geometry is picked. Is it possible to store multiple geometries in a symbol and show and hide them based on a data record choice? 


Furthermore, I would like to report how many tubes with unit number, length and weight i have used. If I create a symbol for the pipe, how can I make it configurable? I need to be able to change the length of the tube residing inside of the symbol and later populate the record with its weight (length * material weight)


I would like to learn how to approach this. Is it a marionette thing?


Thankful for advice




Edited by fuberator
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Multi-configurations are not a single symbol unless you only need to use one at a time and would consider different configurations in different classes. But it you need two different configs in a single drawing it will fail.


Yes you can do this in either Marionette or as a Plug-In Object.


With Marionette you will have to add extra nodes to explicitly store the data into a record that can be accessed by a worksheet.


With a PIO it might be more complicated to begin with, but all of the data will be in the parameter record and can be accessed directly from the worksheet with no further effort on your part. Also, the data from the PIO can be edited in the worksheet or in the Object Info Palette and the object will adjust.


If you have any programming experience I would recommend Vectorscript (or Pythonscript) and a PIO for what you are trying to do. If you have no programming background Marionette is probably easier.


In either case, start simple and figure out how to draw one configuration and then expand on that rather than starting with a grand concept that will be much harder to implement.

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