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Creating simple Parametric Object for repeated use

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As an Exhibit Designer, I have to draw a lot of rectangular Graphics and then keep track of them with Graphic numbers then coordinate with Graphic Designers who then might tweek the sizes slightly for any number of reasons. For years I've been drawing a square placing crossed lines on them to signify them as a graphic and then manually labeling them with a number, typing that number into a spreadsheet, and manually entering their dimensions. Over the years I have evolved so that I can attach a record to a 3D modeled graphic itself from which I can create a schedule this streamlines the process.


What I would really like to do is to have a Parametric tool where I could click and drag a rectangle on a working plane and then enter the Graphic Number, the thickness, and if necessary, enter a new width and hight and have the symbol dimensions respond. I've tried doing this with a scaled symbol (making a 1x1 graphic then scaling it, but I really would like to be able to change the dims without manually entering it also I'v found relying on scaling symbols creates instabilities)


Since it is such a simple shape, I would think that it would be straightforward enough.


Any Ideas?


I would also like to tag items which are embeded in Symbols. Looking at the forum, it appears that this isn't something that can be done. (FYI, you can do this in SketchUp)


I have also been running into a problem that "height and width Appear to change depending on the view you are in when you recalculate the field. is there a way arround this?


Graphic Test.vwx

Edited by iswope
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Your simplest solution may be with Marionette. You can bundle a Marionette network into a PIO, and you don’t need know any programming languages.


This would also be a fairly easy PIO to script. The only question is how important is dragging to create your initial rectangle? If you want the object to have a 2D and 3D component as well as drag to reshape, the code gets a bit more complicated. If you’re fine setting dimensions with the width and height parameters, this should be straight forwards.


If you’re new to scripting, I recommend learning python, as it is a modern and well documented language. I also recommend creating a file with a simple sample object and choosing File>Export>Export to Script. You can open the script in a text editor, find the section on object creation, and have a good start to your code.

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@Pat Stanford Thank you, those threads gave me a few clues as to how to pursue a solution. It sounds like marionette could help me? do you know of a good resourse I could use to learn?


I think I've got a good handle on using records and worksheets to keep track of items. I was more looking for information on parametric objects so I could generate and scale them. For a few dark years I was in a Revit world. I was just starting to use Parametric objects when I switched firms and got back to VWorks. In General, VWorks is far better for what I have to do, but Revit's Parametric Object editor was nice. It seems that making a square panel which can be manipulated should be something pretty straightforward, but I haven't found a resource that I could learn how to create one.


@JBenghiat I looked into Python a while back, I abandoned it because I just got too busy and It has been too long since I did any Coding (high school 35 years ago). Do you have any recommendations for places to learn Marionette? this old dog still has a bit of ability to learn. (hopefully)


As far as the clicking and dragging, It isn't too important for the Graphic's creation, but it is important for resizing since many Graphic sizes are determined by the surrounding structure. a good Example is @Kennedyme's wall, the graphics all need to fit across the wall and between cases. If any of those dimensions change, being able to make a grid then clicking and dragging the graphic's edges to fit the grid is a huge advantage over having to do the math. also, I was thinking that using the plane of the Graphic Substrate to attach the graphic might be a good way to orient the graphic.

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