What kinds of things are out there for creating a bill of materials directly from the drawing? I am on a limited budget, so nothing expensive, please. I was wonedering if there was anyone who had done something with AutoLISP or something similar. I am a beginner at this idea of creating one from the drawing itself, even tho I have been using AutoCAD for about 20 years.
Yeah, I'd be interested in hearing peoples thoughts on this too. I've recently had a couple of new clients ask if I can supply a materials list. Years ago I was testing/playing with Arch-T and it's linkage with Timberline Estimating Software. Problem is that Timberline runs about $20,000.
Does anyone know of an add-on to AutoCAD that will generate either a materials list, or some sort of project estimating (i.e. you set the price per linear foot of walls, cabinets etc and it'll generate a report)? And if so, hows the accuracy? I've heard of a couple companies trying different programs out, but none got them to work with more than a +/-20% accuracy which is more or less useless.
I know Chief Architect is supposed to have this ability but I've never used C.A. and don't/won't/can't switch platforms.
I know a little bit about Autolisp, and have made a few small programs, but never tried anything that could be considered intrcate. I am however willing to try. I have been looking a little at the attributes in the4 Autocad Help file and yes, I was thinking of using
3d. I think that would work as well in 2d if you only applied the attributes to one view's parts, such as whatever you consider to be the main view.
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This have tradisionaly been done by blocks and attributes, then for the last 20 years this been about extracting these , ------- like making the drawing into an account where each symbol or block drawing hold the information you then extract for your BOM. But with some major issues there is another way , ------- the direct link to production. This work in a different way than just writing down how many of those to buy ,in what color offering this or that profit. Instead of counting how many meter steel profiles this type or that type, you generate the N.C. codes to acturly produce the structure in an assembly. Now a brick wall is also an assembly, but where you 20 years ago focused on calculating how many bricks and maby even the weight of the whole wall , ------- today 20 years later, you can pull out a representation of that wall, with a Jpg graphic plastered ontop so you can se how this look on a screen. Now that is not much in 20 years, But if you know Lisp C++ is easy ,and easyer to compile into an application , but realy BOM is somthing that you refere as paperwork where the Direct link produce the actural building blocks ,and when you know CAD you also know that you don't need to make every brick alike as you now have a computer at hand. Today you have other options , you don't need to copy the manual bricklaying on a computer screen or calculate how 20 different steel profiles can form a rigid framework , as you can make the computer generate an assembly of totaly different building blocks and be sure they fit together within millimeters. Bilbao was not made that way, but with a more primitive mesh that was one big fight and fiddle to produce in steel pipes. ---------- Today there is a system that both replace the BOM and will produce a Bilbao in the same forms, but with internal and intergrated walls and floors ,that all will ad to strength and transform the idear of a fragile mesh being a hell to assemble, into a reliable framework assembly that from one material only ,will form a building structure any shape even square. By the idear of BOM's you want 20 different steel profiles ,that need knees, hangers and bolts , instead of the 3D-H building idear, where you replace 20 different profiles with sheet material and one material only. BOM's is like placing Lego-Blocks one ontop eachother and have the computer work slow to generate a list of all materials to order. 3D-Honeycomb generate any degree of structure to the strength and weight you ask , in the sheet material you prefere and challance the structures produced as primitive computer meshes without anything inside. Please check a few graphics that show this first true direct link to production, one that work on it's own not as an easyer way to support another technology by producing a fragile model ; press a button and the actiral framework is generated ,ready to be posted to the water or laser cutter, without any need of a B.O.M.
Here an assembly framework for a building structure, please check how floors and walls like by "magic" will grow while the frames is assembled, no one place the wall or floor framework ,and everything is cut from sheet materials like steel plate,
another one where two crossing frames is copied out , to show how floors and walls go in one with the rest of the structure; --------- no 20 different profiles just sheet materials cut the easyest way ;
a few more based on the same idear, no need for a B.O.M. there ;
The Direct link idear is very different than how things was done when Bilbao was build, but mesh entities also was the first primitive tools architects and designers was given , and today 20 years later there is even more challanging methods and tools, that even build a strong and cheap house in a new form language. P.C. Have a nice day, don't make a BOM out of it ;))
Kool! It seems that we might have a starting place!
That would simplify a bit.
*Perhaps* (I just thought of this) you could assign attributes that would be able to count multiple occurances of an object in multiple views. An attribute like "Widget, top", "Widget, side" and "Widget, front"; and count only the occurances of "Widget, top" (as an example).
What I do (you don't have to copy this exactly) is put each part on a seperate layer, where the layer name is the name of the part. Then I make a block of each part, where the block name is the part number (and manufacturer) of each part.
Search the drawing database for insertions, then write to a file, the part name, manufacturer and part number, all seperated by comas.
Then, when complete, have AutoCAD read that file and count the occurances of each part (by part number, for example) and append the quantity (again, seperated by a coma) to the end of the line and write that to a new file.
One thing that I found that I had to do was, when writting the file, replace all commas with a "_", all decimal points with an "*" and similar with any other characters that might be a problem to a comma delimited file or to AutoCAD. Then when reading the initial file and rewriting it, convert the characters/symbols back.
Now, it has been some time, but if you run into trouble, I'll see if I can find some of my old BOM routines and send them to you. I have done both manufacturing BOMS and for home construction (the second I did for myself, so was not as exact and careful).
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