New FSRP Contributor

ASIT's Food Service Resource Pages site been rather neglected over the winter, but that's changing...

We have a new user, Carl Muth, who as a writer, will be contributing to the site's content. Carl hails from Atlanta, Georgia, where he runs his company, FoodService Resource Associates, LLC. (...hmm, sounds familiar...) He's actually put together a rather extensive website catering to end-users and potential operators.

We look forward to collaborating with Carl, and we'll keep you up-to-date, or stop by the What's New page.


Daylight Savings Time Update

I'm sure you all know about the new Daylight Savings Time change this weekend. But, you may not realize that your (Windows) computer system will not automatically adjust your system clock like it has in the past (since this is relatively recent legislation). However, Microsoft has a nice Daylight Saving Time Update Guide [http://support.microsoft.com/gp/cp_dst] to walk you through the update process.

Most of you will want to select "Home user" to start out, as the other selections assume you have an "IT Department" and the subsequent pages aren't very helpful. Firefox users will be prompted to install a Plug-In (I think IE7 users will too), but it's not big [±800kb] and won't interrupt the update process.

Goog luck to all, and see you on the other side!


Change of Venue

Not sure if you noticed, but the ASIT web site, blog, and email all went down for a few days. This was because I was beguiled by Google's "Apps for your Domain" and decided to switch-over ASIT's email to Gmail (I'm a big fan). Unfortunately, once the new DNS settings kicked-in, mail was fine, but the site and blog went "bye-bye."

Well, as it turns out, it was an all or nothing situation; I would have to switch everything (website & blog, in addition to email) to Google if I wanted to keep Gmail. Since I've been paying Earthlink $25/mo. for hosting, and the Google services are free, it only took talking myself into re-building the two sites and all their content.

It was a lot of copying & pasting, but everything is now residing on Google's servers. I had to give-up the customized look of the site for Google's templates; I'm hoping there will be an option in the future for custom templates, but for now, the site is passable. And I have to admit, using the Google Pages interface is a lot easier that coding everything in HTML.

So we're back up and running, although I still have some site pages and blog posts to take care of (for example, the Gallery needs to be reconstructed). Of course, I'll keep you up-to-date on the progress here.


More Updates

There were a couple minor typos on the site that were bugging me, so I've updated a few of the pages, as well as adding a site index. The Clients page has also been updated, with project lists for LGA and BRD.

I hope to have some corresponding gallery pages added soon, too.


We're Back

One month and it's been very quiet here and at the website. Business is heavy at the moment, plus I had a business trip in the middle of it all. More on that soon.

Although, the good thing about being away for a while, is I've reviewed the site's pages with fresh eyes, allowing me to see the little things that needed fixing. So that's been done, with a few additions in textual content. More will come... soon.


More Site Updates

A Clients page has been added to the site, listed in architectural and food service categories. Links to project lists will be forthcoming.

Also added some additional listings to some of the Links pages.


Creating A Wall Niche [ADT]

NOTE: This post was moved to Back to the Drafting Board [drafting.aspaceintime.com] Future tips & how-to articles will be found there.

This post is the first of an ongoing series of tips and how-to articles for AutoCAD and Architectural Desktop. If you would like to make a request, or have a question about any of these articles, post a comment here or send an email to tips(at)aspaceintime.com.

This tip was originally in response to a posting in the AUGI forums by Marv Muston of Orlando, FL. I ran across a post in which Marv asked how to make a niche in a wall entity in Architectural Desktop (ADT). In other words, how does one make an recess in a wall, with no "thru-the-wall penetration," as he put it. He was trying to make a shelf within the wall, which is a common architectural element, so this is a good question. After posting my suggestion of using a "chase" symbol, I got the feeling from the forums that these symbols were fairly unknown, so I thought I'd expand this tip to an actual "how-to," showing step-by-step how to accomplish this.

Well, like so many other things in AutoCAD, there are many different ways you could make a niche. The most precise, yet most complicated way is to use body modifiers [command: WALLBODY] to attach mass elements to the wall, then specify either a subtractive or additive state. This truly is the most precise way to get the wall entity to look exactly the way you want, but if you are dealing with a wall style with multiple components, this can get to be a very tedious maneuver, as each component needs it's own additive or subtractive element attached to it. One major disadvantage of this is if you change the wall length, you (probably) will also have to update the modifiers manually; the other disadvantage of this is you usually need to customize the display properties of the wall as well, to get it to look the way you want in the plan view.

So, a nice and easy alternative is to use a "chase," which is a multi-view block, with some extra properties, namely it's very own body modifier, built right in! More on that in a minute... You can find six different styles of chases in the Design Center, in their own folder (called "chases"), under the "Documentation" section of the AEC Content tab.

The only difference between them is the plan view, which you can see in the preview, as well as the icons. There is no elevation or 3D element to these, so you will only see the 2D symbol in the plan view. [BTW: the path shown at the bottom of the image (above) will be different on your own system, as I have mine mapped through a network drive "S:"] Now that you know where to find them, all you have to do is click and drag them into your drawing. Lets go through the steps...

Here I have a standard wall in which we're going to make a niche. The top shows the plan view, and the bottom shows both faces, or sides, of the wall in hidden views. We pick a chase from the Design Center and drag it into the drawing. You are asked to specify an insertion point.

I generally pick somewhere that places the symbol over the wall. When we click, the following dialog box appears:

Here you see those special properties I was talking about. In addition to the standard settings of location (Insertion Point), size (Scale) and angle (Rotation), you are given options for a Description (in this case "Electrical Panel" which is one of the things I use chases for), setting a Label (such as an item number callout), and setting an Interference condition. This last item is the most important for what we're trying to do.

Click the Select Objects button, then click on the wall you're placing the chase into. The dialog box will come back and you'll now have the option to choose Additive, Subtractive or Ignore.

We want to set it to Subtractive; this will make a hole in the wall. If you know the dimensions of your niche and where you want to locate it within the wall, this would be a good time to change the other settings, but for now, click Ok, so we can see how the chase works.

Now we have a chase symbol in our wall. Notice in the plan view that the wall gets "cut" where the symbol is; plus, in the 3D views, we have a opening in the wall.

I know, you're saying, "I could have used an opening to do this," and you are correct; but, we're not done yet. We need to change the size and location of the chase; right now it's a 2'-0" wide, 1'-0" deep by 8'-0" high chase sitting on the floor (zero 'Z' coordinate). What we want to do is make it narrower than the wall and somewhere up in the wall. First, select the chase and open the Properties dialog (or just go to the Properties Palette).

Since the wall in this case is 4 1/2" wide, we want to change the Scale to have an 'Y' value less than that, say 4". Additionally, since this is an "Electrical Panel," we want to change the 'X' and 'Z' values to something more realistic, like 18" wide and 36" high. To get it off the floor, we then need to change the Elevation value, to like 4'-0". The properties should now look like this:

...and the drawing should now look like this:

Okay, so my aim wasn't real good. But you'll notice in the plan view that the symbol still cuts the wall, but now the "below cut plane" part of the wall is also showing (magenta, in this case). Plus, in the 3D views, there's no longer a hole, but a recess on only one side of the wall. We're almost there. Now it's just a matter of moving the chase symbol into place, and that's as easy as using the move command or using the symbol's node, whatever your preference.

That's better. Now we have a well placed niche in one side of the wall. Just be careful when moving the chase symbol using object snaps, as you could force the elevation back to 0" by snapping to the wall in the plan view. If you would like to play with this example, you can download the drawing file by clicking the box.net button below.

Download Sample File...

Let me know if you found this tip helpful by posting a comment. I hope to continue posting tips, but I'd like to know (1) I have an audience and (2) what you might be interested in me showing you.