Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Breaking The wd.env File Down Line By Line

The wd.env file is simply a text file that contains settings and paths that direct AutoCAD Electrical to certain files and actions. These files can include the catalog and footprint lookup databases, slide libraries, and user circuits. This file is pivotal to setting up a proper networked/multi-user environment.

Where does the wd.env file live? See this blog post..  Where Does The wd.env Path Get Set?

Listed below in red is the default wd.env file. My comments will be in black under the line they are describing. Throughout this break-down I will show examples of changes, showing both the wd.env file and the results.

First of all, every line that starts with an asterisk (*) is ignored by Electrical. These lines are for our comments and notes while working on the file. Instead of blowing away an entire line and replacing it with my own text, I will add an asterisk to the default line and then copy and paste it below the line being modified. That way I can always reference or return to the default if needed. And as always, make a copy of this file before you start playing with it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

AutoCAD Electrical - Wire From/To Annotation On the Schematic

I have used this twice in the past. It's not quite what the customer wanted but its close. I think with a little tweaking it could be perfect.

AutoCAD Electrical is not set up to show From/To tags on the schematic. All the info is there but only available in reports. But it is not set up to actually INSERT pieces of "smart" from/to text right on each connection of the schematics.

Here is a small AutoLisp utility created by Nate Holt. If you want to give it a try, download the file, APPLOAD it, and type OTHER_END [Enter] at your command line. The active drawing should update.

And here is what it does:
   1. Insert the annotation at the wire connection points, justify and rotate to follow the connected wire.
   2. Annotation to follow the same as a from/to report taking into account any special "wire sequencing" overrides or source/destination arrow connections.
   3. Text can be manually repositioned.
   4. Text will be "smart" in that it can be updated if connections changed - even if the text is moved.
   5. Text put on its own layer so it can be turned on and off.

Here are the before and after screen grabs. The tag-ID and pin number for the opposite end of each wires connection point. Note that CR408 shows multiple connections on both sides.

      image             image