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Autodesk Building Systems Content Builder

Building a Parametric Duct Fitting in Content Builder


The new Content Builder is a parametric part creation tool that enables you to model different parts and equipment for your mechanical, electrical, and plumbing designs. Each part created can intelligently size itself based on logical size data, saving you time when generating libraries of equipment and fittings. Sizes can be predefined and published with the part in Table Data Storage or custom-sized at runtime, which gives yo u added flexibility. This overview and accompanying AVI describe how to make a simple, round to rectangular duct transition using the Content Builder of Building Systems products.

Table Of Contents Getting Started............................................................................................................................2 Setting Part Types.......................................................................................................................2 Setting Working Planes..............................................................................................................3 Creating Profiles.........................................................................................................................3 Constraining Profiles..................................................................................................................5 Adding Solids ..............................................................................................................................6 Adding Connectors to Parts.......................................................................................................7 Setting Connection Types.........................................................................................................10 Setting Model Parameters ........................................................................................................10 Adding Part Sizes......................................................................................................................10 An Alternative Method for Adding Part Sizes.................................................................12 Making a Bitmap ......................................................................................................................13 Using Your Custom Part ..........................................................................................................14

Building a parametric duct fitting in Content Builder

Getting Started
1. From the MEP Common menu, select Content Tools>Content Builder. 2. Choose Duct from the Part Domain drop-down list. 3. Open the Multi-shape>Banded section of the tree and select the Transitions folder.

When the folder is selected, the New Parametric Part button will be activated. 4. Click the New Parametric Part button. 5. Enter a name and description for your part (the example in this document is called Test Transition). The description will appear in the Duct Fitting Add dialog and in the tooltip over the part in a drawing. The Content Builder interface opens with a new drawing.

Setting Part Types


6. Open the Part Configuration of the tree. 7. Double-click the branch that says Undefined Type and select Transition from the part type list.

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Building a parametric duct fitting in Content Builder

8. Double-click the branch that says Undefined and select Round to Rectangular from the part subtype list. If a type and subtype are not selected, the part will not be validated and can not be used in a drawing.

Setting Working Planes


9. Open the Modeling section of the tree. 10. Right-click on Work Planes and select Add Work Plane. 11. In the Create Work Plane dialog, select Default and click OK. 12. On the toolbars at the top of the window, right-click on a button and select View to turn on the View toolbar (this is very useful to have access to in Content Builder). 13. Select the SW Isometric view. The default planes can be seen here: three planes, the XY, YZ, and ZX. If you need help distinguishing these, you can select a plane and change the color in the properties toolbar.

Creating Profiles
To create the part, you must create profiles on planes and then use these profiles to create 3D solids. 14. Open the Work Planes branch of the tree. 15. In the tree, right-click on XY plane, select Visible to turn the visibility of the plane off. Turn off the visibility of the YZ plane as well. 16. Right-click on Work Planes and select Add Work Plane. 17. In the Create Work Plane dialog, select Offset , type in the name Length Plane and click OK. 18. Select the existing ZX plane as a reference plane. 19. Pick a point to the left of the ZX plane to indicate an offset distance for the new plane.

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Building a parametric duct fitting in Content Builder

20. Right click on ZX plane and select Add Profile>Circular.

21. Pick a center point in the modeling area and specify a second point or enter a value, such as 12, to define the radius. 22. Right-click on Length Plane and select Add Profile>Rectangular. 23. Select corner points for the rectangle on the Length Plane. (You may want to turn off snaps temporarily.)

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Building a parametric duct fitting in Content Builder

Constraining Profiles
Because this transition is a concentric transition, we need the circle and rectangle to grow relative to a center point. In this way, any size that is selected will remain concentric. This requires drawing geometry (which does not appear when the part is inserted) and constraints. 24. Right-click on ZX plane, select Add Geometry>Point.

25. Select a point near the center of the circle. Cancel out of the point command. 26. Open up the ZX plane branch and the Geometry branch beneath it. 27. Right-click on the Point 2D, select Fixed. This fixes the point in space.

28. Right-click on ZX plane, select Add Constraints>Concentric. 29. Select the circle and the point. The circle now moves to where the point becomes its center point.

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Building a parametric duct fitting in Content Builder

30. Right-click on the Length Plane, select Add Geometry>Point Reference. 31. Select the point on the ZX plane. This will create a point in the Length Plane that is a mirror of the first point. Because the first point is fixed, this point will also remain fixed. 32. Right-click on Length Plane, select Add Constraints>Equal Distance. 33. Select the left side of the rectangle then the new point. 34. Select the right side of the rectangle then the new point. The rectangle should resize so that its sides are equidistant from the center point. 35. Right-click on Length Plane, select Add Constraints>Equal Distance. 36. Select the top of the rectangle then the new point. 37. Select the bottom of the rectangle then the new point. 38. Select the Front View button on the View toolbar to verify that the profiles are concentric.

39. Return to SW Isometric view

Adding Solids
40. Right-click on the Modifiers branch of the tree, select Add Transition. 41. Select the circle and then the rectangle. A solid transition appears. 42. Right-click on the Transition Modifier in the Modifiers branch, select Visible to turn off visibility. Now to create the shoulders of the transition so that it can easily be added to existing ductwork. 43. Right-click on the Modifiers branch of the tree, select Add Extrusion. 44. Select the circle profile. 45. In the Extrusion dialog, select Blind and 1. Click OK. Note the shoulder is going in the wrong direction. 46. Right-click on the Extrusion Modifier in the tree, select Edit . 47. Check the Flip box. 48. Right-click on the Modifiers branch of the tree, select Add Extrusion. 49. Select the rectangular profile.
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Building a parametric duct fitting in Content Builder

50. In the Extrusion dialog, select Blind and 1. Click OK. 51. Turn on the visibility of the Transition Modifier.

Adding Connectors to Parts


The solid model is ready, but in order for the part to insert correctly it must have connections and must be dimensioned. Dimensions for the connections are added automatically when you add connections, so this can be done in one step for some of the needed dimensions. 52. Right-click on the Connections folder in the tree and select Add Connection. 53. To specify the first connection point, pick the area in the end circle, the end of the extrusion.

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Building a parametric duct fitting in Content Builder

54. Enter a number for the connection or accept the default value by hitting Enter. 55. Select a position in the ZX plan for a dimension on the circular profile. 56. Right-click on the Connections folder in the tree and select Add Connection. 57. To specify the second connection point, pick the area in the end rectangle, the end of the extrusion. 58. Enter a number for the connection or accept the default value by hitting Enter. 59. To add the height dimension, either pick two of the corner points, or hold the CTRL key while clicking on the top of the rectangular profile. Click again on the line until just the line is selected (CTRL -click will cycle through the extrusion and transition before it selects the profile) and hit Enter. Repeat for the bottom line. 60. Pick a position on the screen for the dimension. 61. Repeat above for the width dimension, picking the sides of the rectangle. 62. Pick a position on the screen for the dimension.

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Building a parametric duct fitting in Content Builder

63. To make sure all needed dimensions are finished, click the Validate button (the stop- light) at the top of the screen. If the part is valid (it can be inserted into a drawing correctly), the light at the bottom-right of the Content Builder will turn green. If the light is red, the part is not yet valid. To check the status of the validation process click the Details button.

The part is now valid, but we need to select the correct connection types, and specify any dependencies between dimensions.

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Building a parametric duct fitting in Content Builder

Setting Connection Types


64. Right-click on the Connections branch of the tree and select Edit Connections. 65. For each connection, select the type field and choose Banded from the list. 66. Click OK.

Setting Model Parameters


67. Right-click on the Model Parameters branch of the tree. Select Edit . 68. Select the value field of the WPOf1 parameter. This is the length of our transition as defined by the offset of the Length Plane from the first plane.

69. Type in: D1*1.5. This is the length that will be calculated based on the diame ter of the circle. This can also be done by clicking on the Calculator button and using the Calculator. 70. Click Close.

Adding Part Sizes


In order to have access to the parametric function of this part, we need to add a list of available parts sizes that can be inserted into the drawing. 71. Right-click on the Size Parameters branch of the tree, select Edit Size Parameters. 72. In the dropdown list at the top, select Parameter Configuration.

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Building a parametric duct fitting in Content Builder

73. Change the storage type for D1, RH2 , and RW2 to List. This allows multiple sizes to be recorded for use in adding the part.

74. Select Values from the dropdown list at the top. To add sizes to the list, you can either add them in manually, or copy a list from another location and paste the values into the list using CTRL-V. 75. Select the D1 value. Click the Edit button near the top left of the dialog. 76. In the Edit Values dialog, click Add to add a new value. Repeat to add a list of values. 77. Click OK.

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Building a parametric duct fitting in Content Builder

An Alternative Method for Adding Part Sizes


Note: This section is not in the Video portion of the overview. 78. Choose from the main MEP Common menu Content Tools, Catalog Editor. 79. Open a catalog and open the tree to a part that has similar sizes, US Imperial catalog: Round to Rectangular Duct Transition.

80. Select the Constant Lists branch of the tree. 81. Select the column of values for D1 in the existing part. 82. Click the Copy button. 83. Open the Edit Size Parameters dialog by right-clicking on Size Parameters in Content Builder. 84. Select the D1 value field. 85. Click the Paste button. If you now double-click the D1 value field, you will get a drop down list of sizes available.

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Building a parametric duct fitting in Content Builder

86. Repeat steps 78-82 for RW2 and RH2 .

Making a Bitmap
In order to display an image of the part in the Add Fitting dialog box, a bitmap must be generated. 87. Click the Generate Bitmap button at the top of the Content Builder.

88. Select the SW Isometric view (or the view that is the best of your part). You can also point to a bitmap file to be used to represent this part.

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Building a parametric duct fitting in Content Builder

89. Click OK.

Using Your Custom Part


90. Click the Options button at the top right of the Content Builder. 91. Uncheck the Hide Part flag, if it is checked. When this flag is checked, the part will be hidden from the Add Duct Fitting catalog. 92. Click the Save button at the top left of the Content Builder. Note: This will save a DWG file of the model, the bitmap file we created, and an XML file describing the behavior of the part. These three files will be saved into the chapter specified at the beginning of this overview. 93. Close the Content Builder. 94. Regenerate the Duct Catalog using the CATALOGREGEN command. 95. Your part will now be available to insert in Mutishape> Banded>Transitions chapter in the Add Duct Fitting dialog. The base points are based on the centers of the connectors of the part that was created. The default base point for insertion will be Connection 1.

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