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PS Tools

BOM and Specifications

Advantages

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S Tools is a free add-on for ZWCAD that allows you to add custom data to ZWCAD objects and extract it later to tables together with native object properties like layer, color, linetype, length, area, volume, block name, attributes etc. That is how you can create various specifications and bill of materials. PS Tools can turn an ordinary drawing to a graphical database and add meanings to your drawing objects.

The software is very flexible and can be adapted to various design fields and to your specific company needs. Names of data fields, contents of specifications and formats of labels are defined by the user and can be modified and appended any time. The work with PS Tools can be formally divided into four stages:

  1. Define data templates, button , command PSSETTINGS
  2. Data input, button , command PSINPUT
  3. Labelling, button , command PSLABELS
  4. Specification, button , command PSBOM

Define Data Templates

Each template corresponds to different object type. For example, let us  assume that we are designing an architectural project. We would like to enter some data for the rooms, such as 'number', 'room type' (kitchen, evening room etc.) and 'floor material'. Eventually we may need a room schedule including the above data as well as area of the floor, surface of the walls and volume. We will draw the rooms as closed polylines, then we will assign data to them and room height will be set as polyline thickness. But first we need to define the template. Open the 'Settings' dialog using the   button (command PSSETTINGS). Click the 'New' button to create the template and enter 'Rooms' for template name. Then we need to fill in the following information as shown on the image above:

  • Custom data. We can create up to 6 data fields by defining their names (in that case: 'Number', 'Type' and 'Floor').
  • BOM contents. Check which data fields or ZWCAD object properties will be included into the tables.
  • Label format. Select which data fields of object properties will be included into the labels. We can add some text before each of them and a new line after.

Data Input

After data templates are defined, you can use them to enter the data. Select objects from the drawing and press the button  (command PSINPUT).  Select the 'Room' template from the 'PSTools Data Input' dialog, enter the values for each field and press 'ОК'. Each drawing object in ZWCAD has special place for storing data from external programs and we write your data there. It will be saved to the dwg file and loaded when you open it. If the 'Labels' option is checked, data will appear on the screen just after you enter it.

Labelling

You can add labels automatically to all drawing objects that have data, using the PSLABELS command. Label contents and formatting depends on the settings defined into the corresponding template. Label is added as mtext into the current layer, with the current text style and text height.

Specifications

You can generate various specifications and BOMs automatically using the PSBOM command. They can include custom data and native object properties. Click into the drawing to draw the table or select the 'Excel' option (Type the E letter) to open the table with Excel or other spreadsheet software. A *.csv file will be generated and opened with the default program. 

It is not required to enter data in order to extract BOMs. Just select the 'Default' template and check the options you want to include. Then select the objects and start the PSBOM command. That is how you can extract block names and attributes and count objects like lights, switches, plugs. You can draw cables and use different layers, colors or linetypes for different types of cables. Then you can extract these properties together with line lengths by selecting the 'Layer', 'Color', 'Linetype' and 'Lenght' options and generate a complete BOM for cables without entering any custom data.

Automatic Legend

This is a very useful command that can automatically generate a legend for all the symbols in the drawing. Select all blocks in the drawing and start the PSLEGEND command. Fill in the corresponding descriptions for all block names in the table. You can sort items by block name, description or a number defined by you. Press the 'Draw' button and select an insertion point in the drawing. Descriptions are saved permanently and will be available for next use.

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