IFA Essentials - Drawing templates and layouts

Last modified by Adam Carlson on 2021/08/12 10:38

Drawing templates

Drawing templates are used when generating shop drawings. The template dictates where in model space different drawing entities are drawn, such as elements elevation, plan, and section view. It also dictates which panels and drawing heads are used. It's possible to specify layouts which automatically inserts tables and drawing head, panel and specifications. Additionally, viewports with automatic content scaling and alignment can be used. Templates can be exported/imported between projects.

New Template

Right-click the templates node in the project browser tree. Select a standard definition to build the template on. These standard templates are "drawing-less" definitions in Standard Admin. They carry information such as default panel and header block, default drawing view positions etc. You can choose definitions from the current project, which essentially copies that template. The next dialogue enables you to enter default information. This is mostly left blank. A drawing template should be given a logical name, such as SW_LAYOUT for a sandwich template with drawing layouts.


Figure 1: Drawing templates


Figure 2: Create a new drawing template

Click ok. You may now specify default attributes for that template.


Figure 3: Specification values 

You should now see the new template in the grid next to the project browser. If not, double-click on the templates node and refresh the project. Right-click the new template drawing to reveal more options.


1. Drawing properties
Reveals the same properties dialogues you filled in upon the creation of the template above.

Access the drawing views. These are coordinates where different sections of elements etc. are drawn in model space when shop drawings are generated.


Figure 4: Drawing views

3. Layouts
Add layouts and specify what to include in each layout

Figure 5: Drawing layouts

Drawing properties

Drawings head

The drawing head, usually located in the upper right, can be customized and changed. You create, edit and specify block files for drawing heads in standard admin.


Figure 6: Drawing head

To use a different head block, go to model space and delete the current drawing head. Use the insert drawing head command to insert a new drawing head.



Figure 7: Insert drawing head

Information will automatically be fild in when the template is used to generate shop drawings.

Drawing panel

The drawing panel, usually located in the bottom right, can be customized and changed.  You create, edit and specify block files for drawing heads in standard admin or project manager.


Figure 8: Drawing panel

To use a different panel, go to model space and delete the current panel. Use the insert drawing panel command to insert a new panel.



Figure 10: Insert drawing panel

Use the edit drawing panel, found next to insert drawing panel, to edit the panels values.


Figure 9: Edit drawing panel

Drawing specification

The drawing specification, usually located under the drawing head, can be customized and changed. You create, edit and specify block files for drawing specifications in standard admin.

The row height for a table of Cast-in Materials, Reinforcement, MEP keys, Holes, and Revisions can now be customized since the application reads the size of the corresponding file stored in the “template_drawings” folder of your standard.

The table of reinforcement has also been extended with the possibility to show the shape code, by adding the attributes “SHAPE_CODE_A" and "SHAPE_CODE_B".

The feature is included in IMPACT 16 only.


Figure 10: Drawing specification

To use a different specification block, go to model space and delete the current specification. Use the insert drawing specification command to insert a new specification.



Figure 11: Insert drawing specification

Use the edit specification command, found next to insert specification, to change the specifications values.


Figure 12: Edit drawing specification

Drawing Views

Drawing views are markers where element details, such as sections, are drawn. You can add and remove views by starting the Drawing Views command.




Figure 13: Drawing views

There are many views to choose from. The most common ones are 1, 2 and 3. Place the views far apart as so no dimensioning lines will collide with each other.


Figure 14: Drawing views origin marks

Do not forget to save the views! When you save, you send the positions of the markers to the database.


When using the drawing template, it will look like this (an example of a solid wall):


Figure 15: Drawing views with geometry drawn

By selecting properties in the drawing view command you can also copy your setting from one drawing to many. If you like to transfer it to common and local settings that is also possible.



Figure 16: Drawing views properties

Drawing Layouts and Viewports

The drawing views are used together with the layout and viewport system. The idea is that a layout has any number of relevant drawing viewports (drawing views and drawing viewports are two different things). These viewports lock on to a drawing view in model space. When something is drawn on that view marker, the viewport scans the area and capture the extents of drawn details, such as element elevation view. A template can have several layouts with any number of viewports in each. It's not uncommon to separate reinforcement information into a separate layout. As an analogy, you could say that the model space create LEGO bricks, which layouts with viewports use to build a drawing. 

You create, edit and remove layouts from the Layouts dialogue.


Each layout can copy the revision, drawing head and drawing specification blocks to the layout. You may also specify which tables to include, as well as a mesh view. Right-click to add new layouts to the tempate. Select a layout and right-click to edit it. Press OK to save.



Figure 17: Layouts

The drawing panel, head and specification blocks are automatically scaled. Here is what the ELEMENT layout (to the left) and REINFORCEMENT  (to the right) layouts would look like if the settings above were used: You can change the positioning and column order of the blocks in Standard Admin.


Each layout can have any number of viewports that automatically capture drawings views (the markers spoken of above).


You can draw the viewports manually or enter specific coordinates. Opening the viewports dialogue reveals settings for the layout you are currently looking at. It's possible to align content and specify a custom scale. You must untick "Scale to fit" to use a custom scale. Viewports are drawn in the layouts.


You can see that the views automatically center on the drawing view (if you don't, use the regen command).


The results when using the template looks something like this (an example of a solid wall, using):

Layouts implemented for 3D, Floor plan, Elevation, and Other.

Note, drawing prefix/suffix works a little bit different:

You can add $LAYOUT, $layout, or $Layout which will be replaced with the name of the layout with proper upper/lower case. 

You can add $DRAWING, $drawing, or $Drawing which will be replaced with the name of the drawing with proper upper/lower case. 

This feature makes these drawing types plottable from Project Manager.