How to Configure the General Settings
The General Settings page in the Paneldes preferences has a number of settings you can configure.
Select Preferences from the Paneldes Menu. Choose the General Settings tab at the top of the dialog.
Choose the units that represent one drawing unit on your 3D blocks. All 3D blocks and labels placed on any single model should be created with an identical scale.
Tick the box to force Paneldes to use the default 3D block labels whenever a specific 3D block is not specified in the catalogue entry for a component. This will apply to constructing Panels, Devices, Accessories and Terminals.
If a 3D block is specified in the catalog, then it will always override the default 3D label.
The default value is to use 3D label blocks. The default block units are millimetres for metric and inches for imperial.
Choose whether 3D blocks will face the FRONT of panels or the PLAN view of the drawing.
If you are using realistic 3D block representations of components then you must choose FRONT.
If you are using simple 3D labels, then you can choose either orientation.
If you choose the PLAN option then Paneldes will rotate the label if required so that it is visible in a 2D plan view, plot or print. This rotation of only the vertical blocks is not suitable for blocks that are full 3D representations.
You can now force the insertion of 3D blocks to be "redefined" during insertion. This saves having to delete and purge an old block when you wish to update several instances of the old block that have been inserted on your model already.
This function will slow down all Paneldes operations if you leave it checked. You should redefine the blocks you are interested in and then disable this function when finished.
If your 3D block has attributes and you have redefined it, then you should also synchronise the attributes to ensure your new block's attributes appear correctly throughout your model. This is done with the adjacent checkbox.
You can choose to GROUP your 3D blocks (label block or realistic 3D block) - Paneldes will make an "AutoCAD group" when the component and block are inserted and this will simplify selecting these items during later editing. The default action is to group these items.
You can choose to GROUP all PLATES on PANEL components - Paneldes will make an "AutoCAD group" when the PANELS and PLATES are inserted and this will simplify selecting these items during later editing. The default action is to group these items.
You can choose to display the full path of the symbol while inserting a symbol by ticking Report path of inserted symbols.
Raceway Segment Graphics
If you tick the box Keep parametric open top facing upwards, Paneldes will draw parametric raceway envelope with the open top facing upwards, regardless of the true orientation of each segment. This affects only parametric raceway envelope, the envelope that is automatically created to fit the dimensions in the catalog, not raceway with its own specific 3D block for its envelope. Raceway envelope that is a specific 3D block will always follow the true orientation of the raceway segment.
Ticking this option improves the visual appearance but hides raceway segments that are upside-down. Upside-down raceway segments can cause problems with 3D cable route viewing.
Style dropdowns for each raceway segment type (Duct, Tray, Conduit, Trench) allow for control over how the graphical (envelope) elements of raceway segments are drawn.
3D blocks/solids: Raceway graphics will be CAD solid entities representing the physical shape of the segments. If a segment has a BLOCK3D specified, this will be inserted (and trimmed to length if necessary), and the label block will be omitted. If a segment does not specify a BLOCK3D, a parametric solid approximating the physical shape will be inserted (based on the dimensions of raceway segment), along with a label block.
Centerlines: Raceway graphics will be a realistic centerline (comprised of one or more LINE, ARC, or POLYLINE entities). End outlines for unconnected ends of raceway segments can optionally be inserted when using the Construct Raceway Envelope function.
Paneldes Popup Menu
You can specify which combination of mouse button and key you want to activate in the Paneldes Context Menu. The default value is Shift+Right Mouse Button. Note that if you choose a combination that is used by AutoCAD for a popup menu the Paneldes one will replace it.
Imperial wire length format in wire report
You can choose to report wire lengths either in feet – inches or in only inches (in decimal notation).
Feet – inches is the more readable format. This setting is the default.
A decimal inch is more suited to supplying wire lengths to wire cutting machines or other equipment in which the wire schedule is input.
This option is only enabled when EDS is configured to use imperial units.
You can change the align line length. This is the length of the small perpendicular line at the end of raceway length segments that allows a co-ordinate system to be placed on the route.
The default value is 5mm for metric and 0.25in for imperial.
Polyline Tracing Maximum Corner Angle. When creating raceway, (cable tray, conduit etc.) by tracing a 3DPOLY polyline, Paneldes uses this setting to ensure that corner angles which are very slight (greater than this value, in degrees) are constructed with two linear segments of raceway instead of a prefabricated corner.
Use Solids for Construction. You can now choose to use solids OR Polyface mesh entities when creating raceways and components in Paneldes. Solids can be directly exported to solids based software such as Inventor and Solidworks for clash checks etc.
This group of settings affect the function on the Place Raceway Dialog.
Direct Join Tolerance (degrees)
The angular deviation between adjacent two segments of a polyline, that when exceeded, results in a fitting (corner/riser) being inserted, and when not exceeded, results in two straight segments butting up to each other (a “direct join”).
Matching Profile Tolerance
The function attempts to find matching fittings for a straight raceway segment, by searching the manufacturer catalog for a part with similar profile dimensions (such as cross-sectional width, height, wall thickness, base thickness). Fittings will only be found if all of their applicable profile dimensions are less than this value.
When a polyline contains an angle that does not match a catalog part…
The function has several options available to trace bends in polylines when no catalog part exactly matches the bend:
Allow a catalog part with a larger angle to be cut to match the angle
When enabled, the function will have the option of finding a part with a larger bend (eg 90 degrees), and simulating cutting the part down to fit a smaller bend (eg when the deviation between two polyline segments is 45 degrees). The CATNO and CATDESC of the resultant fitting will be modified to include the bend angle (and will therefore be differentiated in the BOM).
Allow a linear/straight part to be cut and bent to match the angle
When enabled, the function will have the option of taking a linear/straight segment, and simulating cutting and bending that segment to fit the angle of deviation between two polyline segments. The CATNO and CATDESC of the resultant part will be modified to include the bend angle (and will therefore be differentiated in the BOM).
Allow an artificial (non-catalog) part to be generated to match the angle
When enabled, the function will have the option of generating a fitting with suitable dimensions to fit the part. The CATNO and CATDESC start with the text “GENERATED”, followed by fitting type and dimensional information.
When you use the Find tool for selecting components, Paneldes can provide a list of component names and locations that have been used in your model. You can select from these lists.
Clear the tick from the checkbox if you do not want to have lists of names and locations. This will make the Find tool for component selection appear faster.
When you use the Query tool or select components, Paneldes will draw a "cross hair", a cross and square, over each selected component. The cross hair is a fixed size in pixels so it is always visible regardless of the current zoom factor of the view.
Cross hair size (pixels). This is a pixel based unit and relates to the resolution of your screen, not the zoom factor of your view.
Cross hair colour number. This field is numeric only, requiring you to enter a numbered AutoCAD colour. AutoCAD supports 256 different numbered colours.
Maximum cross hairs to display. Enter the maximum number of concurrently selected components for which cross hairs will be drawn. If the number of components is larger than this number, then no cross hairs will be drawn, thus removing selection clutter from the drawing.
If this setting is set too high then the purpose of highlighting the components will be defeated. The drawing will be covered by numerous cross hairs.
Text Size for Labels
Paneldes creates text-based labels and lists for certain model annotation. For example: conductor route viewing, conductor cross sections.
Enter the sizes for these text labels. They may be placed in model space or paper space.
Labels in model space are scaled with the model, so they must have units.
Labels in paper space are 1:1 scale with the border, so they should not have units.
Conductor Route Viewing
To improve the visibility of conductor routes that are viewed in Paneldes, the line for the conductor is drawn with a line weight. Conductor labels are attached to the conductor line at a different point for each conductor that is selected to keep the labels from overlaying each other.
You can change the lineweight to choose a thickness for your conductors that most suits your model and display. A larger number results in a thicker line.
You can change the multiplier for the spacing between conductor labels if you wish to separate the labels more or less. The actual spacing between two labels depends on whether the label is placed parallel or perpendicular to the conductor. Paneldes chooses between parallel and perpendicular labels based on the length of the line to which the labels are attached.