Electrical Design Software | Elecdes Design Suite by Scada Systems Ltd

How to Break a Large Model Into Smaller Models


A Paneldes Plant model can be created as several parts. When a project wide operation such as Bill of Materials, routing or interference checking is required, then the several parts can all be loaded to a master model file for these operations. This splitting into many "small models" allows several engineers to develop the overall model concurrently.

The models are attached to the master by the AutoCAD XREF mechanism.

For wire route optimisation, Paneldes also supports executing the route optimisation on each partial model. See How to route wires on multiple partial models.

Position of small models: Datum point

Each small model has a Paneldes "Datum" block inserted at start up. This datum informs Paneldes of the absolute position of the small model's origin (WCS 0,0,0) point with respect to other small models to be merged. The DATUM X VALUE, DATUM Y VALUE and DATUM Z VALUE are used for this purpose. These values should contain units, e.g. "50.0ft", not "50.0".

NB: The scale of each small model should be equal.

Recommended model structure

At any time an engineer can "XREF" the other models, in a Paneldes plant, to his/her own model for reference. However for speed and efficiency the following structure is recommended.

Master Model (all floors):

  • AutoCAD XREF:

    • Engineer1's model (Building floor: 1; Datum: 0,0,0)
    • Engineer2's model (Building floor: 2; Datum: 0,0,10')
    • Engineer3's model (Building floor: 3; Datum: 0,0,20')
    • Engineer4's model (Building floor: 4; Datum: 0,0,30')
    • Engineer5's model (Building floor: 5; Datum: 0,0,40')

Querying and editing small models

When you are using the master drawing, you cannot edit the components of xreffed models. To edit these components you must open the drawing of the appropriate smaller model.

Paneldes operations that extract data from components for analysis or querying can obtain that information from components in xreffed drawings. Thus Paneldes can perform the project-wide operations, such as routing or interference checking.

Including Paneldes models in a project

Paneldes can automatically insert, as an XREF, all of your small models to a master model DWG. After this operation, routing and interference checking may be done to the master model. During the insert operation Paneldes will position the small models at the location described by their datum block.

To inform Paneldes which small models are to be included in your master model, include all of the small model's DWG files in to the current Ebase project.

Combining the small models into one large model for routing, interference checks and BOM

  1. Ensure all of the small models are included in your current Ebase project, their datum points are set correctly and that they are built at the same scale.

  2. Select "Load project XREFS" from the Paneldes Menu to load all of the small models.

The BOM, Interference Checks and Routing will operate on the current model and all of the small models XREFFED into it. The contributing models are treated as if they are part of a single model.

Removing small models XREFS from a drawing

  1. Ensure all of the small models are included in your current Ebase project.

  2. Select "Unload project XREFS" from the Paneldes Menu to unload all of the small models.

Ebase Project and XREFS

Ebase can have your Paneldes model included in it to allow materials reports to be extracted from the model and also to pass information to "Cable Scheduler".

Each model's DWG file need only be included once in an Ebase project. A second inclusion of a DWG file could cause duplications to occur.

If you have a master model with XREFed sub models linked to it then you need only include the master model in to the Ebase project. The XREFs in the master model will cause all of the sub models to be included in processing without direct inclusion in the Ebase project.

If you erroneously include a sub model in your Ebase project after it has already been included by way of XREF, then the erroneous inclusion will be ignored in favour of the XREF.

See also

How to route wires on multiple panel models