Electrical Design Software | Elecdes Design Suite by Scada Systems Ltd

Prototype Drawings

General

Prototype drawings are normal DWG format drawings with attributes and text added or replaced by Protogen text formulae. Your existing drawings may be modified to become prototypes by adding or replacing text with Protogen formulae.

Prototype drawings must be created before clone drawings can be created.

Prototype drawings are created with your CAD package [and any third party products you use].

Sample prototype drawings have been provided for you to familiarize yourself with the product, without requiring you to create a prototype first.

Protogen uses prototype drawings as templates from which to create multiple clone drawings.

Prototype file names

Prototype drawing names should have a filename extension of .DWG.

Prototype drawings directory

Protogen will look for prototype drawings in the directory specified in the EL32.INI file.

You must place your NEW prototypes in this directory!!!

The INI file settings are [defaults provided at installation].

  • SUBDIR_IMP_SAMP=C:\eds\IMP_SAMP - for Imperial users.

  • SUBDIR_MET_SAMP=C:\eds\MET_SAMP - for Metric users.

If you wish to store your prototype drawings in a directory other than that specified, you may do so with the Options menu item.

Revising Prototypes

If a prototype drawing is revised and clone drawings already exist, Protogen will automatically erase and re-create the clone drawings instead of updating their text entities.

Contents of a Prototype drawing

Prototype drawings consist of four parts: fixed and variable graphical entities; fixed text and variable text.

Fixed Graphic

The graphic part of a prototype is defined as all non changing non-textual parts of the drawing, e.g. lines, arcs, circles including those embedded in blocks.

Variable Graphics

Protogen can insert multiple, varying graphic items or subcircuits to a clone drawing at user specified locations. This allows you to build a modular drawing by listing the modules desired and their positions in a database. A Protogen formula is inserted on a prototype drawing as a placeholder for each variable graphic entity. Variable graphic entities can be prototypes themselves and contain a fixed graphic with variable and fixed text components. Variable graphic entities may NOT contain other variable graphic entities.

Fixed text

The fixed text part of a prototype is defined as the textual parts of the drawing that do not vary between clones of a single prototype, e.g. your company name. The fixed text can be drawn with any method you like.

Variable text

The variable text part of a prototype is defined as the textual parts of the drawing, which will be different for each clone drawing, e.g. revision number, drawing date, part names. A Protogen formula is inserted on the prototype drawing as a placeholder for each variable text entity.

The formulae for variable text entities must be text, dtext or the attribute entity of a block. For advanced users, textual extended entity data of any drawing object can also contain protogen formulae.

The text entity in the clone drawing will have the same attributes as the formula entity in the prototype drawing, e.g. color, justification, text height, font etc.

Protogen Formulae

Protogen formulae are used for multiple purposes:

  • To define fields required during the creation of a prototype's associated database.

  • To link the desired database text to clone drawings produced.

  • To relate mathematically one textual item on a clone to another. These are known as STEP FIELDS.

  • To force Protogen to load an electrical component's full catalog specification to an Elecdes symbol on the clone drawing. These are known as CATALOG FIELDS.

  • To force Protogen to insert a variable graphic or sub-prototype at the insert point of the text. These are known as ANCHOR POINT FIELDS.

A Protogen formula has several parts, and a maximum length of 60 characters.

Formula Syntax

The syntax of a Protogen formula is:

[ ] defines optional parts, FIXED defines fixed text required in the formula.

[FIXED] field definition [FIXED] [field definition] [FIXED] [field definition] [FIXED] ...etc.

i.e. a piece of text can be made up of multiple database fields.

Field definition Syntax

A field definition links the drawing to a field in the associated database. It can also be used (during Protogen creation of the database file) to automatically define the database structure.

The syntax of a field definition is:

# fieldname [+/-step][ , fieldwidth [, fieldorder ] ] #

  • Fieldname is the name of the field to link to in the database. (10 text character max.)

  • For catalog fields, and anchor point fields the fieldname may require special character codes.

  • Fieldwidth is the width of the database field. (Number of characters, Max. 60). Used for Protogen file creation only.

  • Fieldorder is the relative position of the field in each record. (From 1 to 999) Used for Protogen file creation only.

  • +/-step is an optional mathematical relationship to the field name specified above.

Rules for defining Protogen formulae

  • Formulae have a maximum length of 60 characters.

  • You may place as many field definitions as you wish in a formula.

  • You may separate, precede and succeed any field definition with fixed text.

  • Field definitions must be enclosed by 2 hash (#) characters.

  • You must place a field name inside a definition. (10 text characters only)

  • Field names are not case sensitive; they will all be converted to upper case.

  • You may place the same field name in many formulae; it will only be placed in the database once. This also applies to field names used repeatedly with the +/-step option.

  • You may place a field width after a field name. Separate the two with a comma. (the default width is 10)

  • You may place a field order ONLY after a field width. Separate the two with a comma. (The default order is the order in which your CAD package has stored the text entity). Field orders start at 1.

  • If you wish to define the order, you must also define the width.

  • If using a fieldname several times in several formulae and you wish to define the width and order, you only need to define the width and order once.

  • If using a fieldname several times in several formulae and you [erroneously] define the width and order more than once, the largest width and the lowest order will be used.

  • The field #Drawing,20,-1# is defined by Protogen. It will always be the first field in the database and does not require user definition. You may use this field in formulae on your prototype if you wish.

  • The field #Prototype,20,0# is defined by Protogen. It will always be the second field in the database and does not require user definition. You may use this field in formulae on your prototype if you wish.

  • The formula's color, font and justification [etc.] will be identical to that of the text in any clone drawing except, all field definitions will be replaced by data from the specified field in the prototype's associated database.

Special Fields

Using anchor point fields to locate graphics and sub-circuits within clones.

Elecdes Catalog data fields.

Incrementing data/ Step fields within clones.