Synergis Solutions: Creating Custom Door Styles in Autodesk Architectural Desktop

9 Mar, 2006 By: Peter Gehring Cadalyst

Customize your door styles with vision and recessed or raised panels.

This tutorial will describe how to create a custom door style in ADT (Autodesk Architectural Desktop) that has both vision and recessed or raised panels. ADT's Content Browser includes a door style with these features. You cannot create your own custom door styles of this type, however, unless you know how that style was created.

If you look at the standard door included in ADT (figure 1), you'll notice that the raised panels are not the same material as the door panel. I'll show you how to resolve that at the end of this article.

Figure 1. ADT comes with this sample door.

A question posed by an architectural firm led me to examine two different solutions to this issue. The firm had created a double door style with two vision panels on each door, but they wanted the lower ones to be recessed panels with the same material as the door.

You can create this type of door style by drawing the desired door elevations, saving them as a profile definition and applying that profile definition to a new door style.

Profile Definition
First, draw a rectangle the size of the double door and two more rectangles for each desired vision/recessed panel. Select the outside rectangle, right-click and choose Convert To/Profile Definition from the Shortcut menu.

When prompted to select an insertion point, select the option to Add Ring. Select one of the internal rectangles. The program will prompt you to select an insertion point again with the option of adding another ring. Select Add Ring again and repeat for all four panels (figure 2).

Figure 2. Add a ring to each of the four door panels.

Finally select the midpoint on the bottom line of the outside rectangle as the insertion point. A dialog box pops up where you can give the profile a name.

Our profile definition is now complete. Now we'll create a door style that uses it.

Door Style
On the Doors tool palette, right-click your mouse over any door tool and select Door Styles.

In Style Manager create a new door style, right-click to edit it and go to the Design Rules tab. Set the Door Type to Double, and in the Shape area select the radio button to Use Profile. Select the profile you created in the previous steps.

While in the Style Manager, go to the Materials tab and set the panel component material definition to Doors & Window Wood Doors/Ash. You'll need to import this material definition if it's not already present in the drawing. The easiest way to import a material definition is to add a door from the Doors palette to your drawing; it will bring the wood and glass materials in with it. You also can import materials through Style Manager or the Content Browser. When done, select OK in Style Manager.

Back in the drawing editor, draw a wall and insert the door of the style you created. If you have not saved yet, do so, and save the drawing in your custom door styles library folder. You'll see that the door still has recessed panels using the standard gray material.

If you go back into the door style and set the glass material to the Doors & Window Wood/Ash material, you'll have recessed panels.

Panel Materials
But remember, our goal is to have the top panels a glass material and the bottom the same as the door panel. When you change the glass material to Doors and Windows Glazing Glass Clear, all the panels change to glass.

You can use one of two methods to resolve this problem. One is relatively easy for situations that require minimal detail on the panel. The second involves creating and adding a custom block to the door style. This approach allows more detail.

Let's try the easy way first. Select the door, right-click and select Edit Door Style. Go to the Display Properties tab and click the box to Create a Style Override. In the dialog box that appears, go to the Muntins tab and select the Add button (to add a muntins block). In the Muntins Block dialog box (figure 3) under Lights, set the panel to rectangular and the Lights High to 2. Change the glass component from All to Single. If you change the numbers in this cell, you'll see the muntin go from panel to panel. Set the depth under Muntin to the recessed panel thickness you want (you can also raise it by making it thicker than the door panel thickness).

Figure 3. The Muntins Block dialog box.

Set the width under Muntin as the same as or larger than the y-dimension of the bottom panel. A larger size will allow it to fill the panel when larger door heights are used.

In the Door Style on the Materials tab, set the Muntin Component Material to the desired material. This changes just one panel (number 2) to the Wood material.

Next, add another muntin block the same way and set the Glass Component to 3 for the other lower panel.

Note: It is no longer necessary to duplicate this style customization for other display representations because ADT added an option to apply what you've done to all display representations. You can also show all panels as glass material by disabling the muntin blocks or turning off the visibility of the muntin components on the Layer/Color/Linetype tab of the door style.

If you do not make the muntin width larger than the panel's y-dimension, you'll see some of the glass component when you increase the door height.

Add a Custom Block
The second method will have the panels scale with a change in the door size and allow more-detailed representations (such as a beveled raised panel). This procedure involves adding a custom block to the door style. The best way to see how to create one is to start with an existing style already available in the door styles of ADT's library in Content Browser.

Start Content Browser and go to the Design Tool Catalog -- Imperial, Doors and Windows-Doors. Drag and drop the Hinged - Double - 6 Panel Half Lite and Hinged - Double - 6 Panel doors onto your tool palette.

Insert one of each of these door styles into a wall in the drawing editor. These doors are using an AutoCAD block for the panel infills. Insert the block AEC_Door_Panel into the drawing to see what it looks like.

Select the door with the six raised panels. Right-click and select Copy Door Style and Assign from the Shortcut menu. A copy of this door style will appear, and you can edit it immediately in Style Manager.

Rename the door style on the General tab. On the Design Rules tab, change the profile to the one you created earlier in this exercise. When you select OK to leave Style Manager, you'll see the door now has only two panels filled in with the block AEC_Door_Panel.

Edit the door style again, switch to the Display Properties tab and hit the button to edit the display properties. Then select the other tab where you'll see a custom block was added. Select the Edit button.

In this dialog box (figure 4), you'll see that the block is scaled to fit the width, height and depth; the insertion points are centered on the x-y-planes and the z-plane is the bottom corresponding to the insertion point of the block. At the bottom, the block is applied to all of the glass components and is scaled to the depth of the panel thickness.

Figure 4. Custom block settings.

Change the Glass Component to Single and select 1.

Select OK to exit the dialog box and select Add on the Other tab to add another instance of this custom block. Pick the Select Block button and choose the block AEC_Door_Panel.

Back in the dialog box change the Component from Frame Component to Glass Component and select number 3. Change all of the settings to reflect figure 5.

Figure 5. Revised settings in Custom Block dialog box.

Hit OK to exit the dialog box and select the Layer/Color/Linetype tab to turn on the glass component that was turned of in the original style. The result is shown in figure 6.

Figure 6. The custom door is almost there.

You'll notice the panel is still not the same material as the door.

Insert a version of the block AEC_Door_Panel. Editing the block in place will show that the block is a mass element and you can set it to a mass element style that has the same wood material as the door panel. You may have to regenerate the model to see the change update in the door style (figure 7). Typically you should set the mass element to a material before blocking it and adding it as a custom block to the door style.

Figure 7. The final result.

About the Author: Peter Gehring

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