How To Use 2D Drawings As Underlays In Advance Steel

5 February 2020generalReading time 2Min
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How To Use 2D Drawings As Underlays In Advance Steel

When modelling in Advance Steel it is often nice to be able to use an architect’s layout or similar as a reference to model to. Similarly, it might be nice to show on your arrangement drawings that this is what you have done by including the layout as an underlay in the drawing. It is not hard to do so, and I will show you how in this tutorial.

How To Use 2D Drawings As Underlays In Advance Steel 1

To use an underlay as a reference to model from I recommend that you insert the layout drawing as a block. This lets you snap to any points in the 2D drawing easily enough while keeping the drawing as one unit. You can still control layers to show or hide parts of the block (especially if it uses non AS layers).

The main point of this blog is to show how to get the 2D block to show in your Advance Steel GA drawings. The answer depends on whether you are using cameras or not.


If you are using a camera (or model view acting as a camera) then you need to check the status of the Default “Drawing General > General > Allow detailing of CAD entities inside camera drawings”. If this is ticked when you generate the drawing form the camera then any standard AutoCAD entities within the scope of the camera will be included within the camera view.

If the Default is not ticked, then standard AutoCAD entities are ignored when generating the camera view.

The status of the default has no effect when updating views: each view remembers its own state.

Don’t forget to reload Settings in Advance and / or Update defaults when changing this Default.

Drawing Styles

If you are not using a camera when generating a drawing view but are using the drawing Styles palette directly then the method is a little different. The Default has no influence on this method. Instead it is important that you have any standard CAD entities you want to include in your view SELECTED when you click the drawing style button on the palette, then proceed to create the view as normal and the selected Cad entities will be included.

The AutoCAD objects shown in a view will be in the form of a block linked to the view. In the generated view the layers used by the objects in the model will be created in the drawing and they will be in the same state as they are in the model during creation. That means if you have turned unwanted block layers off in the model they will be off in the drawing but still there if you want to change things.

Trimming your results

The AutoCAD entities shown in your views will always be shown in their entirety. If the items are a larger than the view or extend beyond the view that is undesirable. It is possible to trim these off as follows.

Being a block you cannot trim or edit individual entities, but what you can do is trim the block as a whole. Use the AutoCAD command XCLIP (type it in). Select the block then choose the option New Boundary. It is up to you what shape you want but select a shape and draw the boundary over the block as desired; only the part of the block inside the boundary will be shown. It is likely the boundary will also show as an ugly black frame. To get rid of that type XCLIPBOUNDARY and set the value to 0 (zero).

If needed you can edit the frame by setting XCLIPFRAME to 2 and then use the XCLIP command on the block again.

As these are AutoCAD commands there is plenty of help available by pressing F1 within the command.

If you are looking for extra functionality for your structural workflows, take a look at the Graitec PowerPack for Advance Steel.

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