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autodrawing data in a 3D visio model

Started by cliff50, October 16, 2012, 01:27:45 AM

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Spin on how to visualise a radio tower in the Visio environment.

The image is macro driven and drawn from information extracted from an underlying data table.
All the lines boxes shapes text etc are stimulated as they are drawn on the page with trig functions injected into their shapesheet cells.

The user interface controls the variables that enter the shapesheet functions, hence the rotate left, rotate right.
Data querys are used to determine what shape is infront of another as the asimuth changes.

The 31m tower in this demonstration is modelled from a photo, so the angles and sizes are reasonably accurate.
It can auto generate the 12 O'clock high image but the file attachment restricted me from showing this.




boy I would be real curious to see the shapesheets/VBA involved


Hi, I thougt this was really impressive.

The only thing I'm really thinking about is that it looked like it took a very long time to create - is this the case, or now that you have the background macro/code etc, you can apply it to other drawings quite easily?


the client's spec was to visualize approx 40 separate Radio towers in 3D... there were three main tower types 1 square section(as per demo) 2 triangle section guyed masts and 3 monopoles.. there were 10 different type of antennas that the client's towers accommodated..

basically the problem presented itself as this.. The client managed  the towers for third party access and plan elevation views in PDF format were vague  and misleading when the reader tried to determine which side an antenna was on,  when said antenna appeared on two or more side elevations, therefore the recommendation was to create a 3D model of each tower.

about a month to create the macros and shape-sheet formula, another month to collect the data and populate the data tables. another month of testing and twigging.

the approach here, is to automatically draw onto a blank sheet a series of lines and shapes based on rules within relevant macros.. as each line and shape is drawn on the page it is injected with preset trig formula (again via a macro).

The operation occurs so fast the viewer does not see the lines being "stroked" onto the page.  when rendered the user interface allows rotation of each shape via the mouse cursor movement or via a button interface.

The rotation is caused by altering values in the user defined section of the shapes which in turn stimulate the trig formula in the shape-sheet cells.  lines shorten or lengthen  circles become more wide or less by their shape sheet formula.

to determine which shape is in-front of another two "mechanisms" are at play ...  if a shape sheet  sense it has become reversed on its on its Y axis then it will alter color (low lit grey its behind the tower structure) otherwise its is in view.  when the rotation is halted a macro is triggered which checks each antenna for color  and sends the shape to back or brings shape to front as required.

The plan view  from 12 o'clock high is auto rendered via macros  but does not rotate.. the user can select a segment of each tower that he needs to see from the top down perspective .

This demonstration does not alter the Z axis rotation, June the second has a cube that alters all 3 axis.

This development was created on vis2003 and uses MS access for data  table storage.

its file sizes are 6Kb vsd and 6 Kb mdb

Its possible that the functions for the sheets are useable in other rotational requirements.
Any new tower may only require a simple macro to draw its crucial angles
Any new tower may only require simple entries in the data table.


To show how this may be applied to similar structures.
attachment -> The Eiffel tower rotating on the Y axis.

using the described method above I added what detail neccessary into the data tables and created a Eiffel macro which called common sub macros to calculate the angles.

Each line ( strut) has standard trig function in its shapesheet  only  the X Y Z custom properties values are unique to each strut.

Sub functions do the filling of the shapesheet formula and the custom data entries.
The top view  or X rotation is auto drawn only at the 12 oclock high position.

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