August 6, 2013

Posted August 6, 2013 by Todd Schmoock, Manufacturing Solutions Engineer:
So the custom symbol that is unique to the company has been made using the Symbol Builder. The correct naming convention has been used and saved using the ZA to ZZ as the Autodesk document ” TS1056225″ recommends, but how does a family table get added to the database? Follow this procedure and find out!
As mentioned earlier the correct naming convention needs to be used when saving the symbols. For example, HZS1_Safety Relay is the block name. H = horizontal; ZS = custom safety relays family code; 1 = parent; and _Safety Relay = user defined.
Note: Make sure the Family attribute has the ZS as the default value. By making the family attribute ZS it will allow the creation of a table in the default_catalog.mdb which will be detailed later in this document. The TAG1 can carry any value. In this example SR was set as the default value for the TAG1 attribute.
Now that the symbol has been completed it would be best to add a link to it using the Icon Menu Wizard. This document does not go into the details of how to complete this, but after clicking on the tool a dialog opens and after deciding which menu file to modify click OK and add the information as desired.
In this example, a Safety Relay sub-menu was created and the new symbol was added:

Notice how the Component Tag property has “SR”:

This was due to adding the default value during creating the symbol.  To add the ZS table click the “Lookup” button in the Catalog Data area:

A message dialog box opens because the AutoCAD Electrical could not find a table matching ZS which was searched for since a default value of ZS was added in the Family attribute during the symbol creation.  Click OK to open the dialog box which will give the choice on what table to create:
By clicking on the “Family” button in Option A will create a new table in the default_cat.mdb file and the Parts Catalog dialog box opens. Since it is a new table there are not part numbers added and the Add Catalog Record tool must be used to add the catalog information needed:

Now that the first record is in the default_cat.mdb file others can be added more easily. This can be done by using the tools identified in this document, or by editing the default_cat.mdb directly. It’s best to at least get the first record in using the procedure identified here since it will set up the table and the columns needed.


Check out some of Todd’s previous posts:

Todd has over 20 years experience in the mechanical engineering field. Ten years of this time was spent as a documentation specialist/designer at Honeywell, Inc. where he worked on several government contracts which required strict drafting and design documentation in accordance with government standards. Additional experience comes from working in the technical ceramic, elevator, and specialty gas industry designing equipment for each of these fields. Todd joined Synergis in 2003 as a Design Solutions Engineer where he began providing assistance to customers through training and consulting, helpdesk support, as well as providing pre-sales support. Todd was recently promoted to Director of Manufacturing Solutions.
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