Smart Rebar Detailing for Smart Construction Drawings
We are on the cusp of a technology enabling revolution that aims to make us work smarter and more productively.
CAD detailing for rebar is no exception. Traditionally, it is a tedious process where every single detail is critical because it is the last but one step in the construction process. Any mistake here is immediately seen on the construction floor with no chance to fix - man, material and money already poured into the ground.
DesignSense is pleased Introducing AddoBAR in India as a smart rebar detailing program. Built using CAD custom entities, AddoBAR is superbly intelligent and is the best companion for today’s detailers and designers who wear multiple hats and shoulder many responsibilities at work. Taking care of tedious and boring details and nitty gritties should not be one of them. Let smart software handle it for you within your choice of CAD software, AutoCAD or BricsCAD.
AddoBAR also is a solution to the growing problem of not getting skilled manpower for rebar detailing. This is only going to get worse as this is a low-end tedious job which nevertheless requires great skill which is disappearing fast. AddoBAR brings back the joiy in creating fast designs.
India is big on reinforced concrete! We need to build durable structures with cost-effective materials and be able to generate bill of quantities, estimates and schedules very quickly on-the-fly. Indian codes are largely British based, including the way we handle reinforcement! Our detailing code suggests a series of shape codes with designated numbers assigned to each bar’s bent shape. Bars are bent at a reinforcement supplier’s bending-yard according to the shape codes and variable leg dimensions, and delivered to site. AddoBAR delivers based on this workflow.
Two South African Engineers joined hands and created AddoBAR, a reinforcement detailing solution integrated in BricsCAD or AutoCAD. It combines intelligent objects with a dynamic scheduling palette. With more than 20 years combined experience in reinforcement detailing, AddoBAR is geared at easing the detailing burdens:
- Choose shape codes and bar preferences from a dynamic preview list dialog
- Insert bars dynamically to concrete outlines
- Add own bar- and label styles
- Live schedules: changes in to the schedule will reflect on the drawing and vice versa
- Re-Member and re-number features
- Increment bar numbers feature
- Error checking
- Intelligent views
- Compatible across “dwg” platforms such as AutoCAD and BricsCAD
- Schedules via a dock-able pallet
- Highlight selected palette bars
- Create custom shape code 99’s in xml format
Figure 1: Typical bridge deck reinforcement configuration.
AddoBAR is largely based on the idea of a parametric rebar objects with an intelligent bar sorter in a dwg CAD environment. The solution is a dual concept – rebar object (programmed in C++) and a scheduling routine to create the bending schedules (programmed in C#).
The key power in the rebar object lies in its definition. The bar’s definition file is a simple xml format easily editable in a XML script editor. In fact, AddoBAR makes it so simple that we have created more than 150 shape codes in different national codes since the birth of the bar object.
The bar is mathematically defined as you would bend a rod on a bending table. Thus, we have yet to encounter a bar shape that one cannot script. What is more, the bar can propagate on a 3d vector based path! That means the object can live in a 3d world!
The bar definition also states which side of the bar is more likely to be on the concrete cover side. This enabled us to move the grip-points which stretches the object to the cover-line instead of the rebar line. No more moving and stretching bars away from concrete edges. Just set the cover property of the bar style and click the bar into place!
Another huge advantage of the vector based definition is that any bar can measure its real cut-length on its own center line. The user has the option to define a mathematical cut length formula in the bar list definition file, but, if not present, the scheduler can use the true-length of the bar object’s center line.
Figure 3 Bar style settings dialog box in AddoBar
With AddoBAR we introduced and accompanying object to make annotation and settings easier. The addition of a bar-style object to the dwg database enables the user to set multiple bar styles and associate them with bar objects in the drawing, similar to the well-known dimstyle method. Of course, this is an abstract object and we deal with it as such. The bar object also references the standard dimstyle objects in the dwg drawing in order to define leader styles, text styles and range-line styles. The upside of this approach is that the bar object can explode into intelligent sub-objects such as polylines, leaders and dimension objects.
The bar’s variables has been logically compressed into a property palette which is fully viewable on a full HD screen. This eliminates the annoying agony of scrolling up and down an over populated property palette.
With the bar object’s reference to an intelligent bar definition XML format, two abstract annotation classes and five visual display modes to choose from, the possibilities are endless. And the drafting speed is something that even engineers can get excited about!
The scheduler is as any detailer would expect, a big table with lots of info. Besides the normal run-of-the-mill operations, AddoBar’s scheduler takes back control of your drawing. The advanced error checking routines took 2 years to refine and will eliminate the age old errors of difference in the scheduler and the drawing.
What makes AddoBAR stand out from the rest is the ability to re-number, re-member and find bars with ease. Our auto-highlight function highlights bars in the drawing so it’s easy to see where and how many are scheduled. It also has the ability to add bars in different views and only schedule a selected view. AddoBar colors these bars differently (different colors for scheduled and non-scheduled bars) for easy duplication detection.
Schedules are written to model space and are user editable. Columns can be dragged and dropped in the scheduling pallet making it easy for companies to follow their own custom way of scheduling.
Figure 4: AddoBar's scheduling palette
Title Block Management
Apart from clever detailing tools, we have also created a bunch of general tools to make life easier in the CAD environment. The most powerful came from Wolter’s keyboard: the ability to export title-block attributes from multiple sheet-tabs and files into Excel and back. This function saves so much time in drawing management, that we have had customers renting the AddoBar for this sole purpose!
Figure 5 Ribbon bar showing the Title-block sheet attributes export and import tools.
Although our foremost intension with this development was to satisfy our own needs relating to reinforced concrete design and detailing, we decided to make our invention available to our colleagues as well! However, since we are both practicing engineers, we have done it in a way that suites us best, but allows you to share in our excitement!
The program is now available for rent on a year-to-year basis as well as a 3 and 5 year perpetual contract. This enables us to keep you up to date with all our own improvements and lessens the historic compatibility burden. We require an internet connection to activate the software from our server and on a periodical basis thereafter in order to check that everything remains afloat. This means less trouble for us, and better support for you!
Our support is e-mail based and we commit our response within 48-hours. Since we use our own software in our own engineering work, we usually know of a problem before you do!
The program can be downloaded from our website, www.addosoft.co.za, for a 30 day trial period.
Shape-code based reinforcement detailing remains one of the most trusted and risk-free detailing concepts in the world, and most of the old British Empire countries still follow this approach!
Our mission with AddoBar is to build on this fantastic concept and make it even better. We have set out to make our own lives easier and to make reinforcement detailing exciting for ourselves! We are confident that it can do the same for you!
AddoBAR India: Local Sales and Solutions Point:
DesignSense Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
# 825 (2nd Floor), Puttadas Complex
JSS Circle, Jayanagar 7th Block
Bengaluru – 560 070
Contact: Rakesh Rao (firstname.lastname@example.org +91-9243438300)