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Internal and External Key Dims
Where should I put my Key Dims in the current dimstore or in a separate dimstore?
The increased possibilities within Masterbill Elite for dynamically linking dimsheets has resulted in many users asking questions about how they can make best use of these features in various circumstances especially when they are using the dim management features to reuse their data.
There are two models that may be adopted to make use of these features but there can be no hard and fast rules as both models have their merits and users are advised to make use of both models as appropriate. These models have been termed:
External Key Dims
Internal Key Dims
External Key Dims
This is when a user creates a completely separate dimstore in which to store their Key Dims as can be seen in the diagram below:
These key dims are stored within their own separate dimstore ready to be used as the measurement of the Substructures is undertaken.
Each time the user wishes to make use of a Key Dim the simply create a dynamic link to it.
This model works well as the key dimensions are kept separate from the measured items and are easily located when the user wishes to create a dynamic link.
The limitation of this model, however, becomes apparent when the user starts to make use of the dim management functions (i.e. copying dimstores).
If we were to imagine that in the above example the project also involves a Block B which is identical in construction to Block A but simply has a different girth then it is understandable why the user may wish to reuse the Block A dims and adjust them to create Block B by simply amending the Trench CL calculation.
The user must, however, realise that when a dimstore containing dynamic links is copied if those links are to dims stored in separate dimstores then the links are retained as can be seen in the diagram below:
To carry out the adjustment to Block A’s dims to create Block B the user needs to amend the Trench CL calculation but in this instance the Trench CL calculation is also used by the Block A dims and so any change will affect both sets of measurements. The user could sever the links and create new links but this is a time consuming process.
The Internal Key Dims model has been developed to combat this situation.
Internal Key Dims
Before we look at the Internal Key Dims model it is important to remember that the only difference between a Key Dim and a normal dim is that a Key Dim does not have a description just a quantity and a label. The fact that the Key Dim does not have a description means it is impossible for it to print in the Bills created from the dimstore in which it is saved. This fact enables a user to link within a dimstore thus creating Internal Key Dims.
In this dimstore the user has created the Key Dims (dims 1-3) at the beginning of the dimstore and then linked them to the measured items (dims 4-7) measured later within the same dimstore.
If once again we were to imagine that in the above example the project also involves a Block B which is identical in construction to Block A but simply has a different girth then it is understandable why the user may wish to reuse the Block A dims and adjust them to create Block B by simply amending the Trench CL calculation.
As the user has used the Internal Key Dims model they can now carry out the adjustment with ease.
This is because Block B now has its own Trench CL calculation and any amendment of that calculation will only affect Block B’s dims.
When should you use each model?
It is impossible to create hard and fast rules indicating when each model should be used but here are some useful hints to help you decide:
If the key dims are going to accessed from more than one dimstore i.e. Window dimensions then it would be easiest to create this using the External Key Dims model.
If the key dims are only to be used by one dimstore then create them within the dimstore thus adopting the Internal Key Dims model.
If the dims are likely to be reused as in the example above then adopt the Internal Key Dims model.
What happens to Key Dims when I copy dimstores between Projects?
External Key Dim links are severed and the values maintained, Internal Key Dim links are maintained in their entirety.
What happens to Key Dims when I copy a whole Project?
Both External and Internal Key Dims are maintained within the new Project.