CAD Detail Explorer – FAQ
Below are the CAD Detail Explorer FAQ’s that we have compiled.
Q. How are keyword searches implemented?
A. We chose the Lucene.Net open source full search engine to perform keyword searching. It provides speed and simplicity and powerful searching syntax like Google and Windows Search.
Q. Do the CAD details need to be indexed?
A. Yes, CAD Detail Explorer use a searchable index must be created in advance. This is accomplished with a separate batch index creation program IndexBuilder.exe which is provided.
Q. If information in the CAD details change, does the search index need to be rebuilt?
Q. How does CAD Detail Explorer know where to find the directory of details to browse?
A. The path to the shared root detail folder is specified in the CAD Detail Explorer configuration file.
Q. Can the creation/updating of the search index be automated?
A. Yes. It is an standard executable program can be scheduled to run via Windows Task Scheduler.
Q. How long does it take to create the index for a set of CAD details?
A. One actual use case we ran took about 24 seconds to index 933 CAD details (~40 drawings/second).
Q. How is the full vector preview implemented?
A. Each detail is displayed in the preview pane is a dwf file made of the CAD detail file. For the current viewer itself we are using Autodesk Design Review 2013 Active-X control. The primary advantage is that there is no additional license cost involved, but it does require Autodesk Design Review 2013 be installed. Each detail currently requires its own dwf preview file to be created.
Q. Could CAD Detail Explorer be made to preview native DWG or MicroStation DGN, PDF, XPS or other formats rather than DWF?
A. Yes – this would require an additional software control component for the viewer. Please contact us for details.
CAD Interface FAQ
Q. How does CAD Detail Explorer insert a detail in CAD program?
A. It sends an “insert” command to a running instance of AutoCAD/MicroStation with the filename of the CAD detail to place. The detail block or cell is now interactively on the cursor for insertion.
Q. Does CAD Detail Explorer require a CAD program be installed to run?
A. No. It can run Search/Preview details without CAD program and could be used by project managers and other personnel without CAD installed on their desktop.
Q. Could CAD Detail Explorer have been built as a Windows Explorer Shell Extension running inside Windows Explorer?
A. We initially tried this with some degree success, but it appeared to us that Windows Explorer Shell Extensions in .NET are not fully documented, supported or even encouraged by Microsoft.
Q. What is the history of CAD Detail Explorer?
A. CAD Detail Explorer represents the third generation of CAD detail management solution from Mill Creek Systems, Inc. The first version was a VBA app running inside a CAD program (c. 2005), but was not flexible in terms of accommodating customers existing detail structures database. The second generation (Detail Manager PLUS web edition – c. 2007) was a web based version which made it easy to distribute CAD details to a large number of workstation, but required a database and up front setup that added overhead. The current 3rd generation CAD Detail Explorer (c. 2016) requires no database, will work with an existing directory structure and requires minimal up front setup or maintenance.