Tips & Tricks 2020
For the import, display and editing of point clouds a license for the HiCAD Point Cloud module is required. HiCAD model drawings containing point clouds can be opened without such a license, but the point clouds will then not be displayed.
If you want to reset the HiCAD user interface, for example because ICN windows are no longer displayed or because incorrect icons or texts are displayed in the HiCAD toolbars or ribbons, use the contains the tool
tool in the HiCAD EXE directory. This tool resets the entire HiCAD user interface, i.e. all corresponding settings in the Windows Registry and in the %APPDATA% directory, to the state after a new HiCAD installation.
After starting the tool, the following dialogue window is displayed.
HiCAD should be closed before calling the tool.
You start the reset by clicking the Restore GUI delivery state button. With the functions and the current settings can be saved and reloaded at any time. The file format is hicadgui. This is also useful if you use HiCAD at different workstations, e.g. on a laptop and on a computer with two monitors. You can simply save the settings of both workstations and then load the respective settings file you need.
For further information click here.
As of HiCAD 2019 the “old” itemisation, i.e. the itemisation that was used up to HiCAD 2017, will only be available for model drawings that were already itemized with these functions. From HiCAD 2021 onwards, only the “new” itemization will be supported.
As of HiCAD 2020 SP1, you can use the Configuration Editor to define the procedure for starting the itemization in a model drawing that still uses the itemization up to HiCAD 2017. To do this, open the Configuration Editor and choose System settings > Itemisation > Switch to 'Standard itemisation used since HiCAD 2018'.
The following options are available here:
No message or query will be displayed. This means that the itemisation up to HiCAD 2017 will still be used.
A message will be displayed, informing you that the itemisation up to HiCAD 2017 will still be used. You then have the option of determining whether or not the itemization should be converted to the standard itemization. To Cancel the itemization function, use the same named option.
Here, too, the message will be displayed, informing you that the itemisation up to HiCAD 2017 will still be used. Here, however, you only have the possibility to switch to the standard itemisation with OK or to Cancel the itemization function.
The default setting is Optional.
For further information click here.
The detail drawings created with the Management+BIM module are always stored on Sheet 2 of the drawing. When printing via the HELiOS/HiCAD Spooler, all sheets are printed - depending on the setting - i.e. also sheet areas without production drawings such as Sheet 1.
By setting (Configuration editor) the Delete unused sheet areas parameter to Yes you can now specify that sheet areas without production drawings are deleted. The default setting is No.
As of HiCAD 2020 the Design Checker offers additional tests for HCM models.
When installing elements - especially for complex facades - it is often the case in practice that certain installation elements have the same options. To make it easier to select the areas to be occupied (rectangular or polygonal sketch areas) and to edit installation elements with the same parameters, HiCAD offers the possibility to work with so-called selection groups. The advantage is that you can group installation elements with the same parameters and then select or deselect all elements of this group with one click. The Selection groups area is available in the Installation elements dialogue window.
Selection groups can also be applied to Sub-structures.
In the Configuration Editor at System settings > Catalogue > Track catalogue changes you can now determine how to proceed in case of catalogue changes in HiCAD. The default setting is Do not track, that is, the catalogue data will be loaded only once when you start HiCAD. After this, HiCAD will no longer check whether newer data exist. The reason for this is that a check for up-to-dateness of catalogues in HiCAD can significantly deteriorate the performance in some situations.
As of HiCAD 2020, the new Reload function offers the option to update catalogues after applying changes to them without having to close HiCAD, and without having to put up with drops in performance due to repeated checks for up-to-dateness.
You find the new function at Settings > Catalogue.
In previous versions, dimensions were always assigned to the active part during their creation. From HiCAD 2020 onwards, you can assign the dimensions either to the active part or to the part to which the 1st dimension base point belongs. This behaviour can be determined via the Set parameters for new general dimensions function, on the System tab of the dialogue window.
The parameters of this tab can be preset via the Configuration Editor, at System settings > Annotations > Dimensioning, 3-D > Interactive dimensions > Dimension assignment. The default setting is Active part.
As of HiCAD 2020, the active pipeline is determined via the active part.
This means: If the active part belongs to a pipeline, then this pipeline is considered the active pipeline. Otherwise, no pipeline is active.
The previous functions for activating pipelines are therefore no longer available from HiCAD 2020 onwards.
Checkup and Release can now take place directly in the production drawing. In previous versions these options were greyed out if a production drawing had been loaded.
In the Sketch HCM the constraints will now (as of HiCAD 2019 SP2) take into account whether the use of external references has been activated or deactivated. An external reference exists if a HCM constraint refers to a part that does not belong to this sketch.
In existing sketches the use of external references is active by default, in order to keep the existing behaviour of these sketches. Created new sketches behave according top the settings specified in the Configuration Editor: The value chosen at System settings > Sketch HCM > Use external references determines your default value. After new installations, external references are not used by default.
If you right-click on the empty area of the HCM window of the ICN, a context menu with the options External reference: Use or ... do not use, respectively, will be displayed, which shows you the current setting for external references. After choosing this option, a dialogue window will be displayed, allowing you to choose between the settings Use and Do not use.
Tips & Tricks 2019
The updating of dependent assemblies can now be switched off temporarily or permanently. For this purpose the new options Switch Update off and Switch update off, permanent have been added to the context menu.
- Switch Update off deactivates the updating only temporarily - after selecting this option an updating of the dependent assembly will be prevented, the corresponding Feature log entry will be renamed to Dependent part (Deactivated) and in the context menu the option Switch Update on will be offered.
- Switch Update off, permanent also deactivates the updating, but permanently, i.e. this step cannot be undone (except with the UNDO) function. The corresponding Feature log entry will then be renamed to Dependent part (Switched off), and the context menu entries for updating will no longer be displayed.
In previous versions the direction symbol for the processing direction was not visible in the DXF export if it was located on the rear side of the sheet development. On facade trays (e.g. ALUCOBOND trays) the direction symbol is often located on the front side of the trays. The development will then be carried out from the rear side in order to display the milling edges. Here, too, the direction symbol would not be visible in the export.
To visualize the direction symbol on the other sheet side (as of HiCAD 2019 SP2), choose Sheet development > Update> Default setting and then, in the opened dialogue window, click on the Extended settings icon. In the next dialogue window, open the Extended representation tab and activate the Always show direction symbol on both sheet sides checkbox to copy the symbol to the other side of the sheet.
A higher Threshold value for simplified OpelGL representation, too, can help increase the performance. The setting for threshold values enables the automatic simplification of parts starting from a particular size:
- Parts that are smaller than 1 pixel are automatically hidden on the screen.
- Parts that are smaller than 10 pixels are represented as cuboids on the screen.
This setting can be adjusted to the individual requirements of the user. The pixel size for this dynamic changing of the representation can be modified in the Configuration Editor, at System settings > Visualisation > Views. You use the parameters
- Threshold value for simplified OpenGL representation (Bounding box) and
- Threshold value for simplified OpenGL representation (Omit)
Further Tips on performance optimisation can be found in our Whitepaper.
In previous versions, leader lines frequently ran straight through processings (e.g. bore patterns) when using the automatic placing of annotations for standard processings. This effect has been corrected in HiCAD 2019 SP2; now, leader lines of processings will always end at the nearest standard processing. Furthermore, leader lines can now be placed either on or outside of parts. For this purpose the dialogue window of the Optimise arrangement function (3-D Dimensioning+Text > Text > Part annotation with free text + leader line) now contains the new Standard processings preferably on part checkbox.
If the checkbox is active, the annotations of standard processings are placed directly next to the processing, i.e. on the part, if there is sufficient space. If there is not enough space, the annotation will be placed a little farther.
If the checkbox is deactivated, the annotations will be placed outside the part, as in previous versions. This is the default setting.
Curved segments with equal radius and mid point are now (as of HiCAD 2019 SP2, Patch 1) handled like aligned, straight beams. That is, if there are several curved beam segments with equal radius and mid point in succession, the railing elements of these beams will be combined into one segment assembly. In this way, continuous hand rails and knee rails will be created on these beams, too. The updating and modification of existing railings (before Version 2019 SP2 Patch 1) with such areas continues to take place with individual segment assemblies, i.e. non-continuous, "interrupted" hand rails and knee rails.
In the image below a railing along two curved beams (1) and (2) has been created. A shows the result with a version before 2019 SP2, Patch1, B shows the result with Patch 1.
From HiCAD 2019 SP2 the ICN representation of up to three user columns is supported for the 3-D part structure. The representation can be switched on/off by activating/deactivating the checkbox.
The attributes displayed in the three user columns can be configured individually. For instance, the number of the shipping item, that is, the item number of the uncut installation profiles (attribute %PI), plays an important role in installation planning. However, the item number (attribute %02) is important for substructures. By defining corresponding user columns, you can display both item numbers in different columns.
The user columns are defined in the HDB files ICN3D_USERn.HDB (for use without HELiOS) or ICN3D_USERn_DB.HDB (for use with HELiOS). n is the number of the user column. The files are located in the HiCAD sys directory.
For further information click here.
Some CAM systems (e.g. CobusNCAD) do not support arcs at bend zone ends. To create bend zones suitable for milling, you can now use the Trim Corner function to trim transitions with two or three milling edge zones in your sheet metal drawing. First activate the icon for the number of milling edge zones to be trimmed and then identify the milling edge zones. This creates 2 straight lines as an extension of the flange edges converging in the milling edge zone.
Trim corner, 2 milling edges: (1) Original situation, (2) View of original situation in the bending simulation (top view), (3) Trimmed milling edge zone (top view)
The ALUCOBOND SZ 20 cassettes were edited with the new Trim corner function having bend zone ends suitable for milling.
For further information click here.
From HiCAD 2019 SP2 onwards, handrails can be divided, e.g. in order to insert plug-in profiles or flat steel joints in long railings. For this purpose, an additional checkbox has been added on the Handrail-Handrail tab.
If the checkbox is active, the variant for handrail division and the division of the handrail can be specified by segments.
(1) Variant: Plug-in profile, (2) Variant: Flat steel joint, (3) Variant: Straight cut
For further information click here.
- When changing or deleting mounting tracks of exploded views you can now (as of HiCAD 2019 SP1) right-click to open a context menu with further selection functions:
Exploded views can now be considered as 3D-PDF (*.PDF), Universal 3D (*.U3D) and Product Representation Compact (*.PRC) files for exports. The Configuration Editor and the export dialogue windows have been expanded accordingly for this purpose. In the Configuration Editor at Interfaces, the Consider exploded layout checkbox is available for the above-mentioned formats. The setting specified here will be the pre-setting for the corresponding export dialogue.
Concentricity transformations can now be performed not just about an axis, but also about a point. For this purpose, two buttons have been added to the dialogue window:
Concentric, about axis Here the transformation takes place by selection of an axis. The moved parts will then be located on a circle the centre point of which lies on the selected axis and runs through the centroids of the selected parts. This means that the parts move within one circle plane, i.e. the transformation is two-dimensional.
Concentric, about Point If you choose this option, the parts will move on a straight line running through the selected point and the centroid of the corresponding part, i.e. the transformation is three-dimensional.
The following example illustrates the difference between the transformation types Concentric, about axis and Concentric, about point. The image below shows 8 neighbouring cuboids and one concentricity transformation about a point:
The next image shows the concentricity transformation about an axis:
If available, cloud directories such as Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox are displayed when loading or saving drawings via HiCAD Explorer. These can be found in your user folder.
HiCAD supports part classification according tom freely definable usages. In this way you can, for instance, define beams or profiles in Civil Engineering as columns, girders, mullions, transoms etc. The classification takes place by assigning the Usage attribute to the corresponding part. This classification enables, for example, the creation of Usage-dependent workshop drawings or Bills of Materials.
The usages can be expanded customer-specifically at any time with the help of the Catalogue Editor. The different usages are managed in the Factory standards catalogue.
If the CONFIGKEY column of a usage is left empty, the usage will be assigned to the DEFAULT configuration.
For further information click here.
The Sheet along sketch function now also considers non-tangential transitions between a straight line and a an arc. Where the line bends, a bend zone or a milling edge zone will be inserted.
Click here for further Information.
Automatic updating of Part HCM models after applying changes to the 3-D drawing may take a prolonged time for larger models.
In such cases you can increase the performance by deactivating the AutoUpdate HCM model Checkbox (3-D Standard > HCM > Tools > Settings ) .
This Whitepaper document is giving an overview on how performance can be improved when working with HiCAD.
Besides the option to use the predefined settings files supplied with HiCAD, you can also create, depending on the respective usage/part type, your own settings files.
To create or modify such files, select Drawing > Itemisation/Detailing > Derive . Specify the desired settings in the dialogue. To Save the settings in a settings file, or to Load an existing file, use the buttons beneath Settings file.
The area in the red frame is controlled by the corresponding .DAT file, the area in the green frame by the settings in the Configuration Editor.
The presetting files must be given the following names:
- BIM_WSD_UsageText.DAT or
with UsageText standing for the designation in the tables of the Factory Standards catalogue Usage, and UsageKey standing for the CONFIGKEY.
Alternatively, you can also use the part type: BIM_WSD_Teileart.DAT. This file must be created, for instance, if you
For example, if you require particular settings for I-beams, you need to create a BIM_WSD_I - Profile.DAT file.
The Length optimization has been improved to make its operation easier. You have now the option to add all profiles of one length to the active selection via the context menu function Add profile(s) to selection.
Also, the number of different profile lengths and the total waste will now be indicated in the middle of the dialogue window.
HiCAD P+ID R+I now supports so-called block symbols. These are symbols that represent a P+ID sheet.
In the ISD library ISD_PROCESSFLOW.SZA such a block symbol is already available. Users can create such symbols using the Symbol type 18 = Schema block. After inserting a block symbol, you can call the editing functions for the block symbol with a right-click on the symbol.
Click here for further Information.
The Automatic positional constraints function for planar sketches and 3-D sketches now contains, beneath the Parallel option, the additional Also on Parts CS option.
If this option has been activated, line elements running parallel to an axis (or, in 3-D sketches, also parallel to a plane) of the Part CS, will be assigned a Parallel constraint with regard to it. If you deactivate this option, HiCAD will show the same behaviour as previous versions, i.e. no parallelisms with regard to axes or planes of the Part CS will be considered, just parallelisms of lines.
Bills of materials can be aligned automatically (Left/Right/Top/Bottom) or manually (No default/Position) on the 2-D Drawing elements tab of the Settings dialogue window for isometries or pipe spool drawings .
For manual alignment HiCAD will assume that the BOM has been created with fixed column widths. Accordingly, such a BOM will not obtain any automatic column widths, but the fixed widths determined in the table definition beneath Contents.
If automatic column widths are used for BOM creation, and the manual alignment has been chosen in the settings for isometries or pipe spool drawings, the following message will be displayed:
After confirming with OK, the BOM BOM will be placed on the right by default. Please note that editing the BOM may lead to unwanted results in such cases. Therefore, you should either choose the automatic alignment, or use a table definition without automatic column widths.
More details on how to configure column layouts can be found in the Configuration of BOM Layouts (PE/Iso) topic.
The default setting for the sheet development and the changing of the Favourites also affects drawing derivations for Sheets and the the export of developed sheets as DXF files .
For the Itemisation a further distinctive criterion, the Processing Direction, can be chosen for Identical Part Search (as of HiCAD 2019 SP1).
- Only direction symbols on top facet of flanges are being considered.
- Relevant to the comparison of Processing Directions are only your (processed) directions and RTYP entered in the catalogue (1: one-sided, 2: two-sided).
- Irrelevant to the comparison are thus the position of direction symbols (on which flange, where on the flange) and its geometry in particular.
Click here for further information.
- As of HiCAD 2019 SP1 the visibility of textures in the active views or in all views of a model drawing can be switched on or off. Switching off the visibility of textures can be helpful during the processing of large model drawings with many textures.
- When assigning textures, you have now the option to set parameters for the selected projection method e.g. the cylinder axis or an angle for seam displacement.
(1) Parameters,automatic, (2) Y-axis selected as axis, (3) Axis = Y-axis and additional point selected
- The Change texture functionallows multiple part selection.
You have now the option to automatically place inserts in openings of profile installations (as of HiCAD 2019 SP1). For this purpose, a new side tab called Inserts has been added to the Profile installation dialogue window, allowing you to configure the inserts.
The UserInterfaceEditor.exe tool that you can start directly from HiCAD offers the following customization options:
- Customizing the QuickAccess Toolbar
- Customizing Ribbon Tabs
- Customizing the Keyboard Shortcuts
- Customizing the Transparent Toolbar
You start the tool by clicking the symbol to the right of the QuickAccess Toolbar and selecting the Customize QuickAccess Toolbar function.
As of HiCAD 2019 Textures are assigned via the docking window Visual Effects. The following functions are available instead:
In addition, HiCAD 2019 offers a multitude of textures. These are available in HiCAD Catalogue under Textures and Colours > Textures.
Not only item numbers but also itemisation texts which consist of free text and attributes from different HiCAD/HELiOS sources. As of HiCAD 2018 SP2 the new HiCAD part attribute Item index %PIDX can be used in order to create own incrementation in itemisation texts. If the itemisation text contains this attribute, each part with equal item number will be incremented on its own. This means that all n parts with common itemisation number will be numbered consecutively with an index from 1 to n. In practice, this is often used to allocate assemblies or parts with equal item number clearly to each information of the item number flag or BOM.
Click here for an example
In HiCAD 2019 the Part structure representation in the 3-D ICN has been redesigned:
- Improved performance, notably with complex drawings
- Tabular, multicolumn representation
- Sorting by click on the column header
- Individual configuration of the representation
- Fast switching of the representation of HiCAD and HELiOS attributes
Click here for further information.
Normally, model drawings contain many texts. These can be “normal” texts, dimensions, annotations and BOMs. Here, too, changing the text font can lead to a significantly increased performance. For instance, changing TrueType Fonts to a HiCAD font during zooming or moving in Sheet areas can increase the performance by a factor of up to 10.
This Collision Check (Information > 3-D, Further > Coll.) enables you to check whether the sub-parts of the active part collide. If the active, superordinate part is a solid, HioCAD will also check whether the active part itself collides with one of its sub-parts. Self-intersections of the active part will not be indicated here.
2 parts Indicates the collision of two arbitrary parts. After choosing the function, select the two parts. Collisions of a sub-part of the first identified part and a sub-part of the second identified part will be shown. Collisions of two sub-parts which are both located beneath one of the selected parts will not be indicated.
|All parts Indicates collisions of all parts of a drawing.|
|Selected parts Indicates collisions of all parts of the current part list, i.e. all currently marked parts. Before calling this function, select the required parts, either in the drawing or in the ICN. In contrast to the 2 parts option, the collisions of all sub-parts of the superordinate parts contained in the part list will be indicated individually here.|
If a collision is detected, it will be highlighted if desired, and you can decide whether you want to continue the check.
For each collision, a collision part called Collision is generated, containing two dummy parts with the names of the parts causing the collision. This is used for faster clarification of the cause of the collision, as the collision body can be very small and optically barely visible. All collision bodies are again summarised beneath a structure item called Collision group.
As of HiCAD 2019 Collinear sheet edges can no longer be shown in the HiddenLine representation. Therefore, the following setting options have been removed:
- in HiCAD at Views > Properties > Show/Hide elements > Show collinear sheet edges and
- in the Configuration Editor at Drawing >Views > Hiding and overlapping of edges > Hide collinear sheet edges.
For model drawings from 2018 and older you can no longer show collinear sheet edges in the HiddenLine representation. For these legacy drawings, the settings valid at the time of their saving apply. However, you have still the option to update the handling of collinear sheet edges in these legacy drawings to the new mechanism. To do this, use the Update sheet edges function. After applying the function you can hide collinear-tangential sheet edges in the HiddenLine representation if desired. Collinear bent edges will always be shown, while collinear mergeable edges will be hidden.
For converting Itemisations to the Standard Itemisation as of HiCAD 2018, the function Convert to standard itemisation is available (as of HiCAD 2019).
With this function the itemisation of drawings using the mode Itemisation up to HiCAD 2017 can be converted into the mode Standard Itemisation (as of HiCAD 2018).This is possible for drawings created with a version before HiCAD 2019 and which have been -at least partially- itemised with the old mode. Otherwise, this function is greyed out.
After calling the function the conversion starts immediately. This will proceed as follows:
- HiCAD tries to obtain the existing item numbers including the settings of the itemisation as far as possible.
- Invalid item numbers remain invalid.
- Not existing item numbers are not generated automatically.
If settings or item numbers cannot be taken over unmodified, an according notification will be displayed.
Views can be moved directly with the mouse using Drag&Drop. This behaviour can be changed by pressing the D key. After pressing the key, views are locked against Drag&Drop movements during the current HiCAD session. In this state, left-clicking the view frame with the mouse button held down causes a rectangular zoom window to be drawn. Pressing the D key again changes this behaviour back again.
Such "mounting parts" can be beams, profiles, plates, sheets, and general parts, and are called "loose parts" in HiCAD. Such "loose parts" are parts that do not belong to a BOM-relevant assembly in which an assembly main part has been defined (welding assembly).
Use the settings at Management + BIM > Individual part type in the Configuration Editor to achieve that these parts will be automatically recognized by HiCAD during detail drawing creation and marked correspondingly in the title block of the drawing.
If you set the Distinguish loose parts and assembly parts switch to Yes, you must also ensure during itemisation that geometrically identical parts that are both available as loose parts and also belong to an assembly are recognized as different. To do this, you must create a corresponding group for loose parts on the Part groups tab of the Itemisation settings dialogue window and save these changed settings in a new Favourites file. To ensure that the settings of this file are taken into account during automatic itemisation, either change the setting in the Configuration Editor at System settings > Itemisation > Default settings or select the new Favourites file in the itemisation options.
As an example, take a look at the image below, which contains the same I-beam three times. Two of these beams are installed as loose parts, the third belongs to an assembly.
In the Configuration Editor, the switch is set to Yes and a Favourites file with a new part group for loose parts has been created, e.g.
If the model drawing is now itemised with these settings, the assemblies are numbered first, then the loose parts, then the Steel/Metal Engineering parts, etc.