AutoCAD Architecture Objects in 3ds Max Design

Each instance of an AutoCAD Architecture (formerly Architectural Desktop or ADT) object is represented by multiple objects in 3ds Max Design. Whenever the file link process detects a useful distinction between elements of an AutoCAD Architecture object, it automatically separates, names, and groups the elements in 3ds Max Design to make them easier to work with.

The new objects created in 3ds Max Design through file linking are grouped together hierarchically below a special object called a VIZBlock, allowing you to deal with individual objects in the hierarchy or with all of them as a group. You can view this hierarchy, but you cannot change it in 3ds Max Design. You can only change the hierarchy indirectly by editing the objects in AutoCAD Architecture, and then reloading them into 3ds Max Design using the File Link Manager.

Criteria for Subdividing AutoCAD Architecture Objects

The File Link Manager divides an AutoCAD Architecture object into multiple objects in 3ds Max Design if it detects distinctions based on the following features:

So, for example, if a window object in AutoCAD Architecture contained a mullion component, but a portion of the component had a different material assignment than the rest of it, the mullion component would appear as two separate objects when linked into 3ds Max Design. The objects will be linked together with all the other components of the window, but you could modify the material properties of the two mullion objects separately. If you changed the material assignments in AutoCAD Architecture so that the entire mullion component only had one material assignment, then when you reloaded the drawing in 3ds Max Design there would only be one mullion object present.

NoteMaterial assignment and Layer are two of the properties used to separate one component from another. When these are changed in the AutoCAD Architecture drawing, new objects are created in 3ds Max Design, or geometry may move from one object to another. In either case, some scene properties are changed, such as assigned material or scene layer.

3ds Max Design organizes and names file linked objects to reflect their structure in AutoCAD Architecture, using a parent-child hierarchy. The parent object will be a VIZBlock named object class <style>, and this VIZBlock will have one or more child objects named object class <style name> component1, object class <style name> component2, and so forth. Objects that originate in an xref drawing in AutoCAD Architecture are grouped together under a VIZBlock that is named for the xref drawing.

The following table lists some examples of the naming conventions of AutoCAD Architecture objects that are file linked in 3ds Max Design.

Name in 3ds Max Design Remarks
Xref:Drawing1XRef:5701 A VIZBlock containing one or more objects found in drawing1.dwg, which is an xref in the linked AutoCAD Architecture drawing.
Window <Picture-Arched> A VIZBlock for an object of class=Window and style=Picture-Arched. There will one or more components that belong to this object instance, which will be child objects with the VIZBlock as their parent.
Window <Picture-Arched> Frame A component to the object, named Frame.
NoteIt is possible for instances of the same AutoCAD Architecture object to subdivide differently into 3ds Max Design objects. AutoCAD Architecture objects are considered instances of the same object if their type, style name, and component name are exact matches, and this will affect their instancing behavior for 3ds Max Design functions such as substitution as well as material propagation.
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