A Guide To Advance Steel Clipping

Many people seem to get confused by the clipping settings in Advance Steel so I thought I would have a go at explaining things.

advance steel clipping 1

Above is a simple view generated by the camera shown in the image below. Notice the clipping that has been applied automatically to this view.

advance steel clipping cover

Edge clipping

When a view boundary cuts through an object, that object gets clipped. You can choose what type of line is used to indicate this cut; in my experience I have used the AutoCAD “Divide” linetype. What type of line you get is controlled by two defaults.

• Drawing Presentation > General > Specifies the Default Clipping

                    o No Line Clipping = No edge clipping line.

                    o Custom Clipping = One line with single zig-zag in the middle.

                    o Normal Clipping = Default line type chose below.

• Drawing Presentation > Linetypes > Clip Line Type = set to desired line type.

Length Clipping

It is common practice to clip a view to remove uninteresting sections thus making the view shorter to allow the use of bigger scales. The view below has this kind of clipping indicated by the zig-zag lines. The type of line use is controlled by the same clipping type default. You then choose the desired line type in Drawing Presentation > Linetypes > Line Type (Clipping), and mine is set to the AutoCAD zig-zag linetype.

The main source of confusion is with the settings that control how the view is shortened. These options are set in the drawing styles, but can be overridden in the actual detail in the drawing too. Here is an image of the Detail Properties box so we can discuss the options.

advance steel clipping 2

In the drawing below, at the top the black dimension is a proper Advance Steel dimension telling you the desired lengths of the beam. The view is at 1:10 scale and the magenta dimension is an AutoCAD dimension telling you what the distances are in the reduced scale view. This is important for understanding the clipping settings because they are all based on the actual VIEW dimension (magenta), not the model length.

• Option 1 – Minimum length to cut = How long a portion of the view has to be with no features to show before clipping is considered. In our view this is the portion between the two stiffeners. The setting is 30mm and the boring bit of the view would be 990/10 =99mm, so it is over 30 and will be clipped.

• Option 2 – How much should be kept each side of the clipping area = you don’t want the two stiffeners touching in the resulting view, so a short portion of the plain view is drawn each side of the gap. How long should this be? My setting is 10 and you can see that reflected in the magenta dimension.

• Option 3 – Clipping presentation length. How big is the gap between view pieces? Mine is set to 3.5mm and you can see the magenta dimension agrees.

• X Clipping and Y Clipping – Tick which direction you want to permit clipping in.

• Clipping type & Clipping line type – Override the defaults for which type of clipping line you want on this view.

• Clipping Extension – If you wish you can extend the clipping line outside the clipped edges by this length.

• Clip Oblique lines – Normally this is not ticked and sloping lines (like the haunch in my view) will never be clipped no matter how long they are. If you tick this you allow sloping lines to be clipped.

Automatic Clipping

This is another option that Is relevant and causes confusion. Again this is normally defined in the Drawing Style but it can be overridden in the Detail properties. When the clipping rules above have been applied you will get a view that is as small as possible. If Automatic Clipping is enabled the system will then compare the view to the available space on the drawing sheet. If there is space then Option 2 above is ignored and as much length as possible is restored either side of the gap to nicely fill the drawing sheet. If this means 100% is restored then the clipping does not happen.

Without this option some common, simple assemblies like a plain beam with endplates either end can start looking more like a plate or pancake since the whole view is only 20 or 30mm wide. Automatic clipping extends that to fill the sheet so that it looks more like a beam again. I hope that helps clarify things so you can get the best out of your drawings.

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