As a consultant and trainer, I work with many people that are currently working with AutoCAD or transitioning to Revit. I am constantly amazed at the number of architectural users of AutoCAD that are not aware of detail components within AutoCAD Architecture. These components can be an important part of drafting the many details that are part of an architectural design office. Over the years, I have spent many hours drafting details for construction documents and I think of the advantages of having pre-made components available to me for detailing.
The Detail Component Manager package is only available inside AutoCAD Architecture (ACA) and is not available for AutoCAD. However, it is totally worth using ACA even if this is the only part you use.
It contains 2D geometry for various components used in detailing and is organized by Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) divisions. You can find a huge variety of items ranging from steel beam sections, to finish carpentry profiles, to concrete masonry units, and even roof drain sections. Some of the items are very simplistic, like a 2×4, while some are very complex, like a roof drain or window frame/sill. When you insert the detail, it comes in as a block so it can be exploded and modified if necessary.
The following illustrations show some of the components that are available:
The Detail Component Manager can be accessed via:
- On the ribbon, go to the Home tab, then the Details panel, then select the Detail Components button.
- Type DTLCOMPMANAGER at the command line.
AutoCAD Architecture also contains tool palettes specific to ACA. One of the default tool palette groups is named “Detailing” and contains six palettes containing a small sampling of the available details. The following illustration shows some of the door details available:
You can right-click over one of the details (don’t pick on the detail) and select “Detail Component Manager…” from the context-sensitive menu to access more details.
It is a good idea to add your most commonly used details to palettes for quick and easy access. There are literally thousands of available detail components to use, so use them to make your detail creation life a bit easier.