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Plugin AVC_Lay for AutoCAD and BricsCAD.

Lay 3D-solids to XY plane. Group and sort list of details, make FlatShot for CNC.

Using this plugin you can quickly lay out the details of a complex assembly in the XY plane. This is useful when you are designing products made from sheet materials (furniture, woodworking), and when you need to do detailing, arranges every detail drawings. The plugin allows you to put selected solids in the XY plane of the world coordinate system, regardless of how they were arranged in space.

In a single click the plugin can do copy and a few turns of solids. Moreover, you can immediately select all solids components in an assembly, rather than to lay out solid by solid. As a result you get a neat column of details sorted from highest to lowest with text title.In addition the plugin can:

*BricsCAD version does not support now the creation of Flatshots with invisible lines and can not create Fields.

Original objects remain unchanged - laid out copies of it. Plugin can work with 3D-solids only. It not works with Meshes, Surfaces and Blocks.

Read about downloading and installing the program here.

To run the plugin, you will have to register account and top up your account balance by making a donation or receiving bonuses.

Then you can activate one of the licenses:

Command Lay

Select all the details in the assembly and call the Lay command. If before call selected nothing the program query to select. Selection may be saved after working command (see Common Options).

Next step select insertion point. The point query contains a setting option: 

In the settings dialog you will find all the same options as in the options of -Lay command. And besides, in the dialog are available the  Common Options of all A>V>C> plug-ins. 

After inputting insertion point the program will process all solids. The program looks for the front of the solid (see Metric of solid) and believes that it should be in the plane XY, front down. You can set the program to lay the front up or choose where the front will be laid out, depending on the manufacturing technology. See the settings in the "Lay the front" section. The front is considered the largest plane, ignoring curved surfaces. Please note that the dadoes can cut a large surface of the part into pieces and the program may make the wrong choice. In any case, you can force the program to consider any flat surface as a front - for this you need to mark this surface with a color (usually indexed color #30 is used).

In addition, the part is rotated around Z so that the longest edge of the solid is extended along the X axis. For most parts that are not too complex, this ensures that the length of the part is extended along the X axis. You can reconfigure the program to rotate all parts along the Y. You can adjust individual parts rotate along Y using the solid property Texture = Across. When searching for the longest edge, the priority of right angles is taken into account. That is, a right triangle will not be laid out along the hypotenuse.

In this laid out and expanded form, the part is measured and the Metric is written to XData.

All the A>V>C> programs that need the dimensions of the parts - SolSize, Sawing Table and so on, lay out the details in the same way. Only they do not save the laid out copy of the solid.

If the part is marked as "Mirror", then the program will mirror the part about the horizontal axis.

The program then groups the parts according to their properties specified in the Grouping setting. Parts are usually grouped by their assembly block name and by material. Groups of parts are laid out in separate columns to the right of the specified point.

The program then sorts the parts by size and arranges them down the Y-axis from largest to smallest (or vice versa - this is also configurable).

Each detail is signed with a name and (if necessary) a designation of the presence of a texture. There are many settings for exactly where to place the title and what it will be.

The plugin is designed for use in the design of sheet material details. In these details there is always the main plane on which determines how to put the item. This algorithm does not work for spheres, tors and shaped details. Curved skins will not flatten out, but will be laid out with a flat end. The program can measure the simplest sweep bent parts, if they are marked as "sweep" in Metric of solid, but this only affects the part size numbers, not the layout.

If a group heading is configured, then the details of each group are laid out in a separate column. You can, for example, arrange parts from different assemblies into different groups. For this use the %block% substitution in the grouping.

Plugin works only with objects such as 3D-solid. If you enable the "inside assemblies" option, the program will pull the parts out of the assembly-blocks.

If program cannot lay out the detail then the plugin will display a warning window and problem details will be painted red. For remove red illumination start any other command.

If enabled “Manage Layers” function, MD_Annotation layer will be assigned to the title.

Follow the messages on the console. There may be program messages.

Options dialog

The command customization dialog can be invoked when selecting objects or entering the insertion point using the TUNE option. You can find the settings for these commands in the A>V>C> Options Palette.

In the header of the options dialog box you see the drop-down list for selecting the style (set of settings). The style number will be used to quickly switch during the operation of the command. Next to the list there is a button for adding a new style. A new style is created by copying the current one. You can create up to 9 styles. Any style can be deleted exclude first. By default, two styles are created - for normal layout and for exporting parts to DXF.

Style name

Layout style name. Not used anywhere. For convenience only.


The group header is set here. It will be written in large print above the column of laid out details (unless the Title checkbox is selected in the Title Options section). If you want the layout to be done in several columns, then in this field you must enter the substitutions of the properties used for grouping. Usually here substitute the name of the assembly-block and / or the name of the material of the parts. Groups are always sorted alphabetically, in ascending order. If groups are not needed, leave the field blank, and then all the details will be laid out in one column. As soon as you place the cursor in this field, a substitution button will appear immediately. It brings up the substitution selection dialog. The result will be inserted at the current cursor position in the field and can replace the selected text fragment.

Title options

A part title is text (MText object) describing a part that the program can position above the part. The title is also very important for setting the order of the display, that is, for sorting the parts. Even if the title is turned off and not recorded, then its substitutions still set the sort order.

Selected objects filter

Filtering is needed to discard drawing objects that accidentally fall into the selection frame. It is easier to select all the objects of the model in a row, and let the program select only the necessary ones from them. Finding parts inside assembly blocks and counting the number of these blocks in the drawing is also in this section. You can read more about filtering on the Data Table page.

Part space

Distance between parts along the Y axis from the bottom of the previous part to the head of the next part. Set it to 0 to have the program choose the indentation based on the height of the title text and the dimensions of the part.

Title space

Additional padding between title and detail to accommodate dimensions and leaders. Set to 0 to use an indent equal to the height of the title text. Only fires when the title is placed above the part and not in the center. In the Detail Drawing command, this distance is plotted in paper space, not in the model.

Lay the Front

Lay options

Convert number to string

When a program finds a substitution and replaces it with an object property, it needs to know how to format numbers, how many characters to write. It is possible to write the format into each substitution. But if you did not specify the format in the substitution, then these settings will be used.

Size format

This setting is used only for converting size numbers to a string. It does not apply to areas, volumes, prices and other figures. The format can always be overridden in the substitution itself. The format is ignored when substituting AutoCAD fields.

The format specifies how many decimal places to write and whether to write insignificant zeros. Use the characters 0 and # in the format. 0 is a digit or 0, # is a digit or nothing.

For example, the number 1.111111 formatted as 00.00 will be displayed as 01.11. And formatted 0.#### will be displayed as 1.1111. And the number 1.0034 formatted as 0.## will be displayed as 1.

There are special, AutoCAD-only, formats:

After AR, EN, FR you can write precision (0-8) 


See the numbering settings here.

Command “–Lay”

This command has few console options inside “select point” query. I hope you know call options by first litter or by dropdown menu.

Options and settings

After any options input program will query point again. And you can use other option.  Thus you can tune program at any call. It makes possible creating macros and buttons for different way using command LAY.

Program settings are saved in the Windows registry, in the section of the current user. Therefore, they will work equally in all drawings and in all versions of AutoCAD and BricsCad. Settings can be transferred to another computer only by exporting a registry key. To do this there are buttons for exporting and importing settings.