Dynamic Assembly Builder  
 

Dynamic assemblies create reusable processes that reduce the amount of work for an estimator. For example the estimator might enter a concrete columns dimensions and quantity, select the steel reinforcing from a list, select the finish required, and finally click the assembly run button. The assembly would then calculate all the cost details necessary to turn user inputs into quantities of concrete, formwork, weight of steel and the finish area.

The finished result would be one or more completed rows in the cost estimate. The assembly builder is designed to be simple to build and modify assemblies. A minimum number of steps is used, yet while allowing very complex assemblies to be created. It is possible to create an entire building within one assembly. Assemblies can be created, copied and shared between users. The user can build and test an assembly on the same form.

Assemblies can be designed for different audiences. An engineer might expect more technical information and choices, while others would want those choices made for them.

Click on the movie camera for a video demonstration of using assemblies. It's easier to see it working than explain it with the static screen shots and text below. The video takes about 7 minutes to download with a broad-band / high-speed connection. Your comments would be very much appreciated.

The Titles tab is used to create assembly titles and link pictures to the assembly. This tab is also used to select the assembly being created or modified within the other tabs. It is possible to clone an assembly, thus reducing the time to develop a similar assembly. Multiple pictures can be used to graphically represent what is represented by each assembly. Material selection options can be shown, and the input variables can be diagrammed for easy use.

On the 'Input Variables' tab the variables used within the formulas are created and input limits established. Min, max, required and default values reduce the formula building work necessary to create an assembly.

The checkboxes tab creates on/off selections for the user to select. The checkboxes control whether formulas are used and quantities calculated. Thus the assembly builder can turn on and off entire sections of the calculation with a simple yes or no answer from the assembly user.

The radio buttons are similar to the checkboxes with the exception of the user's choice being limited to one of the listed selections. The assembly builder creates categories and then multiple selections within each category.

The formula tab is where all the variables, checkboxes and radio buttons come together. The test column is used to decide whether the calculation occurs. If the calculation test passes the calculation formula is run and the results are passed to the cost item code described in the section and item columns. The message box below describes the operators available when building the tests or formulas.

This page was last updated on April 30, 2005 - Copyright 2000-2005 CorVet Systems - All Rights Reserved - Patents Pending