Step 1. Launching the application
Launching the program in classic mode is done by typing the _SBND command in the AutoCAD command line. The app can also be launched using the corresponding button on the ribbon in the "Add-ins" tab (Fig. 1):
Ribbon button to launch the SuperBoundary app in classic mode
After launching the application, the main window appears on the screen (Fig. 2):
The main window of the SuperBoundary application
Main window controls
- (1) Main information field - displays data on the number of selected objects, as well as on the number of boundaries found at the stage of the computational process from among the set of selected objects. When the application starts, it displays the message "No selection".
- (2) "START!" button - activates the computational process of detecting boundaries in the selected set of objects. The "START!" button is not active at the time of application launch, because the computational process can be started only after selecting objects.
- (3) Status bar - displays the current state of the application, as well as hints informing the user about the current steps of the app. When the application starts, it displays the message "Please select objects". The bottom line of the status bar displays the real-time counter of computing processes.
- (4) "SELECT" button - allows to select objects on the drawing, among which the process of detecting boundaries will be carried out.
- (5) "SETTINGS" button - displays a dialog box with app settings. See the "Program Settings" section for details.
- (6) "ABOUT" button - displays a dialog box containing data about the program and the type of installed license. The process of loading a license key (license activation) is also carried out through this window.
- (7) "CLOSE" button - closes the main window and terminates the application.
Step 2. Selecting objects
The selection of a group of objects on the basis of which the boundaries will be created is carried out using the "SELECT" button.
To select objects, click the "SELECT" button
After the objects are selected in the main information field, their total number is displayed, and the "START!" button becomes active. The video below shows that after selecting a fragment of the drawing, the application detected 4798 objects:
It is important to understand here that the more objects are selected, the more CPU time will be required for further calculations. Therefore, an experienced user at this stage will always be able to estimate the approximate computational effort and, if necessary, re-select a smaller number of objects by narrowing the selection area.
Step 3. Activation of the computational process
Activation of the computational process is carried out by means of the "START!" button (Fig. 4):
After selecting objects, click the "START!" button to start the computational process
The computational process is the longest process in the application in terms of machine time consumption. Depending on the number of selected objects, as well as the power of the central processor of the workstation, the computational process can take from fractions of a second to tens of minutes in extremely complex cases.
In the video below, you can see that the computational process for this drawing took just under two seconds. At the end of the process, the application identified 1760 boundaries among the selected set.
Step 4. Adding boundaries to the drawing
Upon completion of the computational process, the user can proceed to the procedure of adding the necessary boundaries to the drawing (Fig. 5):
For further adding boundaries to the drawing, two buttons "PICK POINT" and "BUILD ALL" are available
Main window additional controls
(1) "PICK POINT" button - allows the user to select the necessary boundaries from among those detected by the program after the computational process and add them to the drawing.
The selection of boundaries is carried out by moving the cursor over the area of the drawing, which consists of a set of objects selected by the user at the initial stage of the application. When moving the cursor, the program highlights the enclosed boundary over which the cursor is currently located. Thus, the user is given the opportunity to preview the shape of the selected boundary before adding it to the drawing.
Adding the selected boundary to the drawing is carried out by pressing the left mouse button. The procedure for selecting and adding a boundary in the form of a closed polyline is shown in the following video:
- (2) "BUILD ALL" button - allows to add at once all the boundaries detected by the SuperBoundary app at the stage of the computational process. The video below shows how the process of adding boundaries in the form of solid filled shapes is carried out. At the same time, for clarity, in the application settings, the option with an random color is selected as the fill color: