We use ArchiCAD library parts as a representation of real word's objects. When we create a schedule we visualize this correlations and make some calculations. And interactive schedules take most of information from instances of library parts. What strategy should we use for filling placed library parts with information of their real-word prototypes? I am going to introduce one-to-one library part to real-word object mapping approach below.
Usually, real-word object is a base product with some varied properties (base type of door with different sizes or materials, for example). "Intelligent" library parts have a lot of parameters which represent most of this variable properties. So, when I say "one-to-one" correlation I mean relation between base real-world object and a library part.
So, go step by step. In the beginning we have a project with standard library (or office library) and an empty project library folder.
1.1. We want to use some real-word object in our project which haven't placed yet. Ok, locate some good object in standard library, open and resave it in the project library with meaningful name. If the library part object already resaved in our project library, but we need more differences then simple properties variations, when we save the same library part object in our project library again with other name. And the difference in names should reflect the differences in their real-world prototypes (names should be meaningful).
1.2. Set parameters according to real-word object properties which you already know and place the project library's object.
1.3. Proceed with this object placement method.
Ok, now we want to create a schedule.
2.1. Place library part name and all parameters, representing real-word objects properties, in Schema. Include ALL parameters including empty one as manufacturer etc. Also include ID. Generate interactive schedule with "Show uniform items as a single entry" option.
2.2. Export the schedule to Excel. Fill empty fields with appropriate information. It's much easily to do in Excel then in ArchiCAD . If you don't use some kind of variation in your project, but can use it in the future (for example, you place only right-handed instatcies of some door, but can use left-handed in the future), just duplicate the row and change one of main parameters (door orientation in our example). And not forget to fill in ID field - it totally depends on other parameters!
2.3. Save CSV file in your project library folder with ProjectObjects.CSV name.
2.4. Now our objects should change their parameters automatically. Thanks to parameter script our objects can be self-modifiable. If we have a macro which can read the ProjectObjects.CSV file and modify parameters in the library part which call it than we only need to include the macro call in parameter script of every library part. It is a long boring work, but don't mind the problem now, please. It can be solved.
2.5. Ok, now our objects contain all information about manufacturer, costs, etc. And they have appropriate IDs. We can create interactive schedules easily.
2.6. If you need modify some information or include new data, just use Excel and resave the ProjectObjects.CSV file.
So, we can implement some kind of self-made "database" about library part to real-word object correlations.
What do you think about this idea? Can it be used in your practice? I guess the most problematic points is: can you use the library part resaving approach?
I can implement the self-modification macro, if you find this idea useful.