– Adam Stone, D-Tools President

D-Tools’ drawing capabilities leverage a variety of shapes and templates for effective communication with customers, internal teams and other trades. For this reason, D-Tools has added a number of drawing enhancements to the upcoming release of our SI 2016 platform including the introduction of some exciting new Visio shapes:

  • Off page reference (OPR)
  • Dome camera symbol with adjustable coverage area
  • Motion detector symbol with adjustable coverage area
  • Wireless access point with adjustable coverage area
  • Cable tray shapes

Off Page Reference Shape

I think the off (and on) page reference shape will be appreciated most as D-Tools users have never had a way to easily extend a wire to another page or another location on the same page.  This shape works like a wormhole in space.  Wires attached to one end can reappear in another location, and it reports out like a single wire.

Visio - Blog 1


Dome Camera, Motion Sensor and Wireless Access Point with Adjustable Coverage Area

The dome camera, motion sensor and wireless access point are floor plan symbols that have user adjustable coverage areas from 10 to 360 degrees. The coverage area and color are user selectable and the shape can be steered toward the desired direction. These shapes are especially useful for visualizing the coverage area of the respective devices and were designed to allow for a Venn diagram-like transparency, while using different colors for distinguishing effect.Visio - Blog 2









Cable Tray Shapes

Visio - Blog 3












VisGuy Chris Roth and I have been working on the cable tray shapes for over a year, and he really knocked it out of the park with the designs. On the surface, cable trays seem like a simple product, right? How many different options can there possibly be? Well as it turns out, there are probably over 200,000 SKUs when factoring in all the manufacturers, widths, tray heights and different options available. Take a look at the 280-page Cope Cable Tray Systems catalog for an idea of how overwhelming this can get.

Visio - Blog 4










While some companies are happy attempting to build these types of shapes by hand-drawing each one, we chose to the more efficient route and created a stencil of cable tray shapes that can be configured on the page to represent most (if not all) of the products you would find across ALL manufacturers.

Visio - Blog 5

Since there is really no easy way to keep track of 200,000 SKUs, we had to rethink our configuration process and come up with a better way to accurately represent these products. Also, the dimensional dataset is much deeper on these products than the standard height, width and depth that we normally track.

Visio - Blog 6

Instead of building these configurable products one SKU at a time, we now allow the user to drop these shapes on the drawing page without a prompt, configure the system as needed, then assign individual SKUs as needed or assign a single parts and labor cost to the entire cable tray system.

Visio - Blog 7