Understanding the Manufacturer Connection
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Understanding the Manufacturer Connection

Feb 01, 2019
Video Length:  1:01:39
Presented By:  Damien Knight
The Manufacturer Connection is a dynamic and invaluable relationship that we at Land F/X have pioneered into an exclusive, easy to use tool that benefits both designers and manufacturers. This webinar will teach you about this relationship, the work that we put into manufacturer content, and how to better enhance your CAD design and specification processes, whether you’re designing for site , hardscape or lighting.

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)


  • Intro/TOC
  • What is the Manufacturer Connection?
  • Requesting Manufacturers
  • Categories and Data
  • Building the Content
  • Moving to CAD: Using the Manufacturer Connection with Land F/X

0:00–3:09: Intro/TOC

3:10 – 4:59: What is the Manufacturer Connection?

A software tool that provides a place for landscape, irrigation, and lighting designers to view catalogs and specify the respective product manufacturers of those professions through the CAD platform


A relationship builder that allows our users to discover manufacturers they’ve never seen before, access catalogs and product resources more efficiently, and connect with their existing manufacturers with a better knowledge of the product


For designers, it means:

  • Easy access to manufacturers’ catalogs from within CAD
  • Smart blocks and symbols
  • Manufacturer introductions


For manufacturers, it means:

  • Product visibility
  • Efficient resources
  • New specifiers

5:00 – 8:25: Requesting Manufacturers


Requesting manufacturers on our Manufacturer page (5:40)

Be as thorough and specific as possible about the product(s) you want added to our software to ensure a quicker turnaround time.


You can also contact manufacturers directly and request that they add their products to our software.


How to tell that a manufacturer is included in our software (7:28):


“Above the line” (included manufacturers):

  • Full-color logo
  • Partnering manufacturers listed first
  • Product data
  • Preview images
  • Website links


“Below the line” (manufacturers that are either under development or not partnering with us):

  • Faded logo
  • Manufacturers that are under development or are non-partnering are listed below
  • Limited products and data
  • Faded preview images
  • Website links


8:26 – 11:40: Categories and Data

Paver patterns: minimum requirements (9:10):

  • PAT (.pat) text files
  • In-context image
  • Laying pattern images


Site amenities: preferences (9:55)

  • .DWG product resource
  • SketchUp model
  • Studio-shot image
  • Detail cut sheet


Lighting: minimum requirements (10:50)

  • Specification options
  • Studio-shot image
  • Detail cut sheet


11:41 – 20:24: Building the Content

Our process for setting up hatches (12:17):

  • Audit PAT (.pat) file
  • Load into AutoCAD
  • Place into master file
  • Layer selection
  • Set default scale
  • Shoot preview slides
  • Link to data entry


Example of a PAT file for a hatch (12:30)

A PAT (.pat) file is a text file that contains definitions for model or drafting patterns.


Our process for PAT files submitted to us (13:00):

  • Audit PAT file name
  • Audit hatch title in PAT file
  • Save to our local drive to be loaded into AutoCAD
  • Name hatch
  • Set hatch scale


Our process for smart blocks submitted to us (14:00):

  • Color by layer
  • Line by layer
  • Audit layer name
  • OVERKILL command
  • PURGE & AUDIT commands
  • Linework cleanup
  • Insertion point
  • Confirm units
  • Link to data entry


Example of a manufacturer’s smart block in Model Space before we process it (14:25):

  • 1,210 lines
  • 468 arcs
  • 52 splines
  • 21 polylines
  • 8 circles
  • 16 other objects
  • Size: 556 KB


Comparison of a portion of the block in Model Space before and after we process it (14:45):


  • 268 lines
  • 88 arcs
  • 8 circles
  • 4 polylines



  • 25 polylines
  • 25 hatches
  • Size: 38 KB


Example of the same block in Paper Space (15:14)


Our process for 3D models submitted to us (15:53)

    -Model orientation by axes

  • Component description by axes
  • Grouping components and subcomponents
  • Audit edges
  • Confirm units
  • Slicing
  • Set face & edge styles
  • Reforming in subcomponents
  • Align with relative characteristics in 2D blocks
  • Link to data entry


Examples of a 3D model built by our team, based on an existing CAD block (16:18)


Before-after comparisons of 3D models processed by our team (17:06)

We are generally able to reduce the number of faces and edges, as well as the file size, drastically.


Our process for details submitted to us (18:00):

  • Consolidate detail information
  • Load layer states
  • Set template scale
  • Color by layer
  • Line by layer
  • Linework cleanup
  • Bubble callouts and numbers
  • OVERKILL command
  • PURGE and AUDIT commands


Comparison of a detail in Model Space before and after we process it (18:15)

-File size before: 250 KB

-File size after: 51 KB


Example of the same detail in Paper Space (18:40)

If possible, we will also reduce the number of details that apply to a specific product (19:10)

20:25 – end: Moving to CAD: Using the Manufacturer Connection with Land F/X

Overview of the Reference Notes (RefNotes) Manager (21:30)

The RefNotes Manager is the hub for selecting and configuring site and hardscape objects when using Land F/X.


Adding a hardscaping material to a Land F/X project as an Area/Volume RefNote (22:30)


Assigning a detail to a RefNote (25:04)


Selecting callout and leader styles (26:52)


Adding a site amenity to a project as an Amenity RefNote (27:30)


Placing an Amenity RefNote (29:45)


Using our Match Properties tool to add data to generic objects in a drawing, turning them into smart objects (30:50)


Using our Match Object tool to copy and paste smart objects in a drawing (32:15)


Using our Copy along Line, Polyline, and Arc tools to copy a site amenity along a set path (33:13)


Keyboard commands for copying site amenities (34:50)


Using our Highlight Object tool to identify all instances of a specific object in your drawing (example: a permeable paver) (37:45)


Calling out objects in a drawing (39:10)


Error checking your callouts using our Verify Callouts tool (41:15)


Placing a RefNotes Schedule to list all site amenities and hardscaping materials used in a plan (43:00)


Options for configuring the schedule (44:25)


Overview of our Lighting tool and library (46:00)


Placing light fixtures and copying them along a line (47:40)


Copying light fixtures along a line of trees and rotating them on the fly using the MOCORO (Move Copy Rotate) command (49:45)

This tool is available on the Home ribbon in F/X CAD 2019


Calling out light fixtures with images using our Photo Callout tool (51:45)


Running a lighting schedule (53:15)


Using our Edit Object tool to view and/or change the data attached to a smart object in your drawing (example: adding a cost) (55:35)


Placing generic objects (57:30)


We encourage designers to demonstrate the RefNotes Manager for prospective manufacturer partners to persuade them to add their product lines to our system (59:20)

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