Default Visual Components layout format (*.vcmx) contains full component structures as copies, not as references. Only the geometry features - that are read from files - are referenced in order to minimize the layout file size.
This approach has pros and cons. The relatively small file size is a pro, so is the fact, that component structure and functionality can be tailored in a layout. However, the fact, that the components are not fully referred can be both misleading and sometimes even undesired.
The attached example demonstrates how the layouts can be stored and populated from a simple xml file format with help of full referencing.
The sample is simplified and does not support any layout items such as dimensions or annotations. Nor does it support layouts with customized components or robot programs. However, those functionalities can be added depending on the capabilities and requirements of the project.
Especially this example serves as a way to connect different design systems together e.g. with help of a PDM system
To install the add-on,
extract the zip-file in:
C:\Users…\Documents\Visual Components\4.0\My Commands
(let the files be in a subfolder)
Restart the software and you will find the XML tools in the home context’s ribbon tab.
Open up a sample layout and then try to export XML file. Clear all and then try to import the exported XML file.
XML.zip (5.43 KB)