CAD from the Streets (Hot Tip Harry AutoCAD Tutorial)1 Mar, 2008 By: Bill Kramer
This month's winner simplifies pipe and column drawings by automating AutoCAD's Extrusion command.
Tip 2272: Layer Color Change
Ryan Wunderlich sent in Layer Color Change, a marvelously simple but useful tool for changing layer colors. To use this tip, load the LISP code into AutoCAD and type XCC. You will be prompted to select an entity. After you have selected an entity object in the drawing, the Color dialog box will display with the current color assignment of the entity object layer. Picking a new color will cause the layer color assignment to be modified. Wunderbar, Ryan! This utility is much quicker than navigating the Layer command to change the colors.
Tip 2273: Change Circle Diameters
Change Circle Diameters from Antonia Acosta is a handy tool for structural detailers who need to change large bolt-hole diameters. Load the LISP code and type CH_CC at the AutoCAD Command line to activate this tip. You will be asked to select circles in your drawing. The utility activates a filter so you can select only circle objects when using Windows, streamlining the pick process. After you have selected several circles, you will be asked to type in a new diameter value. All the circles selected will be changed to the input diameter. This tool is great for power edit when you have to make a lot of edits. Thanks, Antonia!
Tip 2274: Steel Plate Extrusion
Also from Antonia Acosta, the Steel Plate Extrusion utility is a handy LISP program that allows you to sketch steel plates in 2D and then quickly extrude them into 3D. After drawing steel plates as closed polylines, load the LISP code and type 3DFLG at the Command line. You will be asked to supply the plate size and to select the plates for conversion. The rest is automatic, making this a handy utility for drawing 3D extrusions quickly.
Tip 2275: Align Text
Align Text from Ramesh Gopal lets you align text vertically or horizontally. Load the LISP code and type TAlign. Select the text objects you want to align. Next, the utility will ask you to select a control text object. The other objects selected will be aligned using the base point of the selected control object. Next, type V or H for vertical or horizontal alignment. The rest is automatic with this power-editing tool. Harry says excellent work, Ramesh!
Tip 2276: Brick Hatch Generator
Brick Hatch Generator is a great tip from Raymond Rizkallah. Rizkallah put his imagination and programming skills to work in creating this program that makes brick hatch patterns. Load the LISP program, type BRK at the Command line, answer a few simple questions about the brick size, and the program launches into the BHatch command with your freshly created brick pattern as the default pattern. The input you supply to define the pattern includes the file name, brick length, heights, joint size, and whether or not to overlap the bricks. Great tip, Raymond. And there's more where that came from.
Tip 2277: Pipe and Column Extrusion
Raymond Rizkallah also supplied this month's top tip, Pipe and Column Extrusion, a set of utilities for 3D drawing work. The functions - CV3, CV4, and CV5 - simplify the creation of pipes and columns by automating AutoCAD's Extrusion command based on an entity object selection. All three, contained in the same source code file, accept a 3D line as input and then create a 3D solid shape. Use CV3 to generate a cylindrical column, use CV4 to create a square column, and use CV5 to create a column out of a closed x,y-plane polyline defined inside a block. These functions compute the required planes, then run the AutoCAD commands, allowing you to quickly transform lines into extruded cylinders, rectangles, and other shapes. Great work, Raymond, and a tip of the hat from Harry as he slides out the door to seek more tips from the power users on the CAD streets.
Until next month, keep on programmin'.
Join the Hot Tip Harry Challenge
Harry needs your tips! Do you have an original routine written in VBA, Visual LISP, or even ObjectARX for AutoCAD customization? Send it in, with all the source code, to email@example.com. Your tip may be needed by others now, so don't delay!
Subscribe to Harry's Code Class
Cadalyst's Hot Tip Harry helps programmers and programmer wannabes learn the ins and outs of AutoCAD customization in his monthly e-newsletter, Harry's Code Class. Subscribe to Harry's Code Class today and start building your programming expertise.
Hot Tip Harry Discussion Forums
Harry is standing by online to aid AutoCAD users and programmers. Cadalyst's Hot Tip Harry -- Help! Discussion Forum offers assistance with AutoCAD programming and customization problems. Hot Tip Harry -- Requests Discussion Forum can help you locate a specific LISP or VBA routine for AutoCAD. Participation in Cadalyst Discussion Forums requires registration, but it's free.
Get Your Weekly Fix of AutoCAD Tips
Cadalyst's Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter mails each Monday, delivering AutoCAD tips by readers for readers -- all reviewed by Cadalyst's volunteer Tip Patrol. Plus, you'll receive a rundown of new online CAD resources, deals and freebies, new CAD-related hardware and software products, and more. View the Cadalyst Tips & Tools Weekly archives and subscribe today!
AutoCAD Users: Check out Cadalyst Tips & Tricks Tuesdays
All it takes is a minute or two, and you could be off to more productive use of AutoCAD. Cadalyst announces Tips & Tricks Tuesdays with worldwide AutoCAD Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen. Each Tuesday, Lynn and Cadalyst bring a new, super-quick tip to the Cadalyst Video Gallery. Subscribe to Tips & Tricks Tuesdays and receive an e-mail notification every time a new tip goes live in the Cadalyst Video Gallery.
Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a different AutoCAD feature in every edition of her popular "Circles and Lines" tutorial series. For even more AutoCAD how-to, check out Lynn's quick tips in the Cadalyst Video Gallery. Subscribe to Cadalyst's Tips & Tricks Tuesdays free e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is available. All exclusively from Cadalyst!
Autodesk University 2013 – That's a Wrap! 7 Dec, 2013
Using PTC Creo Parametric Freestyle to Create Award-Winning Designs 6 Dec, 2013
Revit 2014 Update Release 1 Now Available For Download - Crash Reductions or Enhancements? 19 Jul, 2013
How to Replace the Viewport Compass with your Company Logo 5 Jul, 2013