AEC Tech News (#316)

19 Jul, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff

The World of AutoCAD Programming Platforms, Part 3

Learn how to to create and modify entities with Visual Studio.NET.

By Andrew G. Roe

In the previous installment of this series about AutoCAD programming, we developed examples that obtained basic drawing information in three different environments: Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), Visual Studio.NET, and AutoLISP. Because Visual Studio.NET seems to be Autodesk's favored platform for the future, let's look closer at a .NET example that creates some AutoCAD entities and modifies them programmatically.

This example adds a circle and some text to a drawing, then changes the color of the text to red. It uses the Visual Basic.NET programming language, although you can use Visual C#.NET instead. To complete this exercise, you'll need either Visual Studio.NET or the free Visual Studio Express. (If you're using AutoCAD 2013, you'll also need to download the ObjectARX SDK to run this example. Even though it's not an ObjectARX example, the necessary references are located in the SDK for 2013.)

Step-by-Step Entity Creation

  1. Start Visual Studio and create a new project by clicking File > New > Project.
  2. In the New Project dialog box, select Windows Forms Application, then type a name and file location at the bottom of the box.

Read more »

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Cadalyst contributing editor Andrew G. Roe is a registered civil engineer and president of AGR Associates.

GTeam Platform Helps AEC Teams Collaborate

Gehry Technologies' new browser-based tool is designed to bring architects, contractors, and building owners a little closer together — even if they're all using different software.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

"We were hearing from our customers that collaboration is difficult — it's hard for people to get data in the same place at the same time," said Andrew Witt, director of research for Gehry Technologies. To address that problem, Gehry developed a new collaboration tool for AEC professionals and building owners. On Tuesday, the company launched GTeam, a cloud-based file management and collaboration platform.

GTeam enables the various members of AEC project teams to collaborate and share documents, files, and 3D building information data from anywhere, as long as they have a web browser. "[It] takes files from any CAD tool, and allows you to display and work with them on any device," said Witt. "Anybody on the project can see [the project information] without the need for export to CAD tools."

Because an AEC project may incorporate many different CAD software tools, GTeam translates 3D files from industry-standard software to a common format. ("Industry-standard" in this case includes Revit, AutoCAD, Rhino, SketchUp, MicroStation, and Gehry Technologies' own Digital Project — "90% of the things you would run into on a building project," as Witt put it.) Read more »

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events


Innovative Presentations and Advanced Animations with CINEMA 4D
July 24, 2012
3 p.m. ET
In this webinar Nemetschek Vectorworks will provide an in-depth look at CINEMA 4D visualization techniques. Webinar attendees will explore several sample scenarios, including how to use animation to illustrate the construction phases of a high-rise tower. Read more »

Navigating the Legal Aspects of BIM
July 24, 2012
New York, New York
This seminar will cover the various legal aspects of BIM (building information modeling), which include how to use the AIA and ConsensusDOCS standard BIM documents to create customized forms and an introduction to the new AIA BIM documents. Read more »

Meet Vectorworks Architect
July 26, 2012
2 p.m. ET
Wes Gardner of Nemetschek Vectorworks will host this 30-minute overview presentation about Vectorworks Architect software. Attendees will learn about the software's capabilities and functions, such as customized wall styles and smart parametric objects, and about collaboration in a BIM workflow. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at


Are Intel's CPU-integrated GPUs Good Enough for CAD? (Part 2)
Last week, I talked about why Intel's latest generations of graphics-enabled CPUs might make CAD professionals think twice about paying extra dollars for a discrete graphics card on their next workstations. Read the CADspeed blog post »

All-in-One CAD Tip #8: AutoCAD CHSPACE, SketchBook Designer Symmetry Tool and Job Interview Tips
Three great CAD tips in one video! AutoCAD's CHSPACE command is the answer when you need to move lines from paper space to model space. SketchBook Designer's Symmetry tool can create perfect mirror copies or radial arrays of duplicated linework. Plus, if you are looking for a CAD job, follow these simple tips to ace the interview. Sponsored by the HP Z1 All-in-One Workstation. Watch the video »

First Look Review: Autodesk Inventor Professional 2013
3D modeling software aligns more closely with AutoCAD, offers an enhanced user interface, and now comes with cloud-based services. Read more »

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Use Peer Pressure to Enforce Standards
A simple peer review process can help your users develop pride in the quality of their work. Read more »

Update Your CAD Management Plan
Is your office in the midst of a summertime slowdown? Don't twiddle your thumbs — use that downtime to evaluate tasks, problems, and your methods of coping with them. Read more »

Add Matching Dimensions with Lightning Speed
Let's say you're working on someone else's drawing, and you need to add one or more dimensions. Who knows what the settings are for those dimensions — and who wants to take the time to find out? Watch the video »

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