AEC Tech News (#330)

20 Jun, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

First Look Review: Contex IQ 4490

High-quality 44" wide-format scanner makes it fast and easy to digitize documents.

By Curt Moreno

Highly Recommended

If you grew up in the age when personal computing was coming into its prime, you probably remember the huge promises of the "paperless office." Although that promise hasn't fully materialized, thanks to advances in scanner technologies, it is easier than ever to digitize mountains of paper and clean out the old filing cabinets.

The IQ 4400 wide-format scanner series is a new offering from industry veteran Contex. The product line includes the IQ 4450 and IQ 4490 high-performance wide-format scanners. Each model can be used standalone or in tandem with a wide-format printer to make copies.

The professional market offers plentiful options in wide-format multifunction printer (MFP) devices, which typically include an integrated scanner. But like their smaller MFP counterparts intended for small office/home office (SOHO) use, the scanners on these devices are designed first as input devices to the printers (to enable copying) and second as a convenient way to make that occasional scan. For high-volume, high-quality scanning, standalone scanners are the way to go. They are built for scanning and produce the best results consistently. In the case of Contex standalone scanners, the devices easily connect with all leading wide-format printers, including HP, Canon, Epson, and others. They support native print drivers and connect with a simple USB or to the network.

For this First Look, I examined an IQ 4490 scanner equipped with its stand and NextImage software. Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Curt Moreno is a Houston, Texas–based CAD coordinator, writer, and highly rated Autodesk University speaker who has been using AutoCAD since 1990.

Create a Plugin for AutoCAD

Expand your customization skills as you program a command using Visual Studio.NET.

By Andrew G. Roe

In my previous articles about AutoCAD programming, we learned how to use the .NET programming environment to extract drawing information, create and modify AutoCAD entities, and modify entities programmatically. We primarily focused on running applications from the .NET environment, accessing AutoCAD with component object model (COM) interoperability. In a nutshell, this means we were using both .NET and COM technologies to manipulate AutoCAD in ways similar to those of the built-in VBA environment of years past.

In this article, we will create an AutoCAD plugin, a custom command that can be run directly from the AutoCAD environment. We will focus on .NET techniques, introducing a new concept called Transactions to create AutoCAD entities programmatically. Specifically, we will develop a custom command that creates a circle object and some accompanying text in one fell swoop.

As before, this example uses the Visual Basic.NET programming environment, 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 should also download the ObjectARX software development kit [SDK] to run this example. Even though it's not an ObjectARX example, the necessary references are located in the SDK for 2013.) Read more »

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

IMAGINiT Launches Health Check for
Civil 3D Firms

New service examines current workflows and recommends a path to increased productivity.

By Cadalyst Staff

When your vehicle begins to wheeze and chug, you take it to a mechanic. And when your body does so, you get yourself to a doctor. But where do you turn when your CAD productivity is not up to snuff? Last week, IMAGINiT Technologies introduced a service designed just for that purpose: Civil 3D Health Check. IMAGINiT experts examine an organization's processes using AutoCAD Civil 3D and recommend a path to collaborative workgroup productivity.

"IMAGINiT's global team of experts not only understand the mechanics of the software, but more importantly the workflow, training, and customizations that can be done with AutoCAD Civil 3D," says Bill Zavadil, senior vice president of worldwide services, IMAGINiT Technologies. "With the sole objective being enhanced team productivity, our Health Check service is used to quickly and effectively evaluate an organization's current working environment and their utilization of Civil 3D. This analysis generates an actionable report outlining what our customers can do to take technology, processes, and profitability to the next level." Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

RTC (Revit Technology Conference) 2013 North America
July 11–13, 2013
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
At this conference, attendees can share ideas and insights with an international community of their peers, explore the latest trends and technologies, and learn about the potential of building information modeling (BIM) to streamline the building procurement and construction process. Read more »

BIM Camp — Denver
July 25, 2013
Denver, Colorado
At BIM Camp, Nemetschek Vectorworks representatives will explain that adopting a building information modeling (BIM) workflow doesn't have to be time consuming or expensive. Read more »

Fall BIM Forum: Prefabrication and Modularization
October 8–9, 2013
Denver, Colorado
Participants in the Fall 2013 BIMForum will be examining the issues, advantages, and especially the challenges, of using building information modeling (BIM) for prefabricating building systems and constructing modular building sections. 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

Event Report: PTC Live Global 2013, Part 1
Technology is key to getting ahead of the forces driving massive transformation in the manufacturing market, says company CEO at annual user event. Read more »

Event Report: Siemens PLM Connection 2013
The annual user conference previews NX 9, reviews the Curiosity rover project, and promotes product lifecycle management. Read more »

Tools to Simplify CAD Management
As you likely know firsthand, CAD management is a constant challenge. Fortunately, there are a host of helpful tools that can ease the burden, and many are available at low or no cost. Read more »

Best of the CAD Manager's Newsletter
In honor of Robert Green's 300th issue, Cadalyst editors share fifteen favorite features from recent years. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

Add comment

Note: Comments are moderated and will appear live after approval by the site moderator.

AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

Follow Lynn on TwitterFollow Lynn on Twitter

Do you use social media — such as Facebook or Twitter updates, YouTube videos, or discussion forums — for work-related purposes?
Yes, I regularly use such resources for work-related purposes.
Yes, but on a limited or infrequent basis.
No, because my employer frowns upon or prohibits doing so.
No, because I don’t have the time or interest.
Submit Vote

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition