Management

Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 11)

27 Mar, 2006


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Editor's note: Welcome to Cadalyst's new Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter. Previously known as Newsline, Tips & Tools Weekly offers a fresh take on design and content, including expanded software tips as well as new productivity and training resources; deals and freebies; opportunities; a calendar of industry events; and a round-up of the past week's new CAD products. For the latest CAD news and new products delivered daily to your desktop, subscribe to Cadalyst Daily.

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What's New at Cadalyst.com

Cadalyst Labs' benchmark test has been updated an is now available online. The C2006 Cadalyst Systems Benchmark is designed to work with AutoCAD 2006, as well as older versions back to R2000.

Cadalyst Daily Update: For all the latest news and new products, subscribe to Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every issue includes a feature you won’t find anywhere else -- hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, AutoCAD tips and much more! Here’s a sample of what you missed in the past week:  

  • How to Avoid a CAD-tasrophe : NAM/TMI report lays out best practices for small and midsized manufacturers seeking competitive advantage in a global marketplace

Cadalyst’s sister publication, GPS World, just launched Survey & Construction, a free e-mail newsletter offering timely analysis on the use of global positioning technologies in the survey and construction industries. Click here to subscribe.

 
 

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Resources

Grainger Expands Catalog Offerings
Grainger, a distributor of facilities maintenance supplies, has announced it is adding more than 39,000 products to its 2006 catalog, bringing its listings to more than 115,000 items. Fasteners such as screws, bolts and nuts and additional diverse product categories make up the catalog, to be released April 3.

Digital Design Communication White Paper
Actify, a provider of CAD visualization and digital design communication products, has made available a white paper that discusses DDC (digital design communication) as the foundation for communicating data across multiple business functions and as the foundation for product life cycle management. Dissolving the Walls -- Digital Design Communication Overcomes Barriers to Product Data Collaboration Across the Extended Enterprise is available for downloading to users who register.

Product Information White Paper
A free white paper about improving the use of intellectual assets and product information is available from CIMdata, a research and consulting firm. CIMdata’s John MacKrell, author of Leveraging Product Development Knowledge, points out that companies should adopt “a consistent, common format for looking at data, not separate formats for different users or different data types.”

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This Week's Software Tips

Following last week's tip about resetting osnaps, several readers wrote with additional options. Here we present a few of our favorites.

Steven Matchett's tip encompasses the feedback of several readers (and he sent a bonus tip along with it): Once you set up your osnaps the way you like them, exit the dialog box and type in OSMODE to get the number for that combination of settings (4143, for example). Then just write a short LISP routine or create a button to reset your osnap settings. This approach is also great if you have to work on someone else's station: All you have to do is remember the command and number.

(defun c:oo ()
(command "osmode" "4143"))

Also, a followup on ellipses from a few months ago, when some people were trying to get a "good" polyline ellipse: When you set the PELLIPSE system variable to 1, AutoCAD automatically draws an ellipse as a polyline.

Sue Boyle writes: I use this frequently to reset my environment, mostly because I can't tell what has changed it in the first place and have given up trying to track down the culprit(s).  The values are mine and any personal values can be substituted. Not only that, but any environmental problems can be addressed here, including BLIPMODE, SNAPMODE, GRIDMODE, coords and so forth.  I just type "re" (I use quick keys), but this could easily be assigned to a toolbar button.

(defun c:reset ()
        (setvar "osmode" 15031)
        (setvar "trimmode" 1)
        (setvar "plinewid" 0)
        (setvar "filletrad" 0)
        (setvar "dimadec" 2)
        (setvar "dimtad" 0)
        (setvar "chamfera" 1.5)
        (setvar "chamferb" 1.5)
        (setvar "savetime" 5)
        (setvar "dimclrt" 4)
        (setvar "psltscale" 0)
        (setvar "ltscale" (* (getvar "dimscale") 0.375))
        (command ".layer" "set" "0" "")
        (command ".dimstyle" "restore" "standard")
        (princ)
);end defun

James Hutchinson offers another solution: A smoother way is not to have any snaps set at all. Use the function keys set via the Accelerator (in the menu file) as shown below. Use any setting you like. LISP expressions can also be assigned to the function keys.

***ACCELERATORS

["F1"]'zoom p
["F2"]center,endp
["F3"]inter,perp,quad
["F4"]midp,node
["F5"]near
["F7"]insert
["F9"]TANGENT

Send us your tip or shortcut for your favorite CAD software. If we publish it, we'll send you a “Cadalyst: CAD the Way You Want It” t-shirt.

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Opportunities & Honors

GITA Call for Papers Deadline Nearing
The deadline for abstract submissions for the GITA (Geospatial Information & Technology Association) 15th Annual GIS for Oil & Gas Conference is April 10, 2006. The conference will be held in Houston, Texas, September 18–20. “The Full Spectrum: Expanding GIS Across the Enterprise” is the theme of the event.

CMSC Call for Papers
The CMSC (Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference) Society, the membership association for measurement professionals, is accepting proposals for white papers to be presented at its annual conference July 17–21, 2006, in Orlando, Florida. The society invites metrology specialists from leading manufacturers and laboratories to submit proposals covering their successful, efficient use of 3D coordinate measurement systems.

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Books & Training

AutoCAD 2007 Preview
Users who are considering upgrading can get a preview of what is new and different in the newest version of AutoCAD's flagship software. What's Inside? AutoCAD 2007 is a 106-page book published in Adobe Acrobat PDF format ($15.90 via the Internet; add $5 for CD by mail). This prerelease book is from upFront.reSearch, the research paper imprint of upFront.eZine Publishing.

Collaborative GIS Book to be Released
Scholarly and research book publisher Idea Group will release in April a 476-page book addressing the challenges of collaborative GIS. Collaborative Geographic Information Systems, edited by Shivanand Balram and Suzana Dragicevic, Simon Fraser University, Canada, explores collaborative GIS, focusing on system design, group spatial planning and mapping, Internet and wireless applications and more. (Hardcover $94.95, softcover $79.95, e-book $63.95, IGI Web site only.)

Customizable Online Book
RetrieveMedia has introduced a customizable vBook that reportedly has all the same functionality as the company’s traditional vBooks. Purchasers can populate the vBook with their organization’s individual content including number of chapters, types and amount of information and how it is organized.

Sheet-Metal Training Book Available
A second book for sheet metal designers is now available from Sheet Metal Guy, a publisher of self-paced training books for 3D CAD software users. SolidWorks for the Sheet Metal Guy -- Course 2: Hole Patterns and Notches, written by Neil Bucalo and Joe Bucalo, explains how to create standard and special shape holes and cutouts.

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The Week's New CAD and Related Products

For all the latest new products, delivered daily to your desktop, subscribe to Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Here are last week’s highlights:

AutoCAD 2007 Now Shipping: AutoCAD 2007, which was announced by Autodesk on March 1, began shipping on March 23. Autodesk increased the price of AutoCAD effective with this release. The suggested retail price is $3,995, up from $3,750, which has been the SRP since Release 12 in 1993. AutoCAD LT remains at $899. Pricing for other products in the 2007 family will be available when they ship. AutoCAD 2007 and AutoCAD LT 2007 are available from resellers and from Autodesk’s online store.

General Software: 3D_Evolution
3D CAD migration and conversion software includes feature recognition for Inventor, CATIA V5, Pro/ENGINEER, SolidWorks and Unigraphics.  Read more >>

Visualization: VTour
Software enables users to create photorealistic 3D environments from 2D pictures or panoramas.  Read more >>

AEC: ZiPCAD Pro v3.1
Mobile CAD software adds punchlist functionality for Palm OS PDAs, Treo phones.  Read more >>

MCAD: FiberSIM 5.1
Upgrade from VISTAGY automates early phases of product development for complex composite parts.  Read more >>

MCAD: CFdesign v8
CFD software now available for 64-bit systems.  Read more >>

MCAD: SpinFire Professional v8
Digital design communication tool from Actify allows users to interact with product manufacturing information.  Read more >>

MCAD: Radioss v5
Simulation software from Mecalog predicts material rupture, post-rupture behavior in vehicles.  Read more >>

MCAD: MEDUSA4 v2.1
CAD Schroer's updated release includes a plant design system with a factory layout application.  Read more >>

MCAD: aesthetica v2.2
Icona Solutions releases update of 3D assembly modeling software.  Read more >>

CAM: TopSolid'Cam 2006
Missler Software's update includes tool for automatically transforming 3-axis tool paths into 5-axis tool paths.  Read more >>

CAM: GibbsCAM 2006
Update incorporates tools to program tombstone fixtured parts and perform 4- and 5-axis simultaneous machining.  Read more >>

CAE: COMSOL Multiphysics v3.2a
New version supports 64-bit Windows XP operating systems.  Read more >>

PLM: ENOVIA v5
Dassault Systèmes releases 3D-based sourcing solutions for collaborative PLM. 
Read more >>

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Mark Your Calendar

Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.

AUGI Manufacturing Conference
April 4, 2006
Embassy Suites Hotel, Santa Clara, California 
Hosted by Ideate, this conference will explore best practices for implementing and managing the transition into 3D with Autodesk Inventor. 

Adobe AEC Forum
April 4, 2006
Mansion at Judges’ Hill, Austin, Texas
Demonstration of the Adobe Acrobat 7.0 family of products for AEC users.

Adobe AEC Forum
April 5, 2006
Hilton Americas, Houston, Texas
Demonstration of the Adobe Acrobat 7.0 family of products for AEC users.

Digital Manufacturing
April 19, 2006
Webcast at 11 a.m. ET is presented by ARC Advisory Group.

AUGI CAD Camp
April 25, 2006
Baltimore, Maryland
Avatech Solutions and AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) will host this training event.

International Forum on DFMA
June 20-21, 2006
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Providence, Rhode Island
Boothroyd Dewhurst will host the 21st International Forum on Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA).

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AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

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 free Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!
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