Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 12)3 Apr, 2006
What's New at Cadalyst.com
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:
- Catching Up on SketchUp: What's ahead for the popular 3D modeler and its users now that @Last Software is Google?
- Event Report: National Manufacturing Week 2006: Can new venue perk up flagging trade show?
- Autodesk Readies Civil Engineering Upgrades: Civil 3D 2007, Map 3D 2007 and Raster Design 2007 due out this spring
Cadalyst’s sister publication, GPS World, just launched LBS Insider, a free e-mail newsletter that covers the latest trends, developments and solutions in location-based services. Click here to subscribe.
Construction Software Case Study
A case study from Prolog software supplier Meridian Systems profiles a third-generation, family-owned construction company and how its need for real-time information to manage its projects led to a revamping of its entire MIS system and the adoption of Prolog Manager. Users who register can download a PDF copy of the case study free.
Lean Benchmark Study
Pelion Systems, a provider of operations management software, has sponsored The Lean Benchmark Report: Closing the Reality Gap. Pelion describes lean manufacturing as a mainstream methodology for realizing a highly productive manufacturing operation. Users who register can download the report free.
CADLock Discussion Forum
CADLock, a manufacturer of data security software, has launched a public NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) discussion forum for use by its customers and partners. Participants must use a newsreader such as Outlook Express to access the forum.
Engineering White Paper
A white paper from Mathsoft compares the use of spreadsheets versus software that is designed for creating and managing calculations. Moving Beyond the Limitations of Spreadsheets is free to users who register. Mathsoft is a producer of engineering calculation software.
Geotechnology Report Update
The fifth edition of Geotechnology Business Opportunities with Government is available from Cary and Associates, a geotechnology marketing firm. The report ($399 for a site license for up to 100 employees) provides information about actual projects and budget allocations in agencies that use geotechnologies, and it includes contact information for 282 individuals in an electronic file.
New Forum for PDMS Users
PDMS World is a new online forum for users of PDMS, Aveva's Plant Design Management System. Individuals and companies active in the use of PDMS are invited to register and participate in the forum.
New Tools for SolidWorks Users
CADVenture has made available a suite of new and updated online tools that are free to CADVenture clients in Ohio, Northwest Pennsylvania, and western New York who have active SolidWorks subscription service. The tools include CADVenture Virtual Office, Virtual Tech Talks and Virtual Night Schools. SolidWorks instructor-led classes can be accessed through Virtual Office. CADVenture is a provider of SolidWorks 3D CAD, finite-element analysis, kinematics, fluid dynamics and more.
Online High School CAD Course
A partnership between high schools and the nonprofit Virtual High School allows students worldwide to gather online to take one of more than 250 courses including CAD, a 15-week program that introduces students to PTC's Pro/DESKTOP 3D parametric solid modeling software for academia.
This Week's Software Tips
Google Plug-in Searches Full Text in AutoCAD Files
Patrick Miault of the French architectural firm Planetude tipped us off to this great new plug-in his firm developed for its own use but is now offering as shareware. Called Planet'DWG, the Google Desktop plug-in indexes full entity text in AutoCAD DWG files. Use the tool to quickly search full text inside drawings, including dynamic text and text in block attributes and fields. It also generates a thumbnail for each DWG file. Download the plug-in from the Google Desktop Download Plugins page.
3D Orbit Keyboard Shortcut
Cadalyst thanks Ellen Finkelstein, author of the AutoCAD 2006 and AutoCAD LT 2006 Bible, for this quick tip:
"One of the nicest new features of AutoCAD 2007 is the ease with which you can change your viewpoint using a poorly documented keyboard shortcut for 3D Orbit. Press and hold Shift and press your mouse wheel (or middle button) to temporarily and transparently enter 3D Orbit.
"While doing this, use that wheel to drag in any direction, and your viewpoint changes. When you're done, release the Shift key and mouse wheel. You no longer have to enter and exit 3D Orbit mode. And you can still use the trick of selecting an object first to 3D orbit just that object. This is a great technique when you have a large drawing and want to focus on one object."
Block Redefine Without ExplodingRakesh Rajhkoomar writes: " How often have you had to redefine/explode a block just because it was slightly different from the original? Then you had to spend teeth-grinding time trying to revise these blocks when there's a change to some other wall, fitting or other object." He sends along his solution, which he calls Block Redefine Without Exploding, that revises blocks using a procedure based on AutoCAD's Wipeout command. Rajhkoomar provides full explanation, including an example, in this ZIP file download containing his AutoCAD and Microsoft Word files.
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.
Deals & Freebies
Free LISP Routines for AutoCAD
McNeel, a provider of 3D software tools, just released DOSLib, a library of LISP-callable functions that provide Windows operating system and DOS command-line functionality in AutoCAD 2000-2007. DOSLib is free.
GITA Conference Discount for Organizations
GITA (Geospatial Information & Technology Association) is extending a 20% discount on annual conference registration fees for user organizations that join the association. User affiliates that send at least three people to the conference will receive the discount. Included in the offer are four free registrations for half-day preconference seminars.
Opportunities & Honors
Intergraph Names GIS Transportation Honorees
Intergraph has bestowed its annual Geospatial Innovations for Transportation Award upon the Ohio Department of Transportation and the South Carolina Department of Transportation. “Both of these organizations have implemented truly enterprisewide systems that use the power of Intergraph’s industry leading linear referencing capabilities to integrate many types of business data to streamline their business processes,” said Peter Batty, vice-president and chief technology officer, Intergraph. The awards were presented last week at the 19th annual GIS for Transportation Symposium in Columbus, Ohio.
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:
General Software: TurboCAD Professional v12
Release includes new mechanical and architectural features, improved modeling and greater interoperability. Read more >>
General Software: Deep Exploration v4
Right Hemisphere integrates eight modules in its updated release. Read more >>
General Software: Tacton Configurator Server and Anipart
Tacton and Animech release a combined solution for 3D visualization of sales configurations. Read more >>
AEC: Laser Model Interface
Software provides direct link between AVEVA's VANTAGE plant design management system and four major 3D laser-scanning systems. Read more >>
GIS: ActiveX Control
Third-part software companies can integrate their own customized version of Pictometry's software tools. Read more >>
GIS: Rapid Responder
Prepared Response adds GIS functionality to Web-based crisis management system. Read more >>
MCAD: CFD-CADalyzer 2006
ESI release tool for CAD engineers and CFD analysts to perform design-level analysis. Read more >>
Software enables virtual reality capabilities with AliasStudio v13. Read more >>
MCAD: Tecnomatix v7.6
Digital manufacturing software from UGS integrates with Teamcenter PLM software. Read more >>
MCAD: Leica CloudWorx v1
Point-cloud software is designed for AVEVA PDMS users who want to use laser scan data. Read more >>
Mark Your Calendar
Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.
Adobe Acrobat 3D Seminars
Various dates in April 2006
Various U.S. and Canadian locations
In each two-hour seminar, presented by Adobe, learn how the new Adobe Acrobat 3D will enable you to share, review and comment on 3D designs.
GSA Schedules: How to Close Business and Stay Out of Trouble
April 10, 2006, 12 p.m. ET
Presented by Fedmarket.com, Webcast ($350 per connection) is for small to medium-sized businesses that are ready to fill out the GSA schedule solicitation and those that have received a recent GSA schedule award.
2006 Washington GIS Conference
May 8-10, 2006
“Putting GIS to Work for Washington State” is the theme of this year’s Washington GIS Conference, sponsored by WAURISA (Washington State Chapter of the Urban & Regional Information Systems Association).
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!