Management

Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 23)

26 Jun, 2006


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What's New at Cadalyst.com

Stop by Cadalyst Discussion Forums
Cadalyst's discussion forums include CAD Manager, CAD Questions, Hot Tip Harry and the NEW BIM FORUM for the AEC community. Check them out today to find the CAD advice you need and see what your peers are saying about their software, their jobs and more.

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:

  • Inventing the American Dream: With help from ID Group, an inventor goes on television and turns his bicycle concept into reality in just three weeks
 

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This Week's Software Tips

Follow Up: Shortcut to Windows Explorer from AutoCAD
Robert Somppi adds a bit more clarification to the feedback regarding the recent tips about opening Windows Explorer from inside AutoCAD: I'm using Architectural Desktop 3.3 and both the commands, Explore and Explorer, work. Explore, which is the command I suggested using, and you published in the June 12 issue, opens Windows Explorer at the folder where the current drawing resides -- I think that was the intent of the [original LISP] routine . Explorer opens it at My Documents. I tried both in AutoCAD 2006 with the same results.

"There are a number of ways to open Explorer for browsing. My favorite is to right-click on the Start button, but again that is getting away from the original tip of opening Explorer at the folder where your current drawing resides."

Update Popular Mirror and Zoom
Alex Borodulin, president of NYacad, a company that specializes in structural and steel detailing service and structural drafting, sent in these tips that improve on two popular AutoCAD commands.

  • Quick Mirror improves one of the most frequently used AutoCAD commands, Mirror, by increasing its performance 2X to 5X. Find information about video, installation and how to use the program on the NYacad Web site, then click here and locate the download QUICKMIRROR.EXE.

To set up, include the two files QUICKMIRROR.LSP and QUICKMIRROR.DVB (found under the C:\HA-1 QuickMirror directory) in AutoCAD's Startup Suite. Next, start AutoCAD and enter Q1 at the Command prompt or use shortcuts 7, 8, 7-, 8-, 7I, 8I.

  • Zoom-Extents-Window speeds navigation in AutoCAD by combining the Zoom Extents and Zoom Window commands. Find information about video, installation and how to use the program on the NYacad Web site, then download the program ZIP file.

To begin, include the two files, ZOOMEXTENTS_WINDOW.LSP and ZOOMEXTENTS_WINDOW.DVB, in AutoCAD's Startup Suite. Start AutoCAD and enter Q or use shortcuts 7, 8, 7-, 8-, 7I, 8I.

Explode All Groups in a Drawing
Julio Monge shares this AutoLISP code that explodes all the groups in a drawing.

(defun c:xagroups ()
 (vl-load-com)
 (setq acaddoc (vla-get-activedocument (vlax-get-acad-object))) ;;active drawing
 (setq groups (vla-get-groups acaddoc)) ;;;Groups Collection
 (vlax-for each groups
   (vla-delete each)    ;;;Explodes all groups in drawing
 ) ;_ end of vlax-for
 (princ)
) ;_ end of defun

Ease Customizing Chaos
If you're tired of customizing AutoCAD via the CUI, Kevin Sawyer offers a way you can use the MNU interface. After Sawyer migrated to the new CUI in AutoCAD 2006, he maintained the original copy of his MNU file. He explains, "Now whenever I need to make additions or enhancements, I make these in the old, familiar ASCII format in Windows Notepad. I can do all my usual cutting and pasting, find and replace, and I can set up all my user-defined icons and help strings at the same time. Once finished, I simply use the CUI Transfer tab, which converts the MNU file to a CUI file where I can drag-and-drop into my current main or partial CUI as required. When complete, simply delete the temporary CUI file but keep the MNU for next time. Ahhhh! Bliss."

This Week's SolidWorks Tips
SolidWorks training developer SolidProfessor sends the following tips this week for Tips & Tools Weekly readers:

  • Vent Feature: Shows how to use the Vent Feature that was added in SolidWorks 2006.
  • Closed Corners: Shows the new capabilities of the Closed Corner feature.

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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Deals & Freebies

Free CAD Design and Decoration Software
Potential users of Delcam's PowerSHAPE CAD software can now download a free evaluation version, PowerSHAPE-e. This version includes a set of tutorials showing how to use the product design and decoration software. PowerSHAPE-e includes all the surface and solids modeling tools from the latest PowerSHAPE release but not the PS-Electrode and PS-Moldmaker modules for toolmaking. The software can save partially completed models, enabling longer projects to be undertaken in a series of sessions, the company reports. It also can save an unlimited number of subsequent changes to the design. PowerSHAPE-e also includes a selection of 3D clip art.

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Opportunities & Honors

Geospatial Technology Survey Deadline Extended
GITA (Geospatial Information & Technology Association) announced that the number of survey participants in its annual Geospatial Technology Report has broken last year's record. Just weeks after the survey launch, GITA collected responses from more than 320 users of geospatial technology. Because of the overwhelming response, the deadline for participation in the survey has been extended to June 30. The 2006 Geospatial Technology Report, the eighth in a series, will contain detailed information on the complexity, direction and completeness of GIS (geographic information systems) projects being implemented at infrastructure-based organizations around the world. Users who complete the survey by June 30 will receive a free copy of the report, a $399 value. 

Microdesk Awards Scholarship for Engineering Academic Excellence
The Los Angeles Chapter of CELSOC (Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California) presented the first annual Microdesk Scholarship for Engineering Academic Excellence at its annual awards banquet last week. The $5,000 scholarship was awarded to Brett Grunert, a senior at California State University-Northridge majoring in civil engineering. Grunert is carrying a 3.89 grade point average, serves as president of the ASCE student chapter and is a member of Tau Beta Pi, American Institute of Steel Construction and the American Concrete Institute. Microdesk is a technical consulting firm focusing on software solutions, applications integration and development, training, CAD management, IT services and CAD service/support.

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Books & Training

3D Modeling and Rendering Courseware
Luxology announced that its modo 201 Signature Courseware is now available from 3DGarage.com. The 3D modeling, painting and rendering software includes 15 hours of video-based projects that demonstrate modo's capabilities, ranging from navigation, surfacing, painting and rendering to specialized techniques such as architectural lighting, text creation and skyscraper reflections. For a limited time the materials are priced at $179. The courseware is delivered on two DVD ROMs and includes a free bonus CD containing 45 royalty-free high-resolution textures and reference images. Luxology develops 3D content creation software.

 

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The Week's New CAD and Related Products

General Software: !SlingShot Max 2007
Productivity-enhancing software extension adds more than 60 new commands. Read more 

General Software: Generative Design Technology
Genometri offers tool to easily create multiple CAD design iterations.  Read more

AEC: SpellCheckerPlus
Axiom's latest releases able to process multiple MicroStation design files.  Read more

AEC: Newforma Project Center
New software from Newforma manages complex information for building and infrastructure projects.  Read more 

AEC/GIS: ProjectWise v8 XM
Bentley ships new release to manage, find and share CAD and geospatial content.  Read more  

GIS: InfoWater VCM
MWH Soft solution offers infrastructure criticality and vulnerability assessment for water distribution systems.  Read more 

GIS: GeoRSS, GPS and MIDAS Plugins
Cadcorp announces three free tools to enable GIS users to incorporate geographically referenced XML data.  Read more 

MCAD: Teamcenter 2005
PLM upgrade from UGS includes embedded software management for mechatronics.  Read more 

MCAD: FactoryCAD v11.0 and FactoryFLOW
New versions of UGS 3D digital plant design offerings designed to optimize material flow.  Read more 

MCAD: Autodesk Inventor 11 DWF Extension
New tool enhances DWF publishing, security and design review capabilities for subscription customers.  Read more

MCAD: SolidWorks 2007
Updated professional and educational versions now available.  Read more 

CAE: COSMOS 2007
Analysis software validates how designs will perform in actual use.  Read more

CAE: LMS Virtual.Lab Rev 6
New release delivers unified modeling environment for multidisciplinary performance simulation.  Read more

CAE: SimEnterprise
New MSC.Software application allows users to more easily share simulation design data across the enterprise.  Read more

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Mark Your Calendar

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

Webcast: How to Overcome the Top Five Challenges in Electro-Mechanical Product Development
June 28, 2006
2 p.m ET
PTC will host a Webcast designed to help businesses overcome the top five challenges in electro-mechanical product development. Read more

2006 MSC.Software VPD Conference
July 17-19, 2006
Huntington Beach, California
Discover how other industry leaders are improving communication and collaboration in their product design and manufacturing processes to accelerate time- and right-to-market. Read more

V-STARS User Group Meeting
July 18, 2006
Orlando, Florida
Geodetic Systems will host a V-STARS User Group meeting at the CMSC (Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference) 2006. Read more

Z-DAC 2006: Zuken Customer to Customer Conferences
September 11-13, 2006 (San Antonio, Texas)
October 24-26, 2006 (Ulm, Germany)
Z-DAC 2006 for manufacturers includes the introduction of third party training for the engineer and designer level as well as a management networking event for middle and C-level management. Read more

CAD Manager's Forum
September 14, 2006
London, United Kingdom
EatyourCAD is sponsoring this forum for CAD managers to meet, debate and exchange ideas with peers. Read more

Ecobuild Federal and AEC Science & Technology (AEC-ST) Federal 2006
December 5-7, 2006
Washington, D.C.
Ecobuild Federal and AEC-ST Federal is an annual event that covers green building, sustainable design, renewable energy, environmental planning processes and information collaboration strategies for commercial, industrial, institutional and residential construction. Read more


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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