Management

Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 24)

10 Jul, 2006


Untitled Document

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 recently:

 

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Resources

BIM Executive Summit London Proceedings
Bentley Systems has made available online the entire set of presentations from the November BIM (Building Information Modeling) Executive Summit in London. At the event, sponsored by Bentley, building industry executives from the United Kingdom, Europe and Dubai gathered to discuss new technology-enabled design methods that are rapidly reshaping the building professions. Leaders in architecture, engineering, and construction shared BIM best practices and exchanged ideas in think tank sessions on where this technology and its application are headed. Bentley Systems provides infrastructure lifecycle software.

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This Week's Software Tips

Introducing Cadalyst's New Tip Patrol
Loyal readers of Tips & Tools Weekly might have noticed the increase in the quantity of CAD tips published each Monday. Now we're working to increase the quality of those tips as well! Beginning with today's issue, all original tips will be tested and approved before publication by members of the new Cadalyst Tip Patrol. Many thanks to our excellent volunteer panel members, all tried-and-true tips authors themselves: Billy Wooten, Don Reichle, Don Boyer, Kevin Sawyer, Ivanhoe Tejeda, R.K. McSwain, Mitchell Hirschklau and Ben Young.

Arc-to-Circle Change-Up
Tip author Derek Beals whipped up a bit of code called ARC_MEND.LSP, which changes an arc to a circle by finding the arc properties, then erasing it and drawing a circle. Thanks for another useful tip, Derek!

(defun C:MAS ()

(setvar "osmode" 0)

(setq OBJSCALE (car (entsel "\nSelect Object for Fixed Scale: ")))
(setq OBJSCALELIST (entget OBJSCALE))
(setq SCA (cdr (assoc 41 OBJSCALELIST)))

(setq OBJSCALE2 (car (entsel "\nSelect Object of Unknown Scale: ")))
(setq OBJSCALELIST2 (entget OBJSCALE2))
(setq SCA2 (cdr (assoc 41 OBJSCALELIST2)))

(setq SCA3 (/ SCA SCA2))
(setq SCAPOINT (getpoint "\Pick Point of Scale Reference:  "))

(print "\Select Objects to Change to Fixed Scale: ")
(princ)
(setq OBJ2 (ssget))

(command "scale" OBJ2 "" SCAPOINT SCA3)

(princ)

)

Pick a Percentage
Douglas Kochel
, senior civil designer and CAD manager, has used this AutoLISP routine for so long that he can't remember its origin. It works like an object snap override, letting you find a point that is a desired percentage of the distance between two other points.  He says that it was really handy back before "Mid between 2 points" became a stock osnap option.  To use, load it like any AutoLISP code and begin a command such as Line. Whenever the program prompts you for a point, type (%) including the parentheses.  It prompts you to select two points, then prompts for the percentage desired between them.  For example, if you enter "25", it finds the first quarter-point, "50" finds the midpoint and "75" finds the three-quarter point.

(defun %(/ p1 p2 d brg it)

(setq p1 (getpoint "\nFirst point: "))

(setq p2 (getpoint "\nSecond point: "))

(setq percent (getreal "\nPercent from FIRST point: "))

(setq d (* (/ percent 100) (distance p1 p2)))

(setq brg (angle p1 p2))

(setq it (polar p1 brg d))

(setvar "LASTPOINT" it)

)

(defun c:% () (%))

(prompt "\nPERCENT loaded. Type \"%\" in parenths to use.\n")

(princ)

Express Tools and Transferring Layer States
Kura Tahir
sent in this trick. "Even if Express Tools have a checkered past, I can't live without the Layer Manager feature in the pre-AutoCAD 2007 software.  But what if you have set up a dozen layer states in drawing A, and now you need to get those layer states into drawing B?" Follow these steps:

  • Open any drawing containing named layer states saved in the Express Tools Layer Manager.
  • Open another drawing requiring those layer states that currently doesn't have any.
  • Go to Tile Windows Vertically so you see both drawings.
  • Click once on any object in the drawing containing the named layer states.
  • Position your cursor on a highlighted line of the selected object (NOT on a grip), and drag it into the other drawing.
  • Open the Express Tools Layer Manager to see all the named layer states. 
  • Delete the transferred object if necessary.

"Yes, you could use the Export button in that dialog box to create a LAY file," Kura admits -- but if you need them quickly, use this tip. Note that if you named layer states using the Layer States Manager in the Layer Properties Manager, you cannot drag from one drawing to another drawing to get the layer state trick. And, if you use AutoCAD 2007, type LMAN at the prompt to display the old Express Tools Layer Manager dialog box. This procedure is not mentioned in the AutoCAD Help files, Kura adds.

Note from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: This is very similar to inserting of blocks. Be aware that the layers are also copied.

Plotter Page Setup
Tim Treadway
wrote PLOTTER.LSP  to do a page setup for his Oce TDS600 plotter. The sheet size he needed had spaces in the name, and when the program came to the spaces, it would quit executing. Readers can alter this to do any desired page setup. FYI, our Tip Patrol had difficulty testing this routine because of network issues.

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

  • Hole Wizard: Explains how to create holes that go through several components using the Hole Wizard.
  • Appearance Callouts: Shows how to activate a flag to easily identify and modify colors and textures.

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. 

Tips & Tools Weekly software tips for AutoCAD are reviewed by Cadalyst staff and the Cadalyst Tip Patrol before publication. Use tips at your own discretion, please, and watch later editions of this newsletter for updates and corrections. Many thanks to our volunteer Cadalyst Tip Patrol members: Billy Wooten, Don Reichle, Don Boyer, Kevin Sawyer, Ivanhoe Tejeda, R.K. McSwain, Mitchell Hirschklau and Ben Young.

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Deals & Freebies

Autodesk 2004 Products Retiring; Upgrade Discounts Available
Autodesk announced plans to retire AutoCAD 2004 and related products on March 15, 2007. The list of retirees includes the 2004 versions of AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, Architectural Desktop, Land Desktop, Mechanical Desktop, Civil Design, Map, Survey, Raster Design, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD Electrical, Inventor Series 8 and VIZ 4. Through July 31, 2006, Autodesk is offering discounts to those who upgrade to the latest versions and opt for subscription coverage. Contact your Autodesk sales representative.

Free Modeling Software Magazine
The creators of COMSOL Multiphysics scientific modeling and simulation software are offering a free copy of the user magazine, COMSOL News, to those who register. The latest issue includes stories that illustrate innovative uses of multiphysics modeling software to help researchers and scientists understand processes, create virtual prototypes and get their products to market quickly and cost-effectively, according to the company.

Free Electronic Document Management Systems Report
AIIM, the enterprise content management industry association, released Recommended Practice: Analysis, Selection and Implementation Guidelines Associated with Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS). This third version of the free report presents a set of procedures and activities that should be considered or performed during all aspects of analyzing, selecting and implementing electronic document management systems in government and business worldwide. The AIIM Recommended Practice was drafted by AIIM's Implementation Guidelines committee that includes representatives from federal, state and local government agencies, as well as end users from commercial organizations.

Google Earth-Based Plugin for Autodesk Revit
Technology consultant Avatech Solutions announced the launch of Avatech Earth Connector for Autodesk Revit, a free Google Earth-based plugin. Earth Connector for Revit, currently in beta release, facilitates cross-functional collaboration by producing a common file format using the Google Earth KMZ standard. Now, after sending a file, engineers and architects can let colleagues and clients view sophisticated building information using Google Earth, according to the company.

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Opportunities & Honors

Call for Papers: Engineering Simulation
Organizers of the NAFEMS World Congress 2007 are inviting papers on all areas of engineering simulation. Leading industrial practitioners, consultancies, academic researchers and software developers with a common interest in engineering analysis will gather at the conference. Also called the International Congress on Simulation Technology for the Engineering Analysis Community, the event will take place May 22-25, 2007, at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The deadline for submitting abstracts is September 18, 2006. NAFEMS is an independent, not-for-profit body that works to promote the effective use of engineering simulation methods such as finite-element analysis, multibody system dynamics and computational fluid dynamics.

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Books & Training

ObjectARX Programming Blog
Brazilian civil engineer Fernando Malard has created a blog for AutoCAD programmers. ObjectARX & Dummies is designed for advanced users and AutoLISP/VBA programmers who want to get into the ObjectARX world. Organized like a class, the blog offers lessons and lab assignments that introduce various aspects of ObjectARX programming.

Desktop SolidWorks Training
iKnowledge Solutions (formerly Cadpo) is distributing SolidWorks courses for i.get.it Desktop, a personalized learning system for new i.get.it users. i.get.it Desktop was released earlier this year to provide an option for individuals who have limited access to the Internet but want to access the capabilities found in i.get.it Professional, such as learning paths, assessments, progress reports, bookmarks and personal notes, the company reports. SolidWorks courses are grouped in bundles that match SolidWorks offerings.

Advanced Roadway Design Courses
Axiom announced the release of GEOPAK Advanced Road library. The newest edition in the GEOPAK series of Axiom's e-learning solutions trains roadway designers to design more complex roadways. In three in-depth courses, students reportedly gain the skills to complete a variety of road projects such as divided highways and freeway projects. The courses include More Earthwork, Advanced Proposed Cross Sections and 3D GEOPAK. Axiom is a provider of MicroStation software utilities.

Russian AutoCAD Book
A Russian-language AutoCAD book is available from BHV-Petersburg Publishing House. AutoCAD 2007 -- Self-Teacher (2006, 624 pages) is aimed at readers who begin working with AutoCAD 2007 or who upgrade from the previous version. Among the new functions examined are smooth surfaces, editable 3D solids, cameras, lights and additions to existing menus and commands. Visualization and animation, material control and rendering are discussed at length.

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The Week's New CAD and Related Products

Hardware: DISTO A6
Handheld laser distance-measuring tool from Leica Geosystems integrates Bluetooth technology.  Read more 

General Software: KollabNet v4
Company announces upgrade of Design Management tool.  Read more 

General Software: Maple Toolbox for MATLAB
New Maplesoft product enables MATLAB users to tap the potential of Maple 10.  Read more  

General Software: FileFixer v8.7b
Axiom releases solution for MicroStation V8 XM design file corruption.  Read more 

Visualization: Vue v6
e-on software releases software upgrade for creating, rendering and animating natural 3D environments.  Read more 

Visualization: Artlantis Studio
Abvent's software enables realistic simulation of materials and lighting.  Read more

AEC: Tekla Structures 12
Tekla's new version of 3D product modeling software for the construction industry supports open BIM.  Read more 

AEC: Rapid Design Visualization 2007
RDV-Systems launches software with tools for creating interactive visualizations directly from a Civil 3D project.  Read more 

AEC: ChiefSymbols Library CC18
Cardiff Consultants releases Chief Architect 3D symbol library with models of ships and boats.  Read more 

GIS: InfoSewer V4
Upgrade from MWH Soft provides wastewater systems design and management capabilities to ESRI ArcGIS users.  Read more  

MCAD: Teamcenter for MRO
UGS announces PLM portfolio upgrade for maintenance, repair and overhaul. Read more

MCAD: Industry Solutions Business Process Content
Programs from Dassault Systemes are designed for customers to speed PLM deployment.  Read more 

MCAD: Geomagic Studio v9
Digital reconstruction software includes 3D feature-based modeling, advanced color texture generation and user-defined patch layouts.  Read more 

MCAD: IronCAD V9
New intelligent capabilities designed to simplify use for new and existing users. Read more

CAE: TGrid 4.0, GAMBIT 2.3 and 3Matic-for-Fluent 1.0
Fluent introduces upgrades to preprocessing capabilities.  Read more

CAE: ALGOR V19.2
Finite-element analysis software features enhanced CFD and MES.  Read more 

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Mark Your Calendar

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

Webcast Series: Autodesk Building Solutions
July 11-August 8, 2006
Tuesdays
10 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST
Architectural design professionals can participate in a series of free Webcasts from Avatech Solutions about how to maximize their productivity with Autodesk's new building solutions products. Read more

Large Format Webinar
July 12-27, 2006
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
IDEAL is holding large format webinar events that discuss topics, introduce technology and provide suggestions to help with large format scanning and document management problems. Read more

Webcast Series: Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions
July 13-27, 2006
Thursdays
10 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST
Avatech Solutions invites engineering professionals in manufacturing to participate in a series of free webcasts to learn how the new features in Autodesk's manufacturing solutions can help them boost productivity. Read more

Revit Test Drives
August 4 and 8, 2006
Various locations
Avatech Solutions is hosting events for architects and designers who use CAD software in their work to try Autodesk Revit Building v9 design and documentation system software. Read more

NAFEMS World Congress 2007
May 22-25, 2007
Vancouver, Canada
NAFEMS World Congress 2007 will cover many aspects of the use of simulation in engineering and focus on how the appropriate deployment of simulation can lead to a further competitive advantage through helping to stimulate innovation. 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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