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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 31)

28 Aug, 2006


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Resources

New 3D User Site
A new Autodesk user community site that calls itself "a 3D resource made by you, for you" is now online. The Area is for users of Autodesk’s media and entertainment products such as 3ds max and Maya. The evolving site offers tutorials and tips, downloads, blogs and discussions. A showcase section includes image and movie galleries and "behind the screenz" stories that focus on the work of artists and developers in the community.

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This Week's Software Tips

Do you have a favorite tip or shortcut that you use every day in your CAD software? One that saves you time? Makes life easier? Share it with other readers and, if we publish it, we'll send you a “ Cadalyst: CAD the Way You Want It” t-shirt.

Followup: Pick a Percentage
After reading the July 10 tip from Douglas Kochel on how to find a point that’s a desired percentage of the distance between two other points, reader Don Reichle was reminded of the many times he has had to find the three points on a curb return for numerous sets of construction plans. He says, “To have clear construction plans for subcontractors, a better way is to use Land Desktop’s Terrain tool and then 3D polylines to establish and enable the grading necessary to show finish grade surfaces.”

Toolbars
Guy Spotts asks, "Have you ever started working at a new office that uses one of the special desktop versions of AutoCAD such as Land Desktop? When you did, did you look for the basic AutoCAD toolbars, only to find them missing? If you can't find them, most drafting shops have old copies of AutoCAD on their machines to help with migration. You can fool AutoCAD into using the old toolbars by going to Tools/Options and clicking the Files tab. Then just add the older toolbar or Menu file. You might have to do some hunting, but they'll be in the Support directory."

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: The Patrol reminds you that if you want to include toolbars from past releases, tread carefully. You don’t want to import anything that conflicts with your current release, because undoing this action can be a minefield. If you are looking to import personal toolbars, load them into your CUSTOM.CUI and not the ACAD.CUI. You can use the Transfer tab in the CUI dialog box to drag-and-drop toolbars from old into new (CUSTOM.CUI). However, remember that you need to be able to access the button icon files as well.

LSP for AutoCAD MAP
Leon Brumin suggests studying Query files as a quick reference for learning AutoLISP in AutoCAD MAP.

  • Attach any drawing with Object Data to the project
  • Define a query (as match complicated as you can, with alter properties)
  • In option section of define, click SAVE, and save to External File
  • Open saved *.QRY file in VLISP editor. 

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This does not apply to regular AutoCAD. There is plenty of documentation regarding AutoLISP and Visual LISP; however, AutoCAD’s Help files are not the place to learn any type of LISP programming. Go buy a book instead.

Notes from the Clipboard
Frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky offers another way to use the Windows Clipboard: In addition to the usual CTRL+C and CTRL+V, Windows XP provides more options when you run the Clipboard viewer VLIPBRD.EXE. Usually each new CTRL+C deletes the previous entry to clipboard. But with Clipboard viewer running, you can save each copy in separate files and insert them later from the clipboard. You also can connect to other computers on the local network and pass the information from your clipboard to others.

MicroStation Tip – Modifying Dimension Leader
Is there a way to modify dimension leaders dynamically on screen ? Find the answer! Axiom offers many Microstation Tips on its MicroStationTips.com Web site.

AutoCAD Hotfix -- DWF Writer 3.1.1
On August 16, Autodesk released a Hotfix that addresses an Autodesk DWF Writer 3 issue that affects its use with AutoCAD 2007. This issue also affects Autodesk Design Review 2007 customers running AutoCAD 2007 (DWF Writer 3 is included with Autodesk Design Review 2007) and customers who have installed the earlier DWF Writer 3.0 version on machines running AutoCAD 2007. You can find a list of other fixes and updates for AutoCAD here .

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: Don Boyer, Mitchell Hirschklau, R.K. McSwain, Don Reichle, Kevin Sawyer, Ivanhoe Tejeda, Billy Wooten and Ben Young.

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Deals & Freebies

Free Trial Version of 3D Modeling Software
FreeDesign is offering a free 30-day trial of its FreeDimension 3D modeling software. FreeDimension reportedly accepts import of KMZ files from Google SketchUp and enables users to quickly and intuitively create and stylize 3D models using curve manipulation as in sketching. FreeDimension, which is based on the company's N-Sided Surfacing technology, presents a curve-based interface that closely mimics the pencil-and-paper method of design, according to the company.

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Opportunities & Honors

SolidWorks Product Design Contest
SolidWorks is sponsoring a design contest for product designs created by registered SolidWorks users. One Grand Prize will honor the best model, and first-, second- and third-place prizes will go to the top entries in each of three categories: SolidWorks Models, Photorealistic Images and Animations. Entries will be judged on aesthetic appeal, technical challenges and the entrant's text that describes the product design and entering organization's use of SolidWorks software. Deadline for entries is November 30, 2006, and users may submit entries in all three categories.

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The Week's New CAD and Related Products

Hardware: BizView BV200 and BV300
Diamond Multimedia introduces 2D video graphics cards with low heat output and support for multiple digital LCD monitors.  Read more

General Software: M-Files v3
Motive Systems releases updated document management software.  Read more

General Software: PdfConvert v1
DotSoft releases software to convert PDF files to DXF and SCR file formats. Read more

Visualization: RxView v8 and RxHighlight v8
Rasterex updates its multiformat viewer software to support AutoCAD 2007. Read more

AEC: BIMLibrary
BIMWorld links its library tool to RevitCity.com.  Read more

AEC: STAAD.Pro 2006
Bentley's structural analysis and design software includes enhanced interoperability across structural workflow and integration with BIM.  Read more

GIS: Autodesk Government Geospatial Solution
GIS products combine with Google Earth Pro for use by government customers. Read more

MCAD: Independent Platform Gateway v4
Federation Software releases upgrade to its PLM networking system.  Read more

MCAD: Amapi Pro 7.51
e frontier upgrades NURBS-based product design and 3D modeling solution, offers introductory pricing.  Read more

CAE: GlyphWorks v4
nCode releases update that enables engineers to interactively build and run analytical processes on multichannel datasets.  Read more

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Mark Your Calendar

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

Webinar: The XYZs of Acrobat 3D
August 30, 2006
A demonstration of Adobe Acrobat 3D will teach attendees how to share 3D designs with Adobe Reader 7.0.7, accelerate the review and approval process, protect sensitive design and project information and reduce errors and last-minute design changes. Read more

Webinar: The Future of Education Facilities—Design and Construction
August 31, 2006
This webcast will explore such topics as the impact of changing student lifestyles on campus design, sustainability on campus and key trends in K-12 school design. Read more

“Emerging Talents, Emerging Technologies” Exhibition
September 26-October 6, 2006
Beijing, China
Housed in the World Art Museum, this collection of progressive architectural work will comprise exhibits from architectural practices and schools of architecture, in addition to pavilion designs. Read more

IntelliCAD World Meeting
October 11-13, 2006
Kelowna, BC, Canada
This third annual event will include business and development seminars on topics such as creating successful CAD applications for IntelliCAD and marketing, supporting and managing CAD application development ventures. 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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