Management

Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 39)

30 Oct, 2006


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What's New at Cadalyst.com

What Does Your Workstation Want for the Holidays?
Tell us, and you could win a SpacePilot 3D navigation device. Cadalyst is compiling ideas for the next installment of its holiday gift guide. Send us your wish list, or those accessories you can't live without. We'll publish the best suggestions in an upcoming edition of Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter and send one lucky workstation its own SpacePilot 3D navigation device, courtesy of 3Dconnexion! To view our first batch of suggestions, check out Holiday Gift Guide: Make Your Workstation Smile.

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:

Resources

Geomagic Launches Online Knowledge Base
Geomagic, a worldwide software and services company, announced the launch of the Geomagic Knowledge Base. The Geomagic Knowledge Base, in beta, is a customer resource for knowledge sharing on Geomagic software and its application in DSSP (digital shape sampling and processing). The Knowledge Base, an extension of the company's Web site support section, is designed as an interactive forum that will enable information exchange on best-practice use of Geomagic software. The beta release features regular postings of customer technical issues by Geomagic support staff, which will be augmented with content from partners and customers later this year.

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This Week's Software Tips

New! Cadalyst to Award $100 Monthly to Selected Tipsters
Cadalyst announces a new prize program for those who contribute tips to its Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter. Cadalyst editors will continue to award an official Cadalyst t-shirt to the contributor of every original published tip and, effective immediately, will also randomly select one of those contributors each month to receive $100.

Send us your tips, code and other shortcuts for AutoCAD, MicroStation, SolidWorks or any other CAD software. If we publish your tip, we'll send you a t-shirt and put you in the running for the $100 monthly prize!

Follow-Up to Redir Command
We had a couple replies concerning last week’s comments on the Redir command tip. Cadalyst Tip Patroller Kevin Sawyer uses the method described by Leonid Nemirovsky, but adds that you need to set the PROJECTNAME system variable in each drawing file to match the search path as defined in the Options / Files / Project Files Searchpath so each drawing knows where to look in the registry for the missing xrefs, images and DWF underlays. The best way to set this variable is by using a simple AutoLISP routine or script file that runs via a batch process for each project.

Bob Stewart says, “Another method when dealing with hard-coded paths in xrefs from clients or subcontractors is to create a subfolder called XREF under the parent drawing(s) folder, and put the xref files in it. Go to Tools / Options / Files / Support File Search Path and add .\XREF. As long as the xrefs are in a subfolder of the parent drawing called XREF, AutoCAD will find the files.

Arrow Pointer
Reader Justo Aguiaroften finds himself showing a drawing on-screen to colleagues and clients, but says the crosshair is not helpful when trying to show someone a feature. Instead, he presses the Alt key and the arrow cursor appears, making it easy to point out features. To get the crosshair back, just click. 

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: All Patrollers agree that this is a great little tip. Note that if you change applications and then return to AutoCAD, your crosshair will automatically be back to normal.

One Patroller reminds us that AutoCAD 2007 users have some helpful tools at their disposal when showing a drawing. Use the Cleanscreenon and Cleanscreenoff commands -- accessible by clicking the icon in the bottom right corner of the display -- to hide all toolbars, providing a larger display screen for your mini-presentations.

MicroStation Tip – Level Description at the Active Level Tab
Question: Is there a way to see the level description at the Active level tab?
Answer: This ability was added in XM edition through use of the new variable, MS_LEVEL_DISPLAY_FORMAT.

Axiom offers many MicroStation Tips on its MicroStationTips.com Web site.

Send usyour tip, code 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, and each month Cadalyst editors will randomly select one published tip and send $100 to its author. Please submit only code and other tips that are your original work, or provide the original source so we can include proper credit. By submitting code to Cadalyst, you grant Cadalyst the right to print and distribute your code in print, digitally and by other means. Cadalyst and individual authors retain all rights to the code; any published code is not to be used for commercial purposes.

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

NVIDIA Releases Windows Vista Drivers
NVIDIA, a provider of programmable graphics processor technologies, announced that its first publicly available WHQL (Windows Hardware Quality Labs) graphics driver is available for download for Windows Vista. Visitors to NVIDIA's Web site can download Windows Vista x86 or Windows Vista x64 drivers. The company has posted WHQL-certified drivers for a range of its graphics processing units in preparation for the upcoming release of Windows Vista.

VisMasters VM Texture Exchange and Challenge
VisMasters launched the VM Texture Exchange and the VM Texture Exchange Challenge, which is designed to benefit students and those seeking royalty-free textures. More than 700 textures are in the beta version of the VM Texture Exchange, which has a year-end goal to provide students 2,500 textures for use in their academic visualization pursuits. To reach this goal VisMasters is challenging professionals around the world to submit high-quality textures to the exchange. Those who submit textures are entered into the challenge, and winners will be selected bimonthly and awarded VisMasters $100 prizes. There is no limit on the number of texture images that can be submitted. VisMasters hosts an online gallery, an Image of the Week, an online forum community, and a store offering design visualization products.

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Opportunities & Honors

Dassault Systemes Announces Ecodesign Contest Winners
Dassault Systemes, a provider of 3D and PLM solutions, announced the winners of its ecodesign contest, Light Objects, launched to encourage manufacturers to design environmentally friendly products. The international competition, launched in July 2006 along with Core77, a Web community for designers, attracted 700 participants. Dassault awarded the winner and runners-up a total of $9,000, plus professional realizations using its 3D modeling software. Dassault realized virtual prototypes of the winning entries using CATIA V5.

UGS Names Solid Edge Contest Winners
UGS, a provider of PLM software and services, announced the winners of its Solid Edge software CAD contest for the first half of 2006. Winning products were designed and rendered using Solid Edge, the CAD component of the UGS Velocity Series portfolio. Winners will receive a SpaceBall 5000 motion controller from Solid Edge Voyager Program member 3Dconnexion.

AUGI Opens Wish List Voting
AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) announced that its AutoCAD Wish List and the Autodesk Inventor Wish List are currently open for voting. Until November 15, 2006, users can review and vote on the wishes posted by fellow members. Wishes have been categorized so site visitors can quickly find the features on which they want to cast a vote, then rank their votes from 1 to 10. The process requires AUGI membership, which is free. The final Wish Lists will be presented to Autodesk as improvements desired by users in upcoming releases of AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor software.

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Books & Training

Rhino Scripting Tutorials Launched
Robert McNeel & Associates, a provider of 3D software tools, announced the RhinoScript101 tutorials project for scripting with its Rhino software, a NURBS modeling tool for rendering, animation, drafting, engineering, analysis and manufacturing. The company describes scripting as a powerful yet easy way to automate Rhino, requiring only elementary programming skills. RhinoScript101 offers a series of lessons on Rhino scripting, aimed at teaching a basic understanding of programming fundamentals that will ease the transition from Rhino user to Rhino developer. Interested parties can download the first five lessons, along with a multiple-choice test and a primer.

New Russian AutoCAD 2007 Title
AutoCAD 2007 - In Origin (1,120 pages) is a new AutoCAD reference book in Russian, written by Nikolay Poleshchuk and published by BHV-Petersburg. The seven-part, 48-chapter tome begins by identifying the main differences between AutoCAD 2006/2007 and AutoCAD 2005, then goes on to explain the design capabilities of AutoCAD.

Transition eBook Released for AutoCAD/TurboCAD
upFront.eZine Publishing released the second edition of its transition e-book for AutoCAD 2007 and TurboCAD Professional 12. TurboCAD for AutoCAD Users is the updated e-book for AutoCAD users interested in transitioning to TurboCAD. The 168-page e-book contains side-by-side tutorials for creating 2D and 3D models in both AutoCAD and TurboCAD. The publication is available as an Adobe Acrobat file for delivery via e-mail, ftp or Web browser ($29.95) and is also available on CD ($34.95, shipping included).

VectorWorks Architect Training Manual
Software developer Nemetschek North America released Step by Step with VectorWorks Architect, a training manual written to teach a practical approach to project workflow. The manual has been expanded to demonstrate the new tools and technologies found in version 12, including a redesigned user interface, navigation palette, live sections and new building objects. The manual, provided as a PDF file, guides the user through the entire home design process. Users can work within VectorWorks Architect while working through the manual.

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The Week's New CAD and Related Products

Hardware: DISTO A2
Leica Geosystems introduces new handheld laser tool designed for indoor measuring applications. Read more

Hardware: NextDimension with Quadro FX 5500
NextComputing's portable workstation incorporates NVIDIA graphics accelerator.  Read more

Visualization: trueSpace 7.5
Caligari's 3D software application to feature real-time collaborative authoring technology.  Read more

Visualization: 3D Middle Eastern People Volume 1
ArchVision's RPC library includes females with and without hijab headscarves, and males in modest business attire.  Read more

AEC: 3D City Models
In addition to model creation, AMT3D now offers services such as hosting models online, inserting links and inserting in Google Earth.  Read more

MCAD: ProCAST 2006
Updated release from ESI Group includes new meshing features and processing capabilities.  Read more

MCAD: Synergis Adept 7
Upgrade reportedly boosts performance as much as 90% over previous version and extends 2D/3D CAD integrations  Read more

MCAD: SmarTeam Design Express for Multi-CAD
Dassault Systemes' scalable solution helps SMBs benefit from PLM with product data management.  Read more

CAE: Icewave 1.1
ANSYS releases upgrade for electromagnetic compatibility and interference analyses.  Read more

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Mark Your Calendar

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

2006 Fall FLUG Conference
November 2-3, 2006
Tampa, Florida
FLUG (Florida Local Users Group) is a forum for MicroStation users and developers, such as Axiom, to share ideas and improve MicroStation usability. Axiom Senior Product Manager Mike Arroyo, will conduct the keynote speech and accompanying representatives will conduct presentations and perform demonstrations. Read more

2006 AIA Colorado Design Conference and Practice Management Symposium
November 2-4, 2006
Vail, Colorado
Representatives from architecture firms that are using Archicad will present their perspectives on the evolving architectural industry, covering topics relating to redevelopment of physical surroundings, communities, architectural practices and the design profession. Read more

CAD Technology for Manufacturing and Interoperability Expo
November 3, 2006
Seattle, Washington
This half-day conference, sponsored by Kubotek USA and Cimtech, will address approaches for meeting CAD interoperability demands across the supply chain. Read more

Regional Civil Training Event for InRoads Users
November 6-8, 2006
Broomfield, Colorado
The Bentley Institute's training event for InRoads users offers more than 50 sessions and workshops on Bentley solutions, including peer-presented case studies and technical presentations. Read more

ESRI CA/HI/NV/GU Regional User Group Annual Conference
February 6-8, 2007
Sacramento, California
Conference enables members of the California/Hawaii/Nevada/Guam ESRI Regional Users' Group to share GIS projects, learn how colleagues have tackled similar challenges, and discuss initiatives and partnerships in the region. Read more

10th Annual Applied Ergonomics Conference
March 12-15, 2007
Addison, Texas
"Celebrating the Past -- Shaping the Future" is the theme for this ergonomics conference, which features more than 20 corporations competing for the Ergo Cup awards for innovative process improvements. Read more

2007 LMS Conference
March 20-21, 2007
Detroit, Michigan
During this two-day conference, engineering executives, senior managers and their technical staff will share their strategies and present application cases that illustrate how new physical test and virtual simulation methods and technologies have helped them optimize their product development processes. Read more

2nd Annual 3DQuickPress International User Conference
March 22-23, 2007
Chicago, Illinois
This two-day interactive user conference will cover educational topics focusing on 3DQuickPress and 3DQuickForm, SolidWorks add-ins for die design. Read more

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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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