Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 40)6 Nov, 2006
New! Cadalyst to Award $100 Monthly to Selected Tipsters
Visualization Software Roundup
Cadalyst Daily Update
Autodesk Supplies Software for Pre-Engineering Education Program
3D Software for Artists, Animators
Multilingual Web Site for Engineering Software
This Week's Software Tips
When placing a point or hole center along a linear path, you can quickly divide the spacing equally by linking the spacing of each point or hole center to a reference dimension. For example, if you have a sheet-metal panel and the mounting holes are placed along one edge, with each corner hole offset from the adjacent sides by a different value due to design constraints, you can divide the other mounting holes equally between the space of those corner holes.
Click here to view a sample image.
Note that Inventor automatically equates the divided value by making all dimensions equal, including adjusting the reference dimension.
You can use this method for aligning three point hole centers symmetrically when the middle point is constrained and the other two are to be equally spaced beside it.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Good tip!
New and Improved Mtext Background Mask Routine
I've edited the original code to default-specify a border offset factor of 1.15 -- you can see the highlighted text in this week's code: Download MTEXTMASK-UPDATE.LSP with this week's code. This routine defaults to the last user input for each drawing. Also, it would be beneficial if the user alters the command alias to MM for MTEXTMASK. Shawn's version is based on an original routine by Lee Ambrosius. This program lets you add Background Mask to several mtext objects at one time instead of using the mtext editor for each object or using the Properties palette. The Properties palette in AutoCAD 2005 doesn't let you set background color or border offset. More information is available on Lee's Hyperpics Web site.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Works great! This is a very nice routine.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Patrollers agree and have used the Up arrow to go back to previous input. Note that with the introduction of dynamic input, long-time users might experience some unexpected results when using commands and the arrow keys in new versions of AutoCAD.
MicroStation Tip: Single-Line and MultilineText Justification
Answer: You can set the justification on Text Strings with active txj <justification> and for Text Nodes with active tnj <justification>. In both instances, <justification> can be found in the Key-in browser.
Axiom offers many MicroStation tips on its MicroStationTips.com Web site.
Send us your 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.
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
Hardware: SmartLF Gx 42 Series
General Software: GHOST 3D Plugins for 3ds Max 9, VIZ
General Software: Camtasia Studio 4
General Software: CADWrite 1.0
General Software: Polygonal 3D Models
Visualization: Photorealistica for KOMPAS-3D
AEC: DProfiler with RSMeans
AEC: ParkCAD 2.1 and AeroTURN 1.0
MCAD: CAD Configurator
MCAD: VXScan Version 1.2
MCAD: CFD-ACE+ 2007, CFD-FASTRAN 2007, CFD-CADalyzer 2007
MCAD: PolyWorks Version 10
Mark Your Calendar
Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.
ESI Group CFD Training
North American Symposium on the Integration of Analysis in Product Design
Microdesk Go Vertical Tour
FEA and CFD: Challenges and Best-Modelling Practices for the Aerospace Industry
ESPRIT World Conference 2007
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!