Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 44)11 Dec, 2006
Note to readers: Today's edition of Cadalyst Tips & Tools Weekly is the last of 2006. We'll take a break for the holiday season, returning in the New Year with the January 8 edition. We thank all our loyal readers, tips contributors and the Cadalyst Tip Patrol for another successful year, and wish you all the happiest of holidays. – Cadalyst staff
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This Week's Software Tips
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; published code is not to be used for commercial purposes.
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Follow-Up to Extreme Trim
Follow-Up to Dimensions
"Generally, it's my view that it's a dangerous and lazy practice to dimension in paper space:
It works only with 2D, flat drawings or right-angle viewed 3D objects, such as Plan, Elevation and Top. Dimensions are wrong when the object is viewed from a different angle. Draw a cube and dimension it in paper space (DIMASSOC = 2). When the cube is in plan view, you see a square and it works fine. Now use SE ISO View and the dimensions became shorter. This could be dangerous if a drawing is edited and the views are changed. The manufactured product could be much smaller than intended.
"A 2D drawing dimensioned in paper space when DIMASSOC is not set to 2 is potentially a total disaster when the drawing is complex with a lot of dimensions. If there is major change to drawing scale, you can spend days repositioning objects.
Follow-Up to Textmask Tidbit
One of our Tip Patrollers who was on the scene to review the original tip noticed that pdf995 (a free PDF maker) performs in much the same manner as Wipeout, but you then must zoom in to the point where the wipeouts/textmask becomes opaque so it's impossible to read the text, he says.
A second Patroller points out information that you can find in AutoCAD's Help menu (AutoCAD Express Tools / Help / Index Tab / Textmask). Among other things, the Help suggests having your vendors download the free Autodesk DWF Viewer, and sending them DWF files instead of PDFs.
Change Layer Color
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our Patrollers agree that the tip works. One offers some suggested additions to the code:
With those additions in mind, here's an augmented version of the AutoLISP function:
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our Tip Patroller who is familiar with these commands has used the Revolve command only with 3D objects and says he wouldn't use the Revolve command with 2D objects. What Kellie is doing is possible using the Rotate command and then modifying the UCS. This Patroller says he would use the UCS command and rotate it about the x-, y- or z-axis (using the right-hand rule to determine positive and negative rotation). If necessary, you can also specify a new origin point.
AutoCAD Plot Macro
"Also, change to your particular paper size and plot style. I have several of these macros on a toolbar, one for every printer and paper size that I frequently use. You can type in '-plot' at the Command line and follow the prompts to see what everything in the macro is for. You may want to change a few of them around to further customize the macro."
^C^C_-PLOT;Y;MODEL;PLOTTER;custom 1: 36 x 22 in. (landscape);I;L;N;L;1=$M=$(getvar,dimscale);C;Y;PLOTTER.ctb;Y;A;N;N;Y;
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our Patrollers didn't test this specific macro because of its many variables. For example, you get different prompts if you're plotting a layout as opposed to plotting from model space. The important point here is that you can drive the Plot command from the Command line in a script or menu macro. Just walk through the -Plot command once by hand at the Command line, writing down the answers to the prompts. Then follow the example posted above, test, fix and repeat for your own plotting macro.
Toggle Layer Plot Status
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our intrepid Patrollers agree that this code works well and is handy enough to be an Express Tool. Our LISP expert points out one small potential hang-up: The layer name Defpoints will only be trapped in this routine if it contains all uppercase or all lowercase letters. It's possible for someone to rename this layer to something such as Defpoints or DeFpOiNtS, in which case the no-plot toggle is set to Plot -- but still doesn't plot. That Patroller volunteered this new version of the code, which performs the same function but is more condensed:
More Handy Toggle Routines
MicroStation Tip – Where Did That Cell Come From?
Answer: You can use the Identify or Place Cell command, then the Message Center will show the cell library of origin. This may not be the most efficient way, but it beats looking through cell libraries to find it.
Axiom offers many MicroStation Tips on its MicroStationTips.com Web site.
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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CDs Explain Scientific Modeling and Simulation
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Deadline Nears for Extreme Redesign Competition
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Books and Training
Podcast Download for 3D Modeling Training
ProSoft Releases Revit Building 9.1 Courseware
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
General Software: VPHybridCAD V9
General Software: CadCARD Slidechart and CadCARD Jr
General Software: SPEOS CAA V5 Based V5.0 for CATIA
General Software: Discovery 2007
General Software: FreeDimension 1.0
General Software: progeCAD 2007 Standard
GIS: 1' Eastern U.S. Imagery
MCAD: Deep Creator 2.3
MCAD: PolyWorks/Inspector Probing
MCAD: OneSpace Integration for mySAP PLM
CAE: FLUENT 6.3
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In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!