Management

Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 12, No. 27)

30 Jul, 2007


What's New at Cadalyst.com

Bug Watch (Tutorial): Oops! Autodesk's Swat Misses the Bug
Plus, missing dialog boxes, slow saves in AutoCAD 2008, and ludicrous linetypes, from Cadalyst contributing editor and chief exterminator Steve Johnson. Read more

Spatial Tech (Column): GIS for the Utilities Industry
Cadalyst contributing editor Jim Sipes describes how GIS has become the utility industry's de facto tool of choice for creating, organizing, and managing geospatial information. Read more

Cadalyst Daily Update
For all the latest news and new products and updates about the newest features on Cadalyst.com, subscribe to the Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every Monday we bring you a full-length feature article you won't find anywhere else -- hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, interviews, event reports, AutoCAD tips, and more! Here's a sample of what you missed recently:

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Resources

White Paper: SGI Multi-Discipline Simulation Solutions
SGI published a white paper titled SGI Multi-Discipline Simulation Solutions, which discusses the challenges involved in building high-performance computing infrastructure for today's CAE environments. According to the company, the white paper reviews the potential pitfalls and explains how SGI solutions can help other companies avoid them. Read more

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This Week's Software Tips

Send us your tip, code or shortcut for your favorite CAD software. If we publish your tip, 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 a $100 gift card 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) and tell us which software version you use. By submitting code, 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.

Keep Clean Files
Eldrin Y. Simpas reminds users that to keep drawings clean, you should follow this procedure when saving:

  • Select unused layers
  • Purge -- All
  • Audit -- Yes
  • Fit on title block
  • Save

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This is a simple tip but one that I find myself repeating to my users. You don't need to do this process every time you open or close a file. But it should be done when a user is finished with his or her work in a file.

Hatching Objects
Brock Narum
noticed that when hatching objects with the Hatch command and using internal pick point, the xref objects are used to make up the boundary -- not a desired result. "But, when I xclip the xref and perform the same hatch procedure and pick the same point, the xref object lines don't get used to make up the boundary. The xclip doesn't even have to clip off anything from the xref."

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Thumbs-up to this heads-up! It also applies to AutoCAD's Boundary command, our Patrollers report.

Follow-Up: Old-School Tips and Tricks
Paul Jordan
adds to Mitchell Hirschklau's July 16 tips on how to port your drawing to other workstations: "With the prices of thumb drives plummeting daily, you might want to enlist this technology. Set up your screen the way you want it, then save it as your own workspace. Set up your palettes the way you want them, then export them along with the workspace to your thumb drive. My thumb drive is on my keychain, so whenever I go to someone else's workstation, I can pop it in the USB slot and, a few clicks later, their computer looks a lot like mine and acts the way I'm used to. With AutoCAD 2007 and 2008, the CUI is becoming increasingly more user friendly. Another idea is that with a little bit of effort, you could write a LISP routine to load everything you need so then you just have to start Appload and voila, it's set up."

MicroStation Tip: Seed File Solution
Charlie McGowan
offers a simple way to generate a seed file (template) in MicroStation:

Create a border file at a scale of 1:1, whether it's your company standard or for a client who already has standards, and place it in your PCS directory.

  • Add all the cells that you may use on any type of drawing, such as section marks, elevation marks, plans, views, and detail numbers.
  • Add text in small, medium, and large sizes.
  • Add examples of your line styles, such as solid, chain, centerline, grayed out, and existing -- whatever you would use on a project. How about a North arrow or true North arrow? Do you need materials? Add in concrete, soil or anything you need; just remember that the scale must be 1:1.
  • Now, you should have a blank border with tags for the title block. At one side of the border, place all the cells listed above and as many more as you think you would need.
  • When you reference in the border file to your design sheet at the appropriate scale, copy in the cells, lines, text, etc., to complete the drawing annotation.

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This tip passes muster with our MicroStation expert. Saving all elements as 1:1 is best because they must be scaled upon insertion (with the border file, referenced) based on the particular drawing.

MicroStation Tip: Change Dimension Extension Toggle
Question:
Prior to MicroStation v8.5, the key-in Dimension Extension Toggle allowed you to select a dimension string that had been previously placed and toggle the extension lines on and off. Now it appears to only have effect during placement of dimensions. Can you restore old functionality?

Answer. The key-in you are looking for is Change Dimension Extension Toggle.

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 Tip Patrol before publication. Use all tips at your own discretion, please, and watch later editions of this newsletter for updates and corrections. We're sorry, but editors and Tip Patrol members cannot provide assistance with technical problems; please refer to Cadalyst's Hot Tip Harry-Help discussion forum.

Sincere thanks to our volunteer Tip Patrol members: Brian Benton, Don Boyer, Mitchell Hirschklau, R.K. McSwain, Kevin Sawyer, Ivanhoe Tejeda, and Billy Wooten.

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Deals & Freebies

Free Download of SPECapc Updated 3ds Max Benchmark Available
SPEC's Application Performance Characterization (SPECapc) project group has released updated performance evaluation software for systems running Autodesk 3ds Max 9. The new version updates run rules and code from the previous 3ds Max benchmark for use with 3ds Max 9. Read more

UGS Offering Deal on Upgrade for UGS Femap
UGS PLM Software announced an upgrade offer for the company's Femap software. The offer is available to users of midmarket stand-alone finite-element analysis (FEA) products, including Algor, CosmosDesignStar, and ANSYS DesignSpace. Users of these FEA products will receive credit for a portion of their existing investment, seat for seat, against the cost of purchasing Femap with UGS NX Nastran. Read more

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Opportunities & Honors

AVEVA Accepting Nominations for Engineering Excellence Contest
AVEVA is hosting its second annual Engineering Excellence to the Extreme contest to recognize projects that have used AVEVA technology. To qualify, a company should demonstrate how its project is an example of overcoming extraordinary engineering challenges such as scope, environmental, safety, risk, completion time, or other factors. Read more

 

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The Week's New CAD and Related Products

General Software: RenderServer DT
ARTVPS Launches 64-bit mental ray rendering solution now available as a desktop device, enabling multiple users to render to it using their preferred 3D applications.
Read more

Visualization: AutoVue v19.2
New release from Cimmetry supports formats for EDA, manufacturing, AEC, oil and gas, and plant design communities. Read more

Visualization: 3D Plugins for Photoshop CS3
New tools from Strata augment 3D capabilities of Photoshop. Read more

AEC: Microsoft Office Importer for MicroStation
Axiom's add-on now imports Excel charts directly into design files. Read more

AEC: Bricscad v8
Bricsys' DWG-compatible CAD software features redesigned graphical user interface, a new LISP engine, and support for Object ARX. Read more

AEC: Design2Cost
Nemetschek software helps designers, contractors, and prefabrication companies to calculate costs. Read more

CAE: NX Nastran Interface
Matereality and UGS collaboration enables access to the MMPDS-02 materials database for aerospace CAE design. Read more

CAE: CES Selector 2007
PC-based software from Granta features cost analysis as well as medical device, plastics, and eco-design capabilities. Read more

Training: SolidWorks Routing
SolidProfessor's multimedia course teaches users how to create various routed systems and related routing components in SolidWorks Office Premium. Read more

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Mark Your Calendar

NVIDIA Gelato User Group Meeting
August 8, 2007
San Diego , California
The annual NVIDIA Gelato User Group meeting will convene during SIGGRAPH again this year, and will include displays of rendering technology from NVIDIA and the premiere of the new animated short film The Plush Life rendered entirely with Gelato rendering software. Read more

Spatial 3D Insiders' Summit
October 2-3, 2007
Boulder, Colorado
Spatial, a provider of 3D components, will hold its annual conference for current and prospective customers to gain in-depth information about Spatial components. Topics include product roadmaps, technical presentations for each of the company's product lines, and the opportunity to address customer-specific issues with the experts.
Read more

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Cadalyst.com.

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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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