Management

Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 13, No. 16)

28 Apr, 2008


This Week's Software Tips

Toolbar Button: Draw Extruded Pipe
Jan Nademlejnsky sent the following method to create a toolbar button you can use to draw an extruded pipe along a given path.

  1. Type _Toolbar into the Command line.

     

  2. Choose the toolbar where you want to create a new button.

     

  3. Hold the Ctr key and select any button and drag it to where you want it. This creates a duplicate button.

     

  4. Right-click it and select Properties.

     

  5. Select the line below, copy, and paste it into Macro Associated window. Do not type it in, because the syntax is important. Make sure there is no space at its end. This is a continuous line:

 

  1. In the Name line, type: Pipe extruded along given path.

     

  2. Edit the button image so it looks like a pipe or something similar.

     

  3. Save As your new button image.

How to use it:

  1. Create pipe or pipeline centerline (C/L).

     

  2. Convert it to polyline (pline), so there is just one line from the beginning to the pipeline end.

     

  3. Move Origin to pipe end. You must be in xy-plane and x-aligned with C/L.

     

  4. Press YOUR button and read prompts in the Command window:

     

    1. Specify diameter of circle: Enter pipe outer diameter (12).

       

    2. Specify offset distance: Enter wall thickness (0.25).

       

    3. Select object to offset: Click on circle.

       

    4. Specify point on side to offset: Click inside of circle.

       

    5. Select objects: Select both circles to create regions. You must select both circles simultaneously, do not click on each circle. This will create two regions: outer diameter and inner diameter.

       

    6. Select solids and regions to subtract from: Select outer diameter.

       

    7. Select solids and regions to subtract: Select inner diameter. This will create ring (outer diameter - inner diameter).

       

    8. Select objects: Click the ring, which will rotate 90 degrees in 3D around y.

       

    9. Select objects: Click the centerline (path). This will extrude the pipeline.

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This tip is slick! It's almost a tutorial on customization and solid modeling. We're sure it will find many uses by those who do a lot of this type of extruding.

Copy Details from Library
Shawn Evjen sent in his PERMIT_LOCAL.LSP routine for copying details from a library. "At my previous office, we had a detail library that had been around for about 10 years. The details had all pretty much been gone through, vetted, and were for the most part set with very few changes. When I started with my current office, there was no detail library, nobody used xrefs, and detail pages were copied from the last similar job. I began building a detail library and teaching users how to properly handle xref data.

"My company recently created its own construction company, and we are going through the process of modifying the whole detail package. We have several similar buildings that are in design, permitting, and under construction. The challenge that we face with our timeline is we need the detail package to be upgraded with each project, while at the same time not affecting jobs under construction.

"Through this process, I was asked how difficult it would be to keep everything current until we received our permit, and then cut the tie to the master detail library. I explained the process and the benefit of leaving details as xrefs (such as having everything drawn to scale). The conclusion was not to bind, but to create a detail directory and have a local copy. The problem was in looking through the library, grabbing each file one-by-one, copying them to the Details folder, and changing the path. I came up with this AutoLISP routine that takes about 30 minutes of work (per sheet) and does 95% of the work in about three seconds.

"You will need a local Details folder below your current drawing location. This routine will check for the directory, will copy all resolved xrefs to that folder, change the path to a local reference (so you can move the files to another drive), and let you know about any files that were not completed."

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: The program runs just as Shawn described. It works fine in AutoCAD 2002 and ADT 2006, and it can be tweaked to work in other versions of AutoCAD as well. For a company that uses such a file structure, this routine is a good way to isolate certain project files without disturbing other projects already in process. However, your organization should have an updated procedure that wouldn't include reproduction of already valid drawing files. Problems could occur with identical files located on different places on the company server. As always, we encourage reader input.

Note: These follow-up tips have not been tested by the Cadalyst Tip Patrol.

Follow-Up: Speedy Script Files
After reading the Speedy Script Files tip in the April 21 issue, Ed Jobe was inspired to share his own SCRIPTMGR, a VBA application for working with AutoCAD script files. It allows you to create, edit, and run scripts from a dialog box. It has buttons for storing your scripts in a user folder and a global read-only folder for CAD managers. The VBA routine uses Notepad to edit the scripts and a special LISP file to execute them. Thanks, Ed!

MicroStation Tip: Backup and Undo
Ever make a mistake in MicroStation? Save yourself some grief with this tip. Download it in PDF.

Today's MicroStation tip courtesy of The Envision Group.

 

Submit Your Tip button

Submit Your Tip for your favorite CAD software. If we publish your tip, we'll send you a Cadalyst 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.

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, and Billy Wooten.

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Resources

Product-Configuration Tools Report
The Aberdeen Group has released a new report, Tailoring Products to Customer Preferences: Configuring Profits to Order, which is available free through May 27, 2008, to site users who register. The report highlights how best-in-class technologies are helping custom-product manufacturers succeed in the marketplace. Read more


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Deals & Freebies

Inch Version of O-Ring Calculator
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has released an inch version of its O-Ring Calculator, which includes a sizing capability, design parameter recommendations, and complete measurements. The O-Ring Calculator is available free for online use, via the company's Web site. Trelleborg Sealing Solutions develops, manufactures, and supplies precision seals.


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Opportunities & Honors

Three Student Teams Win Annual FIRST Championship
Teams from St. Catharines, Ontario; Greenville, Texas; and Sterling Heights, Michigan, emerged victorious at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, April 18-19. Teams earned their invitations to the championship by excelling in competitive play, sportsmanship, and the development of partnerships among schools, businesses, and communities. Read more


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The Week's New CAD and Related Products

General Software: PhotoModeler Scanner
Eos Systems software features a new technology known as dense surface modeling (DSM). Read more

Visualization: 3DpaintBrush
Software from Geometric is designed for creating near-photorealistic images, animations, and videos from existing 3D models. Read more

MCAD: Automation Studio v5.6
Famic Technologies' design and simulation software includes vendor-specific catalog information for manufacturer-specific components. Read more

CAE: FLUENT v4
ANSYS software is designed to deliver improved CFD technology to engineers who work within Dassault Systemes' CATIA V5 environment. Read more

CAM: Edgecam Probing
Module from Planit allows automation of the part set-up process by working in conjunction with Renishaw probing systems. Read more

CAM: Edgecam v12.5
Planit software features new capabilities for mill-turn programming and integration with solids-modeling CAD systems. Read more

Facilities Management: OrthoGraph Survey
Module shows measured drawings in real time and facilitates creation of an electronic drawing on site. Read more


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Mark Your Calendar

Autodesk 2009 Technology for Building Design and Engineering
May 6-20, 2008
Various U.S. Cities
Presented by Avatech Solutions, the Autodesk Rollout series for architects and building systems engineers will cover release 2009 of AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, 3ds Max Design, AutoCAD MEP, and Revit MEP. Read more

Autodesk 2009 Technology for Civil Professionals
May 6-21, 2008
Various U.S. Cities
In this free 2009 Autodesk Rollout series of events for civil engineering and survey professionals, Avatech Solutions' technical experts will take attendees on a tour through the latest features that will affect the way they work. Read more

Field to Finish Workshop
May 27, 2008
Morristown, New Jersey
In this workshop, Autodesk experts Jerry Bartels and David Blanchette will demonstrate the new survey functionality in AutoCAD Civil 3D. Sponsored by Synergis. Read more

AIA 2008 National Convention and Design Exposition
May 15-17, 2008
Boston, Massachusetts
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) annual convention will provide opportunities for attendees to earn learning units, participate in dozens of seminars, and visit more than 800 exhibitor booths. Read more

Webcast: Design + Construction of Hospital Renovations + Additions
May 22, 2008
2 p.m. EDT
This webcast will focus on case studies of hospital renovation/addition projects and will offer prescriptive advice for dealing with them. Read more

LMS Test & Simulation Conference
May 28-29, 2008
Troy, Michigan
Industry experts and practicing engineers will gather to learn more about test and simulation in the areas of noise, vibration, durability, and kinematics and how they relate to real-world engineering issues. 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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