Management

Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 13, No. 23)

23 Jun, 2008


This Week's Software Tips

Cadalyst Tip Patroller extraordinaire Brian Benton was selected to serve as an instructor at this year's Autodesk University. Brian will show CAD managers how to create and maintain a CAD manual. For great tips and information, visit Brian's blog.

AutoCAD System Variables List
Tip Patroller Mitchell Hirschklau has been researching AutoCAD's "secret" or "hidden" SETVARS, which, although referenced in the Help section, aren't listed in the SETVAR ? command line options. Mitch says, "I have just come across what might be a complete list of SETVARS up through AutoCAD 2008 full and LT on the Hyperpics Web site. The site also has a list of AutoCAD commands (including Express Tools commands). Both lists graph the addition of the SETVAR or command by AutoCAD version (from R12 through 2008) in a color-coded chart that indicates not only when the item was added or removed but if the item was modified." Hyperpics is the personal work of Lee Ambrosius, a senior technical writer at Autodesk; he gives equal credit for the site to Autodesk's Shaan Hurley.

Show/Hide Annotations
Alex Borodulin submitted Annotations On/Off, a tip from his NYacad Web site for showing and hiding annotations. These two custom commands can help you improve your drafting speed, especially when the drawing is crowded.

Align Crosshairs to Odd Angles
Alan Ball shared this tip for aligning crosshairs in AutoCAD. "I often have xrefs to use as a base drawing. I work with a lot of buildings that have funny angles, and I have to align my crosshairs to them. I use the UCS command and type in 3. The command then asks for the 0,0,0 point and the x- and y-axis. The 3 option vanished from the options shown as available with the UCS command a few years back, but is still available to use and is very handy if you don't know the angle of the walls you are working with, but you need to align your crosshairs for drawing or setting up a UCS to the building structure."

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: If you use this method, remember you can restore your previous UCS by using the P option in the UCS command.

Another option is to use the SNAPANG system variable to change the crosshair angle. You can snap to two points on a line in the same way, then set it back by setting SNAPANG to zero (0). The UCS 3 option is a useful reminder that while some old AutoCAD functions may "disappear," they don't actually go away.

MicroStation/AutoCAD Tip: Drag and Drop to Open Files
Mike Long sent in this tip for MicroStation users that also works for AutoCAD: "By dragging and dropping Microstation v8 2004 files into the current open session from Windows Explorer, you can open a new session. You will be asked if you want to close current design file and open new design file. Respond with Yes, and the new design opens and closes the previous one."

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Good tip -- a quick way to open a MicroStation or AutoCAD file! We hope Bentley is working on a multiple document interface feature for MicroStation as Autodesk did for AutoCAD to allow users to open multiple drawings at one time.

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 remember:

  • Submit only code and other tips that are your original work (or provide the original source so we can include proper credit).
  • 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.

Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Resources

Report Estimates Additive Fabrication Market at $1.1 Billion
The market for additive fabrication (AF) products and services globally grew 16% to an estimated $1.141 billion in 2007, according to Wohlers Report 2008, a 240-page global study that focuses on the advances in additive fabrication worldwide. This figure is up from an estimated $983.7 million generated in 2006. A detailed overview of the report and additional information on the market and industry are available at Wohlers Associates' Web site. Read more


Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Deals & Freebies

iMap for Inventor Technology Preview Available
Autodesk has introduced the iMap for Inventor Technology Preview, which reportedly provides intuitive, graphical views, thereby helping Inventor users visualize, understand, and control important relationships and constraints in assemblies. The software is available as a free download from Autodesk Labs. Read more

ASCON Offers Student Licenses of KOMPAS-3D
ASCON Group is offering educational licenses of KOMPAS-3D mechanical CAD software for students. The free KOMPAS-3D LT edition can be used to teach the basics of 2D design but does not allow 3D assemblies modeling. The fully functional KOMPAS-3D Professional version is $210 for students of registered educational institutions. To order a student copy, visit the ASCON Web site.


Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Opportunities & Honors

COADE CADWorx User Conference and Competition
COADE will hold its CADWorx User Conference: Drivers of Success competition October 20-22, in Houston, Texas. Users of the company's CADWorx Plant Design suite software will compete for 10 sets of prizes to be awarded in each region for the best success stories submitted describing real-world applications of CADWorx Plant, CADWorx P&ID, CADWorx IP, CADWorx Steel and/or CADWorx Design Review. Read more

VectorWorks Architect User Wins Residential Design Award
Jim Rounsevell, a VectorWorks Architect user, was a winner in the prestigious Washington, D.C., AIA Chapter/Washingtonian Magazine awards competition for Residential Design. Rounsevell's Poplar Terraces project in Falls Church, Virginia, was commended by the jury for its "clean and simple" design approach and ability to deliver high-quality residences on a relatively modest budget.

Oce Wins Four BERTL's Best Awards
Oce announced that its wide-format hardware solutions have received four BERTL's Best Awards. For their overall business process value, functionality, and performance to users, the following Oce products won top honors: TCS500 (best midvolume AEC color wide-format solution), TDS600/700/800 Pro Series (best centralized high-volume wide-format solution), CS4136 (best value for price wide-format 36" scanner), and CS4142 (best value for price wide-format 42" scanner).


Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Books & Training

SolidWorks Certification Prep Course Released
SolidProfessor announced the release of its SolidWorks Certification Prep Course, a self-paced course that addresses the latest Certified SolidWorks Professional (CSWP) and Certified SolidWorks Associate (CSWA) exams. Designed and written by certified SolidWorks professionals and certified SolidWorks instructors, the course is designed to help users prepare and successfully pass the CSWP and CSWA exams. Read more


Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Week's New CAD and Related Products

General Software: Everest 2009 Team Edition
Altima Software product is designed for enterprise CAD users and provides support for design data shared on a network. Read more

General Software: XVL Converter Plug-in for Inventor
Release from Lattice Technology allows users to convert 3D data created in the latest version of Autodesk Inventor into XVL for downstream uses. Read more

AEC: ArchiCAD v12
New version of virtual building modeling solution from Graphisoft includes enhancements that focus on speed, design, and documentation. Read more

Visualization: LightWorks Studio Edition
LightWork Design software allows each product to be tailored to meet specific customer requirements. Read more

Visualization: IDX Renditioner for Google SketchUp for PC
IMSI/Design's plug-in for Google SketchUp 6 and SketchUp Pro 6 allows quick revisions to models and materials. Read more

GIS: GeoBlade Community Maintenance
Software from Geographic Technologies Group provides a mapping interface to visualize code inspections, community projects, and other activities. Read more

MCAD: Deep Exploration v5.5 and Deep View v5.5
Software from Right Hemisphere includes advanced support for the creation and output of real-time 3D manufacturing instructions. Read more

CAM: TransMagic v7.2
TransMagic now reads and writes JT files in both visualization and B-Rep forms. Read more


Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mark Your Calendar

Webinar: Advanced Road Template Design
June 26, 2008
12 noon ET
This comprehensive Webinar will demonstrate the multiple uses of Carlson Software's road templates. Read more

Webinar: Working with SiteNET
July 10, 2008
12 noon ET
In this webinar, Carlson Software's Gary Rosen will show how the SiteNET layer-based surface generator and earthwork calculator saves time and money. Read more

Webinar: Advanced Roundabout & Knuckle Design
July 17, 2008
12 noon ET
This Webinar by Carlson Software will demonstrate how to lay out a collection of intersecting roads, process them all together, and clean up all intersections, cul-de-sacs, and other design features in 2D and 3D. Read more

Bentley Plant User Group Meeting
September 18-19, 2008
Biloxi, Mississippi
The Bentley Plant User Group Conference is an annual user conference that includes hands-on workshops led by Bentley personnel, technology/product updates, keynote presentations, and user presentations. Read more

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


Back to Top

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!
Follow Lynn on Twitter Follow Lynn on Twitter