Management

Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 13, No. 28)

28 Jul, 2008


This Week's Software Tips

Paste or Link Excel Files in AutoCAD
Ralph Harrison shared this simple method for inserting Excel files directly into an AutoCAD 2008 drawing. "Highlight the portion of the Excel file you want copied and select the Copy command. Next, in the AutoCAD drawing, go to the Edit dropdown menu and click Paste Special. (Note: Paste Special is not available on the right-click menu.) The Paste Special dialog box gives you two choices: Paste and Paste Link. Paste will act like an Excel file in your drawing. You will be able to edit the data just like you would the original Excel file, but it must always be updated in the AutoCAD drawing. Paste Link will create a link to the original Excel file. When the Excel file is altered and saved, the link in your AutoCAD drawing will prompt you to update. This option works very much like an xref."

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This method is a major improvement from earlier versions of AutoCAD! It's much easier to update an Excel spreadsheet and have the changes reflected automatically. You could also use a table. Some companies have tight revision controls on their drawings, so changing drawing data outside AutoCAD needs to be adequately policed to ensure drawings are updated within the revision.

Draw 3D Pipes
Jimmy D'Hondt sent in 3DPIPE.DCL and 3DPIPE.LSP for drawing 3D pipes. He says, "Draw some lines in 3D model space that define the centers of the pipes (no fillets, no polylines). Start the routine, select the pipe size you want (the list can be modified inside the AutoLISP file), select the radius you want and the fuzzy factor. The fuzzy factor lets you select lines that aren't touching exactly. The routine should then draw the pipe. The last screen allows you to remove the original center line that was drawn.

"When you select User on the main screen, it is possible to enter your own user values for the pipe. Remember to fill in the radius and fuzzy factor on the main screen. Caveat: This routine involves a bit of error checking, but it has helped me a lot for drawing 3D pipes in vanilla AutoCAD (R14-2005)."

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This routine works as Jimmy describes. To further improve it, you could make some additions to the dialog box to be more user-friendly and better reflect what you select.

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

Follow-Up: Customize Copy with Basepoint
Felipe Aspillaga wrote, "I saw the tip to copy items using 0,0,0 as a basepoint (July 21 edition). I find the following code to be a useful companion to that one. It pastes items on the Clipboard to original coordinates. I like, in particular, how close the o and 0 are to the p on the keyboard."

(prompt "\nType PO to run this Lisp")
(Defun c:PO ()
(command "_pasteorig")
(princ)
)
 
;;Pastes Items on Clipboard to 0,0,0;;
(prompt "\nType P0 to run this Lisp")
(Defun c:P0 ()
(command "_pasteclip" "0,0,0")
(princ)
)

MicroStation Tip: Quick Access to Past Values in AccuDraw
You can use the Page Up and Page Down keys to cycle backward and forward through past key-in values. This ability is helpful if you have to make lots of entries of similar distances, but not the same one over and over, which AccuDraw already does well. For example, you may be drawing a line string. The first segment is 6':6", the next is 8':4.5", and you want to reuse the 6':6" value again. Lock to the appropriate axis and hit Page Up twice and then select the data point. The new segment will be 6':6".

This tip courtesy of Axiom, which offers many MicroStation Tips on its MicroStationTips.com Web site.

Submit Your Tip

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.

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Resources

Free Report on Siemens PLM Software's Teamcenter Express Program
CIMdata announced the availability of a new program review of Teamcenter Express, a Siemens PLM Software collaborative Product Definition management (cPDm) solution. The program review provides an overall description as well as CIMdata's assessment of the Teamcenter Express program for the product lifecycle management (PLM) market. Copies are available at no cost through the CIMdata Web site.


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Deals & Freebies

White Paper: 3D Mice Improve CAD Design Workflow
A new survey conducted by MarketLab reportedly found that CAD design engineers are dramatically more productive and efficient when using 3Dconnexion's 3D mice. Download the white paper, "The Economic Payback of 3D Mice for CAD Design Engineers," at www.3Dconnexion.com/productivity.


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Books & Training

ESRI Press Publishes Two Books on Creating and Using GIS Systems
ESRI Press has published Building a GIS: System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers (302 pages, $44.95) and The Business Benefits of GIS: An ROI Approach (200 pages, $24.95). The books are available at online retailers worldwide, at the ESRI Web site, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Read more


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The Week's New CAD and Related Products

General Software: Adept v8
Document management software from Synergis enables users to manage, share, and control design and business documents throughout their lifecycle. Read more

Visualization: PolyTrans for Adobe Director
Product allows all supported Okino 3D import converters to be accessed directly from within the Director user interface. Read more

AEC: CityEngine
Procedural's urban modeling solution offers several modeling tools for generating large-scale urban layouts. Read more

AEC: Autodesk Utility Design 2009 and Autodesk Topobase 2009
New products are aimed to help utilities design their networks more efficiently. Read more

MCAD: InnoCielo Publisher 2008
Add-on for BlueCielo ECM Solutions' InnoCielo Meridian Enterprise lets users render engineering documents in universally readable formats. Read more

MCAD: InnoCielo Asset Management Module 2008
Module from BlueCielo ECM Solutions enables Meridian users to expand their engineering content management solution into a full information management system. Read more

MCAD: solidThinking v7.6
Software enables industrial designers to evaluate new ideas by virtually narrowing the spectrum of viable concepts. Read more

MCAD: ALGOR v22
FEA software reportedly upgrades all areas: modeling, simulation, and results evaluation and presentation. Read more

MCAD: ToleranceCalc v6
GEOMATE's software reportedly enables Autodesk Inventor and AutoCAD Mechanical users to perform tolerance analysis easily. Read more


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Mark Your Calendar

Webcast: Visual Work Instructions for Manufacturing
July 29, 2008
11 a.m. PDT
This Webcast will show how Right Hemisphere's 3D visual manufacturing solutions can optimize a wide variety of core product development and manufacturing processes. Read more

Webcast: Expert Illustration Using Deep Exploration 5.5
August 12, 2008
11 a.m. PDT
Attend this webinar to find out how companies are leveraging engineering data and the new capabilities in Deep Exploration 5.5. Read more

Autodesk Road and Highway Design Seminars
August 19-21,2008
Various Cities in Kentucky
These events, hosted by DLT Solutions, Autodesk, and Advanced Solutions, will introduce participants to AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009 and its technology in data management, survey, design and analysis, and documentation. Read more

Webcast: MultiCAD/PDM Integration with ProStep
August 26, 2008
11 a.m. PDT
This webinar, presented by Right Hemisphere and ProStep, will show how you can enable your extended enterprise to take full advantage of integrated design and enterprise business data. Read more

Civil Engineering and Road Design Seminars
August 26-28, 2008
Various Cities in Florida
These seminars, presented by DLT Solutions, will show how an entire project team can stay coordinated throughout all phases of a project, from surveying to construction documentation. 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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