Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 13, No. 3)21 Jan, 2008
This Week's Software Tips
Paying Homage to the Cadalyst T-shirt
Offset Object to Current Layer
Pan to an Endpoint
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This routine works well and also could be used for polyline segments. We can see plenty of uses for it -- in particular, working in large civil layouts in model space over long distances. In smaller layouts, another option is using the zoom/pan function of today's standard optical mouse wheel.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This is a very quick way to erase entities in your drawing, but tread very carefully. You don't get any highlighting of the entities selected for deletion -- simply select and they are gone. In some cases you'll feel safer monitoring what you are about to erase.
Note: The following tips have not been tested by the Cadalyst Tip Patrol.
Follow-Up: Plot Xrefs
"The U.S. Federal Government, through the General Services Administration (GSA) and the office of the Chief Architect, has set up plotting and drawing standards that are freely available. The Public Building Services (PBS) standard and the free CTB files (along with many other free files) that match the CAD standards provide a good backbone to set up your own CAD standard that will harmonize well with the NCS and AIA standards. Many firms have put this standard in place to make it easy to comply when working on federal projects. Since the GSA is one of the largest developers in the world, it seems like a good idea, since sooner or later you will probably have a project with them.
"What is really interesting is that the PBS CAD standard works very well with the AIA standard and the vertical CAD applications produced by Autodesk, like AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD MEP. The PBS CAD standard and related files can be found online."
MicroStation Tip: Avoid the DGN-to-DWG "Save As" Cringe
"The most important thing to remember is 'Garbage in, Garbage out,' so it is imperative that standards are implemented, followed, and maintained between both MicroStation and AutoCAD. You must first specify the units in the DWG files by selecting a compatible template. If the MicroStation working units are English, a template file has to be selected that has English units as well. The same holds true when using metric working units. Also, fonts and dimension styles have to be translated into something that is compatible and acceptable (Truetype fonts for AutoCAD). Finally, you should print both sets of the files and check everything to make sure they look the same.
"Then, look at the data that needs to be maintained. Check all the entities and see if the intelligent CAD files still contain the information that was entered. The intelligence behind the DGN files will be lost once it is converted to a DWG file. In my opinion, you should only maintain the intelligent files that you started with. This will keep you from having to manage or maintain duplicate files in the end."
MicroStation Tip: Consistent Title Block Data
Axiom also offers many Microstation Tips on its MicroStationTips.com Web site.
VectorWorks Tip: Finding Vanished Objects
You may also choose this option from the new View Bar in VectorWorks 2008. VectorWorks zooms in or out so that all the objects in the drawing display in the drawing area.
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ENGINEERING.com Launches Engineering Video Section
Maplesoft Launches Forum to Advance Automotive Rapid Plant ModelingMaplesoft has founded the Physical Modeling Consortium, a forum in which organizations can share ideas and advance the development of Rapid Plant Modeling methodology based on symbolic computation. Read more
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Deals & Freebies
CIMdata Publishes Siemens' Teamcenter Express Review
Altadyn Releases 3DXplorer v3 Beta for 3D Web SitesAltadyn, a developer of real-time 3D software, released 3DXplorer v3 beta. According to the company, the software enables visitors to a 3D Web site to visualize the space and interact with the products from any Internet browser without a proprietary software installation. The 3DXplorer authoring environment is a free online tool. Low monthly charges apply only to higher-traffic user sites. Read more
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Opportunities & Honors
CAD Society Seeks Nominations for 2008 Awards
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
General Software: Document Locator v5.1
CAD: ViaCAD Pro
MCAD: PV Elite 2008
MCAD: Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire v4
CAE: ModePROP v1
Mark Your Calendar
Webcast: "Approved as Noted: The Benefits of Adopting an Electronic Submittal"
OFCDesk IDC Product Demonstrations
GIS Manager's Workshop
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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!