Management

Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 13, No. 39)

20 Oct, 2008


This Week's Software Tips

Congratulations September Drawing Winner
Honei Hooper won the September drawing for a $100 gift card. Submit your tip (see guidelines below) for your favorite CAD software. Honei's tip, Copy Nested Objects, was published in the September 22 edition. 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.

Set Snapstyle to Standard
Azfar Mahmood sent the following Custom User Interface macro for AutoCAD, which he uses to set the SNAPSTYL standard to isometric before changing the isoplane with the F5 function key. When set, the macro checks to see which isometric plane the user is working in and adjusts the snap setting automatically to match.

["F5"]'SETVAR;SNAPSTYL;$M=$(IF,$(!=,$(GETVAR,SNAPSTYL),1),1);+
'SETVAR;SNAPISOPAIR;$(IF,$(=,$(GETVAR,SNAPISOPAIR),2),0,$(+,$(GETVAR,
SNAPISOPAIR),1))

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL:
This tip helps to save a few keystrokes, which is the key to efficiency. Thanks, Azfar!

Format Text in AutoCAD 2009
Leonid Nemirovsky sent this tip for making mtext work in a familiar way in AutoCAD 2009 with the Text Formatting toolbar when the ribbon is on and active. Simply set the MTEXTTOOLBAR variable to 1. Here are all possible settings for this variable:

  • 0 -- The Text Formatting toolbar is never displayed.
  • 1 -- The Text Formatting toolbar is displayed upon selection of an mtext object.
  • 2 -- The Text Formatting toolbar does not display when the ribbon is on.

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL:
AutoCAD provides several customization options -- sometimes too many for our liking. Depending on your mtext needs, this setting can save you screen real estate or provide an all-access toolbar for your clicking desires.

Add Architectural Dimensions
Mike Thorne wrote, "If you need to add architectural dimensions to a decimal drawing or vice versa, you can modify the properties of the individual dimension or set up a new dimension style. The Dim Scale Linear and Dim Units settings under the Primary Units section of the properties for the particular dimension can be modified for each individual dimension. A new dimension style can be created with the Scale Factor under the Primary Units tab set to 12 for architectural dimensions in a decimal drawing or .0833 for decimal dimensions in an architectural drawing. The dim scale linear setting can also be set to the viewport scale if you need to place a dimension in paper space for an object in model space."

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL:
This is a great tip on how to display multiple dimension and measurement unit types in the same drawing. Styles are key to annotation displays in AutoCAD. Using them and their millions of options can help to make annotating much easier. You could also use this tip if you need to display inches and millimeters, or any other unit of measure.


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

Follow-Up: Don't Be Afraid of Change
Randy B. Culp wrote in response to our October 13 tip about the Change command: "When discussing the Change command, don't forget to throw in the Drag modifier. After selecting objects and pressing Enter, you are prompted with Specify change point or [Properties]. Simply key in the word Drag and press Enter; the function now drops back to changing individual elements one at a time. Attempting to drag the line to zero length will cause the anchor to jump to the opposite end, allowing a greater degree of flexibility. Watch your running osnaps. The Change command works for multiple circles as well; give that a spin."

Follow-Up: Scaling Distorted Objects
Lloyd Beachy sent in SCALE_X-Y.LSP, an AutoLISP routine that automates some of the steps described in our October 6 newsletter. It is set up to scale objects in either the x or the y direction, but Lloyd reports that it could be changed to include the z direction as well.

MicroStation Tip: Autoload a Macro
Certain variables, particularly for a customized Popup Calculator, will not stay loaded once you exit MicroStation. But what if you want the variables to load automatically each time you start up the application? Read more

Today's MicroStation tip courtesy of The Envision Group.

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

CIMdata Releases New, Free Whitepaper
CIMdata's new whitepaper, "Getting Started in PDM," describes the evolution of product data management (PDM) systems, their applicability to mid-sized manufacturing companies in multiple industry segments, and how companies of all sizes can take advantage of today's PDM systems.


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Deals & Freebies

Bricsys Offers Vondle Trial
Bricsys is offering a free trial release of Vondle, a SaaS (software-as-a-service)-based project and data management system. By subscribing to the trial, customers can use Vondle features free of charge for 30 days. The system requires a compatible browser, user ID, and password. Read more

Solid Edge, Free 2D Drafting Software
Siemens' Solid Edge 2D Drafting is the standalone 2D CAD component of the Velocity Series portfolio. It provides a production-proven set of capabilities for creating 2D documentation, including drawing layout, diagramming, annotation and dimensioning controls that comply with drafting standards, such as ISO, ANSI, BSI, DIN, JIS, and UNI.


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Opportunities & Honors

QuadriSpace Launches Affiliate Program
QuadriSpace launched its Affiliate Program, which allows web sites, bloggers, and individuals to generate paid commissions by placing custom links to the company's web site to generate Internet traffic. Participants earn up to 10% in referral fees on all qualifying revenue made through their links. Those interested can complete the Affiliate Program application to get started.


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Books & Training

Entourage Arts Offers Google SketchUp Training
Entourage Arts is conducting live, instructor-led, Google SketchUp training sessions to teach users how to use the 3D modeling software. Classes include Essentials 1, Essentials 2, Advanced 1 and Advanced 2. Training materials are provided. Read more


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The Week's New CAD and Related Products

Hardware: ProJet CP 3000
3D Systems' second wax-pattern printer is intended for the high-speed, high-volume production of RealWax casting patterns from digital data. Read more

Hardware: Accura ClearVue Plastic
Material from 3D Systems is designed to produce virtually colorless parts. Read more

Hardware: Xerox 6279 Wide-Format Printer
The 600 X 600 dpi printing and scanning capabilities reportedly deliver precise details even for complex plans, schematics, and renderings. Read more

General Software: CADsmart v6
Application enables companies to assess their current and potential employees' AutoCAD and MicroStation abilities. Read more

General Software: Multiphysics v3.5
Software from COMSOL includes new solvers, coding, usability enhancements, new functionalities, application modes, and material models. Read more

AEC: ShapeIO v1
DotSoft application enables shape import/export functionality to AutoCAD and AutoCAD Civil 3D. Read more

AEC: MEP Contractor Programs
Design Master software includes integrated drafting and calculation features, plus quantity takeoffs. Read more

AEC: NISA/CIVIL v16
FEA application from Cranes Software addresses issues with RCC and steel structures. Read more

PLM: D-Cubed Component Software v39
Siemens' PLM Software updated four of its D-Cubed software products. Read more


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Mark Your Calendar

Geospatial Applications and Solutions: A Working Model
November 12, 2008
Adelaide, Australia
IMAGINiT Australia will host this geospatial industry briefing. Topics will include geospatial technologies, national solutions, and integration. Read more

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


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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