Management

Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 13, No. 46)

15 Dec, 2008


Dear Readers: Tips & Tools Weekly will take a holiday break the next two weeks and will resume publication on January 5, 2009. Thanks to all of you for your loyal readership this past year. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a safe and happy new year.

This Week's Software Tips

Attention Tips Fans: Changes for Newsletter Tips
All the latest software tips are now posted in full on Cadalyst's new CAD Tips site. A brief description of each new tip will appear in that week's newsletter to alert readers of the update and link to the full tip description and comments from the Cadalyst Tip Patrol. On the CAD Tips site, registered users can rate each tip, tag favorites, and post comments and questions to the author. We hope you'll enjoy all this new functionality, including the ability to search the tip archives and to find all the tip details and reader follow-up in one place. Send your suggestions and feedback about this new process to editors@cadalyst.com.

Moving 3D Objects
Phil Tingley uses this trick when he's working with 3D solids in AutoCAD 2006 and needs to move one or more objects in a single direction so that one face butts up to another existing solid. View the complete tip.

Put Diagrams into Word
Steve Knopf sent us a way to turn AutoCAD files into a word processor file. When you need to supply a diagram for a Word document, WMF files are scalable and great for inserting CAD drawings, or portions of them, into a document. View the complete tip.

Get Rid of Stubborn Layers
R.T. Rinehart offered this tip to help get rid of those layers that just won't go away no matter what you try. The Laydel (layer delete) command will get rid of most layers and any objects on that layer but won't delete a locked layer. View the complete tip.

Change Text Styles and More
Robert Zipprich sent us this old-school tool that comes in handy for changing manufacturer drawing font style fractions from the AutoCAD FRACTION.SHX to a client's specific font SHX fractions. View the complete tip.

AutoCAD Icon Switches and C/L P/L Symbols
Leonid Nemirovsky writes, "Starting with AutoCAD 2007, there was another switch added to the AutoCAD icon:

/w "myworkspacename" (replace "myworkspacename" with your own)

This switch specifies which workspace is to be restored at startup. View the full tip.

Len also shared a tip he received from David Allison about how to create C/L P/L symbols. David uses the tip with AutoCAD 2007, but he believes it should work with any version that allows mtext formatting. View the full tip.

Finding Area in Acres
Josh Jones wrote in about finding the area in acres in AutoCAD 2008. Josh offers a quick way to accomplish this on his web site, LazyDrafter.com.

Another Use of Layiso
Alex Borodulin has a new technique for quick changing of layers' properties. Get the full tip on Alex's web site, nyacad.com.

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

Units Converter Web Site
Looking for a simple way to find units converters and CAD scales? Try CAD/systems manager Scott MacKenzie's, new web site Complicad. Here you'll find these CAD and BIM tools: conversion chart, inches to feet and inches converter, scale factors, and units converter.

Onix Web Site for Ottawa's Design Community
Onix, an Autodesk reseller in Ottawa, Ontario, designed its web site to provide the Ottawa community with a destination for technology information, news, and resources. It includes information on AEC, GIS, design visualization, government industries, events, product announcements, design and hardware initiatives, and promotions.


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Deals & Freebies

Free IRONCAD Plug-in Download
Print3D is offering a free download of its IRONCAD Plug-in for rapid prototyping services. Users of the new version of IRONCAD can now receive instant quotes for plastic or metal versions of their 3D models through a one-click command on the file menu.

BIM Learning Studio Free to Users
Graphisoft's studio is a comprehensive, voice-led resource containing learning materials that support both new and experienced practitioners of BIM to gain relevant hands-on experience. Read more.

Free Document Management Software
Motive Systems released a free edition of its M-Files document management software. The system's integration with all applications enables users to create documents or open existing ones from the M-Files system repository, make changes, and save the revised document back in the repository, all without leaving the application.

Free XVL Player Download
Lattice Technology's XVL Player is a free 3D data viewer that enables designers, engineers, and manufacturers to view 3D data and animations, measure, cross-section, and share XVL data. Read more.

End-of-the-Year Savings on 3D Toolset
QuadriSpace is offering discounted prices, available through December 31, 2008, on its Document 3D Suite Personal Edition with 3D PDF ($75) and Document 3D Basic Edition ($295). Use the discount code WINTER08 to get special savings on documentation, illustration, and animation software.

Free Light Versions of Animation Tools
Broadening its FreeWare catalog and real-time 3D animation, Craft Animations is now offering free light versions of its Craft Director Tools, Craft 4-Wheeler Free, Craft ObserverCam Free, and Craft Airplane Free. Read more


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Opportunities & Honors

Oce's ColorWave 600 Printer Wins Awards
Oce has received a number of awards recently for its Oce ColorWave 600 printer. The awards include the iF Product Design Award in Germany, the Good Design Award in Japan, the Editor's Choice Award in the UK, and the "MUST SEE 'EM" Award at GRAPH EXPO in the U.S.


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Books & Training

Virtual Tutor V12 for ArchiCAD
Comprising more than 10 hours of content, Virtual Tutor from Design Animation includes explanations of all the new features of ArchiCAD v12. The new release has an improved interface, AutoCAD sections, printing, publishing, and project level features. Read more


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The Week's New CAD and Related Products

Hardware: NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 Graphics Card
The NVIDIA card is equipped with 192 CUDAT parallel-computing cores, 1.5 GB graphics memory, and 128-bit precision graphic pipeline. Read more

Hardware: NextDimension RVE Workstation
The briefcase-sized mobile workstation from NextComputing is designed for real-time video editing in the studio, on set, or on location. Read more

Hardware: HP Designjet 510 Printer Series
HP's printer series enables users to print D/A1-sized line drawings, plans, schematics, and maps in as little as 55 seconds. Read more

Hardware: MAXscan Laser and HandyPROBE CMM
Creaform's portable, handheld laser scanner and inspection-dedicated tool are designed for portability and freedom of movement. Read more

General Software: AutoCAD Automation Tools
JTB World's software has been improved to easily add files or folders to automate. Select one folder and all DWGs are added. Read more

General Software: Carlson Business Suite
Carlson's business management software features project dashboards, charts, real-time visual reporting, and predictive business intelligence. Read more

Visualization: XVL Player Pro V9.2
Lattice Technology's pro version includes measurement, cross-sectioning, animation viewing, and data visualization analysis functionalities. Read more

AEC: AutoTURN Extended Vehicle Libraries
The libraries are a compiled set of the most commonly requested vehicles. Users can search for vehicles according to type. Read more

MCAD: STHENO/PRO V3.1.1
CAD Schroer's drafting software introduces support for the latest Pro/ENGINEER release, along with productivity tools for drafting and data exchange. Read more

MCAD: Geomagic Fashion
With the new Fashion module for Geomagic Studio, users can extract design intent and recreate original surface aesthetics from existing physical objects. Read more

MCAD: IRONCAD V11
IronCAD's latest 3D design software includes the true thread feature, variable pitch/radius helix support, and the TriBall positioning tool. Read more

CAM: CAD/CAM V23 Software Suite
BobCAD-CAM's v23 contains a new graphical user interface, 4th axis milling operations, laser, plasma, and water-jet posting. Read more


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Mark Your Calendar

Webinar: Better Understanding of Your Design
December 18, 2008
10 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST
Attendees of ANSYS' webinar will learn about design and parametric analysis. It will also address the use and benefits of deterministic and probabilistic analyses. Read more

Online Training: Working with Cad Data in ArcGIS Desktop
January 21-23, 2009
8:30 a.m. PST
This class from ESRI will teach attendees the fundamentals of using CAD data in ArcGIS Desktop and how to convert CAD data to GIS data. Read more

2009 International Conference on Rapid Manufacturing
July 8-9, 2009
Leicestershire, United Kingdom
The 2009 conference will focus on rapid manufacturing (RM) processes and materials development, design for RM, and novel RM applications. 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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