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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 15, No. 15)

26 Apr, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff


Send Your Tips for Any CAD Software

Cadalyst's Tips & Tools Weekly accepts tip submissions for any CAD software tool. Do you have favorite time savers, workarounds, or power tips for SolidWorks, Inventor, Map 3D, Revit, etc.? Send 'em in! If we publish your tip, we'll send you a gift card to purchase a T-shirt or other merchandise in the Cadalyst Store.

 

Hot Tip Harry Needs Your AutoCAD Code!

Cadalyst's Hot Tip Harry (aka R. K. McSwain) is on the lookout for the latest and greatest customized routines and hatch patterns for AutoCAD. Exercise your programming prowess and submit the results to harry@cadalyst.com. If Harry accepts your tip for publication, you'll receive $25 to spend in the Cadalyst Store. Review our tip submission guidelines and send your code today!

 

This Week's Software Tips

View Portions of Complex Models
Len Nemirovsky of Better than Nothing AutoLISP fame shares a trick that he uses to visualize specific parts of a complicated 3D model. "If you have a relatively complicated 3D model, you can use the Orbit command to view a portion of it." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Remove a Selected Item
Shawn L. Samaniego sends us a tip on unselecting objects from your selection set in AutoCAD. "When selecting items in a drawing, it's common to select an unwanted item by mistake." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Redefine Commands
Victor Jammal sends us a tip this week on working with undefined commands. "Sometimes when you enter a command, you might be surprised to get this response: 'Unknown command.'" View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Apply and Restore Layer States
Isak Mishaeli has written a series of routines that help to manage layer states in an AutoCAD drawing. He calls it Layer Display Manager. "Layer Display Manager is a tool to apply and restore three layer states: Freeze, Off, and Lock." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Update: New LISP Template
Derek Beals has posted an update to a tip published in 2006, a template he created with a friend that you can use when creating new LISP routines. The updated file is posted in the Comment section of the original tip.

Submit Your Tip

Review Cadalyst's Tip Submission Guidelines, then Submit Your Tip for your favorite CAD software. If we publish your tip, you'll earn a gift card you can use to purchase a T-shirt or other prizes in the Cadalyst Store. Please remember to submit only code and other tips that are your original work (or provide the original source so we can include proper credit) and to 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.

Got Feedback? To share feedback about one of today's tips, navigate to the tip using the link provided above, then click Comment. The Comment tool is available to registered users of Cadalyst's CAD Tips site.

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. 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 for assistance with AutoLISP and other AutoCAD customization questions.

Sincere thanks to our volunteer Tip Patrol members: Brian Benton, Don Boyer,
Mitchell Hirschklau, R.K. McSwain, and Billy Wooten.

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Resources

Free Video Tutorials Demo Use of 3D Mice in SolidWorks, CATIA
I GET IT, an engineering knowledge management portal designed by Tata Technologies, has added two series of videos with tutorials on using 3Dconnexion 3D mice in SolidWorks and CATIA. Design engineers can visit the site to sign up for a free account to access online training videos.

CIMdata Releases PLM Report on Dassault Systèmes' V6 Platform
CIMdata, a product lifecycle management (PLM) consulting and research firm, has released a free report entitled "Dassault Systèmes' V6 Platform TCO." This review presents CIMdata's perspectives on why the V6 platform from Dassault Systèmes is important in the current PLM market, and how it provides benefits to — and lowers the TCO (total cost of ownership) of PLM for — companies that adopt V6.

Software Advice Publishes Interviews from FIATECH Conference
If you missed the FIATECH Technology Conference and Showcase held in Austin, Texas, March 29–31, Software Advice has published two videos on its site from the event. One features attendee interviews about new technologies being demonstrated at the conference; the other focuses on software vendors discussing trends in IT spending.

Associated General Contractors of America Drafts Green Construction Plan
A new green construction plan released by the Associated General Contractors of America outlines measures designed to stimulate demand for green construction projects, boost infrastructure capacity, and improve building efficiency and green construction practices. The plan, called "Building a Green Future," identifies measures public officials, developers, and the construction community must take to lessen the impact of our built environment on our natural environment.

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Deals & Freebies

Aras Updates Free PLM Solution
PLM (product lifecycle management) software provider Aras has launched the latest version of the always-free Aras Innovator, its open-source advanced PLM solution. The new release combines expanded enterprise manageability, new data center technology enablement, and advanced upgrade capabilities for global PLM deployments.

Eurocom's Trade-In Program Offers 20% Hardware Discount
Eurocom has launched a corporate trade-in program, allowing companies to upgrade their aging computer hardware to newer, Intel i7–based portable computer technology with less impact on their IT budget. The program allows customers to save 20% off the purchase of Eurocom notebooks, mobile workstations, mobile servers, and all-in-one LCD PCs when they trade in their non-Eurocom notebooks, desktop PCs, or servers.

Autodesk Assistance Program Provides Employer Discount on Inventor
Autodesk has announced a new initiative to provide competitive advantage to displaced workers participating in the Autodesk Assistance Program (AAP), and to recent graduates entering the workforce. Employers hiring Autodesk Inventor–certified designers and engineers registered in the AAP can convert their student licenses of Autodesk Inventor to full commercial seats and save up to 85 percent of the commercial price. Autodesk is also offering the same upgrade program for Inventor-certified students who have used limited-time student licenses of Inventor.

Mac Versions of Bonzai3D, form•Z Support Free OpenClip Plugin
AutoDesSys has announced the adoption of a new open standard developed through a collaboration with the developer of Wild Tools for PowerCADD: the application of OpenClip technology in bonzai3d and form•Z. With the free OpenClip plugin, users can copy and paste precision vector objects from one program to another.

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Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

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Opportunities & Honors

Bentley Press, SmartGeometry Call for Parametric Design Articles
The Bentley Institute Press and the SmartGeometry Group, in association with the International Journal of Architectural Computing (IJAC), invite authors to submit articles for a new peer-reviewed, illustrated publication on parametric design methods titled "SmartGeometry: The Evolution of Parametric Design and Practice." Authors are invited to submit full-length, original papers — that have not been published elsewhere and are not currently under consideration for another journal or conference — by uploading to the IJAC review system (download the template and guidelines). Mark submissions to the IJAC system with the phrase "SmartGeometry Special Issue" in the comment box in the online form.

Vectorworks BIM Software User Wins Museum Design Competition
Klaus Schuwerk Architects of Naples and Berlin, with Kleihues + Schuwerk Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH, won the international competition to design a new museum complex for the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design in Oslo, Norway. Incorporating solutions to minimize the environmental impact of the building and the use of building information modeling (BIM) were key requirements of the competition. The first-place entry, Forum Artis, was designed using Nemetschek's Vectorworks 2010 Architect software.

LaCie Speaker Design Acknowledged with Red Dot Award
Computer peripheral manufacturer LaCie has received a 2010 red dot award for its Sound2 Speakers, designed by Neil Poulton. The speakers are modeled after Cabasse's loudspeaker technology and are designed for computer systems and A/V devices. The award, organized by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen of Essen, Germany, honors exceptional product design, quality, and trendsetting.

ESRI Conference Offers Collaboration Opportunities
Attendees to the upcoming 2010 ESRI International User Conference (to be held July 12–16, San Diego, California) can share their work and GIS successes with the community in a variety of ways:

  • Map gallery and competition. Submit print or digital maps by June 14.
  • Lightning talks. Convey important information in five minutes or less. Submit by May 31.
  • Plenary session images. Submit screen shots, animations, and photos, which could be woven into ESRI President Jack Dangermond's opening presentation, by May 28.
  • User Software Applications Fair. Enter the fair if you've developed an application using ESRI technology or customized ESRI software to meet specific requirements.
  • Academic GIS Program Fair. Specifically for educators and students.

 

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Books & Training

Renderworks Tutorial Available from Nemetschek
Nemetschek North America has announced the publication of a new training guide, Remarkable Renderworks, for users who have has some experience with the fundamentals of Vectorworks programs. Architect and author Daniel Jansenson used an exercise-based format to cover the basic tools and techniques needed to create Renderworks renderings of Vectorworks projects.

Schroff Development Corporation Publishes Revit Textbook
All three components of the Revit platform are introduced in a new textbook by Daniel John Stine, Design Integration Using Autodesk Revit 2010. Designed to provide the reader with a well-rounded knowledge of Autodesk Revit tools and techniques, including a broad overview of building information modeling (BIM), this book covers the design integration of the architectural, interior design, structural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical building disciplines.

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Mark Your Calendar

Webinar: ParkCAD 4.0
April 28–29, 2010
Various times
Transoft Solutions is hosting a live webcast presentation focused on ParkCAD CAD software for designing, editing, and checking multiple parking site layouts. Read more

Autodesk 2011 Seize the Opportunity Seminar
May 4–6, 2010
Various cities
At these executive/manager-track seminars from MasterGraphics, attendees will learn how Autodesk 2011 building information modeling solutions can help users design more sustainable, innovative buildings. Read more

ESRI International User Conference
July 12–16, 2010
San Diego, California
All ESRI technology users are encouraged to attend this conference, which includes preconference seminars, a plenary session, a map gallery, user presentations, technical workshops, an exhibit pavilion, an ESRI showcase, and networking events. Read more

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Cadalyst.com. Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to news@cadalyst.com.

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What's New at Cadalyst.com

Keytech Brings PLM within Reach of SMBs
Scalable, modular solution goes beyond document management, extending the value of CAD data across small and midsized engineering organizations. Read more

The Future of Software for AEC? Autodesk's Direction Offers Some Clues
At an international media event, the company reveals insight and trends that are driving its product development. Read more

Programming for CAD Managers, Part 1
By honing your skills, you can create solutions customized to the needs of your users and increase your value as a CAD manager. Read more


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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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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