Management

Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 15, No. 36)

11 Oct, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff


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Cadalyst editors invite designers and rendering artists to share your best rendering work, demonstrating the effective use of visualization techniques and technologies for communicating the intent of building, infrastructure, mechanical, product, or other CAD-based design. Our favorite entry will appear on the cover of Cadalyst magazine, fall 2010 edition. Sponsored by BOXX Technologies. Learn more

This Week's Software Tips

Fill That Tip Jar!
Do you have any tips for using AutoCAD — or any other CAD software tool — more effectively and efficiently? Send them to us! 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. Use the Submit Tip button below to send us your tip today!

Hardware Acceleration
Tipster Leigh Lundy sends in a tip to help AutoCAD Map 3D and other AutoCAD users increase the visual performance of their hardware while drawing. This setting controls hardware acceleration, meaning the settings allow hardware to increase the performance of software by using more than the general-purpose CPU. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Edit the Command Alias File
Technical Support Manager Dan Celia gives us this short tip that could save you lots of time in AutoCAD. If the Command Alias file has been edited so that all inputs are entered on one side of the keyboard, then you don't have to move your hand back and forth, or remove your hand from the mouse to type with both hands. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Identify Function Keys
Francisco J. Serrano sends us a neat little trick that can work for AutoCAD or any other program that you are using. This is a great tip for users who can't type without looking at the keyboard, or those who forget where the function keys are. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Toggle LTScales with Tilemode Menu Bar
Tipster Bob Welsh sends us his trick to help manage the visual scaling settings in AutoCAD Land Desktop. "When switching from paper space with ltscale=1 to model space, it's necessary to change ltscale to the scale of the drawing in order for model space to view properly. Switching back and forth can be time-consuming when you have to change ltscale each time." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Revit Tip: Create Schedules
This video tip from Autodesk software training provider CAD Gorilla explains how to create schedules for doors, windows, and rooms in the building information model of Revit Architecture.

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'sCAD 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

Case Studies for Open-Source Geographic Information System Published
The gvSIG Association has launched a new web site to compile case studies for gvSIG Desktop and Mobile, as well as customized developments from these products. Site users can search by country, sector, software, or keyword. All gvSIG users are invited to share their experience with gvSIG, using a form available on the web site.

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Deals & Freebies

ASCON Provides 30-Day Trial of KOMPAS-3D V12 CAD Software
ASCON, a developer and integrator of CAD and product lifecycle management solutions, is offering a 30-day free trial of its professional 3D and 2D CAD software. The newly released KOMPAS-3D V12 includes new surface modeling tools, support for vizualization through OpenGL, and model properties reporting.

E-on Offers Free, Fully Functional Beta of Carbon Scatter Instancing Plugin
E-on software, which develops solutions for visualizing natural 3D environments, has released a free open beta of Carbon Scatter, the company's instancing plugin for the mental ray and V-Ray renderers for 3ds Max. Carbon Scatter integrates e-on's EcoSystem algorithms directly inside the end user's 3D application, allowing the population of native scenes with millions of instances and rendering them with the user's renderer of choice.

Users Can Take Luxion's KeyShot 2.1 on Two-Week Test Run
Rendering technology firm Luxion is offering a 15-day free trial of KeyShot, its real-time ray tracing and global illumination program. The company recently released version 2.1 of the software, which features support for Solid Edge and Autodesk Alias, and improves the support for native Pro/ENGINEER files. The new version also includes new materials and rendering tools.

QuadriSpace Makes Document3D 2011 Suite Available for 15-Day Demo
QuadriSpace, a provider of 3D product documentation software, is offering a 15-day trial of its Document3D software suite. The company recently released the 2011 version of the suite, which is used to create documents, illustrations, and animations from 3D CAD models and to share product information with others through standard formats. The new release features linked text boxes and enhanced material tools.

CameraMatch 2011 Plugin Free for Vectorworks Users in Academia
Plugin developer PanzerCAD has released the 2011 version of its CameraMatch plugin, which enables users to align 3D model views with photographs. Compatible with the Vectorworks 2011 line of software products, the plugin is free for students and teachers using the 2011 educational version of Vectorworks ($100 for other users, or $40 upgrade fee).

Geometric Offers Evaluation Version of Automatic Nesting Software
Product lifecycle management firm Geometric is offering an evaluation version of its NestLib 2010 R3 nesting library, which includes a new module for the printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication industry. As part of this module, users can nest the parts centrally on the sheet. NestLib is available as a static library, dynamic linked library (DLL), and COM DLL.

ESRI Updates Free ArcGIS for AutoCAD Plugin
Geographic information system developer ESRI has released a free, downloadable plugin application for AutoCAD that provides improved interoperability between AutoCAD and ArcGIS. Users can access enterprise GIS maps hosted by ArcGIS Server from within the AutoCAD environment. Build 250 of ArcGIS for AutoCAD supports 32-bit and 64-bit AutoCAD versions 2010 and 2011.

Chief Architect Provides Trial of Home Design Software
Users can evaluate Chief Architect's Home Designer Pro 10 software by downloading a trial version. The web site also offers a video overview of the software. Designed for the do-it-yourself market, the software incorporates CAD and building tools and enables users to create blueprints and generate 3D models.

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Opportunities & Honors

International Map Trade Association Honors Pythagoras-Based Map Software
ADW Software, manufacturer of Pythagoras surveying and geographic information system software, won the International Map Trade Association's Global Award for Best Mapping Product 2010. The winning product is a DVD of topographical maps designed to help hikers to plan trips. In addition to developing the Pythagoras-based software, ADW also converted and integrated all content into the DVD.

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Books & Training

Graphisoft Updates ArchiCAD Guide for AutoCAD Users
Graphisoft has published an updated version of ArchiCAD for AutoCAD Users ($29.95). Intended for readers already familiar with AutoCAD, the book explains the concepts of ArchiCAD and clarifies differences in working methods between the two products. The 2010 edition of the book includes updated graphics, more information on DWG translation, and a new appendix for keyboard shortcuts.

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Mark Your Calendar

Vectorworks 2011 Test Drives
October 11–November 19, 2010
Various cities
This free, hands-on training session from Nemetschek Vectorworks allows users to experience the Vectorworks 2011 software, ask questions of a Vectorworks trainer, and explore the features of the new release. Read more

Webcast: Overcoming Environmental Performance Anxiety
October 14, 2010
12 p.m. ET
Hosted by Cadalyst, this webcast will convene a panel of distinguished experts to discuss how "going green" can drive product innovation — and make money. Join us for a spirited discussion of the issues, including plenty of time for questions from attendees. Read more

2010 Design-Build Conference and Expo
October 18–20, 2010
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Design-Build Conference & Expo is intended for design-build teams and their project decision makers. The gathering features networking opportunities, preconference education courses, a student mixer, and a career expo. Read more

Webinar: Vectorworks Architect 2011 with the Beta Testers
October 19, 2010
2 p.m. ET
Nemetschek Vectorworks Architect Industry Expert Wes Gardner will interview three beta testers about their favorite Vectorworks Architect 2011 features. Read more

DevGeo Silicon Valley
November 4, 2010
Santa Clara, California
ESRI will host this free event for software developers who want to add dynamic mapping capabilities to their Web and mobile applications. Sessions are designed to help developers who work with JavaScript, Flex, Silverlight, iOS, or Windows Phone. 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

Cadalyst Launches Webcast Series with an Edge
Premiere presentation to air live this Thursday, October 14. "Overcoming Environmental Performance Anxiety," will convene a panel of distinguished experts to discuss how "going green" can drive product innovation — and make money. Read more

CAD Manager's Survey 2010 Now Open!
Robert Green has launched his annual CAD Manager's Survey, and all CAD managers are encouraged to participate. The multiple-choice survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. The survey results will be revealed in forthcoming issues of the CAD Manager's Newsletter.

User Review: Bonzai3d v2
The 3D modeling tools you need are simple, powerful, and a snap to learn. Read more

NVIDIA Expands Quadro Line with Mid-Range and Entry-Level Graphics Cards
New Quadro 2000 and 600 round out the family of graphics solution offerings launched earlier this year. 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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