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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 15, No. 7)

1 Mar, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Match Properties between Drawings
Frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky notes that if you have several drawing files open, it is possible to use the Match Property command (from a pull-down menu, buttons, or the command prompt) between them. "Select the source object in one file, hold down Ctrl, and press Tab to switch to another drawing." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

See through Solid Objects
Roger D. LaBrant gives us a method of producing solid objects that will render transparently every time. "In order to create a 3D solid that is 'see-through,' such as glass or acrylic, I came up with a method that would give me a satisfying visual result." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Change the Color Setting of Multiple Layers
Senior Engineering Designer Perry Medina noticed this shortcut that can save time when you're changing the assigned color, linetype, or lineweight of several layers to the same common property in the layer properties palette. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

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

Updated GREENGUARD Low-Emissions Site Caters to Manufacturers
The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI), an industry-independent, not-for-profit organization, has unveiled its redesigned web site, which provides information on low-emitting products and materials for indoor environments. Designed to assist manufacturers with certifying products and materials for low chemical emissions, the site also includes an outline of the various certification programs that GEI offers, as well as a list of sustainable credits that architects and designers can earn by using GREENGUARD-certified products.

Softcover Blog Addresses CAD and CNC Conversion Problems
Softcover International, the publisher of Scan2CAD automatic raster-to-vector conversion software, has launched Raster to Vector Auntie, a blog dedicated to providing AEC, CAD, GIS, and CNC (computer numerical controlled) users with professional advice on how to convert scanned paper drawings to DXF vector files suitable for editing in any PC CAD or CNC program. Raster to Vector Auntie is written by Andrea Tribe, a director of Softcover, assisted by Steve Hannath, the editor of Scanners4CAD, Softcover's independent non-commercial large-format scanner and scanning solutions web site.

Vico Offers Collection of Recorded BIM Webinars
Vico Software, a provider of software and services to the building construction industry, produces a free, educational series of webinars geared toward general contractors and owners. The ongoing "Fridays with Vico" series addresses best practices and case studies, as well as new product functionality and industry trends. Vico has archived the individual classes on its web site, including those in its BIM (building information modeling) Master Class series. These seven classes range from a "BIM 101" overview to "BIM for Executives," designed to inform senior managers about what BIM does, how BIM works, and how to sell it to clients and colleagues.

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Deals & Freebies

GEI WideFormat Expands Trade to Used Equipment
GEI WideFormat, a provider of wide-format equipment sales and service, has launched a program offering preowned wide-format scanners, copiers, and printers. Customers can buy equipment outright, or lease or rent it on a 12- to 36-month basis. Contracts can be designed to include service and supplies.

E-on Updates 3D Environment Creation Software
E-on Software, a maker of solutions for natural 3D environments, has announced the immediate availability of Vue 8.4, a major update to its Vue 8 software products. The update is free for all registered users. The release adds new features to Vue 8, including improved displacement mapping, multi-materials, and user-definable units in function graphs.

Users Can Try Pro/ENGINEER Free for 30 Days
CAD software developer PTC is offering a 30-day free trial version of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0, its parametric 3D CAD/CAM/CAE software. Users can experience hands-on tutorials that guide them through real-world product development tasks, from conceptual design through analysis and documentation.

Design Master Offers Free Trial of HVAC, Electrical, and Plumbing
Design Master Software, a developer of integrated calculation and drafting software, has released new versions of its three programs: Design Master HVAC, Design Master Electrical, and Design Master Plumbing. New features include 64-bit support, AutoCAD 2010 ribbons, and HVAC IFC export. These three releases are available immediately to all current subscribers to the software, and a free 30-day trial is also available.

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Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

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Opportunities & Honors

CAD Society Seeks Nominations for Annual Awards
Not-for-profit industry association The CAD Society is accepting nominations of CAD industry leaders, developers, professionals, and experts for the 2010 CAD Society Industry Awards. The three award categories are: the Joe Greco Community Award, for outstanding work in improving communication and developing community within the CAD industry; the Leadership Award, for outstanding technical and business leadership in the CAD industry, and focus and dedication to the needs of CAD users; and the Lifetime Award, for a lifetime of outstanding technical and business contributions to the CAD industry. Nominations should be sent to Ken Feitz at kfeitz@yahoo.com, and they must be received by March 22, 2010.

Lightworks Honors Winners of Image Competition
Lightworks, a supplier of rendering solutions for developers of 3D computer graphics software, has announced the latest winners of the Lightworks image competition. Winner Leonardo Regis, who lives in Brazil, uses TrueSpace software with integrated Lightworks rendering technology to create artistic renderings. The runner-up in the competition was Andrew Parks, who uses FormZ RenderZone Plus software to create his 3D visualizations.

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Mastering Revit 2009 book by Paul F. Aubin

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Books & Training

Nemetschek Updates Vectorworks Training Guides by Pickup
Nemetschek North America has added two updated Vectorworks training guides to its self-paced training offerings. The guides — 3D Modeling in Vectorworks, Second Edition, and Vectorworks Landmark Tutorial Manual, Second Edition — were both written by architect and Vectorworks user Jonathan Pickup. The tutorials are based on version 2010 but can be used with prior versions of Vectorworks software. Each includes a companion CD containing exercise files and the complete manual in PDF form.

Autodesk VP Releases Architecture Book
Phillip G. Bernstein, vice-president of industry strategy and relations at Autodesk, and co-editor Peggy Deamer, professor at Yale School of Architecture, have launched their new book, Building (in) the Future: Recasting Labor in Architecture. The project includes essays from diverse contributors describing new models of practice and the necessary reorganization of labor for the twenty-first century. The book is intended to heighten awareness of how new, collaborative technologies influence architecture professionals, impacting both the design process and the physical structures that result.

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Mark Your Calendar

Webinar: The Possibilities of BIM and Integrated Project Delivery
March 9, 2010
"Rethink & Reinvent: The Possibilities of Building Information Modeling and Integrated Project Delivery," will highlight topics including the momentum of BIM and IPD in recent years. Read more

Webinar: Evolving from PDM to an Integrated PLM System
March 11, 2010
Using a case study from BAE Military Air Systems, Siemens's Andy Kennington will show how a fully integrated PLM system reduces lead times and improves efficiency. Read more

East Bay Revit Users Group: Shared Coordinates
March 16, 2010
Oakland, California
Ideate AEC Application Specialist Teresa Martin will walk attendees through the steps of utilizing shared coordinates within a Revit building project. 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

SolidWorks World 2010, Part 2: New Products for SolidWorks Users
Event report: A tour of the Partner Pavilion finds endless new tools for structural steel design, CAM, prototyping, and much more. Read more

Look at This Motley Crew: Sheet Metal and Multi-Bodies in Autodesk Inventor
Avatech Tricks Tutorial: With the help of a workaround, you can use multi-body tools in the sheet metal environment. Read more

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Cheat Sheets
Even in the computer age, lists on paper still have value. In the workplace, they can provide users with a quick reference and reduce frequently asked questions. Read more

Win Over Your Users
As a CAD manager, putting in the extra effort required to communicate clearly with your users, understand their needs, and become their advocate will pay off for them — and for you. Read more


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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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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