Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 16, No. 11)28 Mar, 2011 By: Cadalyst Staff
This Week's Software Tips
Organize Your Plot Styles
Tipster Danny Korem shares with us some tips to help organize some of your support files in AutoCAD, particularly those needed to print drawings properly. "Printing is one of the most important things to do in AutoCAD, but it's also one of the most difficult tasks to do well," said tip reviewer Brian Benton. "The CTB and STB (color-based and style-based plot tables) files control how certain linetypes print or plot." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Get a Grip on Editing
Senior Drafter Roger Carter reminds us to use grips for quick editing in AutoCAD. "Using grips to manipulate entities is a technique that's under-utilized by many CAD users." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Improve Renderings Easily
Frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky shares a quick tip about rendering 3D objects in AutoCAD. "This may seem like a very simple tip," said tip reviewer Brian Benton, "but it is an important one. Many users haven't even considered this issue: When AutoCAD renders a 3D model, it has no idea what needs rendering, so it renders everything." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
March Tips from Hot Tip Harry
Lend Harry a Helping Hand
When it comes to AutoCAD customization, Hot Tip Harry knows a good tip when he sees it! Use the "Submit Tip" button below to send us your LISP routines. 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.
Convert Plain Geometry into Tables
Before table entities were available in AutoCAD, you had to create your own, generally with lines and text. This routine from Juan Villarreal will convert your existing lines, text, and blocks to a true table object for easier editing later. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Edit Any Type of Text
This routine by Jim Himes allows you to edit any sort of text with one command. If you are using a recent version of AutoCAD, then you may know that the built-in DDEdit command also has this capability, but there are still many people who use older versions of AutoCAD where this can come in handy. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Change Text Size
This LISP routine from Dale Miksch allows you to change the size of multiple text entities at once in AutoCAD, including text, mtext, and even rtext (created by the Express Tool of the same name). View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Set Paper Frame
Set Paper Frame is a LISP routine by Raymond Rizkallah that enables you to set up a "sheet" in model space. This can be useful even if you normally plot from a layout in AutoCAD. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Lee McDonnell's Point Manager LISP routine works with four different object types: AutoCAD points, blocks, polylines (2D or 3D), and external text files. You can import coordinates from text files into the drawing as points, blocks, or polylines. You can also export blocks, points, or polyline coordinates to a text file. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Video Provides BIM and Vico Office Tutorial
Vico Software has produced "5D BIM for Dummies," a 15-minute video that demonstrates how a BIM (building information modeling) model can be published to Vico Office and have a complete quantity takeoff performed. This tutorial is intended for viewers who have started a BIM working group, have appointed a BIM manager, or who want to learn what general contractors are doing with BIM.
IMAGINiT Resources Support Autodesk 2012 Product Launch
Rand Worldwide, which provides engineering design and information technology solutions, has announced that its IMAGINiT Technologies division is creating a series of live events, blogs, videos, and webcasts about the 2012 portfolio of Autodesk 3D design software products. A video primer for the Autodesk Inventor 2012 interface enhancements is now online, and others will follow in the coming months.
Deals & Freebies
Siemens Offers ST4 Global Launch Event Registration Discount
For a limited time, attendees can register for the Solid Edge ST4 Global Launch Event at a discounted price. The early-bird registration fee is $250; the fee will increase to $350 after March 31. The Solid Edge customer event will be held June 15–16, 2011, in Huntsville, Alabama.
Opportunities & Honors
Parallel Computing Presentations Sought for GPU Technology Conference
NVIDIA has issued a call for submissions for the GPU Technology Conference 2011 (GTC), which will be held October 11–14. Submissions are sought from industry and academia representatives who have topics for posters or 25- or 50-minute talks. In addition, NVIDIA is also seeking speakers to participate in its pre-conference webinar and live chat series events.
Autodesk Names EMA 'Rookie Partner of the Year'
EMA Design Automation, a value-added reseller for electronic design automation software, has received the Autodesk "Rookie Partner of the Year" award and has been accepted into the 2011 Autodesk Platinum Club. The award is given to the reseller that has achieved the top booking in the Autodesk fiscal year, among other accomplishments.
Alibre Honors Design Contest Winners
Software developer Alibre has announced the winners of the 2010/2011 Alibre Design Contest, a peer-reviewed competition that recognizes significant achievement in 3D CAD. The winning entry is the Pennsylvania Tourbillon watch designed and created by Benoît Barbé, Roland Murphy, and Rich Baugh of RGM Watches.
Ricoh Among Ethisphere's Most Ethical Companies for Third Time
The Ethisphere Institute, a business ethics think tank, has named Ricoh, a provider of wide-format printers, copiers, and other hardware for printing and production, one of the 2011 World's Most Ethical Companies. The company was honored for going beyond legal minimums and introducing innovative ideas to benefit the public.
IMAGINiT Technologies Wins Multiple Autodesk Awards
Rand Worldwide, which provides engineering design and information technology solutions, has announced that its IMAGINiT Technologies division recently received several awards from Autodesk: the Q4 Reseller of the Quarter Award for Autodesk's fiscal year 2011, two Platinum Club awards, and the Ninety-Ninety Award for Excellence.
Books & Training
Grabowski Publishes Guide to AutoCAD 2012 in PDF Format
Ralph Grabowski, editor of upFront.eZine, has published an e-book titled, What's Inside? AutoCAD 2012 ($12). The 120-page guide addresses topics including new commands and system variables, undocumented commands, changes to the user interface, and system, file, hardware, and other changes. This reference features more than 100 color illustrations.
Mark Your Calendar
Webinar: Processes and Procedures for Effective Development of BIM with Vectorworks Architect 2011
April 5, 2011
2 p.m. ET
This webinar from Nemetschek Vectorworks will provide a practical introduction to the BIM process by demonstrating a series of design vignettes, which together illustrate the design and documentation of an architectural project in Vectorworks Architect software. Read more
Webinar: Meet Vectorworks
April 14, 2011
2 p.m. ET
Vectorworks industry experts will lead this 30-minute presentation, introducing attendees to the world of Vectorworks CAD and BIM (building information modeling) software. Read more
Autodesk 2012 Product Launch Virtual Event
April 20, 2011
8 a.m.–2 p.m. PT
During this online event, Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen will explain the new capabilities of AutoCAD 2012 software. Lynn will demonstrate her favorite new tools in AutoCAD, including model documentation, reality capture, and 3D conceptual design, and she'll share an overview of AutoCAD for Mac. Read more
Webinar: Data Mining and Quantitative Analysis in BIM for High-Performance Architecture with Vectorworks Architect 2011
May 3, 2011
2 p.m. ET
In this webinar from Nemetschek Vectorworks, built-in tools, default reporting features, and custom worksheets will be demonstrated in Vectorworks Architect software. Read more
Solid Edge ST4 Global Launch Event
June 15–16, 2011
This event for new and experienced Solid Edge users comprises technical training and opportunities to meet and interact with the Solid Edge development team. Read more
GPU Technology Conference (GTC) 2011
October 11–14, 2011
San Jose, California
NVIDIA's GTC 2011 will feature more than 240 hours of technical sessions, tutorials, panels, and moderated roundtables, presented by senior programmers, researchers, and thought leaders from a range of fields. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's New at Cadalyst.com
CAD Manager's Toolbox: Battling Management Burnout
Feeling fed up? Throwing your computer out the window isn't the answer, but these simple strategies can help get you back to productivity. Read more
Just How 3D Are We? Part 3
Managing expectations is key to keeping management and users happy during the transition from 2D to 3D. Read more
AutoCAD 2012: Who Says 2D is Dead?
The majority of the latest enhancements beef up 2D functionality, including two new commands for generating 2D working drawings from 3D models. Read more
Autodesk Unveils 2012 Product Line
New product suites will support specific design workflows, and Inventor Fusion goes mainstream. Read more
In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!