Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 16, No. 18)16 May, 2011 By: Cadalyst Staff
This Week's Software Tips
What's Your Secret?
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!
Enhance AutoCAD Collaboration with Free Tools
Frequent tipster Danny Korem discusses several ways that AutoCAD users can collaborate with each other. "When your drawings are ready for deployment, export them to DWFX format and transmit them to your collaborator. If he or she has any remarks, the drawing will be redlined, remarked, and so on, then transmitted back to you (this will be performed within the Autodesk Design Review shareware)." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Purge All — for Real, This Time
Designer Robert L. Zipprich sent us a tip to ensure the Purge command actually purges your unwanted AutoCAD objects. "There appear to be some things the Purge command doesn't delete unless you add a modifier." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Edit Multi-line Block Attributes
Frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky of the Better Than Nothing AutoLISP site shares with us a tip about using the multi-line text editor with attributes in AutoCAD blocks. Tip reviewer Brian Benton says, "Most block attributes are single-line text, but that isn't always the case. The AutoCAD system variable ATTIPE controls the multi-line text editor toolbars when working with multi-line text attributes." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Tipster Doug Rydman suggests an application for the Trim command in AutoCAD that can save you a step or two. "If you are like me, you know it's easy to overlook the default settings for commands we use every day. While I was teaching new users at a local college, one student mentioned how much he liked the Select All option when using the Trim command." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
May Tips from Hot Tip Harry
Hot Tip Harry, Cadalyst's mysterious purveyor of customized AutoCAD code, has dispatched another great bundle of tips from readers. View and download each of the latest tips using the links below, or get the entire May 2011 Hot Tip Harry batch at once.
Accumulative Distance Calculator
This routine from Alan Thompson reports the total distance between any number of chosen points. It works similarly to the built-in Dist command, except that with this routine, you can start a new set of points and the total keeps running. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Change Entity Colors
Tommy Shumpert shares a unique routine with us that defines functions for the numbers 1–255 for the purpose of changing the color of selected entities. To use these functions, enter a color number at the Command prompt and press Enter. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Rotate Objects Quickly
Quick Rotate is a collection of four separate, but similar functions from Sam Lucido. These functions allow you to quickly rotate objects to a predetermined angle. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Some readers out there may be aware of an AutoCAD-specific virus that uses AutoLISP to spread itself and cause problems. Tip author Mehrdad Ahankhah offers up this LISP routine to help detect and remove this AutoCAD-specific virus. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Block and Attribute Tools
Robert Zipprich's submission serves to remind us that an inserted block with attributes can have different attributes than the block definition within the AutoCAD drawing Block Table. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
This routine from Alan Thompson will draw the outline of an LW polyline that has a width. It works with linear and closed polylines, with or without arcs. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
U.S. National CAD Standard Updated for First Time in Three Years
The American Institute of Architects, Construction Specifications Institute, and National Institute of Building Sciences have announced the availability of the newest edition of the United States National CAD Standard (NCS) online. The NCS helps architects, constructors, and operators coordinate efforts by classifying electronic design data consistently and making information retrieval easier.
Autodesk Updates SketchBook Pro App for iPad 2
Autodesk has introduced a new version of its SketchBook Pro for iPad app ($4.99), designed to take advantage of the new features and improved processing power of iPad 2. This update features a higher-resolution digital canvas; enhanced interoperability and portability between iOS devices; and 90 new brushes and brush controls.
CIMdata Report Explores PLM in China
Product lifecycle management (PLM) firm CIMdata has released its "2011 China PLM Market Analysis Report" ($4,000). The report discusses major trends and issues, purchase investments in PLM software and services, PLM adoption in various industry sectors, and market growth forecasts. CIMdata reports that in 2010, the Chinese mainstream PLM market grew 16.2%, and the 2011 rate is forecasted to be 16.5%.
Deals & Freebies
Excel Gear Provides Demo Version of Gear Design Software
Visitors to Excel Gear's web site can download a demo version of Excel-Lent gear and gearbox design and analysis software. The newly released software was designed with an interactive input screen providing defaults and options in accordance with the AGMA (American Gear Manufacturers Association) 2001 standard.
MAXON Offers Anniversary Discounts on CINEMA 4D, BodyPaint 3D
Through June 30, 2011, 3D software developer MAXON Computer is offering buyers 25% off the normal price of CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D (including upgrades). This offer does not apply to the purchase of educational versions.
Opportunities & Honors
VISTAGY Receives Global Customer Value Enhancement Award
VISTAGY, a provider of industry-specific engineering software and services, has been awarded the Frost & Sullivan Global 2011 Customer Value Enhancement Award for work in Composites Design Engineering Solutions. The company supports CAD and product lifecycle management solution providers with its FiberSIM composites engineering module and Seat Design Environment.
Books & Training
Autodesk Introduces New Academic Certification
Autodesk has announced a new level of certification for students pursuing careers in design. The Autodesk Certified User program includes AutoCAD Certified User and Autodesk Inventor Certified User certifications, and tests students to ensure they understand and can effectively use Autodesk software.
CGarchitect.com's Architectural 3D Awards Competition Closes May 20
Architectural visualization professionals have until May 20, 2011, to submit their entries for the 8th annual Architectural 3D Awards competition. This year's awards will be divided into three categories: Still Imagery, Animation/Film, and Real-Time. The winner of each category will be awarded the CGarchitect.com 3D AWARDS trophy during the Mundos Digitales Conference in La Coruna, Spain.
Mark Your Calendar
Instrumenting Civil Infrastructure to Increase Its Resilience, Adaptiveness, and Self-monitoring Capabilities
May 17, 2011
11 a.m. ET
Mario Bergés, assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, will present this FIATECH webinar. Bergés is interested in making use of cost-effective sensor systems to automatically create models and generate insights that can be used to improve the behavior of infrastructure systems, prevent failures, and better plan for the future. Read more
CAD-Based Inspection Using Contact Measurement
May 18, 2011
2 p.m. ET
This FARO webinar will discuss how CAD became integrated into the manufacturing process (computer-aided machining) and the inspection process using MBD (model-based definition). Read more
Aras PLM Platform — Technology Vision and Roadmap
May 19, 2011
11 a.m. ET
This webinar is part of the Aras Community Events (ACE) Innovation Series and will be hosted by Rob McAveney, director of product management at Aras. Read more
Anark Core 4 and the Model-Based Enterprise
June 1, 2011
11 a.m. PT
This webinar will discuss how Anark can help manufacturers use their model-based design data to create fit-for-purpose 3D PDF manufacturing documents, including technical data packages with MBD, animated work instructions, first-article inspection documents, and RFPs/RFQs. Read more
Knowledge Capture with Digital Manufacturing
June 28, 2011
11 a.m. ET
CPDA will host this free webinar to explain how digital manufacturing can help companies leverage engineering learning and improve product quality. 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 email@example.com.
What's New at Cadalyst.com
Student Team Outfits Prize-Winning Racecar with 3D-Printed Parts
The FaSTTUBe team uses an HP Designjet to prototype designs and produce components for the Formula Student Germany engineering competition. Read more
From the Trenches: Reprogram Your Mouse Buttons
Want to use your thumb button for Escape? It's easy to modify your multibutton mouse to suit your preferences. Read more
Keep Ahead of the Learning Curve, Part 2
You've got your training plan in hand, and now you need to show management why funding that training is a smart financial decision. Read more
CAD Manager's Toolbox: Destroy Malware with Free Spybot Utility
Your coworkers use their workstations for more than just CAD tasks — which means you must be prepared for virus outbreaks. Read more
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!