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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 16, No. 20)

6 Jun, 2011 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Don't Be Shy — Share!
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!

Oops — On Purpose
Tipster Denise Inacio shows us a few tricks using the Oops command to clear up an area in your AutoCAD file. "I find a lot of newer users don't even know Oops exists, but I use it in several ways in addition to the obvious." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Make a Custom Button to Zoom Extents, Save, and Close
Drafter Jason Dorshorst sends an AutoCAD customization tip that he uses to save files in a neat and tidy manner. "I made a custom button for these tasks and linked my F5 key to it as well (done through the Keyboard Shortcuts > Shortcut Keys menu)." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Autodesk Labs' Clipboard Manager
Tipster Kent Elrod shows us an add-on produced by Autodesk Labs that helps users manage the Windows Clipboard while using AutoCAD. "Readers should also check out the Labs — if they haven't already — to learn about other plug-ins and programs in the works." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Classic Tip: Two-Key Commands
James Henman shared tip number 3365, Two-Key Commands, in March 2010. This tip shows us how to customize the ACADDOC.LSP file in AutoCAD to use certain two-key commands, plus it loads certain settings to run AutoCAD the way you want it to, every time. It's worth checking out this classic tip!

Paul Aubin

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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Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

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Resources

Esri Makes File Geodatabase API Available to Developers
Geographic information system (GIS) technology provider Esri has released the Esri File Geodatabase API (application programming interface). Developers can now create independent applications to view or modify data stored in a file geodatabase without relying on ArcObjects, the library of software components that make up the foundation of Esri's ArcGIS software.

CIMdata Publishes Digital Manufacturing Paper
CIMdata, a product lifecycle management (PLM) consulting and research firm, has produced a free paper about a digital manufacturing solution that provides factory layout, workcell and line simulation, and analysis solutions that scales to the manufacturing planning needs of large as well as smaller enterprises. "Visual Components for Factory Simulation" reviews the solution suite of Visual Components.

Bentley Adds Free I-Model Drivers to iWare Apps Site
Bentley Systems has announced the addition of new interoperability offerings to the iWare Apps site it launched this past March. The new offerings include i-model drivers for Excel, Access, Crystal Reports, and Visual Studio, the Bentley DGN Reader for Windows 7, Bentley ODBC Driver for Windows 7, Bentley FlexUnits, and the AGS Toolkit. I-models are "containers" for open AEC information exchange.

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Deals & Freebies

E-on Discounts LumenRT Review for SketchUp
E-on software, which produces 3D sky, light, and nature technologies, has announced introductory pricing for LumenRT Review for SketchUp (currently $195; standard retail price $295). The new product for the visualization of architectural projects in real-time 3D with accurately simulated lighting works with both the free and the Pro versions of SketchUp.

VariCAD Provides Free Trial of Mechanical CAD System
Visitors to the VariCAD web site can download a free 30-day trial version of the VariCAD 3D/2D mechanical CAD system. The new version of the software, 2011-1, contains a rebuilt DWG/DXF interface, new or changed 2D functions, better support of 2D NURBS objects (splines), an enhanced user interface, and improved STEP input.

Users Can Test-Drive New Bricscad Release for 30 Days
Bricsys is offering a 30-day free trial of Bricscad, which was recently upgraded to version 11.3. The new version features support for text fields and tables, a SolProf command that projects selected 3D solids onto 2D planes, and a PEdit command that can now convert splines to polylines.

Holistic City Software Marks CityCAD Anniversary with Special Offers
To commemorate the three-year anniversary of its launch of its CityCAD software, Holistic City Software has announced three limited-time offers:

  • A discounted "studio" monthly subscription for small organizations (1–10 people)
  • A discounted perpetual (no expiry) license for small organizations (1–10 people)
  • A free "campus" license for educational institutions and students.

The Bakery to Release Free Image Visualization and Compositing Tools
The Bakery, a 3D computer graphics software company, plans to unveil a new range of free tools for lighting professionals this week. The new toolset draws on the core technology of Bakery Relight, an interactive lighting, shading, and rendering solution. The free toolset will include the Bakery Comp node-based compositing tool, the Bakery Image Player, and the Bakery Image Viewer.

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Opportunities & Honors

Designers Can Take CAD Model to Production Stage in Cool Idea! Competition
Part manufacturer Proto Labs has launched its Cool Idea! Award, a program designed to give product designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators the opportunity to bring innovative products to life. Proto Labs will provide $100,000 worth of prototyping and short-run production services to award recipients, who must demonstrate the benefits of their product to the end-user and explain why it qualifies as a "cool idea."

Students Compete in Engineering Design Challenge with Autodesk Inventor
California Academy of Mathematics and Science PLTW students David Doan, Jyrrl Figueroa, and Renzo Revilla took first place in the second annual Chevron-sponsored PLTW (Project Lead The Way) California State Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) Challenge. The competing teams had one day to design a solar-powered bus stop with Autodesk Inventor 2011.

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Books & Training

Apress Media Guide Explains How to Build a 3D Printer
CNC machining expert Patrick Hood-Daniel and professional writer James Floyd Kelly have written a new book, Printing in Plastic: Build Your Own 3D Printer ($39.99 for print; $27.99 for ebook), that guides readers through the process step by step. Once the machine is built, the 3D printer can be connected to a computer and can print out designs using free software shared on the Internet.

New Book Explains Mechanical CAD in German
ASCON Group, a developer of professional CAD solutions, and Carl Hanser Verlag, a German technical publishing house, have released Design with CAD (€39.90), written in German by Harald Vogel, a technical journalist and CAD expert. The book includes a fully functional version of KOMPAS-3D V12 mechanical CAD software.

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Mark Your Calendar

Prolog Solution Presentation Webinars
June 8–July 27, 2011
1 p.m. PT
Hosted by Meridian Systems, these Prolog Solution Presentation Webinars demonstrate how to improve project management control. Read more

Kinnosa Webinar Series
June 9–July 7, 2011
11 a.m. ET
First Trace will conduct a series of live online events to demonstrate how Kinnosa automates CAD management for AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Inventor, MicroStation, Revit and DraftSight users. Read more

E-on Software Summer Road-Show Seminars
June 14–July 6, 2011
Various cities
Conducted on location by e-on resellers, the Summer Road-Show Seminar events feature in-depth presentations and demonstrations of e-on's Vue Product Line as well as some of its newly introduced products such as LumenRT and Carbon Scatter. Read more

Paperless Parts Tech Day
June 15, 2011
Nashua, New Hampshire
Tech Day will include free, live demonstrations of 3D printing, 3D scanning, and an interactive look at SpaceClaim software. Representatives from Paperless Parts, SpaceClaim, and Z-Corporation will explain the process behind rapid prototyping and what it takes to get a project under way. Read more

AUGI CAD Camp 2011
June 21–July 29, 2011
Various cities
2011 AUGI CAD Camps are focused on helping attendees gain industry-recognized credentials through Autodesk Certification to accelerate professional development, improve productivity, and enhance credibility. This event includes training on Autodesk AutoCAD, Revit, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Inventor, 3ds Max, and Maya. Read more

Autodesk Storm and Sanitary Analysis Course
June 22–23, 2011
9 a.m.–5 p.m. CT
This course is presented live online by Engineered Efficiency (EE) and includes live lectures, demonstration, hands-on exercises, and downloadable courseware. Read more

Revit Technology Conference (RTC) 2011, North America
June 23–25, 2011
Huntington Beach, California
Having run in Australia for the past 6 years, the Revit Technology Conference (RTC) will hold its inaugural event in North America in 2011. Read more

AVEVA World Summit
October 25–27, 2011
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Unlike the more technical AVEVA User Group Conferences, which are organized for engineers and designers who operate the AVEVA software, the AVEVA World Summits are designed for decision makers responsible for strategic business issues which impact project execution and operational effectiveness. Read more

NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference 2012
May 14–17, 2012
San Jose, California
The third annual GPU Technology Conference (GTC) is an event showcasing breakthroughs in computational science with the GPU (graphics processing unit). 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

First Look Review: Eurocom Panther 2.0 Mobile Workstation
New system offers many connectivity options, fast performance. Read more

First Look Review: CadFaster|Collaborate for Autodesk Revit 2011
Also available for SolidWorks and coming soon for mobile use, new plug-in facilitates real-time, interactive model reviews. Read more

Cadalyst Labs Report: 3D Scanning Is Flying High
Faster, more accurate, more affordable technologies are propelling reverse engineering and other applications to the forefront of design. Read more

I Am Drafter!
Assume any job title you want; just don't forget your roots in a vital and respectable craft. 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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