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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 16, No. 28)

8 Aug, 2011 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Help Hot Tip Harry Corral CAD Code!
When it comes to CAD code, 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 $25 gift card you can use to purchase a T-shirt or other prizes in the Cadalyst Store.

Match Specific Properties
Mike Demers sends us a tip on fine-tuning the settings of the Match Properties command in AutoCAD. "The Match Properties command is a very effective way to change an object's properties by copying another object's properties. It is also great for isolating (matching only the properties you want, such as layer, color, or linetype)." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Export Images Easily
Mary E. Kipp shares a way to output your AutoCAD drawing or file to an image format with just a few steps. "These commands are very easy to use and very quick," says tip reviewer Brian Benton. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Dots Can Be Transparent Too
Gordon Smith explains how to use a specific hatch pattern in AutoCAD to shade an area transparently. "We do a lot of work on top of aerial photos, and have found that using the Dots hatch allows us to still see the details of the photos, as well as any text that we may need to display." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Files So Nice, They Saved Them Twice
Frequent tipster Danny Korem shares a safety procedure that can help you back up AutoCAD files more effectively. "The thing is that the BAK file is one save behind the DWG file. Saving twice (especially when closing the file) will cause AutoCAD to keep similar files in both formats." 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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Cadalyst Magazine

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Resources

ShareYourDesign Launches Collaboration Service for ArchiCAD Users
Software developer ProFM has launched the free, beta version of ShareYourDesign, its building information modeling–based web service for building design and construction professionals. Users can share part of a floor plan, discuss a 3D view in a model, or exchange ideas about a specific object. By clicking an object within ArchiCAD, users can invite project members to web-based message boards.

AECOM Whitepaper Addresses AEC Firms' Design Strategy
Visitors to AECOM Technology's web site can download a free whitepaper titled, "Information-Led Design and Multidimensional Modeling: Deploying Data as a Critical Asset in Enhanced Project Delivery." According to AECOM, "information-led design" requires going beyond the traditional 2D, 3D, and 4D modeling commonly associated with building information modeling.

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Deals & Freebies

PTC Debuts Free 2D Design-Sketching App for Windows Systems
Creo Sketch is now available for free download from PTC. Creo Sketch is a stand-alone 2D design app that enables users to quickly draw their ideas and add color and other effects. Suppliers, customers, marketing, and sales professionals can communicate their ideas by sharing the digital sketches. Creo Sketch 2D design data can be reused in other Creo apps, such as in Creo Parametric as a trace sketch.

Autodesk Provides Free Computational Fluid Dynamics Tool
Visitors to Autodesk's web site can register to download the free Autodesk Simulation CFD Viewer. The computational fluid dynamics application can be used as a stand-alone visualization tool or as a plug-in for a web browser or Microsoft PowerPoint or Word. The company recently added Autodesk Simulation CFD software, which automates fluid flow and thermal simulation decision-making, to its software portfolio.

30-Day Trial Version of Carbon Scatter Available from E-on Software
E-on software, a developer of 3D sky, light, and nature technologies, has announced the immediate availability of the trial version of Carbon Scatter for Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya, and MAXON CINEMA 4D. Carbon Scatter creates populations using the native instancing technologies of 3ds Max, Maya, and CINEMA 4D.

Users Can Evaluate MAXON's 3D Graphics Software with Free Demo Version
Visitors to MAXON's web site can register to download a demo version of CINEMA 4D, the company's 3D motion graphics, visual effects, painting, and rendering software application. There is no time restriction on the demo version, but it is save-disabled. MAXON recently announced CINEMA 4D Release 13, which features new character tools, integrated stereographic capabilities, and streamlined multiartist collaboration.

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Opportunities & Honors

DesignByMany Accepting Shady Designs for Latest Challenge
HP has announced a new DesignByMany challenge that invites designers to envision a contemporary, rapidly deployable shade structure that provides quick, inexpensive, and temporary protection. The structure should be easily deployable during a day at the beach or park, or in a desert environment. All submissions are due by August 14, and voting will be open for the DesignByMany community until August 21.

MecSoft Receives Autodesk Inventor Certification for VisualXPORT
CAM (computer-aided anufacturing) software provider MecSoft has announced that its VisualXPORT product is certified for use with Autodesk Inventor 2011 and 2012 mechanical design and engineering software under the Inventor Certified Applications Program. VisualXPORT for Inventor is a direct, in-window plug-in that enables users to transfer Inventor geometry directly to VisualMILL.

CRN Magazine Honors Siemens PLM Software Channel Team Members
Everything Channel's CRN Magazine has named two employees of Siemens PLM (product lifecycle management) Software to its top-100 lists: Dane Moorefield was chosen for "Women of the Channel," and Jeff Zobrist for "100 People You Don't Know But Should in the Channel." The former list honors executives who epitomize success, and the latter recognizes individuals who drive behind-the-scenes efforts.

CIMdata Names CAM Software Market Leaders
PLM (product lifecycle management) consulting firm CIMdata has revealed the worldwide CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) software market leaders for 2010 in the initial release of Version 20 of the "NC Market Analysis Report." Dassault Systèmes was the market leader on the basis of both direct supplier revenues and end-user payments; Planit Holdings led in terms of industrial seats shipped.

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Books & Training

CGschool Offers Free Live and Recorded Software Webinars
CGschool is offering two new free webinars: Brian Smith of 3DATS will lead sessions about 3ds Max System Resources and the 3ds Max plug-ins OnyxTREE STORM, Onyx2Max, and OnyxGRASS. Registered users can also watch recorded webinars about topics including mental ray, Revit, architectural photography, and Photoshop.

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Paul Aubin

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Mark Your Calendar

SmartPlant Construction Product Release Update
August 9, 2011
11 a.m. ET
In this webinar, Tim McDavid of Intergraph will explain the value of using integrated solutions to streamline the planning and sequencing, measurement and progressing, and visualization of construction projects. Read more

Design Master User Conference 2011
September 15–16, 2011
Cincinnati, Ohio
At this event, attendees can learn about using BIM (building information modeling) software for the MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) industry. Read more

CADWorx & Analysis University 2011
September 19–21, 2011
Houston, Texas
CAU2011 is a global user-oriented plant design and engineering conference now expanded to include Intergraph CADWorx, CAESAR II, and PV Elite. The agenda will include classes, hands-on labs, and user presentations. 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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Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

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What's New at Cadalyst.com

First Look Review: NEC MultiSync EA232WMi Monitor
LED-backlit 23" display delivers high quality at a great price. Read more

First Look Review: Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2012
Bundle of joy? If you use more than one design solution, this new package could help integrate your workflow and save money. Read more

Tech Trends: CAD It Yourself
DIYers are moving out of the garage and into view of companies offering sophisticated tools and services that fuel creativity. Read more


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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Lynn Allen

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