Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 16, No. 30)22 Aug, 2011 By: Cadalyst Staff
This Week's Software Tips
Do You Know a Better Way?
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!
Useful System Variables
Frequent tipster Danny Korem urges AutoCAD users to take a look at these system variables that control data indexing, associative hatching, and associative dimensions. "These three system variables in AutoCAD can be very useful," said tip reviewer Brian Benton. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Tipster Justin Manson shares a technique for editing hatch objects in AutoCAD that separates hatches to individual areas. "I become frustrated when users hatch drawings and I find multiple different areas all hatched with one hatch object." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
2D Operations in a 3D World
Leonid Nemirovsky of the Better Than Nothing AutoLISP site shares a few tips on using 2D operations in a 3D environment while working in AutoCAD. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
August 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 August 2011 Hot Tip Harry batch at once.
Break Multiple Lines
This routine from Ferdinand Gawat enables you to break one or more lines where they intersect with other lines in AutoCAD. You can specify a distance to break the lines, or specify 0 (zero) to break with no gap. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Collect Arc and Line Endpoints
James Maeding offers up a unique AutoLISP function to get line and arc geometric information for anything you see on screen in AutoCAD, whether it be in a block, group, external reference, or just a plain entity. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Draw Stars with Any Number of Points
Frequent contributor Kent Cooper has expanded on Cadalyst CAD Tips No. 986 and No. 1654, both of which construct star shapes in AutoCAD, and created a routine that does even more. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Offset to Any Layer
There has probably been an Offset to Layer command available ever since AutoLISP was introduced, but Kent Cooper has still managed to improve on this idea. This version of Offset to Layer will allow you to offset to any layer, not just the current layer or the source layer. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Tidy Drawing Shutdown
Recent Cadalyst CAD Tip No. 3676, Shut It Down, is a menu macro intended to be executed when closing an AutoCAD drawing. This tip by Sam Lucido performs a very similar function, but is in LISP format instead. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Lock or Unlock Multiple Viewports
Sam Lucido's second routine this month addresses a common problem: how to quickly lock or unlock multiple viewports at once in AutoCAD. View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Cadalyst Updates Systems Benchmark Test for AutoCAD 2012
Cadalyst has released an update of the Cadalyst Systems Benchmark, designed to test and compare the performance of systems running AutoCAD 2000–2012. Test files for c2012 are available free for download. The latest version of the benchmark features disabled viewport controls for maximum performance on 3D tests and a Battery Rundown Test for use with mobile computers.
AU 2011 Class Catalog Available for Preview
The preview version of the Autodesk University (AU) 2011 class catalog is now live. AU registration will go live for AU members on August 30, 2011 (one week before general registration). This year, the conference will include new classes on advanced features and workflows; the cloud, mobile technologies, and visualization; and Autodesk certification preparation.
Magnacad Redesigns Web Site to Incorporate Educational Resources
Magnacad Design, a supplier of engineering software for the manufacturing industry, has reconstructed its web site to showcase features including links to the company's YouTube Channel, IronCAD libraries, and other educational media; support options including video-card compatibility checks and knowledge-base access; and the IronCAD Owners Network user group.
Deals & Freebies
Free Trial from Tetra 4D Enables Users to Import 3D Models into Acrobat
Tetra 4D is offering a free trial of its 3D PDF Converter software, which converts native 3D CAD data into interactive PDF documents. Version 3.2 of the software is authorized by Adobe to run within Acrobat X Pro, and includes updated support for Inventor 2011/2012, Solid Edge ST3, CATIA V5R20, SolidWorks 2010/2011, Siemens NX 7.5, and visualization formats such as Autodesk 3D Studio, Wavefront, and KMZ.
Opportunities & Honors
Creaform Calls for 3D Engineering Project Concepts
Creaform has launched the second worldwide edition of the Put Us to the Test! 2011 Challenge, which invites submissions of challenging 3D engineering project ideas. The company will select two entries to receive $2,000 worth of its 3D scanning, long-range scanning, inspection, reverse engineering, design, or finite-element analysis services, and one entry that will win $20,000 worth of services.
CEA Opens Consumer Electronics Design Competition
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is accepting entries for the 2012 International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards through September 16, 2011. The annual competition honors outstanding design and engineering across 32 consumer electronics product categories. Winners will be announced November 8, 2011, and showcased at the 2012 International CES, January 10–13, 2012, in Las Vegas.
Mark Your Calendar
AUGI CAD Camp
September 7–November 18, 2011
AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) CAD Camp attendees can learn about industry best practices, product tips and tricks, 2012 new product features, and industry trends at these single-day training events. Read more
Creating Work Instructions and Technical Documentation Using Your 3D CAD Data
September 14, 2011
11 a.m. PT
This Novedge webinar will show how the XVL Technology Suites can use existing CAD data to create work instruction, technical illustrations, and other technical documents. Read more
GIS for Oil & Gas Pipeline Conference
October 24–26, 2011
At this 20th annual conference, topic areas will include regulations, risk management, and data governance. Read more
Fall 2011 BIMForum
November 2–3, 2011
The theme for this BIMForum is ROI2 — Return on Innovation Investment. The meeting will explore questions such as: Where is the ROI2 of BIM (building information modeling)? Read more
November 8–9, 2011
San Antonio, Texas
The Z-DAC Annual Conference brings together Zuken's customers, prospects, and industry professionals to share insight and experiences, expand their knowledge, and build relationships. 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
University Study Finds Rapidform Best Option for Parametric Solid Modeling from 3D Scans
A study funded by the U.S. Air Force concludes that INUS Technology's software is "the only viable option" for creating parametric CAD models from 3D scan data. Read more
Autodesk Unveils Three AutoCAD Offerings Made for Mac
Expanding on last year's reintroduction of AutoCAD to the Mac platform, the company releases full, LT, and WS versions. Read more
Autodesk Expands Scope of BIM for Infrastructure Solutions
Two new software releases, Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler 2012 and AutoCAD Utility Design 2012, support conceptual design and electric utility management. 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!