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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.

Separate Hatches
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.

SaveFilePath
In his second tip for the week, frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky explains a way to help manage your automatically saved files 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.

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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Paul Aubin

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Mark Your Calendar

AUGI CAD Camp
September 7–November 18, 2011
Various cities
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
Houston, Texas
At this 20th annual conference, topic areas will include regulations, risk management, and data governance. Read more

Fall 2011 BIMForum
November 2–3, 2011
Washington, D.C.
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

Z-DAC 2011
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 news@cadalyst.com.

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Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

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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


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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