Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 17, No. 23)

2 Jul, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff

This Week's Software Tips

Make New Friends, but Keep the Old
Is there a tip from the past that you still rely on, year after year? Use the "Submit Tip" button below to tell us about your favorite classic Cadalyst CAD Tips, so we can dust them off and share them with your fellow CAD users!

Prepare Files for Cloud Storage
Frequent tipster Danny Korem shares some tips about prepping AutoCAD files for storage on the cloud — or anywhere, really. "The method presented here will help remove nonessential data from your files. This reduces the file size, which will allow you to store more files," said Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Lock Your Data with Constraints
In his second tip this week, Danny Korem explains how to lock your geometric data with AutoCAD constraints to preserve relationships in your design. "AutoCAD has parametric constraints — tools that can fix your data in place and therefore ensure that you retain your linework's geometric relationships properly," explained Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Break at a Selected Point
Frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky shares a small macro that he created that helps speed things up in AutoCAD's Break command. "This macro improves the Break command, and is useful when you need to break an object at a selected point." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Unlock a Layer and Make it Current
Tipster Dave Alexander shares a macro with us that will unlock a specific layer in AutoCAD and make it current. "Efficiency with AutoCAD can be increased by reducing the number of mouse button clicks. Using tool button toggles to change from one layer to another and back again is fun and efficient." 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'sCAD Tips site.

Tips & Tools Weekly software tips for AutoCAD are reviewed in the latest version of AutoCAD by Contributing Editor Brian Benton. Use all tips at your own discretion, please. We're sorry, but Cadalyst staff cannot provide assistance with technical problems. Please refer to Cadalyst's LinkedIn and Facebook communities for assistance with AutoLISP and other AutoCAD customization questions.

Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


CIMdata Report Predicts PLM Growth in China
PLM (product lifecycle management) consulting and research firm CIMdata has released its "2012 China Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Market Analysis Report," which states the Chinese mainstream PLM market grew 22.3% to $640.9 million in 2011 and is expected to grow 13.9% in 2012.

New Whitepaper Series Explores CAD Selection Considerations
PLM (product lifecycle management) consulting and research firm CIMdata has published "CAD Selection Considerations: Design Changes," a whitepaper that advises CAD users on the importance of tools that allow rapid design model changes. The first in a series, the freely downloadable paper discusses functional capabilities for changing geometric models.

IDG Connect Shares Cloud Computing Resources
IDG Connect, a division of International Data Group, has made available a variety of free whitepapers, case studies, and videos that examine how cloud computing works and explore its applications. Access to some files requires viewer registration.

Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Deals & Freebies

MecSoft Offers Free Trial of VisualMILL-for-SolidWorks 2012
Software provider MecSoft Europe has released a free trial version of VisualMILL-for-SolidWorks, its 3D solid and surface milling plug-in. The latest version of the CAM software plug-in features a 5-axis continuous milling module, new toolpath-generation methods, and processing and productivity enhancements.

Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mark Your Calendar

3D Printing, CNC Software, and 3D Scanning Road Show
Through August 2, 2012
Various U.S. cities
PCS Engineering will host this series of 3D printing, 3D scanning, and CNC software seminars that will include software and equipment demonstrations. Read more

CadFaster|Collaborate Training
July 3, 2012
12 noon ET
Participants of this one-hour online training session will learn how to use the CadFaster|Collaborate cloud-based collaboration plug-in to share 3D CAD models and BIM (building information modeling) designs for instant review. Read more

Let's Go Design: Machinery and Industrial Equipment
July 9, 2012
3 p.m. ET
During this webinar, Fisher/Unitech presenters will demonstrate how machine designers can use SolidWorks in conceptual design, component selection, manufacture, assembly and testing, final product documentation, and more. Read more

Smarter 3D Printing: How to Have It All
July 11–November 13, 2012
Various U.S. cities
This free seminar, presented by 3D Systems, will include tips about how to choose the right 3D printer for any application, as well as demonstrations of 3D printers. Read more

Mold and Die, Fast and Easy
July 12, 2012
11:30 a.m. ET
SpaceClaim will present this webinar, which will demonstrate the company's tooling capabilities, including editing parts from any CAD system, fixing problems with dirty geometry, extracting cores, and creating tooling around CAD models. Read more

Introduction to SolidWorks Plastics
July 24, 2012
11 a.m. ET
Viewers of this webcast, presented by Fisher/Unitech, will learn how to evaluate the manufacturability of their designs, eliminate mold rework, improve part quality, and accelerate time to market. Read more

Nugget 2012
September 17–19, 2012
Fort Worth, Texas
Speakers at Nugget 2012, Newforma's annual user conference, will present best practices for PIM (project information management) and participate in panel discussions. Read more

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What's New at

Quick and Easy All-in-One Video Tips: Something for Every CAD User!
Cadalyst's All-in-One video tips, sponsored by the HP Z1 All-in-One Workstation, combine three useful tips into one quick video. Host Curt Moreno, the Kung Fu Drafter, shares advice on topics ranging from resumes and training to xrefs and sheet sets. Watch the videos

GPU-Accelerated Transparency for 3D CAD with Creo Parametric 2.0 and AMD FirePro
Order Independent Transparency (OIT) in computer graphics programming terminology denotes any technique that can correctly render overlapping semi-transparent objects without having to sort them before they are being rendered. Read the CADspeed blog post

AIA Comes Home to the Capital, Part 2
Rendering software, printing solutions, and more were on display at the American Institute of Architects' National Convention and Design Exposition. Read more

Growth is the Goal at Solid Edge University 2012
In its avid pursuit of more users, Siemens PLM Software is spending more money on development and offering more ways to consume its mechanical CAD solution. Read more

User Profile: Man on a Mission
Uriel Castillo isn't just working with CAD — he's making Fort Wayne a better place to live. Read more

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Make Workplace Frustration Work for You
Avoidable project snafus can leave you steaming — or provide the motivation to change things for the better. Read more

Take a Balanced Approach to Managing Building Information Modeling
Are you falling victim to BIM obsession? Don't let one technology overwhelm your other CAD management responsibilities — no matter how much hype surrounds it. Read more

Editor's Window: Faster, Better Transparency Mode Rendering in Creo Parametric 2.0 is Result of Efforts by AMD and PTC
GPU-optimized technique was on display at Planet PTC Live in Orlando. Read more

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

Add comment

Note: Comments are moderated and will appear live after approval by the site moderator.

AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

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!

Follow Lynn on TwitterFollow Lynn on Twitter

Do you use any augmented or virtual reality (AR or VR) technologies in your workflow?
Not yet, but we are planning to implement it.
No, but we think these technologies could hold value for us.
No; these technologies do not hold value for us.
Submit Vote

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition