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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 17, No. 26)

23 Jul, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Make the Most of Your Summer Vacation!
The beach, fireworks, picnics ... when you're making a list of your summertime favorites, don't forget the tips! Take a few minutes to share your tips — for AutoCAD or any other CAD software tool — with your fellow CAD users. If we publish your tip, you'll earn a gift card you can use toward a T-shirt or other prizes in the Cadalyst Store. Use the "Submit Tip" button below to send us your tip today!

Reset Dynamic Blocks
Structural technician Mike Demers shares a tip that allows users to reset dynamic blocks in AutoCAD. "The Reset Block command can reset one or more dynamic block references to the default values of the block definition." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Match Properties for Standardization
Danny Korem uses the AutoCAD Match Properties command to maintain CAD standards. He says that for years, he used template files for implementing CAD standards. "Now I use a file that contains all the tools one needs for a much more straightforward procedure." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Make a New Block from an Old Block
Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton shares his favorite method for making a new block similar to an existing one in AutoCAD. "You can select an instance of the old block, right-click, and use the menu shortcut command of Copy Block Definition and Assign." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

 

July 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 July 2012 Hot Tip Harry batch at once.

Make New Objects with Existing Objects' Properties
Frequent contributor Kent Cooper is back this month with another new and improved routine. Kent's inspiration for this function is a 2008 Cadalyst CAD Tip from Mosad H. Elewa, titled "Make More Of The Same." The purpose of this routine is to allow you to create a new object in AutoCAD that's based on the properties of a selected object. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Change Cursor Size Automatically
Mat Kirkland likes his AutoCAD cursor size to be small sometimes, and full screen at other times. Rather than manually switch it back and forth, he has created a reactor-based routine that will change the cursor size to 100% for certain commands, then return it to its former setting when done. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Merge Hatches
This routine from Juan Villarreal will combine separate hatch objects into a single object. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Import Layouts from Standard Drawings
One of the best things about AutoCAD is the ability to automate frequently repeated tasks, which can speed up processes and reduce mistakes. Michael Nelson has achieved both of these benefits with this routine, which imports layouts from one drawing into another. 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 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.

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Resources

CIMdata Analyzes PLM Trends for 2012
PLM (product lifecycle management) research firm CIMdata has released the "CIMdata 2012 PLM Industry Review and Trends Report" ($2,500), the first of five modules in the CIMdata PLM Market Analysis Report Series. The document comprises analyses of major trends, providers, revenue, industry sectors, and market growth data. Customers can purchase the report separately, or buy the entire series as a set ($9,500).

New Whitepaper Focuses on Designing with Third-Party CAD Data
CIMdata has published "Dealing with Third-Party CAD Data," a whitepaper about tools that allow designers to work in a multi-CAD environment. The whitepaper, the second in a series about CAD selection considerations, identifies and reviews functional capabilities for dealing with third-party design data within CAD solutions. The paper is free to download for those who register.

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Deals & Freebies

Eurocom Higher Education Program Provides 10% Computer Discount
Portable-computer developer Eurocom is offering members of the education community a 10% discount on any computer system purchased directly from the company. The Eurocom Higher Education Program applies to high school, university, and college students, as well as faculty and recent graduates.

Autodesk Offers Promotional Price on SketchBook Pro
For a limited time, Autodesk is offering a 50% discount on its SketchBook Pro painting and drawing software. Until July 31, 2012, SketchBook Pro will be available through participating resellers for $29. Designed for use with tablet PCs or digitized pen tablets, the software can be used for product concept design and ideation, annotation, and review.

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Opportunities & Honors

PTC Named a Top Solution Provider in China's PLM Market
In CIMdata's "2012 China PLM Market Analysis Report," PLM software provider PTC was named as the number-one provider in the CPDM (collaborative product definition management) market segment in China for the third consecutive year. PTC attributes its ranking to the success of its Windchill products.

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Books & Training

Updated Renderworks Tutorial Explains Rendering Techniques
Software developer Nemetschek Vectorworks has published Remarkable Renderworks: An Introduction to the Basics, Second Edition ($75). Written by architect Daniel Jansenson for users who already have some Vectorworks experience, the self-paced guide describes techniques such as how to use light reflecting from the sky to illuminate a scene.

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New Products

Geometric Launches Design for Manufacturability Tool for NX
Engineering software provider Geometric has released DFMPro for NX, Siemens PLM Software's CAD/CAM/CAE package. DFMPro provides built-in checks for manufacturing processes such as machining, sheet metal, casting, molding, and assembly. The standard checks are derived from various handbooks, design guidelines, and global best design practices.

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Mark Your Calendar

Introduction to V-Ray v1.5 for Rhino
July 25, 2012
11 a.m. PT
During this Novedge webinar, Konstantin Gaytandzhiev of Chaos Group will discuss the V-Ray displacement, proxy system, global illumination, the V-Ray dome light, lens effects, and more. A Q&A session will follow. Read more

Give IT a Break
August 9, 2012
2 p.m. ET
Alcove9 and Collaboration Systems Group will co-host this first in a series of webcasts that will focus on helping businesses maximize their uptime and share Revit models and other project information while reducing IT costs. 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

Are Intel's CPU-integrated GPUs Good Enough for CAD? (Part 2)
CAD users shopping for a midrange or better graphics card have both the need for performance and the dollars to pay for it. So if Intel's new push into professional-brand integrated graphics were to have an impact, we would logically see the effects first in entry 3D. Read the CADspeed blog post

Circles and Lines Tutorial: Exposing Hidden Gems in AutoCAD 2013
Eleven little productivity enhancements add up to big time savings. Read more

GTeam Platform Helps AEC Teams Collaborate
Gehry Technologies' new browser-based tool is designed to bring architects, contractors, and building owners a little closer together — even if they're all using different software. Read more

The World of AutoCAD Programming Platforms, Part 3
Visual Studio.NET seems to be Autodesk's favored programming platform for the future, so let's look closer at a .NET example that creates some AutoCAD entities and modifies them programmatically. 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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