Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 17, No. 33)

17 Sep, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff

This Week's Software Tips

Back to Tip School
After you finish packing a lunch and stocking that backpack, 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!

Place Objects Midway Between Two Points
Darren Bourne shares a trick he uses when designing in AutoCAD that takes advantage of the Mid Between Two Points object snap. "I use this technique quite often; it saves me time when manipulating objects." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Render a 3D Section and Model with Different Visual Styles
Frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky explains how to render section planes of AutoCAD 3D models in visual styles different from those used on the model. "When you cut off part of your model with the SectionPlane command and you want to render your model with the Realistic or Conceptual visual style, but want to render your section in a different style, just follow these steps." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Dimension in Layout Tabs
Mechanical engineer Perry Pattiz suggests dimensioning in AutoCAD's paper space, and provides a tip that will make it easier to do so. "A lot of people are still dimensioning in model space, which requires changing the size of the font every time you change the scale at which the drawing is being plotted." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Force Radial Dimensions to Point inside Small Fillets
Design draftsman Joel Sanders sent in a trick for getting radial AutoCAD dimensions to point to the inside of smaller arcs, circles, or fillets. "As far back as I can remember, AutoCAD radial dimensions have had a penchant to always follow the outside geometry. When asked by a colleague about this problem, I came up with an obvious solution." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

September 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 September 2012 Hot Tip Harry batch at once.

Make Text Readable
Alan Thompson gives us a routine to rotate AutoCAD text and mtext that is currently upside-down into a position where it can be read normally. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Remove Viewport Overrides
The hidden command option named reMoveoverrides, which is incredibly useful, will remove layer property overrides such as color, linetype, etc., on one or more viewports. Mat Kirkland has created a small LISP routine to help automate this process, and it is configured to remove all overrides on all viewports. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Unhide Layers
If you wanted to thaw a layer in AutoCAD, but were not sure of the layer name, it might take you a few steps to figure it out. This routine from Raymond Rizkallah simplifies those steps. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Reverse Entity Direction
Kent Cooper brings us another improved version of a LISP routine this month. Kent found several other routines that allow you to reverse the directions of entities in AutoCAD, then put his code together to solve the limitations he observed. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Create and Remove Inspection Dimensions
Some LISP routines are created to perform complex calculations and tasks in AutoCAD, while others simply make repetitive actions much faster. This routine from Steven Matchett is one of the latter. The code allows you to convert an existing dimension into an "inspection dimension." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Update Styles to Match Standards
This tip is unusual — it's not a standard LISP routine that you load and execute. John Neighbors gives us some examples of how to update all AutoCAD linetypes, layers, and dimension styles to meet an office standard. 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.

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Ideate Publishes Case Study Detailing Use of BIMLink for Revit
Ideate, an Autodesk-authorized developer and solutions provider, has released a case study describing a use case of Ideate-developed software. The study, "BVN with Jasmax Makes 3.5 Million Combinations Workable in Minutes with Ideate BIMLink for Revit," explains how two architecture firms were able to manipulate and manage numerous sunscreen element combinations to create a randomized pattern for a large building facade.

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Opportunities & Honors

GPU Technology Conference Accepting Submissions Until October 3
Graphics processing unit (GPU) developer NVIDIA is accepting proposals for presentations for its March 2013 GTC (GPU Technology Conference). The GTC call for submissions has been expanded to cover new areas, including cloud gaming, cloud infrastructure and services, hosted virtualized desktops, large-scale visualization, mobile computing, and game development.

Global Rendering Competition Winners Named
Nemetschek Vectorworks and MAXON Computer have announced the four winners of the second annual Inspired Visions Global Rendering Competition. Steve Böswetter from Vienna, Austria, won the Renderworks 2012 category with a rendering of a youth center as viewed from the street.

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New Products

AEC and MCAD: Autodesk Simulation 360
Autodesk has unveiled Autodesk Simulation 360, a set of mechanical, fluid flow, thermal and plastic injection molding simulation tools delivered in the cloud with a pay-as-you-go pricing model. By performing computationally intensive simulation tasks in the cloud, designers, engineers and analysts can test multiple design scenarios in parallel, without specialized hardware.

Hardware: ABflex and ABStuff
EnvisionTEC, a manufacturer of 3D rapid prototyping solutions, recently announced the launch of its ABflex and ABStuff rapid prototyping materials. The new resins can be used with the company's DLP 3D printers to produce prototypes that demonstrate mass production quality and characteristics of components produced with industry-standard tools and dies.

Hardware: Windform SP
CRP Technology, an additive manufacturing company, has introduced its latest composite, polyamide-based material, Windform SP for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. The black, carbon-filled material's mechanical properties include resistance to shock, vibration, high temperatures, and deformation. The material is intended for prototypes and for functional applications.

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Mark Your Calendar

Discover the New FormZ 7
September 19, 2012
11 a.m. PT
This free webinar from Novedge promises to demonstrate how to perform 3D modeling, rendering, and animation tasks using formZ v7. Read more

BIMx and the Porsche Design Tower
September 25, 2012
12 Noon ET
GRAPHISOFT will present this free, online seminar to show how its BIM (building information modeling) technology was used to model the 57-story Porsche Design Tower. Read more

GPU Technology Conference 2013
March 18–21, 2013
San Jose, California
This conference will include four days of educational content, focusing on the latest breakthroughs in GPU-enabled applications. 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

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What's New at

It's Time to Buy Bigger, Better Monitors
CAD Manager's Toolbox: Is your company avoiding a much-needed display upgrade? Try bolstering your argument with these facts. Read more

The Devil's No Longer in the Details
Circles and Lines Tutorial: New detail and section view tools in AutoCAD 2013 are easy to use and flexible enough to conform to your CAD standards. Read more

CAD Managers Resist Social Media Infiltration
Reader feedback indicates serious concerns about the impact of incorporating access to social media tools in CAD applications. Read more

Add a Drop-Down List of Your Favorite Commands to the Quick Access Toolbar
AutoCAD's Quick Access toolbar is so accessible — why not add plenty of your most frequently used commands to it? Join Lynn Allen as she shows you how easy it is to add a drop-down list to the Quick Access toolbar, making you instantly more productive. Watch the video

SolidWorks 2013 Hits the Street
Notable new features are many, including CAD Administrator Dashboard, costing, simplified simulation tools, and interoperability with version 2012. Read more

Multiple Display Support for CAD Workstations
The most compelling reason to install multiple GPUs is to drive multiple high-resolution displays. The secret's out that "multi-mon" is the single best way to improve your productivity. Anyone who's gone to two displays (or three — or more!) will tell you they could never go back to one. And more graphics cards can display more pixels across more monitors. Read the CADspeed blog post

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor and Autodesk Technical Evangelist 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!

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