Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 17, No. 34)24 Sep, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff
This Week's Software Tips
They're Not Antiques, They're Classics!
Some tips just never get old. Is there a classic tip that you still rely on today? Use the "Submit Tip" button below to tell us about your favorites from the past, so we can dust them off and share them with your fellow CAD users!
Freeze Layers the Easy Way
Frequent tipster Danny Korem suggests using the LayFrz command in AutoCAD to freeze layers through a viewport instead of sorting through the Layer Manager. "I find this method more convenient and straightforward than the tedious task of using the Layer Manager by locating layers within an xref (filter)." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Adjust Scaling between Metric and Imperial Drawings
Perry Pattiz shares a tip on scaling objects in AutoCAD that are drawn in different units. "I frequently have to use other people's drawings to copy and paste items from one facility layout to another. Many of the drawings are drawn full size to different unit standards (inches, feet, millimeters, or meters)." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Streamline the AttSync Command
Frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky shares a tip that will help you reset your altered attributed blocks in AutoCAD. "I slightly modified the AttSync command. I needed to synchronize a bunch of attributed blocks, so I automated the AttSync command as a very primitive macro/LISP." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Convert Special Characters after an Extraction
Moshe Zadik shares a chart and method he uses for converting special characters that have been extracted from AutoCAD. "It is very annoying to get the %%NNN text (which represents special characters) during extraction. Use the following formula in Excel to convert them to the proper characters." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
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.
Vico BIM Webinars Now Available as Miniseries
Vico Software has packaged four seasons of its "Fridays with Vico" BIM (building information modeling) webinars into five miniseries, including "The BIM Master Class Series" and "Getting from Zero to 5D BIM." The sets are suitable for company lunch-and-learn training sessions, and each webinar concludes with a Q&A period.
Deals & Freebies
Autodesk Expands 123D Catch Offerings to Support iPhone
Autodesk has launched the Autodesk 123D Catch app for iPhone, which lets users take photos from their iPhone's camera and upload them to the cloud, where the photos are converted into a 3D model. The free Autodesk 123D Catch app for iPhone and iPad is available through the iTunes App Store.
Free GstarCAD Mobile Viewer Reads DWG Files
Gstarsoft has released a free edition of GstarCAD MC (Mobile Client), for use on iPad, iPhone, and Android platforms. GstarCAD MC enables users to check, edit, share, and save drawings on a mobile device. The software now reads DWG files without requiring conversion. Users can download GstarCAD MC from the iTunes App Store.
LizardTech Offers Free Trial of Imagery Distribution Software
Geospatial software provider LizardTech is offering a free 30-day trial of Express Server v8, which distributes compressed, high-resolution raster imagery via standard protocols such as WMS. The new version's graphical user interface reportedly makes the software easier and quicker to use than previous versions.
Opportunities & Honors
Simulation Conference Issues Call for Papers
NAFEMS, an international association for the engineering analysis community, is accepting abstracts for papers to be presented at its 14th World Congress in Salzburg, Austria. The congress will be held in June 2013, in conjunction with the First International SPDM (Simulation Process & Data Management) Conference. Abstracts for these events must be submitted by November 5, 2012.
Books & Training
Nemetschek Provides Free BIM Course for Structural Engineers
AEC software provider Nemetschek is sponsoring a free course to teach BIM (building information modeling) from the viewpoint of the structural engineer. Participants of the self-paced lab can download class materials free, including an Open BIM instructional guide, lab exercise files, and Scia Engineer 2012 software.
IMAGINiT Training Covers Range of Autodesk Software
This fall, IMAGINiT Technologies will present a range of online and in-person classes for users of AutoCAD, Revit, Inventor, Civil 3D, 3ds Max, and other Autodesk software. Most of the in-person classes will take place in cities across the United States, Canada, and Australia.
EMA Offers Free Training for Displaced Workers
Value-added reseller EMA Design Automation is sponsoring a program that provides free Cadence OrCAD training to out-of-work engineers and designers who are currently seeking employment. Instructors guide students through design techniques and features within the OrCAD PCB (printed circuit board) design tools. Classes are offered in select cites and online.
Hardware: MVC-F5 Handheld Laser Scanner
3D Laser Mapping has introduced a handheld laser scanner that can achieve data accuracies of 0.5 mm when operating from as far as 1 m, according to the company. Developed by Mantis Vision, the MVC-F5 laser scanner is designed for use in complex and changing environments, in any lighting conditions, and in temperatures from –10° to 50° C.
Hardware: LSP-X1h Scanning Probe Head
Hexagon Metrology has released the LSP-X1h probe head for analog scanning on select Global Silver Coordinate Measuring Machines. The probe attaches to TESASTAR-m indexable articulated probe heads. It supports single-point probing, high-speed scanning, and self-centering modes in lengths of 20–225 mm in vertical orientation and 50 mm in the horizontal orientation.
Mark Your Calendar
Speed Your Revit MEP Point Cloud Modeling by up to 7X
September 26, 2012
1 p.m. ET
This free ClearEdge webinar will present the first public demonstration of EdgeWise MEP for Revit and will include several case studies. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's New at Cadalyst.com
Vectorworks Updates CAD/BIM Product Line
Version 2013 of the company's design software portfolio improves 3D modeling, rendering, interoperability, BIM (building information modeling) workflows, and overall performance. Read more
Archaeologists Dig Up New Uses for GIS
Tech Trends: Researchers apply modern technologies in search for ancient relics. Read more
Vuuch Joins Autodesk Developer Network
Technology that captures informal interactions of product-development stakeholders now integrates directly with AutoCAD and Inventor. Read the blog post
User Profile: Architect Doug Patt pursues many interests — and can't keep what he learns to himself. Read more
Stand Up for Old-Fashioned Communication!
Swap those endless e-mail trails for brief face-to-face meetings and watch solutions unfold quickly. Read more
Recommended Hardware for CAD, Part 1: AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, and Other Autodesk Applications
The answer to, "What CAD hardware should I buy?" always starts in the same place: with the requirements of the CAD software you plan to use. Read the CADspeed blog post
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!