Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 17, No. 4)6 Feb, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff
This Week's Software Tips
Do You Love Shortcuts?
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!
Designer Mike O'Flaherty created this AutoCAD macro to help users execute a tip he shared in 2010: Minimize 3D File Size with WBlock. "I'd submitted a tip a while ago to reduce a completed drawing file to the bare minimum size using the WBlock command. One thing I found about the technique was that my coworkers sometimes were distracted and ended up saving an empty drawing over their newly cleaned block." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Tools for Working in Other Users' Files
Frequent tipster Danny Korem shares some tips for using AutoCAD tools to find and fix file inaccuracies. "Sometimes I hear an experienced CAD user say, 'Since I did not create this drawing from the beginning, I'd rather draw it from square one.' I'd like to discuss this statement from two points of view: accuracy and precision, and the discomfort that comes with working in an unfamiliar drawing." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Move and Copy with the Mouse
Kevin Bradberry sent in an AutoCAD tip that will show you how to move or copy objects with just a few clicks. "This method is excellent for quick moves or copies when the final object location is not precise." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Get Comfortable with the Ribbon
Mechanical drafter Maria Tzanetakou describes the steps she took to get accustomed to the ribbon interface. "I have been working with AutoCAD since v10 in DOS — 16 years, more or less. Where I work, we had an update from AutoCAD 2006 to AutoCAD 2009, which was the first time that I saw the ribbon. I immediately changed the workspace settings to AutoCAD Classic." View the complete tip and post your feedback.
Video Tip: Instant Zoom
Alex Borodulin shares "AutoCAD Zoom Instant," a video tip on his NYacad web site. The video demonstrates a variable that controls when smooth view transitions are used. "Smooth transitions were introduced in AutoCAD 2006 with the new variable VTenable (default value: 3) and View Transitions dialog box (command VTOptions). In order to switch to instant zoom, set VTenable to 0."
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.
GRAPHISOFT Publishes ArchiCAD BIM Whitepaper
"Get There Faster with ArchiCAD," a free whitepaper from BIM (building information modeling) software provider GRAPHISOFT, examines five critical areas users should explore before making a BIM software purchase. The whitepaper shares expertise and experience from six design leaders, who describe how ArchiCAD provides real-time collaboration.
Deals & Freebies
Siemens Offers Free Upgrade to Solid Edge Premium
For a limited time, Siemens is offering Solid Edge users a free upgrade to Solid Edge Premium with the purchase of a Solid Edge Classic ST4 license. The premium version includes the Wire Harness Design function that helps create, route, and organize wires, cables, and bundles. The upgrade also includes Solid Edge Simulation, a finite-element analysis tool for static or modal analysis.
E-on Software Provides Free Trial of LumenRT 2 Review for SketchUp
E-on Software, a provider of 3D sky, light, and nature software, has released a 15-day trial version of its LumenRT 2 Review for SketchUp software for the interactive visualization of architectural projects with full physical lighting. New features include complete physical simulation of light, physically accurate reflections, and adjustable time of day.
Geometric Releases Free 3D CAD Viewer for Multiple Platforms
Software developer Geometric has released Glovius, a free, extensible, customizable 3D visualization tool that operates on the JT file format. Its add-ons allow users to import CAD files from multiple platforms including CATIA v5, NX, Pro/ENGINEER, Creo, SolidWorks, and Autodesk Inventor. Glovius runs on Windows and as an app for iPad/iPhone and Android systems.
Opportunities & Honors
CNC Software Seeks Student Competition Submissions
CNC Software, the producer of Mastercam CAD/CAM software, has launched its 2012 Mastercam Innovator of the Future national competition. Students are challenged to design and machine a guitar bridge, and have the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship. Winning designs are selected based on accuracy, creativity, and cleanliness of the part, among other criteria.
Manufacturing Community Invited to Vote for 2011 Inventor of the Year
Autodesk has kicked off its official Inventor of the Year voting process. The company is encouraging community members to visit the Autodesk Manufacturing Community web site and choose one of the 2011 Autodesk Inventor of the Month winners as Inventor of the Year.
KOMPAS-3D Modeling Contest Announces Call for Entries
ASCON, a CAD/AEC/PLM (product lifecycle management) software provider, is seeking submissions for its annual KOMPAS-3D Modeling Contest. Three-dimensional models and assembly models of construction projects and products developed in KOMPAS-3D will be accepted until June 1, 2012.
Vectorworks User Bagno Sasso Wins Good Design Award
Swiss product design firm Bagno Sasso was awarded the Good Design Award 2011 in the Bath and Accessories category for its free-standing wooden bathtub, the OCEAN Sailor. The global product design and graphics competition is sponsored by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Books & Training
Intergraph Offers GIS Management Software Course Online
GIS software provider Intergraph has added "Introduction to GeoMedia" to its online course offerings. This four-hour course will focus on the GIS management software's capabilities. Attendees can participate in hands-on exercises and practice tasks including connecting to data sources, working with map legends, adding and editing features, and buffering.
Students Can Register for New gvSIG Training Courses
The gvSIG Training e-learning platform has opened registration for its first courses in 2012. These courses, which help students fulfill credits toward the gvSIG certification program, include "Advanced Geoprocessing" and "3D Extension of gvSIG for Users." Courses are taught in English, Spanish, and Italian.
Mark Your Calendar
Associated General Contractors of America Convention
March 13–17, 2012
At this convention, attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the latest construction industry best practices and new legislative regulations. Read more
San Antonio BIMForum
April 25–26, 2012
San Antonio, Texas
The spring BIMForum will explore how virtual design and construction deliverables are used to solve specific problems, enhance quality, and improve the project schedule. Read more
May 22–25, 2012
The RAPID 2012 and co-located 3D IMAGING events will showcase the latest developments, trends, and techniques specific to additive manufacturing and 3D imaging. 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
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WiFi for the CAD Workstation, Part 4: Secure Your WiFi Network
Before you get to work performing all of those high-speed transfers of giant files, you have to consider security. Read more
Complete Cyon Software Survey, Qualify to Win a Cadalyst Subscription
Do you use CAD, CAE, BIM, IPD, or PLM software? You can receive a free copy of the survey results and enter to win a free year of Cadalyst magazine! Read more
Does PLM Belong in the Cloud?
Accessing data, processes, and business intelligence in the cloud can help global companies leverage critical resources and manage complex analytics — if it's done correctly. Read more
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!