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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 16, No. 40)

7 Nov, 2011 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Do You Have any Hot Leads for Harry?
When it comes to CAD code, Hot Tip Harry knows a good tip when he sees it! Use "Submit Tip" button below to send us your LISP routines. If we publish your tip, you'll earn a $25 gift card you can use to purchase a T-shirt or other prizes in the Cadalyst Store.

Change Layer Colors — Everywhere
Tipster Maria Tzanetakou sent us a trick that can instantly update the display settings of layers in a referenced AutoCAD file. "I work as a mechanical draftsman. Recently we made a submission that included 1,400 drawings. The project was a building with several floors, and every floor needed a different installation." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Edit Multiple Instances of a Block with GATTE
Principal Architect Ronald Lohan shares with us the reason he uses the AutoCAD Architecture command GATTE (also available in AutoCAD and its verticals) to edit attributed blocks. "You can change your blocks globally (hence the name)," explained tip reviewer Brian Benton, "or change them one at a time." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Don't Reboot, Reinit
Mike O'Flaherty, a designer and CAD administrator, gives us a little hint about customizing AutoCAD's PGP file. "Creating or modifying a command alias by editing the ACAD.PGP file is quick and easy, whether you access it via the pull-down menu (Tools > Customize > Edit Program Parameters) or the ribbon (Manage > Edit Aliases)." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Bisect and Angle, to Infinity, in Two Directions at Once
Matt Sibum shares a useful option for the XLine command in AutoCAD. "I have always used the XLine command to draw construction lines on drawings. Recently I discovered another option when entering the command: Bisect." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Click Here!

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 by Cadalyst staff and the Tip Patrol before publication. Use all tips at your own discretion, please. We're sorry, but editors and Tip Patrol members cannot provide assistance with technical problems; please refer to Cadalyst's Hot Tip Harry-Help discussion forum for assistance with AutoLISP and other AutoCAD customization questions.

Sincere thanks to our volunteer Tip Patrol members: Brian Benton, Don Boyer,
Mitchell Hirschklau, R.K. McSwain, and Billy Wooten.

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Resources

ITI Releases CATIA Migration Whitepaper
Interoperability solutions provider ITI TranscenData has released a free whitepaper titled, "Managing CATIA V4 Obsolescence: Five Strategies for the Last-Minute Migration." The publication outlines five migration strategies and illustrates methods for opening, viewing, and editing models in the absence of CATIA v4 licenses.

CIMdata Completes 2011 PLM Market Analysis Report Series
CIMdata, a product lifecycle management (PLM) management consulting and research firm, has released the CIMdata 2011 PLM Market Geographic Analysis Report. This report, which focuses on spending in the PLM market by geographic region, is the fifth and final module in the PLM Market Analysis series. It includes mainstream PLM spending by region and collaborative product definition management estimates for each country included in the analysis.

Esri Incorporates Ordnance Survey OpenData into World Topographic Map
Ordnance Survey's OpenData products have been included in Esri's World Topographic Map, a service that users can access from the basemap gallery in ArcGIS Online. The OpenData products incorporated into the World Topographic Map include information on British roads, rivers, woodlands, administrative regions, built-up areas, and buildings.

Delcam Launches Web Site for ArtCAM CNC Software
Delcam has launched a new web site for its ArtCAM family of artistic design software products. The site details various ArtCAM applications, including engraving, sign making, and jewelry design; offers ArtCAM videos; and showcases a gallery of user projects. Visitors can download free trial versions of ArtCAM Insignia and ArtCAM Express.

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Deals & Freebies

Luxion Releases Free KeyShot Plug-in for PTC Creo V1.0
Luxion, a developer of rendering and lighting technology, has released a free KeyShot plug-in for Creo v1.0. KeyShot is an interactive 3D rendering and global illumination program that simplifies creating photographic images from 3D models.

MAXON Provides Plug-in for CINEMA 4D and Adobe After Effects
MAXON, a developer of 3D modeling, painting, animation, and rendering software, has released a new plug-in for Adobe After Effects CS5 and CS5.5 that allows motion graphics artists to export projects directly into CINEMA 4D R13. The free CINEMA 4D R13 exchange plug-in is compatible with Adobe After Effects CS3, CS4, CS5, and CS5.5.

MecSoft Offers Free Trial of SolidWorks-Integrated CAM System
MecSoft, a developer of standalone and integrated CAD/CAM software for the CNC machining industry, has released a free trial version of VisualMILL for SolidWorks. The evaluation version is the same as the commercial product, except that certain capabilities — including saving geometry and post-processing tool paths — are disabled.

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Opportunities & Honors

SBIC Calls for Building Design Competition Entries
The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) is accepting entries for its 2011 Beyond Green High-Performance Building Awards. This program recognizes buildings, initiatives, and products that shape, inform, and catalyze the high-performance building market. Entries are due November 15. Winning projects will be published in the Whole Building Design Guide.

Off the Grid Rendering Competition Invites Submissions
3DAllusions, a resource provider for CG artists, is requesting submissions for its Off the Grid Challenge 17. The goal is to create an ideal setting for the digital, 3D off-the-grid home that participants are provided with. The design should demonstrate sustainable architecture and lifestyle.

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Books & Training

New Esri Book Explores the Impact of GIS on Virtual Reality
Virtual Geographic Environments, from Esri Press, compiles papers that examine the relationship between GIS and virtual geographic environments (VGE). The book is edited by Hui Lin and Michael Batty and addresses VGE basics, virtual cities and landscapes, interface design and public participation, mobile and networked VGEs, and dynamics in visualization.

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Mark Your Calendar

Webcast: Digital Signatures — Designing New Levels of Efficiency and Collaboration
November 8, 2011
11 a.m. PT
Digital signatures replace slow and expensive paper-based approval processes with fast, efficient, and fully electronic ones. Learn how AEC firms can benefit in a free webcast presented by Cadalyst and ARX. Read more

Vectorworks 2012 as BIM Solution for Smart-Sized Firms
November 9, 2011
11 a.m. PT
Architect Wes Gardner will lead this free, one-hour webinar explaining how small and medium-sized firms can take advantage of BIM in Vectorworks software. Read more

Introducing the New Alibre Design 2012
November 23, 2011
11 a.m. PT
Alibre Design 2012 is the latest design software release from 3D Systems and Alibre. Presenter Max Freeman, vice-president of marketing at Alibre, will discuss ways to improve the design process with the 3D and 2D design software during this webinar. Read more

FEDCon 2011
December 6, 2011
Washington D.C.
FEDCon, a market outlook conference on federal construction, will provide up-to-date information on federal agency building and infrastructure budgets, construction forecasts, and regulatory updates. Read more

RTC Australasia
May 24–26, 2012
New South Wales, Australia
The Revit Technology Conference (RTC) is an independent conference covering Revit and building information modeling (BIM) topics. Attendees can get advice from the people who use the technologies to drive their businesses, and the industry as a whole, forward. 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

CADspeed Blog Post:
Sustainability and the CAD Workstation: Heat, Noise and Power Consumption

Price and performance generally increase as you climb the workstation ladder, and so do heat, nose and power consumption. These metrics, which were of low or no concern years ago, are top of mind today. Read more

First Look Review: TurboViewer
Use this handy app to view 2D and 3D DWG files on your iPad or iPhone. Read more

The Sky Is Not the Limit
Advances in BIM and software interoperability are helping propel a boom in supertall building construction. Read more

Do We Need a CAD Manager?
Memo to senior management: A CAD manager is a valuable ally in your efforts to achieve business goals. Read more

How Do You Learn AutoCAD? Take Our Survey!
Cadalyst and Axiom are conducting a survey of AutoCAD users. Please take a few minutes to help us understand your main challenges with AutoCAD and the training tools you use. Thank you! Click here to take survey.


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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Lynn Allen

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