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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 18, No. 23)

1 Jul, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Take Time for Tips
Do you know a better way to work — in AutoCAD or any other CAD software tool? Why not take a few minutes to share your tips with your fellow CAD users? When you give, you'll also receive: 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!

Draw a 2D Line with LISP
R. Clayton Harrison, PE, shares a few LISP routines in response to CAD Tip No. 4129 that will help you draw lines and polylines and keep them in two dimensions. "If you just need to draw 2D lines when snapping to points or other entities that have a z elevation other than zero, you can use this LISP routine to accomplish that." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Use Paragraph Settings in Mtext to Control Display of Text
Leonid Nemirovsky shares a tip about using the Paragraph controls in AutoCAD text to control the visual display of your notes. "Use Paragraph settings for your mtext and you will have very uniform numbered notes." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Auto-Update Viewport Scales in Paper Space
Tipster Brad Miller shares a way to automatically update text that displays the scale value of a viewport in AutoCAD's paper space. "We used to have issues with people forgetting to update the scale in their viewport labels, so with the introduction of Fields I was able to create a viewport label that was linked to the viewport and would automatically update when you changed the scale of the VP." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Use Bentley View to Create 3D PDFs of AutoCAD Files
Tipster David Wardwell Jr. explains a method for viewing and printing AutoCAD files to 3D PDF formats. "There are many third-party applications that can do this for you," said Cadalyst tip reviewer Brian Benton, "but this option is free and it has the added bonus of viewing MicroStation files for you too." 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. Be sure to tell us which software version you use. 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 submit only tips or code that are your original work. By submitting code, you grant Cadalyst the right to print and distribute your tip in print, digitally, and by other means. Cadalyst and individual authors retain all rights to submitted tips.

By submitting code, you agree that your code can be reused as-is or modified by other users in conjunction with AutoCAD or other software programs to gain efficiencies in that software for professional or personal use, and that your code can be shared freely among users. Users do not have the right to republish code in any manner or format (such as on a blog web site or in a printed document) for personal or commercial gain without written permission from Cadalyst and the original author.

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

3D Systems Publishes Free, Downloadable 3D Printer Buyer's Guide
3D Systems is offering a free, 9-page "3D Printer Buyer's Guide" to site visitors who register. Topics include choosing the right 3D printer for any application, key performance attributes to consider, and which application needs may be satisfied by acquiring multiple technologies.

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Deals & Freebies

Autodesk Offers Fusion 360 Free for Limited-Time Introductory Period
On June 25, Autodesk launched a 90-day free offer for Fusion 360, cloud-based software that combines capabilities of mechanical, industrial, and conceptual design tools. Upon expiration of the initial offer, Fusion 360 will be available for purchase from the Autodesk e-store for $25 per month, per user, based on annual contract commitment. Special pricing is available for students and entrepreneurs.

Free Plugin Links KeyShot and Solid Edge
Luxion, a developer of rendering and lighting technology, has released a plugin that integrates its KeyShot 3D rendering and animation system with Siemens PLM Software's Solid Edge software. This plugin is available free of charge from the KeyShot website. The integration allows KeyShot to be launched directly from the Solid Edge interface, automatically sending the design and all the assigned material appearances to KeyShot.

Novedge Provides Free Financing for Autodesk Software Purchases
For a limited time, the Novedge online software store is offering 0% financing for Autodesk orders over $10,000. This deal is only available from Novedge and can be combined with any ongoing specials, including the current promotion for 20% off upgrades to Autodesk suites. Terms, conditions, and restrictions apply.

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Opportunities & Honors

IronCAD Launches Customer Engagement Program for 2014 Releases
IronCAD, a provider of design productivity solutions, announced a program that gives customers direct access to the development versions of IronCAD Design Collaboration Suite 2014. Customers will receive multiple versions of the product throughout the release cycle so they can test-drive new functionality and supply input to help direct the final design of the software.

GrabCAD, Luxion Collaborate on KeyShot Rendering Challenge
The GrabCAD community of mechanical engineers and Luxion, maker of the KeyShot 3D rendering and animation system, are launching a challenge soliciting renderings of CAD models. Participants must use KeyShot's new Toon material to create visuals of their 3D models, then upload their renderings directly to their profile with the new GrabCAD integration in KeyShot. The submission deadline is July 25th, 2013.

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Books & Training

MCAD Community Site Expands CAD Training Offerings
CAD/CAM Connect has added three online CAD training providers to its manufacturing and engineering community: SolidProfessor, which offers self-paced SolidWorks training courses; CADLearning, which features a library of Autodesk classes; and i GET IT, which provides courses about CATIA, most Autodesk products, SolidWorks, Teamcenter, Siemens NX, and more.

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New Products

AEC: Bentley Utilities Designer
Bentley Utilities Designer is a design and GIS-based management application for electric, gas, water, and wastewater utility networks that can help utility owner-operators increase productivity, accelerate projects, and reduce software costs. The software features integration with commonly deployed enterprise GIS systems, built-in access to the MicroStation information modeling environment, and on-the-fly cost estimation.

Hardware: HD ScanStation Repro
The HD ScanStation Repro from Contex combines the HD Ultra scanner with an adjustable stand and built-in computer tray, a 17-inch touchscreen, and Nextimage Repro software. The all-in-one scanning package is available for available for the HD i4250s or HD i4290s models.

CAM: CAMWorks for Solid Edge
Geometric's CAMWorks for Solid Edge is an embedded CAM solution for the Solid Edge 3D design system from Siemens PLM Software. The solution features Geometric's Feature Recognition technology, running in real time to capture machined features and automatically generate or update the toolpath. It also captures the machining strategy in a customizable database, TechDB.

Hardware: 3DBOXX 4150 XTREME
Workstation developer BOXX has released the 3DBOXX 4150 XTREME, a compact, liquid-cooled workstation with an overclocked fourth-generation Intel Core i7 running at 4.3 GHz. The multi-GPU workstation features NVIDIA Maximus technology and a three-year warranty.

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Mark Your Calendar

An Introduction to Luxion KeyShot
July 17, 2013
11 a.m. PT
This webinar is a beginner's course, instructing attendees about how to use KeyShot Pro 4.1 to create professional-quality renderings. Topics will include importing files, using the material library, and rendering output. Read more

CIMdata PLM Certificate Program — Andover
September 16–20, 2013
Andover, Massachusetts
This assessment-based certificate program includes a personalized classroom experience, individual and team-based exercises, and individual evaluations of achievement. 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

Solid Edge University 2013, Part 1:
Solid Edge ST6 Adds 1,300 User-Requested Features

Announced this week at the annual user conference, the "greatest version ever" is said to increase performance sixfold on some tasks. Read more

Match AutoCAD Objects to the Correct Layer
If you ever need to quickly move objects from one layer to another, and you aren't sure about the layer name but you can see objects on the destination layer, this handy tool is perfect for you. Try LayMch for speedy layer changes! Watch the video

How to Handle Employee-Provided Tools in the Workplace
Are your users causing problems with their personal smartphones, tablets, and other tools? Keep these points in mind. Read more

Meet Your Managers' Expectations
Upper management wants certain things from you as a CAD manager. Do you know what they are? Read more

solidThinking Inspire Takes Structural Concepts to New Level
Version 9.5 further simplifies design optimization for engineers, product designers, and even architects. 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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