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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 18, No. 30)

16 Sep, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Benefits of Polylines
Frequent tipster Danny Korem discusses why he prefers to use polylines in AutoCAD, as opposed to lines and arcs. Polylines provide more display possibilities than regular lines and arcs, and they also have features that lines and arcs don't offer. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Create Viewports from Objects
Michael Viscetto explains how to create viewports from objects in AutoCAD. "I ran across this method as I was looking for a way to create a viewport in the shape of a circle. I am a bit old-school, so I typed MV at the Command prompt, and lo and behold I saw the Object option." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Quickly Load a LISP Routine
Richard Utt shares a trick that allows users to quickly and easily load LISP routines in AutoCAD. "You can load almost anything into an open AutoCAD file this way," added Cadalyst tip reviewer Brian Benton. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Draw Lines the Simple Way
James "Jamey" Aucoin Jr. shares an AutoCAD trick that allows you to draw a line in a specific direction based on crosshair location. "As you probably already know, in AutoCAD, there are many ways to create a line with a certain length." 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

Boxx Offers Recorded 3ds Max and Iray Webinar
Workstation developer Boxx is making a 3ds Max 2014 and iray demo available to users who register at its website. The on-demand webinar addresses features including a new caustics sampler, motion blur, layered materials, and global displacement settings. The webinar is led by George Matos and Jennifer O'Connor of Blue Marble 3D.

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Deals & Freebies

Free Trial of ZWCAD Architecture 2014 Beta Available from ZWSOFT
CAD/CAM software developer ZWSOFT is offering a free trial of the ZWCAD Architecture 2014 Beta to users who register. The newly released application is based on ZWCAD+ and tailored for professional architectural designers. Features include 3D visualization, parametric building components, and flexible annotation.

Autodesk Launches Rental Program for Software Suites, 3ds Max, Maya
Autodesk customers can now purchase access to a range of Autodesk desktop software on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, in addition to traditional licenses. Customers who choose these rental plans will receive similar benefits to Autodesk Subscription customers, including staying current with the latest product updates, access to select Autodesk 360 cloud services, and basic support.

Siemens Introduces Monthly Subscription Option for Solid Edge
In select countries, Siemens customers can now purchase a monthly subscription to Solid Edge. The monthly subscription license is available from the Solid Edge online store, where customers can select from four different versions of the software based on the features that best fit their needs.

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Opportunities & Honors

Revit Technology Conference Australasia Issues Call for Abstracts
The Revit Technology Conference (RTC) Australasia 2014 is seeking abstracts from individuals interested in speaking at the event. The event will be held May 29–31, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. Online abstract submissions close on October 14, 2013.

Bauer Launches GrabCAD Design Challenge for Race Car Trailer
GrabCAD, an online community for mechanical engineers, is collaborating with Bauer Limited Production on a challenge to gather designs for a lightweight, portable trailer for the Catfish racecar. Entries must be submitted by October 2, 2013. The winner will be awarded $2,500.

Fifth Annual Ergonomics Design Award Competition Seeks Entries
Organized by the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors with the support of CCD Design and Ergonomics, the Ergonomics Design Award 2014 competition recognizes designs that demonstrate excellent ergonomics. Participants must submit a document with a description of the project, highlighting the principles of ergonomics applied. Entries may be submitted until December 31, 2013.

Student Building Design Challenge Accepting Entries Until April 1st, 2014
Transformation 2030 is a global design competition that challenges architecture and engineering students to design a high-performance building that has a positive transformational impact on people and the planet. At least one member of each participating team must have completed the Autodesk Building Performance Analysis Certificate Program (see Books & Training section below).

Tekla Announces Winners of 11th Annual North America BIM Awards
Tekla, a provider of building information modeling (BIM) software and online tools, has announced the winners of the 2013 Tekla North America BIM Awards. The annual model competition recognizes companies for exemplary use of BIM and Tekla Structures software. M3 Engineering and Technology was honored for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope, Hawaii.

ZEB1 Mobile Mapper Garners Australian Science and Technology Awards
The ZEB1 mobile mapping system, available from 3D Laser Mapping, has won two Australian research awards. CSIRO, the developer of ZEB1, has been awarded the Eureka Prize for the Innovative use of Technology as well as the iAwards prize for Research and Development. ZEB1 is a mobile, handheld, rapid laser mapping system.

Mastercam Recognizes 8th Annual Innovator of the Future Winner
CNC Software, developer of Mastercam CAD/CAM software, has announced the winner of its 2012–2013 Innovator of the Future (IOF) competition: Jacob Ringwald, a student at Arizona State University. The competition challenges students to put their own creative twist on a specific part; Ringwald designed a short shifter in the shape of a baseball.

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Books & Training

Autodesk Launches Free Online Building Science Course
Autodesk has announced the availability of its Building Performance Analysis Certificate Program. The program, which is a MOOC (massive open online course), offers architecture and engineering students access to an online database of tutorials, quizzes, and software exercises that expose users to the basics of building high-performance buildings.

Creaform Introduces New Educational Program and Packages
Creaform, a provider of 3D portable measurement solutions, has launched a new educational program for researchers, educators, and students from universities, colleges, and technical schools. The company's educational packages include a five-year maintenance plan, access to Creaform technical support services, and discounts on Creaform technologies.

Rand Expands Creo and Inventor Course Catalog
Rand Worldwide's courseware division, ASCENT — Center for Technical Knowledge, has added two new courseware titles, "Creo Simulate: Structural and Thermal Analysis" and "Inventor 2014 for Experienced 3D CAD Users," to its offerings. Both are available as a student guide or ebook; downloadable instructor tools are also available.

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New Products

Scanners: HD iFLEX
Contex's HD iFLEX flatbed scanner features an adjustable lid that can be raised or removed to accommodate fragile, oversized, or thick originals, such as books, textiles, newspapers, and plants. The HD iFLEX is capable of doubling its scanning area from A2/C-size to A1/D-size, and its single-camera design eliminates stitch errors in images.

MCAD: UnitCAD for Inventor
Risersoft has released UnitCAD for Inventor, designed for companies involved in 3D CAD automation. UnitCAD automates the creation of assembly models by defining reusable unit components stored inside a database and controlled through parameters and formulas. UnitCAD is based on the Autodesk Inventor platform and supports versions 2013 and 2014.

AEC: Autodesk Point Layout
Autodesk Point Layout is construction layout software that enables professionals to use building information modeling (BIM) coordinate information in the field. Users can directly export and import from Autodesk AutoCAD, Revit, Navisworks Manage for creation of as-built models.

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Mark Your Calendar

Third Annual Design Innovation Summit
October 1–23, 2013
Multiple U.S. locations
The third annual CATI Design Innovation Summit is an interactive learning experience focused on helping attendees design and make better products. Read more

15th Annual Bentley Plant User Group Conference
October 9–11, 2013
Biloxi, Mississippi
At this event, attendees can participate in hands-on workshops about AutoPLANT Piping, AutoPLANT P&ID, IsoGen, ProSteel, SpecGen, and Navigator led by Bentley personnel. Read more

PLM Certificate Program
November 11–15, 2013
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
This assessment-based certificate program equips PLM (product lifecycle management) professionals at several levels with the tools they need to address the challenges inherent to PLM strategy development and implementation. 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

After 20 Years, SolidWorks Still Striving for Improvement
Dassault Systèmes looks to the future while updating its product design portfolio for 2014, but steers clear of the controversial cloud. Read more

Support Your Purchase Requests with a Quick and Dirty ROI Calculation
Don't just ask for that new hardware or software your department needs — justify it! Read more

Build Better Lessons for Your Users
Whether you're recording videos or delivering live training sessions, the planning stage is the most important. Read more

Dell Precision Unveils New Mobile and Desktop Workstations
Latest models are "most powerful ever," company reports. Read more

HP Marries Workstation Power with Ultrabook Portability
Company launches three brand-new ZBooks and introduces updated Z workstations and two new IPS displays. Read more

Array Objects Along a Path Curve in AutoCAD
If you're still using the Divide or Measure commands to array objects along a path curve, then you're working much too hard! Join Lynn Allen as she shows you how easy it is to use the path array tools inside AutoCAD. Watch the video


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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