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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 19, No. 10)

24 Mar, 2014 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Lynn AllenVideo Tip: Clean Up Your AutoCAD Drawing with the Join Command
The Join command is a great means of converting multiple contiguous objects into one. Fewer objects means a smaller drawing size, and the smaller your drawing, the faster it will go! In this video tip from Cadalyst and Lynn Allen, you’ll get the inside scoop on the updated, easier-to-use Join command. Available in standard AutoCAD since 2012. Watch the video

Export 3D CAD Geometry to 3D Shape Files
Jim Light sent us this useful tip for GIS users who develop their shape files in AutoCAD. The tip allows the user to export the files in 3D. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Send All Objects on Selected Layer to Back
Scott Lawson shared this AutoCAD tip for those who are tired of having to select multiple objects on the same layer to send to the back. You can create a quick button macro using the Draworder command in only one pick. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Inventor Tip: Use the Bend Part Command
This tip from frequent tipster David Gaskill shows how to modify a part using the Bend Part command. Sometimes it's easiest to create a part as a flat piece, then apply the bend. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

March Tips from Hot Tip Harry

Hot Tip Harry, Cadalyst's mysterious purveyor of customized AutoCAD code, has dispatched another bundle of great tips from readers. View and download each of the latest tips using the links below, or get the entire March 2014 Hot Tip Harry batch at once.

Export Table of Lines and Text to Excel
Years ago, before there were table objects in AutoCAD, we made tables with lines and text. Often it would be much easier to edit that data in a spreadsheet than in AutoCAD. This very nice routine from Juan Villarreal allows you to take those old collections of lines and text and export them to Microsoft Excel. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Calendar Creator
It's not every day we receive a LISP file that's more than 20 years old, but this month we have one. Frequent contributor Raymond Rizkallah sends us a calendar creation routine he authored in 1993. It was recently tested in AutoCAD 2014 and still works fine. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Drawing Purge Plus
Cad/IT Manager Chris Wade sends us a short LISP routine he uses to purge AutoCAD drawings on a regular basis. This is actually a subset of a more detailed routine Chris submitted for cleanup of architectural drawings, and between the two you should be able to use one as is or build your own custom purge command. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Draw Metric Threads
Sidram Kankanameli brings us a routine for drawing metric thread schematics in AutoCAD. This is an easy routine to use. Colors are hard-coded but can easily be changed to meet your needs. 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 original, previously unpublished tip, you can earn a gift card (learn more about prizes here). 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'sCAD Tips site.

Tips & Tools Weekly software tips for AutoCAD are reviewed in the latest version of AutoCAD by Contributing Editor R.K. McSwain. 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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Deals & Freebies

HxGN LIVE's Early Registration Discount Ends April 25
Geospatial, metrology, and other professionals who plan to attend HxGN (Hexagon's Global Network) LIVE 2014 can save $500 off the on-site registration rate by signing up early. The early bird discount ends April 25. Attendees can still register online until May 23 at the regular rate of $1,049; on-site registration will be $1,349.

CAD Schroer Offers Free Trial of New P&ID Software
Engineering software provider CAD Schroer is offering a free, 30-day trial of M4 P&ID FX, its newly released piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID) software. M4 P&ID FX is intended for users who do not require integration with large-scale industrial plant design software.

Free Trials of Kubotek's Validation Tool and ECO Manager Available
Kubotek USA, a provider of 3D geometry–based software, has made available free trial versions of its Validation Tool and ECO Manager software. The engineering change identification and documentation tools are included in Kubotek's recently released Comparison Suite 2014 v12.5.

Contex Offers Bonus with HD iFLEX Scanner Purchase Through March 31
Customers who purchase Contex's HD iFLEX flatbed scanner in March 2014 will receive a free, 2-year, onsite warranty and Nextimage Repro software, a $1,645 value. For more information, contact Contex by e-mail or call 703.964.9850.

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Opportunities & Honors

Participants Can Get Results of Cyon Engineering Software Survey
Cyon Research is soliciting input from users of engineering software. Those who work in firms that use CAD, CAE, product data management (PDM), product lifecycle management (PLM), or building information modeling (BIM) software are encouraged to participate. Respondents from qualifying firms can receive a copy of the survey results for their personal use at no cost.

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Books & Training

New CAD Handbook Touts Model-Based Approach
A new book by J.B. Herron explains how to create, deliver, and reuse CAD models in compliance with model-based standards. Re-Use Your CAD: The Model-Based CAD Handbook describes a 3D model–based system that promises to save time, reduce risk, and improve products.

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New Products

MCAD: Shipbuilding Catalyst
Siemens PLM Software released Shipbuilding Catalyst, a set of preconfigured elements with deployment guides and implementation best practices for the shipbuilding industry. It addresses typical tasks and use cases that arise during a ship's lifecycle.

Workstations: EUROCOM Monster
Eurocom's new Monster is a high-performance, upgradeable, small notebook computer. Customers can choose from various Linux-based operating systems; processors up to Intel Core i7 Processor Extreme Edition; memory from 4GB of DDR3-1600 or 1866 to 16GB; and a range of storage options, keyboards, displays, warranties, and more.

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Mark Your Calendar

Solid Edge University 2014
May 12–14, 2014
Atlanta, Georgia
Those who register for Solid Edge University by March 28 can save $50 on their registration fee. A three-for-two deal is also available. 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

Cyon Research Wants to Know About Your CAD Use
Cyon Research, organizer of the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software (COFES), has launched its 2014 Survey of Users of Engineering Software. Read more

Dell Prepares for the Diverse Future of Workstations
Whether customers want to stick with desktop workstations, adopt a mobile machine, or move to a virtualization solution, the hardware developer has an answer ready. Read more

Three Ways to Get the Most Out of Your CAD Workstation
Hardware configuration may not be a top-of-mind concern, but making educated choices when you choose your next workstation can substantially improve your productivity. 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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