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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 19, No. 6)

24 Feb, 2014 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Lynn AllenVideo Tip: Try the Array Option in AutoCAD's Copy Command
If you've ever wanted to make multiple copies of an object equidistant from each other, you're going to love the low-stress Array option that was added to the Copy command in AutoCAD 2012. In this video tip from Cadalyst and Lynn Allen, you'll see how to use this handy new tool that you can start using right away! Watch the video

Monitor System Variables
Tipster Kevin Davis works with AutoCAD drawings that often have sheets with more than one drawing scale. Each sheet has its own dimension style that changes the DIMLFAC value. As a quick reminder of what the current drawing scale is, he uses this code in his MODEMACRO system variable. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Dynamic Block for Stairs
Shimi Dahan, a landscape architect, submitted this dynamic block for the creation of stairs in AutoCAD. This block combines alignment (e.g., to walls), rotation, width, and number of stairs (three is the minimum). View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Quick Text Align Macro
Are you tired of having to align text to an object at an odd angle the old-fashioned way? With this macro from Scott Lawson, you can align text to any line or object in just a few picks. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

February 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 February 2014 Hot Tip Harry batch at once.

Fluid Hatch Pattern
Harold Detlaff has given us a nice AutoCAD hatch pattern you can use to represent fluid. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Draw Squares Based on Area
Kent Cooper brings us a LISP routine to draw squares in AutoCAD based on a predetermined area. You supply the area in square units, and this routine will draw a square. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Auto-Elevate Polylines
Juan Villarreal brings us a nice routine that will help AutoCAD users working in the civil/survey fields. Juan sometimes deals with contour maps where the contours are polylines at elevation zero, and he wrote this routine to elevate those polylines based on the associated elevation text label. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Draw Inner and Outer Splines from Plines
When given a polyline, this AutoCAD routine from Amir Hossein Sattarian will construct inner and outer splines whose vertices match those of the original selected polylines. 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'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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Deals & Freebies

Free Trial of BricsCAD V14 Available for Linux, Windows
Bricsys, a provider of DWG engineering design software, is offering a 30-day trial version of BricsCAD V14, which is now available for Linux as well as Windows. New features include a refreshed user interface, a redesigned intelligent Quad cursor, new functions for generating associative views and sections, and sheet metal design for the mechanical CAD market.

BenQ Offers Customers $100 Off CAD/CAM Monitor
The BenQ BL2710PT is a 27" wide quad high-definition (WQHD) monitor intended for use with CAD and CAM software. It features 178 degree viewing angles and special color modes. The monitor normally sells for $699; customers can get $100 off by using the code benqdesigner100$ at checkout. This special ends February 27, 2014.

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Opportunities & Honors

RTC Europe Accepting Abstracts from Potential Speakers
Organizers of the Revit Technology Conference (RTC) Europe are seeking abstracts from individuals interested in speaking at the event. The event will be held in Dublin, Ireland, October 30–November 1, 2014. Online abstract submissions close on March 7.

Intergraph Drivers of Success Competition Now Open
Intergraph CADWorx & Analysis University 2014 at Hexagon Global Network (CAU2014@HxGN Live) has opened its Drivers of Success competition. Users of Intergraph CADWorx, CAESAR II, or PV Elite are invited to submit success stories for a chance to win a trip to CAU2014@HxGN Live, June 2–5, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The submission deadline is March 31.

GIS Student Competition Issues Call for Entries
Organizers of the eighth annual Richard "Dick" Thomas Memorial Student Competition and Award are accepting abstracts from qualified students currently enrolled in a GIS program. The award's purpose is to continue GIS pioneer Richard Thomas's work of encouraging students to succeed in the field of GIS. Abstracts are due by Friday, April 11.

The Foundry Invites Showreel Submissions
The Foundry is accepting submissions for its 2014 Showreel until March 17, 2014. The company is seeking a range of material, including commercials, motion graphics, games, and product design imagery. Projects must have been created with Foundry software applications, such as MODO.

ZWSOFT Announces Winners of ZWCAD Touch Photo Competition
ZWSOFT, a supplier of CAD solutions for the MCAD and AEC industries, has announced the winners of its ZWCAD Touch Photo Competition. The winners were either randomly chosen or received the highest number of votes for their entries, which showed ZWCAD Touch software in use in various settings.

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Books & Training

The Foundry Publishes Free Video Tutorials for MODO Online
The Foundry has released a new series of video tutorials that cover various aspects of using the company's MODO 3D software. MODO is used by artists and designers for 3D modeling, animation, sculpting, effects, and rendering.

I Get It Adds New MCAD Options to Its Course Lineup
I GET IT is offering two new online CAD courses. SolidWorks Motion teaches the fundamentals of creating and running motion studies for SolidWorks models. The course is available for SolidWorks 2013 and 2014. Autodesk Simulation Mechanical 2014 MES introduces Mechanical Event Simulation analyses with Autodesk Simulation Mechanical software.

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New Products

Scanners: Contex IQ Quattro
Contex's IQ Quattro is a cloud-enabled wide-format scanner. Workgroup users can specify local or cloud-based destinations for scans using smartphones, tablets, and other devices. The IQ Quattro features dual-side LED light and a top scanning speed of 14 inches per second for color or monochrome. The IQ Quattro is available in 24- and 44-inch models.

GIS: Trimble V10 Imaging Rover
The Trimble V10 Imaging Rover enables users to capture positioning data and 360 degree documentation. Twelve integrated cameras provide complete site visualization and documentation that can be used to make photogrammetric measurements. The solution can be used alone or integrated with a GNSS receiver for a highly accurate geospatial dataset.

General: Dassault Systèmes 2014 3DEXPERIENCE
Dassault Systèmes has released its 2014 3DEXPERIENCE on-premise and in-the-cloud portfolio that includes 41 Industry Solution Experiences and their 183 processes, plus a dedicated cloud portfolio of 14 Industry Solution Experiences, with more than 60 processes, appropriate for businesses.

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Mark Your Calendar

Use NX to Program VoluMill Roughing Patterns
February 25, 2014
9 a.m. PT
Viewers of this webinar will learn how to incorporate specialized hard-milling roughing patterns from Celeritive into NX CAM CNC programs. Read more

Nest Flat Patterns for Efficient Material Usage with SigmaNest
March 11, 2014
9 a.m. PT
Presenters of this Siemens webinar will show how to nest parts for maximum material utilization using SigmaNest software from SigmaTEK Systems. Read more

Take a Big-Picture Look at the Overall CAD/CAM CNC Process Chain
March 25, 2014
9 a.m. PT
Chris Pollack from Siemens Industry will demonstrate important components of this overall CNC process chain in this webinar. Read more

ViSCON Melbourne 2014
May 26–27, 2014
Melbourne, Australia
This adjunct to the Revit Technology Conference will focus on visualization technologies and methodologies. Read more

GEO Business 2014
May 28–29, 2014
London, United Kingdom
GEO Business is a new geospatial event for everyone involved in the gathering, storing, processing, and delivery of geospatial information. 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

First Look Review: HP ZBook 14
Lightweight mobile workstation for CAD on the go. Read more

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Find CAD Training Resources on YouTube
Looking for new learning materials? There is a wealth of options just waiting to be discovered. Read more

To Manage CAD, Understand Project Deadlines
Align your CAD management tasks to support project deadlines for less stress and smoother project completions. Read more

AutoCAD's In-Canvas Viewport Controls, Part 2
If you work in 3D, you should be using AutoCAD's in-canvas viewport controls to quickly navigate around your drawing. 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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