Hot Tip Harry

11 Feb, 2004 By: Bill Kramer

Tips from our Readers

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Tips included in Hot Tip Harry are tested with AutoCAD 2002 and 2004, unless otherwise noted. By submitting code to Cadalyst, 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, and it is not to be downloaded or copied for commercial purposes. Tips are uploaded to the Get the Code area. Look for a file named feb04.exe. Downloads are free, but you need to register. Downloads are provided “as is” without warranty or support. All published tips are entered into the annual Hot Tip Harry Contest. From a pool of reader-selected monthly winners, our judges will pick the Top Tip for 2004. The first prize is $1,000. Second place wins $500, and third place, $250. E-mail those tips and tricks to

AFTER MY LAST CLASS at Autodesk University, I was in the room alone cleaning up when a rustle made my hairs prickle. I'd heard that sound before, a long time ago. I turned to see a short, shadowy figure approach out of a dark doorway. Nervously I said, "Is that really you?"

"Yeah," came the voice from under an old familiar hat. "Heard you're back on the team. Here you go."

He handed me a package that contained a set of tips with comments and a new challenge for Cadalyst readers. There now is some serious money on the table for the best tip of the year. I looked up to ask Harry a question, but I was again alone in the room.

The tip package is wrapped in a chain of some sort, but fortunately, it's just the result of a linetype with an associated shape file for drawing chains. The file, CHAINS.ZIP (Tip #1924, by Steve Corder), contains three files that you should decompress and place in AutoCAD's search path. Use the Linetype command and select the Load button to bring in the custom chain linetypes.

The chains are holding back a pile of flat rock rubble drawn using a custom crosshatch pattern by Watson Kilbourne (Tip #1925). The C-RUBBLE.PAT file contains the required definition to draw a pile of flat rocks as a cross-hatch pattern when located in the AutoCAD support search path (figure 1).

Figure 1. Tip #1925 draws a nice pile of flat rocks.

This excellent crosshatch requires a sizable scaling factor (set the scaling value in the Bhatch dialog box) for most model space applications.

The next tip is from M. A. Floyd, who supplies an AutoLISP function set to draw a break line (Tip #1926). You can't model a break line using a normal linetype in AutoCAD. Different types of break lines exist for different applications, and Mr. Floyd's inserts a sharp break joined by 90

About the Author: Bill Kramer

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