First Looks: AccuRender and LT Toolkit for LT31 May, 2003 By: Dave Pitzer
Add-ons expand AutoCAD LT.
Much of what you sacrifice in AutoCAD LT over more expensive-and more powerful-standard AutoCAD lies in two areas: 3D functionality and programming interfaces, especially the popular AutoLISP programming language. Of course, not everyone wants or needs these features, and their absence helps make AutoCAD LT the value it is.
Drcauto broke the LT 3D barrier in 1999 with LT3D, an AutoCAD LT add-on that brought a full library of true 3D functions to LT (see "First Looks," Cadalyst, December 1999, p. 35). As we go to press, drcauto announced !SlingShot Max 2004, which adds a variety of new commands to AutoCAD LT 2004. AutoCAD LT 2004 versions of both AccuRender and LT Toolkit are in the works.
AccuRender 3.3 for LT. Drcauto continues to bring AutoCAD LT closer to big-brother AutoCAD. It now offers a fully operational version of AccuRender, the popular third-party AutoCAD rendering program from Robert McNeel & Associates. Installing the AccuRender add-on is straightforward and takes less than ten minutes.
LT Toolkit. Do you want AutoLISP with your AutoCAD LT, along with a package of productivity enhancements? You get both with the LT Toolkit. Productivity enhancements include layer control and quick viewport routines. For example, you can control your current layer, create a new layer, freeze, thaw, lock layers by pick, and so on. Other commands let you easily set your viewpoint and UCS using minimal keypresses. This is a nice package of tools.
The crown jewel of LT Toolkit is its ability to load and run AutoLISP files.
I ran several AutoLISP routines written for AutoCAD in AutoCAD LT. I could see
no difference between drcauto's LT AutoLISP enabler and AutoCAD's. AutoLISP
is the most popular programming interface for AutoCAD, and now you can have
AutoLISP in LT.
About the Author: Dave Pitzer
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