Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 10)20 Mar, 2006
Editor's note: Welcome to Cadalyst's new Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter. Previously known as Newsline, Tips & Tools Weekly will offer a fresh take on design and content, including expanded software tips as well as new productivity and training resources; deals and freebies; opportunities; a calendar of industry events; and a round-up of the past week's new CAD products. For the latest CAD news and new products delivered daily to your desktop, subscribe to Cadalyst Daily. To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, please refer to the Account Management instructions.
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What's New at Cadalyst.com
Get the Code!Cadalyst’s March code from Hot Tip Harry is now available for download. This month's $100 winner is Section Lines from Bill Townsend, a routine that draws section lines in a drawing three different ways.
Cadalyst Daily Update: For all the latest news and new products, subscribe to Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every issue includes a feature you won’t find anywhere else -- hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, AutoCAD tips and much more! Here’s a sample of what you missed in the past week:
- Google Buys @Last Software: 'The future of SketchUp just got a big shot in the arm.'
- Bentley Connects MicroStation to Google Earth: Users can place models of buildings, transportation systems and more in their real-world geographic context.
- Say Goodbye to Mike Brady: Litmus proposal breaks with convention to improve architectural workflow.
- Design Tools of Tomorrow: Sculpt on Screen: Touch-and-feel haptic devices now in the works could revolutionize how we shape products.
New Manufacturing Community Site from Autodesk
Autodesk last week launched its new Manufacturing Community Web site, designed to help manufacturing industry professionals access time-saving engineering models and parts catalogs, learn productivity tips from experts and connect with peers. The site is designed to help users stay in touch with other industry professionals, stay up-to-date with latest industry developments and share best practices. It is directly linked to standard and purchased parts in native Autodesk Inventor and DWG formats from hundreds of suppliers through a strategic partnership with PARTsolutions, a provider of solutions for the management of standard, commercial and proprietary parts. The site also enables users to share parts they have created, browse and download parts from their peers, and it includes discussion groups and blogs, events calendars and online resources.
GlobalSpec Improves User Interface
GlobalSpec, the online resource that links engineers and technical buyers with industrial suppliers, has introduced a new home-page user interface designed to improve the usability of the site. According to the company, the new tabbed format provides a more productive way for users to access the technical information needed to become faster and more efficient in the workplace.
New Web Site from REALVIZ
A new Web site from image processing software developer REALVIZ is dedicated to the company’s stitching products as well as a selection of other equipment and resources related to photography and panorama creation. The site is the new official home of Stitcher and Stitcher Express, as well as the Stitcher User Gallery and Showcase sections. The site also offers a selection of books and other photography-related products for sale.
Industry Standards for Architecture, Engineering Firms
A survey from ZweigWhite is available to help firms benchmark themselves against industry standards to determine whether they are overspending on benefits and compensation. 2006 Policies, Procedures & Benefits Survey of Architecture, Engineering, Planning & Environmental Consulting Firms ($395) also provides industry norms on policies and procedures. The results are broken down by firm type, size, region and other factors for easy comparisons.
White Paper: Editing Disparate CAD Models
A white paper on working with nonnative files is available from Kubotek USA. Produced by CPDA (Collaborative Product Development Associates), Mining Intelligence in ‘Dumb’ Geometry examines the problems inherent in working with designs generated from multiple CAD programs and discusses solutions that allow for editing of disparate models. The white paper is free to users who register.
Asset Management Online Resources
AMSNA (Asset Management Source for North America), an industry information source dedicated to asset management, offers news, publications and research in asset management worldwide. Designed for professionals in water/wastewater, transportation, facilities, energy and government, AMSNA also provides asset management training.
Geospatial Digital Rights Management Report
GeoData Alliance has published Geospatial Digital Rights Management (6.3MB PDF), which describes the progress that has been made in efforts to adapt the tools of DRM (digital rights management) for use in the geospatial arena. The free 98-page report includes an introduction to DRM and why the geospatial case is unique, and it places GeoDRM in a technical and policy context. The report also documents the accomplishments of a cooperative agreement executed by the Open Geospatial Consortium, the Federal Geographic Data Committee and the GeoData Alliance.
This Week's Software Tips
Reset Object Snaps in AutoCAD
A Cadalyst t-shirt is on its way to Bradley Branch for submitting this AutoCAD shortcut to reset object snaps when they’ve gone askew after running certain commands. Create a toolbar button for even faster fixes.
Start with this short LISP routine:
(command "-OSNAP" "ENDP,PER,NEA")
“Type SNP on the Command line to reset your object snaps to the way you like them,” Branch explains. “I like Endpoint, Perpendicular and Nearest to be on all the time. However, you may prefer different ones. You can customize this file to set only the snaps you want. Just use a text editor to edit the file and replace the abbreviations with the ones you need for your snaps.”
Five Little AutoCAD Gems
Leonid Nemirovsky -- visit his BTN (Better Than Nothing) AutoLISP Web site -- sends these AutoCAD tips he hopes are helpful for Cadalyst readers.
- To change the settings of Dynamic Input, go to the Tools pulldown menu, select Drafting and then Settings. Now you can adjust colors, size and transparency.
- To change the Scale List, go to the Tools pulldown menu, select User Preferences then Edit Scale List. Using the very simple dialog box you can add, edit and move the Scale List.
- To change visual effects such as highlights, color of selection, boxes and more, go to the Tools pulldown menu and select Selections. You can set, change or turn off the area selection effects (Selection Preview Effects, Selection Preview Filtering).
- To toggle on and off the Dynamic Input, use the bottom utility bar DYN button.
- If you don’t like the arc length symbol that appears by default in Arc Dimensions, turn it off or change its location using DDIM / Modify / Symbols / Arrows Arc length symbols.
Send us your tip or shortcut for your favorite CAD software. If we publish it, we'll send you a “Cadalyst: CAD the Way You Want It” t-shirt.
Deals & FreebiesFree Trial of Digital Rights Management Software
CADLock's CADVault, a digital rights management application for AutoCAD, is now shipping, and a free trial version is available for download. According to the company, CADVault for AutoCAD v4.0 reduces the risk of misuse of valuable design data after it leaves the office. The company reports that the technology works completely inside the AutoCAD DWG file format and does not require any external or secondary file format. It also enables users to attach electronic signatures to vault objects, providing an alternative to traditional signatures for plan approval.
Opportunities & HonorsKitchen Visualization Earns Kudos
Tangram 3DS had one of its renderings featured by the VisMasters organization, whose Web site profiles the work of artists from around the world. VisMasters’ Image of the Week for the week of March 6, 2006, is Kimball Woods Kitchen, an image produced by the company’s senior architectural visualizer, Shaun Donnelly, for a Tangram 3DS project involving designer Tish McDavitt of TMD Designs and the developer Mullins Company.
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
For all the latest new products, delivered daily to your desktop, subscribe to Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Here are last week’s highlights:
Hardware: NEC MultiSync 90-Series
19", 20" and 21" LCD monitors include in-plane switching and vertical alignment. Read more >>
General Software: Brava Enterprise v5.3
Informative Graphics upgrade adds annotation, redaction to enterprise content management and project collaboration. Read more >>
CAM: TopSolid'Cam 2006
Missler Software's update includes tool for automatically transforming 3-axis tool paths into 5-axis tool paths. Read more >>
CAM: 5-Axis NC
Cimatron's new software designed for complex parts manufacturing. Read more >>
CAE: COMSOL Multiphysics v3.2a
New version supports 64-bit Windows XP operating systems. Read more >>
CAE: STAR-CD v4
CD-adapco's flow simulation software is polyhedra-enabled. Read more >>
CAE: MagNet v6.22, ElecNet v6.14 and ThermNet v1.12
Infolytica introduces 64-bit versions of its simulation software. Read more >>
MCAD: Toolbox LT
GlobalCAD software adds 3D modeling and LISP support to AutoCAD LT. Read more >>
MCAD: Teamcenter Environmental Compliance
UGS software is designed to help manufacturers more easily meet regulations. Read more >>
MCAD: MachineWorks v6.3
Software includes updated methods for programming full machine simulation. Read more >>
PLM: Agile Advantage 2006
Updated PLM software includes tools for product compliance, standards compliance and engineering data exchange. Read more >>
Intergraph upgrades workstation to increase speed of triangulation and automatic DTM generation. Read more >>
Design Visualization : Stitcher v5.1
REALVIZ releases updated version of panoramic-image creation software in German, as well as English and French. Read more>>
Mark Your Calendar
Turn 3D Product Communications and PDF into a Competitive Advantage
March 23, 2006
Free Right Hemisphere Webcast at 10 a.m. PT will show how to efficiently leverage your existing 3D CAD assets to automatically create powerful 2D and 3D product communications in Adobe PDF.
AUGI Manufacturing Conference
April 4, 2006
Santa Clara, California
Hosted by Ideate, this conference will explore best practices for implementing and managing the transition into 3D with Autodesk Inventor.
GITA Annual Conference 29
April 23–26, 2006
GITA (Geospatial Information & Technology Association) will offer an expanded series of track topics at its annual conference, as well as networking socials, a job fair, a poster session and a 100,000-square-foot product and services exhibition.
Homeland Defense Journal Training Conference
May 4, 2006
With the theme “Achieving Actionable Situational Awareness: Geo-Spatial Solutions – The Next Generation,” this conference is directed at government and industry executives and decision-makers.