Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 18)15 May, 2006
What's New at Cadalyst.com
Cadalyst's New Job Search Now Live!
If you're in the market for a new job – or if you just want to see what's out there – Cadalyst.com offers a new online Job Search that will help. Powered by Indeed, this new search tool offers a state-by-state list of CAD-related job openings, or you can customize a search to find your own list of U.S. job openings based on the keywords and locations you specify. Check it out today! Use the Job Search button on Cadalyst's Management, Manufacturing, AEC or GIS Web site or click here for a direct link.
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 what you missed in the past week:
- Q&A: Design Turns Green, Part 2: In anticipation of an upcoming PBS series, Cameron Sinclair, founder of Architecture for Humanity, tells us sustainability is a matter of survival.
- Making Money with PLM — Literally: Product lifecycle management helps Royal Canadian Mint pare down and speed up coin production.
- Wide-Format Devices Revisited: Following up Cadalyst's recent round-up of printers and scanners, we look at the latest from Epson and Vidar.
- First Look Review: DesignCAD 3D Max v16: IMSI offers a wide range of consumer-level solids-modeling capabilities in a small package for a reasonable price.
Hotfix for AutoCAD LT Conflict with Security Software
Autodesk issued a Hotfix to cure a fatal crash that can occur when AutoCAD LT 2007 is launched on a system that has certain security applications installed, including Norman (not Norton) Antivirus, Spy Sweeper, Print Audit, CyberArmour and Spyware Doctor. The crash may or may not be accompanied by the message "Fatal Error: Unhandled Access Violation." Users should first check the Read me page before running the Hotfix. The only way to remove the Hotfix is to uninstall and reinstall AutoCAD LT 2007.
Product Lifecycle Management E-zine
John Stark & Associates publishes a free e-zine, 2PLM, covering issues related to product lifecycle management. The current issue includes a "PLM State of the Art Report," "PLM in the Food Industry," "Eleven Revenue-Increasing Benefits of PLM," "The Evolving Definition of PLM," "Product Development Innovation Summit" and PLM news. Subscription details are included at the bottom of each issue.
Free Updated White Paper Summary: Top 10 PLM Pitfalls
Softech has made available an updated version of its white paper summary "Top 10 PLM Pitfalls to Avoid." Building on the list released late last year, the company collected more user input and validation, providing the latest insights in the updated version. The paper was cowritten by John Stark, a PLM industry expert, who says the No. 1 pitfall is not including executive education as a top priority in PLM program planning.
This Week's Software Tips
More About Quick-Loading Seldom-Used LISP Routines
Several readers followed up Steve Weichel’s tip about a button macro for quick-loading seldom-used LISP routines in AutoCAD. You can prevent the button from loading the LISP routine every time using this modification – highlighted in red – that will check to see if the command already exists and, if not, will only then load the LISP file. You can use this type of modification on other LISP button macros and pull-down menu options as well.
^C^C (if (not C:SCLCIRCL)(load "c:/dalmatian/dfi2004/sclcircl") ) sclcircl
Billy Wooten has given up taking extra steps to quick-load seldom-used routines. He writes: "I have well over a hundred programs that I placed in my ACAD2006DOC.LSPfile. With the speed of today's computers, they all load automatically, no problem. Any of these routines is called up by its one- or two- letter name. I suggest placing them in the -DOC.LSP one at a time to avoid any conflicts."
Match the Scale of Another Object
After we ran last week's MATCH-ANGLE.LSP routine from Derek Beals that rotates an object to match the angle of another (requiring that the rotated object must be at zero degrees), John Rodewald wrote to ask if Beals might have another version that would match the scale of another object. Beals generously took on the challenge and created MATCH-SCALE.LSP (click here to download the ZIP file) – a routine that does just that, allowing the user to specify the reference points. The included DWG file includes a little instruction manual, Beals notes. A big thank you to Derek Beals for all the great programming!
Export Uniformly Sized Raster Images from AutoCAD
Cliff Middleton sends this useful utility for exporting uniformly sized raster images from AutoCAD. (Click here to download SSZ.LSP.) "We use it for creating images for engineering documentation," he notes. It sets the screen size in pixels. The default size is 640 x 480. To change this default, change the SCRWIDTH and SCRHEIGHT variables in the LISP code.
Automatic Layer Changes in AutoCAD
Thank you to Corey L. Sorensen for this tip that changes the layer to the correct one needed without changing it manually by adding a macro in front of the command macro. He sends a few examples using different commands:
- Linear Dimension Macro. Set up Linear Dimension command to change any layer to the dimension layer (DIM).
- Line Command Macro. Set up Line command to change if the layer is currently set to the dimension layer (DIM). If not currently set to the dimension layer, it will remain the current layer.
^C^C(if (= (getvar "CLAYER") "DIM")(command "layer" "s" "0" ""));^C^C_line
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 & Freebies
Free Image-Rendering Software for NVIDIA Users
NVIDIA has expanded its offerings to include two new versions of its Gelato GPU-accelerated software for rendering images for digital content creation. A free download, Gelato 2.0 reportedly can be used by anyone who uses NVIDIA hardware to create high-quality images. Gelato Pro 2.0 ($1,500) offers advanced production-grade rendering functionality and comprehensive support. Both versions include advanced rendering features and plugins for Autodesk’s Maya and 3ds max software. NVIDIA is a provider of graphics-processing products.
MEDUSA4 Personal Now Available for Linux
Software vendor CAD Schroer Group announced that a free personal-use version of MEDUSA4 CAD software is now available on Linux. The free version was previously available only for Windows 2000 and XP. Now home users can request a six-month renewable license for Linux as well. MEDUSA4 Personal for Linux is restricted to noncommercial use. Small technical differences from the commercial version include a different sheet format, watermarked print output, and the ability to import from, but not export to, DXF/DWG format.
Opportunities & Honors
Call for Papers: MWH Soft User Conference
Organizers announced a call for papers for this year's MWH Soft International User Conference. The event, to take place October 2-3, 2006, in Ontario, Canada, provides an interactive forum for exploring the state of the art in water and wastewater infrastructure geoengineering; facilitating on-going cooperation and exchange of technological innovations and proven solutions, and discussing the issues, regulatory activities and technological challenges that face the geoenvironmental community. MWH Soft is a provider of technical and infrastructure software.
Books & Training
Two Training Manuals for VectorWorks Released
VectorWorks developer Nemetschek North America announced that two new training manuals for VectorWorks 12 are available from ArchonCAD. The manuals have been reworked for version 12 to facilitate a smoother introduction to VectorWorks and VectorWorks Architect. Essential VectorWorks 12 ($99.50) is an exercise-based manual and VectorWorks Architect Tutorial 12 ($99.50) leads the learner through a real project.
AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor Courses
iKnowledge Solutions announced it is offering nine new courses ($495 each) that are specific to AutoCAD 2007, Autodesk Inventor 10 and Autodesk Inventor 11. The new Internet-based systems enable users to pre- and postassess their skills in addition to learning through defined objectives, in-depth lessons and real-world projects, and all offer audio and visual components. Users can purchase the courses from local AutoCAD or Autodesk Inventor resellers.
New Autodesk Inventor 11 Book
CADCIM Technologies has released Autodesk Inventor 11 for Designers (736 pages). Sham Tickoo, Purdue University Calumet, and CADCIM Technologies authored the textbook for both novice and advanced users. The 15 chapters cover concepts and commands, real-world projects and examples and changes and enhancements specific to Inventor 11. Buyers will receive free technical support, customizable PowerPoint presentations of every chapter, drawing files of all the illustrations, examples, and exercises and an instructor’s guide.
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
Hardware: MFP (Multifunctional Printer)
GEI Wide Format Solutions and Canon create a system for AEC, GIS and CAD wide-format color applications. Read more
Hardware: Oce TCS300, TCS500 and CS9065
Oce introduces color printing systems for CAD, GIS and outdoor durable graphics. Read more
General Software: Bluebeam Conversion Server v2
Firms can automatically convert CAD and Windows files to PDF, DWF and other file formats. Read more
General Software: IntelliCAD v6.2
Updated version of CAD application development software includes features that support more colors and organize color collections. Read more
AEC: IMAGINiT Builder 3D
Software is designed for smaller-scale construction projects, including residential, light commercial and interior design. Read more
9Sq launches software for automatically generating piping general arrangement drawings. Read more
MCAD: SUI v3 for Astroid 6000
Spatial Freedom releases a spatial user interface for use with its spatial controller and Solid Edge. Read more
MCAD: Teamcenter and eQube
UGS and eQ Technologic add PLM reporting and analytics capabilities to UGS PLM software. Read more
MCAD: MultiSTEEL and MultiREBAR
Steel and concrete software from MultiSUITE now AutoCAD 2007-compatible. Read more
CAE: AutoTURN 5.1
Transoft Solutions adds new libraries to vehicle maneuver and swept path analysis software. Read more
CAM: SmartCAM v13
SmartCAMcnc releases updated versions of its milling and machining applications. Read more
CAM: SURFCAM Velocity II
Surfware ships release with RapidRough technology for roughing through a prefinishing operation. Read more
CAM: RhinoCAM v1.2
MecSoft releases second service pack for its CAM software. Read more
Mark Your Calendar
Cadalyst'scomplete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.
SolidExperts Company Kickoff
May 19-24, 2006
Various Florida locations
The SolidExperts, a reseller of SolidWorks products in Florida, will hold its company launch celebration on May 19-24, 2006, in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa. Local manufacturers and engineers are invited to meet The SolidExperts team, view the newest SolidWorks technology and tour the company's new corporate offices and training facilities. Read more
Southern Nevada ArcGIS User Group
June 5, 2006
Las Vegas, Nevada
ArcGIS user groups are focused on providing a forum for ESRI users to share their experiences with each other, exchange best practices and learn about new technology. Topics range from entry-level to advanced.Read more
San Luis Obispo ArcGIS User Group Meeting
June 7, 2006
San Luis Obispo, California
ArcGIS user groups are focused on providing a forum for ESRI users to share experiences, exchange best practices and learn about new technology. Topics range from entry-level to advanced. Read more
Northern Nevada ArcGIS User Group Meeting
June 8, 2006
ArcGIS user groups are focused on providing a forum for ESRI users to share their experiences with each other, exchange best practices and learn about new technology. Topics range from entry-level to advanced. Read more
BE Conference Europe 2006
June 11-15, 2006
Hilton Prague, Czech Republic
The BE (Bentley Empowered) Conference is an annual gathering of Bentley software users and their managers who want to sharpen their skills and expand their knowledge. At BE Conference Europe, attendees will find courses from professional trainers, practices from their peers and technology updates from developers. Read more
GIS in Cyber Security
June 22, 2006
National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
At the GIS in Cyber Security breakfast, attendees will learn how GIS is uniquely positioned to model the cascading effects of cyber threats and attacks, and to support an overall cybersecurity approach. Read more
VisMasters Design Visualization Conference
August 4, 2006
Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts
The VisMasters Design Visualization Conference is a one-day event focused on the business, art and technology of design visualization. Designed for professional visualization artists, architects, designers and students, the conference includes a full day of sessions, vendor showcase, user group events, networking opportunities, reception, industry awards ceremony and VisMasters after party. Read more
Mock-up, Visualization & 3D
September 14-15, 2006
daratechMVP focuses on digital mock-up, visualization and 3D publishing for discrete manufacturing and process plant design. Read more
PLM Road Map 2006
September 27-28, 2006
The Dearborn Inn, Dearborn, Michigan
PLM Road Map 2006 is a strategic conference focused on the critical tradeoffs that shape product development. Attendees are invited to explore the progress, opportunities and roadblocks leading-edge end-users are confronting. Read more