Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 28)6 Aug, 2006
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This Week's Software Tips
Follow-ups to Draw Pipe Ends
PIPEBRK.LSP draws 3D ends similar to those in the original tip but with a couple of enhancements.
BRKLN.LSP is a similar routine but draws a simple zig-zag break line (albeit a snazzy one) which automatically acts as a trim boundary. You can also convert an existing line into a break line as above (this one works fine), and it works with rotated UCS.
The routines include a couple of subroutines that usually sit in the MNL component of our customized CUI just to make the routines self-contained. Also, users may need to add a line to save their SETVARS at the top of the code and reset it at the end. See comments in the code itself.
The original author of last week's tip, Leonid Nemirovsky, has a few suggestions in response to the Tip Patrol comments: "To the Patroller who likes blocks, I suggest having Dynamic Block handle different pipe diameters and directions of curves, but keep in mind that this is a lot of work even with a simple block. I prefer to do things parametrically when possible. Then I just have to run the program and supply a minimum amount of information, and the program does the rest. This little program was written first for AutoCAD Release 12 and it still works."
Follow-up to Use Wildcards
Toolbar Shortcut for Floor
Plans in AutoCAD LT
This custom toolbar has four buttons, with each button's macro that sets the width and dragline, allowing the user to begin drawing walls immediately. For example, the first button is for drawing a wall that is six inches thick with its dimensions based on the inside of a room. Depending on which direction you decide to draw, you can set the dragline setting in the button to right or left to follow the correct dimensions of a room (inside vs. outside).
The buttons are set up to create six-inch walls drawn to the inside and outside, and 4" walls to the inside and outside. Because I teach my students to draw in a counter-clockwise direction, the buttons are set up to match. If a user is accustomed to creating walls by going clockwise, flip-flop the dragline settings in the buttons. This saves a lot of time when creating walls in AutoCAD LT.
In addition, if you add the Osmode command to the end of the double line macro buttons, you can turn on some running object snaps as well. Whenever an LT user runs the DOUBLE LINE command, the Osnap button is temporarily suspended, which makes is hard to snap to anything. This turns them back on.
Download WALLS_rev2.ZIP from this week's code files. You'll find menu files: CUSTOM1.MNU, *.MNS, *.MNR and *.MNC and button images: dline_6_left.bmp, dline_6_right.bmp, dline_4_left.bmp and dline_4_right.bmp. Copy these into a logical location and load into AutoCAD LT using the MENULOAD command. A menu group called CUSTOM is loaded with one toolbar called Walls.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: The Dline command is included only in AutoCAD LT, so this sequence of specialized commands is pertinent to this particular discipline. The Mline command could be a sufficient substitute outside of AutoCAD LT.
Keyboard for AutoCAD
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: The Patrol reminds folks that using these sorts of keyboards can defeat AutoCAD's heads-up interface -- although Len states that after practice, he's at a point where he doesn't look down very often. Our patroller suggests the Saitek Pro Gamer Control Unit and the Belkin Nostromo Speedpad n52 as alternatives. He doesn't have hands-on experience with the Saitek model, but finds the Speedpad n52 easy to program, and both can be used by touch.
This Week's SolidWorks
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.
Tips & Tools Weekly software tips for AutoCAD are reviewed by Cadalyst staff and the Cadalyst Tip Patrol before publication. Use tips at your own discretion, please, and watch later editions of this newsletter for updates and corrections. Many thanks to our volunteer Cadalyst Tip Patrol members: Don Boyer, Mitchell Hirschklau, R.K. McSwain, Don Reichle, Kevin Sawyer, Ivanhoe Tejeda, Billy Wooten and Ben Young.
Deals & Freebies
Free Automatic 3D Tracking Plugin
Books & Training
for COSMOSWorks Users
CFD Learning Site
Up and Running
for AutoCAD 2007
AutoCAD 2007 Book
Describes 3D Environment
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
PC Core2.SLI and Core2.X-Fire
Portable Engineering Workstation
Katchall Archive v2.0
3ds Max 9
AEC: CADWorx 2007
6.3, mSIS 6.2, and Cadcorp SIS OS MasterMap ITN Manager
MCAD: NI Motion Assistant
MCAD: GrafiCalc AT
MCAD: SPEOS CAA V5
CAM: GibbsCAM 2006
Mark Your Calendar
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Webcast: The Product
Lifecycle Collaboration Benchmark
Highway Engineering Exchange Program (iHEEP)
FME Worldwide User
A/E Project Management
of Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) International Conference
FIATECH Member Meeting