Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 13, No. 2)13 Jan, 2008
This Week's Software Tips
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Image plotting from AutoCAD is often problematic. Users (especially contractors) should note that some firms do not permit modification of CTB files. Often, only the CAD manager or IT personnel have permission. Diplomacy, as well as technique, may be required.
AutoCAD also provides several Plot Style tables with various levels of screening (from 25% to 100%). A new feature of AutoCAD 2008 allows fading of locked layers. How this translates to a hard-copy printout will probably vary based on your particular setup. Another approach to consider is creating a DWF file of your base drawing and attaching it as an underlay. Similar to a locked layer, this too can be faded.
Create MicroStation Layers in AutoCAD
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This routine will work well with MicroStation V8 and XM; prior releases allow a maximum of 63 levels. The While sequence in the LISP code is a good example of an extensive listing setup. (FYI: Layers in AutoCAD are the same as Levels in MicroStation.) AutoCAD will still have a layer 0 in its drawing; there is, of course, no layer 0 in a MicroStation drawing.
Note: These follow-up tips have not been tested by the Cadalyst Tip Patrol.
Follow-Up: Hatch to Correct Scale
For those who have migrated to AutoCAD 2008, Bill notes that new annotative objects features now handle all this automatically. Upcoming editions of "Learning Curve" will address the topic in detail.
Kate Morrical wrote to say that the Hatch tool itself can be used with the same results. She said, "The properties of a Hatch tool include Layer, Pattern, Scale, and Auxiliary Scale (which may be set to Dimscale), and others. This allows hatches to be created on the correct layer at the correct scale every time, with the only caveat that the pick points method of selection must be used, not select objects."
Follow-Up: Generate Drawing Title
"You also can accomplish this process via sheet sets, using standard or custom properties of the sheet set or individual sheets in the set. Using this approach, there's no need to open drawings to make changes. For example, Total Sheet Count can be set and changed in the Sheet Set Properties dialog box (custom fields), etc."
MicroStation Tip: Text Style Indicators
This tip is one of many available from Axiom on its MicroStationTips.com Web site.
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The Week's New CAD and Related Products
Hardware: Quadro FX 3700
General Software: Grid Computing Toolbox
General Software: Everest Professional
General Software: SYCODE DWG DXF Converter, IGES STEP Converter, and Mesh Converter
General Software: nPower Power Translators
MCAD: SpaceClaim LT and LTX
MCAD: Tecplot Focus 2008
MCAD: ParaCloud Modeler v1
MCAD: GStarICAD 2007
MCAD: T-FLEX CAD v11
CAE: Tecplot 360 2008
Mark Your Calendar
Autodesk Inventor Workshops
Daratech PLANT 2008
AUGI CAD Camp
CIMdata 2008 PLM Vendor Forum