Friday, April 26, 2013

How Suite It Is!

I’m sure by now you have at least heard about the Autodesk® Suites and most likely you may already have a version in your office or home. The Autodesk® Autocad® Design Suite 2014 Edition comes in three versions, Standard, Premium, and Ultimate. These are bundled Autodesk® products designed to enhance your productivity. You have probably asked yourself or your local Autodesk® reseller, “Why do I need all that software to do my job?” That is a valid question. In my next few posts I will key on these products and try to help you understand how you can benefit from them. 

Here are the offerings for each edition:

The products in the Standard version give you tools to do the following:

·         Digitize scanned drawings and plans
·         Create and sketch you designs
·         Explore your designs in 3D
·         Translate 3rd party file formats into DWG
·         Use comprehensive documentation tools
·         Online file exchange in the Autodesk Cloud
·         Showcase designs with illustrated drawings, renderings and 3d presentations
·         Explore form, fit, finish, and function of your designs

In addition to the above the Premium version gives you:

·         Interactive presentations and high quality renderings
·         Simulate and analyze sun, sky and lighting on your design.

And the Ultimate version gives you ALL the above plus:

·         Ability to model Class-A surfaces, dynamic shapes, and advanced 3d geometry

AutoCAD® is a no-brainer, and you probably have a good idea what AutoCAD® Raster Design can do. So, what about the other products in the bundle?

AutoDesk® SketchBook® Designer
Autodesk SketchBook Designer software is no longer available for retail purchase effective November 1, 2012

Autodesk will continue to support SketchBook Designer customers with standard support through 2014. They will honor valid Autodesk® Subscription agreements until they expire.

Autodesk® SketchBook® Pro is available as a separate purchase.

Autodesk® Showcase®
This package gives you easy to use presentation and design exploration tools. It is valuable to architects, designers, engineers, and marketing professionals. You can quickly transform your 3D CAD model into an interactive walk-through or presentation. You can apply materials, lights and even environments.

I have had the opportunity to review the courseware for this product and it is very easy to use. We offer a 2-day course here at Mid-West CAD, Inc. on ShowCase Fundamentals.

Here is a rendering using Autodesk® Revit® 2013 and Autodesk® ShowCase® 2013.

I will talk about the other offerings as well as other Suites such as the Autodesk® Building® Design Suite in future posts.

Till next time

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

AutoCAD 2014 - Merging Traffic!

Merge Layers

We now have the option to merge layers. You can select one or more layers from your layer list and merge the objects from those layers into a different layer. The original layers are then purged from the drawing file. In the past I used the “Layer Translator” in a way that it was not intended to accomplish this.

Select the layers that you wish to merge in the Layer Properties Dialog, right-click and select “Merge selected layer(s) to…

The “Merge to Layer” dialog appears for you to select which layer you want to merge the selected layers into.

How easy is that! Thank you Autodesk! Till next time.


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

AutoCAD 2014 - Keeping Tabs on your drawing files

In earlier version of Autocad, switching between drawings required you to use Ctrl+Tab keys or switch your Ribbon to the View tab and use the Switch Windows drop-down menu. In Autocad 2014 we now have drawing file tabs.

You will find them just below the Ribbon. There are several tasks that you can perform from this area.

  • Switch between open drawings             
  • Reorder the drawing file tabs
  • Access layouts of open drawings         
  •  Open an existing drawing
  • Create a new drawing                            
  • Close all drawings, one drawing, or all except one drawing
  • Save a drawing, Saveas, and save all open drawings
  • Copy the file path to the clipboard
  • Open Windows Explorer at the location of the drawing
I used Ctrl+Tab but I had to keep hitting it until the drawing that I wanted was on top. I can now just go to the tab of the desired drawing and click just once to access it!

Till next time.


Tuesday, April 02, 2013

AutoCAD 2014 and Windows 8

One of the first questions that I receive is "Can Autocad 2014 be installed on Windows 8 ?". The answer to that is yes you can. AutoCAD 2014 can be installed on Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8. AutoCAD 2014 is the first release that supports Windows 8. Earlier releases of AutoCAD do run on Windows 8, but they are not officially supported. So if you are using Windows 8, you will want to upgrade to AutoCAD 2014 for support purposes.
If you are going to use AutoCAD 2014 on a touch screen device, you will want to make sure you enable the Display Touch Mode Ribbon Panel option on the System tab of the Options dialog box.
Till next time
P.S. Have you seen the new Autodesk Logo?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

AutoDesk Evangalist Lynn Allen comes to KC!

That's right. Hear and see first hand from Lynn what is new in AutoCAD 2013. This event is April 9th, 2014 here at Mid-West CAD in Lee's Summit, MO. Follow the link below for details and to sign up. Seating is limited, so hurry!

I hope to see you there!

Till next time.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

AutoCAD 2014 is coming!

What's in it? Would you like the inside track to take a look? Here you go. Follow the link to to see the AutoCAD 2014 Preview Guide.

AutoCAD 2014 Preview Guide

Your welcome!

Till next time.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Are You Current?

Running AutoCAD 2013? Do you have the latest Service Packs and Updates installed? I get calls daily in Tech Support and a lot of the issues are taken care of once the current Service Pack is installed.  Here is a list of the AutoCAD 2013 Updates and Service Packs available:

Check them out and optimize your AutoCAD. Just click on anyone of them in the list above and it will take to the site to download it. Make sure that you read all of the documentation BEFORE installing!!!

Till next time.


Friday, March 08, 2013

Off the Grid!

AutoCAD 2012 introduced a new style grid reminiscent of the old grid paper that I use to use before the days of computers.  I spent many hours calculating and plotting out coordinates on a large piece of this paper affectionately called a “Chord Sheet” in the civil/survey industry.  But I digress.

The solid lines worked well for that purpose but in AutoCAD if you have the grid on and use Polar Tracking, it sometimes is difficult to see. There is a command (SETVAR) that allows us to change the “look” of the grid.  It is called GRIDSTYLE.

GRIDSTYLE has 4 settings from 0 to 4. Before you say that 0 to 4 is 5 settings, there is no number 3 setting. Here’s what they do:

0:            Displays lined grid for 2D model space, Block Editor, 3D parallel projection, 3D perspective projection, and Sheet and Layout.
1:            Displays dotted grid for 2D model space.
2:            Displays dotted grid for Block Editor
4:            Displays dotted grid for Sheet and Layout.

These settings are saved in the Registry so they are system wide not drawing specific.

Till next time.


Monday, February 25, 2013

The AutoCAD Gazette is alive and well!

Greetings AutoCAD Gazette followers,

I'll bet you are wondering where the heck have I been. After months of emails with the host service of this blog they have finally figured out the problem why I have been unable to access it. I don't know why it took so long but the good news is I am back and ready to go. We have missed the last couple of releases of AutoCAD but I have been working with the Beta of the next release, 2014!

I'm not able to talk about it yet but that time will be here soon. In the meantime let's get re-aquainted and have some fun. Let me know that you are out there by posting. Let me know what you would like to hear about or post some interesting AutoCAD tidbits of your own.

It is Monday, Feb. 25th 2013 and we are getting ready for our 2nd big snowstorm in 5 days here in Missouri. If your in the midwest, stay safe and be careful out there.

I'll be back real soon!

Till next time.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

AutoCAD 2012!

Hello Bloggers! It is time for AutoCAD 2012 to be released in the next few weeks.  I'm sure you are wondering what's new in this release.

Autodesk concentrated on 2D drafting and is throwing in a copy of Fusion. It also includes access to AutoCAD WS, and a host of 3D CAD translators. AutoCAD 2012's got 46 new commands, 26 new system variables, 64 changed commands and system variables, 9 removed commands and system variables, 6 undocumented commands, and 2 commands converted from Express Tools.

Details to follow!

Till next time.


Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year bloggers! Well we start a new year filled with hopes and excitement for the future. I am optimistic that we will continue an economic recovery, albeit slow but continual.  Autodesk will be gearing up for a new release this spring and that is always exciting. Late last year I ventured back into the MEP world after an absence for a while. Revit MEP is a really exciting product. AutoCAD MEP has advanced as well and both are great solutions for your MEP needs.  I will most likely integrate those products into this blog or start a new one dedicated to that world. We will see how it goes. If you have an opinion about this shoot me an email and I will take that into consideration.  So, let's get 2011 started!

Till next time


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Well Bloggers Christmas is Here! I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 2011 will bring some exciting new challenges for all of us. I look forward to a new release of AutoCAD with some really cool new features. Also, I will venture into the Revit World and possibly start a Blog on Revit MEP!  Hope you will join me!

Till next time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Projecting Geometry to a 3D Surface

A new powerful feature in AutoCAD 2011 is the PROJECTGEOMETRY command. This will allow you to project any curve, polyline, line or point to any 3D Surface. You have the option to specify the direction by the current view, by the direction vector, or by the UCS. The projected geometry is displayed as SPLINES on the selected 3D solid or surface body.

You can use this command to project TEXT (TXTEXP exploded) to a free surface.

By projecting geometry you can do the following:
  • Project points or curves onto a 3D solid or surface.
  • Project and trim a selected 3D solid or surface.
To trim the surface, set the SURFACEAUTOTRIM system variable to 1.

You can project any curve (Line, Arc, Circle, Ellipse, etc. onto any type of surface or solid.

For more detailed explanation simply type in PROJECTGEOMETRY in your AutoCAD 2011 Help.  See the BEFORE (Top Picture) and thte AFTER (Bottom Picture) for and example.

See you next time at the Gazette!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

SAVEAS command for Blocks

How many times have you had a block that you would like to make a copy of and wish there was a way to do this much like doing a SAVEAS of a drawing? If you did not know about it, the thought may not have ever come to mind. I’m here to tell you that you can do a SAVEAS on a block and give it a new name. How you may ask? It’s so easy even a cave……., no I’m not going there, could be a copyright infringement…….
Here’s what you do. Double-click on your block and open it in the Block Editor. The top left panel is called Open and Save. Pull-down the addition commands and there you will find “Save Block As”. Give it the name of your choice and there you go. Ne need to explode a block and recreate it under a different name.
Have a great summer!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Know and learn your input options for increased productivity!

Warning: The following blog contains my ranting for today

Recently I was teaching an “Advanced” class with students that have been using Autodesk software for years. I was helping one student and I told him to start the line command. With his left hand on the keyboard and his right hand on the mouse he typed “LINE” and hit the “ENTER” key. He drew the line and then I told him to zoom in on it. He moved is mouse to the Ribbon and fishes for the “ZOOM WINDOW” command. Now keep in mind this gentleman had been using Autodesk for 10+ years.

I wish I could say this is the first time I had seen this in my class but it’s not. I see this frequently while teaching and visiting client sites.

If you are going to type your commands (I do frequently) at least use a command alias. Instead of typing “LINE”, type “L” and tap the “Spacebar” to enter. Sure it only saves 3 keystrokes (Only?) but multiply that by hundreds throughout your day. Learn the command aliases and even customize your acad.pgp file to suit your needs. It is very easy to do with the Express Tools.

What about using the Zoom command? I encounter many students who do not know how to use the wheel to zoom. Zoom in and out by rotating the wheel, direct where you are zooming by placement of the crosshairs, hold the wheel down to Pan and double-click the wheel to do a Zoom Extents. I rarely use an actual Zoom command.

You can save a lot of production time just by using the tools available for inputting your data into your drawing. Taking a little time to learn your options can go a long way in improving your performance. Do you think those competing in a drawing shoot-out will actually type “LINE” to start the command? It’s highly unlikely.

Until next time, don’t wear the keyboard out! ;-)