Monday, August 29, 2005

New Service Packs and New Books Available

Service Packs
Service Pack 1 is now officially available for AutoCAD 2006. There has also been one out for Building Systems 2006 that was mentioned earlier.

To find any Service Pack for your Autodesk product simply:

  1. Visit
  2. Choose Products
  3. Select your product from the list
  4. Choose Data & Downloads from the list on the left
  5. Select Updates & Service Packs

New Books

Paul Aubin has two new books currently available. Mastering VIZ Render for Autodesk ADT Users in stores now!

Mastering Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2006 in stores also. I haven't yet received mine, though it is on order from

I've received my book on Viz and it looks very easy to follow. I haven't yet started down the path of learning Viz, but I know I'm going to be relying on this book once I do.

I've also received notice that Cheryl R. Shrock has some workbooks now available. I have never purchased any of her books, but you may want to review them.

I generally use my own training material or if I need a workbook I recommend Elise Moss's books. They are not meant for casual reading, but for true classroom work. If you're looking for exercises that are residential and not the commercial applications found in Autodesk tutorials, you'll appreciate Elise's workbooks.

Thompson Delmar learning will be releasing William Wyatt's 2006 version of his book, Accessing Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2006 in the near future.

Other new material

The final third segment is now complete for Autodesk's White Papers on Creating Dynamic Blocks.

The AUGI Wish List process has started for this year. Vote now to have your say in next year's software.

Also in process is registration for Autodesk University. This is the "must do" training event of the year. Register early for the best prices and best choices of almost 400 classes.

The following classes are available right now in Roanoke, VA.

September 14th
One of the biggest decisions you may face in your designs is how much detail to show in particular views. We’ll discuss some of the situations where you may want to show detail, how to add details to your elevations instead of spending time on extravagant wall styles that may not be important to the drawings, and how to use the powerful Detailing functions for making fast and accurate details needed in your set of construction documents.

October 13th or 14th (your choice)

Taught by Dr. William Wyatt, Author of Accessing Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2006
Roofs, roof slabs, and gables are perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of Architectural Desktop our clients tell us. To help you become proficient with most aspects of roof design, we’re devoting this class to all roof styles. We’ll cover the many ways to create even the most complex of roof styles and what tips you need to keep in mind with your roof designs. Send in your biggest roof questions and sample drawings ahead of time and let us help you to master any roof task!

November 9th
Managing Projects and Sheets
Project Navigator
Sheet Set Manager
Beginning with Architectural Desktop 2004, the Project Navigator and Project Browser were introduced. In the 2005 product line, the Sheet Set Manager was introduced. Both of these new tools can help you to work much faster and keep much better organized than the method you may be using. Learn how to set these tools up to work the way YOU work and to help you quickly link sheets and views in your drawing sets together as well as more efficiently plot out finished sets.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Blog for Hope

Please excuse this interruption in CAD topics. I wouldn't mention it if it wasn't something I believed was important.

There is a new movement to connect individuals in the fight against cancer.

"Yahoo! and the American Cancer Society are breaking new ground in an effort to connect individuals in the fight against cancer. In a 30-day Blog for Hope event on Yahoo! Health, celebrities from every walk of public life will share the triumphs, insights, and personal stories of how cancer has affected their lives. Join these bloggers and millions of blog readers around the world as we unite to raise awareness and bring an end to cancer. "

You can visit the site and read blogs from famous cancer survivors and gain hope.

In this day and age, I would say that there are not any Americans that don't know what cancer is. Almost everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. A family member, friend, co-worker, neighbor, or someone famous. The only thing we may not be familiar with are all the different types of cancer. Cancer is a very broad term.

A news report last week stated that after the death of Peter Jennings and the announcement of Dana Reeve's diagnosis with cancer has prompted some surprising results according to the American Cancer Society. There has been a definite increase in the past week of people that want to try harder to quit smoking and even to receive cancer screening tests. I personally wish the very best to anyone trying to kick this dangerous habit.

There is hardly a week that goes by that I do not hear of someone being newly diagnosed with cancer or having just died from cancer. It hits me harder than it used to since I have someone close to me who's been fighting Multiple Myeloma, a form of blood cancer that affects the bones and a cancer for which there is no cure. The American Cancer Society, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society have all been great sources of information and support.

Please help bring hope to those with cancer and pray for them and the families of those that have lost their struggle. Know your body and don't delay in getting checked if you notice something different. Do research on your own and get a second opinion if necessary. Volunteer time or make a donation to one of the organizations noted or another organization for cancer patients.

My heart goes out to those that have lost someone they love to cancer. I pray that it doesn't happen to you.

Peace be with you,

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Help with Tool Palettes

Tool Palettes are one of the best new features and they just keep getting better. First released in 2004, tool palettes are the easiest way to customize your desktop. Put the tools you use at your fingertips. Save time you used to use going to Insert...Browse...drill through two zillion get the idea.

Besides saving the time of looking for your blocks, you can automatically set the layer by changing the properties of the tool.

There is a wealth of material on creating tool palettes. Here are some links. For the best information be sure and check the Autodesk website and some good articles in the AUGI HotNews and AUGIWorld. (membership is free)

Lee Ambrosius has provided the most information through AUGI and his blog. Lee is an excellent source of all the new features from Tool Palettes to Dynamic Blocks to the Custom User Interface (CUI). He has an excellent several part series in HotNews on Tool Palettes. You'll find the links to these articles in the below link.
One entry on his blog is Importing and Exporting Tool Palettes from ABS and ADT.

Shaan Hurley has this link on his blog.
AutoCAD Tool Palette Document
AutoCAD 2005 Tool Palette Trick

Ellen Finkelstein wrote a tutorial for the 2004 Tool Palettes that you can find here.

Autodesk has webcasts of how to Customize Tool Palettes in AutoCAD 2005.

So, there is no shortage of information on Tool Palettes. No excuse not to be utilizing them for maximum productivity!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

It's Autodesk University Time!

Yesterday registration officially opened for AU. Today is the first official registration day for AUGI members.

If you've been in the Autodesk world for very long, no doubt you've heard about AU. It stands for Autodesk University. If you haven't you'll be seeing it mentioned everywhere. It's the best training money can buy! Four days the week after Thanksgiving (11/28-12/1) every year there are almost 400 classes on all Autodesk packages as well as CAD Management and many other related topics.

This week is exciting because we finally get to see all the course offerings. I always get excited around the beginning of school anyhow. I think about all the classes I can take and what I can learn. Having the AU classes now listed just adds to my excitement.

Register now. You'll get a shot at getting into the classes you want before they fill up and you'll save $400 by registering early. That $400 may pay your way there.

The other exciting thing about AU this year is that it's actually on the EAST coast! It's not in Las Vegas.

Be all that you can be. Be at AU!