Monday, February 27, 2006

Free ADT & ABS CAD Management Training Through AUGI

The AUGI ATP (AUGI Training Program) Program has been around for quite a few years now, but the content offered keeps getting better and better. It's a great supplement to learn some new features on your own. I wouldn't suggest that it replace formal training, but it certainly is a welcome addition.

In March I am volunteering to do a class on CAD Management for ADT & ABS.

Both Architectural Desktop (ADT) and Building Systems (ABS) come with lots of content which can be loaded on each workstation or on a server to be shared. CAD Managers or users wishing to share content will also want to know how to create tool palettes, set up and share styles efficiently, and create and manage tool catalogs. These methods will be covered and discussed for different situations with examples. Student participation is encouraged.

If you're not already an AUGI member, you should join. It's FREE! Sign up for a free membership and receive access to this class and other under the Education bar at the top. You also have forums available and receive AUGIWorld magazine every other month.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

AutoCAD 2006, HP Plotting, & Long File Paths

I have always tried to keep paths as short as possible. When Autodesk released the 2004 products, many paths relating to the operation became extremely long due to Microsoft pathing that was begun with that release. User files are now stored under c:\documents and settings...blah...blah...blah.

You can certainly change some of this and where you keep your drawings can be as short as you would like. Make a directory for drawings under your c:\drive or a network drive and sub divide as needed.

With the Project Navigator in ADT, paths grow even more because you have a project path with constructs, etc. under it. All the more reason to keep it short and simple.

Now there is more news. Check out this technical document from Autodesk about plotting in 2006 with HP. While it states that To correct this issue, you will need to install a newer version of the driver (higher than v.6.03) that contains a correction or fix. There really is no newer driver as of today, 2/16/06. Therefore, the only solution until there is one is to move your drawings to a shorter path.

The error message is somewhat confusing because it happens in Windows XP and the message refers to Windows NT.

Hopefully the driver will be available soon. There are several references in discussion groups regarding this problem.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

New DWF Blog

Scott Sheppard, DWF Engineering Project Manager, has joined the world of blogging with his new blog, Beyond the Paper. Scott is really an evangelist for DWF in every sense. He's written some great pieces on the .dwf format, posted some helpful information to educate the public in various discussion groups, and is always excited and eager to help regarding .dwf. Welcome to the world of blogging, Scott!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Revit Resources

Some new blogs and a good list of general Revit Resources.
Revit Family Man
Revit OpEd
revit in plain english
the revitlution
revit implementation

Books & Training
CDV Systems, the best of the best
SDC Publications

The following are available from

Introducing & Implementing Autodesk Revit Building
by Lay Christopher Fox & James J. Balding
ISBN: 1418020567

Mastering Autodesk Revit Building
by Paul F. Aubin
ISBN: 1418020532

Autodesk Revit Building 8 for Architects and Designers
by Sham Tickoo
ISBN: 1932709126

Resources for sharing
Revit City

Heidi Plugs For Instructor-Led Training

Heidi Hewett, AutoCAD Insider, has posted an interesting blog entry about training and a plug for instructor-led training.

Training is my favorite topic with CAD Standards a close second. I love to take classes in anything and always want to learn more. I love to share what knowledge I have with others whether it is through training students in a class environment, doing custom one-on-one training, or teaching or sharing information through AUGI.

Heidi mentions that we all learn in different ways. That is very true. That's why I suggest to so many people to surround yourself with good resources. The more resources you have the more ways you can learn. Sometimes when you have a question or are trying to learn a certain topic you don't understand one book you have. But if you read another book or a post to answer your question on the AUGI forums, the light bulb in your head goes off finally.

I learn first by trying all the buttons. I've never had a fear of breaking the computer. You shouldn't either. After I learned AutoCAD, I wanted to know more and started trying every option available at the command line. I also took every single AutoCAD class I could find. I surround myself with as many books as possible so I can look up each author's explanation of a feature or command.

My job has also been a great learning experience. I have been an AutoCAD expert for many years and developed CAD Standards and worked as a CAD Manager for 10 years. Now I get to learn Architectural Desktop (ADT), Building Systems (ABS), Revit, and Viz. As Heidi mentioned in her blog, you can never know everything about a program. I am constantly learning. I learn by questions that come from users, from reading questions and solutions on forums and discussion groups, and by teaching. Teaching is one of the best ways to really learn a subject well.

Training was very important to me over the years with AUGI. I taught my first AUGI ATP (free online training) course in the late 80's. I continued to teach ATP courses as well as write for the old PaperSpace newsletter AUGI used to have before the nice AUGIWorld magazine we have today.

When I was nominated and elected to the AUGI Board of Directors, I took both topics very seriously and made both ATP and Publications my topics of concentration during my BOD term in addition to International focus to help contact other user groups around the world and help begin what you see today as an AUGI that is truly a world-wide organization.

I hear people tell me all the time that they don't have time to have employees attend training. They really don't have time to waste in not having their employees training and keeping them trained with each release of software or new area they want to use with the software. I can see companies doing the same thing from where I sit, yet the ones that are more profitable and efficient are the ones that included training in their annual budget and that are willing to at least have me spend small half day sessions once a month with their employees.

Don't set out to learn it all at once and don't settle for some week long class. Chances are the training will not be effective. You will not be able to retain all that information. You will not have time between topics to apply what you have learned before moving on to the next topic. You may cover topics that don't apply to you or be in a class with people that are at a different skill level than you. Any of these scenarios can lead to poor CAD Training.

So make a commitment to yourself to learn something new. Attend an AUGI ATP class. Download some previous Autodesk University material to study. Try a new command or option. Find an instructor to work with you independently. Just learn!

Here are some previous entries with links to resources.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Kick Back, It's Groundhog Day (in the U.S.)!

I don't know about you, but January seemed to be a rather busy and somewhat stressful month. The last couple of weeks especially have been a little on the hectic side.

Here's an entry from my Page-A-Day Cocktails! calendar on my desk. Enjoy!

"Punxsutawney Phil

Since Groundhog Day is a day of variable fortune, it demands an unusually flexible sort of cocktail. This one should do it.

1 ounce of bourbon
1 ounce of blended scotch
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon superfine sugar

If the rodent sees his shadow, combine the above ingredients in a mug, add 2 to 3 ounces of boiling water, stir, and drink it down--you'll need it. Otherwise, combine everything in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice, shake, strain, and toast the coming of spring. "

Shaan Hurley also seemed to be in the mood to share some fun information today. Check out his post.

Edit: It looks like someone else has a sense of humor too. Check out this CAD System Error and Bug Report Form posted by Tracy Lincoln.