Thursday, September 27, 2007

Help make a difference!

Many of you are aware that I have a personal interest in cancer, specifically Multiple Myeloma. Each year Peter Powell and I participate in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in the Spring and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night walk.

On October 10, 2007 Peter will be carrying a lighted survivor balloon and I'll be walking along side through the streets of downtown Roanoke.

If you'd like to make a donation, you can do so online. We greatly appreciate your support.

Thank you!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Service Pack 1

It seems I overlooked the fact that Service Pack 1 is also now available for AutoCAD MEP. Note: This is for AutoCAD® MEP 2008 Service Pack 1 for AutoCAD® Revit® MEP Suite.

The AutoCAD® MEP 2008 Service Pack 1 is for the main product.

I will be in Waltham, MA all next week attending training.

New Revit Material Source

If you don't subscribe to Elise Moss's CADzette, you are missing out on great material. Elise doesn't hold back, lays it on the line as an experienced user voice, and isn't afraid of stepping on toes to do so. There is almost always something I get of value. Sign up today.

This time I'll pass on one. More Revit content from Revit Factory.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An Exciting Long List of Webcasts

Starting on Monday, September 24, 2007 there will be 5 webcasts on AutoCAD Architecture, 4 webcasts on Revit Architecture, and 2 webcasts on visualization. You can view all and register here. Sadly, it appears that you have to register for each individually unless I missed a key component.

AutoCAD Architecture webcasts cover topics of Sharing DWG Files, Residential Drafting, Doors, Windows, and Assemblies, Display Control, and Annotation DWG's.

Revit Architecture webcasts cover topics of communication, scheduling, sustainable desgins, and of course the most important aspect of family creation.

Visualization webcasts cover 3ds Max & Lighting Analysis and Leveraging your 2D Content in Max.

Friday, September 14, 2007

AutoCAD LT and more

There are two new AutoCAD LT blogs out there.
The LT Side of Things
Kate's CAD Tips

Both look to have good content and timely postings.

I have a special fondness for AutoCAD LT. I have used AutoCAD since R11 in DOS. When I was first handed a new 486DX loaded with R11 that release had just come out. The menus were the big deal and I had a digitizer tablet that I used for speed with the buttons since we didn't have the interface of today.

Anyhow...I digress...when LT was introduced I purchased a copy for a remote user that wouldn't be using it too heavily. It was, and still is, a great product for 2D drafting. I purchased several copies for all remote offices. The early days of LT were great because a lot of features were in LT that were not in AutoCAD. It was sort of a test ground for revisions clouds and tool palettes; two that I remember.

In recent years LT has been more neutered and features that many take for granted in AutoCAD such as PUBLISH, don't have all the capabilities of AutoCAD. It is still a powerful and popular product that can't be beat.

Service Pack 1 for AutoCAD is available now. Also, Service Pack 1 for AutoCAD LT. Design Review 2008 has Service Pack 1.

The Blue Ridge Chapter of CSI will have a meeting September 20, 2007 if you are in the Roanoke, VA area and would like to attend.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Switching Viewports in AutoCAD Architecture or ADT

It's funny the things we take for granted. Being a long-time (R11) AutoCAD user, I have habits of things I have done in AutoCAD and take for granted that I can do them in ADT. After all, it is based on AutoCAD.

One thing that often bothers users is the Draw toolbar in AutoCAD is different than the Shapes toolbar in ADT. The construction line act differently between those too.

Here's another example of a difference. Try switching between viewports. Yes, you can double click a viewport in paperspace and go through the viewport. Yes, you can use the maximize viewport button to get into the viewport very effectively. But do you remember using Ctrl + R to switch between viewports? This is especially helpful if you have a viewport within a viewport. Well, if you have ADT 2007 or AutoCAD Architecture 2008, at least you will know you are not crazy. I finally broke down and asked Autodesk support about this since I could not find anything in the knowledgebase or discussion groups or forums.

As it turns out, there is a knowledgebase document (knowledgebase isn't known as the easiest to search) that cover this. The solution is only listed for 2007, but I'm told this affects 2008 as well. You'll need to edit the .cui to get the shortcut.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Autodesk's e-transmit

If you've ever received drawings from someone else only to find that you are missing xref's, plot styles, images, or more then you'll appreciate eTransmit.

This feature has been around for several years, though I find only a handful of users are aware of it or use it.

From the File pulldown menu, you'll see eTransmit. The dialog boxes you get will depend on the version you have. This is from 2008. All versions have some similarities.

The beauty of eTransmit is that you create a .zip file that includes everything needed with a drawing in one easy step. You can even include other documents.

By default, there is only a Transmittal Setup named "Standard". It's easy to add more or customize.

Choose Transmittal Setups and then choose the Standard on the list and select Modify.

  1. File Format: Choose from current to older file formats. Also option to do an Export to AutoCAD function for those using AutoCAD Architecture (ADT) or AutoCAD MEP (ABS).

  2. Maintain Visual Fidelity: If you are using the 2008 Annotative Scaling, each scale of annotation will be placed on separate layer for recipients using older version.

  3. Transmittal File Folder: Location where you want to find your .zip file.

  4. Transmittal Options: Consider putting all files in one folder if you have xref's. (It's also helpful to make sure your xref's are relative path.) Also, nice to "Set default plotter to 'none'". When the drawing is opened and plotted by someone else, the user won't get the dreaded error of your plotter not being found on their system.

When you are sending drawings to someone else, consider CAD Etiquette. What do you hate to receive from someone else?

Are you sending xref's? Depending on the collaboration situation, don't just assume the best course of action is to bind the xref's. For example, in a situation where you send a base plan and one or more drawings that reference the base plan. What happens if you revise the base plan and send at a later date? If you've bound the xref's, how is the sub-contractor going to deal with your revision? Please don't tell me you don't care. Bad CAD Etiquette and bad karma. :)