Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New MEP Blog for Fabrication

Dave Quigley with EastCoast CAD/CAM has started a blog, Space and Elevation. EastCoast has started a new training program for AutoCAD MEP that is aimed at fabrication.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Getting Started with AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD MEP

Most users that have either AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD MEP either use it as AutoCAD or don't know much about the features that they have. It's natural in the busy world to do what you need to do to get jobs done with the software.

Where do you start?
  1. Start a new template. Template files are .dwt files and drawing files are .dwg files. They are not one in the same. Be sure you begin with a template for your program and insert your own titleblock. Also be sure to set it as QNEW.
  2. Start using Tool Palettes. Sign up for a webcast on this from Steve Bennett on his blog, 2D or not 2D.
  3. Use this fresh start to go over or set up CAD Standards. Here are some good ideas from Mark Kiker.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

December is a month of new beginnings...

AU 2007 ended on Friday, November 30. On Saturday, December 1, Peter Powell and I were married at the Valley of Fire in a Celtic Wedding Ceremony. Now I am officially Mrs. Powell. I've used the name officially so as not to confuse anyone when it changed so in a way it was my pen name. I will have some photos to post as soon as we receive them from the photographer.

As of December 3rd, I am no longer working for a reseller. At this time I am working full-time with my CAD Fuel Design business that I have owned since 2001. That is why the photo has changed from the CJ5 Jeep to my plate with the AUGI frame. There seem to be a wealth of other opportunities available as well, though I suspect none until after the first of the year.

The past two days I have had the pleasure of participating in the first ever AutoCAD MEP training aimed at fabricators through Eastcoast CAD. There are two classes held as a pilot project. One is on the West coast and the other was held in Roanoke, VA.

The students were really great and since they were from different areas they were not in competition with each other and shared knowledge and helped each other in class. What a great experience!

AutoCAD MEP (formerly Building Systems) has typically been aimed at engineers. In the U.K. however, it has been the opposite. Fabricators have been more of the focus.

In AutoCAD MEP 2008, the U.K. Tools have been added to the U.S. product as the first stage to aim at the fabrication industry. You can see these tools by choosing your Global shortcut, which loads a profile with the metric Global content. You'll see very different tools here aimed just at fabrication.

Autodesk has a strategic partner in Eastcoast to work on future releases of both products.

If you would like to make an influence in letting Autodesk know what you would like to see in AutoCAD MEP with regards to fabrication, you have several options.

  1. Post specific command wishes to the AUGI Wish List or the Wish List on the Autodesk Discussion Groups.
  2. Join the MEP Customer Council.
  3. Sign up to participate in Usability Testing. Help Autodesk understand your business needs and how you use their products.
  4. Sign up to participate in beta testing. Beta testing takes place at this time of the year for the release of new products in the Spring of each year. More about this and from Shaan.
I'll be posting more about MEP in the upcoming days. Another blog that I recommend for AutoCAD MEP, though not specifically about fabrication is from Todd Shackelford.

Monday, December 03, 2007

AU 07 is Over

What an experience! The surprising thing was really just how fast it went. I found myself sitting at the airport for my flight home and it felt as if I'd just arrived the day before.

Friday I spent the entire morning learning about Windows Vista. Being that I'd never truly seen it, I was happy to be able to expand my knowledge about what I know I need to learn.

The class was very helpful and was professionally done even though it was the last class on the last day. I learned about installation, security, and saw many ins and outs and pros and cons. I'm feeling pretty excited about it now.

Friday afternoon we took the convertible out and discovered that the day turned out to be a cold and rainy one. I later heard on the news that it was the first substantial rain that Vegas has had since 2002 or somewhere close to that. It was an all day and night rain. We even ran into power outages that evening on our way home.

Friday after the conference we went to the Black Bear Diner for lunch. The food was excellent, though the the portions were so large we hated wasting so much. When you don't have the ability to take leftovers back to a hotel it really is a shame.

Then we went to The Gun Store. We "turned money into noise, smoke, and fire" by renting a Thompson .45 caliber and an M-16. Both are automatic weapons and are money changers. We bought our budgeted amount of ammo and a pair of targets and let loose. It was a lot of fun to release tension after spending a morning in a Windows Vista session!

Finally, we visited the Titanic exhibit at the Tropicana Hotel. I had heard it was very moving and it certainly was just that.

We collapsed into the last night in our luxury suite.