Thursday, February 28, 2008

Where do your PUBLISH files go?

I've long been an advocate of the PUBLISH command. When utilizing named page setups it is very easy so send an entire set of drawings to a single .dwf file or to a plotter.

The PUBLISH command has changed its interface over the years, even though it basically has similar options. In earlier versions, such as 2004, the user clearly saw the path chosen for the .dwf file you were creating.

It's a little tougher to tell at first glance where you are saving your .dwf file and how to select to be prompted for the location.

In Autodesk 2008 products, you choose Publish Options.

Generally you would want a multi-sheet .dwf, which allows you to have multiple sheets in one file similar to .pdf documents you may view.

For DWF Naming, choose Prompt for name so that when you PUBLISH you will have an opportunity to browse to where you want to save the file and what you want to name it.

You may also want to include layer and/or block information if you want the end user that will be viewing the files to have the ability to turn layers on and off in Design Review or to see information about block names.

Monday, February 18, 2008

AutoCAD MEP Material

There is a real shortage of reference material and training material for AutoCAD MEP or really for all the Autodesk MEP offerings.

Here is some information that you may find useful.

First, did you know that you can request from your reseller to have a copy in book form of the AutoCAD MEP Tutorials and the AutoCAD MEP User Guide? It's so much easier to follow along with the tutorial than having to flip between screens or share screens. Ask about it.

There should be more whitepapers available for such a robust program. (hint, hint) Some of the whitepapers on the Autodesk site are old and simply have been updated to have terminology for the latest release and name change.

The system requirements can be expected to change soon with the 2009 products releasing.

Some of the best information can be found from the Autodesk University (AU) website. If you attended or are a subscription customer, you will have access to this information on sessions.

Here are some of the ones that I found best.
ME214-1 AutoCAD MEP: Power Tips for Templates by David Butts
ME204-1 A Simple Plan for Implementing AutoCAD MEP by Todd M. Shackelford
ME218-2 Workflows for Harnessing the Power of AutoCAD MEP by Peter Basso Associates, Inc.
ME300-1 New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP by Gregg Stanley
ME114-2 Levraging AutoCAD MEP for Calculation and Quantity Take-offs by Dustin Tiemeyer
ME210-2 Easily Create Ingelligent Equipment in AutoCAD MEP by T.J. Meehan
ME218-3L Creating Block-Based Multiview Parts with Mass Elements in AutoCAD MEP by Eric Bogenschutz

Besides the blog link to Todd Shackelford listed above, there are only a few other blogs related to AutoCAD MEP.
AutoCAD MEP by Scott Brisk
Space and Elevation aimed at AutoCAD MEP fabrication with Eastcoast CAD/CAM software

Monday, February 11, 2008

Good Training Material

It doesn't matter how great of a class you teach or presentation you give, there is no substitute for good training materials.

The philosophy that I follow is to provide step-by-step instructions with lots of large screen captures to students. The success of training is measure, in my opinion, in how well the student is able to put the new information to use.

If the student is so busy taking notes that he cannot keep up with what you are showing or in trying to follow along on the computer, then the experience is not going to be successful. If you can provide good material to the student, then when he returns to the office and attempts the new process the material can help to help find the right dialog box or setting to use.

For this reason, I normally write my own material and usually share what I write with AUGI by teaching the same (or very similar) material in an AUGI ATP online class.

If you are planning on attending training or are searching for classes, be sure and inquire whether you will be given material such as this or a generic book of exercises.

The other important factor that I believe in is that we all learn in different ways. For this reason, I always provide a list of resources whenever possible for books, websites, webcasts, blogs, and any other medium that I think would be relevant to the subject.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Building Information Modeling (BIM) Webcast

If you've been wanting to know more about BIM and don't know where to start within your firm, there is a webcast just for you.

You'll want to attend this webcast on February 20, 2008. It's from 10-11:00 PST so if you're here on the Atlantic side, be sure to mark your calendar for 1:00.

Amy Fietkau from Autodesk will explain some of the principles and give you information on how to get started. If you've attended any of Amy's webcasts, you'll know that she is easy going and very good at explaining what can sometimes be complicated topics in a very easy to understand way.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) Webcast: The Path to BIM for Small Firms

Date & Time: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. PST