Arriving at Autodesk University 2015

Arriving at Autodesk University 2015

We’ve been waiting all year, and the time has finally come for Autodesk University 2015 to get underway. Whilst the conference doesn’t officially begin until tomorrow, several pre-conference … Read more

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CAD Geek Interview: Streamlining Decision Making with Civil 3D and InfraWorks

CAD Geek Interview: Streamlining Decision Making with Civil 3D and InfraWorks

On July 22, 2015 I joined DLT Solutions with my company (CADD Microsystems) and Lynn Allen for an event specifically tailored to the challenges faced by government customers. During the event, I shared a presentation on InfraWorks that demonstrated ways it could be applied as a planning and preliminary design tool very early in the project cycle. During that presentation, I identified the phrase “Just Imagine” as the two most toxic words teams could use to describe their designs.

Why do I feel “just imagine” are the two most toxic words of design?

Put simply imagination is a thing with infinite possibilities, whereas your project will only be built one of those ways. Describing your project with the term “just imagine” is like playing stakeholder roulette; there’s a chance your imagination matches theirs, but odds are your imagined solution and theirs are two entirely different things.

My presentation at the DLT event focused on this very point, and how InfraWorks can be used as a tool to communicate designs to stakeholders in lieu of imagining designs with stakeholders. After the event, I had chatted with the team from DLT on what all of this means for public-sector design teams in the video interview above.

Exploring the AutoCAD 2013 Command Line

As a veteran AutoCAD user, I was a bit concerned when I first learned Autodesk was updating the command-line in AutoCAD 2013. While I’m certainly all for regaining valuable screen real estate; reducing the command-line to just one line? Does Autodesk not understand that I need to see at least some of my command history in order to adequately use AutoCAD?

Thankfully the answer to this and many others like it are a resounding yes. While Autodesk has re-imagined the command-line, they have retained everything that made it an integral tool within your AutoCAD environment while managing to breathe some new life into it along the way. Although I did indeed have some initial reservations about the change, most of those initial reservations have faded after actually using the product for a few months now. Check out the following video to see some of what I feel makes the AutoCAD 2013 command-line great:

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Creating Custom Contextual Ribbon Tabs in AutoCAD 2010

I certainly hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and got to spend some quality time with your family. Thanks to a rather historical snow the Saturday before Christmas, here in Richmond, VA we did still have snow on the ground for Christmas.  Aside from the big piles of snow found in nearly every parking lot throughout town, by the morning after Christmas all the snowmen had melted away.

One of my favorite enhancements to AutoCAD 2010 was the contextual ribbon tabs.  In fact, contextual tabs are one of the biggest reasons I have come to actually like the Ribbon.  Out of the box Autodesk provides a number of contextual tabs for all sorts of things like xref’s and more.  Like many things in AutoCAD, the true power of Contextual Ribbon tabs if the fact you build and customize your own Contextual Ribbon tabs.

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Automate Sheet Setup with Named Page Setups

image During my time at Autodesk University 2009 this year, I had the chance to sit down with Heidi Hewett and record some videos for the AutoCAD Exchange.  Among the topics, we discussed were Named Page Setups inside AutoCAD.  Despite their time-saving potential, Named Page Setups seem to be one of those features that’s been in the software forever, and is often overlooked. So if you find yourself overwhelmed with the endless array of plotting options inside AutoCAD, have a look at this quick video.

In the video, I’ll show you ways to capture all the settings inside the AutoCAD PLOT command in a way you can configure the dialog once, and use it again and again. In addition to the time Named Page Setups can save you, they also ensure each of your sheets is setup in exactly the same way; so your title block will plot in the same location on every sheet.

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Introduction to the AutoCAD 2009 Action Recorder Video

image Goodness, am I not the worst blogger ever? My apologies to all of my loyal readers; last week was quite a monumental week. As I have mentioned a few times before, The CAD Geek is something I do in my free time. Consequently the time I would have otherwise spent blogging, was spent putting a contract on a house. That’s right, I am about to enter the world of being a first-time homeowner. As I am sure many can appreciate, it’s both exciting, and a little scary! Anyone wishing to make a donation to the "Donnie Gladfelter Home Ownership Foundation" is welcome to. For anyone interested in contributing, I accept all major credit cards through PayPal. Sorry donations are not tax deductible, but they will allow me to blog from the comfort of a couch, not my floor ;-).

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Nonetheless, after going all last week without blogging, I am back with a post to introduce the all-new Action Recorder inside AutoCAD 2009. Looking through my e-mail archive, I can’t tell you how many e-mails I have received from readers such as yourself asking about script files. Personally, I have always liked SCRIPT files because they are relatively easy to learn, and even easier to use. Even still, SCRIPT files intimidated many, and proved elusive to many CAD Users.

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Customizing the AutoCAD 2009 Ribbon

Autodesk began shipping many of their 2009 products starting Monday. Among those released is their flagship product, AutoCAD 2009. If you just can’t wait until your subscription shipment makes its way to your doorstep, a fully-functioning 30 day trial can be downloaded from the Autodesk website. As I have said in some previous posts, the big new feature in AutoCAD 2009 is more-or-less the user interface (UI) as a whole.

Just about every red blooded AutoCAD user I have ever met has first asked “How do I use XYZ Feature?” After they learn how to use XYZ feature, their next question is “How do I customize it?” Last month I gave a quick how to with my “Introduction to the AutoCAD 2009 Ribbon”. This month, we’ll take a look at customizing the new AutoCAD 2009 Ribbon. At first glance, the Ribbon may seem like a brand new cryptic monstrosity at the heart of new release. Good news is the “all new” Ribbon isn’t really all that new afterall.

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