Hatching Open Areas in AutoCAD using a Gap Tolerance

Hatching Open Areas in AutoCAD using a Gap Tolerance

Hatches help us assign context to specific elements of our plans by adding texture to what would otherwise be a flat engineering document. As the “paint bucket” tool … Read more

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Quick Quantities using Field Conversion Factors

Quick Quantities using Field Conversion Factors

The long list of inquiry tools within AutoCAD provide many ways to approach the task of performing quantity takeoffs on your drawings. Yet as powerful as these tools are, one limitation that has long challenged me is way 1 doesn’t always equal 1 in the context of quantity takeoffs. A common example of this is the need to calculate the number of parking stalls throughout a site. Because of site design elements such as parking islands, it’s likely some stalls will not have a painted stripe separating it, meaning it’s not necessarily possible to get an accurate count by simply calculating the number of paint striping lines in my drawing.

Despite this limitation, one consistent parameter with parking stalls is their width. It stands to reason that an accurate count could be achieved by adding up the length of a parking stall run, and dividing it by the width of a single stall. Interestingly enough, this can be automated using a lesser known Conversion Factor parameter for Fields.

Read moreQuick Quantities using Field Conversion Factors

Name That Page Setup and Win (Save) Money

AutoCAD provides an almost infinite number of possibilities when preparing a drawing for plotting. Setting up drawing to plot is like an artist making a reproduction of a painting; the two paintings will look very similar, but they’ll never look exactly the same. This is much like plotting in AutoCAD; you’ll probably find the right combination to correctly plot sheet 1, but reproducing those settings for sheet 2 will likely be a shot in the dark. Even if you do manage to perfectly reproduce those settings for subsequent sheets – how much time did you waste?

You may have seen a quick tips video I filmed for the AutoCAD Exchange with Heidi Hewett where she and I chatted about a solution to this problem – Named Page Setups. Instead of manually configuring the PLOT command for each drawing you produce, why not capture those settings in a way you can quickly and easily apply them to future sheets? This is the exact role Named Page Setups play in every modern release of AutoCAD. Since I could, and well did write several pages on this topic alone in my upcoming book AutoCAD 2011 and AutoCAD LT 2011: No Experience Required, I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version in this post.

Read moreName That Page Setup and Win (Save) Money

First look at Hatching and Transparency in AutoCAD 2011

image Out in San Francisco during the AutoCAD 2011 Product Launch Event I took a first look at 3D Surfaces inside AutoCAD 2011. As powerful as 3D AutoCAD has become, 2D remains a mainstay of what many AutoCAD users do on a daily basis. After all it’s still 2D plan sheets that get things built.

On the 2D side, Hatching is by far one of the biggest enhancements to the 2011 release of AutoCAD. I’ve made my opinion of the Ribbon no secret in recent years. For me the AutoCAD 2009 Ribbon left a lot to be desired, but the addition of contextual tabs in 2010 made it one of my favorite parts of AutoCAD. You may recall the contextual Editor tab for Mtext inside AutoCAD 2011. This year the trend continues with the HATCH command. Say goodbye to the bulky Hatch dialog, and hello to what I think is a wonderful execution of what contextual editor Ribbon tabs can and should be. Just push play on the video below to have a look at some of the hatch improvements inside AutoCAD 2011.

Read moreFirst look at Hatching and Transparency in AutoCAD 2011

First look at Surface Modeling in AutoCAD 2011

DSC_3734 Hopefully everyone caught the AutoCAD 2011 Product Launch Webcast this morning. For those of us here in San Francisco we’re getting to meet with many of the key players behind the AutoCAD product. Right now Guillermo Melantoni from the What a Mesh! blog is presenting the 3D modeling enhancements found inside AutoCAD 2011. Earlier I was able to record a video introducing some of these enhancements. View the video after the jump:

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Special Autodesk Event Next Week

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I have the privilege of traveling to San Francisco, CA for a special Autodesk event being held in the Autodesk Gallery at One Market next Thursday (March 25, 2010). There I will be among a group of AutoCAD bloggers who will meet with the AutoCAD Teams at Autodesk during what is sure to be an incredible day of technical insights and more. Part of our day will include getting a front-row seat to an exclusive live webcast you too can attend with Autodesk CEO Carl Bass and Senior Vice President Amar Hanspal as they discuss updates to Autodesk’s portfolio of design software for the AEC, manufacturing and general design industries.

Register for the March 25th Webcast Today

Read moreSpecial Autodesk Event Next Week