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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 19, No. 43)

24 Nov, 2014 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Lynn AllenVideo Tip: Find the Midpoint Between Two AutoCAD Objects
Have you ever wanted to quickly find the center of a box? Or to determine the midpoint between two objects — 2D or 3D? If so, watch this video tip from Cadalyst and Lynn Allen to learn a speedy technique that will help eliminate construction lines and get the job done in seconds! Watch the video

 

Multiple Undos Made Easy
This AutoCAD tip from Dean Petersen is a real time-saver. "I'm still surprised by the number of people who do not know about the drop-down arrow next to the Undo button in the Quick Access Toolbar." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Create Separate Hatches
Tina Stimpson offers another helpful AutoCAD tip. "Did you know that you can select several different areas and have AutoCAD create a separate hatch for each one of them?" View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Inventor Tip: Show Enlarged Detail
David Gaskill contributed this Autodesk Inventor tip. "When creating a detail view, have you ever wanted to show the enlarged detail with smooth edges on your cutout shape? Here's how." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

November Tips from Hot Tip Harry

Hot Tip Harry, Cadalyst's mysterious purveyor of customized AutoCAD code, has dispatched another bundle of great LISP tips from readers. View and download each of the latest tips using the links below, or get the entire November 2014 Hot Tip Harry batch at once.

Two Functions for Controlling Layer Freeze and Off Properties
Jim Himes shares two similar routines with us this month: The first turns off all frozen layers in AutoCAD, and the second one freezes any layers that are turned off. This might sound a little redundant, but recall that Freeze and Off are different commands. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Set View Rotation
In civil engineering, sheet plan views are usually twisted to read along an alignment. Mike Partenheimer has developed this ViewTwist AutoCAD routine to simplify this very common action. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Draw Railing Elevations
This routine from Jay Thomas is an excellent example of combining LISP code with a dialog box with graphics. Its purpose is to draw railing elevations in AutoCAD. Layers required by the routine are created on the fly, and you can modify the code to make these fit your standards. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Convert 3D Faces to Lines
Kent Cooper created this routine in response to a question in the Autodesk customization forums; the user wanted to trim AutoCAD objects where the cutting edge turned out to be 3D faces. Since neither trimming to 3D faces or exploding 3D faces is supported in AutoCAD, Kent wrote this routine to convert 3D faces into lines, which of course can be used as cutting edges for the Trim command. View the complete tip and post your feedback.


Submit Your Tip

Review Cadalyst's Tip Submission Guidelines, then Submit Your Tip for your favorite CAD software. Be sure to tell us which software version you use. If we publish your original, previously unpublished tip, you can earn a gift card (learn more about prizes here). Please submit only tips or code that are your original work. By submitting code, you grant Cadalyst the right to print and distribute your tip in print, digitally, and by other means. Cadalyst and individual authors retain all rights to submitted tips.

By submitting code, you agree that your code can be reused as-is or modified by other users in conjunction with AutoCAD or other software programs to gain efficiencies in that software for professional or personal use, and that your code can be shared freely among users. Users do not have the right to republish code in any manner or format (such as on a blog web site or in a printed document) for personal or commercial gain without written permission from Cadalyst and the original author.

Got Feedback? To share feedback about one of today's tips, navigate to the tip using the link provided above, then click Comment. The Comment tool is available to registered users of Cadalyst'sCAD Tips site.

Tips & Tools Weekly software tips for AutoCAD are reviewed in the latest version of AutoCAD by Contributing Editor R.K. McSwain. Use all tips at your own discretion, please. We're sorry, but Cadalyst staff cannot provide assistance with technical problems. Please refer to Cadalyst's LinkedIn and Facebook communities for assistance with AutoLISP and other AutoCAD customization questions.

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Deals & Freebies

Autodesk Offering Three Months Free on Annual AutoCAD LT Rental
Anyone who signs up by January 23, 2015, for an annual desktop subscription of eligible Autodesk LT software products can get three additional months of use at no additional cost. AutoCAD LT 2015 rental plans start at $30 per month and offer access to full-featured LT software.

Free 2015 Cool Parts Calendar Available from Proto Labs
Prototype manufacturer Proto Labs will send its 2015 Cool Parts Calendar free to those who register. The calendar depicts 12 innovative prototypes the company has received from CAD users. Calendars will be mailed to U.S. and Canadian addresses while supplies last; requesters outside those locations will receive an electronic version.

LizardTech Updates Its Educational Program Bundles
LizardTech is offering the use of its geospatial data management software to students and faculty of higher education institutions. In LizardTech's educational licensing program, GeoExpress, Express Server, LiDAR Compressor, and GeoGofer are provided in two separate combinations at no cost to educational institutions for one year, but recipients must pay for a year of support and maintenance for each bundle.

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Opportunities & Honors

TraceParts Announces Annual Design Competition
TraceParts, a 3D digital content provider, is accepting entries to its eighth annual design competition, with a 3D printer going to the winner. This year, CAD designers are invited to draw a place or monument in 3D that best represents their country, using CAD or image-editing software. Entries must be submitted before December 17, 2014.

Art Challenge Seeks 3D-Printable Designs for Home Decor
CGTrader.com and 3D Systems have launched the 3D Systems Art Challenge. Contestants are asked to create an interesting sculpture, product, interior decoration, or other artistic, 3D-printable object. Among the prizes will be the CubePro printer (worth $2,799) and the 3Doodler pen. All entries must be submitted by January 11, 2015.

KeyShot Announces 2014 Render Contest Winners
KeyShot has announced the winners of its 2014 Render Contest, which included more than 300 renderings of vehicles and automotive-related products. The grand prizes went to Doug Didia, for his rendering of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Esben Oxholm, whose Peugeot 508 rendering was deemed one of the most creative.

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New Products

MCAD: InspectionXpert OnDemand for CAD
K2D-KeyToData has released InspectionXpert OnDemand for CAD, a quality planning and documentation software platform that supports 3D model–based and 2D print-based formats. The software enables end users to create inspection packages using the same workflow regardless of input file format, and does not require a CAD license to view, balloon, and extract inspection data for reporting.

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Mark Your Calendar

Aeroacoustic Optimization with PowerFLOW and modeFRONTIER
November 25, 2014
9 a.m. ET
ESTECO and Exa Corporation will present a webinar focusing on the benefits of integrating their technologies. Read more

Reverse Engineering with RapidWorks
November 25, 2014
11 a.m. PT
From this NextEngine webinar, viewers can learn the process of turning NextEngine Mesh models into fully parametric solid models using RapidWorks v3.5. Read more

International LiDAR Mapping Forum
February 23–25, 2015
Denver, Colorado
The International LiDAR Mapping Forum is a technical conference and exhibition focused on data acquisition, fusion, processing, and point clouds for airborne, terrestrial, and underwater light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technologies. Read more

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Cadalyst.com. Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to news@cadalyst.com.

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What’s New at Cadalyst.com

Robot Designers Take Cues from Nature
In the world of biomimetics, scientists and engineers model their creations after living creatures. Read more

Herrera on Hardware: Know Your Processors — Intel Core and Xeon
A primer on workstation CPUs for CAD. Read more

Avoid CAD Management Traps
Yes, most problems can be fixed — but it's much better to prevent them in the first place. Read more

Cadalyst Labs Report: Mobile CAD Workstations Priced Under $2,500
Break away from your desk with seven portable, powerful models that can keep you productive wherever you go. Read more


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor and Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD video tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

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