Friday, July 27, 2012

AutoCAD Exchange is Closing


Autodesk announced yesterday that they will be closing the AutoCAD Exchange website and migrate its contents to other “popular networks” like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

That’s a shame.  When AutoCAD Exchange first launched it had great promise.  It was an online community hosted by Autodesk that had a lot of great content.  It had Featured Videos, Tips and Tricks, Design Showcase, several resources and my favorite, “Ask the Expert”.  I really liked Ask the Expert because they always had great people available to answer your questions.  And those questions were archived so you could revisit them or search through them.  It has been my experience that if one person has a question about CAD, somebody else does too.  Again, it’s a shame it’s closing.  However…the information will not be lost forever.  It will be “migrated” to other networks.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

AutoCAD 2013 and AutoCAD LT 2013 Training Videos


My latest AutoCAD training videos are out and ready for you to purchase.  They are “Learning Autodesk AutoCAD 2013” and “Learning Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2013”.  Each video contains about 15 hours of in-depth training on how to use AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT.  They took a look at the latest tools that were added to Autodesk’s latest release of its premier design program.

Each video title contains 15 chapters of hands on training and instruction.  We start off by introducing you to AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT, how to install it, and what to expect when you turn it on.  We then describe the latest features and tools that Autodesk added to AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 2013.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Autodesk Releases Autodesk Inventor Fusion for Mac for FREE!!



Autodesk has released their 3D Direct Modeling software Inventor Fusion for Mac.  It is available for download in the Mac App Store now and at a great price.  Inventor Fusion for Mac is also Mountain Lion ready.

No Support for AutoCAD on Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion (yet)


Autodesk has announced that, at the moment, there is no AutoCAD 2012, 2013 for Mac support for Mac OS X10.8 Mountain Lion, Apple’s latest update to their OS.  There is also no support for AutoCAD LT 2012 or 2013.  According to Autodesk’s Services and Support website covering this issue, “undesirable effects can occur” if you have any of the above listed products installed on Mountain Lion.


Some of those issues are:

  • Issues with Installer re-start
  • Resetting applications
  • Cursor missing when printing to PDF
  • And more


AutoCAD WS update – Now has Design Feed



Autodesk has released the next version of AutoCAD WS Mobile.  Release 1.5 has a very big new feature called Design Feed.  Design Feed is a mechanism for context-specific posts that allow real time and asynchronous collaboration from within the drawing file.




Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Our Internet is down; Too bad we aren’t using cloud services!


When I got to the office today everything was fine on this Tuesday morning.  Within 15 minutes my phone started ringing off the hook!  THE INTERNET IS DOWN!!!!!  Call after call of users asking if the internet connection was down. Most of those early conversations began something like this, “Is there a problem with the internet because I can’t connect to Gmail/my banks website/Facebook?”  the caller would ask.

Yes.  If you can’t get to the internet there is a problem.  In this case the problem was our ISP (Internet Service Provider.)  They had an outage.  In total we were without internet access from about 8:00 a.m. till 2:45 p.m., six almost seven hours.   That’s a long time.

Our CAD Techs and Engineers were all able to work on their respective projects, but the managers had a difficult time communicating with clients and local municipalities.  The internet outage knocked out our email server.  It couldn’t communicate with the rest of the world so we weren’t receiving nor were we sending emails.  Since we also use a VOIP (Voice Over I.P.) phone system, our phones were down too.

Dell Announces New Precision Mobile Workstations – M4700 and M6700

Dell adds to its workstation product line with two new systems, the Dell Precision M4700 and M6700.  The M4700 is Dell’s 15-inch mobile workstation and the Dell Precision M6700 provides higher performing graphics with a 17-inch display.  The popular Covet Edition is back on the 17-inch version, featuring a Phoenix Red color finish and edge to edge Corning® Gorilla® Glass 2 for brighter images and increased resilience and protection.
 
The Dell Precision M4700 and M6700 incorporate the latest Intel Core i5, i7 and Extreme Edition processors with Turbo Boost Technology for optimal performance and an choice of professional graphics including the NVIDIA Quadro K-series GPUS and AMD FirePro graphics. The M6700 is the first and only to offer AMD FirePro M6000 with PCIe x16 Gen 3 for fast data throughput.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mastering AutoCAD 2013 and AutoCAD LT 2013


The complete tutorial and reference to the world's leading CAD program, Mastering AutoCAD 2013 and AutoCAD LT 2013, is available and I helped to update it!  This book (1200 pages) covers everything in AutoCAD 2013 and AutoCAD LT 2013.  Mastering AutoCAD 2013 is the Autodesk Official Training Guide and Autodesk Certification Preparation manual for AutoCAD 2013.  It is published by Sybex, an imprint of Wiley, and is available in Paper Back or eBook.  It is fully illustrated and comes with a CD containing example files and bonus material.

Guest Post: How to Make a CTB File in AutoCAD (by Brian M. Curran)


Within AutoCAD a CTB file is used for plotting, and is known as a color-dependent plot style table. This file is used to assign characteristics to objects, based on the colors of the objects. A CTB file can assign numerous characteristics to objects, but in my experience, I’ve basically just used CTB files to assign lineweights to layers, in order to get the type of drawing plots I want.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hands On Review - HP z420 Workstation


Brief Overview

I had a chance to review one of HP’s Z series workstations, the HP z420 Workstation.  The z420 Workstation is a mid-range workstation.  It is a balance between price and performance and at the time of this writing is HP’s best-selling Workstation (per my interview with HP.)  Here is a brief review going over the basics and hitting on what I felt were the most important points.  If you want more detail and a look at my review process keep reading.

Main Specs
The HP z420 Workstation can come in a variety of hardware specifications.  We will discuss those later.  The unit I reviewed had the following major specs:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Autodesk to purchase Socialcam


Autodesk announced today that it has signed an agreement to purchase Socialcam for approximately $60 million (USD).
Socialcam is a mobile app that allows for video capture, editing and sharing.  The deal is set to close in Autodesk’s third quarter of fiscal 2013 which ends on October 31, 2012.
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120717005592/en/Autodesk-Signs-Agreement-Acquire-Socialcam

Socialcam is a small business (only 4 employees) that spun off of Justin.tv the prior year.  It has been able to receive funding and is now being purchased by Autodesk.

http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/30/socialcam-angel-funding-investors/

Why would Autodesk want a mobile app that creates and edits videos? Why did they purchase Pixlr? For the same reasons they are making several mobile app versions of their own software and giving them all away for free.  This is the consumerification of Autodesk.  Autodesk has been producing high end software that, let’s face it, is very expensive.  The average person can’t afford to purchase AutoCAD, let alone one of their design suites.  Even if they could, why would they?  Consumers make up a very large audience that Autodesk wasn’t reaching.  Now Autodesk is making an effort to reach out to consumers.  They have saturated the professional design market, the SFx market, and now they want the consumer market.  Besides, Socialcam can always be marketed to professionals as well.  How useful would it be to go to the job site, record an inspection video, edit it there and send it back to the client, office, approving agency, etc.?  Very.

I’m interested in seeing how Autodesk uses this soon to be acquisition.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Can't find the right file? Fix your filing system


Image credit:qwasyx / 123RF Stock Photo 
It hurts me to see people in an engineering office (or any office) fumble around in a hurried bustle trying to find a drawing(s) for a very important client meeting while freaking out!  Seriously…I want to cry.  I hurt from the inside.  You know that scene in Star Wars, A New Hope, when Obi-Wan Kenobi is training Luke Skywalker on route to Alderaan via the Millennium Falcon?  You know…when Obi-Wan is suddenly faint, is forced to sit down under the weight of death caused by the sudden destruction of an entire planet and says, “as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced” ?  That’s how I feel when I see or hear this kind of story.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Project Geppetto Updated in Autodesk Labs


image from Autodesk Labs

Autodesk Labs has released an update for their free Technology Preview Project Geppetto.  Project Geppetto is an ongoing research project from Autodesk.  Its purpose is to make it easy for users to add large amounts of people (or crowds) to your 3ds Max scenes.

Project Geppetto gives you tools to create realistic “people” motion, large amounts of humans roaming your design scene, and provides a framework for controlling and creating a scene with thousands of virtual people.

This latest update includes:

  • Support for Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 and Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2013
  • Contains the Evolver technology
  • It extends the technology preview period through January 15, 2013


Go to Autodesk Labs and check out the preview.
http://labs.autodesk.com/utilities/geppetto/

Read more about what it does and how to do it.  Autodesk is looking for guidance from the users on this project.  If you like this tool or think that you might like this tool try it out.  Get involved.  Tell Autodesk what you think, what you like, what you don’t like and what you want.

Here is a video on Project Geppetto:
http://youtu.be/NnH7F2eOLb8

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Archive an original AutoCAD file after you have made changes to it.

I forgot to make a copy of this AutoCAD file before I started to change it.  OOPS!  It happens.  So what can you do?  First of all, if you are making a major change to an existing AutoCAD file it is a good idea to make a copy (an historical archive) of the file before you change it.  That way you have an electronic copy of what you submitted that you can go back to.  There are many reasons why you may need to revisit an old design or an older version of a drawing.  Minor changes may not require an archive, but what constitutes a minor change?

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