Thursday, September 30, 2010

AutoCAD WS Free Download now Available in the App Store for iOS

AutoCAD WS on iPhone-iTouch
AutoCAD WS is a mobile application for the Apple iPhone, iPod, and iPad.  It gives users the ability to view, edit and share AutoCAD DWG files!  You don’t have to take your laptop with you to view DWG files, or to edit them, AutoCAD WS can do that for you.

AutoCAD WS, formerly known as Project Butterfly) is now out and it is free.  It is available in two forms; Web Browser Based (in Adobe Flash) and for iOS devices (iPhone, iTouch and iPad).  There are many things that you can do with AutoCAD WS, but there are also many things that you can not do with it.  AutoCAD WS is not meant to replace AutoCAD, if it were it wouldn’t be free!  It is meant to be mobile and a means to collaborate with others.  The browser based AutoCAD WS is different from the iOS based version.  You can do more with the browsers version, but it’s not mobile unless you are running it on a laptop or netbook.

AutoCAD WS in a browser

AutoCAD WS allows users to upload (only from the browser version or the AutoCAD Plug In) DWG files so that they can be viewed and marked up in AutoCAD WS.  If you haven’t tried it out I suggest you do.  Multiple users can access and edit a DWG file simultaneously.  Notes can be taken and viewed by all parties involved.  This feature will allow users to better understand drawing discussions, provide the same notes, the same markups, and allow further collaboration.  AutoCAD WS is not meant to be a full out CAD program.  It is a simple 2D mark up and collaboration tool.  
If you want to find out more about it here are some links to follow:

AutoCAD WS Web application and online workspace.
AutoCAD WS Mobile app for the for Apple® iPad™, iPhone®, and iPod touch®, available for download on iTunes (
AutoCAD WS Mobile apps are immediately available from iTunes store, plug-ins from, and web app sign-up/account access at
Video is available on the log-in page

AutoCAD WS on iPad
There is a plug in available for AutoCAD and some of its verticals that will give you access to your AutoCAD WS Account from within AutoCAD.  This will make it easier for users to upload files for viewing.  The plug-in is only available for English AutoCAD 2011 and English AutoCAD LT and these verticals:

  • AutoCAD® Architecture 2011
  • AutoCAD® MEP 2011
  • AutoCAD® Mechanical 2011
  • AutoCAD® Plant 3D 2011
  • AutoCAD® P&ID 2011
  • AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2011
  • AutoCAD® Electrical 2011
  • AutoCAD® ecscad 2011 
  • AutoCAD® Structural Detailing 2011
  • AutoCAD® Map 3D 2011

I suggest that you check it out.  It may be a tool that you can use.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Advanced AutoCAD Training Video

My next AutoCAD Training Video is here; Advanced AutoCAD.

This next AutoCAD Training Video of mine builds on top of my previous title, AutoCAD Fundamentals.  Any AutoCAD user that wants to take their skills to the next level will be interested in this new title.

This title contains ten hours of training time over 112 lessons.  Many of the chapters have a project for you to complete after you have gone through that training segment.  The title comes with all of the AutoCAD files that you will need for the sessions as well as other support files.

This video will go through and show you how to navigate through your files, advanced operations that can be done with the Application Menu, tips on working efficiently, as well as tools that will make you a better AutoCAD Operator.  We delve deeper into advanced tools like the Align command, Quick Select and filters.  We also discuss object visibility tools like the Hide/Isolate commands, transparency settings and draw order.  Since everyone needs to annotate their drawings we look deep into the complicated settings of Dimension Styles, fields, tables, and how to import and link text from a Word file!

I don’t want to bore you with information, but if you’ve ever wanted to export you AutoCAD data or linework then you will want to pay attention to chapter Nine, using Data.  And if you hate doing the same thing over and over again, then look at chapter ten: Dynamic Blocks and chapter 12: Action Recorder.  This chapter shows you how to record your work and have AutoCAD do it again for you.

In chapter Eleven: Parametric Constraints, I show you how to program your linework, locking in your design parameters.  If you are interested in customizing AutoCAD then don’t pass up chapter 13: Customization.  The last few chapters dig into file management and provide a look at free software from Autodesk that will help you view and markup drawings without ever opening AutoCAD!  Chapter 15: Introduction to 3D Design gives a great look at the 3D modeling features that are in AutoCAD.  It’s not just a 2D drafting tool you know!

Click here to view all of my Infinite Skills Training Videos.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

AutoCAD Insider- New AutoCAD learning opportunity-Thanks heidi

Heidi Hewett, Technical Marketing Manager for Autodesk, was kind enough to write a post on her blog, AutoCAD Insider, about my new training video AutoCAD Fundamentals.

Thank you Heidi!!  AutoCAD Fundamentals puts the "FUN" in AutoCAD Fundamentals!  It is also geared for beginners.  Don't worry, Advanced AutoCAD Techniques is just around the corner, and I mean just around the corner!!  This newest video creation will look at more complicated and advanced tools and techniques.

I will keep you updated!

Monday, September 20, 2010

DraftSight still free and now available for MAC

Dassault Systemes, makers of CATIA and Solidworks, put out a free 2D drafting program called DraftSight a few months ago.   As soon as I saw this I downloaded DraftSight and gave it to an intern to break.  From time to time I also used it in production.  Now, DraftSight is available for free on a MAC.  If you are running a PC or a MAC you can use DraftSight, for free.  I have a few opinions on DraftSght and I would like to share them with you.

In short, I feel that DraftSight is both good and bad.  My recommendation for it, or against it, will depend on your situation.

First, the reasons to use it.

  • It's free.  This is the best reason to use it.  It's free.  What else can I say.  It is definitely worth the cost.
  • It can read/write DWG files.
  • If you are an AutoCAD User/Veteran, it "feels" like AutoCADr14 or maybe even AutoCAD 2000.
  • It's keyboard commands recognized standard AutoCAD keyboard commands.  "L" is for "line".
  • AutoCAD users can work with DraftSight right away.
Now, my reasons not to use it.
  • It can only draw in two dimensions.
  • Lisp is not yet functional (but we are told it will be soon so I hesitate to bring this up)
  • It lacks powerful design/drafting tools (for example: Dynamic Blocks, Constraints, Sheet Managers)
  • Can not reference PDF files.
DraftSight is great for making 2D line drawings with no intelligence.  If all you and your firm do is make line drawings then you should use DraftSight.  If you are a hobbyist or need a drafting tool at home, please use DraftSight.

If you produce multiple sheet drawing sets, use something else.  If you need aerial images or PDF files in your drawings, use something else.  If you need design tools like Dynamic Blocks, or Parametric Constraints don't use DraftSight.  If you ever need to create a 3D model, even a basic one, use something else.  

DraftSight is a great 2D companion program to run alongside a powerful 3D design package, but it can't do everything.  I'll be the first to admit that I am an AutoCAD Fanboy, but I feel that DraftSight has its place.  It is an easy to use 2D drafting tool.  It's features are similar to AutoCAD r14 or AutoCAD 2000.  But it lacks many of the enhanced features that Autodesk has put into AutoCAD over the last ten years.  If you want a powerhouse CAD program that can do everything from 2D linework to 2D Constrained Design and all the way to 3D free form surface and mesh modeling, then pay for it and get AutoCAD.  AutoCAD isn't cheap, but DraftSight is.  DraftSight is limited in what it can do, but if that's all you need why pay for more?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Getting the best drafting jobs - Guest Post

Are you looking for a job in the drafting field?  This article is a Guest Post from Edwin Chan (check out his website Design Establishment.) and he gives some good advice when looking for CAD or drafting work.

Getting the Best Drafting Jobs

As a designer, engineer or drafter, there are many different drafting jobs that you can do. Whether it is something you want to do full time or even something on the side for a bit of extra cash, there are many options out there to choose from. This article will look at how you can go about making yourself stand out from the other job candidates when on the job hunt.

Building Your Skill Set

Take a look at your resume and see what skills you already have that you can build on. For example, if you are a guru on AutoCAD, then picking up a similar program such as Double CAD XT or GStarICAD won’t take long and will fill out your resume more. This holds true for many different drafting and 3D modeling programs. Spending a little extra time learning these programs is a quick and easy way to build your resume up.

The Job Hunt –Get Networking

Once you’ve got a solid resume, it is time to do the searching. There are many different avenues that you can choose. The most powerful way and often the most overlooked would be getting a job through networking. A lot of people love to hire people through recommendation or through association.
Get in contact with the big players in your industry. Build networks and find mentors. Although many of these people are super busy, you will find a majority that would love to help you out. Staying in contact with people and building the relationships over time will greatly increase the chance of you getting referred to a job or being next in line when a job opening does open up. A well networked person usually never runs out of work to do.

Be Flexible

Often being able to draft well in one industry means you can use the skills you already have to jump into another. When looking for the right CAD drafting job, don’t only look for jobs within your industry. For example, if you are good at architectural drafting, then there is nothing stopping you from jumping into marine drafting or drafting schematics. Think about where you can apply your current skills into other industries. This will open up a wider pool of jobs that you can choose from.

Finding the top cad drafting jobs doesn’t have to be hard. Get connected, be flexible and find creative ways to boost your resume. This will greatly improve your chances of getting the best job for your needs.


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