Friday, November 1, 2013

The Fate of Autodesk Design Review Revealed

When Autodesk released AutoCAD 2014 it did not come with Design Review.  None of the 2014 line of products came with Design Review in it did in the past.  That left many of us asking why?  Then when we found out that Autodesk was not updating Design Review 2013 we became fearful that this was the last version we would ever see.  Autodesk 360 was getting pushed hard and many of us that use Design Review feared the worst.  Then one day in a user asked the Autodesk Discussion groups if Design Review was dead.  Here is the link to the discussion that is now nine pages long.

Many users discussed it, the evidence (as mentioned above) and speculated on what might be happening to this great tool.  Then somewhere on page four an Autodesk Program Manager made this statement, “Thank you for the question. I am not here to delude anyone. If you want an electronic review process, given the current state of Autodesk 360, Autodesk Design Review is still the way to go. But the original question was is Design Review being discontinued, and the answer is yes, it will eventually be replaced by Autodesk 360. Until that time, the 2013 version is available for download from the Autodesk site and works with the 2014 product line since the DWF format did not change.”

Needless to say many of us responded in an excited manner and the discussion continued.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Review-HP EliteBook 8570w Mobile Workstation

I tested the HP EliteBook 8570w Workstation.  Here is my review.  It is broken down into two parts; Brief Overview and Full Review.  The brief review is short and covers the major points.  The Full review goes into far greater detail.  Sometimes you just want to know the basics and sometimes you need to know everything.

Brief Overview

Main Specs

The EliteBook 8570w that I tested was on the high end of HP’s spectrum.  Here is a list of the main specifications for the hardware:
  • CPU:  Intel® Core™ i7-3740QM (2.7 GHz, 6 MB cache, 4 cores)
  • Display: 15” LCD (15.6”) active color with built-in webcam (1920x1080)
  • Memory:  16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia Quadro K2000M 2GB 
  • Storage: Seagate 750 GB 7200 rpm SATA
  • Multimedia Drive: DVD read/write & SD Card slot
  • Security: Fingerprint reader, Face recognition
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Pro 
  • Wireless/Communications: Wi-Fi, 56K v.92 Modem, Optional HSPA+ Broadband Radio

The Good

The HP EliteBook 8570w mobile workstation is just that.  It has the full power of a desktop workstation, good graphics, interesting security options (fingerprint scanner), plenty of ports (USB, VGA, Display Port, Esata), the keyboard was easy to use, good looking screen, possible broadband data connection (built in), wi-fi, DVD player/recorder, and a backlit keyboard.  This mobile workstation has everything.  It is very expandable (up to 32 GB RAM on quad core i7), has a PCI slot, SD Card slot, and a great industrial design look.  It is very sturdy and rugged feeling.  A bonus is that the keyboard is full size and has a full numeric keypad.  Most laptops lack this feature.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

3Dconnexion Announces new SpaceMouse Wireless 3D Mouse

3Dconnexion announces a new wireless 3D mouse called SpaceMouse Wireless.  SpaceMouse Wireless is 3Dconnexion’s first and only wireless product.  It features a new design and its two buttons are improved in terms of size, shape and feel compared to the SpaceNavigator products.  It has a lower center of gravity and a larger rubber area on the underside base giving it more stability on the desktop.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Autodesk Teams Up With Evernote

Autodesk is teaming up today with Evernote.  AutoCAD 360 Mobile is getting an update soon (iOS only, for now) that will provide users a way to insert Evernote Notes into AutoCAD 360’s Design Feed directly from the mobile app.  You will also be able to export an area of a drawing into an Evernote Note!  For AutoCAD and Evernote junkies this is huge news!  It streamlines a method of sharing relevant project data between users and provides a history of data exchange.

Autodesk recognizes that their customers are using multiple technologies throughout their workflow to stay organized, share information with co-workers and clients, store data, etc.  This is an effort on their part to make Autodesk (in this case AutoCAD 360 Mobile) products more compatible with other technologies.  Many users and companies use Evernote to organize their project information.  This new integration simplifies the process.

I was able to speak with Autodesk’s Amy Bunszel, Vice President, AutoCAD Products and Mayte Zavaleta, Product Line Manager, AutoCAD Products about this new collaboration.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 Service Pack 1 Released

Autodesk has released Service Pack 1 for AutoCAD 2014.  This service pack can be applied to all supported operating systems and languages.  Note that this does not apply to AutoCAD 2014 for Mac since this version does not exist.  As always before any update, hotfix or service pack please please please read the README file first.  Also make sure you install the proper update.  There are two versions; one for 32-bit and one for 64 bit.  This service pack can be applied to standalone licenses of AutoCAD 2014 or to design suites that contain AutoCAD 2014.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I Spoke With Autodesk About Their New Rental Plans

Autodesk has released details on its new rental payment plans.  These plans offer a new way to gain access to most of Autodesk’s design suites and a few standalone products.  I had the opportunity to speak with Autodesk’s Jeff Wright, Vice President, Cross-Industry and Marketing Services, ISM (Industry Strategy and Marketing) about these new Rental Plans (sometimes referred to pay-as-you-go plans).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lenovo Announces the ThinkStation E32 Entry Level Workstation

Lenovo announces its latest addition to its Thinkstation line of workstations the Thinkstation E32.  This new model comes in a SFF (Small Form Factor) as well as a Tower case.  The ThinkStation E32 features Intel’s® Xeon® E3 1200 v3 product family, the option of NVIDIA’s latest Quadro graphics cards (up to K4000 in the tower and K600 in the SFF) as well as Intel P4600 HD graphics, up to 32 GB of Error Correcting Code (ECC) RAM in both models that feature 1600 MHz DDR3 Memory DIMMs and sports six USB 3.0 ports.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

More Cloud Based Software-Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro

Autodesk has announced their release of Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro.  This is a cloud based version of InfraWorks that utilizes cloud based data storage and simulation.  It is available now on a quarterly license basis.  You do not have to purchase the full version; just “rent” it for three months at a time.  This will make it easier for design companies to “test drive” InfraWorks before they fully commit to it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Autodesk Introduces Rental Plans for Design Suites

Autodesk has launched rental plans for a few of their design suites; Autodesk AutoCAD Inventor LT Suite and Autodesk AutoCAD Revit LT Suite.  Both are monthly plans and both will cost $95 (U.S.D.) per license.  For an extra $20 (U.S.D.) per month you can add Advanced Support.  Payment can be made through the website where you order the suites via credit card or PayPal.  You can set up your rental agreement to automatically renew itself.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

"it is a valuable training video" and other reviews on my AutoCAD LT 2014 Training Video

I have created a training video on how to use AutoCAD LT 2014 and it has received some very nice comments on  The quote in the title is from a review of AutoCAD LT 2014 itself.

I tend to refrain from reading comments on my products, but this time I did and I was very happy.  If you or somebody you know is interested in learning how to use AutoCAD LT 2014, or just plain AutoCAD 2014 check out my videos from Infinite Skills by going to my store page.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Best AutoCAD LT Deal Ever from Amazon - Almost over

I came across a deal today on to purchase Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2014.  If you do, then add my book Mastering AutoCAD 2014 and AutoCAD LT 2014 and you get it for free!!!  Then add my AutoCAD LT 2014 Training video and get it at a discount price as well!!  All for the total of $944.02 (USD).  These items will normally cost you:

AutoCAD LT 2014:  $1200.00
Mastering AutoCAD 2014:  $59.99
AutoCAD LT Training Video:   $49.99

You save $365.96!!!  That's about 28% off!  Not a bad deal.  You get the software and two fantastic ways to learn how to use it!

Just thought you should know.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Autodesk Releases Cloud Based 3D Modeler Fusion 360 - available Now

Autodesk has released Autodesk Fusion 360 today.  From their press releaseAutodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) today delivered the world’s first cloud-based software created specifically for people looking to fuse stunning aesthetic design with great product engineering. Autodesk Fusion 360 brings together capabilities typically found in separate mechanical, industrial and conceptual design tools into one, easy to use cloud-based service.”

Fusion 360 is a cloud based, free form, 3D design tool that I personally found easy to use and learn, even for an AEC designer like myself.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Autodesk Support Updates for June 17, 2013

Support-related information recently added or updated on the Autodesk knowledge base.

June 17, 2013

New Solutions
Annotation scale does not work in xrefs in model space
AutoCAD Raster Design commands return “Unknown command” message
AutoCAD Raster Design ribbon is not displayed
Cannot reinstall AutoCAD 2013
Dialog box positioning isn’t preserved on dual monitors
Error when trying to install earlier version of Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable package
Error: “aeciibui57.arx cannot find a dll or other file that it needs”
Error: “The system cannot open the device or file specified”
File crashes during saving
How to control the size of the text in a point table
How to hide annotative text that should not be displayed
How to report a problem with a certified video card
Installation of suites and AutoCAD-related products blocked by Service Pack
Installing Office 365 will remove a local copy of VBA 7 module and prevents Inventor 2014 from working properly
View is automatically zoomed to extents

Updated Solutions
How to convert a Smoke trial into a full version
Error: The serial number you entered is not valid. Try again.
Error: Unable to load profile file

Updates & Service Packs
AutoCAD Architecture 2013 Service Pack 1
AutoCAD Architecture 2013 Service Pack 2
AutoCAD MEP 2013 Service Pack 2
Autodesk Maya 2014 Service Pack 1
Service Pack SP2 for AutoCAD Structural Detailing 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

AutoCAD WS Changes its name to AutoCAD 360 and goes PRO!

Autodesk has released a new version of AutoCAD WS and has implemented several changes to their mobile CAD product.  First off, AutoCAD WS has a new name.  From henceforth it shall be called “AUTOCAD 360”!!  That makes sense.  It goes along with the rest of Autodesk’s cloud based 360 branding.  The WS, according to Autodesk, never actually stood for anything anyway.  (I always suspected it either stood for Web Service or that the URL was available so they went with it.)  The other big change is that there are now three versions of AutoCAD 360; free, Pro, and Pro Plus.  The free version will essentially look and feel like what we have been using these past few years.  The Pro and Pro Plus versions will require a monthly subscription but provide more storage space, more tools and better support.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

3Dconnexion wins “red dot award: product design 2013” - SpaceMouse Pro Wins

SpaceMouse Pro stands apart among more than 4,500 products for its superior design quality.

3Dconnexion’s SpaceMouse Pro 3D mouse has received a red dot award: product design 2013, one of the largest and most prestigious design contests in the world. The SpaceMouse Pro, 3Dconnexion’s newest 3D mouse, impressed the 37-strong jury, which reviewed more than 4,500 products in 19 categories.

This year’s red dot awards will be presented at the annual red dot gala on 1 July 2013 at Essen’s opera house, the Aalto theatre. The SpaceMouse Pro will then be exhibited in Essen's red dot design museum from 2-28 July, where visitors can learn about the latest product design trends and experience prize-winning products first-hand.

SWFAP May 2013 Meeting Notes

I was fortunate enough to have been the speaker at the May 2013 user group meeting of a few days ago.  I promised to make my Power Point notes available.  Here is a link to the file.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How to Reverse Your Polyline When Text-Based Linetypes Are Upside Down

Many AutoCAD users have custom linetypes with embedded text.  We use these lietypes to help visually identify what the line represents.  Here is an example of an existing water main with a linetype having the text “EX-WM” in it.

Figure 1: An example of a custom linetype going the wrong way.
You can easily tell which lines represent the existing water main.  In this example we have a situation where two lines meet but the linetype text is oriented differently.  It is upside down.  We want the text to “flow” just like we want the water in these pipes to “flow”.  The issue lies in the direction of the line.  These two lines are LINE objects.  They are not joined polylines.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bike Manufacturer Duratec Wants to Build You a Flying Bicycle

In an iconic scene from the Star Wars movies, hero Luke Skywalker out-races the evil Empire’s agents by riding flying speeder bikes through a dense forest. Needless to say, the bad guys get up close and personal with some bark and our heroes live to fight on.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Autodesk Homestyler App for iPad Released

Autodesk has released another free iPad design app.  This time it is their Homestyler home design software.  Homestyler has been around since 2010 as a browser based program.  This program provides a 2D or 3D design tool that helps in interior design and floor layout.  Contractors can use it for remodels, architects can use it to quickly generate a floor plan, and interior decorators can choose from a multitude of commercially available appliances, furniture, doors, windows, and other finishing touches in a range of colors and designs.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

AutoCAD Sheet Sets – Questions are Answered

Novedge was kind enough to invite me to host a Webinar for them.  I did and as far as I can tell it went well.  There was a great response and the attendees asked fantastic questions.  I was the one presenting the information but I was able to learn a few things from their questions.  That’s why I love doing things like this.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

AutoCAD 2014 Available For Download

AutoCAD 2014 is now available for download from

Go to

Choose your language and 32 or 64 bit operating system and download.

AutoCAD for Mac 2014 is not yet available, only the Windows version.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What’s new in AutoCAD 2014?

Autodesk is about to release the latest version of its flagship design program AutoCAD 2014.  AutoCAD 2014 is the 28th release of AutoCAD and is noted as being version 19.1.  It continues with the AutoCAD 2013 .dwg file type and format and is supported on Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems.  No official support from Autodesk will be given for Windows Vista.  AutoCAD 2014 continues Autodesk’s reach for the clouds with its integration of Autodesk 360, new geographic location tool, reality capture, design feed (my personal favorite new tool), and increased control for Autodesk Exchange Apps.  Autodesk also makes an attempt to protect us from malicious files with the Secureload tools.  We will take a look at these new features.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Future of AutoCAD WS: My interview with the AutoCAD WS Project Managers

Autodesk is best known for its flagship design program AutoCAD.   But did you know Autodesk has a mobile version of AutoCAD called AutoCAD WS?  I had a chance to talk with the great people at Autodesk that manage AutoCAD WS; Ilai Rotbaein (Manager, Product Management, AutoCAD Products) and Dusty DiMercurio (Marketing Manager, Small Business).  What they had to say was very interesting.

Autodesk to announce 2014 Portfolio March 26

Autodesk is having a live webcast on March 26th at 8am Pacific (11 am Eastern, 3pm UK and 4 pm Europe) to announce its lineup of 2014 products.  Everyone is invited to attend.

You can watch the webcast on Facebook or LiveStream.

If you are blocked form those sites try viewing the event on my website here:

They are also having a two day celebration event called Unfold.  It will feature Autodesk’s 2014 animation software tools.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

AutoCAD Sheet Sets for Project Management - Free Webinar and Training Discount

Novedge and I will be presenting a free webinar on AutoCAD SheetsSets for Project Management tomorrow, March 20th, 2013 at 11:00 am PDT/2:00 pm EDT.  Sign up now so you don’t miss it.

The webinar is free (did I mention it is free?) and will last about one hour.  The time frame includes a question and answer session at the end of the webinar. 

Not only is the webinar free, but anyone who attends gets a coupon to get 30% off the list price of my Infinite Skills Sheet Sets training Video!  This video has over three hours of in depth training on using Sheet Sets.  The normal list price is $49.99 (U.S.D) and comes with all of the files you will need to learn how to master AutoCAD Sheet Sets.

Come on by to the webinar and get a good look at what’s on the videos.  Sheet Sets do more than help you print your drawings, find out how in this FREE webinar!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The State of Indiana Almost Changed the Value of Pi to 3.2!

There once was legislation proposed in the State of Indiana to change the value of Pi from the commonly accepted 3.14 to 3.2.  This was proposed by a hobbyist mathematician that had claimed to discover a method of “Squaring the Circle”.  The hobbyist was Edward J. Goodwin, from Solitude, Indiana and was a physician.  Squaring the Circle is a problem where a square is made that has the same area as a given circle by only using a small number of steps with a compass and straightedge.  It has proven to be impossible to do this.

It’s Pi day, March 14th. How will you celebrate?

If you don’t believe me that it is officially Pi day, at least in the United States, then here is your proof.  (U.S. Congress Passes Pi Day)
Here is a link to the official Pi Day website:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3Dconnexion Announces Enhanced 3D Mouse Support in Rhino 5

Rhino users rejoice; the latest software version, Rhino 5, is compatible out-of-the-box with all current models of 3Dconnexion 3D mice.

The introduction of Rhino 5 sets a new benchmark for how good the 3Dconnexion 3D mouse experience can be. Now, a 3D mouse provides Rhino 5 users an incomparable level of design interaction, making it a rewarding and creativity boosting tool. What’s capable with this 3D design duo?

  • Intelligent 3D Navigation—The 3D mouse automatically follows the user's point of interest to continuously determine the optimal center of rotation. Alternatively, one can choose to rotate around a selected item.
  • Enhanced Camera Navigation—The 3D mouse can be used to manipulate models in any of three navigation modes: Camera, Target Camera or Helicopter.
  • Customizable Buttons— With Rhino 5’s new 3D mouse button mapping editor, it’s quick and easy for users to assign their favorite commands to the 3D mouse function keys, helping them to "stay in the zone" by reducing keyboard and standard mouse use.

See the complete press release below.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Autodesk Adopts a New Logo

Autodesk has officially announced their new logo.  It’s not the first time they have done this and it will not be the last.  I like it.  I don’t feel the need to go on about it but I felt it was definitely worth mentioning.  Chris Bradshaw, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Autodesk, discusses the new logo in a blog post titled “Not Your Father’s Autodesk”.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Google Chromebook Pixel – Mobile CAD Workstation or Overpriced Web Browser?

image from Pixel order page
Google just announced their newest piece of hardware, the Google Chromebook Pixel.  It’s a Chromebook so it runs on Google Chrome.  Want to know what that’s like?  Run the Google Chrome browser and nothing else.  That’s an over simplification but you can get a good idea of what it is like.

Google has been trying to sell Chromebooks for a while now and I have always been interested in them.  None of them have been powerful enough for my liking but they have been set at a good price.  Now that the Pixel is out and available for purchase and that Autodesk is making a major push for in the browser cloud based CAD software, could the Google Pixel be a viable candidate for a mobile CAD station?  I can’t honestly say yes or no until I get one (Google can you send me one to test please?) and try it out but my gut feeling is that it could be useful in certain situations. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Kickstarter Project to Build an Open Source Death Star Now Available for Backers

(photo from Death Star Kickstarter Page)

Yes there actually is a Kickstarter looking to build an actual Death Star!  I love the internet.  I love free will.  Kickstarter is a great use of both.  I also love Star Wars.  I have no idea how many times I have imagined myself running through the Death Star, swinging on cables, dodging laser blasts from Stormtroopers (not that you really have to dodge them, they can’t hit the backside of a bantha unless they are off screen while shooting) and escaping from the clutches of the evil Empire!  If this Kickstarter project gets funded then I may get my chance to do this in real life!

Monday, February 4, 2013

AutoCAD WS 1.6.1 Released – AutoCAD Utility Design Now Supported

Autodesk released the latest version of AutoCAD WS (mobile version 1.6.1) for the web based version as well as the iOS and Android versions.  All versions are up to date and match each other.  These latest versions support AutoCAD Utility Design drawings.  According to the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, various bug fixes are also addresses.

See the AutoCAD WS blog post here about this update.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to Get to CAD-a-Blog

How do you get to CAD-a-Blog on the web?  Well there are a few ways.  It would seem that sense you are here you already know how to get here.  Seems obvious.  But perhaps you found your way here via a link or Google search (maybe even a Bing search.)

You can go to these URLs (web site addresses) to get here:


I always wanted CADABLOG.COM but it wasn't available when I started this site.  The company that owned it stopped renewing it so it was available and I got it.  It's mine and you can use it to get here.  It's much easier to remember and to type.  I've always hated the hyphens, but at the time it was all I could get.

Also, the site is hosted on Blogger (Google's blog service) so the actual URL is:

You can use that URL as well.  Regardless of how you get here, I hope you enjoy the content.

Thanks for stopping by.

AUGI January HotNews is out! I have two articles!

The AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) HotNews January edition is out.  It's been a while since I had an article in HotNews but this month I actually have two!

Here they are:

Friday, January 11, 2013

LizardTech releases free GeoViewer app for Android.

LizardTech has had a free image viewer for desktops (GeoViewer) for some time now.  Now they have released a free version of their viewer on the Android platform through the Google Play Store.  GeoViewer is a simple viewer that can handle MrSID and JPEG 2000 images.  Users can pan and zoom to navigate the images.  You can also add vector layers like Esri Shape files and KML Files.

The app lets users measure distance between points, between a point and your current location (if your device’s GPS is enabled) or along a path of points.  GeoViewer can see geocoordinates of any location by touching that place on the screen.  Users can look at layer properties, the coordinate reference system being used, the layer’s geo bounding box, dimensions, colors pace, data type and resolution.  Users can also search locations by geographic coordinates in WGS84 (Lat/Long) or in the images native coordinate system.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Autodesk Must make AutoCAD WS for Windows Phones


If Autodesk doesn't make a Windows Phone 8, or Windows 8 App store version of AutoCAD WS (and their other apps) they will miss the boat.

Windows is not going away any time soon.  Windows Phone 8 is not that big of deal right now but it is growing.  The thing about Windows Phone 8 is that it works very well with other Microsoft software like Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office.  Many AutoCAD users use many Microsoft Products (like Office and Exchange.)  Windows Phone 8 will get adopted, how much, I have no idea.  In the U.S. it only has a small market share (at the moment) but it is growing.  Windows 8 will eventually replace most of Windows XP, Windows Vista and eventually Windows 7.  Honestly that may not happen until Windows 9 comes out, but you get the idea.  Windows, for the moment, is here to stay in the enterprise and in small business.


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