Sunday, January 28, 2007


Max rendering of AutoCAD 2007 models

Our AutoCAD models made it to Hollywood - almost. They should be used in a presentation video which is prepared by another company. This company is using Autodesk 3ds max 8.

As both AutoCAD and 3ds max are developed by the same company, I believed that there will be no problems transferring the DWG data from AutoCAD to 3ds max. But there were problems. The video company was not able to read our AutoCAD 2007 data into 3ds max. At the end we figured that the problems were caused by the new DWG2007 format. But fortunately there is a quick fix for this - 3ds max 8 should be patched with SP3 and there is also a RealDWG 2007 update for 3ds max 8. This solved the problem.

So there is always the rule of thumb #1: keep your software patched to the latest SP level.

Monday, January 22, 2007


AutoCAD is different ...

"AutoCAD ist anders..."
Unlike almost all other Windows applications the primary user interaction in AutoCAD takes place via commands (command names) and AutoCAD commandline. This is where you enter your directives (commands) to draw, modify and setup your drawing database.

While some AutoCAD power users still use the commandline (command window) as their main user interface to AutoCAD, most of the users depend on standard Windows UI components like pulldown menus, toolbars, or AutoCAD palletes.

But most users do not distinguish between individual commands (commandline) and their menu counterparts. I often hear complaints that this and this command should be placed differently in the menu structure, that this and this command is hard to find in menu, this and this command is missing in toolbars, etc. They simply do not realize that the whole menu+toolbars is just a sample UI offering the most frequent command set. All the menu items do nothing more than running the individual command names, "typing the commands" more conveniently for you and presenting a standard UI to learn and share.

As the whole menu structure in AutoCAD is fully customizable (via CUI), it is completely up to you how your AutoCAD menu looks like and what commands are included in it. So feel free to play around. You can also switch off the menu altogether and use just the commandline - the full AutoCAD command set will be still available for you.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007


AutoCAD - one full floppy and growing...

It is only 20 years back when the full AutoCAD installation consisted of a single floppy disk (a 8" floppy). Yes, full 1.2MB of CAD software code! And AutoCAD version 2.5 has even run on diskless PCs - i.e. on a PC with no hard disk and with amazing 640kB of RAM (I am not talking about a terminal client).

Since that time AutoCAD has grown a bit. The latest version - AutoCAD 2007 - does not fit on one CD anymore so it is shipped on two CDs and it occupies whole 920MB (760x more). Of course, part of this data growth can be ascribed to Windows but also the AutoCAD function set, its material libraries, textures, 3D code have grown and add substantially to the total volume.

It looks like we have to accustom to the future software versions (not only CAD) shipped on DVDs only - because of its size.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007


New tips from CAD Forum

I would like to point out a couple of useful CAD tips by CAD Forum.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


AutoCAD P&ID 2007 released

The new AutoCAD flavor (mentioned a couple of days before) has been released. AutoCAD P&ID is to be used for plant and power diagramming.

See the announcement by Shaan Hurley and John Herrman.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


More AutoCAD flavors to come

It looks like we will see higher number of industry-oriented AutoCAD versions in near future. Now it is (besides AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT) only AutoCAD Mechanical and AutoCAD Electrical (previously also AutoCAD Map - now it is Autodesk Map 3D).
But Autodesk plans to release a P&ID version of AutoCAD - AutoCAD P&ID (see the announcement) and there are rumors that Architectural Desktop will be renamed to AutoCAD Architectural (a more suitable name IMHO, "Desktop" doesn't mean anything) - so we will probably see "AutoCAD Architectural 2008". But I doubt that Autodesk will rename also the other remaining "Desktop" applications (as they are dying now): Mechanical Desktop and Land Desktop.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Best wishes for 2007

Please accept without obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, politically correct, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practised within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.
I wish you a financially successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but with due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures or sects, and having regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform or sexual preference of the wishee. By accepting this greeting you are bound by these terms that:- This greeting is subject to further clarification or withdrawal This greeting is freely transferable provided that no alteration shall be made to the original greeting and that the proprietary rights of the wishor are acknowledged. This greeting implies no promise by the wishor to actually implement any of the wishes. This greeting may not be enforceable in certain jurisdictions and/or the restrictions herein may not be binding upon certain wishees in certain jurisdictions and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wishor. This greeting is warranted to perform as reasonably may be expected within the usual application of good tidings, for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first.
The wishor warrants this greeting only for the limited replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wishor. Any references in this greeting to "the Lord", "Father Christmas", "Our Saviour", "Rudolph the red nosed reindeer" or any other festive figures, whether actual or fictitious, dead or alive, shall not imply any endorsement by or from them in respect of this greeting, and all proprietary rights in any referenced third party names and images are hereby acknowledged. This greeting is made under German Law.

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