Wednesday, January 30, 2008


AutoCAD command map

Shaan Hurley's Between the Lines blog writes about the AutoCAD command and system variable map. It is interesting that the number of commands has not changed since AutoCAD R12 - of course many new commands were introduced but some old ones are now obsolete.

Read the post and discussion at:
For AutoCAD Geeks - Command and System Variables Map and Trivia

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008


AutoCAD terrain modelling for free

Not only architects and surveyors need to create digital terrain models (DTM). The CAD users I take care of had many times a list of 3D points or contours and they needed to make a 3D model (a surface) from these. Of course there are special tools like Civil 3D or AutoCAD Architecture which can do this or special add-on applications, but sometimes you just need a quick and dirty way to get a 3D model.
There is a new free tool by CAD Studio which could help in such situations. Their DTM utility makes 3D terrain models from 3D points and blocks you have in your drawing. Except flowlines, it lacks any advanced functions you will find in the above mentioned applications but as a quick and free tool, it is perfect. You can render the terrain and calculate its volume - that's all you need in most cases (if you - like me - are not a DTM specialist).

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Sunday, January 13, 2008


CAD in your internet browser

The Autodesk Lab project - "Project Draw" - has matured to a quite usable tool now. It is a complete diagramming (CADD) application running completely in your internet browser. Think of Actrix (former Autodesk diagramming software) or Vision running inside a web page.

So you don't need to install any software, not even an ActiveX object, to draw and edit diagrams, using symbol libraries, smart grips, etc. All this is programmed in Javascript, using Ajax and other Web 2.0 technologies. Project Draw now offers also an "off-line" mode. Making use of the "Google Gears" technology it allows to work offline on your drawings and diagrams. And when you switch your online/offline status, it synchronizes your designs automatically.

It will be an interesting way to go to the "web-version" of AutoCAD in the futture...

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Bubble in AutoCAD 2009

I have seen a short demo of AutoCAD 2009. All the new functions in version 2009 are probably still secret but there is one detail I will like for sure - as a user of the Bubble utility for AutoCAD.
Similar to Bubble, if you hoover your cursor above an entity, a small bubble (tooltip) is displayed with the relevant data about this entity. So you can see at a glance what type of entity it is, what layer it is on, its geometry data, what is the block name, etc. You have control what information is displayed about the individual types of drawing objects.

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