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A CAD Dinosaur's Journey, Part 17: Extracting Data and Using Standards in AutoCAD 2015

Posted by cadhardware

May 19, 2015 7:32:00 PM

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Cadalyst's blog series by Patrick Hughes, A CAD Dinosaur's Journey into Modern Times.” In this three-month series, Hughes chronicles his transition from AutoCAD R14 to v2015 and from an outdated PC to a state-of-the-art professional workstation. Follow along and enjoy!

When your teeth are as large and old as this T-Rex’s, any reference to the word “extraction” can send chills up and down one’s spine. But as I investigate the AutoCAD Dataextraction command introduced in AutoCAD 2008 I find some comfort in its connotation. I think I’ll use Dataextraction (DX) a lot and it will impact my design and detail work, although I’m not 100% certain how. That’s the one thing about working with new tools and methodologies — until it becomes more ingrained, there are many directions you can go. In the meantime, I’m trying a number of approaches to make my work less brain intensive and more efficient.

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Topics: Workstations, AutoCAD, CAD workstations, A CAD Dinosaur's Journey into Modern Times, CAD, 3D modeling

A CAD Dinosaur's Journey, Part 16: Stretching Out

Posted by cadhardware

May 12, 2015 4:26:15 PM

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Cadalyst's blog series by Patrick Hughes, A CAD Dinosaur's Journey into Modern Times.” In this three-month series, Hughes chronicles his transition from AutoCAD R14 to v2015 and from an outdated PC to a state-of-the-art professional workstation. Follow along and enjoy!

Who would think something with the name "constraints" could actually be liberating? Well, with arms as short as mine, I find that my reach can be enhanced with constraints. Now, I don’t mean that it’s any easier to grab something from the floor, that’s still a struggle, but while playing around with constraints on a recent project, I found them to be a useful addition to AutoCAD (new in AutoCAD 2010).

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Topics: Workstations, AutoCAD, CAD workstations, A CAD Dinosaur's Journey into Modern Times, CAD, 3D modeling

A CAD Dinosaur's Journey, Part 15: Miscellaneous Musings

Posted by cadhardware

May 5, 2015 5:16:42 PM

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Cadalyst's blog series by Patrick Hughes, A CAD Dinosaur's Journey into Modern Times.” In this three-month series, Hughes chronicles his transition from AutoCAD R14 to v2015 and from an outdated PC to a state-of-the-art professional workstation. Follow along and enjoy!

One great advantage of digging into a new release of AutoCAD — in my case an extraordinary Dino leap from Release 14 to AutoCAD 2015 — is exploring not just new commands and tools but discovering tools that one may have never used or tried in the past. Unlike my T-Rex footsteps, there is nothing earth shattering in me finding the Find command, but I when going back to review Release 14, I found Find and in finding it I found it lacking from the current Find that I found in 2015.

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Topics: Workstations, AutoCAD, A CAD Dinosaur's Journey into Modern Times

Expert Interview with Rob Rodriguez of Axis CAD Solutions

Posted by cadhardware

Apr 30, 2015 1:27:00 PM

As the founder of Axis CAD Solutions, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone more expert in CAD software than Rob Rodriguez. He was kind enough to speak with us about visualization and animation in the CAD space.
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Topics: CAD Software, CAD, Visualization, FEA Simulation, Animation

A CAD Dinosaur's Journey, Part 14: 3D Solid Models and 2D Drawings

Posted by cadhardware

Apr 28, 2015 1:25:34 PM

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Cadalyst's blog series by Patrick Hughes, A CAD Dinosaur's Journey into Modern Times.” In this three-month series, Hughes chronicles his transition from AutoCAD R14 to v2015 and from an outdated PC to a state-of-the-art professional workstation. Follow along and enjoy!

You may have guessed it — this Dino really enjoys working with 3D solid models. I recently worked on a project that involved a few molded parts and the mold maker worked from my solid model. The advent of 3D printing in the manufacturing process is already reducing the need for 2D drawings in some situations. You can easily export your solid models in AutoCAD to the STL file format for 3D printing. (For best file resolution when 3D printing, set your FACETRES system variable to 10.)

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Topics: Workstations, AutoCAD, A CAD Dinosaur's Journey into Modern Times

Expert Interview with Chad Jackson of Lifecycle Insights

Posted by cadhardware

Apr 23, 2015 1:46:58 PM

Chad Jackson of Lifecycle Insights understands that the technology needed to design products evolves. To keep up with that changing technology, Lifecycle Insights helps users to understand these changes and move along with them.

In what ways does Lifecycle Insights offer services for software providers?

Lifecycle Insights provides insights on technologies used to design products. We explain how technologies work and what it means for you. Our content is unbiased, independent, clear and concise, offering digestible insight on technology. In short, Lifecycle Insights helps you "get it."

In what ways do trends in the CAD industry affect engineering strategies?

The engineering profession and the nature of design is changing.

Engineers are spending less and less time at their desk. They are always on the go, running from conference rooms to the shop floor to a supplier's campus. They need technologies to help them be productive even when traveling or working remotely. They also must be working on the right data.

Another change is that design is becoming more democratic. Engineers can no longer worry just about form, fit and function. They must engage a lot of different stakeholders — ranging from manufacturing to procurement to service — to get their input and incorporate it into the design. Engineers have become the pivot point for collaboration on products designed for enterprise considerations. They need technologies that let them plug into the right stakeholders no matter where they are at.

What have any of your recent studies shown regarding the impact of CAD on engineering strategies?

Our 3D Collaboration and Interoperability study found that 49% of engineers spend at least 4 hours a week fixing imported geometry. Our Simulation Driven Design study showed that 50% of engineers work nights and weekends due to prototyping and testing failures. Our latest research, the PLM Study, shows that only 55% of projects are released on time. So in all, there are still lots of problems in engineering where technology can help.

The good news is that advancements in CAD like Direct Modeling and Direct Sketching capabilities, integrated Data Management functionality, and running CAD in the Cloud and on mobile devices all help address these issues. Direct Modeling and Sketching lets engineers develop concepts and manipulate imported geometry far more easily than ever before. A startlingly low number of engineering organizations have adopted data management, so they are susceptible to higher than necessary scrap, failed tests, incorrectly ordered parts and more. CAD with integrated data management that automatically tracks changes is a real boon for engineers, and it doesn't require hardly any time from them at all. And finally, we're just coming into an era where mobile devices can truly run complete CAD software applications. That means engineers can be fully productive on the road, in another office or at home; even when they are not in front of their desktops.

Adopting such technologies can have an impact on the productivity of engineering organizations. But let's be clear: adoption of technology alone won't address these challenges. Organizations must also change their practices and procedures to support them. But the potential to improve is definitely there.

Follow Lifecycle Insights on Facebook and Twitter.

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Topics: 3D, CAD Software, CAD, Engineering

A CAD Dinosaur's Journey, Part 13: Customizing AutoCAD

Posted by cadhardware

Apr 21, 2015 3:56:00 PM

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Cadalyst's blog series by Patrick Hughes, A CAD Dinosaur's Journey into Modern Times.” In this three-month series, Hughes chronicles his transition from AutoCAD R14 to v2015 and from an outdated PC to a state-of-the-art professional workstation. Follow along and enjoy!

At this point, I'm pretty comfortable with AutoCAD 2015 although some glitches remain. I’m mystified at times when one of my AutoLISP programs misbehaves. I know some problems are because I have routines that pass coordinates to the command line. In the past I didn’t use Osnaps, but I now rely on them so I can more quickly position objects. There are times when a LISP-supplied coordinate entry will inappropriately pick a snapped point when I have Osnaps on. I have keyboard entry set to override Osnaps, but my macros and AutoLISP routines need some tweaks.

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Topics: Workstations, AutoCAD, A CAD Dinosaur's Journey into Modern Times

Expert Interview with Caron Beesley of Acronym Online

Posted by cadhardware

Apr 16, 2015 1:07:00 PM

As editor of Acronym Online — a source of news and information about CAD and related digital design technologies for public-sector professionals in the fields of AEC, manufacturing, and GIS — Caron Beesley of knows that government agencies are committed to accountability and doing more with less. That's why it is important for these organizations to use software efficiently and cost-effectively — and in ways that aren’t always the same as those of private-sector users.

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Topics: AutoCAD, Connectivity

A CAD Dinosaur's Journey, Part 12: Graduate to Dynamic Blocks

Posted by cadhardware

Apr 14, 2015 1:01:00 PM

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Cadalyst's blog series by Patrick Hughes, A CAD Dinosaur's Journey into Modern Times.” In this three-month series, Hughes chronicles his transition from AutoCAD R14 to v2015 and from an outdated PC to a state-of-the-art professional workstation. Follow along and enjoy!

Back in A CAD Dinosaur's Journey, Part 7: Get a Grip I talked about the solid editing tools that I found tremendously more powerful compared to what was available in Release 14. I continue to enjoy gnawing away at them. Equally tasty are the block editing tools — especially the powerful dynamic blocks (introduced in AutoCAD 2006).

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Topics: Workstations, AutoCAD, A CAD Dinosaur's Journey into Modern Times

Expert Interview with Lynn Allen, Autodesk Evangelist and Cadalyst Contributing Editor

Posted by cadhardware

Apr 9, 2015 11:54:00 PM

Contributing Editor Lynn Allen is a Cadalyst favorite — with readers who benefit from her prolific AutoCAD advice as well as the editors who work with her. Allen’s "Circles and Lines" AutoCAD tutorials are in their 23rd year of publication, and she is the creator of Cadalyst’s popular AutoCAD video tips.

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