CADspeed -- Optimizing Hardware for CAD Software

Building Toward BIM, Part 3

Posted by cadhardware

Mar 21, 2016 2:34:20 PM

Small architectural firm triples in size and increases profits thanks to the efficiencies of its new building information modeling workflow. 

By Cameron Kruger, ArcWest Architects

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series sponsored by Autodesk, highlighting how Autodesk® Revit LT is improving the design workflow and overall success of small architectural firms. Click here to view the full series as well as other Revit-related blog content.

Walking into the office these days, I know things are going to be more streamlined than we’re used to. Dropping off my lunch, powering up the computer, and taking a moment to make a carafe of coffee, there is no rush to get started. We no longer feel behind. There is no need to refuse valuable projects or inflate our fees. I have time to respond to the plethora of email that magically appears overnight, and even to squeeze in a project like writing this blog series!
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Topics: Autodesk, AutoCAD, Revit, Building Information Modeling, 3D, CAD Software, CAD, Visualization

Building Toward BIM, Part 2

Posted by cadhardware

Mar 14, 2016 2:07:00 PM

A small firm’s transition from AutoCAD to Autodesk Revit LT wasn’t a piece of cake — but it has paid big dividends.

By Cameron Kruger, ArcWest Architects

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series sponsored by Autodesk, highlighting how Autodesk® Revit LT is improving the design workflow and overall success of small architectural firms. Click here to view the full series as well as other Revit-related blog content.

How does a small architectural firm update a design workflow that has been established for nearly a decade? How does a small firm keep up with the changing standards and increasing demands of the AEC industry? Those were the tasks ahead for our firm, ArcWest Architects, and Autodesk® Revit LT was our answer. Armed with rented software, an enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, and an existing workflow not much different than the one we would be adopting, our firm set out on what we thought would be a daunting task but in reality became a small but advantageous challenge.
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Topics: Autodesk, AutoCAD, Revit, Building Information Modeling, 3D, CAD Software, CAD, Visualization

Building Toward BIM, Part 1

Posted by cadhardware

Mar 8, 2016 1:51:08 PM

A small architectural firm shores up business with a move to Revit LT.

By Cameron Kruger, ArcWest Architects

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series sponsored by Autodesk, highlighting how Autodesk® Revit LT is improving the design workflow and overall success of small architectural firms.

Walking down the streets of Denver, peeking past the small gaps in the covered chain link fence of a construction site, you can’t help but notice a sense of vitality in the hard concrete surfaces and piles of bent steel around the unfinished building. Life has yet to begin in this building, but you seem so aware of the energy the building was designed to project. I was walking toward the building when it hit me: The energy is coming from the thin sheet of vinyl wrapping the chain link fence, which reads, “Future home of. …” Above the text, an image shows a building yet to exist, a 3D rendering produced through a computer program that gives life to this area even before the occupants arrive.
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Topics: Autodesk, AutoCAD, Revit, Building Information Modeling, 3D, CAD Software, CAD, Visualization

A CAD Dinosaur's Journey, Part 18: A Whole New World

Posted by cadhardware

May 27, 2015 4:41:54 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!

It has been an incredible journey these past few months as I have dived into AutoCAD 2015. Many times I have felt like Odysseus on my own odyssey. While my work is not done, it's time for me to put all the pieces together. I've been able to use many enhancements immediately such as File and Layout tabs, visualization, and other viewing options. Being able to modify objects via the Properties Pallet is a very welcome addition and has been an easy transition. I’m slowly adopting some of the new interface elements such as dynamic input.

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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 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

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

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

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