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The most comprehensive AutoCAD book around!

AutoCAD 2016 – 30 releases young and still going strong – Part 3

lee ambrosiusThis is a guest post from Lee Ambrosius, who was my co-author for the AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD 2015 LT Bible. As you can tell from the photo, he’s a runner — even in some pretty cold Wisconsin weather! Lee is both an Autodesk Authorized Developer and Authorized Author. He’s also the author of the upcoming AutoCAD Platform Customization, His website is hyperpics.com

AutoCAD 2016 is the latest in a long line of AutoCAD releases that dates back over 30 years ago. The latest release offers a number of changes that improve 2D drafting operations, rendering 3D models, and much more.

There is a lot to cover, so Lee suggested that we split it up. In Part 1 we started with changes to the user interface and 2D drafting. Part 2 covered annotation and external file changes. Here in Part 3, we talk about new 3D and CAD management features.

3D – Modeling and visualization enhancements

Continue reading AutoCAD 2016 – 30 releases young and still going strong – Part 3

AutoCAD 2016 – 30 releases young and still going strong – Part 2

lee ambrosiusThis is a guest post from Lee Ambrosius, who was my co-author for the AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD 2015 LT Bible. As you can tell from the photo, he’s a runner — even in some pretty cold Wisconsin weather! Lee is both an Autodesk Authorized Developer and Authorized Author. He’s also the author of the upcoming AutoCAD Platform Customization, His website is hyperpics.com

AutoCAD 2016 is the latest in a long line of AutoCAD releases that dates back over 30 years ago. The latest release offers a number of changes that improve 2D drafting operations, rendering 3D models, and much more.

There is a lot to cover, so Lee suggested that we split it up. Part 1 covered changes to the user interface and 2D drafting. Part 2 (this post) covers annotation and external file changes. In Part 3, we’ll talk about new 3D and CAD management features.

Annotate with Ease

Continue reading AutoCAD 2016 – 30 releases young and still going strong – Part 2

AutoCAD 2016 – 30 releases young and still going strong – Part 1

lee ambrosiusThis is a guest post from Lee Ambrosius, who was my co-author for the AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD 2015 LT Bible. As you can tell from the photo, he’s a runner — even in some pretty cold Wisconsin weather! Lee is both an Autodesk Authorized Developer and Authorized Author. He’s also the author of the upcoming AutoCAD Platform Customization, His website is hyperpics.com

AutoCAD 2016 is the latest in a long line of AutoCAD releases that dates back over 30 years ago. The latest release offers a number of changes that improve 2D drafting operations, rendering 3D models, and much more.

There is a lot to cover, so Lee suggested that we split it up. We’ll start with changes to the user interface and 2D drafting. Part 2 will cover annotation and external file changes. In Part 3, we’ll talk about new 3D and CAD management features.

Changes to the user interface

Continue reading AutoCAD 2016 – 30 releases young and still going strong – Part 1

Replace text in AutoCAD

Suppose that you want to rename some text labels. For example, you have some part numbers that start with G- and now you want them to start with J- or you want to change every instance of “box” to “rectangle”.

First, it may be hard to find all of the instances of the text you want to change and if there are a lot of changes, it would be very time consuming to change each one individually. Instead, you can use the FIND command, which lets you find and replace text anywhere in your drawing. It finds the following types of text:

  • Single-line text
  • Multiline text
  • Text in tables
  • Block attributes
  • Dimensions
  • Hyperlinks and hyperlink descriptions

autocad_tips-replace-text-1Choose Annotate tab, Text panel, Find Text, and enter the text you want to find in the Ribbon’s text box. Then click the Find Text button or just press Enter.

The Find and Replace dialog box opens with the text you entered in both the Find and Replace text boxes.

You can use wildcard characters: Continue reading Replace text in AutoCAD

Guest Tutorial: Make a 3D speaker in AutoCAD

This week’s very cool guest post is by Jaiprakash Pandey.jaiprakash pandey Jaiprakash is a Mechanical Engineer, Blogger, Corporate trainer and yes, self proclaimed charcoal artist too!  He is active on many CAD forums including Autodesk and AUGI forums, and is a certified AutoCAD 2014 professional who has been doing corporate training for three years. You can read more at his blog, SourceCAD.

In this project, solid and surfacing tools have been used to create the 3D model of speaker,   LOFT, TORUS , SPHERE, SLICE and PRESSPULL have been used primarily. This project is intended for advanced users. Although a beginner can also follow instructions and make the drawing easily, it is strongly suggested that the beginner explore basic projects before moving to these advanced projects.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

Happy New Year!

Here’s my New Year’s card to you. It highlights photos I’ve taken during all 4 seasons, from New York, to Florida, to Iowa and Nebraska. I hope you enjoy it!

Guest Post: Draw a circle with radius tangent to two objects

Today’s post is from Jason Bewerk. Jason is a blogger and CAD-enthusiast. He works full-time at a design firm and enjoys helping others with CAD and thus started 12CAD.com to provide detailed tutorials and exercises for everybody to use.

In the exercise below, you don’t draw the entire figure, but just focus on creating the circles that would be the basis for the figures perimeter.

We have the image below to replicate, and luckily we are given all dimensions, which will make the task simpler. Today’s difficulty is simply to learn how to draw a circle with specified radius tangent to two objects. As you can see from the figure below, we need to be able to create the R180 circle and R75 circle.

hatchautocad

The line AB in the figure below forms an angle of 30 degrees with the horizontal. To draw this line, follow these steps:

  1. Activate the LINE command
  2. Click on point A
  3. Write @210<30
  4. Hit the ENTER key

create a circle tangent in autocad

To obtain the two large circles, you will have to make sure the OBJECT SNAP mode is set in a way to let AutoCAD detect Tangent points, and use the CIRCLE command shown below.

tangent circle autocad

Find this command and use it to draw the two large circles. I hope this exercise was simple and you were able to complete it. If you had trouble, please check the previous exercises. Otherwise, I look forward to having you here for Day 9’s exercise.

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Also, check out the rest of 12CAD’s Autocad tutorials.

Track the time you spend on a drawing

autoacad-tips-time-commandWhether you need to bill your clients the time your work on a drawing or just want to know how efficient you are (maybe your boss wants to know), you can do it in AutoCAD. You do this with the TIME command, which automatically tracks the time you work on a drawing.

To use the TIME command, enter time on the command line.

You see the following listing:

  • Current time: Obviously, this shows the current time, but also includes the date
  • Created: The date and time  the drawing was created
  • Last updated: The time when the drawing was last saved
  • Total editing time: The accumulated ime spent in the drawing from session to session. AutoCAD does not include plotting time or time that you worked but quit without saving your changes
  • Elapsed timer: Also accumulated time spent in the drawing, but you can turn this on and off as well as reset it
  • Next automatic save in: Shows when your drawing will be automatically saved. Use the OPTIONS command and display the Open and Save tab to set how often you want to automatically save your drawing

Next is the Enter option [Display/ON/OFF/Reset]: prompt. Here’s what those options do:

  • Display: Updates the listing with current times
  • ON and OFF: Turns the elapsed time on and off
  • Reset:  Resets the elapsed time to zero

Using these options, you can keep track of the time you spend on a drawing.

Another option

The Express Tools EDITTIME command (type it on the command line) tracks active editing time. It can represent your actual work more accurately than the TIME command, but you need to start it to start tracking. You can reset the time and use the timeout option to suspend counting after a certain period of inactivity.

down-red-arrowsDo you track your drawing time? Share your tips and techniques by leaving a comment!

Customize how the multi-functional grip menu works

Multi-functional grips have been around since AutoCAD 2012 and they give you a menu of options when you hover over a grip or right-click a selected grip. Here you see the multi-functional grip menu for one of the vertices on a polyline.

By default, you can also repeatedly press the Ctrl key to cycle between the options on the menu. For example, in the figure you see here, if you select the grip that’s highlighted and press Ctrl twice, you’re up to the Remove Vertex option.  You see a prompt to pick to remove the vertex.

autocad-tips-customize-multi-functional-grips-1

I find this Ctrl method pretty confusing. Since you don’t see the options, so you don’t really know which option you’re up to–you have to guess by the prompt. Also, the instruction that you can use Ctrl to cycle through the options appears so briefly when you select a grip, that you don’t have time to read it. Is that your experience?

Do you find this menu annoying?

If you hover your cursor over a grip, the menu pops up automatically. You can turn this off using the GRIPMULTIFUNCTIONAL system variable. The setting is saved in the Windows Registry, so it persists from drawing to drawing.

Here are the values:

0:  Multifunctional grip options are not available. This gets rid of the menu completely.
1:  You can access multifunctional grip options by pressing Ctrl repeatedly (Ctrl-cycling). This gets rid of the menu, but you can still press Ctrl repeatedly to cycle through the options. As I mentioned, I find this option hard to use.
2 You can access multifunctional grip options using the grip menu displayed when you hover over a grip. If you don’t use Ctrl cycling, this is essentially the same as option 3.
3 You can access multifunctional grip options with both Ctrl-cycling and the grip menu. This is the default.

Have you changed the GRIPMULTIFUNCTIONAL setting? Which one do you use? Leave a comment!

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3D tutorial: Draw a fancy square glass bottle cap in AutoCAD

autocad-tips-tutorial-square-bottle-cap-5parvez-mahmoodThis is a guest blog post by Parvez Mahmood, General Manager, Engineering Systems/ER Solutions in Islamabad, Pakistan. He has been teaching AutoCAD for last 10 years to industrial and university students.

It’s a tutorial that will show you how to draw a fancy square glass bottle cap in AutoCAD. It’s a great tutorial to work through if you want to advance your 3D skills.

On the right, you can see what the final bottle cap will look like, with perhaps slight differences in proportion, depending on the values you use.

 

Set up your environment

  1. Select Workspace 3D Basic/3D Modelling
  2. Ortho ON.
  3. UCS WORLD. (To align the object with the grid).
  4. View PLAN in world UCS
  5. Visual style 2D WIREFRAME

autocad-tips-tutorial-square-bottle-cap-1Start drawing

  1. Command Pyramid. Let default/select CIRCUMSCRIBED. Enter Start Point as 10,10. Enter base Radius 5 and height 20.
  2. Zoom IN/OUT and PAN to see the pyramid in the centre of the drawing area. See the figure on the right.
  3. Command Sphere. OSNAP ON. Move the cursor over the centre of the diagonal lines of the pyramid. It will be highlighted with cursor read out as 3D Center or just Center. Acquire the point by clicking and enter R2.5. (See figure below). The sphere will be formed at the centre of the base of the pyramid.

Author’s Note: If the VisStyle is not 2D Wirerame, cursor will acquire tip of the pyramid as 3D Vertex. The sphere will now be formed at the top tip of the pyramid. You will now have to move the sphere, selecting its centre as base point, by 0, 0, -20.

Ellen’s Note: I just see Endpoint or Center (not 3D Center or 3D Vertex) and it’s on top, so I have to move it down. Here you see the result in Left view.

autocad-tips-tutorial-square-bottle-cap-2

  1. Change view to bottom.
  2. autocad-tips-tutorial-square-bottle-cap-3Set UCS WORLD. (If you don’t, the extrusion of step 7 will be away from the pyramid causing the operation of step 8 to delete both the pyramid and the truncated cone.
  3. Command Circle. Move the cursor over the centre of the crossing diagonal lines of the pyramid. 3D Centre point will be highlighted as in step 3. Acquire the point by clicking. Enter Radius 3. (Ellen’s note: I just see Center, not 3D Centre/3D Center.)
  4. Extrude circle with a Taper of -30 and and extrusion of 10 to create a cylinder . A truncated cone will be created overlapping and surrounding the pyramid.  Here you see the result shown from the Left view.
  5. Perform Intersection of pyramid and cone. (Ellen’s note:  Cool!)
  6. 3D Orbit the view a bit to see the inverted cap with all vertical and bottom edges clearly. (After the 3DORBIT command, click somewhere in the centre and move the cursor south and then slightly to either left or right to get the view as in the figure below. Enter to come out of Rotate command.
  7. Fillet any two adjacent vertical sides and then the other two with radius 2.  (Ellen’s Note: Radius 1 worked for me. Also, I chose Selection panel, Filter, Edge.)
  8. Fillet any two adjacent bottom edges and then the other two with radius 2. (Try R 1 also). Note that these edges are now small segments This may be easier to do in Realistic view style.
  9. Union the parts.

autocad-tips-tutorial-square-bottle-cap-4

Make final visual adjustments

  1. Change the Visual Style to realistic.
  2. Command Rotate3D. Select the cap. Enter. Choose X axis. Then asks for a point on the X axis. Then rotation. I accepted 0,0,0 and set rotation to 180.
  3. Select View TOP. The cap appears upright in the top view.

Here’s the final view again. (Ellen’s note: I think it’s beautiful!)

autocad-tips-tutorial-square-bottle-cap-5