Once again I have been luck enough to attend Autodesk University. It is always a great time to meet fellow CAD nerds from around the world and especially catch up and meet fellow CAD bloggers. I thought it would be nice to show the bloggers that I have had the chance to catch up with this year. Hopefully some of your favorite bloggers are shown below.
P.S. – notice how many pictures are photo-bombed by R.K.
(my first AutoCAD Instructor)
Melanie Stone-Perry & Frank Mayfield
Outside The Box
Here is a simple explanation for how to load a linetype. I decided to demonstrate how to do so for an appropriate layer but a line type can be loaded from the “Properties” panel as well.
- In the Layer Dialog box, under the “Linetype” column, click on the linetype name that is set to your layer. In the example shown, it is set to “Continuous.”
- A Dialog box “Select Linetype” will appear
- Click the “Load” button
- Another dialog box “Load or Reload Linetypes” will display. It is from this long list of linetypes that you need to select the specific linetype.
- Click OK.
- The linetype is loaded but it isn’t assign to the layer.
- So now that you are back in the “Select Linetype” dialog box, select the newly loaded linetype and then click OK.
- The linetype is now loaded in the drawing and assigned to a layer
The loaded linetype can also be seen in the Properties palette and in the Properties panel of the ribbon on the Home tab of the ribbon.
As I have been making my transition to Revit I have a few tips that you might find helpful even though there are plenty of other Revit blogs and resources to visit – I promise to keep this blog as AutoCAD-focused as possible but keep in mind that I am making the transition to Revit but my heart is truly in AutoCAD and these tips are for when you, as an AutoCAD user find yourself in the “World of Revit” and need some help.
I currently work for a structural engineering firm in Denver using Revit and occasional use AutoCAD. When I open Revit 2014 and newer, the various Revit “flavors” are all in one package. This package used to be called “Revit One Box” but that name faded away and it is simply called “Revit”.
When you open Revit in its default “out-of-the-box” settings the first panel of the ribbon is the Architectural tab – which is just fine if you are and Arch person. But for others like us Structural or MEP folks, it would be nice to be able to open Revit and have it open to the discipline in which we work. Thus the tips for today.
Simply Hold the CTRL button down and then drag the Ribbon tab to the front of the ribbon so that it opens when you open Revit. This also allows you to reorganize the other ribbon tabs that you have. Just be aware if your have many ad-ons, this could be messy, but worth it.
And to be honest, the lack of controls in Revit make me miss AutoCAD that much more everyday – like the CUI and customization… But Revit has its strengths in just doing what it does without having to need extra add-ons as much…
Just in case you need to convert a 3D Revit model to 3D AutoCAD, here ya go. It is very simple but remember to click one button to make sure you work with ACAD solids…
Here is a snapshot of the Revit model:
3D view of Revit model
With the Revit model open, Click the Application Menu (“Big R”) > “Export” > “CAD Formats” > Select “DWG“.
In the “DWG Export” dialog box – Click on the ellipsis (button with 3 dots) to open the “Modify DWG/DXF Export Setup” dialog box.
- Click the “Solids” tab
- Select “ACIS solids“
- Click Next
Click “Next…” to continue
Define the folder where you would like the new DWG to reside and also give it a new name if desired. You can also define what DWG version to process it as. Click OK to proceed with the conversion.
In the lower left of the Revit screen you will see a status bar showing you the progress of the conversion.
Once it is done, notice the new DWG. I will warn you that the Revit File to DWG conversion will make the overall file larger. The Revit file used in this example was 58mb and after the conversion to DWG was 70mb.
Now you can edit the converted file – Also note that the objects are AutoCAD solids.
AutoCAD batch scripts can be powerful by themselves, but if you couple that with the ability to apply them to a multitude of drawings then it can be really powerful. I first saw the power of scripting while using the “Core Console” in 2013 and made a post about it found here. But then realized that there was some limitations and one in particular was its inability to process OLE objects.
Script Pro is still pretty nice, but from my testing a batch processor called “Hurricane” I have grown fond of its built-in functions and scripts. There is a new version available called “Hurricane MX” but I have only used the older one which is just fine for me.
So I decided to try a batch of drawings using Hurricane and sharing the results with you.
A sneek peek into my “custom” script simply shows that the script loads a lisp routine (just to spice things up)
Shown below is the folder of drawings to be processed.
Shown below is the main interface of Hurricane. It is somewhat straight forward but takes time to get to learn just like everything. Specify the files (individual or entire folder)
Build the script in the ‘User Script” tab by selecting some pre-made scripts found in the “User Script List”. If you plan on selecting multiple pre-made scripts – DONT FORGET TO CHECK THE APPEND BUTTON.
As shown below, the program builds a single script containing all of the steps that you define for the drawings that you selected to be processed.
NOTE – That you need to have a drawing currently open for the process to start. Just don’t have one of the drawings in the list of drawings that you are wanting to process open.
The results are shown below
And as a big relief – the drawing that contained an OLE object came out just fine.
Here is one of the quirky things that AutoCAD does that might throw you for a loop. It involves “Tracking” whether it is “Object Snap Tracking” or “Polar Tracking” they seem to behave differently when Dynamic Input is turned onn or off. This is especially true for Object Snap Tracking. I have heard it said and taught, that these functions DO NOT work when Dynamic Input (DYN) is turned off. I am here to show you that they do.
When Dynamic Input is toggled on (as shown below) when you establish the reference point which has the green “glyph”, you pull away and see the dashed line and enter your tracking distance and you are just fine.
DYN Mode turned on OSNAP Tracking
The trouble seems to be when Dynamic Input is turned off and you establish the same reference point. You see the green “glyph” and dashed line as you pull away, but when you enter the distance at the command line, the dashed line goes away making you think that you are unable to use Object Snap Tracking without DYN turned on.
The think that is happening is that the “focus” goes from the drawing area and then on to the command line. And don’t worry, it isn’t broke – all that you have to do is enter your distance AND PAUSE. Then re-establish the focus in the drawing area where you were by simply lining your cursor back into line where it was until you see the dashed line AND THEN HIT ENTER (shown below).
Object Snap Tracking Working without DYN turned on
The same can be said of using Polar Tracking. But it is easier to see that it works as opposed to using Object Snap Tracking. See if you can notice the difference below.
DYN turned on with Polar Tracking:
DYN turned OFF with Polar Tracking:
Near the beginning of the year a blog post here showed the links to Autodesk’s AutoCAD for Microsoft Windows and Mac’s Shortcut keys (Aliases). They have now made available a list of shortcut keys to Autodesk Inventor and Revit. Below are the links: