May 26, 2005

More CAD Camp Dates

AUGI CAD Camp may be coming to a city near you. Read more at the CAD Camp Website.

June 7th: St Paul, MN USA (registration open)
August 16th: Orange County, CA USA
August 23rd: Salt Lake City, UT USA
August 30th: Toronto, ON Canada
September 13th: Paramus, NJ USA
September 15th: Cleveland, OH USA
September 27th: Jacksonville, FL USA
September 29th: Boston, MA USA

May 12, 2005

AUGI ATP Courses for May 2005

There are two courses this month. Ed Jobe returns with the third installment of his ongoing series on VBA and Eric Wing is teaching a course on maintaining office standards, without becoming an ogre. These courses just started this week, and the downloads for the first segment are available. If you are already an AUGI member, login to the website, click on Education in the link bar below the logo and follow the ATP links at the left side. If you are not a member - now is a perfect time to join. Membership is free, as are the ATP courses.

Focused VBA: Lesson 3 – Logic, Debugging and Error Handling

Category: Programming
Course Title: ATP074 VBA: Lesson 3
Level: Intermediate
Instructor: Ed Jobe
Course Start: Monday, May 9, 2005

This VBA continued Lesson 3, will introduce some intermediate subjects.
Segment 1 discusses some ideas on programming logic and describes the control structures that VBA has to implement decision-making and flow control.
Segment 2 will discuss what errors are and how to use the tools that come with VBA to prevent them and discover them when they do occur.
Segment 3 will discuss some methods for handling runtime errors.

Maintaining CAD standards while avoiding a coup d’├ętat

Category: AutoCAD
Course Title: ATP075 Maintaining CAD Standards
Level: Beginner
Instructor: Eric Wing
Course Start: Monday, May 9, 2005

Setting up office CAD standards is tricky business. Usually decisions that need to be made are done by committee, and take a painfully long time to establish. We all know this. Maintaining CAD standards, however, is the real challenge. How do we make sure people are using the company standards? How do we keep systems stable and running at peak performance regardless of who is driving? Well, organization is one. The other is knowing what tools are available, and how to use them to your advantage. This author doubles as a CAD / network manager, and a nice guy. Two titles that don’t belong in the same sentence.

I use a little organization and some really effective new tools (perhaps just a pinch of medication also) to remain as the CAD manager not the CAD Oppressor.

Annotation Scaling in Architectural Desktop

Most, if not all, non-scale-dependent annotation content in ADT uses annotation scaling. What that means is that the content is set up to be scaled by both the current drawing scale factor [eg, 96 for 1/8" = 1'-0"] and the current annotation plot size. Both of these are set on the Scale tab of the Drawing Setup dialog.

Content that uses annotation scaling is set up based on the fact that one unit in the content will be the annotation plot size when plotted at the scale that was current when the content was placed. Any attribute in the content that is intended to plot at the annotation plot size is one unit high in the block definition. Some content files use proportionately larger or smaller attribute heights to generate proportionately larger or smaller text. The linework graphics are drawn proportionate to the attributes.

When content that uses annotation scaling is placed, the scale factor is determined by the product of the annotation plot size and the scale factor of the current scale. So, if you have set the annotation plot size to 3/32" and your current plot scale is 1/8" = 1'-0", annotation content will be placed at a scale factor of 3/32 x 96, which is 9. Change the annotation plot size to 1/8", and the content will be placed at a scale factor of 1/8 x 96 = 12.

5/16/2005 Update: You can read a more detailed explanation of scaling in Architectural Desktop Content files in this Knowledge Base article.

May 06, 2005

Seeing Clearly in ADT2006

A problem with the render material for the Clear Glass material in several of the style source files that ship with Architectural Desktop 2006 has been identified. Rob Finch of Autodesk has posted the steps needed to fix these source files in a post to a thread in the Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2006 Discussion Group, which I have reproduced below. Steps 4 - 6 can also be applied to any files already created in 2006 which do not have the correct render material assigned to the Clear Glass material.

  1. Start Architectural Desktop and open Content Browser.
  2. Browse down Render Material Catalog to Door and Windows, then Glazing.
  3. iDrop the "Doors & Windows.Glazing.Glass.Clear" material to a Tool Palette in Architectural Desktop. This could be to any of the palettes as you so choose. The reason for putting it on the Tool Palette, rather than directly into the dwg is to be able to apply it to multiple dwgs.
  4. Open up each of the styles drawings, in turn, from the relevant units folder, e.g. C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\ADT 2006\enu\Styles\Imperial
    • Curtain Wall & Curtain Wall Unit Styles (Imperial).dwg
    • Door Styles (Imperial).dwg
    • Door-Window Assembly Styles (Imperial).dwg
      Material Definitions (Imperial).dwg
    • Window Styles (Imperial).dwg

    Same principle for Metric and Metric (D A CH)
  5. Right click on the Glass material and select "Import Render Material". This will cause the Import/Export - Duplicate names dialog to open. In the Merge Styles list, select Overwrite Existing.
  6. Save and close the drawing. Repeat steps 4 through 6 until all such drawings have been rectified.

Once done you can either leave the glass clear material on the tool palette or remove it.

5/8/2005 Update: I had problems getting the clear glass material to update in a test file I did using ADT2006. I have posted a reply indicating this in the Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2006 thread where Rob Finch originally posted the above solution. I will update this post with any new developments that occur.

5/10/2005 Update: Rob Finch posted back with the suggestion to link the file to VIZ Render, then drag the clear glass material tool from the VIZ Render tool palette and drop it into the ADT file. If you can not see the ADT file on screen, you can drag the tool down and hover over the ADT button on the Windows Task bar to bring the ADT window to the top. Move the mouse over the ADT drawing area before releasing the left mouse button to drop the render material into the drawing. Choose to overwrite the existing render material. You will be prompted to create a new ADT material definition that uses the redefined render material; you can choose Cancel. The render material correctly overwrote the old definition using this method, and I can see through the glass material.