Sunday, December 07, 2008

What CAD problems do you encounter???

Over the years I have spent a lot of time with AutoCAD Electrical, Inventor, AutoCAD and many other applications. During this time I have learned that all companies have some type of pain points they wish they could get past. Unfortunatley some of the companies don't even realize that there are better ways to do things.

Here is what I am proposing: I would love to hear what types of things you think you are taking too much time on in AutoCAD, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Mechanical or Inventor. I will try to take your pain point's and come up with some tools in the software that you are using, that you could use. Email me at with any of your ideas.

I am not promissing that I will be able to solve all of your problems or even any of your problems. :-) I will see what I can do to help you out though.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Links that were promissed...

During a few of my classes there were some web links discussed for finding more support, or specific things on peoples blog sites. Below is a brief list for your review.

Nate mentioned myfeedback, which is a place where you can become involved (if approved) with the beta versions of certain Autodesk Products. This site is

I mentioned that Nate Holt runs a blog site, you can find this at: You will find great information on AutoCAD Electrical here.

I did not mention this but Jared Bunch will be starting a blog at Actually it is started but I am not sure when he will be making posts.

You can also view some of my old friends blogging at There is a new post weekday's monday through friday. Different topic's every day, from many of my old friends at INCAT.

If I have forgotten anything please let me know, you can email me at

My Apologies

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone in my lab at AU that stuck through the licensing issues. I really apreciate it and am extremly happy that you were still able to get something out of the course. Remember, I will be updating my blog site over the next week with updates from the AU courses I presented, as well as Video's wherever possible.

Thanks again for attending my courses and can't wait to see you all again next year at AU.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Two down, One to Go...

Alright, I just completed the Lab on EC301-1L ~ Become a Circuit Ninja with AutoCAD Electrical 2009 Circuit Builder. I am going to make two posts on this, first is everything I have compiled at this point which is what you saw in the class in power points and exercises. I plan to come back and record this as video's so you can follow it easier. This should be accomplished next week at some point.

You can download the current files here, then I will post a new one that will be a combination of the items at the time of the class, plus any new things. Download EC301-1L ~ Become a Circuit Ninja with AutoCAD Electrical 2009 Circuit Builder

Now my next class.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A big thanks to an Attendee in my class.

I didn't catch the persons name that gave me a few cough drops during my presentation this morning but I really appreciate it. It helped tremendously. 

Thanks again.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Viva Las Vegas (Autodesk University)

I am sitting here in the Speaker Ready room in Las Vegas getting ready for my 3 classes I am presenting this year. I am doing well with them. Making some final adjustments to the classes then time to practice, practice and practice some more.

For the time being, I took a short break now that I have two of the 3 exactly how I want them. If I don't draw the line somewhere I will keep adding more stuff. Not a bad thing, but when you have three classes on similar subjects you can easily get them confused.

Well off to grab some dinner and maybe hit the roulette table.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fix Me....

Alright, I have been babbling a lot about non CAD things for a little while. Now it's time to talk about some AutoCAD Electrical stuff I used in the past. Basically the concept is to have a block named fix_me that you insert this symbol into your drawing where you know you need to do some rework. This symbol could have the intelligence that trims out your wires, has descriptions etc... Then when you use the next / previous drawing tools it automatically finds this block, then zooms in on it. Here is the information from the help file on how to do it.

You can set up to have an AutoLisp utility run each time you open a project drawing from the project manager or the "next/previous" toolbar button picks.


  • Create and test the AutoLisp utility that you want to execute as each drawing opens.
    Open the "wd.env" file with a text editor, find the "WD_OPEN_DWG" line and un-comment it (remove the leading (*) character and insert a call to your self-starting AutoLisp routine.
    Save the wd.env file and restart AutoCAD Electrical.
    Make sure your utility loads (either automatically or through an explicit load included in the command string.
  • A simple example: you want to be able to insert a special "fix me" block on a drawing as a reminder that something needs further attention. If this block exists on a drawing when it is opened from the project manager window or from the next/previous toolbar buttons, then the drawing will zoom up on the block before anything else happens. Here's the AutoLisp utility you might create to do this (saved as file name "fix_me.lsp" and saved to a folder in the AutoCAD search path):

(defun c:fix_me ( / ss en ed xy)
  ; Look for any block insert on the drawing with a block name of "FIX_ME"
  (setq ss (ssget "_X" '((-4 . "<AND")(0 . "INSERT")(2 . "FIX_ME")(-4 . "AND>"))))
  (if (/= ss nil)
    (progn ; one or more found. Zoom up on the first one found
      (setq en (ssname ss 0)) ; entity name of first or only block
      (setq ss nil) ; release the selection set
      (setq ed (entget en))
      (setq xy (cdr (assoc 10 ed))) ; block insertion point
      (command "_.ZOOM" "_CENTER" xy 1.0)
      (princ "\nThis needs attention!!!\n")
  ) )   

Here's the uncommented line in the wd.env file (includes an explicit load of the above utility each time):

WD_OPEN_DWG,(if(not c:fix_me)(if(setq x(findfile "fix_me.lsp"))(load x)))(if c:fix_me (c:fix_me))

Let me know how it helps.


Monday, November 24, 2008

T minus 1 Week...

Well we are down to the wire now. There is 1 week left before Autodesk University. 1 week left to make any last minute changes to the 3 presentations I have to give. Less than 1 week until I get on a plane and fly four hours to Vegas. I am really looking forward to it and so far all 3 of my classes have around 50 to 60 people signed up. I also have pretty good time slots, all of my classes are before lunch. I think that is the best thing, before lunch and not the first class either.

Once again for anyone who is interested, I am teaching the following classes and you can still sign up I believe.

Wednesday December 03, 2008 ~ 10:15 am
  • (EC205-1) AutoCAD Electrical Power Tools for Power Users 
"Are you an AutoCAD Electrical power user looking for commands you are certain exist but can't seem to find? During this session, we'll discuss several of the lesser-known AutoCAD Electrical features, including wiring information for panel drawings and using the power of Excel to update and manipulate your drawings. We'll take a look at setting up Pin Lists to automatically assign pins to your components based on catalog information."

Thursday December 04, 2008 ~ 8:15 am
  • (EC301-1L) Become a Circuit Ninja with AutoCAD Electrical 2009 Circuit Builder  
"Do you want to be a Ninja? I did, that's why I submitted this course. After taking this course, you will be able to take the AutoCAD Electrical standard circuits / templates and create your own. This will allow you to take it back to your company and provide digital prototyping to your electrical department. I will show you how to create custom UI, and custom configurable circuits. This will help automate your engineering designs for similar circuits, such as start / stop circuits."

Thursday December 04, 2008 ~ 10:15 am
  • (EC305-1) Using the AutoCAD Electrical Circuit Builder for Other Stuff  
"This new tool made its debut in AutoCAD Electrical 2009. It is designed in such a way it begs to be twisted, bent, and customized to do other neat and cool things."

I hope to see you all at the event. Now back to practicing my presentations. 

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Help the Autodesk Help Team

Hello AutoCAD Electrical Customers!

The AutoCAD Electrical Technical Publications Team wants to make every effort to ensure the product documentation is meeting your needs and as part of this ongoing effort, we would like to ask you to complete a short survey. This survey takes only a few minutes to complete, and will go a long way in helping us to understand which learning solutions are important to you. You can access the survey by clicking the link below.

Click here for the survey.

Thank you,

The AutoCAD Electrical Technical Publications Team

Sunday, May 11, 2008

AutoCAD Electrical 2009

Good day from Pune, India. I am traveling this week in India for work and was just thinking of how long it has been since I have made a post.

So, by this time you should have all received your AutoCAD Electrical 2009 DVD's right? I hope so, it really is a great release. If you haven't installed it yet, do so soon. If you have installed it what do you think? Let me list a few things I noticed:

- User Interface is quite a bit different looking.
- Inserting of 3 ph motor symbols draws the diagonal lines.
- The new Circuit Builder is amazing. Right out of the box it is amazing, and it gets better, I can create my own circuits for use in the builder. That's right, I can customize it. Great job Nate and Crew.
- Core AutoCAD uses Ribbons. Now I know most people have mentioned they don't like Ribbons in the Microsoft products. However in AutoCAD they are pretty cool and you should give them a try when using just core AutoCAD.
- AutoCAD Electrical does not have a ribbon built for it.... (Yet). Lets hope this is something that we can download as a subscription customer in the future or at least with 2010. I can see a lot of potential with that functionality being used in AutoCAD Electrical.

That's all the teasers for now. Send me an email of anything you have noticed and I will post it here for everyone else to see. let me know if you want me to put your name by it also.

Rob Stein