Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On the 11th day of CAD...

On the 11th Day of CAD I give to you..... Free Visual Basic and some information on connecting to AutoCAD.

Well Santa Bill (Bill Gates and Microsoft) gives us free programming tools. This is great news considering I remember back in the day when I first started doing VB stuff it was roughly $900 or more which stopped me from buying my own version. This meant I only had VBA tools, or the version at the office. Well with Santa giving us the Express Version of VB, C++, C# we can now do some coding at home and learn some really cool things. There are some limitations with this however for most of our needs I think it will work. Enough talk about how cool this is, lets give you some links to where you can get it.

One of the main things I noticed with the express editions is that you can't set an application to run when debugging. What this means to us for AutoCAD programming is one of two things, You either have to write the code to start up AutoCAD in your VStudio project to allow you to debug, or not be able to step through your code. Not a huge deal but I like to be able to step through my code when coding for AutoCAD. Now keep in mind, this doesn't mean you can't debug for projects that aren't being written to connect to AutoCAD or any other application for that matter.

One other note, is that you can get a discounted price on Visual Studio with this promotion. I found out about this at Kean Walmsley's blog. (www.through-the-interface.typepad.com) This is a great resource for AutoCAD programming using Visual Studio.

It is probably also worth mentioning that you can get some templates that help you connect to AutoCAD and pre-build some of the information you need into your VS project. See this post from Kean for more information.

I hope this helps.

Monday, December 15, 2008

On the 3rd day of CAD...

On the 3rd Day of CAD I give to you...

When you have multiple documents open in AutoCAD, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Mechanical, Inventor or any MDI CAD application use the Control + Tab key to cycle through the open documents.

More tomorrow.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On the 2nd day of CAD..

On the second day of CAD I give to you...

QNEW - QNEW is the setting in the AutoCAD options dialog that allows us to set a default template that will be used any time we click the new drawing button in AutoCAD. Find this under the files tab in the options dialog, then expand Template Settings.

More to come.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

On the 1st day of CAD....

In the true holiday spirit I have decided to give 1 cad tip per day for the 12 days of Christmas. The tips will vary.

In AutoCAD if you select an entity that isn't a polyline when using the PEDIT command you get this annoying "Do you want to turn it into one" question that adds a couple of seconds to your command. By using the following system variable you can change this.

PEDITACCEPT and change it to 1.

Stay tuned for more CAD tips.

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 eCADguy@gmail.com 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.