Friday, December 19, 2008

On the 7th day of CAD

On the 7th day of CAD I give to you...  Web View for components in AutoCAD Electrical.

As we already know, AutoCAD Electrical is a very powerful tool with many hidden features that it could take years to learn most of them because there are so many. In default_CAT.mdb there are many catalog entries that already have a web view already associated with them. When choosing your part number to assign to a device you can select web view and if you have an internet connection it will take you to the web site associated with it. You can also modify these to be your own internal standards site potentially, maybe telling you your own information about the device and how your organization uses it.

Note: You can also make this open a pdf file stored on your network drive, I don't show this in the video as I believe it could quickly become out of date information if it is a manufaturer pdf that you downloaded.

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Stay tuned for more days of CAD

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On the 6th day of CAD

On the 6th day of CAD I give to you...  the ability to trace wires in AutoCAD Electrical.

I had a friend ask me about some issue he was having in AutoCAD Electrical where the wire numbers and source destinations were not working properly. It was as if the main device on the page, a light curtain relay, had internal jumpers setup in it so that the wire was actually connecting through the terminals of the device. So I took a look at it and the problem was the block name but anyway I figured it out by using the check/trace wire in AutoCAD Electrical.

You can find the Check / Trace Wire command under the wires pull down menu in AutoCAD Electrical. After selecting this you then are asked to select a wire. By selecting the wire you tell AutoCAD Electrical that you want to follow that wire network from start to finish. So what happens is, ACE puts a temporary highlight onto the wires that are part of the wire network. When components are set up to have "internal jumpers" the wire network goes through the device. The nice thing is that you press the space bar to see each segment at a time.

Check it out, and I hope it helps.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On the 5th day of CAD

On the 5th day of CAD I give to you...  an Autodesk Inventor Tip.

Many of you probably already know this tip however it is such an important tip it is worth mentioning again. Project your Origin, then Constrain to it.

In Autodesk Inventor when modeling parts you start with a sketch, that is the foundation for the 3D component you are modeling. In my example I will use a simple block as the example. In our design we have a symetrical part that we will want to cut out the same notch on both sides. Having said that I want to say it is not only important to Project your Origin and Constrain to it, it is just as important to think about the intent of your design. For example, we have a symetrical part we are modeling, why would I want to have to create a workplane in the center of my part to use as a mirror plane for the notch when I could just use some of the Origin work features. Here are the basic steps in a Video.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A quote that I like

This morning I decided to look at a site I haven't visited in a LONG time. www.thinkexist.com. This site is a pretty good central location for quotes. Today I was looking through some of the quotes and came across this one.

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever" ~ Mahatma Gandhi

I am not really sure what I like so much about it. However I do try to live every day by learning something new, what I have not done so far is live like I am going to die tomorrow. Some days I do, but not every day.

Anyway I like this quote and figured i would share. Be sure to check out the site, there are a ton of great quotes on there, you can even submit new ones and sign up for the quote of the day.

On the 4th day of CAD

On the 4th day of CAD I give to you...       DWG TrueView 2009

DWG TrueView 2009 is a great tool for viewing AutoCAD DWG files. It can also be used to convert DWG files to previous releases of AutoCAD. After downloading the installer and installing it, start TrueView then click on the open icon to view dwg files. Or you can click on the convert icon to "Mass" convert DWG files to previous versions. You can even set it up to move the files to a new folder, or convert them in place. (I think it is a good idea to move the converted files to a new folder). 

This program converts extermly fast, I wrote a script file to convert a few hundred AutoCAD files from 2009 to 2005 and it took about half an hour to run in AutoCAD. I then took the same files and did them through this and it took a couple of minutes.

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.

Friday, December 12, 2008

AutoCAD Electrical missing files in Vista

For those of you who attended my sessions at Autodesk University here is the post about the Vista issues with the non English version. Thanks to Ebbe Bundesen from Autodesk.

"As promised I hereby send you a short description of the problem I had here on Windows Vista on a Danish language pack from Vista:

Here is something that makes it difficult for people that is not working from an English version of Microsoft Vista.

By installing AutoCAD Electrical on your hard drive you will see some files be placed in different folders, some of them are placed in locations like below. See example.

If you are working on an different Vista version (not English) with a local language, Vista makes the same library but named in the local language.

This will not affect the program of AutoCAD Electrical But!. It will be very difficult to find the files on your machine without knowing where to look.

The way to find the files:  Copy the string in AutoCAD Electrical and paste it direct into Explore, explore will then find the path..

Must be done:  Settings in Windows Vista:  “Control Panel”  ”Folder options”  “View”  “Files & Folders”  “Hidden files & Folders” there you must tag the: Show hidden files and folders otherwise the folder with the files is not shown on the drive.

Example:

English:   C:\Users\Your_name\Documents\AcadE 2009\AeData\proj\   <= (This file exist on a Danish machine too but you can’t see it.)

Danish:   C:\Brugere\Your_name\Dokumenter\AcadE 2009\AeData\proj\"

I hope this helps.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Technology is Amazing...

During my morning routine of a few blog sites and news sites I stumbled across this interesting article about an "Artist Envisions Turning Fake Eye Into Bionic Eye-cam". It is something we have seen in movies for years, a person loses their eye, and a camera gets strapped over the bad eye socket. Well from the looks of it, it isn't too far fetched. The only difference is now that camera's are much smaller than what we have seen in movies where people have them put over the eye socket, they can now fit into the prosthetic eye, becoming virtually invisible.

In addition to the article above, there is a blog site from Tanya Vlach talking about the loss of her eye in a car accident a few years back as well as her venture to make the eye-cam. She is looking for engineers to help make this happen so if there are any cyborg engineers out there, check it out.