Tag Archive | CAD Management

RevFiles, Cool App

by Seth Cohen, CADmanage.com

Last month, we talked about resources.  Well Mark and I were thinking about resources and one of the problems that a CAD Manager, or single user managing CAD, encounter is that the list of resource files can get pretty big. And, what if you have files with the same name, and you want to navigate to where the conflict is?  No easy task.  So, we had this great idea of an AutoCAD App that would review the resource files for you, and we called it Review Files (REVFILES for short)

We’re still in-process of getting it up on Autodesk Exchange, but here’s a little preview of it.  RevFiles has a palette interface.  First, to load it up, click the icon in the Plug-ins tab.

Review Files App

Review Files App

When you first load it up, it shows all the files and their folder locations of files being used by your current AutoCAD profile. Below is a breakdown of the Review Files palette.

Review Files Palette

Review Files Palette

Whats really cool about the app is that you can export the list to a .CSV file (Comma Separated Values), and double-click any of the folders or files to navigate to (really cool, and time-saving).

Look for the RevFiles app on Autodesk Exchange coming soon!

“Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”  …………G.I. Joe

Click Here to Get The best Training Ever

About Seth Cohen: Seth is Vice President of Training  at CAD Management Resources Inc., specializing in civil engineering and CAD applications including Civil 3D®, Map 3D, AutoCAD®, MicroStation®, and InRoads®. He has conducted many classes for CAD professionals ranging from commercial to  government organizations.  If you would like to find out how he can assist you with your training needs he can be reached by contacting us at info@cadmanage.com.

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Resources, Resources, Where are My Resources (AutoCAD)?

by Seth Cohen, CADmanage.com

When using CAD, you need to know what resources to use, and how CAD “finds” those resources.  CAD, is not like Word or Excel, and requires resource management at a much higher level.  So what are resources, and how do you find them.  Well, resources are items like blocks (cells), linetypes (linestyles), layers (levels), text styles, etc.  How do you find resources, well that’s a tough question to answer and depends on many variables such as the client or company your work for.  Ask your CAD manager or the client you are working for to get a good grasp as to the resources you will need to use.  In this article, let’s look at AutoCAD and how it finds resources to make them available to you.

In AutoCAD, you use an AutoCAD Profile to point to your resources and define settings.  To view/define the current AutoCAD profile, right-click in the drawing view and choose Options from the shortcut menu (or type OP in the command line).

Access the Options Dialog Box

Access the Options Dialog Box

To put it simply, the Options dialog box is the GUTS of AutoCAD.  it defines many settings such as the paths to resource files, and many, many display settings.  The tab that you will most be interested in to have AutoCAD point to your resources is the Files tab.  The Files tab lists the folders that AutoCAD will use to search for resource files (a.k.a. Support Paths), drivers, CUI files, tool palettes, and so on.  There are also user-defined settings such as the  dictionary file used for checking spelling.  Paths are searched in the order that they are listed in the Options dialog box, and if the same file exists in different folders, the first instance found is used.

In the image below, I am in an AutoCAD profile using the Ford Motor Company standards.

The Files Tab of the Options Dialog Box

The Files Tab of the Options Dialog Box

A quick little tip to having AutoCAD load the desired AutoCAD profile automatically is to use a command line parameter.  To do so, first, in AutoCAD, click the Export button on the Options dialog box, and save the .ARG file (AutoCAD Registry File) to a location on your server for other users to access.  Next, copy the default AutoCAD icon, and rename it to something that is related to the standards that you will be using.  Next, right-click on the icon and choose Properties from the shortcut menu.  In the Target field, at the end of all the paths defined in it, type /p <the path to the .ARG file>.  Note, the first time AutoCAD does this will be the only time it loads the profile file.  If you update the .ARG file on the server, it does not automatically update the AutoCAD profile.  You will need to physically delete it from the Options dialog box and reload it through the icon.

/p Command Line Parameter

/p Command Line Parameter

We will discuss other ways to access your resources in future posts, and talk more of the things you can set in the Options dialog box.

“Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”  …………G.I. Joe

Click Here to Get The best Training Ever

Cell Rotation – MicroStation VBA

Want the rotation of a cell about the Z-axis? This is how I get it using the Bentley object model. 

Public Function getCellRotation(oCell As CellElement) As Double
    Dim rAngle As Double
    getCellRotation = 0
    If (Matrix3dIsXYRotation(oCell.Rotation, rAngle)) Then
        getCellRotation = Degrees(rAngle)
        Debug.Print Trim(Str(Format(Degrees(rAngle), "#0.0")))
    End If
End Function

Matrix3dIsXYRotation passes the rotation matrix to the method and then sends back the angle (in radians) back to rAngle. The method returns true when there is a rotation about Z. If the cell is skewed or mirrored the method will return false. Be careful not to assume that if the function returns false that there is 0 rotation. You can make this assumption if your application controls the orientation of the cell and you can then predict that cells won’t be skewed or mirrored.

Managing the Noise

I'm amazed by CAD managers. They are most often the hardest working team members. The environments they manage are increasingly complex. Except in the largest organizations these guys are also responsible all software and hardware. In many cases managing all IT assets from soup to nuts. You can imagine that with the addition of each software, new design office, new workstation config that chaos is not far off.

It's our mission to help you simplify. Cut through the noise, so to speak. Help you find the means, the resources to make even a small part of your design automation easier to manage. We are CADmanage. We specialize in software and services that will help you simplify and control your CAD environment.

One of the ways we will do that is to provide social tools that will let you learn and interact with others in the same position. We'll offer our own suggestions from time to time and offer some free resources when we can.

Our team has integrated the cadgurus.com archives into our website, and we hope you find it useful. As we evolve we will provide tips and script snippets to help you out. And, of course for more complex issues we're available with software a services to help you get to the next level in performance, stability, and simplicity.