Welcome to the new ECAD, Inc. blog. Here you will find valuable information regarding Autodesk, COADE, Edgecam, DezignWorks and other CAD/CAM related products, as well as tips and tricks to help you with your design and engineering needs.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Turn Points On and Off with Ease in Civil 3D

Talking to a number of "End Users" in the civil industry, I noticed that a lot of companies aren't using AutoCAD Civil 3D to it's full capabilities. One process in particular is turning points on and off, now of course there are several ways to do any one thing, but with this being said I thought I would show a easier and "correct" way do do this.

With Point Display you can change the display order of point groups to control how a point displays on screen. The lowest point group (bottom) draws first and the top draws last. If a point only belongs to one point group it displays those properties no matter what, but if a point is in two or more groups, it displays as a member of the last group that is at the highest position on the list.

1. Create New Point Group. Name this Group No Display. – Be Sure to Change the Properties to reflect as such.

2. Then right-click on Point Groups and select Properties.

3. Highlight No Display and move it accordingly as shown below.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ghost Images of the OS!

No I am not talking about Halloween here even though it will be here before we know it!

Ghost is a disk cloning program, originally produced by Binary Research, but purchased by Symantec on June 24, 1998. The Ghost program launched the market for disk-cloning software. The name Ghost originated as an acronym for "General Hardware-Oriented System Transfer". (Wikepedia)

Our friendly computer manufactures now use the ghosting technique for the Operating System (OS) when they build and ship out new computers. The idea behind this process is good but it does wreak havoc for those computer users that are running CAD software.

Here at ECAD we have run into several instances where either Autodesk products or COADE products are not running correctly because of this issue.

It is recommended that when you receive a new computer that you reformat the hard drive and re-install the OS before you load any of the CAD packages.

As always, please check the links below for hardware requirements before you buy a computer to make sure that you are getting what you need to run the CAD software effectively. Autodesk recommends a 128MB graphics card for running their software but what they do not tell you is that they recommend and support certain brands/types. To find out more about the system requirements and certified hardware please visit the links below.

Links to System Requirements:
AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, AutoCAD Land Desktop, AutoCAD Civil 3D, and AutoCAD Map 3D

Links to Graphics Hardware:
AutoCAD 2008 and 2009 and Inventor (Civil 3D and Map 3D)

Certified Hardware XML Database Update:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

CADWorx ISOGEN Drawings: Overall Dimensions

Do you ever question if there is a way to generate a CADWorx ISOGEN drawing with just overall dimensions, which would work out better for your pipe fitters? If you need this, then you are surprised with how many dimensions show up on your first ISOGEN drawing.

There are several Option Switches in Project Manager that users have access to changing and configuring within ISOGEN. Outputting overall dimension is one of the few simple changes that can be set. To get the following result make the next few changes.

In the Project Manager go to the Drawing Control Tab and edit your Options File. Once the Options File Editor appears then you will need to go to the Dimensioning tab.

Next you will change option switch 9 to “No Dimensions (unless OS 118 is set for Overall). Click the arrow displayed in the Options File Editor to go forward a page and display more settings.

Go to Page 3 of 3 and change option switch 118. If set to “Overall Dims to Valve centers & across Branches” then only overall dimensions will show up.

To allow overall dimensioning across branches and to the center of valves you must first set the spindle direction on all valves. Go to your CADWorx model double click the valves and click on the ISOGEN button to preview the ISOGEN Data dialog box. Or on the command line type IEDIT and select valve. In the ISOGEN Data dialog go to section previewed “Spindle/Flat/Support Direction” and set the spindle direction before creating your ISOGEN drawing.

After the Spindle direction has been configured in the CADWorx model then ISOGEN will output overall dimensions and to center of valves.