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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Monday, August 25, 2008

Free up memory by setting up the Autodesk Data Management Console to run on demand


Inventor and the Autodesk Data Management server can be configured so that the data management server is not running in the background when you are not using Inventor. This fee’s up system resources for other application.

First you will need to setup the services so that they do not automatically load, the services to be modified are “Autodesk EDM Server”, “SQL Server Browser” and “SQL Server (AUTODESKVAULT)”

To do this you will need to access the services, these can be found in the “control Panel” under the “administrative Tools”.


Launch Services, when the services console opens, I suggest switching to the standard layout; this makes it easier to find the services we’re looking for.

To switch to standard layout look to the bottom of the services console, and select the “Standard” tab.

Now we need to modify the services, find “Autodesk EDM Server” in the services console, and then select properties from the right mouse button menu.

From the Properties dialog box, change the startup type from Automatic, and change it to manual startup, also while in the dialog box, stop the service.

Now repeat these steps for “SQL Server Browser” and “SQL Server (AUTODESKVAULT)”


Once the services have been configured we need to create a batch file that will start the services upon our command. To do this we will create a text file that contains links to the applications we wish to start.

For Inventor 2008

For Inventor 2009

net start "SQLBrowser"

net start "Autodesk EDM Server"

net start MSSQL$AUTODESKVAULT

"C:Program FilesAutodeskInventor 2008BinInventor.exe"

net stop MSSQL$AUTODESKVAULT

net stop "Autodesk EDM Server"

net stop "SQLBrowser"



net start "SQLBrowser"

net start "Autodesk EDM Server"

net start MSSQL$AUTODESKVAULT

"C:Program FilesAutodeskInventor 2009BinInventor.exe"

net stop MSSQL$AUTODESKVAULT

net stop "Autodesk EDM Server"

net stop "SQLBrowser"


When you’ve created the text, save it with a .bat, this saves the text file as a batch file that can be executed. While you’re saving the file, save it to a location that you can find easily, and where the file won’t likely be deleted. You’ll also want to create a shortcut for your desktop to launch the batch file from. To do this you can, right mouse button over the batch files, and select Send to>Desktop (create Shortcut) this will create a desktop shortcut for the batch file.

The alternative is to edit the shortcut for Inventor to point to the batch file instead, you would do this by selecting the icon you wish to edit and then, using the right mouse button select properties.

In the properties dialog box, change the target to point to the batch file, be sure to include the quotes at the end and beginning of the target path. If the icon for the shortcut changes when you select apply, select change icon and browse to C:Program FilesAutodeskInventor 2009Bin and select app.ico

To use and work with what has been set up, launch Inventor using the icon, and a CMD prompt will start, loading the services, then Inventor will start

When you close Inventor, the same services that were started will be shut down in the CMD prompt, freeing up the available resources as the applications close.

The results of this are that the SQL services that run when your computer boots, do not start automatically, and instead only run when Inventor is launched. This frees up system resources for other applications that you may need to run. We did this by changing the startup properties of the SQL Browser service, Autodesk EDM server service, and Autodeskvault instance of MS SQL. Next we created a batch file that contained a script to start the services that ADMS uses, when Inventor starts. Next we edited or created shortcuts on the desktop to launch the script and run all of the applications and services.

Remember to start using the script for when you access the vault; otherwise you won’t be able to login

One other thing that can be done is to configure the batch file to run different applications. A batch file can be setup for launching the Vault, instead of Inventor; this is done by substituting "C:Program FilesAutodeskVault 2009ExplorerConnectivity.Vault.exe" for "C:Program FilesAutodeskInventor 2009BinInventor.exe"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

‘FOR HE WAS A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW’

He has been standing on the gallows for five years now waiting for the final edict to come and the trap door to spring open below his feet. The edict has been signed and passed down. The trap door will finally open sometime in the spring of 2009 and the trumpeter will play TAPS.





Autodesk finally announced in early July that Land Desktop 2009 will be the final release of this product.

I cannot say that I will miss it much. I was never a fan of that product. I know that some people think that it is great and others are like me. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

But do not worry all is not lost. Autodesk released a new civil engineering product back in 2003 called AutoCAD Civil 3D 2004. The idea behind it was to develop a software package that could do what Land Desktop does but better. Five years later they have a product that is amazing, in my opinion, and they are still adding things to it. Civil 3D helps cut down on mistakes and production time because it automatically updates the documentation as design changes are made. What more can you ask for?

This year Autodesk introduced a new product for civil engineering called AutoCAD Civil. As AutoCAD Civil 3D has continued to mature with analysis and simulation capabilities, the product has grown beyond the needs of the civil engineering technician, drafter, and surveyor. The introduction of AutoCAD Civil provides a solution that delivers a more appropriate level of value for the technician, drafter, and surveyor, at a lower price point.


What is the difference between AutoCAD Civil 2009 and AutoCAD Civil 3D
2009?



The functionality in AutoCAD Civil 2009 is a subset of that in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009.
AutoCAD Civil 3D includes incremental functionality to support analysis and simulation
more appropriate for civil engineers and designers. Both AutoCAD Civil and AutoCAD
Civil 3D are model-centric solutions and can be used together seamlessly within the same
organization. The following table provides a high level comparison of the two products.
More details on functionality for both products can be found at

www.autodesk.com/civil.




THE MIGHTY TIFF IMAGE BATTLE

How many times have you tried inserting TIFF images of aerial photos and have gotten frustrated? I hear about it a lot. You insert an image into your drawing and everything seems to be going great. Then all of a sudden you insert another one and everything starts going down hill. One or more of the images becomes white in the drawing. (See Figure 1) Uh oh! What do you do? You install the Raster Design Object Enabler but that does not help? Even using Raster Design does not help.


Figure 1

Don’t panic! There is a solution. But I will get to that in a moment.

One thing you have to consider when working with TIFF images is that there are approximately 27,000 different types of TIFF images out there today. Autodesk cannot support all of them. What TIFF images do they support? I am not sure. I have asked Autodesk but they cannot tell me.

So how do you get your work done? If you cannot get anything other than TIFF images what are you supposed to do? Simple, follow the steps below.

The first thing that you want to do is purchase image viewer software. I recommend either Irfanview or Global Mapper. Irfanview is FREEWARE for home use only and the author asks that if you are going to use it for commercial use that you send him some money, $12 cash, and register the product. Global Mapper (GM) is the more expensive of the two for the full version, $299 for one license. Make sure that you download and install the plug-ins for Irfanview. To use all of the tools in GM, especially the conversion tools, you will need to purchase the full version. To read more about what these two providers have to offer just click the links above.

Once you have installed the image viewer you want to start converting your TIFF images into another image format. I used for Irfanview for this article.


1. Go to the ‘File’ pull down menu and select ‘Batch Conversion/Rename’ or hit the ‘B’ key.
2. In the upper right hand corner of the Batch Conversion dialog box, see figure 2, browse to the folder where your images are located and select the ones you want to convert and click ‘Add’.
3. In the upper left hand corner of the dialog box select ‘Batch Conversion’.
4. Select the ‘Output format’ that you want. In this case select the PNG, Portable Network Graphics, format. You can choose any format that you want.
5. Select where you want the files saved to.
6. After you have made all of your selections then click on ‘Start Batch’.


Figure 2

Depending on the size and complexity of your images it might take a while to complete the conversion. The 13 images that I used were all about 120MB in size. It took about 3 hours to complete the process.

What about the world files? Simply copy the existing TFW files to another location and change the file extension to PGW, i.e. Taft-NE.TFW will become Taft-NE.PGW. If you convert your images to any other format besides PNG please remember that the world file extensions will need to be changed to match that format. All you have to do is remove the middle letter/character and slide the last letter/character to the middle and add a ‘W’ at the end, i.e. for a JPG file the world file extension would be JGW.

Once you converted your images and changed the file extensions on the world file you can insert your images again. All of your images should come in correctly! See Figure 3.


Figure 3