Tuesday, February 18, 2014

AutoCAD Educational Version - Plot Stamp Not Detected!

There was a change in AutoCAD 2014 SP1 that can put you in problems. If you open, plot or save a drawing you will not be aware that the drawing have been saved with an Educational version of AutoCAD and thus unknowingly infecting a lot of drawings that you will have problem to use in older versions. I think this is a very dangerous bug that was introduced. In AutoCAD 2014 without SP1, AutoCAD 2013 and older you will see this dialog box. “Educational Version - Plot Stamp Detected This drawing will display the message, "PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT," Do you want to continue? If you continue, the message will mark this drawing and any drawings that reference it.”

The plan is that in AutoCAD 2015 it will be possible to save drawings with the plot stamp and then have it removed permanently. That is at least good news. I guess it will also work with Autodesk DWG TrueView 2015 and DWG Convert to batch re-save drawings to get rid of the stamp.

Here’s a quote from an Autodesk employee in the AutoCAD forum:

“The educational plot stamp has been a part of the Educational version of AutoCAD for a long time. It was meant to prevent commercial use being done with an educational version of the product. Recently, a decision was made to no longer show this stamp, even on files created with the EDU version. Starting with the installation of SP1 for the 2014 products, files will no longer show the stamp when plotting, nor will they give a warning message when opening them. However, the stamp is still attached to the file even though it is not showing.”

“So yes, the danger is that someone with 2014 SP1 could open a file and work on it without realizing it has the educational stamp on it. If they then send that to someone without SP1, or on an earlier version, that user will see the warning and the stamp. At this time, using 2014 with SP1 will still propagate the stamp to other drawings, as in the past. The current plan (and please keep in mind that this could change), but the current plan is that the 2015 version will have the ability to remove the stamp altogether if a Save is performed. You'd then be able to save a file in 2015, and send it back to users on earlier versions, and the stamp will be gone altogether. More information will be provided on this as we go on as to what the final implementation will be.”

See also this knowledge base article explaining more about the Educational Plot Stamp.

If you want to identify drawings with the Educational Plot Stamp try our EduFinder app that is able to batch process all your drawings and find those with the stamp. Due to the change in AutoCAD 2014 SP1 the app might not be able to find them unless you also have for example AutoCAD 2013 installed or remove the AutoCAD 2014 SP1.

Monday, February 17, 2014

How to test if a DVB file is loaded using AutoLISP

This is a sample code snippet showing how you with AutoLISP (or rather Visual LISP) can test if a certain VBA DVB file is loaded in AutoCAD or not.

(defun isDVBLoaded (dvb / oVBProjs c found)
  (setq oVBProjs (vlax-get (vla-get-vbe (vlax-get-acad-object)) "VBProjects"))
  (setq dvb (strcase dvb))
  (repeat (setq c (vla-get-count oVBProjs))
    (if (vl-string-search dvb (strcase (vla-get-FileName (vla-item oVBProjs c))))
      (setq found T)
    (setq c (1- c))

Here’s how to call the function:
(isDVBLoaded "jtbworld.dvb")

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Autodesk Knowledge Network reviewed

Here’s the new Autodesk Knowledge Network where you can “access a broad range of knowledge to help you get the most out of your Autodesk products and services”.

One nice thing when searching for downloads is that you can use Narrow Results to filter out for example only a specific version or type of download like hotfixes, object enablers or service packs. It works the same with the troubleshooting section.

So I checked the AutoCAD troubleshooting result and found this link that offers not help and seems to be from the forums. Strange. It would be good to see forum results too but it should be possible to filter out as well.

“Autodesk invites you to share your knowledge with the rest of the world, inspiring others to learn, achieve goals, and ignite creativity. In collaboration with Creative Commons, Autodesk invites you to share your knowledge with the rest of the world, inspiring others to learn, achieve goals, and ignite creativity. You can freely borrow from the Autodesk Help, Support and Video libraries to build a new learning experience for anyone with a particular need or interest.” Note that this seems to apply only for noncommercially purpose. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) and Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works (CC BY-NC-ND)  is used.

But there is a problem. If I for example visit this AutoCAD page I cannot find anywhere how to access the online help for AutoCAD. Even if I visit the Knowledge Network page for AutoCAD here. Hopefully this will be corrected soon. I did a search for AutoCAD documentation and got this link that seems to be taken from a blog post as can also be seen in the URL …/blog/autodesk.blogs.com/between_the_lines/201…

Another noteworthy thing is that “as of February 1st, 2015, upgrades from previous releases will only be available with Subscription, the most cost-effective way to stay current. Upgrade and subscribe now to gain additional savings on our latest software with all the benefits of Subscription.” More here.

After this update a lot of the direct links that before work are now broken. Before this URL format was working: http://usa.autodesk.com/getdoc/id=DL22867787 and now when searching for something like DL22867787 will not show up any result. This will break a lot of links existing on the web and even on Autodesk’s own blogs. Not sure if this will be fixed eventually or not.

Head over to http://knowledge.autodesk.com and see what you think about these updates.

UPDATE: I found that some of the old URLs to technical solutions and other pages are working and later on the Up and Ready blog said: “most of the solutions do indeed work and have proper re-directs”.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Why there is no Autodesk Design Review 2014

You may wonder why there is no Autodesk Design Review 2014 (ADR 2014). On the Autodesk Labs blog you got the answer:

  • DWF is definitely NOT dead.

  • We are investing significant resources on a cloud solution that will allow the sharing of models without sharing the source. This solution will also build collaboration tools because that is one of the strengths of a cloud solution.

  • To prove that we are strongly investing into DWF, we already are loading bigger DWF files than ADR can and will be making them available to the workflow of the cloud applications like Autodesk 360, Fusion 360, etc. AutoCAD WS is planning the same for the 2D side of things. Eventually they will merge into Autodesk 360 viewing that covers both aspects.

  • ADR will have less and less value as the cloud solution matures.

  • The cloud solution is being built in stages and handling larger DWF files is part of that roadmap. Our cloud-teams are looking at Customer Improvement Program (CIP) data from ADR on the most commonly used ADR features today. This will guide their efforts in rounding out our cloud functionality.

So in the meantime Autodesk Design Review 2013 is available and can be used.

You can also read on this post why Autodesk Freewheel was shut down.

Monday, February 3, 2014

AutoCAD Architecture Detail Components problem and solution

Do you have problem in Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture to open the Detail Component Manager or using any of the tools on the Tool Palettes - Design Details tab?

Maybe you get this error message showing up one or many times?

“Cannot open database C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\ACA 2014\enu\Details\Details (Global)\AecDtlComponents (Global).mdb.” followed by “Unable to execute the tool. Unspecified error.” and on the command line “ERROR: No database information found!” It might also show ACA 2013 or ACA 2012 or older. The file can also be for example AecDtlComponents (US).mdb or AecDtlComponents (UK).mdb.

Still if you try to open the mdb file manually it works fine.

But there is a solution available. This fix only applies to if you run a 64-bit version of AutoCAD Architecture.

SOLUTION: Download this Detail_Component_Manager_Fix.reg file and run it and you probably also need to answer yes a couple of times so it is merged into the Windows Registry. After that you should be able to use the tools as normal. No need to even restart AutoCAD Architecture.

Tools affected are Metal Runner, Metal Stud, Wood Stud, Hat Channel, Gypsum Board, Batt Insulation, Rigid Insulation, Brick, Concrete Block, Plywood, Protection Board, Roof Hatch, Roof Drain, Floor Drain, Sliding Door Head, HM Door Frame, Carpet, Stone Pavers, Recessed Light, Steel, Concrete Column, Earth Hatch and possibly some others.

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