Sunday, June 30, 2013

Give Away of Autodesk AutoCAD 2013 Practical 3D Drafting and Design

Autodesk AutoCAD 2013 Practical 3D Drafting and Design by João Santos.

JTB World is together with Packt Publishing having a give away of this new book for 3 lucky winners that have the chance to win eBook copies of the book.

Who is this book for? Anyone who wants to create accurate 3D models in AutoCAD, like architecture, engineering, or design professionals, and students. Only basic understanding of 2D AutoCAD is needed.

If you’re next step is to learn about how to create 3D shapes and models, view and navigate a 3D model, understand 3D coordinate systems and even lighting and materials so you can create photorealistic images this book could be a good help.

My Review

I think João has done a good job to cover the subjects in an digestive manner. It is easy to follow along and there are good pictures throughout the book that helps to understand how each task is done. You will also find the exercises easy to follow so you can put theory into practice. Example files are available for download.

With the help of this book you will learn most everything that is worth knowing about 3D modeling, drafting and design in AutoCAD. It covers versions of AutoCAD up to AutoCAD 2013. Reality Capture and Point Cloud functionality is not covered though.

The 374 pages book is available both in print and in electronic formats like PDF and you can get it from Packt Publishing as well as from some other online stores. Visit this page for all details, table of contents, sample chapters and to purchase.

How to Enter this give away?
Head on over to the book page ( and look through the product description of the book and drop a line via the comments below this post to let us know what interests you the most about this book and why you would find it useful.

The contest will close on 7th July 2013 and 3 winners will be selected randomly. Winners will be contacted by email, so be sure to include your email address when you comment or in addition to the comment you can email me your email address in case you don’t want it to be seen in the comment!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Autodesk Fusion 360 and GrabCAD

Inventor Fusion import and editing functionality was removed from AutoCAD 2014 and in the meantime there has been a beta program of Autodesk Fusion 360.

A couple of days ago Autodesk Fusion 360 was released. It is free for the next 90 days, and upon expiration of the 90-day initial offer will be available for purchase from the Autodesk e-store for $25 per month, per user, based on annual contract commitment. Special pricing is available for students and entrepreneurs.

“Autodesk Fusion 360 brings together capabilities typically found in separate mechanical, industrial and conceptual design tools into one, easy to use cloud-based service. Fusion 360 offers a radically intuitive user experience, secure access to design information and integrated social collaboration features. Customers can design faster, work anywhere and share with anyone.”

Today it was announced that Autodesk Fusion 360 and AutoCAD 360 will be available on GrabCAD Workbench. “Autodesk and GrabCAD have teamed together to bring you the power of Autodesk Fusion 360 and AutoCAD 360 with the convenience of GrabCAD Community and Workbench.” AutoCAD 360 is already there and Autodesk Fusion 360 is coming soon.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

JTB FlexReport 7.4.2

This new version of JTB FlexReport license report solution solves the following issues:

  • Fixed an issue with the Get Feature Descriptions in JTB FlexReport Config where it just did not work to get the descriptions.
  • Fixed a bug in the Access database table tblAppName that causes feature and description to be padded with up to 255 spaces causing among other things issues with some of the reports. Running JTB FlexReport as normal after upgrading to 7.4.2 on a problematic database will automatically fix the issue.

Note that it is only JTB FlexReport Core that is updated to 7.4.2. Uninstall existing JTB FlexReport Core and install the new one. Here are the downloads and upgrade tips.

If you use SQL Server there is no need to upgrade between 7.4.1 and 7.4.2.

Previous release: JTB FlexReport 7.4.1

Contact us to get a time limited license file for free. You can try it in your environment with your real data for a few weeks with full functionality.
Full support is provided during trial period.

Monday, June 24, 2013

How to purge DGN linetypes in DWGs

Have you problem with DWG files that have become bloated while copying and pasting from DWGs containing DGN linetypes of MicroStation origin or after using DGNIMPORT?

AutoCAD DGN Clean-up Tool can be downloaded here and help you out.
UPDATE: The download is not available as Autodesk is working on a bug fix.

This Hotfix applies to AutoCAD 2013, Autodesk AutoCAD 2014, and related vertical products.

Here’s the most important parts from the readme:

Installation and Execution Instructions

1. Close all software applications.
2. Download the Hotfix (AutoCAD_2013_2014_DGN_CleanUp_Tool.exe) to a location on
your local computer.
3. To install the fix, double-click the ZIP executable and save the file to the product
installation folder (for example C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2013).
(My comment: As far as I can see the DLL don’t have to be in the product installation folder, I tried to put it in c:\temp and it worked just fine)

To Execute This Hotfix
1. Start up AutoCAD.
2. Netload DgnLsPurge.dll.
3. Open the affected drawing file.
4. Run the DGNPURGE command to make the elements purge-able.
6. Repeat steps 4-5 if needed.
7. Save the DWG.
8. Repeat steps 3-7 for other affected files.

Here is what it can look like when running DGNPURGE:
Purged 18 unreferenced complex linetype records (of 20).
Purged 155 unreferenced strokes (of 157).

But the current version of DGNPURGE seems to be affecting lines that are using DGN linetypes too in some cases. Compare with the image above.

Autodesk is now aware of that compound linetypes are not handled properly and is working on an update of the tool.

If you want to purge many drawings our SmartPurger can be used to automate the work. Here is an example of what the AutoLISP code would look like. Note that even though SmartPurger runs a purge the LSP is loaded after so we need to run purge through the LSP instead. If you like you can change the number of times this is repeated. Right now it is 3 times. Edit the path as needed and remember to use \\ instead of \.

(command "._NETLOAD" "C:\\Temp\\DgnLsPurge.dll")
(repeat 3
  (command "._DGNPURGE")
  (command "._PURGE" "_A" "*" "_N")

For technical details around purging traces from DGN linestyles see this post on Through the Interface.

Complex DGN linestyles – that presumably cannot be mapped directly to standard AutoCAD linetypes – have entries in their Extension Dictionaries named “DGNLSDEF”. These objects contain references to objects in the “ACAD_DGNLINESTYLECOMP” dictionary (which is inside the root Named Objects Dictionary).

The objects in this dictionary represent the “strokes” in the linetype. They might be simple (in the case of STROKE1, above) or more complex. Complex strokes can refer to each other and also to anonymous blocks in the Block Table.

UPDATE: Details about the issues found in the first release and source code for the fix.

Monday, June 10, 2013

JTB FlexReport 7.4.1

JTB FlexReport license and application usage monitoring tool has got some bugs squashed in version 7.4.1. No new features are added. You may see it as a service pack 1 for version 7.4. See the revision history for what’s been fixed. Here are the downloads and upgrade tips.

Contact us to get a time limited license file for free. You can try it in your environment with your real data for a few weeks with full functionality.
Full support is provided during trial period.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

AutoCAD 2013 verticals Service Pack 2

Are you using AutoCAD 2013 verticals? If so, here are some Service Packs you might want to install.

AutoCAD Architecture 2013 Service Pack 2
AutoCAD Electrical 2013 Service Pack 2
AutoCAD Mechanical 2013 Service Pack 2
AutoCAD MEP 2013 Service Pack 2

Windows 8 operating systems are officially supported for these products with SP2.

In this post AutoCAD 2013 Service Pack 2 is described and is also included in the above service packs. If you have not installed SP1 it is included in SP2.

Fixes for AutoCAD Architecture 2013 are:

  • Occasional crash related to drawing compare.
  • Occasional crash related to geometry sharing.
  • Crash when saving an image in the object viewer while the steering wheel is enabled.
  • Occasional crash related to the Project Navigator.
  • Occasional crash when double-clicking drawing nodes in the Project Navigator.
  • Occasional crash related to slab and roof slab.
  • Occasional crash when adding tags to objects.
  • Crash when modifying space geometry type.
  • Some doors or windows with custom blocks do not display their frame values correctly.
  • If a drawing has an Xref Xclipped using the Invert Clip option, the opposite part is actually Xclipped after Export to AutoCAD.
  • Elevation labels defined in world UCS display zero after applying Service Pack 1.
  • When copying elevation labels with user defined UCS from one drawing to another, the text value of the copied labels fail to be modified.
  • Objects may not show correctly during 3D orbit.
  • In certain cases, List Definitions cannot be modified.
  • Failure to create projects on WebDav servers.
  • Some schedule table lines fail to be turned off through display system.
  • Area calculation may be incorrect for some irregular trapezoid spaces.
  • Enhanced column grid labels cannot be modified under some circumstances.

_VERNUM is a command line command that can verify what the product version is:

AutoCAD Architecture 2013: _VERNUM = "G.55.0.0 (UNICODE)"

AutoCAD Architecture 2013 Service Pack 1: _VERNUM = "G.114.0.0 (UNICODE)"

AutoCAD Architecture 2013 Service Pack 2: _VERNUM = "G.204.0.0 (UNICODE)"

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