Tuesday, December 19, 2017

JTB FlexReport 11.0.1 released

JTB FlexReport 11.0.1 has been released.

Fixed error "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" that could show up. If you installed version 11.0, uninstall first the JTB FlexReport Core, JTB FlexReport Report Service and/or JTB FlexReport Process Monitor Service.

The upgrade is free for all customers with maintenance in place. If you would like to renew the maintenance to get access to this update please contact us.

Free trial of JTB FlexReport is available.

Monday, December 18, 2017

JTB FlexReport 11.0 released - license monitoring and statistics

JTB FlexReport 11.0 has been released. JTB FlexReport is a report tool for often expensive applications using various license managers like FlexNet, DSLS, SPLM, RLM, LM-X.

Do you want to optimize your software purchases for the future? JTB FlexReport is an inexpensive solution that will help you. By the license tracking JTB FlexReport does and the reports that can be produced JTB FlexReport will help you to manage and forecast future license usage and license usage trends at your company.

Here are some of the news:

  • Added support for GHSlm (Green Hills Software License Manager)
  • Added support for LSTC-Dyna (LS-DYNA / Ansa / mETA / Livermore Software Technology Corporation)
  • Added support for BETA LM (BETA CAE Systems)
  • Added support for PKit license manager (PersonalQM / Method Park / Stages)
  • Chart Client renamed to Report Client as it includes all list reports too
  • No need for MS Access to create detailed list reports as these have been added to the Report Client
  • The database has been size and speed optimized. The database structure is automatically updated

For a complete list see the revision history.

The upgrade is free for all customers with maintenance in place. If you would like to renew the maintenance to get access to this update please contact us.

Free trial of JTB FlexReport is available.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Connecting Rod and Piston Drafting Tutorial

Guest Article by Ethan Yakhin from Acuity Training on how to draw a Connecting Rod and Piston in AutoCAD.

NOTE: Measurements in tutorial not actual size of a Connecting Rod or Piston. However, the sizes are proportional.

This tutorial relies heavily on correct grid click and proper snap settings. Before beginning the tutorial, make sure your grid and snap setting look like this:

(Figure 1)

Your Object Snap settings should look like this:

(Figure 2)

Once your snap settings match mine, we will be ready to begin. We will be making a 2D representation of both a Piston, and a Connecting Rod. A Piston is a critical part of every car engine, and is a key part of the intake process. A Connecting Rod is a part that connects a Piston to a ‘crank’ or ‘crankshaft’.

PART 1: Connecting Rod (without) Piston

First, start by making a circle (C) with a radius of 3.5 inches. Make sure this circle is centered on a major grid point.

(Figure 3)

Next, you want to make a copy (CP) of our circle and place it in the same location as in Figure 4. Do not leave the CP command yet. With the snap settings we have set, it should be no trouble at all.

(Figure 4)

Add another copy at the location show in Figure 5. After clicking, you can leave the CP command.

(Figure 5)

Next, go back to the centre of the original circle, and make another one that has a radius of 3 inches.

(Figure 6)

It is going to get tricky now so make sure you follow the direction closely. Make a Line (L) with a start point on our first circle’s North Quadrant, and an end point 1’2” above that. Wait for further instruction before escaping the Line command.

Figure 7

With the Line tool still active, place your next click on the West Quadrant of the third circle we made.

Figure 8

Place your next click exactly 3” West. Then, finally, place your final click on the top of the first line we created. After this you can leave the Line Command.

(Figure 9)

You can delete the horizontal line. We won’t be needing it.

Refer carefully to Figure 10 for the next part. Using the Line tool (L), follow the clicks sequentially using the 4 endpoints circled in Figure 10.

(Figure 10)

Using the Trim tool (TRIM), select the 4 lines highlighted in Figure 11, and then press ENTER

(Figure 11)

After hitting ENTER, Select the outer parts of the left and right circle. Those part should, disappear leaving only an arc. Hit ENTER again to leave the Trim Command.

(Figure 12)

Delete the Vertical Line. We will not need it anymore.

Make a copy (CP) of our 2 center squares, and place it as show in Figure 13.

(Figure 13)

Scale (SCALE) the copy down to half of the original’s size. Make sure the centre point remains the same. After scaling it down, open up the Trim command againd. Select the outer circle and trim out every straight line that is within or above the 2 circles. You should end up with Figure 14.

(Figure 14)

Using the Line command, click the grid points circled in red in Figure 15, moving in numerical order. You may have to zoom in on Figure 15 to properly see all the numbers.

(Figure 15)

Often when designing things that involve arcs and straight lines missing, things end up a little deformed. To resolve this all that is need is proper adjustment. Move the endpoints of the 2 highlight lines from points 1 to points 2 (Figure 16), and trim the excess tips that are circled in Figure 17

(Figure 16)

(Figure 17)

Our Connection Rod is much better and now looks complete!

(Figure 18)

We have one last step, and the Connecting Rod (sans piston) will be complete. We still need to shade in the parts that aren’t hollow. Open up the Hatch Tool (HATCHADD). Choose any hatches you like and shade in every part except the inner 2 circles. Refer to Figure 19.

(Figure 19)

That’s how you do a Connecting Rod. All the arcs are properly centered around major gridpoints and this would be easy to even draft by hand, if needed.

PART 2: Connecting Rod (with) Piston

Now we will be going a Connecting Rod with the Piston attached. We will be working off our previous creation, so make a copy if you want to end up with both.

Select the top 2 circles, along with the hatch in between them, and then hit DEL to delete

(Figure 20)

Make a rectangle (RECTANG) following the endpoints of the one shown in Figure 21. Assuming your Object and Grid Snaps are still on, everything should work smoothly.

(Figure 21)

Select the Rectangle you’ve created and rest your mouse on the middle blue grabber of the bottom horizontal line. 3 options will pop up in a dialogue. Choose the one that says “Convert to Arc.

(Figure 22)

The radius of the arc doesn’t matter as much as it matters that it protrudes upward. Aim for something similar to Figure 23. It may be easier for you to turn off (F9) Grid Snap just for this part. Remember to turn it back on (F9) after. While the exact radius is not significant, it is better to make the arc as subtle as possible, and if you need to go back after and make it more evident you can. (EDIT: I actually ended up doing this later in the tutorial.)

(Figure 23)
Now what we are going to do is break apart (EXPLODE) the rectangle into individual lines and then delete the top horizontal line of the rectangle.

(Figure 24)

Copy the bottom arc we made onto the endpoints of the other lines. Use Figure 25 as a reference.

(Figure 25)

Note: I went back and made my arcs a little more arched after this.

Make a circle that has a half-inch radius and place it at the point shown in Figure 26.

(Figure 26)

Make 3 copies of the top arch and place the midpoint of each on one of the three red circles shown in Figure 27.

(Figure 27)

The only thing left to do is had the hatches to the Piston.

(Figure 28)

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. See also the AutoCAD course for Architects with some free chapters.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Batch Attribute Editor app for AutoCAD - JTB BatchAttEdit

JTB BatchAttEdit is a new batch attribute editor app for AutoCAD from JTB World. The app collects attributes in all blocks of specified name patterns in multiple drawings and display in a wide spreadsheet. Then you can edit attribute texts as easy as working with Excel. Once done, click "Apply Attribute Changes" to update values to drawings.

This makes it a great app to for example edit title block attributes across many drawings instead of having to do it one drawing at a time.

JTB BatchAttEdit

Trial of JTB BatchAttEdit is available.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Autodesk University 2017 and automation

AU 2017 is going on right now. Autodesk's President and CEO, Andrew Anagnost, kicked off AU 2017 with a his and Autodesk’s perspective on automation through robots and software and the Future of Work. You can see the recording and other upcoming keynotes on the AU site. Interesting to see how Van Wijnen innovates in the way buildings are designed.

If you want to automate the design work at your company we at JTB World can help. We don’t create or use physical robots but our software still work the same by either doing the work for you or helping you with certain tasks. There are our existing software or we create customized apps based on your specific needs. It could be desktop solutions using AutoCAD, Revit or web/cloud solutions like Autodesk Forge or a combination. Feel free to contact us.

“We’ve been doing a ton of work with the LISP that you’ve developed for us, and happy to have it :)” – Customer doing roofing design

Here’s what a customer said about our SSMPropEditor: “Really wish I would have had this program several times in my career.  It would have saved me a ton of work.”

Monday, October 30, 2017

JTB DST Tool 1.4 released

JTB DST Tool has been updated to version 1.4. JTB DST Tool can merge, purge and convert Sheet Set DST files for AutoCAD, BricsCAD, GstarCAD and any other CAD software using Sheet Set DST files. For example AutoCAD's Sheet Set Manager (SSM) or AutoCAD Architecture's Project Navigator (PN) Sheet Set View.

News in version 1.4:

  • Added ability to merge custom properties when DST files are merged.
  • Added network license feature.

If you’re interested in this app a free trial is available.

Existing customers of JTB DST Tool can upgrade for free.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Data Extraction in AutoCAD shows DeleteMe in Excel

If you run into this there is an explanation in this Autodesk Community post. Here’s the result after running DATAEXTRACTION and making the output to Excel.


I noticed the problem in AutoCAD 2018 and it seems like it is the same with older versions of AutoCAD too.

The solution is not a good one as you may put your computer in danger by uninstalling the Windows security updates.

We have become aware that Microsoft recently released some security updates for Windows operating systems. There are currently three updates that I am aware of that break functionality in Core AutoCAD and its connection with Microsoft Excel.  For instance, customers can expect that when running a Data Extraction and saving the results in an Excel spreadsheet, the first cell (A1) will display ‘DeleteMe’ and no other data will appear.

The three update numbers are:

The remedy at this point in time is to simply uninstall the security updates until a more permanent solution is determined. Removal should restore full functionality of the features.

Inventor 2015-2011 also appears to be affected. Removal of the security updates will restore functionality of placing such features as holes and threads. Another solution, to be taken at the customer’s own risk is to change the following registry key setting:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\Inventor\RegistryVersion XX.0\System\Preference\Part\UseExcelToReadthreadFile to 1

UPDATE 2017-11-15: Windows November updates like kb4048952 or kb4048955 or possibly Windows 10 OS Build 15063.674 fixes this issue.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

JTB XClipClean 2.2 released

JTB XClipClean 2.2 for AutoCAD is now released.

JTB XClipClean is an Xclip-cutter app for AutoCAD to clean up xrefs or blocks that been clipped so that the information that is outside the clip is removed. This is useful when you need to remove hidden geometry and minimize DWG file size.

Here are the news in version 2.2:

  • Minor bugs fixed that could cause the app to not work in some environments
  • Added test to see if VBA and Express Tools are installed

The upgrade is free for customers of this app. If purchase was done via Autodesk App Store the download is available on My Downloads page. Sign in with the same account used when purchasing. Otherwise contact us for a link to download.

More about JTB XClipClean here.

What do you want automated in AutoCAD, Revit, BricsCAD or other CAD systems? We can help. Contact us with your inquiry.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

JTB FlexReport Services automatically stops – solution

Here’s a problem and solution I wanted to share that caused our network license monitoring solution JTB FlexReport (specifically the report Client/Service) not working.

Question: When using Test Service Engines I get the error: Please start the Services before testing. The remote name could not be resolved: 'localHost'. But I had started the services right before pressing the test buttons in the JTB FlexReport Service Configurator. The client configurator also shows error when testing service engines.

Another error showing in a dialog box and also in Windows Event Logs: Could not load type 'System.Runtime.Diagnostics.ITraceSourceStringProvider' from assembly 'System.ServiceModel.Internals. Version= Culture=neutral. PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35'.

When manually checking if the JTB FlexReport Auto Chart Service and JTB FlexReport Chart Service are running I find that they are not running and after starting them they stops directly.

.NET Framework 4.5 is installed.

Answer: This issue can be resolved by installing .NET Framework 4.5.2 or newer (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42642)
After that you will need to restart the server and the issue should be fixed.

Monday, October 2, 2017

AutoCAD Architecture 2018.0.3 Update

Another update for AutoCAD Architecture 2018 is released Sept 29, 2017. Get it via Autodesk Desktop App or from the Autodesk Account website. It’s not on the Autodesk Knowledge Network so it’s only for those on maintenance/subscription.

AutoCAD Architecture 2018

Issues fixed in 2018.0.3 according to the readme:

Project Navigator

  • Creating a new view from the Project Navigator in a zero doc state crashes the application.

Dialog Box

  • Detail Component Manager dialog box does not remember size and location.
  • Wall Style Properties dialog box does not remember size and location.


  • LandXMLSDK.Aec.dll has been rebuilt with compiler security flags.

Export To AutoCAD

  • ExporttoAutoCAD using bind option does not migrate all architecture specific layers.
  • AutoCAD 2018 file format is missing in the application menu.


  • BLDGSECTIONLINEGENERATE and 2DSECTIONRESULTREFRESH produces unexpected results when geometry is added to a building.
  • When section is generated on solids, some geometry is not shown in the section result.

User Interface

  • Wall objects are not displayed in 3D realistic view for some drawings.

In the About dialog box we can find the Product Version: and if you want to find it using AutoLISP here’s how: How to know what service pack is installed for AutoCAD

Some other updates you may want to take a look at are AutoCAD MEP 2018.0.2 Update, Vehicle Tracking 2018.1 Update and AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018.1 Update.

Previous update AutoCAD Architecture 2018.0.2 Update and latest AutoCAD update AutoCAD 2018.1.1 Update.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

JTB Sheet Set Creator 2.2 released

JTB Sheet Set Creator 2.2 for AutoCAD is released with these new features.

  • Network license implemented.
  • Added Default Plot Location to SheetSet Properties tab in the Excel template.

Trial download is here.

The upgrade is free for existing customers of this app. If purchase was done via Autodesk App Store the download is available on My Downloads page. Sign in with the same account used when purchasing. Otherwise contact and let us know you want the update and we send the link to the full version.

JTB Sheet Set Creator is an app for AutoCAD that creates new Sheet Sets and Sheets based on an Excel template.

  • Sheet Set Properties can be populated.
  • Sheet Set Custom Properties can be defined, created and populated.
  • Sheet Properties can be populated.
  • Sheet Custom Properties can be defined, created and populated.
  • Sheets (drawings) can be defined, created and have their properties populated.

If you make use of the Sheet Set Manager in AutoCAD you might find our other apps SSMPropEditor, DST Converter, JTB DST Tool or JTB Sheet Set Publish useful.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Palette Auto-hide Speed tips

With our Palette Auto-hide Speed freeware you can adjust how the palette roll-up/roll-out (show/hide or minimize/expand) for most palettes in AutoCAD and its verticals.

Here the tips: Set Roll-up to 0 (or higher if he want the palette to stay open longer after moving away from it) and Roll-out to a high value like 5000. Using this trick you either will need to click on the title bar of the palette to show it or wait 5 seconds hovering over it before it rolls out. 

Palette Auto-hide Speed 

Here’s an animation showing how it works and notice that just moving the mouse over the bar does not open the palette. It is first when clicking on the bar that the palette is opened.

Palette Auto-hide Speed animation

Give Palette Auto-hide Speed freeware a try and use your preferred settings.

What do you want customized or automated? Take a look what we can do and Contact us.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Mastering AutoCAD Sheet Sets guide

Mastering AutoCAD Sheet Sets is made easier thanks to a guide R.K. McSwain (CAD Panacea blog) and Heidi Hewett (Autodesk) put together. 

Read the Mastering AutoCAD Sheet Sets series on the AutoCAD Blog here or if you don’t want to wait for all posts to be published, you can get it for free by downloading the Mastering AutoCAD Sheet Sets guide.

“Whether you design manufactured parts, maps, or buildings, the sheet set functionality in AutoCAD enables you to efficiently create, manage, and share your entire set of sheets from one convenient location. At first glance, the powerful functionality offered by the Sheet Set Manager may seem overwhelming but the good news is you don’t have to learn and implement all the functionality simultaneously.

We have developed this 60-page free e-book so you can immediately begin reaping the benefits of Sheet Set functionality. The eBook is structured to be self-paced, allowing you to progress through each level of implementation from the simplest to the most complex at your own speed. Spend just a few minutes each week or at your own pace until you’ve created a fully functional sheet set with minimum disruption to your current workflow.

The e-book is conveniently organized into 17 chapters with step-by-step instructions on how to create a new sheet set, how to transition to sheet set master and how to implement sheet sets for maximum efficiency.”

Sheet Set Manager (aka SSM) is available in AutoCAD since version 2005, in AutoCAD LT from version 2012, in BricsCAD V13 and newer, and GstarCAD 2015 and newer.

More resources about the Sheet Set Manager and some related apps from JTB World:

Thursday, September 7, 2017

AutoCAD 2018.1.1 Update

AutoCAD 2018 has got another update with bug fixes. This time the AutoCAD 2018.1.1 Update.

Either get it via the Autodesk Desktop App or Autodesk Account. Not publically available on Autodesk Knowledge Network.

Here are some details from the readme:

The AutoCAD 2018.1.1 Update contains all of the updates previously released for AutoCAD 2018 so the download is up to 452 MB depending on if it’s for AutoCAD LT, 32-bit or 64-bit.

AutoCAD Updates can be applied to AutoCAD installed as a standalone application and AutoCAD-based vertical products. You can install the AutoCAD update in addition to any applicable updates for your vertical products listed below.

AutoCAD and Vertical Products:

  • AutoCAD 2018
  • AutoCAD Architecture 2018
  • AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018
  • AutoCAD Electrical 2018
  • AutoCAD Map 3D 2018
  • AutoCAD Mechanical 2018
  • AutoCAD MEP 2018
  • AutoCAD Plant 3D 2018
  • Advance Steel 2018

After applying this patch, the Product Version in the About box will be listed as O.154.0.0 AutoCAD 2018.1.1 Update. If you use one of the vertical products, the Built On version will be listed as O.154.0.0 AutoCAD 2018.1.1 Update. _VERNUM returns "O.154.0.0 (UNICODE)" (read only). When installed it shows up as version in the list of installed updates in Windows.

As a result of the detailed information that we received from customers who used the Customer Error Reporting Utility, we were able to identify and fix several defects with the following results:

  • Occasional crashes when opening the block editor no longer occur.
  • Occasional crashes when selecting or creating a non-associative hatch no longer occur.
  • Occasional crashes when clicking the Insert View button on the ribbon in some drawings no longer occur.
  • Occasional crashes when modifying certain dimension styles no longer occur.
  • Occasional crashes when editing the grip of a spotlight in some drawings no longer occur.
  • Occasional crashes when opening DXF files containing Xrefs no longer occur.

Several additional defects have been fixed with the following results:


  • The attribute position of a block remains the same after editing the block.


  • PDF files plotted from certain drawings now display correctly in Adobe Reader.
  • Hatch patterns in PDF files are consistent with lineweight.
  • Raster images are plotted correctly when Shadeplot is set to the Rendered option.


  • The AEC property-set data in DWG files can be successfully exported to 3D DWF files.
  • Certain Pro/E files can now be successfully imported into AutoCAD.

Monday, August 21, 2017

JTB CAD Automation Tools 5.3 released

JTB CAD Automation Tools for AutoCAD has been updated to version 5.3 and got a bug fixed.

  • Fixed bug in AUTOINS command that showed error "no function definition: XREFPATHTYPE".

If you love to use Excel spread sheets to make edits then JTB CAD Automation Tools is for you as you can do a lot of AutoCAD automation with help of Excel like creating new drawings based on templates (useful for electrical diagrams and more), update title block attributes, inserts text, blocks or xrefs, run custom LSP files and much more.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How to fix problem with multiple ribbon tabs for apps in AutoCAD

Have you run into the problem with apps (plug-ins or add-ins) showing up in separate ribbon tabs? AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Civil 3D, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Map 3D, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD P&ID, AutoCAD Plant 3D and possibly other AutoCAD verticals have this problem.

I noticed this problem in also AutoCAD Architecture 2018. Note even the updates have fixed this.

Steps to solve this were found here.

(Note that Steps 2-4 are not necessary for 2015 and newer, though you may just want to check that the alias is there.)

1. Open the Customize User Interface (CUI) dialogue box by typing the CUI command (or choose Customize from the Workspace drop down list)

2. Under Customizations in All Files, and All Customization Files, expand Ribbon > Tabs and select Add-Ins

3. Under Properties > Advanced, click on the [...] that appears next to Aliases

4. Type ID_ADDINSTAB in the Aliases dialogue box, then click OK

5. Under Customizations in All Files, expand Workspaces and select [Your Workspace]

6. Under Workspace Contents, click on Customize Workspace (the Workspace Contents values should turn blue)

7. Under Customizations in All Files, scroll down and check the box next to "Add-Ins" (under Ribbon > Tabs)

8. Under Workspace Contents, click Done

9. Under Customizations in All Files, expand Partial Customization Files

10. Right-click each plug-in .CUIX that you have and choose "Unload..." (examples of plug-ins are: SKETCHUPIMPORTSKP, CHRONICLE, APPMANAGER

11. Click OK at the bottom of the CUI dialogue box

12. Make sure to select Add-ins from the left pane and change Show to Yes

13. Restart AutoCAD

Much better:

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