Saturday, September 29, 2007

What the heck is this doing on a CAD blog....well I needed some time off, so took my wife on holiday to the South Island of New Zealand.

We had a great time! Rose’s first time in the South Island, and she was impressed.

Here is where we went, just in case you might go down there sometime.

We landed in Christchurch and stayed in the Millenium Hotel right in the centre of town (expensive, but nice).

Next day we did the big haul from Christchurch to Dunedin. In hindsight this should be a two day trip.

The scenery was nothing particularly spectacular, pretty flat. Hunting about for a motel in Dunedin we came upon “The Esplanade”,
a motel right on the beach front at St Clair. Wonderful---went to sleep to the sound of the waves.

Next day was a fairly easy run to Brian and Joan Brenssell’s farm near Tapanui in West Otago. We only meant to stop for a cup of tea and ended up staying two nights. (Joan is my cousin) Rose really enjoyed herself there, feeding lambs and generally not doing much. Bill tried to fix Brian’s computer...enough said about that. (Sorry Brian!)

Off the Wanaka via Queenstown—felt like a tourist trap. Next morning a wonderful ride to Haast through the Haast Pass and on to Franz Josef Glacier. Again, a tourist place but great views of mountains etc.

Feeling tired, we decided to stop for two days as we were starting to fade.
A good decision, as we found out it is not a 10 minute walk to the Glacier. It said 30 minutes, which was correct, but left you looking over a rope barrier at the glacier about 2 km away.

As everyone else seemed to be going over the rock strewn area in front of the glacier, we decided to climb over the rope as well.
The water falls near to the face were neat, but I never did get right up to the ice face. Next time.

There is a beach nearby at Okarito. Bill decided he thought a swim was in order and as no one seemed to be around took a chance.
He had just got out when a four wheel drive came around the corner. The male driver (no passengers) just smiled.

Then another long drive, from Franz to Christchurch. This is not a good idea – it is too far. Better to have stopped at Hokitika.

That said, it was another drive through what would have to be one of the most scenic bits of NZ.

The last port of call was Akaroa, just out of Christchurch.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

September 9, 2007

Where do I start? Is there a target audience? I would hope my target audience would be interested in things to do with drafting and usage of Autocad. At present I am working for a large by NZ standards company as a contract draftsman, so I guess I should be circumspect about what I do say.

These last two years have seen a quantum leap in Autocad. With R2007 we have been delivered such wonderful goodies as presspull, sweeps and lofting. Not to mention such things as Section Tool and Flatshot.

I have been given the chance to draw a part of large food processing plant upgrade. To this end I have employed Autocad in 3D.

Because it is such a large model, I have split it into several models and then Xreffed these smaller ones into one overall "Big Momma". Luckily, I have bought a "New" computer ---not the hottest and bestest, more a middle of the road one---Core Duo-the top end one and a FX1500 Quaddro card. I am quite happy with this combination....but it always could be faster!

My technique for attacking the sections of the various models has been to
use the section tool and write block out the sections to a file of their own, eg called SectionAABagFiller.dwg. Then I create an "empty" drawing -ie just a title block saved as say 5046-112 Sections.dwg. In this drawing I xref in the section view just created, and then put on my annotation in model space. This one file may have many tabs on it and xref in several sections.

The huge advantage this technique gives, is only apparent when there are changes (The one thing a draftee can ONLY be sure of!).

If there are, you change the model, then regenerate the sections. Voila! All the sections in the sections drawing are updated automatically.

I cannot claim this as my own idea, as Autocad Architecture uses a similar system. (Not quite the same)

No doubt whoever is reading this knows that all draftees have their own funny ways of doing things. Seems I am no different, as there will be those out there that use 3DClip to achieve their automatic updates.

My feeling is now that the sectioning tool produces clearer sections.

I guess it all comes back to the problem: Is is necessary to produce something that can be admired for its graphic style, or is it better to just use the cheapest, easiest fastest method? (As long as the drawing can be understood)

In the past, I have probably steered towards the cheap and easy. Now retirement is on the horizon, I finding myself veering towards the "better looking is better" idea.