Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Specs for a CAD computer

I'm just trying to sort out a spec for a CAD computer.

At the moment I have an Intel Duo, about 18 months old, running Vista 32 bit, with 2 Gb of Ram and a Quadro FX1500 graphics card. I have a 20" main monitor and a 17" second monitor,both Philips. This setup seems to go well, I have the occassional crash, but who doesn't?

For normal computer users, a certain standard of computer is fine-all you need is about $NZ850, plus say $NZ200 for a monitor and you are done.

Just to add to the fun, the NZ dollar has depreciated against the US and Euro (it is about
NZ$1=US$0.53 at the moment.

I have priced up HP workstations-they seem to have quite a large range, it really comes down to how much money you are happy to pay in these recessionary times!

What I'd really like would be an Intel Xeon Quad core with a 24" main monitor/20"second monitor, high end graphics card, 64bit 6GB ram and so on. Hmm...just dreaming really....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Drawing a house automatically

Drawing of a house using 3D solids in Autocad.

For draftspersons receiving a hand-drawn item from an architect,it could be a quick way of getting this into Autocad.

Users should be aware that there are "better" ways of drawing a house.These ways are Autocad Architecture, or Autodesk Revit.

Unfortunately these cost money, and you may have only a copy of plain vanilla Autocad. If you have better than Autocad 2007, you will be able to make use of the section command to produce plan views of your 3D model.

The idea is that all houses can be represented by data, and that we can describe a house by how long each wall is, how many windows in that wall, and what sort.

It is in a trial state at the moment. The program works,but the quantity and quality of the windows available are low.You can check out what is available in the zip file, the contents of which should be placed in a directory called c:\bilro\house.
If enough people try it out and want it to come up to the next level,then I will produce some windows (for a small fee of course!).

The procedure is as follows:
1. Run the program, House.exe. It was made in Visual Basic 6.0, so does not need to be installed. All this does is ask a series of questions, then creates a text file based on the answers. It puts this text file in c:\bilro\House. So if this directory does not exist, you would need to create it. You have to start at the bottom left hand corner of the house and go anti-clockwise about it.

2. Open up the file using Notepad. It should look like this:
W2 600 x 1200
W2 600 x 1200
Now the same thing but comments just for this instruction only-
WALL-so we know it is a wall
0-this is the orientation-ie 0= horizontal, 90=vertical etc
5000 -this is the length of the wall
90 -this is the thickness
2455 -this is the height
OUTERCORNER-this is how the end of the wall is
1 -number of openings
W2 600 x 1200-name of the block in the first opening
600 -window height
1200 -window width
500 -length from the start end
2000 -head height of the window
WALL-this is the next wall
and so on.....
6000 90 2455 OUTERCORNER 1 W2 600 x 1200 600 1200 1000 2000
ENDWALLS-just to let the program know its at the end!

3. Add c:\bilro\house to your autocad path (go Tools/options/files)

4. Rename the file to houseinfo.txt. Then load Ho.lsp into Autocad, type HO and then enter.
These instructions are included in the download zip file as a text file called How to Manual.txt
Please only use the available window blocks, otherwise autocad goes looking for things that are not there. If you open Drawing16, you will see an example of what is produced.