Saturday, February 20, 2010

Batch processing of Autocad drawings

Some years ago (about 12!) I played around with scripts and lisp routines to automate the plotting of drawings. So when a co-worker asked me if I knew of a downloadable routine that could search a series of drawings for a text string, I thought: I'll just rejig my old routines and there we are.

Not really. He was after a system that would search electrical drawings for numbers. The reason for this is that say you have wire number 39 on one drawing, then you want to know where this wire number is on other drawings (maybe the drawing system is at fault here!). Just to add to the fun, some things are attributes, not text. Probably if you looked, you would find some mtext in there as well.

This is all hanging on your finding a thing that will open several drawings in succession.

I have looked, but most of them you have to pay for. To cut a long story short I found the ideal thing-just for opening up drawings: and for free!

I have tested it out by reinserting and updating a title block.

The number finding thing will have to wait.

The routine can be found here:

There is a trick to it's use-Navigate to the directory, and then select the first file.
Otherwise, it works brilliantly, (yes, I did leave a comment).

Maybe someone at Autodesk might read this and consider putting it in Express Tools?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Whats bin did and what's bin hid

If you are a little older, you will recognise the title as one from an LP made by Donavan in the 1960's. I thought I might be forgiven for pinching it.

I have been trying (empasise on trying!) to draw a Flying boat from the 1950's.

The pic shows progress so far.

If you are keen on looking at Flying Boat Pics, then here is a good place

My approach to the fuselage was to draw the individual frame shapes and then loft them, hoping that if I drew the inside as well, I would end up with a hollow aeorplane. Sadly, this approach came unstuck and I had to regress to a solid all the way through one. At the tail I lost patience (never a good plan if you want things to go right!) and drew the tail section as a chunk and tried carving bits off it. Not a good way to go, but I have resigned myself to the idea that this is just a first pass.

The process of getting information, ie PLANS was a bit of a trial. I ended up with a Short Seaford (not Solent) as my pdf of choice.