Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The end to grumpiness and Photofly

The answer to the previous post is simple really: Just set up a bunch of keyboard shortcuts that are tied in with lisp routines that have dialog boxes. For instance, CTRL-F might bring up Fixings. What is not that straight forward is setting it all up. Shame Autodesk do not do it out of the box....

Try Photofly from Autodesk Labs. More on this next post.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Grumpy with frustration

Sometimes I'm very happy with Autocad. Sometimes I get very frustrated. I have to admit part of this is because I am not that organised with blocks etc, although compared to some draftees I am very organised.

Take for instance today, where I am drawing a tank, and want to put some adjustable feet on it.

Easy you say: just pick one already drawn and pinch the feet off that. Ok, but these are M12 A-justa feet, and they look a little puny on this particular tank. So off to the internet and go to the manufacturer's site. Hmmm....this site is a "restricted site"..cannot think why.

Fortunately I have a fairly big library, and locate a brochure I downloaded about 3 years ago.
Humff..have to draw an M16 one.

Hang on a minute! This is drudge drafting...really annoying...is this 2010?..or have I somehow managed to time travel backwards?

My point is that we are still living in the dark ages as far as CAD is concerned, in spite of all the wonderful things like lofting and sweeps that have been given to us. Well, not given exactly, I had to pay for upgrades...

Autodesk could really make things hum for themselves and knock their opposition around really badly: All they have to do is pay some poor person to cruise the internet, see that the product being sold needs drawings and just do them.

After that, post the drawings on some web site:anywhere will do! Then, tie this into Autocad somehow so that getting what we want is quick and easy.

For the curious, the firm that sells these feet is http://www.anzor.co.nz (no, I'm not getting paid for a bit of free advertising!)

There are about 3 main ways that I'm aware of to enable swift insertion of blocks and I use all 3 in this order:

1. Windows Explorer- always open on my second monitor.
2. Tool Palletes, again, always open on the second monitor.
3. Drop down menus.

None of these is that wonderful. There has to be a better way.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Draftsmans Daily Struggle

It's winter here in NZ and contrary to what the nice tourist posters tell visually, I can confirm that Auckland in the winter is pretty miserable, with rain most days.

Consequently, I'm frequently telling myself a warm office is a good place to be!

Sometimes I believe me, but I would rather be curled up at home with a good book.

Recently at work I have been asked to do a drawing showing how the hot water piping is run throughout the plant. In a previous go at this, I had a 3D model, which I exploded into lines so that everything was "X-Ray vision".

This did not work out that well as you ended up with a forest of lines which had to be grey to fade into the background. So the latest attempt involved getting a 3D model of the plant and
running my pipes around that. The buildings are just "shells" to minimise clutter, and I xref in the bits of plant that I have drawn previously.

Still not the ideal solution, and just seems a struggle.

The plant is here: http://www.chelsea.co.nz/content/about-chelsea/default.aspx

I'm starting to wonder if my approach is correct.