Friday, April 22, 2011


A co-worker who uses Autocad LT to do his electrical drawings recently said he could not open one of my drawings, because I had saved it as R2010. I had recently been upgraded from Autocad R2008 to R2010, so I said:

"I believe you may be able to upgrade to the R2010 version".

Which he did, which in hindsight was not the best plan, as after installing he wanted to use the hatch command, and got a dialog saying:

"Cannot find acadlt.pat"

Which is fine: All you have to do is go Options, File Locations, and add where it is to your support path. Unfortunately, on the network, we are mere users and are not allowed access to our c: drive.

The IT man was duly called, and progress is on going...involving reimaging and so on.

Which made me think, why can you not get a copy off the internet, download it, stick it somewhere where you are allowed to go and add that location to your support listing?

Strangely enough, I was not able to find a copy of acad.pat anywhere!

Of course there were heaps of people giving out add-ons to the file, but not the file itself.

So here I am, Saturday morning of the 23rd of April, rummaging around my hard drive for the mysterious file. (Mad? Yes!). You can open it up in Notepad and check it out.

Here is part of it:

;; Copyright (C) 1991-2011 by Autodesk, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
;; Version 2.0
;; AutoCAD Hatch Patterns
;; Note: in order to ease migration of this file when upgrading
;; to a future version of AutoCAD, it is recommended that you add
;; your customizations to the User Defined Hatch Patterns section at the
;; end of this file.

;; Note: Dummy pattern description used for 'Solid fill'.
*SOLID, Solid fill
45, 0,0, 0,.125
*ANGLE, Angle steel
0, 0,0, 0,.275, .2,-.075
90, 0,0, 0,.275, .2,-.075
*ANSI31, ANSI Iron, Brick, Stone masonry
45, 0,0, 0,.125

It does go on for quite a bit more, as I have Autocad Architecture, then towards then end it has this bit:

;; User Defined Hatch Patterns
;; Add any hatch patterns that you define to this section of
;; the file to ensure that they migrate properly when
;; upgrading to a future AutoCAD version. If duplicate hatch
;; patterns are found in this file, items in the User Defined
;; Hatch Patterns section take precedence over patterns that
;; appear earlier in the file.

I find it puzzling as to why the file is called acadlt.pat for LT, but maybe they are given less hatches out of the box.

STOP PRESS! According to Robin, a good plan is to run Autocad first time WITH ADMINISTRATOR RIGHTS! Should I tell the IT man?......

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Autocad 2012 - 3dconfig

Well, here we go again, with another release of Autocad.

A quick verdict:

1. It seems nice to use, quick and responsive.

2. No new killer features, except that the section command seems to be doing what it should have done in R2007. Namely the colour of the cut lines seems to be OK now.
To me that is almost worth the upgrade.

3. The nicest thing I like is the display. I have an old quadro fx1500 video card and after updating the video driver, I used 3dconfig to enable hardware acceleration. At first I had rotten results, but after setting it to only have Gooch hardware shader, I found it performed a lot better.
The point is here that you need to update your video driver with a new version, and set it's usage to be not too overtaxing.

4. It has a lot of other stuff that I probably would not use, but I have to concede that my usage is not everyones! Things like 3d parametric arrays and so on.

5. Rendering seems a lot better.

6. As usual, a small upgrade, but all these small things add up over the years to make things a little easier. For instance hatching.

7. A little easy to miss is a new system for views-there is a new bit of text in the top left corner to select views, and visual styles. This comes under the heading of old dogs and new tricks.....woof.

It seems there is more and more stuff with each release. It shows up in the file size of the download (I don't bother with discs any more). It was a 1.4GB download.
Back in 2002, it seemed to fit on a cd.

I had a bit of fun installing: It seemed Nortons noticed a good time to do a background scan, which froze things up a bit. Never mind, do a "restore point". That failed as well, and I was just considering dealing to the whole hard drive, when I tried again and it seemed OK. This time, I hovered around and pounced on Nortons as soon as it came up and killed it off.

The picture of the house I did in Autocad Architecture 2011 as a concept for a friend, which shows what gooch shading looks like.

If you want a quick roundup of all the features, nicely presented, go see: