AutoCAD: Have you lost time and wasted paper

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Have you lost time and wasted paper with incorrect plot configurations?

Solution: Page Setup Manager

The Page Setup Manager allows you to predefine each Layout with specified parameters to a specific printer/plotter. A Page Setup is associated to a Layout(s), this allows you to easily configure Layout settings within each Layout and simply print the Layout without having to define the plot configuration every time you print.

*Page Layouts can be defined and then saved in a Template file which in turn makes them readily available in every drawing created from that Template file (.DWT).

Page Setup Manager can be accessed through the following approaches:

Option 1: Command Line:

Typing in the command Page setup then entering ←

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*Remember when typing commands in the command line no spaces are allowed and the commands are not case sensitive.

 Option 2: Right Click:

Hover over a Layout tab you want to configure a Page Setup to then Right Click. A pop up window appears – select Page Setup Manager…

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Option 3: Application Menu – found in the upper left corner of the screen.

Select the Application Menu – Print – Page setup

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New to 2014

Option 4: Output tab – found in the Ribbon

Select Output tab, within the Plot panel select Page Setup Manager

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Each option above opens the Page Setup Manager dialog box shown below.

Select New… this opens the New Page Setup dialog box

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New Page Setup dialog box:

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Once you define the Setup name select OK.

*My preference is to name the setup name with the paper size of the end printed results and the name of the printer/plotter it will print out on.

Example: 8.5×11 Office Jet Pro – 8.5×11 (represent the paper size (A) that the drawing will print on), Office Jet Pro (represents the printer it will print to)

Next step is the Page Setup dialog box:

Here you configure the end printed results you are looking for.

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Select OK once done configuring all areas of the Page Setup dialog box. This brings you to the last step to associate the Page Setup Name to the specific Layout(s).

 

*Depending on the information you want plotted the configuration of the Plot area, Plot Scale, Pen style table and the Shaded viewport options may need to be modified. The Plot offset, Plot options and Drawing orientation refer to the printer/plotter and each make has unique plotting qualities so it may take a few prints to make sure your Layout prints the way you want it.

Within the Page Setup Manager dialog box, make sure the Page Setup Name (you just created) is highlighted – select Set Current – select Close to complete the configuration.

This associates the Page Setup Name to the current Layout.

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Now that the Page Setup is configured to each Layout correctly these configurations don’t need to be edited or modified before plotting. Ready to plot a Layout (make sure the Layout is active) then select the Plot/Print command, (it’s the same command just has a different name depending on where you access the command from) this brings up the Plot dialog box you will see your pre-defined configurations in that dialog box, then select OK. Your print has been sent to the plotter.

*Save these configurations within your company templates on the company network for everyone to have access to. This offers consistency within the electronic files and saves printing/plotting time which equals money saved.

How 3D Printing Can Transform Your Business

3D printing is not replacing traditional manufacturing it is improving it!

From Forbes.com

Hripko recently spoke at a NorTech event that discussed how additive manufacturing can transform businesses and entire industries. He pointed out several benefits of the technology that make it a revolutionary production method:

  1. Efficient use of resources: Additive manufacturing requires fewer processing steps, little assembly and less energy. It also minimizes waste.
  2. Small-lot production: Additive manufacturing eliminates the need to produce parts or products in large quantities. As a result there is no inventory or stock cost.
  3. Rapid manufacturing: The technology allows makers to go directly from design to manufacturing. It dramatically reduces cycle times since it doesn’t require a tooling process.
  4. Agile manufacturing: Additive technology can create spare parts on demand and thus simplifies supply chains and logistics.
  5. Reverse engineering: Parts for legacy systems can be easily replaced with the help of a scanner and a 3D printer or other additive manufacturing technology.

Hripko stressed that additive manufacturing is not replacing traditional manufacturing, but complementing it and creating new markets within the industry. It is capable of making parts that cannot be manufactured by traditional processes and enables new technologies that are lightweight, customizable and complex.

One company that specializes in making these complex parts and products is rapid prototype + manufacturing (rp+m), based in Avon Lake, OH. The company is partnering with America Makes on numerous projects and supplies some of the largest OEMs in the aerospace and defense industries. It makes anything from CT scanner parts to lightweight air ducts and works with a range of materials including tungsten, stainless steel and ultem.

“Additive manufacturing is going to be a future core technology of the engineered products industry,” rp+m Chief Technology Officer Anthony Hughes said at the NorTech event. “As we are shifting our focus from purely rapid prototyping into direct digital production, we are opening up new markets and channels really fast.”

In addition to aerospace and defense, these markets include the medical, oil & gas, automotive, consumer products/electronics, and tooling industries. Within these industries, additive manufacturing has already become more than a prototyping method.

via How 3D Printing Can Transform Your Business.

AutoCAD: Model Space View Controls

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Available right in the drawing area no need to access the View Tab for the View or Visual Styles panels.

For quick manipulations of different views of your Isometric or 3D drawings, quick access is available to your visual controls right on the screen in Model Space within the Model Space Viewport Controls area:

Viewport Controls [-], View Controls [Top] and Visual Styles control [2D Wireframe] are located in the top-left corner of each Model Space Viewport. (drawing area)

The bracketed area displays the current viewport settings. [-] [Top] [2D Wireframe] Select (with the left mouse button)within a bracketed areas to change views, visual styles, and other settings.7-1

Solution:

Viewport Controls [-]

Select [-] for options to maximize the viewport, changing the viewport configuration, or controlling the display of navigation tools.

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View Controls [Top]

Select [Top] to choose between standard and custom views. Quick access to manipulate your view of an Isometric or 3D drawing.

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Visual Style Controls [2D Wire Frame]

Select [2D Wireframe] to choose one of several visual styles. Most of the other visual styles are used for 3D visualization. Quick access from a 2D view to see your 3D drawings in different visual styles.

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* Note when you see the Blue Box with a Check mark in it this represents the active or current features. When another option is needed, select that feature with the mouse and this will make that the current style option.

* Note also that the options in the brackets [ ] change to the new option that is selected.

AutoCAD: Select items on the screen, let us count the ways

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Are you slowing your production down with the way you select items on your screen?

AutoCAD offers many ways to select geometry even if it’s not listed as an option with the modify commands.

Geometry can be selected prior to activating a Modify command or preferably start the Modify command and at the prompt “Select Objects” these options are available (with the exception of the Stretch command, see below *), by default or by typing in the Alias Key function of the Selection Set you want to work with. These options are not listed within most of the Modify commands but are still available, here is how. These options are called Selection Sets.

Solution:

Selection Sets: Pick, Implied Window, Crossing Window, Fence, Window Polygon, Crossing Polygon, type in All, Previous or Last.

Pick: By default this is available within the Modify commands with no additional input from us. The Crosshairs turn into a small box you bring this box over the item you want to select and with the left mouse button select the item. This selects one item at a time.6-1

Implied Window: This option is available by default within the Modify commands with no additional input from the user. The Crosshairs turn into a small box, bring this into an open area (not on any geometry) near the items you want to select, pick on the screen with the left mouse button (let go of the button) move the mouse to the Right of your first pick creating a box or window around the items to be selected, then with the left mouse button select again in an open area on the screen to finalize your selection. This creates a box with a solid line on the outside and inside the box is blue. This options selects everything completely encompassed within the windowed area that was selected.6-2

Crossing Window: This option is available by default within the Modify commands with no additional input from the user. The Crosshairs turn into a small box, bring this into an open area (not on any geometry) near the items you want to select, pick on the screen with the left mouse button (let go of the button) move the mouse to the Left of your first pick, creating a box or window around the items to be selected, then with the left mouse button select again in an open area on the screen to finalize your selection. This creates a box with a dashed line on the outside and inside the box is green. This options selects everything it touches and completely encompassed within the windowed area that was selected.6-3

Fence: When in a Modify command at the Select Objects prompt type in F and enter. This switches the pick box to crosshairs, select in open area (not on any geometry) then move your mouse placing Fence lines through the geometry to be selected. Picking as if placing a line. The creates a dashed line that will go through the geometry and select everything it touches.6-4

Window Polygon: When in a Modify command at the Select Objects prompt type in WP and enter. This switches the pick box to crosshairs, select in open area (not on any geometry) then continue selecting areas around or through the items you want to select. This option selects everything that is completely encompassed with the selection of the Window Polygon. This creates a solid outside line with the inside of the polygon shaded blue. It may be placed in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, it just cannot overlap itself.6-5

Crossing Polygon: When in a Modify command at the Select Objects prompt type in CP and enter. This switches the pick box to crosshairs, select in open area (not on any geometry) then continue selecting areas around or through the items you want to select. This option selects everything that is completely encompassed along with what the Crossing Polygon is touching. This creates a dashed line with the inside of the polygon shaded green inside. It may be placed in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, it just cannot overlap itself.6-6

All: When in a Modify command at the Select Objects prompt type in All and enter. This selects all of the geometry on the screen that is not Locked within the Layer Controls and also will select All geometry that resides on Layers that are turned Off. Geometry on a Frozen Layer will not be selected.

 Previous: When in a Modify command at the Select Objects prompt type in P and enter. This option will select the previous items that were last modified.

 Last: When in a Modify command at the Select Objects prompt type in L and enter. This option selects the last item that was drawn not modified on the screen.

 * The Stretch command is the modify command with the exception to the above options. The Stretch command prompts you with two Selection Sets that works with this command. They are the Crossing Window and the Crossing Polygon.

AutoCAD: Quicker access to all of Open drawings and their Layouts:

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

File Tabs: New to AutoCAD 2014 

AutoCAD has added another (quicker) way for us access the Model Space and all Layouts in open drawing. File Tabs display the drawing file name and allow quick access to your open drawings. These tabs are located at the upper left corner of the drawing area.

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Solution:

All open drawings can now be displayed in these File Tabs. To activate a different drawing select the File Tab you want. This makes that drawing the current (active) drawing, and opens it up in the last view it was worked in.

To preview prior to selecting a view hover the mouse (cursor) over a File Tab. This displays a preview of both the Model Space and all Layouts within that drawing. (As the Quick View feature in previous versions displayed those options) To select the Model or a specific Layout Tab hover over the File Tab, move the mouse to the view you want to select, select the view, this will make that the current (active) view on the screen. This allows for a quick approach to select what view you would like current.

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If you are not seeing the List View you will need to change how the system Variables are defined.

At the Command Prompt type in Filetabpreview this is a System Variables that control of how File Tabs are displayed:

Filetabpreview: Controls weather you see a List View or a Thumbnail view when you hover over a File Tab.

Filetabpreview <1> as the default it will Displays a Thumbnail View

Filetabpreview <0> as the default it will not Displays a List View

AutoCAD: To display or not to display the File Tabs

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

File Tabs have been added to the top of our drawing space. These take up some of our drawing real-estate area. Although they offer a great way to quickly access another drawing you may want that area back to increase your drawing area. The following two options will show how to toggle on and off the File tabs:

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Solution:

From the Command line type in one of two commands, FILETABCLOSE or FILETAB.

To turn OFF the File Tab feature – in the Command Line type in (one word) FILETABCLOSE then enter.

To turn ON the File Tab feature – in the Command Line type in (one word) FILETAB then enter.

From the Ribbon we have the File Tab button available that toggles On or Off the option. This button is located in the Ribbon – View Tab then within the panel User Interface the second icon is the button for the File Tab.

When the button is blue the File Tabs are displayed, when the File Tab is gray the File Tabs are not displayed.

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