AutoCAD comes back to Mac

Autodesk to announce support for Mac of their star product AutoCAD. It's been almost 20 years...
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On a recent article at the New York Times it was announced that Autodesk is finnally planning to release an AutoCAD version for MAC. Autodesk stopped producing AutoCAD for Mac in 1992, in recent years users were able to use it by installing Bootcamp or Parallel desktops to run windows on their Macs. Not so long ago, Autodesk announced they would provide support for Bootcamp users, which it was already seen as a first step into accepting that more and more Architecture, Construction and Design professionals have switch to Mac but still wanted to use AutoCAD (or had to).

All Mac users should be happy with this, and definitely Steve Jobs will be too, for not supporting AutoCAD was probably one of the last barriers to allow Macs to enter the professional/company world.


The same article also announced that there will be some free versions of AutoCAD for iPad, iPhone and iTouch, making it possible to visualize drawings or models from you Apple device. Not sure about how useful this would be on a small device, but it could definetily be useful on the iPad to visualize drawings on site without the need of a laptop.

We will follow up on this, release is announced for October this year, but it seems you will be able to run AutoCAD on a Mac soon without Bootcamp or Parallel Desktops.


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New Buildings App for iPhone

A new iPhone Application for Architecture lovers is out there, and it is free.
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Finally there is an application for Architecture lovers to use on the iPhone. It is called "Buildings" and it uses the database from the open source wiki style website called OpenBuildings.com. Below you can find an excerpt from the app's page.

FIND, LEARN ABOUT & SHARE the ARCHITECTURE around you! Buildings is a wikipedia for architecture at your finger tips; it allows you to find and learn about architecture nearby and from around the world. A global directory of buildings with vast amounts of high quality media and information.
Using Buildings, you can read information, look at images, watch videos and find directions to architecture using the iPhone. There, you can join our online community by sharing to Facebook & Twitter, uploading new photos & videos and checking in with your location.
With a rapidly growing, user-generated database of architecture, Buildings offers a very rich source of architectural information to professionals, architecture-lovers, tourists & students alike

An here also a couple of screenshots of the app.



I do not own an iPhone myself (yet) but this seems extremely useful, especially when visiting other cities. Get the app on the itunes store. It is free.

via Archinect.

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AutoCAD: Select objects before running the Command

This is a common problem after having FATAL ERROR crashed. The settings go wrong and you can't select the object first. No worries, it has an easy solution
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Norman asked me recently the following question:
My CAD had a fatal error.
Where I used to click on a command then an object (eg: select block then copy)
I now have to click on the button then select object (eg: click on copy then select the block)
Can anyone help me change this back?

This is a common problem that occurs after crashed. For some reason there is a system variable that goes nuts after the fatal errors.

This system variable is called PICKFIRST. It controls what is called the "noun-verb" behavior of AutoCAD. This is the logic behind the variable.

0 - Turns OFF PICKFIRST. Select objects after a command is invoked.
1 - Turns ON PICKFIRST. Select objects before or after a command is invoked.

I can't tell you why this happens, but at least now you know how to solve it.


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SketchUp Plugins: Modeling Twisted Torus

Model Interesting Shapes with the Torus Plugin using the twisting function.
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I recently posted about how to model basic shapes like Torus, Spheres and Ellipses with or without a Plugin. Although on the videos I showed you that the shapes can be done without plugins, I've been playing a bit more with the Torus plugin and it is quite useful.

The best fucntion is to me the possibility to model twisted torus. See with the following two images what can be done.




Te plugin can be download at the author's blog.

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Autodesk Navisworks Freedom: Clash Detection Viewer

Download the Free Viewer for Navisworks.
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I was working recently in a project where collision detection was needed to ensure that the work done by architects, structural engineers and MEP Engineers was fitting with each other. The program chosen to do this was Autodesk Navisworks.

As with almost all Autodesk Products, the license price is quite expensive (~$10,000). Luckily, only the consultant in charge of the clash and collision detection had to assume this license price. All other consultants could visualise the collisions detected using the free viewer, Navisworks Freedom.

Autodesk navisworks Freedom is the free counterpart to the expensive Autodesk Navisworks Manage. It allows to visualise the 3D Model and to see the collision markups created with Navisworks Mananage. For us, it was enough to have Navisworks Freedom installed in all relevant workstations and have only the Clash Detection Constultant do his job and to send us the file so each spacialty (Architecture, Structre, MEP...) could follow up on the markups and solve the issues.

You can download Navisworks Freedom here


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SketchUp Plugins: Updated Plugins List

The list of SketchUp Plugins reveiwed at CAD Addict has reached 67, check it out.
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I had no time to update the list of plugins lately. Finally today I did it and added more than 10 plugins I had reviewed recently. The list reaches already 67 plugins. Some might be getting old but the list is pretty comprehensive.

To access it click here


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New Beta Features at CAD Addict

New Site layout and some extra features to increase user participation
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I've been doing some "controlling" of the site through my analytics thingy. I discovered less than 9% of visitors are using screen resolutions under 1152 pixels wide, so I decided to increasde the website layout width to better handle some new features I had been testing in the last weeks. If you are of that low 9%, I am sorry if this causes you some discomfort, but the site needs to evolve following the user trends.


CAD Addict Forum: I have been receiving an increasing amount of questions through the contact form. I've managed to answer almost all of them so far, but I might not be able to do it in the next months. For this reason I've set up a Forum where you can directly post your questions, and I can reply there or anyone else can help. This way, we will all benefit from the questions and answers instead of remaining a private thing between me and one of you.


Comments: For shorter comments, random stuff, off topic discussions,etc. I created a conversation page using Google Web Elements. Let's see if there is a need for this. You can comment using your Open Id login.

This is all pretty new, so please be patient if something doesn't work properly. And of course feel free to let me know what you think about it and if you have any suggestions to improve it.


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Book: Constructing the Future: nD Modelling

A reference book for many scholars writing and researching about BIM. A must read to understand the full potential of BIM.
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On my process to write my master thesis about BIM as a project management tool I found many scholars referencing this book in their papers so I decided to get a copy.

Constructing the Future: nD Modelling. Despite being a book published in 2006, it is worth reading, for it is very comprehensive in scope and deals with all aspects of Building Information Modeling, from its role as an Estimating tool, to its use for Construction Management or how to use it by Facility Managers. It also mentions the importance of International Foundation Classes for better cooperation, and many more aspects I would recommend you to discover by yourself.

There are many blogs out there that post tutorials about how to model complicated things using Revit, ArchiCAD or other BIM packages. To me what is more relevant about BIM is its potential as a Catalyst to change and improve the design and construction process. I think this book is key to understand this.

To get a copy for yourself click on any of the images below to buy it directly on amazon.


or or




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Happy Independence Day to Indians and Pakistanis

Best wishes to everyone in Pakistan and India
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On this hard days of big floods just want to wish all the best for their respective Independece Day to all my Indian friends and to all Pakistanis.


We all hope the regions affected by the floods will recover soon. The pictures are just a snapshot of my Google Analytics page stats. Thanks to all Indians and Pakistanis who follow me in their countries or abroad.

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Sign your Documents in Acrobat

Use stamps to sign your document without the need of printing them and scanning them later.
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Nowadays, more and more applications mean filling up forms and sending them electronically. Many people like to print those forms, fill them up, sign them, scan them and then send them back. I personally prefer to do a everything in my computer. It helps me keep track of my applications and to have a record of my documents, plus I think an applications typed in the computer looks more professional.

So this post is for those who like to do that. I normally download the application PDFs, use the typewriter to fill out the different fields and when it comes to signing the document I used to find a problem. Acrobat doesn't let you insert an image that easily. I have my signature scanned and I use it in word documents, but in PDFs is not that easy. I found the solution not so long ago.

Acrobat has a feature called stamps. You can set up a custom Stamp, and used a JPEG scanned version of your signature. To create a custom stamp see the image below, it is under Comments & markup.


Once you have the custom stamp created follow the same path but this time go to Sign Here (or whatever subcategory you used to save the custom stamp) and add the stamp, your signature, to the document. On the image below you can see the custom stamp with a random signature I found on the internet ready to be used.


That's it, now you can avoid completely to print your documents. For me it is not a question of beeing green, but a question of beeing practical, I move a lot, and sometimes work in coffee shops, I not always have a printer ready, so with this system I do not need to stop what I am doing to wait till I get access to a printer and a scanner.

Cheers

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SketchUp Plugins: New version of the Joint Push Pull Plugin

A new an imporved version of the Joint Push Pull Plugin has been published.
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One of the most visited posts in this blog was the one describing the Joint Push Pull Plugin. See it here.

A new version (2.0) of the Joint Push Pull plugin was published by Fredo6. The New release, available here (you need to be logged in to be able to download it), has added a visual preview to the Joint Push Pull operations (see below)


And the possibility to add the parameters window pop up on will by pressing Tab while running the Plugin.


This is one of my favourite Sketch Up Plugins, it is great to see it improved.

Remember to check this post if you don't know how to install plugins.


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