AutoCAD: Customizing the Break Command

The break command has an annoying behaivour. But there is a way to fix that.I find the break command default behavior a bit annoying. The click we do to select a line becomes the first breaking point which give us no accuracy on where we are selecting.
There are two ways around this.
First option is to modify the macro for the button "Break" in the modify tool bar (note that if your CAD manager has disabled your rights to modify the tool bars you will have to create a custom tool bar where we you will add a button for the Break Command). Then we modify the macro associated to the button from ^C^C_break to ^C^C_break \f so AutoCAD will automatically prompt us for the first Break point after selecting the object we want to break.
The other way around is much simpler, and it is basically to remember that if we press "Shift+RightClick" we will get the temporary Osnap contextual menu. So when break command prompt us to select the object we Shift+Right Click and select the Osnap that fits to our needs. This second option though give us less flexibility on the point we can select since we are tied to the Onap we choose from the contextual right click menu.
I am still trying to find out how to incorporate the ^C^C_break \f macro into a command I can enter without using toolbars (I am a keyboard shortcut freak, I love a clean screen with no toolbars) but I guess I need some AutoLisp I donñt have time right now to figure out...So any imput from you guys is welcome.

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Maxwell Render: Grouping Emitters

Solving some issues with SketchUp exporting and emitters for Maxwell.In old versions of Maxwell Render, all Objects with the same material would be treated as one in Maxwell Studio. In the last version I tried, 1.6x that changed. Geometry is respected and that means that objects don´t get grouped together just by having the same material.
See that my system lately is to model in SketchUp and export to Maxwell to render there. Previously I used to set different emitters for those elements I wanted to control separately with the Multilight feature. That made it very simple to control lighting. If for instance we had 50 street lamps and we set an emitter material in them, we would control the intensity of that material with a simple control slider in Maxwell Render.
What changed in the last version (and I assume that will go on on the recently released version 1.7)
is that if we have 50 objects with the same emitter each object will have a different control slider in the Emixer in Maxwell Studio. Although I understand that more flexibility is always a good thing, it might be pretty annoying to have 50 sliders to control 50 emitters that you probably want to produce the same light intensity.
The solution I found is pretty simple, what I do is I group all the emitters (or all the objects containing emitters) that I want to control with one single button into a Component in SketchUp. That way when controlling the lighting in the Emixer in Maxwell Render, all those objects will be set by one single slider.

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AutoCAD Architecure: Forget about Associative Hatch Patterns

For a long time I struggled to remember to check the box "Associative" when creating Hatch Patterns. Now I know I don't need to do this anymore.

For a long time I struggled to remember to check the box "Associative" when creating hatch patterns. Without that Box checked it was really hard to modify any existing hatch pattern. But even creating an associative pattern didn't make it very flexible to work with them. A lot of times the boundary bothers us so we end up erasing it and doing that we loose the associativity of the pattern.
AutoCAD Architecture has some features that make hatch associativity something from the past. When we have a Hatch Pattern, we can select it and right click on it. We will get the contextual menu shown on the left side of this post.
The beauty of it is that if we click on generate boundary, an AEC polygon will be generated. We can then modify that polygon to fit our new hatch needs and after that we simply select the Hatch - Right Click - Set Boundary - And we will select the modified polygon. We will we prompt to decide if we want to erase the polygon or not, which I personally recommend say yes, since it is so easy to recreate them.
But this is not all, AutoCAD Architecture has another set of tools that will improve our work flow, the AEC Modify Tools. These tools will allow us to easily modify our hatch by Merging it with other entities, Subtracting parts of it or dividing it in two. I will write a post soon with more details about the AEC Modify Tools.
For those Using classic AutoCAD classic these features are not available. You can Recreate the Boundary of a Hatch by double clicking it and selecting "Recreate Boundary". I don´t think there is anything similar to the AEC Modify tools in the classic version of AutoCAD.
If you are in the AEC industry I seriously encourage you to jump ASAP to AutoCAD Architecture whenever you need to update your CAD software. It boosts the work flow of your employees many times. To learn all the features specific to AutoCAD Architecture you might want to buy this book.

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Learn SketchUp: SketchUp for Dummies and SketchUp Bible

A couple of books to learn or improve your SketchUp skills.I will start today my section of Book reviews and recommendations. Part of it is from my own knowledge, some other stuff will be based on comments of people I know who has those books. Today I´ll just point some books to learn or to improve your abilities with SketchUp
The first one is for the beginner. A great book for those who are just starting to learn SketchUp is SketchUp for Dummies. With about 250 pages to get introduced to all the basic SketchUp features and some more to start using some other intermediate procedures.
I think the "for Dummies" series can lack sometimes a bit of seriousness and the style of writing can be a bit confusing to get the information you want. But in this release they did a pretty good Job. The information is easy to follow, and the tutorials are good and you´ll learn some stuff that is not that easy to find on the online videos and tutorials. Yo can buy a hard copy in Amazon starting at $13.56 or a Kindle digital copy for only $9.99

The second one is a new release that looks like it might become a reference book for all SketchUp users. The Book is officially called "Google SketchUp and SketchUp Pro Bible", but my guess is that soon the SU community will know it as the SketchUp Bible. In this case you can for now only preorder a copy in Amazon for $26.39. Again, in this case I don't know if the book is good or not since it hasn't been released, it´s all from the guts in this case, but I am pretty good at guessing :P.
It comes with a CD with tutorials and reference files. I am planning to buy it soon, if you buy it before, please don´t hesitate to leave a comment about it. Thanks!

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AutoCAD Architecture: Tutorial on Wall Cleanup Priority

Which wall style do you want to prevail over the others?
Català - Castellano
An important parameter to be able to control when working with walls in AutoCAD Architecture or ADT is the Wall Cleanup Priority. What this parameter controls is basically which wall, or which elements of a wall are going to be shown on top of others when two walls meet.
To easily understand what I mean lets see a quick example. We create a wall style that represents the Structural walls of our project with a solid fill, very simple. Then we intersect that wall with another one, we´ll use the standard style. This is the result we might get:What we actually want though is for the structural wall to be always visible since it makes no sense that a non structural wall breaks a structural one. We need to edit the wall styles. To do that we can select one of the walls, right click and go to Edit Wall Style. There we have to go to the Components Tab and be sure that the Priority of the Structural wall is lower than the priority of the Standard Wal
Once we´ve set the proper wall cleanup priorities for both wall styles, we will get the result shown below. Very easy to use.

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SketchUp Plugins: Extruding and Offsettin Curved Faces

A miraculous plugin that does what you always wanted SketchUp to do.
Català - Castellano - Deutsch
Today is one of those days you are grateful to the SketchUp Ruby community for writing so useful plugins. Thanks to Sanmi, a colleague of mine, I came across these two great plugins for SketchUp.
The first one is the Offset on Surface.
What this plugin does is to allow us to offset the edges of curved surfaces. See it with a quick example. On the following example, if we try to offset the edges of the curved surface we will get the forbidden sign when we point the tool on top of the curved face. After installing the plugin we will be able to go to Tools - Offset on Surface, like in the above picture. The result we would get would be something like this:
The other plugin is the Joint Push Pull:
Another thing that the standard SU tools don't allow us to do is to extrude curved faces. This plugin will allow us to do that. See how I extruded the central curved face of the previous example:And check out too how you can easily extrude the rest of the faces to create geometry that would have been really hard to create without these two plugins.

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New Maxwell Render 1.7

New version 1.7 is readyNext Limit has released the new version of his acclaimed Maxwell Render. Version 1.7 is out first on a client release period and later on available for non client download.
I found this overview of the new features of the new version on the Maxwell Forums.
Can't wait to try it, since my company has 4 licenses we will soon be updated I guess :).

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AutoCAD: List of Express Tools

A complete list of the Express Tools that make your drafting expierence much easier.
Castellano - Català
Las week I found this list of the Express Tools in the Autodesk discussion Groups. With no means of just copying it, I though I could reproduce it here and use it as a directory to link to those Posts that I have written already about them. With more time, I will eventually update the list wit more and more links to Posts talking to one or more Express Tools. So here is the list.

ALIASEDIT Allows you to create, modify, and delete AutoCAD command aliases on-the-fly.
ALIGNSPACE Adjusts a viewport's zoom factor and panning position based on the alignment points specified in model space and paper space.
ARCTEXT Places text along an arc
ATTIN Imports block attribute values from an external, tab-delimited ASCII file.
ATTOUT Exports block attribute values to an external file in tab-delimited ASCII format.
BCOUNT Calculates number of blocks
BEXTEND Extends objects to nested objects within blocks or xrefs
BLOCK? Lists block objects
BLOCKREPLACE Allows you to globally replace all inserts of one block with another block.
BLOCKTOXREF Replaces all instances of a standard block with an xref. Unbinds xrefs that are bound.
BREAKLINE Creates a polyline and inserts the breakline symbol.
BSCALE Scales a block insert from its insertion point.BTRIM Trims to entities nested in blocks or xrefs
BURST Explodes block and converts attributes to text
CDORDER Arranges the drawing order of objects by colour number
CHSPACE Seamlessly moves objects from one space to the other while maintaining the appearance of the original objects.
CHURLS Provides a method to change a previously placed URL (Uniform Resource Locator) address.
CLIPIT Xclip command with arc, circle, and polyline capability
CLOSEALL Close all open drawings, asking whether to save changes if the drawing has been modified since the last Save.
COPYM Copies multiple objects with Repeat, Array, Divide and Measure options.
COPYTOLAYER Copies selected objects to a different layer, leaving original objects intact.
DIMEX Saves dimension styles to a file
DIMIM Imports dimension styles saved to a file with
DIMEX command
DIMREASSOC Restores a measurement value to overridden or modified dimension text.
DUMPSHX Converts existing SHX (compiled) files to the equivalent SHP (decompiled) files
DWGLOG Creates and maintains an individual log file for each drawing file as it is accessed.
EXOFFSET This enhanced version of the OFFSET command offers several advantages over the standard command, including layer control, undo, and a multiple option.
EXPLAN An extended version of the PLAN command.
EXPRESSMENU Loads the AutoCAD Express Tools menu and displays the Express menu on the menu bar.
EXPRESSTOOLS Loads the AutoCAD Express Tools libraries, places the Express directory on the search path, and loads and places the Express menu on the menu bar.
EXTRIM Trim using closed polyline for cookie cutter effect
FASTSEL Creates a selection set of objects that touch the selected object.
FLATTEN Converts 3D geometry to 2D geometry
GATTE Globally changes attribute values
GETSEL Collects specific entity types and makes them the current selection
IMAGEEDIT Launches the image-editing program (for example, Paintbrush) for the selected image.
JULIAN Contains a collection of AutoLISP routines for calendar date conversions
LAYCUR Changes the layer of selected objects to the current layer
LAYDEL Permanently deletes layer from drawing, even if it contains objects
LAYFRZ Freezes layers of selected objects
LAYISO Isolates layers of selected objects
LAYLCK Locks layer of selected object
LAYMCH Changes the layer of selected objects to the layer of a selected destination object
LAYMRG Merges two layers, and removes the first layer from the drawing
LAYOFF Turns of layers of selected objects
LAYON Turns on all layers in drawing
LAYOUTMERGE Combines specified layouts into the current layout
LAYTHW Thaws all layers in drawing
LAYULK Unlocks layers of selected object
LAYUNISO Turns on all layers that were turned off by the last LAYISO command.
LAYVPI Isolates an object's layer to the current viewport
LAYVPMODE Controls whether the layer utilities LAYISO, LAYFRZ and LAYOFF use VPFreeze or the standard layer Freeze or Off when used in a floating paper space viewport.
LAYWALK Dynamically displays objects on selected layers
LMAN Layer Manager saves and restores layer settings
LSP Displays a list of AutoLISP commands available at the command prompt
LSPSURF Displays the contents of an AutoLISP file by individual functions.
MKLTYPE Creates linetypes based on selected entities
MKSHAPE Creates shapes based on selected entities
MOCORO Moves, copies, rotates and scales entities
MOVEBAK Changes the destination directory for BAK files
MPEDIT PEDIT for multiple polylines
MSTRETCH Stretches using multiple selection windows
NCOPY Copies entities nested inside blocks and xrefs
OVERKILL Removes unneeded objects by deleting duplicates and combining line and arc segments that overlap.
PACK Starts Pack & Go program
PLT2DWG Imports HPGL files into the current drawing session. All colours are retained.
PROPULATE Update, list or clear Drawing Properties data
PSBSCALE Sets or updates the scale of block objects relative to paper space.
PSTSCALE Paper space text scaling utility
QLATTACH Attaches leader to annotation object
QLATTACHSET Globally attaches leaders to annotation objects
QLDETACHSET Detaches leader from annotation object
QQUIT Close all open drawings and exit.
REDIR Redefines hard-coded directory paths in xrefs, images, shapes, styles, and rtext
REDIRMODE Sets options for the REDIR command by specifying which object types the command should act on.
REVERT Closes and re-opens the current drawing.
RTEDIT Allows editing existing Remote Text (Rtext) objects
RTEXT Inserts or edits remote text entity
RTUCS Rotate the UCS dynamically with your pointing device.
SAVEALL Save all open drawings
SHOWURLS Shows location of embedded URLs S
HP2BLK Creates a new block definition based on the appearance of a shape object.
SSTOOLS A collection of AutoLISP routines that creates exclusionary selection sets SSX returns a selection set either exactly like a selected object or, if the filter list is adjusted, very similar to it.
SUPERHATCH Uses images, blocks, xrefs, and wipeouts as hatch patterns
SYSVDLG Allows you to view, edit and save system variable settings.
TCASE Changes the case of selected text, mtext, attributes and dimension text.
TCIRCLE Places a circle, a slot, or a rectangle around each selected text or mtext object.
TCOUNT Adds sequential numbering to text objects. The numbering can appear as a prefix, suffix or replacement text.
TEXTFIT Fits text between specified points
TEXTMASK Masks entities from behind text
TEXTUNMASK Remove mask from text
TFRAMES Toggles the state of frames for Wipeout and image objects. If frames are turned on, this command turns them off, and vice versa.
TJUST Changes a text object's justification without changing its position. Works with text, mtext, and attribute definition objects.
TORIENT Aligns text, mtext and block attribute objects to new orientation
TSCALE Scales text, mtext, attributes and attribute definitions.
TXT2MTXT Converts text entities created with text or Dtext to Mtext
TXTEXP Explodes text or Mtext objects into polylines
VPSCALE Displays a clear translation of the scale of the current or selected viewport.
VPSYNC Synchronizes one or more viewports with a master viewport. All synchronized viewports will take on the zoom factor of the master viewport.
XDATA Attaches extended entity data to any object
XDLIST Lists extended entity data attached to object
XLIST Displays properties of entities nested in external references or blocks

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Taking part on the SketchUp Challenge

I just wanted to take part at least at once in the SketchUp Challenge. See the results.I had some free time tonight and I decided to spend a couple of hours playing around with SketchUp while watching the NBA finals (poor lakers...they never stand a chance to win).
The guys of the SketchUp Challenge Blog where asking for a "Space Rescue Pod" and these are the results on a very random way of modelling as is to create a bezier curve and then play around with the shapes that you get from there.
Since last week I discovered the Web Exporter for SketchUp (see this post) i decided to post it here not with a single thumbnail but with the full 360 degree preview that this great plugin allows.

I know, it is not anything amazing, but it got me entertained.

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Benvinguts, Bienvenidos, Ongi etorri, Welcome, Välkommen

Let's wellcome the new visitors of CAD-Addict.I recently started using Google Analytics to start keeping track of the visits to this blog. The coolest feature so far is the world map that allows you to see visits by Country/Region.
I was just checking from which countries I got visits this last week and just wanted to quickly welcome all new visitors. The new Countries are:
Spain, Sweeden and Australia. So here is a quick welcome to all of you who spent some time reading what I post here.
Ongi etorri
Hopefully, I´ll keep posting similarly, meaning people from more and more countries have joined me reading once in while what I write.
Thanks to everyone.

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SketchUp Web Exporter

Share your models with people that don´t have SketchUp.
Català - Castellano
Thanks to the guys from this Blog I came across the SketchUp Web Exporter recently released by google (find the installer here). What it does is that it allows us to export a 360 degee interactive view of our model, allowing any user that visits our website to spin the moel and get a complete 360 degree view of our model without the need of having SketchUp installed.
So I though: 'let´s give it a try!' I got an old pretty heavy SketchUp file, installed the Web exporter and created an output to upload on the web, no problems. You can also find a video with more informtion here

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AutoCAD Express Tools: NCOPY

Copy entities from nested objects or files.
Català - Castellano
The NCOPY command is a very useful one when we are working with XREFs or Blocks. NCOPY stands for Nested Copy which means that it will allow us to copy objects that are nested in XREFs and Blocks.
Instead of opening the xref and copying an pasting the entities we want to move from the reference file to the drawing we are at we can use NCOPY and directly copy this entities without opening the file.
The same applies for Blocks, no need to open the Block Editor to copy objects from inside the block to outside of it.

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