Master Layouts Electrical Utilizing AutoCAD

Speaking with one of my co-workers Joshua Hunt he gave me the idea for this post. He was recently at a customer doing some AutoCAD Electrical customization when he learned that the customer wanted to have a master sheet containing all the drawings that made up a given project. Of course that is easily solved by just using the xref command that has lived inside of AutoCAD forever. It's your choice of course if you want this sheet to be part of your actual project but to keep items simple at least place this file in the folder with your project dwg's to ensure simple updating of the xref's. Let's Take a Look!!!
Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Alias Anti-Aliasing

Anti-Aliasing is a method of smoothing the edges of a rendered image. Alias allows you to activate Anti-Aliasing while in Hardware Shade mode to enhance the look of your model. It can also be used to smooth out the look of your wire frame. I will demonstrate these settings in this weeks video.

Click HERE to watch the video

Created by Aaron... Your Alias CAD Geek!

Analysis Needs and Tools Survey

Autodesk and Tata Technologies is looking for a little data about your Analysis Needs and Tools

Take the survey below:

No Wire Numbering Option for Wire Layers

For many of us their always seems to come a time to where we do not want to show wire numbers but still need to report wire information. Wire layers now have a “no wire numbering” option in AutoCAD Electrical 2010. These wires behave normally for inserting, breaking, and scooting components, and show up in the Wire From/To report.

The Insert Wire Numbers command follows these rules:

  • If all wires in the network are on layers set “No” for Wire Numbering, no new wire number is inserted.

  • If any wire in the network is on a layer set “Yes” for Wire Numbering, the existing non-fixed wire number is updated or a new wire number is inserted.

  • If a wire network already has a non-fixed wire number, it is updated regardless of the Wire Numbering setting. Use the Delete Wire Numbers command to remove the wire number.

Let's Take a Look!!!
Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Vault Workgroup - Lifecycle based permissions

One of the great features in the new Vault Workgroup 2010 is the ability to control access permissions based on the lifecycle state of the file in question. This means that only the appropriate personnel have access to a file when it is Work in Progress, Released, or Obsolete.

As an example take a look at the folder contents in this image. The administrator has access to all files regardless of lifecycle state.

But if we look at this image showing the same folder, there is only one released file shown due to the access permissions assigned to the "manufacturing" user.

This opens up the door for a whole new simplified release management structure. No moving files between WIP and Released folders that can be next to impossible to do correct consistently in Inventor... Just access to the right data, at the right time, by the right people.

Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks

Alias Hardware Shade Backgrounds

In this weeks video I will show you how to add custom backgrounds to you Hardware Shaded images.

Click HERE to watch the video

Created by Aaron... Your Alias CAD Geek

Building Community for AutoCAD Electrical

When thinking about finding resources for AutoCAD Electrical it does not seem to be one location to go to. Well I would like to suggest that everyone who uses the product or does electrical design work sign up for the AutoCAD Electrical User Group that can be found on LinkedIn. This can be a place to have discussion's about the industry itself, learn additional tips and tricks and be able to network in our own line of work. This can only happen if we all pull together and share our own ideas, thoughts and best practices. This will also be a location to find out about upcoming events like Electrical User Groups that are hosted on the web and any other special events surrounding the product. Let's build this together!!!

To become a member select link below:

Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Inventor 2010 Application Options - Part 2

As I talked about last week, one of the first place I look for new things in new releases is the Applications Options. I also talked about the new User Interface that went to the ribbon bar style. I bet some of you old timers are wondering how to revert back to the old style. Tools>Applications Options Colors Tab. There are 2 new options there. One to change back to the old interface (Boooooo) and one to change the appearence of the icons to make them more pronounced. Check out the images below for clarity.

Avoid duplicate files in Vault - Tools to remember

Most companies I run across all agree that they want to have completely unique file names for their CAD and engineering data, but few actually use the proper tools to achieve this. Lets look at the "find duplicates" tool and the related "Enforce unique file names" setting in Vault.

If your company already has a naming convention and every time you save a file you know what the final file name should be, you could likely turn on the "Enforce Unique File Names" option so that nobody accidentally uses the same file name. This setting would usually be used in conjunction with some time of "file name log" that is being tracked through another database, spreadsheet, or business system.

On the other hand, if your company adds descriptive file names into Vault and renames them later, the "Find duplicates" tool might be just what you need. This tool will allow you to immediately see a list of all the files in the vault that have the same file name used in multiple vault locations. After seeing this list, the rename tool can easily be used in Vault to remedy the situation.

Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks

Alias Ambient Occlusion

The Alias help docs state "Ambient occlusion calculates shading based on a theoretical ambient light source to create general areas of shadow on your model." So what does that mean? Basically, the process looks at the parts of your model and based on they proximity to other parts you will get lighter or darker shadows. This video will show you how to prep your model and apply Ambient Occlusion.

Click HERE to watch the video

Created by Aaron... Your Alias CAD Geek!

Single PDF Multiple DWG's 2010 Electrical

Many of you have been asking about having a single PDF file that contains multiple DWG's from AutoCAD Electrical and now 2010 delivers. In the short video we will take a look at the process and a few options you have when creating your PDF's.Lets take a look:
Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Inventor 2010 Application Options

One of the first things I look at when Inventor is released each year is what has changed in the Application Options. There are usually lots of goodies packed in there from release to release. Lets take a look at the SAVE tab. As you can see in the image below, there are just a few options in 2009....

If we take a look at the tab in Inventor 2010, we notice a new option for a save reminder. This can be adjusted to the time you feel comfortable with...

This can be very handy for those of us who are so into our designs that we forget to save our work from time to time. Anyone who has lost work because of a failure to save will appreciate this "little" new option.

John with the Tata Technologies CAD Geeks

New Copy / Paste in Vault 2010

If you commonly track a lot of reference files other than CAD that need to be maintained, Vault now allows you to Copy and Paste non CAD files from one folder to another. This would allow you to quickly transfer a supporting file from one folder to another without ever leaving the Vault environment to Copy and rename in Windows explorer. The extra step of checking the supporting file in manually is also eliminated. The following steps closely follow the common Copy / Paste in Windows Explorer:

1) Find a file to be copied.

2) Use Copy from the Edit menu

3) Pick the destination folder and Paste from the Edit menu

4) The file is now in the destination folder and can be renamed if you like.
Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks

Web based User Groups and Webcast Recordings

Web Based User Groups!

Next week we will be hosting our bi-monthly web based user groups

AutoCAD Electrical User Group - Web Chapter, Tuesday at 10:00 AM EST

Topic: AutoCAD Electrical 2010 Whats New


Autodesk Inventor User Group - Web Chapter, Wednesday at 11:30 AM EST

Topics: Inventor 2010 new user interface and Shrinkwrap tools


Autodesk Data Management User Group - Web Chapter, Thursday at 11:30 AM EST

Topics: 2010 Whats new- Improved History and Where used within Inventor, Consistent Inventor and AutoCAD Vault tools, DWF visualization publishing options


Autodesk AliasStudio User Group - Web Chapter, Thursday at 2:00 PM EST

Topics: TBD, but something cool for sure....


Whats New Webcast Recordings
Last week we hosted our 2010 What's New Webcast for Inventor, Inventor Professional and the Vault family of products, Feel free to watch the recordings below and let us know if you have questions.

Autodesk Inventor 2010 What's New Webcast

Autodesk Inventor Professional 2010 What's New Webcast

Autodesk Vault 2010 Family of Products What's New Webcast