Create and Delete Internal Terminal Jumpers

Today's post is a continuation of my last couple when working with AutoCAD Electrical. Today I am taking a quick minute to look at creating and deleting terminal jumpers. I will be editing the block properties of a terminal to add an internal jumper between two levels of a multilevel terminal. You will see it is as simple as a right click on a terminal to edit the component.

Let's Take a Look!!!

Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Alias rendering in DOS.... (the super geek post!)

Alias comes with a bunch of command line rendering tools, such as renderer, raytracer, powercaster, and powertracer. These programs allow your to render without Alias running in order to take advantage of all the horsepower you machine has to offer. These programs have been around for a long time and were a favorite of mine back in the Unix days. I would remotely log into machines that weren't being used in the studio and run my renderings on those machines.

So today I will walk you through this process. To start we need to save an SDL file out of Alias. This file stores all the rendering information from the Render Globals, Shaders, Lights, etc. needed to render the file.

Go to File -> Export -> SDL

Next we will need to open up a Command Window.

Go to Start -> Run -> type Cmd -> Enter

Once in the command window navigate to the appropriate project directory.

Next we use one of the following commands to render the sdl file I named test_01:
renderer - this renders a raycast image
raytracer - this renders a raytraced image
powercaster - this renders a raycast image on all available processors
powertracer - this renders a raytraced image on all available processors

Type the appropriate command: renderer sdl/test_01

This tells the computer to use the renderer program to raycast the file "test_01" in the sdl directory.

Once the file is rendered you can view the results by using the fcheck command.

Navigate to the pix directory

Type the following command: fcheck test_01.tif

You image will appear in a new window.

That is all there is too it. Not to bad. If you want to get even more indepth there are many options you can include in the rendering commands. You can view these command in the Alias Help docs under Command Line Options.

Created by Aaron... Your Alias CAD Geek!

Web based User Groups Next week

AutoCAD Electrical – In’s and outs of building your own symbols

Tuesday at 10 am est

Autodesk Inventor – Calculators, Analysis and Simulation…oh my

Wednesday at 11:30 am est

Autodesk Data Management – AutoCAD Title block workflows and integration with Autodesk Vault

Thursday at 11:30 am est

Autodesk Alias – Taking concept designs into Autodesk Inventor, and of course what happens when stuff changes!

Thursday at 2:00 pm est

Fast Vault Searching - Directly from your CAD interface

Most people are aware many of the searching techniques that can be used to locate data in Vault, but did you know most of this can also be done directly from AutoCAD or Inventor?

When in the "Open from Vault" dialog box this is Find command in the upper-right corner of the dialog box:

This gives us all of the same searching capability as the Find command in the full Vault client, but can be used directly from the CAD software without switching to another window:

By double-clicking the file located in the Find dialog, it is automatically located and populated in the Open dialog so you can verify the proper file and location:

Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks

***Alias User Group - Web Chapter***

August 6th, 2009 | 2:00-3:00 PM EST

Topics to be discussed:
Alias & Inventor workflows
We will show how surface models created in Alias can be natively opened in Inventor, modified, and later updated after changes take place back in Alias.

As always a Q&A session will follow the demonstration allowing all attendees to discuss topics relating to Alias.

Click HERE to register

Electrical - Create External Terminal Jumpers

Building from last weeks post, this week I take a quick look at adding external terminal jumpers into your design. This process is exteremly easy when working with AutoCAD Electrical.

I use the Edit Jumper tool to jumper two or more terminals together in a schematic diagram. The terminals to be jumpered can be on the same drawing or span multiple drawings within the same project.

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

Bring your AutoCAD 3D to life!

Have you ever wondered what your AutoCAD 3D model looks like before you got to the point of making real parts? Autodesk Showcase can help you do just that. Import your 3D DWG data from AutoCAD into Showcase and use its extensive library of materials to create realistic imagery of your product. You can also take advantage of Showcase realtime rendering to virtually take your product for a spin allowing you to make an educated decision before commiting time and money to making real parts.

If you would like to learn more about Showcase email the CAD Geeks at,

Free Showcase Renderings!!!

Autodesk Showcase will allow you and your company to leverage your 3D CAD data with the benefits of high-end visuals.

Let our visualization team show you the power of Showcase by creating an image for you free of charge!

To receive your complimentary Showcase rendering please contact,

Vault Shortcuts in Inventor's Open window

When using Vault with Inventor, most people know they can open files directly from within the Vault, but one of the easiest ways to navigate to the data you need in Vault is to save a shortcut. Shortcuts can be created from the full Vault client, and then are directly accessible from the Open dialog box in Inventor. This is a great way to quickly locate files, jobs, or reference folders you are actively utilizing most often.

First create a shortcut in the full Vault client by using a right click or drag and drop on a file or folder you want a shortcut for:

This will then take you directly to that file or folder in Vault:

In the Inventor Open from Vault dialog box, the shortcuts are listed on the left:

After being selected from the shortcut, the file can be immediately opened without further searching:
Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks

Electrical Adding Terminals with Wire Number Assignments

Today we take a look at adding multiple terminals into our schematics. We will use the multiple insert command that allows us to take advantage of fencing to have all components added to the areas that we ran our fencing across as you will see in the video.

Remember the terminal symbols on the schematic are a representation of wire connection points. The terminal symbol representation on the schematic can have associations with the physical terminal block on the panel drawing.

There are four types of terminal behavior that you can select from and five main terminal styles (square, round, hexagon, diamond, and triangle). Each type of terminal behavior is controlled by the terminal block name.

I will be following up this post with:

  • Creating External Terminal Jumpers
  • Creating and Deleting Internal Jumpers
  • Creating Terminal Associations

Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Alias Global Surface Intersect

The Global Surface Intersect Tool is a great time savings Plugin. Using the traditional Intersect tool you would have to pick multiple times to intersect multiple surfaces. The Global Intersect tool allows you to do this much faster.

Click HERE to watch the video...

Created by Aaron... Your Alias CAD Geek!

Attachments - Maintaining supporting file relationships

When using Vault, many of the benefits for managing CAD data are usually obvious. What about the other engineering data? Spreadsheets, proposals, spec sheets and supporting images are all often important to document, but how do we relate them to the supporting CAD files? With "Attachments" in Vault this is easily accomplished.

The Attach command is found on the Actions pulldown menu when a file is selected:

Multiple attachments can be added or removed:

The Uses and Where Used tabs show any relationships between attached files just like with 3D parts and assemblies in Inventor:

Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks

Electrical Inserting a DIN RAIL

Today I will be taking a look at working with DIN RAIL. The process is very similar to adding any component to a design with a few small differences in how they are placed and represented/viewed in your design.

The Din Rail is generated based on data held in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet called WDDINRL.XLS. Each row in the main worksheet, DIN_RAIL, represents a rail type. The Manufacturer, Catalog, and Description fields are used to create the drop-down list on the dialog box.

Let's Take a Look!!!

Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Alias Symmetry Plane Align

The Symmetry Plane Align tool makes it easy to model across center line while maintaining continuity. The tool automatically adjusts the tangent row of cv's on a curve or surface to be tangent to the symmetry plane.

Click HERE to watch the video

Created by Aaron... Your Alias CAD Geek!

Just Grill it!

Today we are going to look at the plastic part grill feature in Inventor 2010. You can easily create a rough sketch of what you want and use the options in the create feature box to do the rest. I also really like the real time preview that you get when making adjustments, it helps me see how things are going to turn out before I accept. I also will show another nice feature to create a "rule fillet". This is handy when filleting a lot of edges and not having to select them all. Best part, it isn't limited to plastic part features. Let's take a look....

John with the CAD Geeks

Extracting AutoCAD data with Vault

As Autodesk has developed new document focused lifecycle and revision control with the 2010 products, it is now much easier to manage documents like 2D AutoCAD drawings. With that said, it is still up to us to determine what information we would like to capture when using Vault to manage those AutoCAD files. Here is the core of extracting specific data out of your files: "Block Attribute Extraction". This dialog box is part of the Autodesk Data Management Server console, and allows us to define block names that we want to extract attributes for:

Once the block names are defined and a drawing is checked into Vault, the attribute tags (or prompts) will show up in the "Property Definition" dialog box as shown below. This can be found in the Administration settings on the Tools pull-down menu.
But just because a block's attributes are indexed doesn't mean that they are in use or searchable yet. In the image above, I had to change from "Not in Use" to "In Use" and then re-index the vault properties before they would become useful in the Vault client interface.
Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks

Electrical Adding Assemblies to the Catalog

This week is an extension from last weeks post working with the catalog database and adding parts and assemblies to it. You will find that the process is very similar to adding new part information but when working with assemblies you have a few more options to be aware of and also how to link the parts together that make up the entire assembly. The video will take you through the process. Remember if you have any questions about this post or any post or questions in general about working with AutoCAD Electrical you can post them at:

Have a great Holiday Weekend

Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Alias Layer Symmetry

Layer Symmetry allows us to visualize what our complete model will look like when we are only building half of a symmetrical part.

Click HERE to watch the video

Created by Aaron... Your Alias CAD Geek!