Sunday, January 23, 2011

Try to repair DWG damaged files

Following failure of the Windows operating system, a fatal error AutoCAD, a power outage, a backup fails, a DWG file can very quickly become damaged. If this problem occurs during the working phase and an automatic backup was scheduled, it will be possible to retrieve the backup file, $ extension SV, DWG to rename it and open it in AutoCAD. Otherwise, here are some principles to follow to try to recover a damaged file.

Simply by reopening the DWG file

Sometimes, simply re-open the DWG file by performing a backup, you can correct data partially damaged.

Using the AUDIT command or _AUDIT

You get to directly open DWG file, but during operation AutoCAD crashes or generates a fatal error. In this case, open the file again DWG and immediately after launch or _AUDIT AUDIT command.

Before starting his control, AutoCAD asks if you want "Correct errors detected." Preferably answer "YES".

During its test phase, if errors are detected, AutoCAD will try to correct them.

If the system variable is set to 1 AUDITCTL, a log file extension "ADT" is created. It will contain a description of problems and corrections.

Using the RECOVER command or _RECOVER

If refuses to open the AutoCAD DWG file is that the error is larger and requires a correction at the highest level. Open AutoCAD and run the RECOVER command or _RECOVER.

The RECOVER command will place all objects with errors in the selection set "Back" to facilitate access. The results of the verification procedure are recorded in a log control extension "ADT" provided that the system variable is set to 1 AUDITCTL.

By retrieving the file BAK

If all these operations are unsuccessful, and if the BAK file still exists, rename the BAK file in DWG and open it in AutoCAD. You can find your document in its previous registration.

Last resort
If indeed your file will not open, try to load it into AutoCAD compatible software said as "Intellidesk" for example. And if there is really nothing, then it'll just redo your drawing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Error during AutoCAD Mechanical 2011 Deployment with Spanish Language Pack


You have copied the Spanish Language Pack (i.e.: folder x86\es-ES or x64\es-ES) on the machine where you want to create the deployment.
  • Start the setup for creating the deployment using the media of the product in English.
  • Fill all of the necessary info and click next till "Select the Products to include in the Deployment" page appears.
  • Click "Add language..." button, browse to LP msi in the package just copied.
  • Click next to create a deployment normally.
  • You will get the errors you see in the images below.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

autocad - Export to DXF

It's so simple that it took me several years to get there!

This applies when you need to export 3D models from AutoCAD, to all types of 3D software (Cycas, Pov, ...)

The big problem during a transfer from Autocad 3D ojects is that they are often " 3D volumes  "because it is easier to deal with that software. However, there are many free and paid software that use " 3D surfaces  . The challenge is to transform the volumes (also called solid) surfaces (or faces).

The solution I have long looked to the outside, just Autocad itself. I tested this solution in Autocad 2005 (valid for all versions):

Open your 3D model in Autocad. You do not need to change anything (color layers, ...).

Go to menu File , then Export and within that opens, select the type of 3DS and finally, name (example: maquette.3ds)

Then select the items and press twice (to confirm = press the Enter key).

In part that appears, leave the default settings (Extract from the 3D object layers)

you can change other settings if you are not satisfied, but this should in most cases.

Click OK

The export may take time depending on the complexity of the model, the file size or the power of your machine ...

It was during that export volumes become faces.

When finished, close the file of the model (no need to register) and create a new file (menu File , then New ...) where you insert the 3DS file:
Menu Insert , then 3D Studio ... and through, get the 3DS file.I generally leave the default settings, since I defined materials in Autocad.

Siple then press the button " Add All "(which moves the names on the right)

and press OK.

Go to menu File , then Save As and choose DXF - First take the default (your version of Autocad). In case of failure or bad result in the destination application, try again with an earlier version (I have had no problem with Blender).

During this last phase, you do not need to change the options (as part of registration, bottom right). By default it is an ASCII DXF format to 16 decimal places).


Autocad, Blender and other software for Linux

Autocad is a must-software architecture. But it is very expensive (about 4700 Euros and some versions have a compulsory year subscription! ) and is not ported to Linux. This section contains elements for transferring drawings on Autocad free software (Linux, MacOSX, Windows, ...) and more particularly in Blender , information and tips, etc. 
There are clones highly accessible must-see . They cost around 500 euros for the 2D version and € 600 for 3D. The updates are not mandatory.
Briscad is not bad either, and even better because now natively on Linux. I tested the beta version (the final is scheduled for late June 2010) and is very conclusive. Certainly this is not the perfect clone of AutoCAD but it brings some really interesting feature, as one manager for all the design elements (layers, blocks, xref, lines

Friday, January 14, 2011

Autocad home design

One of the biggest challenges to a decorating or home remodeling project is envisioning how everything will look. Now that’s easier than ever before with Autodesk Homestyler.
  • Quickly create layouts with drag-and-drop rooms, doors, and furnishings
  • Easily experiment with styles, colors, and finishes
  • Include specific products from manufacturers’ catalogs
  • Visualize your home design ideas in 3D with one click
  • Share your designs and get input from family, friends, and professionals
  • Increase your confidence in your design and product selection decisions.
cad home design 


AutoCAD P&ID piping and instrumentation design software

Easier & Faster P&ID Design Software
Create, modify, and manage piping and instrumentation diagrams with AutoCAD® P&ID software. Built on the latest AutoCAD® software platform, AutoCAD P&ID is easy to use and familiar to designers and engineers. So design teams can start quickly with minimal training. AutoCAD P&ID streamlines and automates common design tasks. With simple reporting, editing, sharing, and validation of design information, projects can start more easily, run better, and finish sooner. AutoCAD P&ID is included in the Autodesk® Plant Design Suites.
  • Data Manager—Manage engineering data with change-management, viewing, and editing functionality.
  • Dynamic lines and components—Simplify repeated tasks. Create, move, and snap lines and components into place with intuitive grip editing.
  • Symbol libraries—Snap industry-standard symbols (PIP, ISA, JIS, ISO/DIN) or customized symbols into drawings.
  • Tagging and annotations—Create, customize, and edit tags and annotations. Properties propagate automatically. Drag and drop information from the Data Manager.
  • Reporting and information exchange—Import data into formatted tables, and export into various file formats.
  • Validation—Error check to increase accuracy and reduce the time to identify problems.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

List of autocad institute in india

CADD Centre is one of the top CAD/Grafx Training Institutions in the world. CADD Centre trained students are now employed in key positions in large and small companies in more than 40 countries. CADD Centre Training is available through a large network of more than 260 centers in India and 13 centers outside the country. Till date, more than 3,50,000 executives have enjoyed the unique benefits of CADD Centre Training. CADD Centre Training courses are industry specific and have immediate relevance and use in the industrial world. The courses are designed to provide a good volume of knowledge and a high degree of skill.

In mumbai :

31, Alice Apts, Above ARASA Shopping Centre,
Between Paaneri & Shoppers Point, S.V.Road,
Andheri-West, Mumbai-400058

Tel: 022 – 65704118 / 119 / 26288523

C-2, 301, Anjana Apts, Shimpoli Signal, Above H.D.F.C. Bank, S.V.Road, Borivali-West, Mumbai-400092

Tel: 022 – 28997978 / 28997980

201, B-30, Dream Land, Sector 11,
Shanti Nagar, Thane - 401107

Tel: 022 – 28111762 / 32440214

we will add more CAD center shortly in post. 

autocad viewer for windows 7

Features in Autodesk Design Review software help design teams view, mark up, print, and track changes to 2D and 3D drawings, maps, and models. Use the free* CAD viewer to speed design reviews and get everyone on the same page.
Autodesk Navisworks ProductsCreate a single, integrated project model to analyze, plan, validate, and share your projects.
  • Clash Detection & Interference Management—Identify conflicts virtually before construction begins, reducing expensive delays and rework.
  • Whole Project View—Combine design, construction, and other project data into a single, integrated project model.
  • Real-Time Navigation—Walk-through and experience design and construction virtually before it's built.

you can download here

autocad 2011 price in india

Design and shape the world around you with the powerful, flexible features found in AutoCAD design and documentation software, one of the world’s leading 2D and 3D CAD tools. Speed documentation, share ideas seamlessly, and explore ideas more intuitively in 3D. With thousands of available add-ons, AutoCAD design software provides the ultimate in flexibility, customized for your specific needs. It’s time to take design further. It’s time for AutoCAD.

Retail Price in india: Rs144,000.00

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hyperlinked files with Autocad 2011

When using hyperlinks to autocad 2011 files, clicking on the hyperlink causes autocad to open, then the file opens and immediately closes leaving autocad open. this really limits the use of onenote. The solution is
type text, right click, select hyperlink, path to autocad .dwg file. word and excel hyperlinks for autocad .dwg files made the same way work fine. hyperlinks to autocad .dxf files work fine, uses the same autocad program.
hyper links for autodesk inventor and solidworks files work fine. when I publish to a pdf, the hyperlinks for autopcad .dwg files work differently, it wants to open the file using internet explorer, and fails, all other file types seem to work. An interesting note: if I record the commands in autocad when trying to open a .dwg file using the hyperlink in onenote, it closes the .dwg file without recording any command for end or quit, pretty interesting. If you have any query please comment.

How to disable CAD files after you install Visio 2003 Service Pack 3 or Visio 2007 Service Pack 2

After you install Visio 2003 SP3 or Microsoft Office Visio 2007 SP2, you can disable the use of .dwg files in Visio 2003 or Visio 2007. You may want to disable .dwg files in Visio 2003 or Visio 2007 to improve the security of Visio files.

When you disable .dwg files, the following behavior occurs:
  • AutoCAD Drawing (*.dwg; *.dxf) does not appear in the Files of type box in the Open dialog box
  • CAD Drawing is disabled on the Insert menu.
  • When you open a Visio file that contains a CAD object, the CAD object appears as a empty container. The ActiveX control on the CAD object is disabled.
  • AutoCAD Drawing (*.dwg; *.dxf) does not appear in the Files of type box in the Save As dialog box.
  • Convert CAD Drawings is disabled when you point to Add-ons on the Tools menu.
  • Convert CAD Library is disabled when you point to Add-ons on the Tools menu.
To disable .dwg files, follow these steps:
  1. Exit Visio.
  2. Start Registry Editor. To do this, use one of the following methods:
    • In Windows Vista, click Start
      Collapse this imageExpand this image

      Start button
      , type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.

      Collapse this imageExpand this image
      User Account Control

      If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
    • In Microsoft Windows XP, click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click the following registry key:
    • Visio 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Visio\Application
    • Visio 2007: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Visio\Application
  4. After you click the key that is specified in step 3, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click DWORD Value.
  5. Type DisableDWG, and then press ENTER.
  6. Right-click DisableDWG, and then click Modify.
  7. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  8. On the File menu, click Exit to exit Registry Editor.

Transparent Commands in autocad 2010

Instead, it’s about using commands transparently – as in, inside other commands.Transparent commands enable you to make changes or get information without pausing the current command. To make a command transparent, simply prefix it with an apostrophe (‘) if you’re typing at the command line, or just select it from the ribbon.
If you choose a command that can’t be used transparently, one of two things will happen. If you picked it from the ribbon, your first command will be canceled and you’ll find yourself in the second command. If you typed it at the command line, you’ll get this message: ** That command may not be invoked transparently **
So, what commands can be used transparently? Here’s a list (this may not be exhaustive; if you find more let me know):
  • CAL
  • DIST
  • ELEV
  • GRID
  • HELP
  • ID
  • SNAP
  • ZOOM
And some examples for using transparent commands?
Let’s say you started to draw a line, but realized you were on the wrong layer. Before picking your second point, just go up to the ribbon and change the layer from the pulldown. OR, type –layer to open the Layer Properties Manager and make your changes there.
What if, in drawing that same line, you remembered that it was supposed to be the same length as another line…but you forgot exactly how long? Before picking your second point, type –dist and measure the first line, then enter the result for your new line.
Zoom is probably the handiest transparent command, and you probably use it transparently every day without even thinking about it, because zooming and panning with the mouse wheel is transparent by default.

Putting 3D back in Map3D

A few days ago there was a question in the Autodesk news group about using a linked data source to drive the Z coordinate of polylines. The original poster wanted something that looked like the “Causeway in Ireland”. My first thought was if you have the data in Excel why not use the 3D graph tools in MS Office to create this. Then I thought,  that only gives you 3D columns, not the shape of the polylines of a map, and you would have to create a number of graphs to show all the values.  The user wanted to click once and have the new data displayed. So why not try it in Map3D?
Here’s a little information on the data and what I assumed they wanted. The drawing is of polylines that represent areas of a school district. The user is wanting to display each area in a 3D view with the height based on the ages of the population of that area. For those on this side of the Atlantic think TIGER data and the US census data.
We all know you can create a map theme based on data but it’s only 2D or a flat map.  How can you create a 3D map from the data? After getting a copy of the dwg and Excel file I made a few edits to the user’s drawing, created a few queries, and  created a few maps in the map display tab of the task pane. Here is a screen shot of the original dwg with the data linked.
First thing I did was assign a color to each layer, then hatched each closed polyline.  I then linked each hatch to the same record as the polylines. I did this manually seeing there were only 10 it wasn’t too much of a task.
My edits are below.
After saving the dwg, I opened a new dwg, attached the original dwg along with making the data source connection to the Excel file. Next after doing a saveas on the new dwg I started writing some queries and saving the queries to two different categories, one for the polylines and one for that hatches. The queries are just simple alter-property queries.
Here is the start of the queries.
1. The query type is Property, and object type equals LWPOLYLINE.
2. The query mode is Draw.
3. The Alter Properties is as;
4. The Thickness (of the polyline)
5. I use the expression from the Link Table field.
6. Next I needed to add a little LISP expression to the expression. (explained later)
7. I save the query.
When I saved the query I created a category for it to make it easier to keep track of it later.
Once I saved the query and OK out of the Define Query dialog. I did not run the query just yet. I repeat the steps to create more queries on the remaining fields in the linked table. Saving each to the same query category we created.
Note: the LISP expression I used with the expression
&”Aged 1 year”@001 in the alter property is to multiple the field value by 100. The purpose is to exaggerate the height (thickness)  of the  polylines when Map3D creates the new map display.
The final expression looked like this: (* 100 &”Aged 1 year”@001)
Next I created queries for the hatches in the drawing.  The query mode will still be property object type but this time I use Hatch instead of LWPolyline. In the property alter section I select Elevation instead of Thickness.  The expression for it will be the same. The other differences is when I save them I created a new category for the hatch queries.
When I was done creating all the queries, I have them listed in the Map Explorer tab of the task pane.
If you noticed the way I named the queries based on the field values, also the names for the polylines (Ages) category are a slight different than the ones for the Hatch category. The reason I used a different name is to keep Map3D from getting confused on the queries.  Yes I cheated a little bit, if I had created ALL the queries for this set of data I would have over 80 queries in each category.
The next step is creating new maps in the Display Manager. I switch to the DM of the task pane and create a new map.
I named the new map on the age group that will be displayed. Now that I have a new map I add drawing data to it by querying the source drawing (the original drawing that is attached).
In the Define Query of Attached drawings dialog I select Load query and select the query for the age group I saved in the category for the polylines and click OK. Switch to the 3D view (click on the 3D icon above the status bar or command line). The polylines now appear as 3D. However they do not look like a solid polygon.
In order to make them appear as solid polygons is where the hatches and their queries come into play. Again I used the Add drawing data by querying source drawing and load the hatch query for the age group from the hatch category.  Now the polylines look as solid objects.
Another function I tinker with was the visual style, the default style is Conceptual. I opened the visual style manager (VSM at command line) and play with the settings until I got the results I liked. Hint: make a copy of the conceptual style and paste as a new style to tinker with.
Last I created more new maps and add drawing data by loading the appropriate  save queries for each map and it’s age group.   Once all the maps were created I able to change the display by opening one of the maps from the drop down list for the maps on the display manager.
There you have it, a simple way of putting some 3D into your maps and drawings.

Who has a Raster

From time to time I see users asking what is the best method to insert a raster file into Map3D or Civil 3D. There are a 4 known methods to insert a raster file into a drawing. First the standard AutoCAD insert, then there is the Map image insert command, and now with FDO there is the data connect method. Last we can use the Object Link and Embedding (OLE) method.  So what method do I suggest? My standard reply is what format and type is the raster and what do you want to do with the raster afterwards?
First lets review on what a raster file is and how they advanced over the years. A raster file contains cells or grids called pixels. The number of pixels is determined by the resolution of the raster.   A simple 300 x 300 resolution raster has 300 pixels on the X axis or horizontal and 300 on the Y axis or vertical for a total of 90,000 pixels. Each pixel has values or attributes assigned to it. One of the attribute is the location or pixel number in the file. It may be as simple as 1,1 for column 1 row 1, or 1 for the first location in the file.  Another attribute is the display value for that pixel. In the beginning the value was either 1 or 0 for on or off.  This is know as a bi-tonal raster. As technology progressed so did the values and attributes of the pixels, where today we have a color attribute and even elevation attributes along with a host of other attributes assigned to a pixel.  Just like vector objects in a dwg have attributes known as object properties like Layer, Color and custom properties such as object data, pixels have data attached to them.
Wow lets back up, did I say elevation, as in 3D? Yes I did. The technology has advance from the old DOS bmp days to create 3D raster. ESRI has been doing it for a few years now with their 3D analysis add-on for the ArcGIS programs. Some DEM files are nothing more that raster files with an elevation assigned to pixels. Same for the newer TIFF and Jpeg formats. Now when we throw multi-spectral images, know as remote sensing into this pot we not only have another a different ballgame but also a whole different ball field to play on. Multi-spectral images are made up of multiple files with each file being from a different spectrum of the light range.
The kicker to all this is not only can the pixels in a raster contain various attributes but the file extensions can all be the same. A TIFF is a TIFF. Example,  a picture we take with our Kodak Easy Share camera can have the same file extension as a image taken from a satellite orbiting the earth miles away. It is not until we open the image or raster file in the application or software that the attributes are exposed, then only part of them depending on the application used to open the file.
Using Windows Photo Galley works good to edit those family pictures from the Kodak to remove red eye, adjust the colors and print a 8 x10  photograph, but using the same application to work with a raster file that contains an elevation attributes to display as 3D will not work. It also works the other way around. Using a high end application designed for working with multi-spectral images to crop and print the Kodak Easy Share file is not only over kill but the results may not be what you expect and performance will suffer with the program stumbling over the simple attributes. To use a metaphor example of this lets say we have an acre of grass to mow with our little Briggs & Stratton powered mover. We know that if we use a high octane gasoline in an internal combustion engine the performance is increased. However if we use gasoline with 106 octane in the mower we may not get a very well cut yard. Either the engine is running too fast to get a good even cut of the grass or by the time we get half way done the engine locks up and we end up with the job half way complete. We need to use the right tool with the right material to complete the job successfully.
So if you are still reading here are my suggestions on how to add that raster file to you drawing/map.
OLE - Only use it if you working in AutoCAD LT
AutoCAD Insert – For adding your company logo to a title block or to add simple images (including renderings) as a detail to your project, where placement and scale may not be of importance.
AutoCAD Map3D Image Insert – Simple aerial images that are geo-referenced and you need them to align with your line work.
AutoCAD Map Data Connect (FDO) – Raster files that contain elevations, Multi-spectral images or high end aerials images.
Now how do you tell if the raster file is a simple aerial or a high end aerial? Most likely if you downloaded it from the Internet and it’s over 3 years old it is a good chance it’s a simple aerial unless you get the meta-data with it and it states otherwise.

Subscription Advantage Packs

If you are a subscription member there a new extension you can download. The subscription extensions now called Subscription Advantage Packs (SAP) are available on the subscription site.  The SAP for AutoCAD Map3D 2010 contains tools to use LIDAR or point clouds data. If anyone ever wanted to use large LIDAR files or point clouds you now can with the SAP. So what can you do with this data? Well depending on the data a lot.  First here is how you can start using it.
First on the Display Manager, click on the Tools Icon, select Create Point Cloud Index. The “Index” needs to be created for all new LiDAR (las) files.
When you select to create the point cloud index the Point Cloud Manager palette opens. Here is where you browse to the LiDAR files and add them to a list or you can even group multiple files together.
PointCloud Manager
Once the files are listed in the Point Group Manager highlight the file or group and click on the Generate Index. This creates a file with an ISD extension. You have the option prior to generating the index as to the file location and name by selecting in the output column and browsing to a folder and renaming the file. The default is the same folder and file name as the las file. Generating the index takes a few minutes depending on the file size and number of points in the file. A process indicator is displayed in the the  Point Cloud Manager as it is generated.  Once the index is created you can click the Add to Map button to add the point cloud to your map.  Note you only need to create the index for the las file once, you can use the isd file to load the point cloud in any drawing. Once you created an index of a las file you can reload the point cloud by using the Data icon and selecting Add Point Cloud Date.
Once the point cloud is loaded into the map it is listed as a map layer in the Display Manager.
Once you have a point cloud loaded you can highlight it and the context sensitive tab on the ribbon will display for the point cloud.
The ribbon tab allows you control how the point cloud is display along with a few other tools to work with the point cloud. The Point Display control will allow you to control the number of points (density) displayed. Move the slider to increase/decease the amount of points. The Filter Point Cloud control allows you to filter the point cloud based on the data assigned to the points or by spatial (location on your map). Note: Not all LiDAR files will have data assigned to it. The Style panel of the tab will allow you to set the style of the point cloud based on the classification, elevation, Intensity or RGB assigned to the points. The create panel will allow you to create a surface from the point cloud. You have two formats for the surface file, GeoTiff or ESRI ASC. The Export panel will allow you to export the point cloud to SDF format to be used later in the map or as an ASCII (text) format or even to a LAS format. Exporting it to ASCII will only export the XYZ of the points it will not export any other data and exporting to SDF will create a LARGE SDF file, so beware.
Along with the advantage pack there is some sample files (las) and tutorials on the subscription site that you can also download that provides some assistance on using the new feature.
The AutoCAD Subscription Advantage Pack
There is also an Subscription Advantage Pack for standard AutoCAD as well that can also be ran with Map3D. This advantage pack contains some useful tools for standard AutoCAD objects that for once the Map3D product team has not forgotten about the AutoCAD Map3D users that still use Map3D as AutoCAD or that we still use drawing objects in our maps.
Once installed it adds a new ribbon tab to the ribbon labeled Subscription.
The first panel of the tab allows you to isolate objects and unisolate them. The next panel will allow you to select an object then create another object of the same type. The Select panel has the much needed and wished for Select Similar command. It does have a settings options allow you to filter the selection.
The last panel contains the Draw Order tools for setting the draw order for annotations and hatches. Keep in mind these are the standard AutoCAD objects, they do not work with Map3D annotations or the feature labels and hatches. Oh yes, if you are an old school user and have not embraced the ribbon interface yet, there is a toolbar for these as well, the AutoCAD SAP for the AutoCAD Map3D SAP you need to create your own toolbar or use the ribbon. 

Custom Line Types with Data Connect

A number of users have been asking about using custom line types in their maps with features from the data connect, both in the AUGI forums and the Map3D Discussion Group. I would answer with a yes BUT replied. Why? Cause it’s not as simple as loading a lin file like you can with AutoCAD objects then set that object’s layer to use those line types from that lin file. So can it be done? YES. Here’s how in some simple as I can make steps. It takes a little preplanning but here is what I want to do in my example.
I have a SDF file (line type) that represents a 3 phase electrical power line, I want to display it with 3 vertical tic marks (perpendicular).
The original display.
  • First enable enhanced stylization in Map3D.
  • Add your feature data (line type) using the enhanced stylization.
  • Save that data layer to a layer file.
  • Edit the layer file.
  • Then add that layer file back into your map.
So to start we need to edit the windows registry to enable the enhanced stylization. To do this edit the key in the registry named;
“KEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R18.0\ACAD-8002:409\Applications\AcMapDataConnectUI”  Note: the numbers may vary depending on the version of Map3D or Civil 3D you are using.
Set the value to 1 to enable it.
Next open up Map3D and make the connection to the SDF file, but instead of using the Add To Map or Add to Map With Query , we now have an additional  option “Add to Map with Enhanced Style”.
Add the SDF data with the Enhanced Style option. Notice if you try to style that SDF layer using the normal style editor you will see that everything is grayed out and you can not change how it is displayed, add a scale range or create labels . As of right now there is no graphic users interface (GUI) to edit it.
Next step is to save the SDF layer out to a layer file. Right click on the layer in the display manger and select Save Layer.
Save the layer to a location you can get to easily for now while you are experimenting with this and give it a new name.
  Now remove the SDF layer from the Map display and disconnect from the SDF data file.
Next we start to edit the layer file we just saved, the layer file is in xml format and we can open and edit it with Windows Notepad. I suggest users stay away from some of the XML editors out there and edit with Notepad. With the layer file open scroll down to the line:
<Geometry> M 0.0, 0.0 h 4.0 </Geometry>
This is where we start editing the file. The geometry tag is telling Map3D how to display or draw the line for this data feature. It starts at 0,0 and draws a straight line 4 units horizontal. The syntax is a little different than what you use in creating a line definition for a lin file, but the same principal. The “m” stands for move to  0.0,0.0. It is the coordinate to start drawing the line at. The next part is “h” for a horizontal line then the 4.0 is for 4 units. That is all, a simple straight horizontal line 4 units long. What I want is a line with 3 vertical lines in the center of it.  First I change the 4.0 to 10.0 to make my line longer so the vertical lines are not too close to the end points.  Next I use the “m” to move to a new starting place of 4.5, -0.5, or 4.5 units to the right of the starting point of the line and 0.5 units under the line. Now I tell it to go vertical one unit up by using “v” 1.0. That draws the first vertical line one half of  a unit left from the center of the horizontal line up one unit. Next I use M 5.0, –0.5 V 1.0 for the second line and for the last line M 5.5, -0.5 V 1.0.
If you notice my screen capture of the edited file I formatted it to make it easier to read and edit, that’s what I like about Notepad other xml editors may give you errors when you try it this way.
Now there’s one other edit we need to make to get this new line to look right, I changed the length of the first horizontal line from 4 units to 10 units. So I need to change how often the line repeats though out the line segments in Map3D. Scroll down to the <Repeat> 4.0 </Repeat> tag and change the 4.0 to 10.0. I also changed the color to a red tint, the color tags <Linecolor>xxxxxxxx</Linecolor> uses a HEX value so if you need to change the color you need to know the HEX color values.
There is my editted layer file, now save the file and drop and drag onto the display manager or load it into Map3D with the load layer command. The results look like this:
The edited display.
So there you have it, custom line types for a data connect line feature. But don’t leave yet there’s more to follow in the next few weeks, not only can we create lines types like above we can create custom point markers or use a point marker in a line definition or create flow arrows in your lines and how about depression marks for contour lines?  More to come and if you try this you may notice your lines features may need some more editing to get them just right.

Map3D and 64bit ODBC Connections

So with more users upgrading to 64 bit operating systems more are failing to connect to their access or excel files. Maybe you try to drag and drop a mdb file on the Map Explorer or tried to use a ODBC connection in the Data Connect. Did you get one of these messages to popup?
DataConnectFail   FailToConnect
Well the problem is Windows 64 bit does not have any ODBC drivers for Access or Excel files. If you look at the ODBC connection manager all we see are the drivers for SQL. 
So what is a user to do? Well we can not throw out the new OS and reinstall a 32 bit OS, but we can do  something else. If you are on subscription you can still install and run AutoCAD Map3D 2009 which is a 32 bit application and will run on a 64 bit OS if you install the correct version that needs to be downloaded. Check with your reseller on getting the link to download or contact support on your subscription site. Once you installed the 2009 version on your 64 bit system you can now make an ODBC connection to our files. However you can not use the ODBC Connection Manager from the control center. You need to use the ODBC Connection Manger for 32 bit. Browse to the folder  C:\Windows\SysWOW64 and locate odbcad32.exe. This will allow you to set up your ODBC connection for a 32 bit application.
Now you can use your mdb and xls file again. Just remember you need to use AutoCAD Map 3D 2009. Obvious you do not want to use 2009 forever otherwise you would not have updated, so now may be time to start looking at copying your data to SQL databases. And before users start complaining that Autodesk is not taking care of it’s long time users and leaving them out in the rain, I can ensure you that Autodesk along with other software developers are on Microsoft’s case trying to get ODBC drivers for 64 bit OS.

AutoCAD Map3D 2011 and Raster Design OE

Anyone that uses MrSID image files in their Map3D or Civil 3D know that you  need to install the Raster Design Object Enabler or Raster Design installed to insert them with the Map image insert command. Problem is right now there is no Raster Design OE for the 2011 versions. However thanks to a geeky customer there is a work around.
The first step is you need a working version of an AutoCAD 2010 installed on your workstation. This can be Map3D, Civil 3D, Standard AutoCAD of the vanilla favor or even the water down application named TrueView. Now if you are running on a 64bit OS I was told you can skip the 2010 products but with a 32 bit OS you need one of those install.
Next download and install the 2010 version of the Raster Design OE. A reminder you need administrator rights to install it and follow the standards to install any of AutoCAD applications, in other words shut down any apps you have running and shut down you anti-virus software for the installs.
The next step is you need to open the windows registry. To do this the simple way is from the START button > Run and type in regedit for the “open”  then click the OK button. Now a disclaimer, if you don’t feel comfortable working with the registry then call some that does. Do not blame the Murph if your PC starts to act up later because you messed up the registry.
With the registry open navigate/browse to the
key. Select it, right click, and select Export. Save the exported registry key to a folder that you can get to, the name for it can be any name of your choice (provide you follow the naming convections enforced by Microsoft).
Now browse to the folder you saved the exported key to and open it in a text editor (Notepad works best). With the file open edit the first line (not the top header line) so it reads as
Just change the R18.0 to read R18.1. Save the file and close it.
Next step is to double click on the file in Windows Explorer. This will import the registry key into the registry.  If you get the Warning Message / Registry Editor
just click the OK button.
Now if everything worked you should be able to open up Map3D or Civil 3D 2011 and use the Mapiinsert to insert a MrSID format image into you projects like you could before.
First this is a hack to get the SID files in the 2011 versions, it is not supported by Autodesk so if something goes wrong don’t expect help from your support team. Second anyone that knows what all those numbers mean in the registry will see that the imported registry key is for the 2011 version but still points to 2010 Raster Design OE, if you try to install the supported version of Raster Design OE when it gets released you may get the message saying it is already installed. You may have to delete that key for the official supported version to install and work properly .

Using AutoCAD MAP3D Document View

As promised here is a sample of using the Document View functions in Map3D. To set the stage for this we set the scenario as so. We GPSed the utility power line with a handheld GPS unit. As we GPS the pole we also took a picture of the pole, we tag or named the image file the same as the pole number. When we got back into the office we downloaded the images into their own folder on the server alone with the GPS points and data we collected in the field. We then imported the points and created the object data tables from the point data. So now we want to link those images to our points or poles block in the map so as we click on a pole we can view the photo we took in the field.
This is a good example of using the document view tool. The first step is making sure the OD table has the correct information and fields in it and that the images are in a folder that we can get to.
Looking at my example we see the OD table has a field value that matches the image file names.
Once those two steps are complete we have to define the Document View. In order to do this we need to be in the Classic Map workspace. Looks like whoever created the default Ribbons for Map3D forgot these commands or thought we didn’t need them. Using the Map menu pulldown select the Define Document View from the Object Data section.
In the Define Document View Dialog (Yes the old style dialog that you can not resize) We set up the parameters Map3D uses to open/display the images.
1. Give the definition a name and description.
2. For the expression in my example I use the PoleNumber field from my Pole_No_OD Object Data Table. You can use the Expression button to browse and select your expression. (Do not confuse that with the FDO expression builder)
3. Select the folder where your documents are stored, you can use the browse button to get to it.
4. Type in the file extension for the type of document you want to view. In my example its jpg but you can also use word documents or (almost) any type of document to view.
5. Next you need to provide the command line for the application used to open and view the documents. Again use the browse button and browse to the exe file that will open the document. With my example and images as my documents I selected my installed IrfanView application, I could used Paintbrush as well but I like the speed of IrfanView.
6. Click the ADD button to add it to the list at the top.
Now the Update button is nice if you need to go back and change one of the parameter. Nice to have for the first few tries, you do not have to start over if something does work the first time, edit and update.
Now that you have the document view defined, to use it select the View Associated Document from the Map menu Object Data section and select the object with the OD table attached. If everything works you should have that document open up in it’s own application.

Shopping with Map3D

By now most everyone has heard about AutoCAD for Mac. The AutoCAD built to run on the Apple computer. There’s promise of apps that will run on the I-Pad and I-Pod Touch coming out soon. So how about taking it a step farther. OK we all want to Run AutoCAD MAP3D on a I-Pad or something we can take out to the field and do field checks, updates and/or edit our maps. BUT in my wisdom of thinking of where my next pay check may come from and looking at being a door greeter at the one of the super centers here in town why not tie my passion for MAP3D into that as well.
Now hear me out a bit before you all think the Murph has gone off his rocker. How many times have you walked into one of those super giant stores only to get lost looking for that one item and end up buying nothing? Yes you did, admitted it you got all frustrated and walked away.
So here’s the plan. How about on each of those shopping carts is a trimmed down I-Pad or a I-Pod Touch with a SD card reader, USB port or whatever Apple uses that allows you to upload your shopping list and the app creates a map of the store with the locations of those items on the screen. OK real men don’t use shopping list other than at the lumber stores or car parts places. That is where the app allows the real men to type or pick from a pull down list the item(s) they need to buy and maps it on the screen for them. Now most of us have seen those terminals in stores that people enter their list in for bridal registry or birthdays and such that allows shoppers to see the items, price and location that your friend register for. This would be an extension to that. Only on the shopping cart and created once when you start shopping.
So how about it? I bet we could even get the gear head mechanical guys or Inventor folks to create some robotics to drive the shopping cart for us.

10 AutoCAD commands users need everyday

  1. CONVERTPOLY (R14-R2010) - This undocumented command will allow you to convert "heavy" polylines to LWPOLYLINE's and vice versa. "Heavy" polylines are the pre-R14 version. They still have uses today, and the PLINETYPE system variable controls what gets created by default.
  2. DBLIST (Version 2.0 - R2010) - This command will list every entity in the drawing. Useful when you think you have some entities that are not showing up. You can erase everything visible and then run DBLIST to see what else is still there.
  3. XOPEN (R2004-R2010) - Use this command to pick an external reference to open it. You don't need to know the name of the xref.
  4. TRACE (Prior to Version 1.4-R2010) - This is a really old one. It creates a TRACE object, which is sort of looks like a polyline, but each segment behaves more like a SOLID entity, which brings us to...
  5. SOLID (Prior to Version 2.0-R2010) - This command creates a 2D solid entity with three or four sides. Before solid hatch was introduced, this was about the only way to get a solid fill, and you had to do some tricks around curves.
  6. SETBYLAYER (R2008-R2010) - Pretty self-explanitory. Use this to set certain object properties to BYLAYER, including Color, Linetype, Lineweight, and Material.
  7. REVERSE (R2010) - Used to reverse the direction of a line, polyline, spline or helix.
  8. TPNAVIGATE (R2008-R2010) - Used to display a certain tool palette. If the tool palette is not visible, this command will make it visible also.
  9. SAVEIMG (R14-R2010) - If you just need a quick screen capture of your AutoCAD display, this command can do it. Plotting to Raster using the appropriate driver will usually result in better output with more options, but if you just need a quick file, SAVEIMG can do it.
  10. TSPACEINVADERS (R??-R2010) - This is an undocumented command. Essentially, you perform a selection and it will show you TEXT and MTEXT that has entities blocking it. It doesn't do the cleanup, but in a crowded drawing it can help you identity text under linework, etc.