It has always been a pleasure to publish a guest post from someone in the Autodesk community. It helps the guest author get more visibility among peers as well as shares some valuable knowledge with the readers of this Between the Lines blog, a win – win for everyone.
In AutoCAD 2014, a new tab bar was added to the drawing interface. This tab system allows for simple and quick drawing switching and also added the convenience of opening the parent folder of the current drawing. This may seam like a simple addition but it is one I’ve welcomed with open arms. At one point I even added a lisp routine to my AutoCAD setup that allowed me to accomplish this, so I was quite happy that by simply right-clicking on the tab, you can choose “Open File Location” and an explorer window will open at the files location. Why so happy you might ask? Most firms I’ve worked for use a fairly expansive series of folders to manage their projects. When I’m working in a drawing I often need to look at other files pertaining to the DWG file. pdf’s, images of the site, Excel bill of materials, etc. An option like this makes it so much easier than opening Explorer and navigating from scratch.
I had a user ask me last week “That’s a really handy feature, why can’t I do that in the Mac version?” Well, actually, that feature has been available on the Mac side since the first version 4 years ago. It’s not really even an AutoCAD for Mac function, but one built in to Mac OS X. Simply go to the file name in the top of the drawing window (or the file name at the top of most application windows, Pages, Numbers, even the Microsoft Office suite) and right click to reveal the location and hierarchy of folders all the way to the top. Click any folder and a Finder window will open at that location.
As helpful as that is, that is not where Mac’s kindness for file and folder navigating end. Let’s say I open the parent folder and find a PDF of connector details. I need to insert one of these into my DWG file, so I go back to my DWG and type pdfattach. The dialog opens up to insert the pdf, and now I have to navigate all the way through from the default location (the last PDF I inserted) to the location of the PDF I already have open. There has to be an easier way, right? On the Mac side, there is indeed. To the left of the file name of the PDF we have open, there is a small icon. I can grab this icon and drag it to the folder name in the PDF attach dialog box in AutoCAD. This will automatically navigate to that file location in the dialog box, so you don’t have to drill through your folders to insert the file you already have open. As you can see from the image below, it takes me from my Documents folder.
This works in any dialog box in most applications, so I can use this to insert images as well, let’s say a Google map of the site I want to underlay in AutoCAD. Very handy and just one of the little things I like about using AutoCAD for Mac.
If you like this tip, take a look at my blog www.macncad.com for tips and tricks on both AutoCAD for Mac and general Mac OS X daily life. Also, if you are interested in learning more about AutoCAD for Mac, download the free trial and take a look at my class on Lynda.com where I go over the new features in AutoCAD for Mac 2014.
Thank you Jim!
If you would like to submit an Autodesk related guest post please Email Me for details and consideration.
At Autodesk University last week the winning team of the Autodesk Design & Make contest was selected by the audience as Autodesk CEO Carl Bass and Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski couldn't reach a consensus on the winning team. The Design & Make contest was Autodesk employees using our Autodesk 360 product internally to collaborate and using Autodesk products to design and build a project in a short time.
The contest started on September 4th, 2013 when we made a call to the entire company to join the Autodesk 360 Design and Make Contest. We asked employees to create teams of 4-6 to design and make something to be displayed at the Autodesk Gallery for all to see. The contestants were able to use any tools, all Autodesk products, their only requirement was to use Autodesk 360 to collaborate and report back on it's usability.
By October 1st, the first milestone, 14 teams from around the world had joined the contest and were busy brainstorming and collaborating on Autodesk 360 to create a design.
On October 15, our design and make committee had met with all the teams, and advised that all the teams that they would be allocated $1000 to build their designs. Our teams started getting busy ordering parts and materials, taking classes at Pier 9 and TechShop and learning how to use 3D printers.
We filmed the final reveal of all the designs on November 20th, where all the teams presented their final designs, excited and ready to send their designs to AU.
After much deliberation with our committees and advice from our SVP Amar Hanspal, we choose our top 4 finalist to head to AU.
The finalists were shown all week at Autodesk University.
There were some great projects; a digital thespian trout puppet controlled by a hand rig using Autodesk Motionbuilder, an Autodesk logo 3D printed puzzle designed using Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile, Autodesk Fusion 360 and even use 360 analysis, 3D print a fountain captured using photographs and laser scanning, and a robot mostly 3D printed that would draw pictures on an iPad running Autodesk Sketchbook for the iPad.
Team All 360 – The Autodesk Logo Puzzle
Michael Oakley, Abishek Trivedi, Jeff Higgins, Matthew Sawhill
Team Robot Talent – The Drawing Robot
David Thomasson, Stephane Bersot, Oytun Akman, Evan Atherton, Arthur Harsuvanakit
Team Digital Muppetry - The Thespian Trout
Brandon Bittner, Antonio Licon, Ian Volkwein, Alex Smedberg, Nicolas McClay
Team GCSO-GS Project Neuchatel Fountain aka “The Swiss Team” - The Neuchatel Fountain
Aurelia Fabbri, Nabil Nougha, Laurent Pallares, Giacarlo Molo, Cedric Pignat, Francesco Tonioni
The final judging at Autodesk University!
disclaimer: I remained neutral when asked who I thought would win as I had fellow team members on one of the teams.
The winning team was Team Robot Talent!
Each of the members of the winning team will be receiving an iPad Mini. The winning robot is also going to be on display at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco.
Video of the robot sketching a portrait of me, ok maybe not me.
This is just another proof point robots are taking over Autodesk University. I had an Autodesk ReCap laser scanning robot come to my Blogger & Social Meetup, the Bot & Dolly dancing robot with a disco ball named IRIS blew minds at the opening session, an autonomous flying drone, and then this cute little blue sketching robot won the hearts of the crowd to win. I was afraid of what would have happened if the robot would not have won, would all the robots come out and cause mayhem in protest? That could have been an ugly scene with robots taking over AU and chasing around 9400 geeks...#AURobotRiot
During last weeks Autodesk University 2013 Closing Session Amar Hanspal Senior VP of IPG Product Group introduced Moon Express and their co-founder and CEO Dr. Bob Richards. Moon Express is building a spacecraft to land on the moon.
You should definitely watch the Closing Session to see what Moon Express is planning to do, and will do.
Today's rocket scientists do not wear white shirts with pocket protectors.
"The Moon Express “MX-1” Lunar Lander Spacecraft Will Use Hydrogen Peroxide as Rocket Fuel to Propel Scientific and Commercial Payloads from Earth Orbit to the Moon."
Dr. Bob Richards took up Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski's challenge for looking outside and open innovation in the AU Opening Session. Moon Express issued a Design Challenge to look for even better solution to getting to the moon. You could be part of this monumental project, I signed up.
As an added bonus you will get to see Penn & Teller have some fun.
Thought I would share my funny and a bit embarrassing story from last week for everyone to have a midweek laugh at my expense.
Last week at Autodesk University in Las Vegas I got caught speechless while getting my shoes shined before a reception. I figured I needed to look my best. I should have done it earlier before a lunch with Carl Bass or sitting on a technology panel in front of a crowd and I will tell you why.
I went to AU with two pairs of dress shoes and both were similar in looks. I would have shined them myself but I did not have a shoe shine kit and a very nice guy was in the convention center so it just made sense to sit down for a couple minutes and get a shine and some great conversation. So I sat down and was getting a nice shoeshine done and the nice guy shining my shoes looks to me and said "sir, do you have two pairs of dress shoes". I thought "this is amazing, Vegas is full of magicians and psychics". So I asked him how did he know, he said "well you have one of each on your feet."
My brain went Pffffft.....
And at just that moment of panic an Autodesk colleague Severin Wille pops in and captures a photo of me.
Luckily in all the high profile things I did that day, not a single person noticed I was wearing two separate shoe styles. I wont be taking similar shoes to future events and not dress in the dim light morning light so fast. Now I have one shined shoe of each and they really stand out.
While writing your own software or apps, or even coding your own web page is not for everyone it is for some a very enjoyable hobby or career. The Hour of Code for the Computer Science Education Week is designed to expose people to coding or programming in hopes some may find it as their calling.
In life we need to be exposed to a little bit of everything especially when we are young to help find our passion, talent, and where we fit in. Those who know me know that I am a huge supporter of getting more young people involved in design, engineering, math, and science. So here is an opportunity to expose someone to computer science which is mainly logic and math but a great career with many opportunities and fun.
Check Out the Hour of Code Project
Sign up to participate in the Navisworks beta testing program. You can get a preview of a future release and provide your feedback.
Beta testing is where you get to download and test a version of the software still in development before the final release. You get to make a direct difference in the product by reporting bugs and providing your feedback on the new features directly to the product team members.
Sign Up Now bit.ly/ItWr0z
I have been trying to post this for the past two days, but the cold freeze in the Western United States has apparently froze Internet tubes preventing it. Actually I have been traveling four weeks ending with Autodesk University last week so I am catching up on email and other items this week before my next trip starts.
I hope you have recovered from AU 2013 and all the great things you experienced and learned and will try to implement in your office or teach others, follow up with the people you met, and consider new things you thought about and hopefully provoked by a class, keynote, or an innovation forum.
I know beyond the great keynotes, classes, innovation forums, blogger & social media meetup "BSM360" and meeting many new and old friends, it was ending up with Lynn Allen's AU 2013 badge at a reception Thursday night that was one of the fun highlight memories of AU 2013. Lynn said she had wine spilled on her at the customer appreciation party and ditched the badge. Who would have guessed I would have ended up with that badge later that night, and worn it riding a mechanical bull. The look on people's faces when they looked at the badge I was wearing and realized it was Lynn Allen's badge was funny and priceless. Thank you to my anonymous friend from San Diego for giving me the badge.
What are your top things you experienced, learned, or people you met at Autodesk University 2013?
Another Autodesk University is over and thousands of attendees are traveling home except some that are staying for the weekend or delayed by weather.I arrived back in my home city to snow and cold weather but I knew it was post AU travel day as there were 3 people discussing AutoCAD Xrefs with dimensions and also how amazing Autodesk InfraWorks is before they realized I was standing behind them. It was cool to eavesdrop and hear how charged up they were about AU, and what they had learned.
In my own experience it was a great event and my 23rd AU attended in 16 years, I heard many great perspectives on AU 2013 as attendees and I got the feedback confirming they too felt it was a great AU. What did you think of the new Keynote and Innovation Forums format like the 10:30am opening keynote time instead of first thing in the morning and also the new closing session right before the AU customer appreciation party?
I have several blog posts on events including the closing session with Amar Hanspal, Smithsonian X 3D HTML web based project for viewing parts of the museum collection, Moon Express and Penn & Teller, the customer appreciation party, photos and more in the works including the story of how I ended up with another attendees badge (Lynn Allen's badge no less).
Next year Autodesk University 2014 will be held down the street in the Mandalay Bay the site of the 2012 AU.
Autodesk University really never has to end. Learn, connect, and explore all year long. Share and build on the knowledge you gained this year as well as learn more in the Autodesk University recorded keynotes, classes and class materials throughout the year.
Information and Classes: http://au.autodesk.com
Watch the Recordings of Events including:
Keynotes & Forums
Innovation Forum: Design and Construction—Transformed
Keynote Address: The Answer Is Outside
Innovation Forum: Design and Construction—Transformed
Innovation Forum: The New Industrial Revolution
Closing Session: Let's Get this Party Started
See you next year!
It is the morning of the final day of Autodesk University, and it is a cold one at 30 degrees in Las Vegas. The high temperature today is expected to be the record lowest high temperature for Las Vegas at 41 degrees. I bet the palm trees had you fooled that it was tropical weather here. I hope you brought a jacket if you expect to step out of the convention center to see the sun and get some fresh air.
AU Thursday at a Glance:
Classes & Labs 8am – 11:30pm
Autodesk Design & Make Contest Judging by Autodesk CEO Carl Bass and CTO Jeff Kowalski
Lunch 11:30am – 1pm
Classes & Labs 1pm – 3:45pm
Closing Session 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Customer Appreciation Party 5:30pm – 8:30pm
I hope those attending Autodesk University here are enjoying their final day of excellent classes, networking, and preparing themselves for an amazing finale of the Closing Keynote with Autodesk's Amar Hanspal, Autodesk senior VP of IPG Product Group and a special performance by Penn & Teller and then the AU Customer Appreciation Party.
Some advice, pace yourself and don't wear yourself out and go wild since it is the last day and instead savor every last minute. By now you have learned a great deal to take back to your office and made many new connections to use after Autodesk University official closes. We do hope Autodesk University exceeded all your expectations and blew the minds of the 1200 attendees that said it was their first time at AU.
Check out the massive Exhibit Hall at Autodesk University. There are Autodesk booths with product team members available as well a hundreds of Autodesk partners with amazing technology to show you as well as some freebies. Worth a great view is walking to the top of the Topcon booth and getting the birds eye view of the Exhibit Hall.
Start off AU 2013’s fantastic finale with Amar Hanspal, Autodesk senior VP of IPG Product Group. This high-energy session ties together this year's ideas and trends and sends you on your way to an exciting year of creating and innovating.
Afterwards the much needed AU Party starts!