Tag Archives: autodesk

AU2015 – Ten Questions

Scott Pawlowski, Chief of Cultural and Natural Resources, WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument

Scott-PIC

(Scott Pawlowski on right of picture)

Autodesk University (AU) is a place to network and meet fellow peers and new people who work in the Autodesk world. I had the chance to meet Scott Pawlowski at the AutoCAD Blogger Social at AU2015 this year. The Autodesk Special Projects Team, which includes Pete Kelsey and Shaan Hurley worked with Scott to develop a full 3D digital model of the USS Arizona, one of the first ships to be sunk in Pearl Harbor on the island of Hawaii in WWII. We were privileged to see an amazing 3D print of the USS Arizona at the Blogger Social. The USS Arizona is an official WWII war grave and many technical, social and cultural considerations had to be taken in to account when the 3D surveying work was done by the team, which was mainly conducted under the surface of the waters of Pearl Harbor itself.

  1. What is your name and what role do you perform?

My name is Scott Pawlowski and I am Chief of Cultural and Natural Resources in the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument (VALR). That is a polite title which describes that I look after cultural heritage and scientific research at VALR for the National Park Service.

  1. What is a typical day for you?

Pretty much every day is a new day and I get to work on anything from chewing pencils whilst filling out reports for program managers in the region to leading the park dive team. I also have to maintain my dive qualifications, as well as keep the ship looking good. Any day might include figuring out how to pay for preserving our nation’s cultural heritage in the national monument, or deciding which research focus is most needed for managing effectively. I often meet with donors who give family heirlooms to the national monument museum collection. The other day we were testing ROV equipment to image the ship better and we found that the entire electrics in the dock were not wired properly so we had to troubleshoot the system! It’s a very diverse position.

  1. Do you feel a sense of pride in all that you do?

Absolutely. In this place it is important to get everything right, rendering honor to those who perished and to those who think about them; families, friends and colleagues. It is great to get feedback, good or bad, when you are dealing with the memory of people who lived and died for their country. It is a great responsibility and knowing that you get it right, by the type of feedback we receive, gives a great sense of pride.

  1. How do you get to work each day?

Through the traffic, just like everyone else….in the party wagon, my late model Honda Civic, sometimes watching construction of the light rail system here on Hawaii.

  1. What (if any) Autodesk software do you use?

Almost exclusively, I use Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite (IDS), but I am learning everything else like 123D Catch and 3ds Max. We also have a contractor using the Unity game engine for modeling and a touch of Autodesk Memento. To test the efficacy of the Autodesk software, we use CloudCompare as a counter point to see how accurate the Autodesk point clouds are.

  1. Name a project very close to your heart and why do you hold it in such high regard?

The USS Arizona digital check-up project is one of my most professionally enriching projects because of the partnerships with the fifteen project partners including Autodesk, the US Navy and US Coastguard, all helping over 1.7 million visitors understand what the resource is like here today. To herd fifteen different cats for a common goal valuable to our nation is pretty cool.

  1. Is your role challenging and if so, why?

It is challenging but in a positive way because the work requires both creativity and a lot of humanities, scientific and engineering background to get the day done. It’s nice to be in a profession where you get to think creatively a lot also.

  1. Name a group of people you have loved working with.

Working in Pearl Harbour for the last nine years has been really rewarding because of the number or really high quality people you get to work with, such as the Mobile Dive Salvage Unit One in Pearl Harbor and the 14th District Coastguard folks as well as other military units. However, Autodesk staff have also been spectacular to work with at the same level as all the other groups. That has been the cherry on the top of the sundae. I recently had the chance to say that to Carl Bass and anyone else who will listen to me.

  1. Do you have any habits or superstitions that you always stick to?

First thing in the morning, I try to sit down and be introspective about what I am going to do for the day. I also frequently clear my emergency regulator on my dive rig, but that is another necessary habit.

  1. Where would you like to be in ten year’s time?

Sitting on a beach in the Bahamas, in the Exuma Cays near Georgetown!

I would like to thank Scott for his precious time and patience on a mobile phone call from Hawaii to Glasgow (where I was working in my hotel room) as we went through the interview. The line was sketchy at best but we got through it! I have watched the USS Arizona project with interest from day one, and I have to say that the dedication and the ambition of all involved was incredible. The ship is a national monument to a war that decided our way of life as it is today, and the maintenance of the ship is imperative to ensure that it remains there for many more years for people to see and understand the sacrifice of all who served on her on that fateful day.

You can find more information using the links below: –

http://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH7kYh6hR24

http://autodesk.blogs.com/between_the_lines/2014/07/3d-prints-of-uss-arizona-artifacts.html

SCB

AU2015 – In the land of Lost Wages

So here I am again. Autodesk University 2015 (#AU2015) in the land of Lost Wages, or as it says on the map, Las Vegas. The land of beautiful sunrises, bright lights and an excess of crazy entertainment. And, you can gamble to your hearts content too.

Well, all of that aside, I am here attending Autodesk University (AU) again and I just want to impart my knowledge and experiences from AU to you, ranging from the opening keynote from Carl Bass to my thoughts on the AU event this year.

The first big event at AU is always the opening keynote from the head honcho over at Autodesk, Inc. Entering the keynote was like entering an Ibiza nightclub, with throbbing techno beats and mixes of chart hits. A big nightclub for the Autodesk nerds and geeks, you might say, with DJ’s doing their thing on the decks, under the bright lights.

Various sponsor ads adorned the big screens, including ads for AU sponsors such as Amazon Web Services, Lenovo and HP, along with an ad for Microsoft HoloLens from Autodesk VP, Lisa Campbell. You could book sessions with the HoloLens at AU, but these were booked up thick and fast from day one!

As I am sure you all know, the opening of the new Star Wars movie is upon us. The music in the arena changed to a jazzy Star Wars theme tune and out marched numerous Stormtroopers, escorting Autodesk darling and Technical Evangelist, Lynn Allen to the stage, ready to open the key note. As Donnie Gladfelter (The CAD Geek – http://thecadgeek.com/) quoted, she managed to outnerd 10,000 nerds. Check out the video on my Flickr account here: https://flic.kr/p/C3T4Wm.

As usual, Lynn introduced Carl Bass (CEO – Autodesk, Inc.) and thus the keynote began, which sets the theme of AU each year. Carl began with a company who have developed and created “dovetail” structural steel joints, followed by how amazing the new Apple HQ will be in Cupertino, CA, which has been designed by a well-known British architect, Norman Foster (http://www.fosterandpartners.com/). The Apple HQ is being built using pre-fabricated concrete panels which are ALL catalogued and monitored, even the ones in the car park! All using new and emerging technologies, where building and manufacturing are converging.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is beginning to get bigger, with machines diagnosing and repairing themselves. Bass talked of his experiences of getting his noisy lathe diagnosed with a smartphone strapped to it inside a ZipLok bag. His point was that it would be great if machines could listen to themselves and the diagnose the problem and fix themselves.

Bass continued to discuss the drought of talented people who think innovatively and in a certain way, and how to recruit those people. Bass used an example of drinks bars being available in the Facebook HQ on each floor. He said he found it odd that Facebook needed these kind of enticements to get staff and wondered if this was the best way to get people working for you.

Bass then went on to highlight some of the amazing projects that some of the Autodesk interns have worked on in the last year and how they wanted to work on things that mattered, instead of having the incentive of a drinks bar on each floor. The old way or recruiting is changing. Free food is not the big sell anymore, people want to work for companies who offer them the opportunities to work with passion and create their best work.

Bass then hands the stage to Andrew McAfee (MIT) who discusses what have been the most important developments in human history. Imagine that as a dinner party question at a dinner party full of geeks. What does the geek say?

The geek would turn the timeline in to a graph, and from that we can extrapolate that nothing has affected human development as much as the technology story and path. But what about the consequences? Trees cut down, killing whales, using children in factories….

McAfee went on to talk about a book by William S Jevons called The Coal Question, which raised the question of being healthier and wealthier, but the population was exploding. So innovation kicked in and what happened? As we moved forward, we used concrete instead of wood, kerosene instead of oil. This is known as dematerialization, where we are now past the point of peak use of raw materials, which is now a “profound trend”. We are now moving with large scale computerization to dematerialize with the investment in software and equipment going up year upon year. There is a bottomless quest for software and code to create more environmentally sustainable buildings using Autodesk software.

McAfee quoted that we have two remaining challenges: –

  1. Stop cooking the planet to avoid climate change
  2. The labour force is now doing less and less due to technology

These are important changes where we are seeing corporate profits going up and salaries going down, with the labour share of income getting lower and lower.

McAfee then went on to use two famous quotes to end his session; one from Winston Churchill in 1949 just after World War II and another from Freeman Dyson.

Jeff Kowalski (CTO – Autodesk, Inc.) then took the stage. His first quote was that in the next twenty years we will have more change than in the last 2,000 years with the next age being the AUGMENTED age, with computation systems that help, make, work and think. Tools we use will move from PASSIVE to GENERATIVE, using algorithms to develop many design ideas at once. He used the example of a panel design used for aircrew seating in an Airbus aircraft, that used generative design. It is changing aircrew seating by designing a lighter, stronger panel that saves 500,000 tonnes of steel in weight, thus reducing aircraft emissions to the equivalent of having 96,000 less cars on the road.

Kowalski then went on to state that we would start to use INTUITIVE design tools, such as advanced machine learning systems that remember and use patterns. They would then also be EMPATHIC by working with us, remembering our preferences. Kowalski closed with the example of Bishop, an Autodesk robot in the Autodesk Applied Sciences Lab, developing HIVE, a pavilion that is being designed by both human and robot, which was an exhibit at AU2015 this year.

Kowalski then handed the stage to what was to be a presentation that I, personally, found to be both amazing and inspirational. Dr Hugh Herr (MIT) builds prosthetic body parts. He is the most incredible human being. He lost his legs to frostbite when mountain climbing and after surgery, he asked if he would ever climb again. He was told no, so against all odds, he began to develop a set of new, bionic legs that would allow him to climb again.

IMG_3614

As Herr quoted, he used technology to heal himself and rehabilitate to the point where he is now actively climbing again using a set of bionic legs he has developed in the incredible field of bionics. Herr’s story is as inspiring as it is amazing, both with the human story and the incredible use of technology where he is using nano mapping of the brain and the body to develop robots to measure the body and design bespoke bionic body parts of each individual. As Herr quoted, without technology, he is a cripple, but with technology, he is free.

Kowalski then took the stage again, commenting on how we are now designing a nervous system connecting us to the objects around us; buildings, toys, cars. He used a humourous example of the drinks and snacks provided in Las Vegas hotel rooms where if you moved an item, the sensor under it charged it to your room. And speaking of Vegas hotels, housekeeping arriving at the wrong time. Maybe a sensor should be designed to let housekeeping know that you need privacy, such as when the shower is in use or when you are asleep, instead of the usual “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door handle. What sort of waving action should be used for a paper towel dispenser? Kowalski demonstrated, much to the amusement of his audience. Kowalski went on to talk about web designers designing down to pixel size and imagining that kind of information coming to you as a user of technology. Kowalski then went on to quote that we should be making “stuff that people want”.

Kowalski’s closing example of the use of technology was Bandito Bros, a crazy car company who develop cars that jump huge distances and loop the loop in real life, in the same way that our Hot Wheels used to when we were children. They are working with Autodesk, developing an intelligent car with a nervous system, calculating every move a car makes. The information gained allowed a generative car chassis to be developed and manufactured using Autodesk Dreamcatcher.

Kowalski closed the session with the quote:

The future….the AUGMENTED age”.

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at AU this year. It is a time to learn, network and meet old friends and make new ones. A high point for me was the Blogger Social held by Shaan Hurley (Autodesk, Inc.). This year we were treated to a 3D print of the USS Arizona that was sunk in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, in WW2. This was an Autodesk special project headed up by Pete Kelsey (Autodesk, Inc.) in conjunction with the US National Parks Service where LIDAR, photogrammetry and reality capture were used to create a 3D model of the sunken ship in order to monitor and maintain it. You can check out Shaan Hurley’s blog, Between The Lines, where he writes about the project here: http://autodesk.blogs.com/between_the_lines/2014/07/3d-prints-of-uss-arizona-artifacts.html.

Another great moment was the Autodesk User Group International (AUGI) Annual General Meeting (AGM). As a serving Director on the Board of Directors for AUGI, I can safely say that the organisation is very close to my heart, and this year, the presentation excelled with the use of Bob Bell’s lightsabre, combined with Kate “Leia” Morrical and Curt “Obi Wan” Moreno. The nerd humour in that half an hour made my AU. Total nerd humour at its best.

If you are yet to become an AUGI member, why not sign up? Just head on over to www.augi.com, and sign up for the Basic membership. It’s free forever and if you like it, consider a paid Premier ($25/annum) or Professional ($100/annum) membership later on to gain even more AUGI benefits such as the printed version of AUGIWorld magazine as a Professional AUGI member.

This was my ninth AU, and I have to say that whilst the Vegas lights and dry desert air can be somewhat intolerable at times (make sure you get a humidifier for your hotel room), the people attending more than make up for it. You can learn what you need from world class speakers, socialise with Autodesk rock stars such as Lynn Allen and Shaan Hurley and, most importantly, make contacts that often will stay with you for the rest of your working lifetime. I have made friendships at AU that, whilst based on a professional standing, will be friends for life. These are people that share my nerd humour and have become people that you can talk to about all things Autodesk, but can also share a beer or a coffee with as well.

IMG_3598

Another little bonus this year was the chance to jam with some of my Autodesk muso buddies too. On the Tuesday night of AU, we hopped out to the city limits to a small rehearsal space to crash out some tunage. We had the remarkable talents of Teresa, Casey, Anthony, Brian, Robert, Steve and Guillermo, plus myself, and we had a blast kicking out some classic rock tunes. My highlight of the night was performing lead vocal to ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man…..

So, now back in the cold, grey UK, I do miss the bright lights of Vegas, but not for the same reasons some people do. I miss the Autodesk camaraderie, the nerd humour and the buzz of being in a place where approximately 10,000 other Autodesk nerds get together to learn, network and share (and maybe, just maybe, grab a beer or two!).

I have set up a Flickr account to upload all of my photos from AU, so check them out here.

Autodesk University Las Vegas 2016 will be held at The Venetian Hotel and Casino between November 15 – 17, 2016. So save the dates in your diaries!

Happy CADD’ing!

SCB

 

AutoCAD 2015 – A Move to the Dark Side?

I love getting my Star Wars quotes in to my articles and blogs, so when I saw the new AutoCAD 2015 interface, I just had to smile. The Dark Side, right? OK, so, you might be thinking Darth and his cosy little relationship with the Emperor, and those aren’t the droids you’re looking for. However, the new DARKER AutoCAD 2015 interface is, as John Evans (a fellow blogger), put it….sexy! And I have to admit I agree with him.

AutoCAD 2015-Darker Interface

Fig.1 – AutoCAD 2015’s darker (sexier?) interface.

Now, while my beloved AutoCAD Blogger friends were being wined and dined by Autodesk in the lovely San Francisco (missed you guys!), I was teaching an AutoCAD Electrical 2014 course in the wilds of Yorkshire in the UK. Having just got home, and opened up AutoCAD 2015 at 11pm on a Thursday night, the darker interface (John Evans, take note) is STILL sexy!
I thought I had better get a blog in quickly as the 2015 blogs are coming think and fast and I see this AutoCAD Blogger gig as a team effort. We get the story out there for Autodesk as they work very hard to make the product better for us.

So WHAT exactly is new?

Fig.1 – AutoCAD 2015 Splash Screen

After tinkering with AutoCAD 2015 and reading my esteemed AutoCAD Blogger Council colleague’s blogs, I will try to give you an overall heads-up and my apologies for any similarities to any other AutoCAD 2015 blogs out there. Just wish I had been there to get the editorial first hand!

1. DOCUMENTING DESIGNS

After many faithful years of service, the AutoCAD MTEXT Editor has finally had a facelift. When using hardware acceleration, you now get complete transparency of the text editing window and some MS Word-like enhancements such as displaying a bullet and numbering menu next to your MTEXT as soon as you add a bullet or start a numbered list. Other MTEXT enhancements include better Caps Lock handling and column improvements. Also like MS Word, you can now Match Properties within MTEXT and the new TEXTALIGN allows for text alignment of both single-line and multi-line text to other text objects and user-defined points.

Fig.2 – AutoCAD 2015 has an enhanced MTEXT Editor.

The Geographic Location tools in AutoCAD 2015 are much slicker, being wizard-driven and are much improved from AutoCAD 2014. Map data can be captured and plotted, with a map area being embedded in to the drawing with no requirement for internet access. You can also dynamically increase map resolution.

2. CONNECTIVITY

For those of you who attended my Autodesk 360/AutoCAD 360 class at Autodesk University 2013 last December, you will already know how much I LOVE the Design Feed available in both Autodesk 360 and AutoCAD 360. It is now available in AutoCAD 2015 and acts as a messaging gateway to Autodesk 360, allowing you to post messages and images to your team via Autodesk 360. Associating your Design Feed message with an area on a drawing will display a small bubble which when clicked on, will take you to the relevant Design Feed message. Design Feed takes on a display similar to the old MSN Messenger. Internet messaging (IM) with a CAD twist!

Model data is imported using the new Autodesk Translation Framework (ATF), supporting meshes and curves, as well as colours and layers.

3. USER INTERFACE (UI)

The new darker interface with more refined icons (reminiscent of AutoCAD for Mac with the Retina display) makes AutoCAD look current. Plus, being somewhat myopic with my Jasper Conran specs, it reduces eye strain. Much nicer and more comfortable to look at and makes AutoCAD look cool (not that it wasn’t cool anyway, right?).

Other UI enhancements include: –

  • New Create Page for the creation of new drawings and to open existing AutoCAD DWG’s.
  • New ribbon galleries provide preview content from within the ribbon. So if you have inserted a block using Insert Block, you now get a preview of the blocks already inserted via a pop-out preview pane on the ribbon.
  • Enhanced visual feedback when using commands such as TRIM, EXTEND, and MATCH PROPERTIES allowing for previews of the changes to be made, giving the user an opportunity to preview any changes before committing to the drafting changes.
  • AutoCAD Help now provides an animated arrow tool in the UI, displaying the EXACT location of the tool looked up in the Help screen.
  • LINESMOOTHING (a new AutoCAD variable) turns on anti-aliasing of 2D drawings (wireframe) to make 2D objects look smoother. A nice touch, again making the UI look current and cleaner.
  • A new “lasso” selection tool that TOTALLY threw me when trying to perform a regular selection window! It allows you to drag a freehand selection boundary around any shape in a drawing. Neat.
  • Cursor display badges showing the state of the current AutoCAD operation. So, when performing a ROTATE, a rotation badge is displayed in the direction of the rotation. This is set in the Drawing Units.
  • FINALLY! Layers are sorted in their natural order, allowing layers numbered 1 to 11 to be displayed in that order, instead of the 1, 11, 2, 3 order……

4. DESIGN & POINT CLOUDS

You may have noticed a silent install of Autodesk ReCap with AutoCAD 2014. In AutoCAD 2015, ReCap has taken over the point cloud role with much needed performance enhancements, along with point size and density controls all in the one slider, thus making the insertion of point clouds much, much easier. New object snap options and colorization tools make the manipulation and visualisation of the point cloud much easier too.

Fig.3 – The NEW Autodesk ReCap installs with the AutoCAD 2015 install.

Enhanced colour and lighting control are provided, along with improved cropping tools for the point cloud. There is also a Point Cloud Manager (similar to the XREF Manager) that makes for much easier point cloud management.

5. CHOICES, CHOICES…..

So now you can rent or pay-as-you-go with AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT, as well as make an outright purchase. This is great and gives small and medium enterprise businesses the ability to manage their finances more effectively. They can now use a number of AutoCAD licences for the duration of a project and class it as an operating expense against the project, instead of making a large capital expenditure. This also works well with tax concerns as well. A very shrewd move by Autodesk, and a good one, in my opinion.

6. CAD MANAGEMENT & INSTALLATION

We now have a new Application Manager. Now a standalone application, it allows you to decide when to update your AutoCAD, which in turn downloads and installs the updates seamlessly. It also provides a full update and information service, allowing for easy management of service packs and hot fixes.

Fig.4 – The NEW Autodesk Application Manager

7. RELEASE?

So when do we get our hands on the official release of AutoCAD 2015 and other associated 2015 products? March 28th is the official release so only a day to go!

I think Autodesk have done a great job with AutoCAD 2015. There are some great user enhancements in there and a shift towards usability rather than pushing the cloud. They have listened to the user base and brought in some great new features and commands. Nice work, Autodesk.

Also, a big thanks to Shaan Hurley (Between The Lines) for posting our AutoCAD 2015 blog links!

So, enjoy your AutoCAD 2015 releases and happy CADD’ing!

SB

 

Autodesk 360: Part 4 – Synchronization with Autodesk 360

The fourth (and final) part of my blog series on Autodesk 360 is now live on the CADspeed page.

You can find Part 4 of 4 of the series here.

(Link here: http://cadspeed.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/autodesk-360-part-4-synchronization-with-autodesk-360/).

I hope you enjoy the read and it ties in with the previous blog series about AutoCAD WS.

You can also find Part 3 of this blog series here.

(Link here: http://cadspeed.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/autocad-360-part-3-collaboration-between-fixed-and-mobile-locations/).

Keep an eye out for more CADspeed blogs in the future!!!

Until next time, happy CADD’ing (or should that be Cloud’ing?)

SB

Autodesk 360, Part 2: What Can You Do With It? [CADspeed]

The second part of my blog series on Autodesk 360 is now live on the CADspeed page.

You can find Part 2 of 4 of the series here.

(Link here: http://cadspeed.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/autocad-360-part-2-what-can-you-do-with-it).

I hope you enjoy the read and it ties in with the previous blog series about AutoCAD WS.

You can also find Part 1 of this blog series here.

(Link here: http://cadspeed.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/autocad-360-part-1-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work/).

Happy CADD’ing (or should that be Cloud’ing?)

SB

AutoCAD 2012 Quick Tip – Measuring Areas (AutoCAD) – Part 3

Level: REGULAR USER/INTERMEDIATE

OK, as promised (!), here we are for Part 3 of Measuring Areas in AutoCAD 2012.

In Part 2, I showed you how to calculate areas using the AREA command. What I am going to show you in Part 3 is how to use AutoCAD FIELDS to display those area values on your drawing as exact units of measurement. Now, I am based in the UK, so I will be calculating my room areas in square metres. However, those of you who still use imperial measurement (my American friends, for example), you can still do this with square feet if required.

Now, we still have our room and floor polylines displayed on our drawing. These drawing entities have information associated with them that can be displayed using FIELDS. This is the xData I mentioned in Part 2. The best bit about FIELDS is that when a polyline is edited and the area changes so does the area value in the displayed FIELD.

Section 1 – Displaying Floor Area with FIELDS

So, let’s do the easy one first. Our floor area. The drawing is very simple and we have one rectangular polyline (in green) representing our floor area.

Utilising the AutoCAD ISOLATE command from Part 2, we will isolate the floor area so that nothing else gets in the way. We can easily move the text we create later. So, just select the green floor polyline and right click and select Isolate. Fig.1 shows the isolated polyline.

Fig.1 – The isolated floor polyline

We can now use the Multiline Text command (MTEXT) to place some text within the polyline. Make sure you have a suitable text style (I tend to use Calibri or Verdana as my font) and make sure the text is the right height for use in the Model tab. In this example, I have used a text style called LABELS and given it a fixed text height of 150mm in the text style. See Fig.2 below.

Fig.2 – The Text Style dialog box

We will put the text directly in to the design space (Model tab) as they are purely labels and do not require any annotation scaling. If you know how to use annotative scaling and wish to use it, please do so. I will be writing a blog on annotative scaling in the future so don’t worry if you haven’t got a clue what I am talking about!

Using MTEXT with your chosen text style (in my case, LABELS), place your text area in the centre of the polyline area as shown in Fig.3. I have set my current layer to the same layer as the floor polyline, FLOORAREAS.

Fig.3 – Placing MTEXT in the centre of the floor area polyline

Type the following in the Multiline Text Editor once you have placed your text area:

FLOOR 1

GIA =

(GIA is an abbreviation for Gross Internal Area).

Then with the text cursor just after the EQUALS symbol, right click and select Insert Field as shown in Fig.4 below.

Fig.4 – Using Insert Field on the right click shortcut menu

The FIELD dialog box will appear. In the FIELD CATEGORY pulldown (top left), select OBJECTS. Then, select OBJECT in the list displayed. You will see Object Type and Property appear in the central column of the dialog as shown in Fig.5 below.

Fig.5 – The FIELD dialog box

Click on the small icon next to the Object Type field as shown in Fig.5. You will be taken in to the drawing. Select the green floor polyline. You will go back in to the FIELD dialog but now the properties of the selected polyline will be displayed as shown in Fig.6 below.

 

Fig.6 – The FIELD dialog box with precision and format controls shown

As you can see, the current area of the floor polyline is shown in millimetres as we used a basic metric AutoCAD template when we started drawing, so we need to set the precision and the format of the units displayed. Click on the Current precision pulldown and set the precision to TWO decimal places as we are working in square metres and don’t need it any higher than that in this case (See Fig.7).

Fig.7 – Precision settings in the FIELD  dialog box

Click on the Additional format button. The dialog box will appear. In order to display square meters we need to apply a conversion factor as shown in Fig.8. We also can place a text suffix denoting square metres (sq.m). Make sure you put a space in front of the sq.m text suffix so that the text preview (again shown in Fig.8) displays a space after the numerical value.

Fig.8 – The Additional Format dialog box

Once these settings in the Additional format dialog are set, click on OK.

Your preview in the FIELD dialog (top right) should now show 11.25 sq.m. If it does, click on OK.

Your appropriate field text (with a grey background masking to denote field text, not regular text) will display in the Multiline Text editor. You can now close the Multiline Text editor and save the changes. Your drawing will now look like it does in Fig.9

Fig.9 – The finished MTEXT showing the floor area polyline FIELD value

Select your floor polyline and right click and select Isolate and End Object Isolation as shown in Fig.10 below.

Fig.10 – Right click shortcut menu showing End Object Isolation

You can now see that your text is not in the best place. So just use the MOVE command to move the text. As it is the floor area, you normally (in an FM CAD environment) place the text outside the floor outline as shown in Fig.11.

Fig.11 – Finished drawing showing final position of MTEXT

 

Section 2 – Displaying the Room Areas with FIELDS

I won’t bore you by telling you how to do the room areas as the process is EXACTLY the same. Just make sure that you are on a separate layer such as ROOMAREAS in my case on this drawing.

Again, utilise the MOVE command to place the text where you need to and maybe consider using text justification or even rotating the text if necessary, as I have done in Fig.12 below.

Fig.12 – Finished drawing with both floor and room areas displayed

In Part 4, we will move towards putting our floor and room area values in to an AutoCAD table and looking at how the values automatically update if the room or floor polylines are edited.

As I have mentioned previously, please email me at shaun.bryant@cadfmconsult.co.uk if you need the AutoCAD DWGs (in 2010 DWG format) to work through the Quick Tip series.

In the meantime, happy CADD’ing!

SB

Autodesk updates AutoCAD WS!

OK, just a quick blog today as I am preparing for my AU Virtual Product Clinic today.

If you want to attend my product clinic, please check my previous post for details!

So, down to AutoCAD WS business. I am a big fan of AutoCAD WS and it even works well over a USB modem plugged in to my laptop, so full credit for mobility goes to Autodesk! Anyone who wants to buy me an iPad for Christmas to test it further, please let me know! LOL.

Here is the official Autodesk press release link here or you can copy and paste the full link below:

The main updates to AutoCAD WS are as follows: –

Offline support:
Most requested from existing AutoCAD WS users, designs can now be viewed and edited from mobile devices, without the need for Internet connectivity.

Direct file uploads from an iPad:
Users can now open an email attachment and upload it to their AutoCAD WS account directly from their device.

Simplified gesture interface:
Editing, drawing and markup has been enhanced to be more intuitive and similar to AutoCAD.

As usual, the new version can be downloaded from the AppStore or can be downloaded from www.autocadws.com.

Enjoy WS’ing!

SB