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One AutoCAD – Has CadJedi Bitten Off More Than He Can Chew? [PART 7]

Things have been a bit quiet from me for a while. I apologise. That thing called life gets in the way, followed by work, followed by replying to emails, followed by……well, you get the picture, right? I promise I will try to be less tardy and if you see me at Autodesk University 2019 (AU2019) in Las Vegas, I’ll buy you a beer if you remind me to make sure I write my annual AU blog! You can keep me to that too!

Talking of AU in Vegas…..

Voting for AU2019 classes is open!

The Autodesk University voting page – https://www.autodesk.com/autodesk-university/conference/las-vegas/call-for-proposals/voting

So, we are now at seven out of ten on my One AutoCAD blog series. Yep, SEVEN. How time flies. It seems like only yesterday that I was stuck in my hotel room at The Palazzo in Vegas on the Sunday morning before AU last year, crashing out my PowerPoint presentations, so that those lovely people in the Speaker Ready Room could have them. Yes, I am notorious for leaving these things to the last minute. Not this year. I have submitted WAY too many proposals and if I get several classes this year, I am going to be on top of them!

So, what has my crazy amount of AU proposals got to do with One AutoCAD you may ask? Well, more than ONE of my class proposals is about One AutoCAD (see what I did there? LOL). On a more serious note though, Autodesk subscription numbers are on the increase, including One AutoCAD, and it really does seem that subscription is the way forward for hero products such as AutoCAD and the One AutoCAD offering.

I have been a bit crazy this year though. I have submitted 1 meetup, and 12 presentation classes and those of you who have been through the AU ‘mill’ before will probably think I am a little insane, submitting so many, but it’s the taking part that counts. If you’re in it, be in it to win it! That said, I may not get a single class, but here’s hoping. If I get some classes at AU, it will be my thirteenth year speaking at AU if that is the case. Unlucky for some, but let’s hope not!

You will find the link below takes you to where you can vote for the classes YOU want to see at AU2019. I sincerely hope some of those will be mine, and if they are, I look forward to seeing you!

https://www.autodesk.com/autodesk-university/conference/las-vegas/call-for-proposals/voting

To find my classes, use the search term “CadJedi” (my old AUGI forums username) once you have clicked on the above link. You will find every class proposal there. There will also be a LinkedIn Learning community meetup like last year (if accepted) so keep an eye out for that too, as there will be lots of assistance in the meetup about how to use your LinkedIn profile to your advantage!

There will be one class you WON’T find if you use the “CadJedi” search though.

A few weeks back I was in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was working as a Subject Matter Expert for Certiport around both AutoCAD and Revit Architecture. In one of the workshops, I was working with a lovely chap called David Butts, whom I have known for many years. He’s a great colleague and friend, and we only normally bump into each other at AU, or events like the one in Utah (getting across the Atlantic Ocean for a swift beer can be quite time-consuming). We were chatting away at a pub quiz night organized by Certiport and came up with a great idea for an AU class; a bunch of both Revit Architecture users and Revit MEP users ‘arguing’ their case for why all Revit models should be managed properly. A gunfight at the AU Corral, you might say, with David and myself being the Wyatt Earp’s of the Corral, reigning in the ‘fighting’ between the Revit users.

So, that class proposal is in there, but you need to search for something else on the voting page.

And here’s where the humour kicks in.

Here’s the deal. I have been likened to a few English comedians/comedic actors by numerous AU attendees. One of these is Simon Pegg (Benji in the Mission Impossible movie franchise, Hot Fuzz, Paul, and yes, Shaun Of The Dead even!). However, my kids (and it seems most of the AU Vegas attendees) always go for another English comedian/actor with the surname Gervais. Yep, you guessed it. Ricky Gervais. We had a feeling his legal team might be in touch if we used his EXACT name (and, probably, the Autodesk legal department), so we have used the alias “Mickey Gervais” for me and David is using his alias, “The Redneck Tech”! This caused a high degree of hilarity at the time (but maybe you had to be there or have a few beers like we had).

So, if you want to see the Revit Showdown at the AU Corral, hosted by English celebrity “Mickey Gervais” and the infamous “Redneck Tech”, please vote for this class too!

Here’s all the classes (in no particular order), so that you can make an informed decision, with the LinkedIn Learning meetup at the end. Simply click on the voting link above, and use the search term shown for each class: –

Class ID: CS317875 – Cert Prep: Autodesk Certified Professional (ACP) – AutoCAD

Search: “CadJedi”

Class ID: CS317867 – One AutoCAD – There Can Be Only ONE? (there’s actually TEN!)

Search: “CadJedi”

Class ID: CS317866 – AutoCAD: Take AutoCAD On The Road And Go Mobile!

Search: “CadJedi”

Class ID: CS317865 – How Do YOU Learn?

Search: “CadJedi”

Class ID: CS317864 – AutoCAD: Using the AutoCAD web app (or….Yes, AutoCAD, in a browser!)

Search: “CadJedi”

Class ID: AS317858 – The Definitive AutoCAD Tips & Tricks Class (or….How To Look Cool Using AutoCAD)

Search: “CadJedi”

Class ID: AS317859 – Annotation Scaling Explained (or…Getting The Measure Of AutoCAD)

Search: “CadJedi”

Class ID: AS317860 – AutoCAD: Are You Plotting And Publishing Yet?

Search: “CadJedi”

Class ID: AS317863 – Housekeeping In AutoCAD – Keep Those Drawings Shipshape!

Search: “CadJedi”

Class ID: CS317869 – CAD Standards – An Essential Element Of The AutoCAD Workflow

Search: “CadJedi”

Class ID: CS317873 – AutoCAD: Setting Up A Project Drawing Workflow With PlanGrid

Search: “CadJedi”

Class ID: AS317876 – Cert Prep: Autodesk Certified Professional (ACP) – Revit Architecture

Search: “CadJedi”

Class ID: CS320027 – Architects vs. Engineers – The Revit Showdown at The AU Corral!

Search: “Mickey Gervais” “Redneck Tech”

And the proposed meetup is here: –

Community Meetup ID: CS317856 – Online Learning For All (with LinkedIn Learning)

  • Introducing LinkedIn Learning
  • Working with your LinkedIn profile
  • Choosing the right course for you
  • Adding your accomplishments to your LinkedIn profile
  • Certification Preparation (Cert Prep)
  • Adding your Certification badges

And just so you know, I wanted to get a blog out there that made sure that, firstly, you knew where to find all my classes, but also, secondly (and more importantly), to see how committed I am to make sure I speak at AU. Sure, you might say, it’s all about the recognition and the AU ‘rockstar’ status. Yeah, that is fun, but more importantly for me, it’s the CONNECTION.

Teaching users how to do the cool stuff and seeing their enthusiasm for the subject matter is what drives me. I’ve been using Autodesk products for 31 years this year (showing my age now…LOL) and I sincerely want to give back and pay it forward. For that reason, I am always happy to be an AU Speaker Mentor too, helping AU Speaker newbies craft their first AU classes, and give them ALL the knowledge and expertise I can to make them shine (and not be to as nervous as hell in a classroom of up to 100 AU attendees too)! I also love being an Autodesk Expert Elite, working closely with Autodesk to help the software users and develop programs that make the user experience even better!

AU2019 is shaping up to be a great AU. Don’t forget though, it’s not just a learning event. It is the best Autodesk networking event on the planet. Get out and have some fun! Book to go to the socials like the Blogger Social (if you are a blogger, of course!) and the opening meet and greets. Enjoy the AU Party, and make sure you have LOTS of business cards! Also, get the LinkedIn app on your phone. There’s a great little function in the LinkedIn app that allows you to share your LinkedIn profile. It’s the four little squares (top right) that look like the Windows logo.

Click on it, and you can either show your LinkedIn Code (a QR code) or scan someone elses and it adds them to your LinkedIn connections! Great when you have run out of your AU supply of business cards!

On that note, I must go and order my business cards for AU this year, so have an amazing weekend and I’ll see you in Vegas in November!!

Happy voting!

SCB.

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One AutoCAD Gets “One” Vision [Part 6]

March 27th was the big day. Another new version of AutoCAD with AutoCAD 2020 and, in my humble opinion, some superb 20/20 vision from Autodesk (see what I did there?). This includes the AutoCAD in your One AutoCAD subscription as well as standalone, SLM and NLM licenses. I gave it the weekend to check out the new stuff so that I could give you a thorough breakdown.

So, you’ll remember my first One AutoCAD blog? Where “there can be only one…” and the Queen theme from the movie Highlander? Here’s another nuance to Queen with their great track “One Vision”, the opening track from the A Kind of Magic album. The album was the soundtrack to the famous movie Highlander, and it was on TV last night, to my amusement.

So, what is new in the dark, sleek AutoCAD 2020?

Read on.

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS

One of the things I always look for in a new version of AutoCAD is better performance. If you are going to upgrade to a new version, it needs to be quicker, not slower, right? This leads me on to the first enhancement in AutoCAD 2020, because we all hate waiting for downloads and watching the install bar percentage, don’t we?

Upon downloading, I noticed a substantial decrease in download time using the Install Now option in the management portal, plus a big decrease in install time too. Now, I have just gone wild and purchased another MacBook Pro 15 (2018) laptop, with the new chipset AND a rapid SSD drive, and the install time was remarkably fast, so faster speeds were to be expected.

However, Autodesk have worked hard to bring down install times, and you will find that with an SSD drive the install time is now about half the time you were used to. Now whilst this is beneficial if you have the latest and greatest drives (SSD, for example), I have not installed it on a regular HDD drive, so I have nothing to compare it to. However, SSD drives do make a great difference on both install and access times.

Autodesk have also worked on network access times in AutoCAD 2020, especially in the areas of XREFs and blocks. Plus, you will find that hatches, tool palettes, fonts, linetypes, template files, standards files and so on, are all quicker, depending on file size and complexity. This is something I always notice in AutoCAD nowadays, especially since I started on AutoCAD back in the MS-DOS days. You youngsters don’t know you’re born, what with Windows and all! Try using a puck and a monochrome CRT monitor!

GRAPHICS CONFIGURATION

Staying with improvements in AutoCAD 2020 on a system level, Autodesk have (again) worked on the graphics quality in AutoCAD 2020. AutoCAD 2019 was improved for 4K and hi-res monitors, and it has been improved upon even more, so that it launches correctly with Direct X drivers; DirectX 9, DirectX11 or no drivers, and with the usual 4K support. Dual monitor setups are also supported.

Upon launching the GRAPHICSCONFIG command, you will see that AutoCAD has three different modes; Basic, Intermediate and Advanced, with Intermediate Mode optimizing your AutoCAD graphics display.


NEW DARK THEME

AutoCAD 2019 had an icon interface change. The ribbon icons were cleaner and more functional.

AutoCAD 2020’s dark theme takes that further by providing a dark, blue/black background where the new icon interface ‘pings’ rather nicely. Not only does this give a dark, sleek look to AutoCAD 2020 but it reduces eye strain too. We all spend too much time in front of our screens (come on, admit it, we do) and this new dark theme takes the edge off. Not only that, but with the new theme, your contextual ribbon tabs highlight nicely with a blue against the dark theme too, making it easier to spot which ribbon tab you are using.

The new dark theme color controls can be found in the AutoCAD Options dialog box.

(GEEK SIDE NOTE: Look at Darth Vader’s costume in Star Wars then look at the AutoCAD dark theme. “Chosen dark side, hasn’t one?” as Yoda would say).

NEW BLOCKS PALETTE

Having been a CAD manager and having worked in Facilities Management (FM) for several years, I have developed a love/hate relationship with AutoCAD blocks. Until now. The usual methods to insert a block in to a drawing is to use the INSERT command, DesignCenter or Tool Palettes. These different options normally give you enough scope to work with, but not anymore. Suddenly, inserting blocks has become SO much easier!

You still have the usual blocks flyout on the Insert command on the ribbon but click on Recent Blocks… or Blocks from Other Drawings… and you will see the new Blocks palette. This (for me) is exactly what the CAD doctor ordered! (You can also just type INSERT to bring up the new Blocks palette too).

Not only does this new palette give great previews of the blocks in the drawing (Current Drawing tab) but you can check out blocks that have been used recently (Recent tab). And even better, you can use the Other Drawing tab to find blocks in other drawings and locations.

You have the regular Insertion Options such as Insertion Point, Rotate, Scale and Explode but you now have a new option called Repeat Placement. This works in the same way as the Copy command, allowing you to insert multiple instances of the same block reference, but it is built in to the Insert command now, thus enhancing your productivity when using blocks.

There are numerous new and revised commands for blocks too. Here’s the list: –

BLOCKSPALETTE – This will open the new Blocks palette.

BLOCKSPALETTECLOSE – This closes the Blocks palette (ya think?) 😊

CLASSICINSERT – Opens the classic Insert dialog box, that we all know and love.

INSERT – This command will now start the BLOCKSPALETTE command except in customised scripts that open the legacy INSERT command for compatibility.

-INSERT – As usual, this will start the command line version of the classic INSERT command.

There are also a few new system variables too. Here’s the list: –

BLOCKMRULIST – This one controls the number of blocks displayed in the Recent tab of the new Blocks palette. Very useful if you need to see more or less blocks.

BLOCKNAVIGATE – This one is VERY useful. It controls the file and blocks that are displayed in the Other Drawing tab of the Blocks palette. It’s great if you are using a central drawing that contains all the blocks you need. Please note though, it takes effect the next time you start AutoCAD 2020.

BLOCKREDEFINEMODE – This variable decides whether that lovely little dialog box pops up asking you if you want to redefine a block after inserting a block from the Blocks palette with the same name as a block inside your drawing.

BLOCKSTATE (Read only) – Whilst only a Read Only variable, this one tells you if the Blocks palette is open or closed. Always useful, because you can lose a palette occasionally on the screen, and this will tell you if the palette is open or not, and if you need to look for it!

PURGE COMMAND REDESIGN

PURGE is an extremely useful command but needed to be used with care because (sometimes) you could find the right information about what needed to be purged from your drawing. The redesign of the PURGE dialog box gives you MUCH more information about what you are purging from the drawing.

Here’s the new PURGE stuff: –

  • The new dialog box gives you LOADS of information about objects that CANNOT be purged, including a count of the number of those objects and their influence on how big your file is, which is great for rationalizing objects that bloat out your DWG files. You can also use the Select Objects button to find and zoom in on those objects too.
  • The Find Non-Purgeable Items button allows you to find information about those items and why they cannot be purged, which seriously helps compared to the older PURGE dialog box.
  • You can now purge out zero-length geometry without losing empty text objects.
  • There are now check boxes in the Named Items Not Used panel. This now allows for categorizing purgeable items, rather than having to purge each individual item.

The new PURGE command is now also available on the ribbon in the new Cleanup panel in the Manage tab.

DWG COMPARE IMPROVEMENTS

DWG Compare is a superb command already and in AutoCAD 2020, Autodesk have integrated it deeper in to the product, giving a much cleaner experience, in my humble opinion. When you activate the command, it now has an in-app toolbar which allows you to maintain concentration on the drawings in hand, and the comparisons now show ‘in’ the drawings with an option to create a separate comparison DWG file.

Current (first) drawing to be compared against
Second drawing to be comapared against first drawing

As usual, there are several new commands for the new DWG Compare too. Here they are: –

COMPARECLOSE – As it says on the tin, this command closes down the DWG Compare toolbar and closes down any comparison you might have in place at the time of closing.

COMPAREEXPORT – This command takes your comparison in to a new DWG file and displays it in the file tabs. It is known as a snapshot drawing and it can be saved out as a new DWG, for use as a project tool to demonstrate differences in drawings, for example.

COMPAREIMPORT – This one (for me) is extremely useful. The command imports objects from the compared file into your current drawing, against which you are making the comparison. What’s great about it, is that ONLY the selected objects that are in the COMPARED file, and NOT in the current file are imported, thus allowing easy selection and sorting.

If you are using some of the One AutoCAD toolsets (Electrical and Mechanical), there are some limitations. Shaan Hurley’s blog on his Between The Lines page mentions these here, just scroll down a bit. Thanks, Shaan!

SAVE TO WEB & MOBILE ENHANCEMENTS

For those of you who attended Autodesk University 2018 (AU 2018) last November, you may have attended my class where I went through how to take AutoCAD mobile. If you didn’t here it is: https://bit.ly/2HOOAO6

I am also teaching this class at AU London 2019 in June, so maybe I’ll see you there!

The link to the AU London 2019 website is here: https://bit.ly/2Vr2qJf

I love that you can now save to the AutoCAD web and mobile apps for easy movement of your designs on to your phone, tablet or browser. In my years in Facilities Management (FM), these tools would have been extremely useful!

So, what is new in Save To Web & Mobile?

When saving out to Web & Mobile, you can now include external reference files (XREFs), if they are attached to your host drawing. In the case below, there aren’t any, but I hope you get the idea!

If the CAD Manager Control Utility is enabled in your AutoCAD installation, you can disable Web & Mobile, to make sure files stay within the organization network and filing structure. This is great for file safety and security.

Save to Web & Mobile is accessible from the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).

CLOUD SERVICES SUPPORT

Following on from Save to Web & Mobile enhancements, you will be very pleased to know that AutoCAD 2020 now supports several cloud-based services for the Save, Save As and Open commands. These are your USUAL save and open commands and are NOT related to the Web & Mobile options. This is your regular Save, Save As and Open commands.

What this means is that you can now save directly to Microsoft OneDrive, Box, Dropbox and Google Drive which, again, allows you to be much more mobile with your AutoCAD designs by utilizing the cloud directly.

You can also add these cloud-based repositories to your Places list in AutoCAD too! You will see the link to my Microsoft OneDrive account in the graphic below.

MEASURE GEOMETRY: QUICK MEASURE

I am LOVING this new command. Measuring in AutoCAD is easy, but now it is even easier and quicker. The Quick Measure option in the MEASUREGEOM command is an absolute pleasure to use.

Quick Measure gives you an on-screen readout of dimensions, distances and angles in your 2D drawings, simply as you move over objects in the drawing. When Quick Measure is switched on it displays this information dynamically as you hover over an object, presenting you with a visual of dimensions, distances and angles, and even displays 90-degree angles as squares so that you know the geometry is exactly ‘square’.

Quick Measure displaying dimensions and the right angled corners of a rectangle
Quick Measure displayed the radius of a circle

SECURITY ENHANCEMENTS

Now, I wasn’t aware of these until I read Shaan Hurley’s Between The Lines blog. With every AutoCAD release, I read Shaan’s blog first (sorry, AutoCAD team!) because he has been around AutoCAD as long as I have (even longer, in fact!) and he always provides an insightful look in to the new version. Cheers, Shaan!

So, according to Shaan, there are numerous security improvements in AutoCAD 2020, and they cannot be talked about directly for reasons of security: –

  • A cyber security in AutoCAD 2020 has been addressed.
  • Four potential exploits in AutoCAD data files have been addressed.
  • AutoCAD dependencies on DLLs have been upgraded or removed.
  • A future vulnerability in a component is being addressed.
  • A potential server vulnerability has been closed with an upgrade.

Now, yes, these all seem very vague, right? Well, let’s face it, in today’s technology world, the last thing Autodesk want to do is announce EXACTLY where these security enhancements are so as to avoid any threats to the enhancements provided. It all makes sense to keep them as vague as possible. Nowadays, cyber criminals and criminal organizations are often looking for ways to hack and steal designs and your intellectual property. This is EXACTLY why it is so important to maintain the latest AutoCAD products and updates. It’s not just about the new features and commands, the back end of AutoCAD is just as important, if not, more important for this reason. As Shaan states in his blog, “Autodesk continues to monitor cyber threats and strives to deliver products that conform to current and anticipated security requirements.” Think about that for a moment, and then think about what YOU would do if your designs were to be hacked or stolen in anyway because you hadn’t put appropriate measures in place, including keeping AutoCAD up to date.

CONCLUSION

So, that’s AutoCAD 2020 covered, and I hope that you have gained the knowledge you need to see how AutoCAD 2020 has evolved with the ‘one vision’ that Autodesk have for the AutoCAD product and its associated cloud and mobile functionality. I would like to thank Shaan Hurley for his annual AutoCAD wisdom, and the Autodesk team, for giving me the all the information I need to keep abreast of all things AutoCAD. Cheers, all!

You can find Shaan Hurley’s AutoCAD 2020 blog here.

And the official AutoCAD blog about AutoCAD 2020 is here.

On a slight self-promotional note (hey, I have to try, right?), you can find my new AutoCAD 2020 courses over on LinkedIn Learning at the links below. Just click on each title to find them.

Learning AutoCAD 2020

AutoCAD 2020: Essential Training

AutoCAD 2020: Interface

AutoCAD 2020: Spaces and Workspaces

AutoCAD 2020: Output

Happy AutoCAD’ing!

SCB

One AutoCAD Goes To California [PART 5]

Some of you already know this, but I am an [in]structor on the LinkedIn Learning website and I create learning content about AutoCAD as an author. Some have also said that I’m a great Geico gecko impersonator too (it’s the accent), but that’s for you to decide.

A couple of times a year, I get to travel to the lovely sleepy Californian town of Carpinteria which is where one of the LinkedIn Learning campuses is based and spend a week in the zen-like calm and silence of a whisper booth. Once in the quiet of the booth, you will find me recording videos on AutoCAD, ready for the masses to learn and imbibe my imparted knowledge to become more rounded, experienced AutoCAD users. Carpinteria is a wonderful place to work, even though the weather was somewhat changeable the week I was there. I can say this, the wind off the sea that week was cold!

The zen-like calm of the whisper booth
Surf’s up on Carpinteria State Beach
Entering the tsunami zone

I also work closely with LinkedIn Learning to develop learning paths, workflows and processes to make the route to learning easier. This is something that One AutoCAD has influenced. One AutoCAD is a ‘toolbox’ with specific ‘toolsets’ for specific needs. If you need to work on an architectural project, you could use the AutoCAD Architecture toolset. If you need to develop electrical drawings, the AutoCAD Electrical toolset could be used. But where does this leave you if you only use the regular vanilla AutoCAD and want to make that step up to a One AutoCAD toolset?

The major benefit of One AutoCAD is that you have a common denominator. That is the DWG file format. That DWG file can be opened in any of the One AutoCAD toolsets and be converted to whatever you need it to be, regardless of discipline.

I have been fortunate to develop online learning courses for several of the One AutoCAD toolsets for LinkedIn Learning, and realise the incredible time savings these toolsets can give the user especially when combined with the appropriate learning materials to gain the knowledge needed to work with them.

In fact, some of this One AutoCAD toolset training material has been recorded at the LinkedIn Learning campus in Carpinteria so you could say that One AutoCAD goes to California regularly!

Here’s a quick overview of some of the One AutoCAD toolsets I have had the pleasure of creating online learning material for: –

1.The Architecture Toolset

Many architects create 2D architectural drawings using regular standard AutoCAD. Imagine the time savings that could be made if those 2D drawings could become project-based 3D models that have the required national standards applied to them? AutoCAD Architecture not only does this, but also provides parametric building elements such as doors and windows that automatically insert in to elements such as walls and roofs. The time savings are substantial, and the presentation of the architectural designs is much more professional in a 3D format, offering 3D isometric views that provide a more realistic, real-world view on the design in hand.

LinkedIn Learning – LINK: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/autocad-architecture-essential-training-2/welcome?u=2125562

2. The Electrical Toolset

Most electrical drawings drawn in regular AutoCAD are 2D, but often the requirement is that information from one drawing needs to be linked to another drawing. The Electrical toolset does exactly this by linking all the drawings in the Project Manager, allowing for electrical schematic and panel components to be linked across drawings by way of a database behind the project. The Electrical toolset also allows you to work with specific recognised electrical standards and manufacturers, by way of intelligent blocks with attributes that tie in with specific manufacturer catalogs. The Electrical toolset also offers parametric PLC creation as well as a PLC I/O utility that develops PLCs from external spreadsheets. External drawings can also be added to electrical projects, as well as projects being copied for repetitive work.

LinkedIn Learning – LINK: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/autocad-electrical-essential-training-3/welcome?u=2125562

3. The Mechanical Toolset

The AutoCAD Mechanical toolset provides incredible functionality that allows you to develop mechanical drawings in parts and add subsequent parts to a mechanical assembly. This can be done, utilising the Mechanical and Structure workspaces in AutoCAD Mechanical, and using the Mechanical Browser, to itemise parts in each assembly, adding hide situations where hidden detail is required. The Mechanical toolset (like other toolsets) offers the ability to work to specific recognised mechanical standards, insert industry recognised parts (bolts, screws, holes etc) and even apply specific analysis to the completed mechanical components; such as bending moment analysis and Finite Element Analysis (FEA).

LinkedIn Learning – LINK: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/autocad-mechanical-essential-training-2/welcome?u=2125562

4. Mobility

The One AutoCAD subscription also offers the ability to take your AutoCAD desktop app with you using both the AutoCAD web app and the AutoCAD mobile app. I had the pleasure of recording the AutoCAD mobile app course at LinkedIn in Carpinteria just before Autodesk University 2018 (AU2018) in Las Vegas last November. I also presented a class on the AutoCAD mobile app at AU2018 too. You can find it here on the AU website.

LinkedIn Learning – LINK: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/autocad-mobile-app-2?u=2125562

AU Website – LINK: https://www.autodesk.com/autodesk-university/class/AutoCAD-Take-Your-AutoCAD-Road-You-and-Go-Mobile-2018

The AutoCAD web app and AutoCAD mobile app give you a huge amount of flexibility by taking your designs with you, either in a browser (web app) or on a mobile device (mobile app). I had the privilege of recording the AutoCAD mobile app course on a 12.7” iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil. I can safely say I wish I had sneaked them home in my suitcase! A superb combination of hardware and software application, that takes your designs to a whole new level. That, combined with the AutoCAD web app, gives you every medium you need to go mobile with AutoCAD!

LinkedIn Learning – LINK: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/autocad-web-app-taking-your-drawings-online/take-your-autocad-drawings-online-in-the-autocad-web-app?u=2125562

Overall, the One AutoCAD subscription gives you flexibility to work in any discipline and go mobile should you need to. The DWG file format gives you seamless compatibility between the toolsets, and there is plenty of online learning out there to allow you to gain the knowledge you need about any of the toolsets too. I create some of it, and yes you may see that as blatant self-promotion (which it is…LOL), but I also want to bring it to your attention. You can learn ANYTHING if you try and why not consider using the One AutoCAD toolset you need and LEARN how to use it effectively for the reasons I have given above. All the One AutoCAD toolsets provide substantial time savings, AND allow you to work to known standards and methodologies in each of the industry disciplines too.

LinkedIn Learning used to be Lynda.com and one of the Lynda catchphrases was “You can learn it”.

You CAN learn it. The only thing holding you back is you. Pick your toolset and go learn it. See what a difference it makes.

Happy learning!

SCB.

AutoCAD 2019 – There can be only ONE….

For those of you old enough to remember the movie Highlander, when the Quickening starts there can be only one. Apart from the stunning Queen soundtrack, it was a great movie, and Connor MacLeod (actor Christopher Lambert) of the clan MacLeod was THE one, combined with incredible support from famous co-star Sean Connery as Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez, who (unfortunately) does lose his head.

As they say in the movie (and the Queen song), it’s a kind of magic……

(For those of you that like a bit of Freddie and the band Queen, here’s the link to the album, A Kind Of Magic – CLICK HERE).

So, here we go, why ONE AutoCAD?

ONE AutoCAD

In the world of the new version of AutoCAD, AutoCAD 2019, we have only ONE too. When you subscribe to AutoCAD 2019, you get ONE subscription, but the many faces of AutoCAD; Architecture, Electrical, Mechanical, MEP, and various other flavors. This not only gives you a specialized AutoCAD by allowing you to work in various disciplines and verticals, but also gives you various workflow improvements too. However, Civil 3D has been omitted from the ONE AutoCAD intentionally, and I am sure Autodesk have their reasons for that.

Design Toolsets

When you log in to your account portal, you will see that it has changed and the view of your subscribed AutoCAD you get now is one (pardon the pun) of many, listing all the products under your main AutoCAD subscription. You will also find that the view of AutoCAD in your Autodesk Desktop App has changed as well.

What’s nice here is that you can select all the AutoCADs to be trialed or you can select individual flavors of AutoCAD to be trialed. This is especially advantageous if you are already a vanilla AutoCAD user and want to test a specific flavor of AutoCAD to see if it fulfills your needs and requirements. For those of you that just want all the flavors, but for one price, it is a great move by Autodesk also.

On your desktop, each flavour of AutoCAD will still have its own individual icon (just to clutter your desktop, I guess…an untidy desktop is a sign of a great mind, right?), plus, there will be no change to the DWG Launcher. You know, that little gizmo in Windows that allows you to open all DWG files using AutoCAD as the preferred application to do so.

Web and Mobile

There have been some great improvements in AutoCAD 2019. One of these is the ability to save your desktop AutoCAD designs directly to AutoCAD Web and AutoCAD Mobile. If you go to the Quick Access Toolbar (top left of the desktop AutoCAD application window), you will see the new icons there that not only provide you with the facility to save to web and mobile but also go directly to those saved cloud-based designs and open them directly in the AutoCAD desktop again as well. This is also available in the AutoCAD application menu. These cloud-based files go to A360 Drive in the usual way.

Save to Web and Mobile

So, what’s new with AutoCAD Web and Mobile then? Well, AutoCAD Web is much enhanced to give a highly sophisticated browser-based AutoCAD interface, that is quicker and faster. I won’t bore you with the techie stuff, but suffice to say, you will be using the equivalent AutoCAD executable (EXE) in your browser, the same as you would be on your desktop. This makes for a much-needed boost to what was (sometimes) quite a jerky, laggy web-based application in the past.

You will find AutoCAD Web at web.autocad.com and if you are using the subscription version (it comes with full AutoCAD), you get a great new command panel incorporating some of the more familiar AutoCAD drafting icons, that even have a preview, just like desktop AutoCAD.

AutoCAD Web

What’s also new is the referencing capability of AutoCAD Web. You can add reference drawings (XREFs) at your leisure, and if they are saved in the cloud in the same location as the host drawing, using the save to web and mobile options in your desktop AutoCAD, they will operate in the same way as relative XREFs that you might use locally.

Something I love (yes, love, not just like) is that you now have the native AutoCAD window and crossing selection tools in AutoCAD Web. They work in the same way as your desktop AutoCAD and provide a rounder user experience. We have grown used to these methods of selection, and it is great to see Autodesk taking the desktop user experience tools in to the web-based version. It is by no way perfect yet, but I can see AutoCAD Web getting to a point where your AutoCAD desktop will become fully mobile. The hardware is there now; such as the Apple iPad Pro and the Microsoft Surface Pro, that have the grunt under the hood to run AutoCAD Web and AutoCAD Mobile well.

What makes AutoCAD Web even more like desktop AutoCAD is that there are even some keyboard shortcuts included as well. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a keyboard shortcut or two? Trust me, as a seasoned AutoCAD user (thirty years this year), I am a big fan of keyboard shortcuts!

Overall, though, I have to say that I am mightily impressed with the new AutoCAD Web. It has been well thought out and gives you a great browser-based AutoCAD experience that relates back to your desktop AutoCAD this time. And with regular updates promised by Autodesk, I can see AutoCAD Web developing at a quick pace to bring you a much slicker experience with AutoCAD Web on the web. Did I say ‘web’ enough there for you?

New Features and Enhancements

Back to the desktop AutoCAD now. Autodesk have added a couple of new features to AutoCAD 2019.

On the new Collaborate tab in the AutoCAD ribbon, you will find the DWG Compare command. This new feature is, quite simply, excellent. I wish I’d had it years ago. You can now compare two separate DWG files and AutoCAD creates a new comparison DWG file, highlighting any differences between the two compared drawings, using colors and revision clouds, providing tools to iterate between each difference and zoom in to each difference automatically.

DWG Compare

Another great new feature on the Collaborate tab is Shared Views. You can upload your designs directly to the web in to the Autodesk Viewer, a cloud-based viewer. You can invite other collaborators to view your design by way of a private URL that can be emailed to the respective team members. Also, in the Autodesk Viewer, there is a Comment feed that allows all invited users to comment on the shared design and link their comments to the design as well.

Shared Views

You may also notice that there are enhanced icons in AutoCAD 2019 that look different too. To bring AutoCAD 2019 in line with the 4K monitors out there, over 5000 icons have been revamped and redesigned in the ribbon, status bar and application menu. They provide a slick, professional look to AutoCAD that looks modern and clean. The cartoony icons now have a tidier, minimalist look that I have to say I prefer.

Enhanced Icons

Conclusions

Autodesk are taking AutoCAD to a new level with this release. Not only are you getting numerous flavors of AutoCAD as one subscription package, but you’re also getting a great web-based offering too, along with some cool new features and enhancements in the desktop application, with cool command icons. And don’t forget, you STILL get seamless DWG compatibility with AutoCAD for Mac too.

Overall, a nice AutoCAD offering from Autodesk, and I love the new AutoCAD Web, but I would still like to see more new features and enhancements in the desktop AutoCAD, especially on the new Collaborate tab. Collaboration is becoming more and more prevalent in this age of email, webmail and the cloud, and I hope to see Autodesk take advantage of that movement to make AutoCAD even more mobile in the future.

Happy AutoCAD’ing!

SCB.

PS – As some of you may know, I provide online AutoCAD learning content over at LinkedIn Learning and Lynda.com. You’ll find all the new AutoCAD 2019 Essential Training material below: –

LinkedIn Learning – CLICK HERE 

Lynda.com – CLICK HERE

 

Not Just CAD! – January 2018 – 30 Years

So, here we are. Nearly at the end of the first month of another year. Christmas is done and the tree is outside looking a bit sorry for itself (awaiting recycling – save the planet, right?). New Year’s Eve has been and gone and Auld Lang Syne is just another memory.

I know this blog is late and there is reason for that. One is the awful lurghi that has been going around that provided me with a snot-filled Christmas and New Year whether I liked it or not, and two, January for me has been incredibly busy for once. and, hey, I also just wanted to get bedded in to the New Year this time too. I don’t know about everyone else, but it has been a struggle to get started this year. Anyone else felt like that about 2018?

Luckily, 2017 for me (and CADFMconsultants – www.cadfmconsult.co.uk) was a great year. Numerous courses for LinkedIn Learning (using Lynda.com content) were recorded, produced and released with another two trips to the LinkedIn offices in Carpinteria (often referred to as Carp). I was invited by Autodesk to be the AutoCAD expert on the AutoCAD booth at the inaugural Autodesk University London 2017 and I became an Autodesk University Speaker Mentor as well as being invited to become a member of the Autodesk Expert Elite program. Busy, huh?

For those of you that don’t know (and if you don’t, where HAVE you been?), I am an [in]structor for LinkedIn Learning, previously Lynda.com and I now have over fifty online courses in my online training portfolio. You can check them out at www.lynda.com and look me up there, Shaun Bryant. Or if you prefer to use LinkedIn Learning, look me up at https://learning.linkedin.com. My LinkedIn Learning author page is here. Both sites contain ALL my courses for you to learn from.

After reading this post, maybe drop me a line at shaun.bryant@cadfmconsult.co.uk. The first few who do and mention Not Just CAD! – January 2018 in their email subject line might get a nice little LinkedIn voucher that gets them some FREE learning!

So, about 2017….

The inaugural Autodesk University London 2017 was a scorcher in several ways. Firstly, I was made up to be the AutoCAD expert at the event (many thanks Tracy, Tanya and Jacqui!). Secondly, it was held on the HOTTEST two days of June 2017, which at Tobacco Dock in London (the event venue), made for insane temperatures as it is a glass-clad building! The event was a huge success and I was even Lynn Allen’s understudy as she could not attend the event due to illness. It was an honour to stand in for Lynn, Autodesk’s AutoCAD technical evangelist, teaching her two AutoCAD classes to the masses!

As 2017 progressed, there was the usual request for proposals for Autodesk University (AU) 2018, held in the delightful location of Las Vegas (sometimes known as Lost Wages), Nevada.

I was lucky enough to get one of my AutoCAD class proposals accepted and become a lab assistant for one of my good friends, who was also speaking, Paul Munford (CAD Setter Out – https://cadsetterout.com/). I was also asked to be an Autodesk University Speaker Mentor, where I mentored a novice speaker on how to create and submit their AU class presentation and handout, plus advise them on speaker techniques, taking advantage of my expertise and experience of being a veteran AU speaker. My mentee was Dr. Munirajulu from the Chennai area in India (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-munirajulu-m-3901a219). I had a great time imparting expertise and knowledge to him, and considering he had never spoken at AU before, he absolutely rocked his AU class too!

IMG_0208

As usual, towards the end of 2017, everything becomes about AU in Vegas, but I was lucky to get out to the LinkedIn offices in Carp in California the week before AU to record some of my online material. This is normally a relaxed (but busy) week and I was even able to get my five-kilometre walk along Carp State Beach in on the Sunday morning before I started recording in my little whisper booth on the Carp campus for the week. I love travelling to Carp too. I fly in to LAX and then take the Amtrak up the stunning California coastline from LA’s Union Station, which has the most beautiful architecture.

Carp was wonderful as usual, but sadly, due to the Thomas fire in December 2017, a lot of the stunning scenery has been burnt to a crisp and been decimated by the landslides that followed. Some of my LinkedIn colleagues lost their homes and the offices were close to being lost a couple of times too. The picture below gives you a good idea of how close the fires were to the Carp campus! Luckily, things are now moving back to normal, but there is a big clean-up operation and lots of rebuilding to do in the area.

LiL-Thomas Fire-Dec 2017

After my week in Carp, I flew out to Vegas from LAX for AU. I even bumped in to the bass player from an old eighties big-hair rock band called RATT who sat next to me on the plane and we chatted for the whole flight, sharing music anecdotes and war stories. The conversation even got around to which were the best guitar strings to use!

I got in to Vegas on the Saturday before AU, so I was able to chill out until the ‘insanity’ began on the following Monday. Being a seasoned AU attendee (this was my eleventh AU), I know the territory, so I got everything prepped and got ready to work the LinkedIn Learning booth in the AU exhibition hall. Have you ever been to a conference where ten thousand Autodesk geeks are all in the same place? Yep, that’s the ‘insanity’ I mean.

As an AU exhibitor, LinkedIn Learning were offering a 90-day free ‘pass’ for various Autodesk courses, mine included, so check out this link here, as the offer still stands until February 14th, 2018!

https://learning.linkedin.com/blog/whats-new/why-we-are-giving-away-40-autodesk-courses-for-free-for-90-days

AU kicked in and my class went well. Manning the LinkedIn Learning booth was busy, and we had a professional photographer taking portrait shots to enhance your LinkedIn profile!

IMG_0192

At AU, I also assume the role of an AutoCAD Influencer. This normally involves attending the Influencer food and drinks event at AU and getting to see something very cool related to design in AutoCAD. It is Autodesk’s way of saying thank you to all us AutoCAD’ers for all our work with AutoCAD over the years. This time it was not only getting to see the Cirque Du Soleil show, Ka (https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/ka), but also getting to go behind the scenes of the show the following morning! This was geek heaven for me. Not only was Ka an amazing show with incredible effects (including the free-floating stage), but it was ALL designed in AutoCAD too.

It was great to see all the AutoCAD Autodeskers there at the Influencers event, such as Shaan Hurley, Lynn AllenHeidi HewettRob McGuire, Marielle Covington, and Marcus O’Brien. Even longtime AutoCAD team member Jon Page came along. Thank you, AutoCAD team, for what was a wonderful evening watching Ka, followed by an amazing tour behind the scenes!

Finally in 2017, there was the thrill of becoming an Autodesk Expert Elite.

To quote the Autodesk website (https://www.autodesk.com/expert-elite/about) : –

‘The Autodesk Expert Elite program was created to recognize customers around the world who have contributed a significant amount of time, knowledge, and assistance to our customer support community. These people have demonstrated a strong sense of leadership and use an engaging style of collaboration that contributes to a healthy and valuable customer community’

There are over 400 Expert Elites in 53 different countries who use EVERY Autodesk product imaginable and I am thrilled to have joined their ranks. I was able to attend Expert Elite meetings and the Expert Elite Global Summit at AU and sit in the same room as Andrew Anagnost, the new CEO of Autodesk, and listen to what he has to say about the future of Autodesk and its software. As they say, the future is bright.

2018 is my thirtieth year of using AutoCAD (yep, you got that right – thirtieth). I started on AutoCAD 10 for MS-DOS at the tender age of eighteen (showing my age now…LOL) and I have seen AutoCAD go from a clunky, monochrome drafting system to a refined, capable design tool, that allows you in to work in both 2D and 3D and take your designs further, with interfaces that link seamlessly with other Autodesk products, enhancing the entire design workflow for just about every type of design and discipline imaginable.

I am proud to work closely with Autodesk, one of the biggest software providers in the world, and impart my knowledge of AutoCAD (and Revit) as an [in]structor on LinkedIn Learning to users all over the world. My passion is to educate and encourage learning. Learning never stops, and I can safely say that I still find things in AutoCAD that I did not know existed. Workflows that I have never noticed that can make you work smarter and faster. Shortcuts that make you that little bit quicker.

So, to celebrate my 30 years of AutoCAD, I am going to go and learn something new. A new challenge, a new string to my bow for 2018, using my LinkedIn Learning account. I sincerely hope that you will all do the same!

Here’s to a newly learnt skill for all of us in 2018. I hope you all have a great year, and if I bump in to you and any event, class or conference, say hello!

Happy learning!

SCB.