AutoCAD 2021 is Here

By Matt Kolberg , Applications Specialist at SolidCAD


AutoCAD 2021 is Here

It’s that time of year again folks; Autodesk has released their flagship product in AutoCAD 2021.  Here is an excellent article explaining the new changes.  Below are the features that are close to this BLOG writer’s heart.


There is no format change this year.  Excellent!

Enhanced Commands

Trim and Extend have new default behavior resulting in fewer clicks.

Revision clouds are now their own object.  Including a new Arc Length property.

The Break At Point command can now be repeated resulting in fewer clicks.

Drawing version history comparison for files stored in cloud services such as OneDrive and DropBox.

The block palette now contains a Library for blocks stored in cloud services or other folders.


A brand new AutoLISP development interface which uses Visual Studio Code with a LISP extension.  Auto-complete functions and parentheses.

Manage drawings more efficiently with Batch Link | Revu 2019

This article was originally published by Bluebeam, Inc. in the Knowledge Base.


The Batch Link® feature automatically creates hyperlinks for a group of PDFs, like when you’re working with a multi-drawings set or details on drawing sheets. You can specify the criteria used to create these hyperlinks or automate the process using filenames, page labels or the AutoMark function.

You can also use Batch Link to:
  • Create a navigational link on your title block that takes you to the sheet index.
  • Add Studio Project files to the Batch Link wizard.

Learn how to take your batch linking to the next level with these tips!

If the set of files you’re going to batch link contains a title block, you can use it to create a navigational link that takes you back to the sheet index, similar to a home button. All you have to do is swap out the search term generated in the Batch Link wizard (usually the sheet number) for your project number. If you don’t have a project number, you may use any text string found on the title block of every page.

  1. Go to Batch > Link  > New. The Batch Link wizard opens.
  2. Add the PDFs to be processed.
  3. Select Next. The second page of the Batch Link wizard opens.
  4. To generate your list of search terms, choose the Page Region option, then click Select.

Next, define a region on the PDF and generate Search Terms

  1. Click and drag to define a region on the PDF. When the region has been defined, the AutoMark dialog box appears. Click OK when finished.
  2. When the correct sheet number displays next to Search Term in the Scan Preview section, click Generate. The Manage Links list is automatically populated.

Lastly, look through the Search Terms and edit destination

  1. Look though the generated list of search terms to ensure they match their correct destination.
  2. Change the search term for your project number (or any text string from the title block).
  3. Select OK, then Run.

Now you have a link on your title block that takes you back to the sheet index.

Have you ever wanted to Batch Link your Studio Project? You can do this by adjusting your Studio Preferences.

To enable Studio Project files for Batch Link:

  1. Go to Revu > Preferences  (Ctrl+K).
  2. From the sidebar, select Studio and then Options.
  3. Clear the Open and save files to Studio from toolbar only check box.
  4. Open the Project file.
  5. Go to Batch > Link  New.
  6. Select Add Files and add your Project files.

Now you can add your Project files to the Batch Link wizard.

Roof Truss versus Rafter and Extending to Core tool

By Camila Lima Pires , Technical Consultant AEC at SolidCAD


I would like to point it out two tools that can make a big difference when designing roofs, the Truss or Rafter tool and the Extending to Core tool. They also affect the shape and size of the eave truss.

Revit offers to options to justify the roof and the reasons why is because the bearing condition is very different between the two. The Rafter or Truss option is only available if we choose the Pick Walls tool.

When we select Roof by Footprint, and the Pick Walls tool, we see at the Options Bar the Extend to wall core check box.

The diagram below explains the different roof configurations that result from switching on and off the Overhang Extend to Core option and the Rafter or Truss option. When the Extend to Wall Core is activated, Revit will measure the overhang from the core. When it is not activated, it will measure the overhang from the exterior face of the wall. Also noticed how the Truss and the Rafter connections change. The Truss sits on the Exterior face of the wall while Rafter sits on the interior face of the wall.

Another advantage of using the Pick Walls tool is to assure stability when editing the overhang. When we use the Pick Lines tool, Revit create a line that not attached to the wall. Notice that there is no option to change between Truss or Rafter. Below I draw a roof using the Pick Lines tool and another one using the Pick Wall command. See the difference when I change the overhang dimension.


Notice that when using the Pick Lines tool, the roof and the wall are not aligned and to fix that we would have to drag the roof manually. On the contrary, using the Pick Walls command, the roof remains aligned to the wall. Whenever is possible, it is best to justify the roof using the Pick Walls tool when creating the roof footprint. By doing that we are avoiding future issues, saving time and getting the most out of Revit!

Path of Travel update on Revit 2020.2

By Camila Lima Pires , Technical Consultant AEC at SolidCAD


Since my last post about the path of travel, Autodesk made a very useful update on the path of travel tool.

The path of travel was calculated automatically by Revit picking the start and end point. Now we have the ability to add waypoints along the path of travel. This allows us to drag the points and adjust the path. You can also delete the waypoints to restore to default position.

To activate the tool, simply select the path of travel. The tool will appear under the Modify| Path of Travel Lines. Select the Add Waypoint, click on the path of travel and drag it to adjust it. To delete it, select the Delete Waypoint and click on the point.

Frame Generator End Caps in Inventor 2020

By Shannon Lundrigan, Technical Specialist MFG,  at SolidCAD

In the 2020 release of Inventor, the Frame Generator Design Accelerator received a number of minor enhancements as well as one of significance that likely has users asking how they ever lived without it.
You can now create and insert end caps to a frame member within Frame Generator.

Here’s how:

First; you must have the Custom Content Center Library installed in order to use this feature. Learn how to do that here.

Once you have frame members ready for end caps, follow these steps to quickly create and add the components:

  • Select “Insert End Cap” on the Frame panel of the Design tab within your assembly;




  • Select the end faces of the members you wish to apply end caps to.







  • Choose the placement: Inset, or outward
  • Choose the profile style: Filleted, Chamfered, or Sharp corners
  • Enter the Chamfer/Fillet size (if applicable), Thickness, Inset (or Offset) distance & Rotation angle






  • Select the desired part properties, then OK (or “+” to add additional end caps for different tube profiles without exiting the property panel)





The end caps are created as members of the frame assembly and the file naming can be controlled in the same way (using “File Naming Defaults” in Application Options). Inventor recognizes identical members upon creation and reuses the end cap files where possible, rather than duplicating them.

End caps can be edited or reused like frame members, using the right click menu in the model browser (“Edit with Frame Generator”)

Finally, plan and profile sheets that update after design changes

CTC CIM Productivity Tools fro Civil 3D –  SolidCAD


Plan production tools in Civil 3D are great for creating plan and profile sheets, but what about when the inevitable design changes come and you need to update your sheets? You either update them manually or recreate all new sheets. With CTC Software’s Sheet Generator, you can create plan and profile sheets that update after designs change, including refreshing of viewports, north arrows, matchlines, sheet names and numbers, sheet set data, and more. Sheet Generator provides better control on Profile Views, more flexible sheet management workflows, and easily dovetails with your company standards.

For more click here

HSM CAM Tips and Tricks: Equation-Driven Parameters

I will be publishing quick Tips and Tricks regularly to help make you more productive and to capture your best practices.

One of my favorite such tricks is using “smart fields” or equation-driven parameters.

Virtually all fields in the CAM interface that accept numerical values can also accept equations that reference constants or reference other parameters/fields. Right-clicking on the field and selecting “Edit Expression” brings up an input box wherein you can enter a constant value or build at equation. Once you are done, right-click again and select “Make Default” so that this change is remembered the next time you use this machining strategy again.

An example where a constant might make sense is plunge feed rate for operations other than drilling operations. Indeed, this is an approach speed that is largely independent of tool type or size. Perhaps you want this to always be a nice and slow 20 IPM until the program is proven safe. Stock-to-leave is another parameter that could be set to a constant.

Referencing another parameter introduces more power. For example, several parameters can be made dependant on the cutting feed rate.

Indeed, you can set the lead-in and lead-out feed rates to vary proportionally with the cutting feed rate. Similarly, the reduced feed rate for inner corners specified under “Feed Optimization” should also vary proportionally with the cutting feed rate defined under “Feed and Speed”. An expression referencing cutting feed rate would look like this:

(tool_feedCutting * 0.5)

Several parameters can be made dependent on the tool diameter. Indeed, stepovers and stepdowns are prime candidates, as are lead-in/lead-out segment definitions, spiral entry diameter, and stock-to-leave values. An expression referencing tool diameter would look like this:

(tool_diameter * 0.5)

Finally, expressions can contain logic and can combine the two approaches described above.

For example, stock-to-leave might be controlled by an expression that considers tool diameter, but defaults to a minimum value below a threshold tool diameter.

(tool_diameter >= (.250in) ? (tool_diameter * .05) : (.010in))

Expressions can be as complicated as you can make them. They just need to respect JavaScript syntax.

A complete list of parameters that can be used in expressions is found here:

Investing two hours into setting up expressions for various machining strategies can go a long way towards capturing your best practices and automating HSM CAM, resulting in increased programming consistency and decreased programming time.


By Jonathan Guibert , Account Manager A.E.C QC , Bluebeam / Laser Scan 3D



*scroll down for FR version  – LE REMPLISSAGE DYNAMIQUE

When I sometimes look at some architectural projects, I tell myself that as much as the design is beautiful, the various estimators involved in the project must have pulled their hair out. So, let’s look at this wonderful (but still underused) function of Dynamic Filling.

Before starting with this tool, we are going to create a surface with Area Measurements tool which we will call Ground surface and which we will save in the toolbox (it is important for the continuation).


Once our surface has been created, we will finally use Dynamic Fill. To do this, first go to your menu, then in Tools, go to the Measure section and then go to the last Dynamic Fill icon. Or else, type “j” on your keyboard 😊


It will bring up this menu on your screen

Now, let’s take an area that is hard to calculate on our plan like this one for example

Click on the paint bucket   to select it then point with your mouse at the area that must be measured area and keep pressing the right button and you will see like paint pouring into the room


Once the room is filled, we will choose what we want Bluebeam to calculate by choosing our previously created surface to apply it on the painted area

Finally, we click on Apply and here we go!



Lorsque je regarde parfois certains projets architecturaux, je me dis qu’autant le design est beau, autant les divers estimateurs impliqués dans le projet ont du s’arracher les cheveux. Alors, regardons ensemble cette merveilleuse (mais pourtant trop peu utilisée) fonction qu’est le Remplissage Dynamique.

Avant de commencer avec cet outil, nous allons créer une surface que nous allons appeler Surface de sol et que nous allons enregistrer dans la boite à outils (c’est important pour la suite)

Une fois notre surface créée, nous allons enfin utiliser le remplissage dynamique. pour ce faire, allez d’abord dans votre menu, puis dans Outils, allez dans la section Mesurer puis allez sur la derniere icone Remplissage Dynamique. Ou sinon, tapez « j » sur votre clavier 😊

Ça va vous faire apparaitre ce menu sur votre écran

Maintenant, allons chercher une surface assez fatigante à calculer sur notre plan comme celle-ci par exemple


Cliquez sur le pot de peinture   pour le sélectionner puis pointer avec votre souris la zone à mesure et restez appuyer sur le bouton droit et vous aller voir comme de la peinture qui se déverse dans la salle


Une fois la salle remplie, on va choisir ce qu’on veut que Bluebeam calcule en choisissant notre surface précédemment créée pour l’appliquer sur la zone peinturée

On clique enfin sur Appliquer et VOILÀ

Create custom legends and QTO with Data Wizard

CTC CIM Productivity Tools fro Civil 3D –  SolidCAD


Tabling, legend creation and QTO workflows leave a lot to be desired in Civil 3D, forcing to use many different subpar tools, or worse, performing the work manually. With Data Wizard you can scan any number of drawings for AutoCAD and Civil 3D objects to generate legends, tables, QTOs, and more, all to company standards, and all automatically. When drawings change, refresh tables to automatically incorporate updates. Save out templates for quick recreation of custom tables and legends.


For more click here

Interested in tweaking an HSM (Inventor CAM, Fusion CAM, HSMWorks) post-processor yourself?

 By Louis Martineau, Manufacturing Consultant at SolidCAD

The “SolidCAD Universal FANUC” post processor (free on our website) contains a large number of parameters that can be set on-the-fly through the “Post-Process” dialog, without needing to change anything inside the post-processor.

If you require other changes, SolidCAD offers a post-processor modification service to adapt this post to your machine and to your best practices.

If you wish to make changes yourself, you are free to do so. Indeed, the “SolidCAD Universal FANUC” post-processor and all the post-processors available on the HSM Post Library website are unlocked and open-source.

The HSM Post Library is found here:

A post .cps post-processor file is merely a text file. It can be opened and edited in Notepad or any other text editor. There is unfortunately no user interface; changes must be made to the code in JavaScript language.

However, the good news is that Autodesk publishes a free manual to guide you through the process, covering the basics of JavaScript and explaining the various sections of a post file.

The manual can be downloaded here:

If you can’t find an answer in this 200-page guide, you can consult the vast archive of the HSM Post-Processor Forum, and even post your question on this very active forum. The forum is located here: