Design better Pipe Networks with CTC Software

CTC CIM Productivity Tools fro Civil 3D –  SolidCAD

 

While Pipe Networks are a great toolset in Civil 3D, they fall short as a true design tool. With CTC Software, we can edit pipe runs through a design-oriented, dynamic interface. We can swap multiple parts, both pipes and structures, in plan or profile. We can also auto-populate properties across multiple parts at once, aiding in proper labeling or tabling.

 

 

For more click here

Do you know about Adaptive Clearing?

By Louis Martineau, Manufacturing Consultant at SolidCAD

Hey CNC’ers!

Do you know about Adaptive Clearing? It’s the intelligent roughing strategy at the heart of HSM CAM that has changed milling forever. Increase your profitability by getting to near-net-shape in a single, highly-efficient, tool-sparing operation.

To learn more about the advantages (as well as pitfalls) of this game-changing technology, download the following article:

 

https://www.solidcad.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/A-few-words-on-Intelligent-Roughing-by-Louis-Martineau-.pdf

and visit our website at: https://www.solidcad.ca/partner-products/autodesk-cam/#hsmcam

You can also watch the video down below :

Curious about the hype around Autodesk’s HSM CAM?

By Louis Martineau, Manufacturing Consultant at SolidCAD

 

Hey CNC’ers!

Curious about the hype around Autodesk’s HSM CAM? And now you’re looking for more information and possibly a demonstration? Well, you’ve come to the right place! SolidCAD is not only Canada’s biggest reseller of Autodesk manufacturing solutions, but also the only Canadian Autodesk reseller with a dedicated team of CAM specialists.

HSM CAM is the comprehensive and powerful CNC programming add-on for Inventor (Inventor CAM – included with a subscription to the Product Design and Manufacturing Collection ), Fusion 360 (Fusion 360 Manufacturing – built into Fusion 360), and even SolidWorks (HSMWorks – included with a subscription to Fusion 360).

Please visit our HSM CAM page to read about all the advantages of this integrated CAD/CAM solution and to find lots of technical resources: https://www.solidcad.ca/partner-products/hsm-cam/

Also, try our SolidCAD universal milling post-processor, compatible with a wide variety of 3-axis, 4-axis, and 5-axis machines that accept FANUC-style G-code. This open-source post-processor generates nicely-formatted NC code, and is chock-full of features to make it as flexible as possible. These features include:

  • Safe restart feature after M00 program stops
  • Automatic date and time stamp function
  • Tool table feature in header
  • Operation name, tool name, and cycle time at top of each operation
  • Activation of accumulated pecking depth feature for G73-style drilling
  • Activation of the Manual NC code pass-through feature
  • Property to toggle between 3-axis / 4-axis / 5-axis configurations
  • Property to set maximal spindle speed
  • Property to toggle tool preload on/off
  • Property to toggle rigid tapping on/off
  • Property to assign an M-code for rigid tapping
  • Property to toggle between G54-G59 and G54.1 P1-P300 work offsets
  • Property to toggle between G28 and G53 retracts
  • Properties to set M-codes for 4th and 5th axis brake lock/unlock functions
  • Property to toggle on/off the output of rotary axis positions at every operation
  • Property to toggle on/off the output of M01 optional stops at tool changes
  • Property to toggle on/off automatic spindle gear changes
  • Property to set a spindle gear change crossover speed
  • Property to toggle between French and English for the output of comments and messages
  • Property to toggle on/off lowercase support for comments
  • Property to set the rapid rate used for operation time calculations
  • Property to toggle on/off the automatic creation of sub-programs for patterns
  • Property to toggle between 4 digit and 8-digit program IDs
  • Property to toggle on/off the output of the tool list in the program header
  • Property to toggle between relative or absolute coordinates for IJKs
  • Property to toggle between automatic tool changer or manual tool changes
  • Property to toggle between M30 and M99 for program termination
  • Property to toggle between returning to home or going to parking position at program end
  • Properties to set X- and Y-coordinates for parking position
  • Property to convert from feed expressed per min. to feed expressed per second
  • Property to inverse Z direction convention
  • Property to disable output of all coolant codes

This post processor is available here:

https://www.solidcad.ca/solidcad-generic-post-processors-download/

AutoCAD FLATTEN

By Matt Kolberg , ENI / GIS – Applications Specialist at SolidCAD

 

AutoCAD has a command contained within the Express Tool named FLATTEN.  It is designed to remove any non-zero elevations from selected objects within a drawing.  It does an excellent job with this, but there is some behavior that may not be obvious to all users.  This command works very well with many objects such as TEXT, LINES, and some BLOCKS.  However, unexpected behavior results when flattening Dynamic and Annotative blocks, even blocks with embedded non-zero-elevation linework.

Annotative Blocks:  For example, an annotative block with a name of Arrow, is inserted 3 times.  Regardless of the attached annotative scales, the result after the FLATTEN command will be 3 blocks with 3 different names; Arrow-flat-1, Arrow-flat-2, and Arrow-flat-3.  Further, they will no longer be annotative.

Dynamic Blocks:  After the FLATTEN command, each dynamic block will no longer be dynamic and will become an “unnamed block” with a name similar to “*U63”.

Blocks:  A typical block will FLATTEN adequately.  A block which contains elements which have non-zero elevations, will also flatten adequately.  Understand that the FLATTEN command will make changes to block definitions in this example to set all elevations to 0.

So what can be done?  Here are two options.

  • Download and run a LISP command from this discussion group post.
  • Be selective when flattening.  Flatten objects which have no deleterious results afterwards.  The AutoCAD FILTER command can be configured to easily select compatible objects.  The filter can be saved for future use.

Customizing the Inventor Marking Menu

By Shannon Lundrigan, Technical Specialist MFG,  at SolidCAD

A few years ago, Autodesk introduced context-sensitive radial menus called Marking Menus, in Inventor. These menus provide a quick and visual way for users to select the most commonly used commands in each environment. Over the years every-day users have no doubt become quite familiar with these menus and the available commands, but did you know you can customize it?

By default, Autodesk has placed what they believe to be the most common commands in this radial menu however, you know as well as I do that from company to company and even desk to desk, everyone uses Inventor differently. The following are the quick and easy steps to customize this menu.

How to do it:

On the Tools tab in the Options pane, the “Customize” button will open the dialog box that lets you modify the 8 commands in the radial menu for a given environment and associated sub-environment. From 2D Sketch to Weldment and everything in between, you can put your favourite commands right at the tip of your mouse pointer.

Choose the environment and sub-environment you wish to customize the menu for. Next, select one of the eight radial menu options that you want to change (in this example we are changing the “Pattern Component” command in the standard Assembly environment).

In the menu on the right, search or scroll down to the command you want to add and simply click on it to replace the selected option (iProperties, in this example). It’s as easy as that!

Also; starting in 2018 Inventor began giving users the option to migrate these (and all other) custom user interface settings when you upgrade to newer releases. So, you no longer need to worry about starting from scratch!

Why is it called the “Marking Menu”?

In addition to customizing where your favourite commands are on the right click menus, did you know you can also right-click-drag to the command, without ever actually seeing the menu? The pointer will create a “mark” as you drag your mouse to the location of your desired command, as shown below. This will require some practice but could become quite handy over time when the location of the commands in the radial menu becomes second-nature.

 

Revit Data Corruption

By Elyse Hatch , Technical Consultant – AEC  at SolidCAD

 

Let’s talk about data corruption in Revit. In this post I will look at these 4 points:

  1. File crashes before opening
  2. Crashes when opening a new view
  3. Looking for corrupt families
  4. Higher level investigation

As always you should make sure you save a copy of your file for testing while trying to resolve corruption issues.

File crashes before opening

Sometimes a file cannot open because of a simple issue that can easily be overcome. Each of the following actions have the potential to get past a different issue. If your file crashes when you try to open it ask yourself:

  • Can the file be opened with or without audit checked?
  • Will the file open without the worksets loaded? Can I narrow it down to a specific workset that keeps the file from opening?
  • Can I open the file in a different build, or a newer version of Revit?
  • Sometimes new name allows you to bypass the issue, copy-paste file to new location
  • Isolate the file from the network save to a location where the links cannot be accessed.

Crashes when opening a new view

If your file crashes when you try to open or create new views, try these suggestions:

  • Turn off hardware acceleration try each location one at a time.

  • Reset Revit settings
    • Customized settings are stored in the app data folder, when removed from this location the defaults are regenerated.
  • Repair the installation
    • This won’t change any user setting.
  • Open Revit without add-ins
    • Locate the following folder: C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\Revit\Addins\[Version].
    • Temporarily move the addin files from the folder above to another location.

If any of these work for you take note, this is where the issue resides and you’ll want to know the exact cause whenever possible.

Looking for Corrupt Families

Sometimes the behavior you see in a file is caused by corrupt families follow this process to identify corrupt families.

  • Save a copy of the corrupt file
  • Open and save all families as a library, this process will fail when it reaches the 1st corrupt family.
  • Record the family named on the bottom left hand corner of the screen & delete the family and run again, repeat until the process completes successfully.
  • Open the original corrupt file and reload all the families on your list with versions that predate the corruption. If you’ don’t have a previous version of the family, you’ll need to recreate them.

Higher level investigation & troubleshooting

Many issues can also be fixed by returning to Revit’s original settings.  Try these steps one at a time, testing the file after each change.

  • Rename the .INI file (_old) which is in the AppData Roaming folder.
  • Rename App Data Folders (_old)
    • C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 201x
    • C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 201x
  • Rename Workspace in the registry editor

 

When these folders/files don’t exist, they are recreated the next time the user opens Revit. Be sure rename and not remove these files/folders, as they will server as backups for the user original setting including keyboard shortcuts and font maps.

Happy Reviting!

Be sure to check my other videos in this series for more information.

While you wait why not follow us @SolidCAD on Twitter, check out our other videos on YouTube, and see what our experts have to say on our BIM Blog!

ArcGIS and AutoCAD – Free Background for everyone using AutoCAD

By Frank Zander , Project Manager – Civil, GIS/FME  at SolidCAD

 

Imagine a world where you could get high resolution background image maps to display and PRINT in AutoCAD.

Esri and Autodesk are working closer than ever and this alliance benefits all CAD and GIS users. Esri provides a free ArcGIS for AutoCAD plugin. This plugin allows vanilla AutoCAD users to access Esri maps. As mentioned, the beauty of these maps is that they also print/plot in AutoCAD.

I was surprised at the level of detail!

Download ArcGIS for AutoCAD plugin for free at: https://www.esri.com/en-us/arcgis/products/arcgis-for-autocad

 

Contact SolidCAD for more information about our newly created three-day  training course for any INFRA, GIS/FME training.

PART 3 : Change Management (ECR, ECN, and ECO)

By Shaya Ghanbar, PLM Project Manager at SolidCAD

 

This is the third in a three-part series of Fusion Lifecycle videos. In this video, we will focus on Change Management with a specific focus on Engineering Change Orders.

In the previous video, we saw that the Bill-of-Materials was automatically extracted and transferred to Fusion Lifecycle for additional analysis, modification, export and so on. At a future point in time, someone may recognize a problem with an item in the Bill of Materials and wants to initiate a change. In Fusion Lifecycle, they can log a Problem Report. The Problem Report flows through a structured workflow becoming an Engineering Change Request(ECR) and then an Engineering Change Order (ECO).

When the ECO is approved, Fusion Lifecycle pushes the information back to Vault, where the impacted assembly is changed to a Work-in-Progress state. Designers can then make the necessary design changes and Release the revised assembly.

Revit Family Creation: Family with Adjustable Built-in Label

By Elyse Hatch , Technical Consultant – AEC  at SolidCAD

 

Usually Tags are added separate from the Components we place, but in certain situations the “tag” needs to be part of the family. To push this further occasionally a request is made for flexibility in the placement due to text overlap.

This post explains how create a family with a built-in label with adjustable positioning.

Prepare the Model Family to Receive the Label

  • Open the model family that requires the built-in label.
  • Create a vertical and a horizontal Reference Line to mark the center of the default label location.

  • Create a vertical and a horizontal Reference Plane offset slightly from the reference lines. These will be the anchors for the label. Both Reference Planes must be set as “Not a reference” for the grips to show properly in the project.

  • Dimension between the new horizontal references, and the between the new vertical references. These dimensions need to be assigned separate instance parameters. To allow the label to slide in the project.

  • Choose which existing reference planes you will Align and Lock your anchor Reference Planes to. I prefer to lock them to the planes the model uses as origins. The plane you lock to must be stationary (not controlled by an instance parameter), the label will not be able to cross the horizontal anchor plane.
  • Save the family.

HINT: To make working in a complicated family simpler follow a few best practices.

Set the origin planes, then pin them.

Name reference planes clearly and remove temporary planes ASAP.

Dimension to the reference planes, not geometry.

Flex the parameters of the family before adding geometry.

Geometry to be locked to reference plans after confirming the parameters work as expected.

 

Create the Label Family

  • Using the Generic Annotation Family Template, create a new “label” family.
  • Place a label, you will be prompted to create/assign a parameter to the label.
  • Edit the label type properties, so the text size & style meets the company standards.
  • Save the label & load it into the model family you started with.

 

Combining the Two Families

  • Place the label family near the geometry in the project.
  • Align the horizontal reference in the label to the horizontal Reference line, and lock.
  • Align the vertical reference in the label to the vertical Reference line, and lock.

  • Select the label and Edit Type, associate the Family Parameter for the Label to the Family Parameter in the host family which will control the text, often Description or Type Comments.

  • If you have chosen to have a visibility Parameter to control the Label Visibility, associate those parameters to one another as well.

Using the Family

  • Save the Model Family and load into a blank project to test the flexibility of the label location.
  • Select the family, the grips for the label location will become visible. Slide then around in turn.

NOTE: Look for unexpected changes to the geometry or the overall placement of the family, this indicate the need to change the anchor alignment.

PART 2 : Bill of Materials (BOM) Transfer from Vault to Fusion Lifecycle 

By Shaya Ghanbar, PLM Project Manager at SolidCAD

 

This is the second in a three-part series of Fusion Lifecycle videos. This video, will focus on the Bill-of-Material transfer from Autodesk Vault Professional to Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle.

Vault Pro and Fusion Lifecycle can be integrated allowing data to move between the two systems. When Designers and Engineers have completed their work in CAD and Vault Pro, they will Release the assemblies.  The Bill-of-Materials is then extracted from Vault and transferred to Fusion Lifecycle as an Items BOM.  In Fusion Lifecycle, the BOM can be managed by adding or removing items.  When complete, the BOM is advanced to the Approval Stage using Fusion Lifecycle’s Bill of Materials Management capabilities.