Civil 3D 2020.4 Update

By Matt Kolberg , Applications Specialist at SolidCAD

 

Civil 3D 2020.4 Update

Autodesk has released the Civil 3D 2020.4 update.  Use the Desktop App to install it.  Here are the Autodesk release notes for this new update.

Notables:

  • New SYSVAR “DataShortcutsSourceCheck” to change the behavior of warnings when saving to a mapped drive on a Nasuni Edge Appliance.
  • Improved performance and stability with various features such as:
    • Unloaded XREFs.
    • Corridors.
    • Data shortcuts.
    • Save command.
    • Catchments.
    • Printing multiple sheets.

What’s new in turning? A lot!

By Louis Martineau , Manufacturing Solutions Consultant at SolidCAD

What’s new in turning? A lot!

I mentioned in my last entry that Turning saw some important (and overdue) improvements of late. Indeed, you may have noticed that the Turning/Profiling function has been broken into a dedicated roughing strategy and a dedicated finishing strategy, for much more control and to allow for output of canned cycles. This happened around the middle of last year for Fusion, and a bit later for Inventor CAM.

What you may not have noticed, however, is a myriad of small but very-welcome improvements everywhere else too. It’s a long list, and I refer you to Marti Deans’ excellent coverage here: https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/blog/turning-updates-fusion-360/

Also, as I said in my last post, this is apparently just the tip of the iceberg. Turning experts have joined the Fusion development team and are hard at work implementing more functionality and innovative technologies (like Adaptive Turning). I hope to see a lot of the power of PartMaker ported to Fusion CAM!

Installed fonts don’t appear in Bluebeam Revu | Revu for Windows

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

Problem

A font that’s installed on your computer doesn’t appear in Revu.

Causes

The font type isn’t compatible with Revu

Revu supports TrueType (.ttf) and OpenType (.otf) fonts; any other font type isn’t compatible.

The font file isn’t saved to the correct location

Revu uses fonts that are saved to the following folder: %SystemRoot%\fonts. If a font doesn’t appear in Revu, it may not be saved to the correct location.

Solution

Save the font file to the correct location

Try this solution after confirming the font type is TrueType or OpenType. You may need administrator privileges on your computer to complete these steps.

  1. Close Revu.
  2. Open the font file location in File Explorer.
  3. Right-click the file and select Install for all users.
    This saves the font file to the the correct folder.
  4. Open Revu.

The font should now appear in the Font Toolbar.

Tons of new goodies for Fusion 360 CAM

By Louis Martineau , Manufacturing Solutions Consultant at SolidCAD

Tons of new goodies for Fusion 360 CAM

Since I last wrote here, there have been big, big changes to Fusion CAM (excuse me: “Fusion Manufacturing”). These changes range from completely new (and it needs to be said, very useful) machining strategies, to significant progress in the implementation of probing technology, to new love for turning, and to subtle but much-appreciated improvements to the user-interface.

The biggest changes are contained within the Manufacturing Extension, a new subscription add-on for Fusion CAM. The idea is that while Fusion CAM (and Inventor CAM and HSMWorks, for that matter) is a modern and very competent CNC programming solution that can make short work of most jobs at a VERY attractive price, there are some customers that require still more power and that are willing to pay a little extra for it. Mold makers are a good example. In the past, the limited multi-axis toolpaths of Fusion CAM did not quite meet their needs. With the new Steep-and-Shallow strategy as well as toolpath trimming / direct editing (both technologies gifted from PowerMill), that has all changed. The Manufacturing Extension also opens the door to surface inspection and on-machine verification, a very hot button for anyone trying to increase efficiencies and get an advantage. Throw in automatic hole recognition technology (thanks, FeatureCAM) and a new Rotary multi-axis 3D milling strategy (this one is all Autodesk), and there is something for everybody. How much for these new goodies? 125 Cloud Credits ($125 USD) per month, month-to-month.

And those other improvements? How about a new tool library interface? The old one definitely was a little clunky. And for those of you who make extensive use of user-templates to capture their best practices (why isn’t everybody?), how about a new interface that will allow you to sort and better manage everything?

I haven’t talked about turning yet… It can be said that while Fusion CAM  / HSM CAM has traditionally been a competent turning solution, most of the R&D over the years has gone into making it a premier milling solution. But a dedicated turning team has now been brought into the development team, and turning is now getting the love it has always deserved. In my next blog, I’ll list all the recent changes (it’s a very long list of small but significant changes). What’s more, we are promised many more such improvements throughout the year, including something called Adaptive Turning that sounds very promising.

Please note that the Manufacturing Extension is free to use right now through June 2020. So, by all means, give it a spin! Several of the other new features are available through the preview mode: just activate what you want under Preview Features in your Preferences; everything is quite stable.

Now, it is quite apparent that Autodesk is turning Fusion into its premier CAM solution. That’s great news and we welcome all the improvements to an already-great CAM. However, if you are a user of Inventor CAM (or HSMWorks), don’t hold your breath for things like Steep-and-Shallow. Instead, Autodesk would rather you fire up the Fusion 360 entitlement included with your CAM. And to make it easier to use two platforms in parallel, recent changes now allow Fusion to play extremely well with Inventor and even SolidWorks.

CTC 2021 Revit Product Updates!

This article was created by CTC Software

 

CTC Software was actively preparing to release updates to our AEC tools for Revit 2021. This release took place on May 4th and affected all of our AEC offerings. HIVE has undergone a massive update, streamlining all aspects of user interaction and management. Our software suites have all been built to work on the new Autodesk 2021 platforms, and the SuperDoor Configurator and Casework Configurator content packs have been upgraded for 2021 as well.  All of these tools will continue to support the 2017 versions of Autodesk products and newer, so they will also fit into your workflows for any version from the last 4 years.  Additionally, the Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Productivity Pack content files have been upgraded to 2019, containing hundreds of updated families and a lot of new features and improved workflows.  These tools are purpose-built to support your entire workflow from beginning to end, putting the right tools in the right hands so all team members gain efficiencies every day.

Contact CTC or one of our partners for more information about the 2021 updates to our tools!

HIVE

HIVE specifically has had major changes to the user interface of the content management system (CMS).  Many of you have provided feedback after extensively using the currently released HIVE system.  We listened!  The new HIVE has a major facelift, and the HIVE management portal on the web has been overhauled to make management easier, and to provide you with analytics for organization-wide use of CTC tools, project performance metrics and insights into how your teams are searching for content in the CMS.  As always, we strive to develop our tools alongside you, so you and your teams can work efficiently.  Feel free to share your experiences and ideas for how we can continue to improve.

 

The other productivity tools in the software suites are all updated to work on the Autodesk 2021 platforms as well. This year we have decided to make sure that we support 5 version of Autodesk products, since we know many of our clients have projects with long lifecycles.  While Autodesk may not officially support 2017, we felt that we should continue to make our tools available for that release since some of you have let us know that your projects are still being managed in that version.  This new 2021 release of our tools will have the ability to communicate with the HIVE management portal so you can have a better understanding of the return on your investment this next year.

 

CTC has 3 major Revit-based content packs.  The two that install into the ribbon are the SuperDoor Configurator and the Casework Configurator.  These, like our other suites, will be supported on Revit 2017-2021.  The other content pack, the Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Productivity Pack (MEPPP), has been heavily updated in its latest version. It will be supported on Revit 2019-2021 with the actual content delivered in Revit 2019 format.  We made this choice since most of the projects starting fresh in your firms will be on 2019 and later.  We did not see value in building on older versions, as existing projects in production do not see huge benefits in transitioning standards mid-production.  This MEPPP update has seen further standardization of the parameters used to help align our pack with metric users.  The first release will be in Imperial units of measure, but a metric pack will be coming soon.  This release saw heavy formula updates and further removal of unit dependencies.  The lighting fixtures, electrical equipment and mechanical equipment have seen major updates, improving face-based and level-based hosting in a single family, and general ease of use.  Many other categories have been touched as well, to ensure a uniform workflow and general consistent use.

As always, we encourage you to contact us or our partners for more information on these workflow-improving tools.

In the United States you can contact Applied Technology Group (ATG) at sales@ATGUSA.com

If you are are based in Canada, please contact:

Mughees Altaf

Account Manager — AEC Productivity Tools

mughees.altaf@solidcad.ca 

Sharing is Caring

 By Imran Bhutta , Implementation Consultant at SolidCAD

Sharing is Caring

In todays manufacturing world there is a bigger demand on sharing data with all stakeholders outside your company.  This could be your supplier, buyer, manufacturing team and they could require viewing the drawing to the 3D model that you create.  Using Autodesk Vault you can created a shared view for your outside stakeholders and value chain.  Autodesk provides this as a free viewer, markup and comments, all they would need to do is sign up for a free Autodesk account.  Also Share View is a great tool to use internally as well to do digital markups and collaboration outside the engineering department.

To use Share View simply log into Autodesk Vault and find the model or drawing you would like to share and right click and select Share View:

You may be prompted to login using your Autodesk account, once you have logged in the Create a Shared View dialog box will prompt you to enter a name:

Enter the name you would like and then click on Share, and it will start to process the shared view.

Once complete a Share View Complete Dialog will display that it was uploaded successfully and it will give you a copy link and view in browser option.

Copy Link – This is the link you can email to your stakeholders for them to open and view online.

View in Browser – this will open the shared view in your browser for you to view.

Clicking on View in Brower it will launch the Share View online:

This view will only be available for 30 days on Autodesk Viewer.  Only users who are invited though the link or when selecting share will have access to the model or drawing.

Once singed in users can markup, add comments and when clicking on share, it will send the users in Vault a notification that someone has made a comment on the drawing.

To make a comment simply select comments to type a comment directly.  Anytime you click on Markup the markup changes will be saved on the comments tab when you select Post.

In Vault client to view the comments or markups make sure that Shared Views Panel is turned on.  If not turned on simply go to View > Shared Views and make sure there is a check mark beside Shared Views:

In the Shared Views panel the comments and markups will be shown:

To make a comment back simply click on Reply and it will take you back to the Autodesk Viewer to continue the collaboration between your company and stakeholders.
As you can see getting data to correct users at a timey manor is critical in todays business.  Autodesk Vault Professional and Shared Views enables you to connect the value chain and make sure everyone has the data they need.  Also, Autodesk viewer is not just limited to Inventor or AutoCAD drawings and models if you go directly to viewer.autodesk.com you can sign into your account and upload the following files for collaboration:

Remember Sharing is Caring and happy collaborating!!

AutoCAD and Bluebeam

By Matt Kolberg , Applications Specialist at SolidCAD

 

AutoCAD and Bluebeam

Many users create PDF files from AutoCAD products as PDF seems to be the standard digital format.  There are three issues you may run into and some settings to consider if you use Bluebeam Revu as well as AutoCAD.

Viewports

First, you may see this message when opening PDF files using Bluebeam Revu (not the free viewer) which were created from AutoCAD using Autodesk’s DWG to PDF print driver.  These “viewports” are artifacts contained within the PDF file to which Bluebeam Revu alerts you when you open a file containing them.  ALWAYS say yes to removing these artifacts.  If you don’t, they will very likely affect the accuracy of any measurements you make in Revu.  If you skip past this message without selecting Yes, the viewports can be removed from the PDF in Revu’s measurement panel.

Why do they exist in the first place?  It seems to be an issue with Autodesk’s DWG to PDF.pc3 file.  PDF’s created using Bluebeam’s PDF printer do not contain these anomalies.  Here is an Autodesk  discussion group thread discussing these viewports.  Interestingly, it indicates that these viewports can cause an issue when measuring using Adobe Pro, but there appears not to be a solution there, where Revu does indeed catch the existence of them.

Searchable Text and SHX Fonts

The second issue is searchable text.  Many AutoCAD users still use Autodesk SHX fonts.  There are several reasons to avoid using SHX fonts; not the least of which is that when a PDF is created containing them, that text will not be searchable when opened in any PDF reader software.  If you want your recipient to be able to search text, and you very likely should, do not use SHX fonts in AutoCAD.  Use a True Type font, such as Arial instead.  This is with one exception.  With Bluebeam Revu, SHX text is in fact searchable, but you must enable “Search Markups”.  More detail about this I the section below “Odd Markups”.

If you’re a Bluebeam Revu user with the CAD version or better, and you prefer to use its PDF print driver instead of Autodesk’s, there is an option to enable SHX fonts as outlined in this article.  Better, do use a True Type font as mentioned above, but there is one more setting you must enable.  A PC3 file must be created using the Bluebeam print driver and then this option set in the printer properties in AutoCAD.  It defaults to TrueType as graphics and your text will not be searchable if it’s not changed.

Odd Markups in Revu

Lastly, using Bluebeam Revu (not the free viewer) to open a PDF created by AutoCAD using its DWG to PDF printer, you may see “markups” already contained in the PDF.  There will be one markup for each text object in the file, indicated by the AutoCAD SHX Text author.  That adds up to a lot of markups if it’s a file with many text objects.  This can affect the performance of the file within Revu and they will definitely be in the way when creating normal markups.  These markups are only required if you need to search SHX text; they cannot be deleted with Revu tools.  They can be Flattened in Revu prior to adding your own usual markups, or they can simply be filtered out if you don’t wish to see them.  Don’t worry, the text in the PDF will not disappear.  I do not have access to Adobe Pro to see if this is an issue there as well.

 

These “markups” are created when printing from AutoCAD using the DWG to PDF driver and it is an Autodesk feature.  In AutoCAD, there is a variable named PDFSHX.  Turned on, a value of 1, enables these “markups” in the PDF file which results in searchable text.  Turning it off will result in no “markups” and non-searchable SHX text.  Here is an Autodesk document outlining this feature.  SHX text may or may not be searchable depending on the PDF reader in use.  For example, the Bluebeam Revu free viewer cannot search SHX text, but the paid version can.

This issue does not occur with PDFs created in AutoCAD using Bluebeam’s printer driver.

Working Remote Sessions With Gautam Shenoy and Bluebeam

This story was originally published by Bluebeam, Inc. on the Bluebeam Blog.

In light of many states’ stay at home orders in light of the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic, many professionals in the construction, architecture and engineering world have suddenly transitioned to working from home for the foreseeable future.

Construction is still considered an “essential” business in many states, meaning many field workers are still heading to jobsites each morning. However, industry workers who spend most of their time collaborating with coworkers in an office are now dealing with the new reality of remote collaboration on projects, presenting some new challenges—and advantages.

In an effort to share and highlight how industry professionals are making this transition, the Bluebeam Blog will be publishing a series of video interviews with individuals to see how their work-from-home transitions have gone so far.

In this first installment, we talked with Gautam Shenoy of Steinberg Hart. Here are the highlights from our conversation, along with time stamps of those parts of the video in case you want to skip ahead.

[00:30] Is the construction industry still working as “normal”?

“The industry is definitely humming along. … We haven’t seen a slowdown on projects that are in construction; we have seen a little bit of a change in the pace of projects that are ongoing but on the drawing board, so to speak.”

[01:15] What has changed most since working from home started?

“I think what’s changed the most is the way we communicate. We were so used to being in an office and emailing each other. I feel like it has really changed. I feel like working remotely has sparked video conferencing and teleconferencing and taken it to a new level. People are now wanting to constantly keep in touch with people even though there’s no physical presence.”

[02:07] How has working from home changed some job tasks?

“One of the things that I wanted to point out is that Bluebeam has always been ahead of the curve, and I say that as even before the idea of cloud-based collaboration was so mainstream as it is today. Regardless of where you are, with Bluebeam Studio you are able to keep working on a project. On a day-to-day standpoint, not only are we using Bluebeam as we always have, but we’re also using other platforms like Microsoft Teams to plan and track our goals.” 

[04:21] “Designers have a completely different way of communicating. You have to understand that in the design realm, the way people communicate in the design phase is so different than when people are marking up drawings and tracking benchmarks. So, Bluebeam has become sort of a preferred methodology of communicating even in the design phase.”

Working Remote Sessions

Dynamo for Autodesk Fusion 360 – Made Simple

 By Hung Nguyen , Applications Specialist at SolidCAD

Dynamo for Autodesk Fusion 360 – Made Simple

Dynamo Studio is typically associated with Revit; however, it offers a fantastic platform for algorithmic-driven design and easy parameter manipulation in Fusion 360. It also features great T-spline and surface support for complex geometry creation, for those wishing to bring a degree of parametric control to their surfacing with ease.

The add-in supports a bi-directional data exchange between Fusion 360 and Dynamo Studio, allowing users to create visual logic for Fusion 360 parameters update. It can be downloaded here:

https://apps.autodesk.com/FUSION/en/Detail/Index?id=74731490955641349&appLang=en&os=Win64

It provides an ability to use a visual editor environment to modify Fusion 360 model parameters, view and use them in complex logical graphs. Fusion 360 parameters will be automatically updated from Dynamo Studio using custom input and output nodes.
Dynamo for Fusion 360 Supports Dynamo Studio 2017 version: 1.1 – 1.3.

The benefits of using Dynamo with Fusion 360 are:

  • Very complex and rapidly reconfigurable T-Spline surfacing is
  • Parameter driven components can be modified live using sliders to adjust
  • Parameter driven components can have logic integrated to link different parameters and make automatic adjustments according to conditional
  • Parameter driven assemblies can be modified live and can adapt if setup
  • Parameter driven assemblies can have logic integrated to link parameters from different components to respond to changing geometry according to conditional

One of Dynamo – Fusion 360 Workflows is called “Synchronous workflow”. It is directly manipulating parameters listed in the parameter table in Fusion 360. This can enable rapid reconfiguration of assemblies and components by using sliders, or logic can be incorporated to describe relationships between geometry. If you have not tried, here are some simple steps to try:

 Step 1: Create a simple Fusion part with some name parameters as shown:

Step 2: Save and name the part as “Dynamo-Fusion”

Step 3: Go to Tools -> DYNAMO FOR FUSION to run Dynamo

Dynamo will create a same name parameter file with extension “.json” that contains all extracted parameters from Fusion 360 part and stored under:  C:\Users\ (your username) \AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Autodesk Fusion 360\API\AddIns\Dynamo for Fusion\exported parameters\

Step 4: In Dynamo’s search bar, search for “output” and insert “Fusion 360 Output” node. Repeat search for “Slider” and insert “Number Slider” node.

 


Step 5:
In Dynamo, connect File Path to “Fusion 360 Output” and “Number Slider” to any parameter and set Min, Max and Step. Use the slider to size or adjust the features.

If you would like to manipulate other parameters, then just add more sliders. Simply select the slider node and use Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste it. After that you can customise each slider values (Max, Min, Step) and connect it to any of the parameters and watch the part update. You can even connect a slider to more than one parameter (i.e. to make a square cut).

Using Dynamo with Fusion360 can be fun and simple. Try it and have fun with Dynamo for Fusion 360.

Civil 3D 2021 is Here

By Matt Kolberg , Applications Specialist at SolidCAD

 

Civil 3D 2021 is Here

It’s that time of year again folks; Autodesk has released their flagship Civil Engineering product in Civil 3D  2021.  Here is an Autodesk article explaining the new changes.  Here are my favorites from this release.

Format

There is no format change this year.  Excellent!  You may share your Civil 3D files with users back to 2018.

Pressure Networks

There has been significant development to this feature.  If you have not been using pressure networks due to feature limitations, it is time to rethink your approach; these tools are good!  We now have path-based pressure network Pipe Runs in both plan and profile.  The image below shows a grip-edit to a pressure main.  The bend was automatically swapped after the grip-edit.

Do you need your pressure network to maintain a 1.5m cover below your corridor surface?  Here, the pipes are dynamically linked to the design profile at a 1.5m depth.

Infraworks Interoperability

More collaboration features have been introduced, such as:

  • Civil 3D corridors can now be mapped to Infraworks Component Roads and remain dynamic to the drawing when reimported.
  • Infraworks bridges are now supported within Civil 3D, stylized labeled in profile views.  There is a new Bridges node in the Prospector.

Scripting

There are additional nodes and functionality related to Dynamo scripting.