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News on the latest in design, manufacturing, fabrication, construction, and engineering technology.


I often see different companies with multiple locations utilizing one database. However, at those multiple locations they have different hardware available on the floor. An example would be Location A having one size of plasma requiring certain sheet sizes and Location B requiring a different sheet size. While using one database this can be difficult to manage without continuously making changes to the database. This video will display a way to setup your materials and sizes for each location, and not have to make a second trip to the database.

In CADmep we used the command SL1 to isolate a service. Revit does not have a good isolation command so I wrote one using Dynamo, below is a link to download the script. https://www.dropbox.com/s/qizv5dbdy1sqnne/Isolate%20Service%20-%20ASTI.dyn?dl=0

Here is a complete list of the Microsoft patches by OS to correct the SMB v1 flaw Wannacry is exploiting. # KB4012598 KB4012212 - Windows Server 2008 # KB4012212 KB4012215 KB4019264 - Windows Server 2008 R2 # KB4012214 KB4012217 KB4019216 KB4012220 KB4015551 KB4015554 - Windows Server 2012 # KB4012213 KB4012216 KB4015550 KB4019215 - Windows Server 2012 R2 # KB4013429 KB4019472 KB4015217 KB4015438 KB4016635 - Windows Server 2016 # KB4012598 - Windows Vista # KB4012212 KB4012215 KB4019264 KB4015549 - Windows 7 # KB4012213 KB4012216 KB4015550 KB4019215 - Windows 8.1 # KB4012606 KB4013198 KB4013429 - Windows 10 # KB4012598 - Windows XP # KB4012598 - Windows 2003 # KB4012598 - Windows 8 For the official list go to here To protect your organization against Ransomware you need well trained employees and a reliable backup.     Training is only effective  as long as it continuous.   The tricks keep changing so the training needs to keep up.  Knowbe4 is a leader in security training.   The best solution for having a good backup of your file data is Panzura.   Data backup snapshots are built-in.   You get the benefit of SSD local access speed with the ...

No need to google it.  No, it isn’t a third party conversion program.  Nor is a magic spell cast by the Good Witch of the North required (no eye of a newt nor hair of a goat).  It is a relatively new feature of AutoCAD, it has been around for several releases now.  It can be accessed from the Big A, Import / PDF.  When you call the command, you will find you can either pick a PDF file to import, or select a PDF that is already referenced in the drawing.  The great thing, you can import the data as vector geometry. But wait, there’s more. You can have TrueType fonts come in as TrueType fonts!  If layers are defined in the PDF,  you can have those layers created automatically.  And it could be brought in as a block and have end-to-end lines and arcs come in as polylines. Yet another great thing about this feature.  Have you ever wanted to have a DWF become a DWG again?  No need to google DWF to DWG, though you will find some out ...

Want to see what all the fuss is about ? eVolve's new view and sheet creator is now available in the latest version of eVolve. It allows you to set up spools using phases, worksets, or a .txt file. For detailed instructions view the link below. Let us know what you think. Please download link here. View and Sheet Creator  

RansomWare Wannacry
You may have seen the news this past weekend. Hackers have released a new strain of ransomware that spreads itself automatically across all workstations in a network, causing a global epidemic. If you or a co-worker are not paying attention and accidentally open one of these phishing email attachments, you might infect not only your own workstation, but immediately everyone else's computer too. For additional information this particular Ransomware, please see the following website,  click here. For information of patching your Windows based computer, click here.

You've purchased your network software and you're ready to install it, but the burden of installing the network software is new to you and appears overwhelming.  It's actually a very easy process and only requires 4 simple steps.  These are steps along with links to guide you: Obtain your Autodesk Network License file Install the Autodesk License Manager Configure the Autodesk License Manager Install the Autodesk network software

You're ready!  You've obtained your network license file and installed and configured the Autodesk Network License Manager.  If not I recommend reading these first: Step 1:  How to generate an Autodesk network license file Step 2:  Where to find and how to install the Autodesk Network License Manager Step 3:  Configuring the Autodesk License Manager Now you're ready to install the software on the user's systems.  You have two options. . . If you only have a few users in your company you can simply install the software and point it to the license server.   In older versions of the software (prior to 2017) you set this up upon installation on this screen: In newer versions of the software (2017 and above) you first install the software and then upon the initial launch of the software you then point the software to the network server at this screen: ...

By now you've found and installed the Autodesk Netowork License Manager.  If not, I recommend reading our "Where to find and how to install the Autodesk Network License Manager" guide. If installed correctly, you should now see an LMTools icon on the desktop: Proceed to double-click the icon to launch it.  Once launched, you can follow this link to easily configure it. . . Configuring the Network License Manger on Windows Next you can either manually install the software and manually point it back to the server to obtain a license or you can create a deployment image to do this for you.   Step 4:  Install the Autodesk Network Software 

Assuming you've completed step 1 and obtained an Autodesk network license file, you're now ready to install the Autodesk Network License Manager (aka ADLM or LM Tools).   This step is the easiest step of the network installation guide.  You simply find the  license manager software and install it.  But remember. . . Last year's license manager will not work with this year's software.  For every release of the software you must install the latest and greatest license manager.  However, the 2017 license manage will work with the 2018 software.   You must install the license manager on the server (or a system that will remain on for other systems to ping).   You can also find the latest version of the license manager at Autodesk's Downloading the Network License Manager site.   Next you need to configure the license manger.   Step 3:  Configuring the Autodesk License Manager

You've purchased your network software and you're ready to install it.  The first step you need to take to install your network software is to generate a license file.   There are three ways to generate a license file:  Requesting it from within your Autodesk account - You can read more about this method in Autodesk's "Generate a Network License File in Autodesk Account" document.   Through the registeronce.autodesk.com website -  You can read more about this method in Autodesk's "Requesting a Network License File" document. Calling the Autodesk authorization codes hotline at 866-681-4359 (be forewarned - depending on traffic volume this method may be the longest). Next, you need to install the Autodesk License Manager.   Step 2:  Where to find and how to install the Autodesk License Manager

Vault Professional 2018 - Incorrect Licensing
While working on installing my 2018 Autodesk products, I ran into an issue with the licensing mode of Vault Professional 2018. During the installation of the Vault Server, I noticed there is no option for selecting Standalone licensing, however, inputting the standalone serial number allows the installation to continue.  After completing the installation of the client, I launched it only to discover what I anticipated might happen - I received a network licensing error. I had to do a little digging, and found this article on the AKN: Vault Professional 2018 client defaults to network licensing after installation.  The solution is a simple folder delete and restart of the client. You will then be prompted to enter your standalone s/n.  On a side note, I had a separate issue with Vault and Inventor and decided to uninstall and reinstall both. After the re-installation, I did not experience the licensing error. So, now I'm left scratching my head... why didn't the installer create the same directory it did the first time, and cause the error (or...How many licks does it take to ...

New mobile construction app enables Android users to join their iOS-based counterparts in managing plans, models, and documents in the field. The new Autodesk app brings BIM 360 Docs functionality to Android-based smartphones and tablets.  Check it out here: http://www.cadalyst.com/collaboration/file-sharing-publishing/autodesk-extends-bim-360-docs-android-devices-31436

What's New in Autodesk Inventor 2018 – Interoperability
AnyCAD and Translator Enhancements AnyCAD Enhancements (not available in Inventor LT) Newer Versions of AnyCAD Formats are Supported  You must have the latest updates installed for your version of Inventor. Updates can be downloaded via the Autodesk desktop app or from manage.autodesk.com For more information, see About Importing Files from other CAD Systems.  Translator Enhancements CATIA R6 - V5-6R2016 is now supported.  For more information, see Translator Support.    DWG Underlay Enhancements   Insert a DWG File Directly into Your Assembly You can now import your DWG file directly into an assembly using the Place Components command. In the Place Component dialog box, you can now choose to include a DWG file as a placed component in your assembly.  Previously, you had to open DWG geometry in an assembly by placing a part file that contained DWG model geometry.  For more information, see About Importing Files from Other CAD Systems.    Select Multiple DWG Files When Creating More Than One Underlay You can now insert multiple DWG files directly into an Inventor assembly or part file to use as an associative DWG underlay.  When you place or import a DWG file into your part or assembly, any ...

Revit - Housekeeping pad (Part 1 of 3) This question usually comes up in training or support on a regular basis, so I decided to show you a couple of different ways to create a basic housekeeping pad. In MEP, you might have the need to create a pad for your equipment. You can use a couple of different methods to create a pad in Revit. You create an In-place family for a specific single instance. You can also make a simple foundation and offset your equipment after placement. Alternatively, you can make a simple foundation pad family that will flex on an instance basis. In the following video I will go through each option: Part 1 -- Structural Foundation Pad

Professional Development for Our Robot Replacements by Autodesk https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-03-16/professional-development-for-our-robot-replacements-video The classic industrial robot is a deaf, dumb and blind arm deployed to carry out repetitive tasks reliably. Now, companies such as Autodesk Inc. are developing peripheral vision systems and software which allows robots to work closely with humans in factories and workshops. (video by Matt Gottschalk, David Nicholson) (Source: Bloomberg)     

What's New in Autodesk Inventor 2018 - Drawings
Drawing Open Enhancements The following changes occur in the lower section of the File Open dialog box:   The Find command is accessed via an icon  in the lower left section between the Help button and Quick Launch commands.  The Last Saved information is now below the thumbnail preview. A combo box for opening in Full or Defer mode is added between the Options…and Quick Launch buttons. Defer combines the previous Defer Updates and Fast Open commands into one action causing the drawing document to open without updating or loading reference documents (parts, assemblies, etc.).      In the File Open Options... dialog box the Full or Defer combo button replaces the Defer Updates and Fast Open checkboxes.    For more information, see To File Open Options - IDW Drawings Reference.  Drawing View Dialog Box  The Drawing View dialog box has been modestly rearranged to accommodate new options. These are the changes:  General The Preview in the lower left corner is ...

Autodesk Infrastructure Technical Specialist, Jeff Bartels and the guys over at the Civil Immersion blog have periodically be releasing short videos on the new features of Civil 3D 2018.  Rather than you having to find them among their other amazing blogs, I've added them here for you to view in a video library.  There are some really great features.  Enjoy! Clear Corridor Bowties: Relative Feature Lines (Part 1): Relative Feature Lines (Part 2): Section View Buffer: Plan/Profile & Profile/Profile Sheets: Offset Profiles & Connected Alignments (Part 1): Offset Profiles & Connected Alignments (Part 2): Extracted Feature Lines as Corridor Baselines:  Section View Buffer:

The New Features in FormIt v16.0 FormIt v16.0 offers many great new features related to the following categories: Materials Performance Group workflows Modeling Import DWG Revit interop Plugins Check it out here https://formit.autodesk.com/page/release-notes#release-notes-windows Also refer to the FormIt videos on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdZJr6Bo4pwBu3lQqcxlDsw/videos

What's New in Autodesk Inventor 2018 - Assemblies
Shrinkwrap and BIM Content Enhancements Shrinkwrap tools have been enhanced for more control, improved user interface, and an improved workflow. The following are highlights of those improvements:  Access: Shrinkwrap is immediately accessible on the Assembly tab in the Simplification panel.  On first use of Shrinkwrap, for those acquainted with the legacy behavior, you will notice the consolidation of the dialog boxes. There is a single dialog box with three tabs.  Components tab - contains the document level information such as representations and the choices you have for removing components.  Features tab - contains the choices for easily defining which features to remove from the shrinkwrap part. You can retain specific feature types, remove them, or remove them by a range value. Additionally there are tools to help detect and preserve features.  Create tab - contains the file related information, shrinkwrap style, and other settings.  Highlights of the improved workflow:  Remove components that are invisible and/or within a specified size range and (optionally) interactively select those you want to keep.  ...

AutoCAD Plant 3D 2018 - Cloud Collaboration is here!
  New Features in Plant 3D If you have been in the loop with AutoCAD Plant 3D over the past year, you have probably heard of Project Calgary which was the beta of Collaboration of Plant 3D Projects in the Cloud.  Why is this an important feature for AutoCAD Plant 3D?  It centralizes your project for multiple sites and still allows you to work locally as if you were on Vault.  Look at it like using Vault in the Cloud, because that is precisely what it is!  How does this work?  Today, I created a new project, local using SQLite.  I called it "Cloud Project Demo." I did not reference any other projects.  I just wanted to start from ground zero and go from there.  I created one P&ID drawing in the project called 1001.DWG.  Upon creating the first DWG, I was able to go to the new "Collaboration" tab in the ribbon and selected "SHARE PROJECT" after which I was shown the following dialog box: Pretty simple so far!  After selecting "GET STARTED!" you will be prompted to close any DWG you have ...

Modal-Based Definition Model-Based Definition (MBD), is a powerful new set of tools for adding annotations, GD&T, and other manufacturing information directly to a 3D part.  Tip: Be sure to check out the guided tutorial in the gallery to help you get started using the new commands.  3D Annotation To access the 3D annotation commands, use the new Annotate tab in a part file and add the manufacturing information directly to the 3D model.  Use the Tolerance Feature command to attach GD&T annotations, Feature Control Frames, and Datum Identifiers to part faces or features. Enable the Tolerance Advisor browser to check the health of your tolerance scheme and display information such as the following:    List of potentially problematic datums and Datum Reference Frames (DRF's).  Information about which features are not fully controlled.  Errors in a tolerance feature.        Tip: Right-click an entry and select More Information to open a help page specific to the message.    Use the General Annotation and Text commands to fully document your model.      Note: 3D annotations and view representations are displayed when you ...

Have you ever drawn a line from a point node and become frustrated because the Z value of the line absorbs the elevation value of the point?  Next thing you find that you have a drawing with a bunch of lines all drawn at different elevations.  Yes, there are times you want this, but there are also times you don't.   If you decide that you need to draw several lines from several point nodes and you want to guarantee the lines will be drawn at a 0.00 elevation then set your OSNAPZ system variable to 1.  The OSNAPZ controls whether object snaps are automatically projected onto a plane parallel to the XY plane of the current UCS at the current elevation.   0 - Osnap uses the Z-value of the specified point 1 - Osnap substitutes the Z-value for the specified point with an elevation set for the current      UCS If you choose to have your elevation something other than 0.00 then type in ELEV in at the commandline and set the desired value.  WARNING:  The OSNAPZ is a system variable and therefore, when ...

Autodesk recently introduced some new functionality to Manage Revit Models in the Cloud, including BIM 360 Team 'Compare Versions'. These new workflows apply to Collaboration for Revit (C4R) as well as BIM 360 Team.  Check it out here: http://help.autodesk.com/view/RVT/2017/ENU/?guid=GUID-AE6DBCDF-3DB1-41CB-9DC5-B0C336E6C851

Productivity and Performance Enhancements Productivity Improvements Easier access to Express mode Open for assemblies. In drawing views, a delay has been added to the view update when you are editing the scale. The delay allows you to enter the new scale without the view reacting to each number entered.  You can exclude surfaces from drawing views. In the Drawing View dialog box, on the Recovery Options tab, clear the checkbox on Include Surface Bodies.  In a deferred drawing, you can access Defer Updates from the context menu. The behavior is the same as if you were accessing the option from Document Settings.  You can change the view preview option from the Open dialog. Clear the check on the eyeglasses and the preview is a bounding box. Browser state icon for out of date components. Views with out of date components also get the state icon.    Parameters A Consumed by column is added to the parameters table to make it easy ...