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


Lyle Janda
Lyle Janda
Lyle Janda's Blog

Autodesk Fabrication update 2017.2 is now live. For current subscription users, access each update through the Application Desktop App or subscription center.

Click on the link below to view our Fabrication Advance Videos. We will be posting new videos over time, so please come back to see what's New.  Advance Fabrication Videos

Learn how to place Level/Size Tags on Connector 1 or Connector 2 using Fabrication CADmep.

Unable to see CADmep Items in Navis? Downloaded the Object Enabler and no parts? CADmep is loaded and still, nothing? Here's a quick video showing what to look for and how to fix this issue when it happens.    Troubleshooting the Object Enabler http://autode.sk/2aOIhoL    

Watch this video to learn how to download, export and convert Revit Families to ITM files. This process can be done in Fabrication ESTmep or CADmep. *Recommended for items such as equipment. Common items such as fittings, valves and pipe, should use the MAKEPAT command when creating items. 

Please join me at Autodesk University 2016, November 15-17, and the MEP and Structural Fabricators Forum (MSF), November 14, in Las Vegas:   Class ID: MEP22032 Class Title: How to Implement Fabrication ESTmep-Best Practices Class Type: Instructional demo   Class ID: FAB22942-L Class Title: Hands-on-Lab: Introduction to ESTmep. Class Type: Hands-on lab   Class ID: MSF22037-L Class Title: Hands-on-Lab: Introduction to ESTmep Class Type: Hands-on lab

Autodesk has released several fundamental training videos for all of the Fabrication products. Click on one of the links below to launch the appropriate Youtube playlist. Autodesk Fabrication ESTmep Autodesk Fabrication CADmep Autodesk Fabrication CAMduct

Object Enabler issues can be very annoying and in some cases, time consuming. Most likely you have downloaded the Object Enabler off the Autodesk website to find you are unable to see any items in AutoCAD or Navisworks. Follow these easy steps to resolve Object Enabler Issues. These steps apply to Fabrication 2013-2015 Object Enabler.  When viewing a DWG with Fabrication CADmep items and Fabrication CADmep is not installed, you must download the Object Enabler. Once the Object Enabler has been installed, the .dbx file is placed in C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Fabrication 2015/CADmep/DBX cadmep20x64.dbx (64 bit) cadmep20.dbx (32 bit) The correct .dbx file is placed automatically when installing Fabrication CADmep. Typically, once the Object Enabler is installed, no extra steps are needed to view Fabrication CADmep items. But if you have installed the Object Enabler and still do not see Fabrication CADmep items, you must manually load the .dbx file. o   Important: DO NOT LOAD THE .DBX FILE IF FABRICATION CADMEP IS LOADED. This ...

Autodesk Fabrication Service Pack 3 is out. Download here. CADmep 2014 Service Pack 3 Changes ESTmep 2014 Service Pack 3 Changes Tracker 2014 Service Pack 3 Changes CAMduct 2014 Service Pack 3 Changes CAMduct Components 2014 Service Pack 3 Changes Remote Entry 2014 Service Pack 3 Changes    

Want to know what content is available to download for the Autodesk Fabrication products? Click Here to Search Autodesk Fabrication .ITM Content. To view questions and answers on this topic, check out this discussion on XtraCAD.com.

HANGERCOMMAND is a great tool that allows you to add hangers to a system or run of items utilizing Support Specifications. If you are using Multi-Point Fill or place by Attacher, hangers are not automatically placed. HANGERCOMMAND is a fast and simple way to add hangers. Follow the steps below to take advantage of this little known command. Follow this check list when setting up a support specification; this applies for design line as well. (Use the CADmep Help Menu for a detailed explanation on creating a Support Specification) Item Button Code – Set the Button Code on the item for the desired hanger.   Support Specification – Set the Button Code within the correct Support Specification for the desired hanger (Make sure this matches the Button Code on the hanger).   Service Template – Assign the support specification to the Service Template. Make sure to select the correct Service before using this command. A quick way to do this, is to set the Attacher Arrow to an item on the desired run of items. With the Button Code assigned, Support Specification created and Support Specification assigned ...

Have you ever needed to add custom information to an item and use it in a report? Here is a quick How-To on creating Custom Item Data and reporting this information. This also applies to Custom Job Data. Located in the Main Database, click on Takeoff>Custom Data.   Under Custom Item Data, click on the green button to create a new field. Notice that the ID number automatically increments up to the next number. Fill out the Description name.   Click OK. If you do not see the custom data applied to the item, you will need to add this to the item information. There is a detailed summary of how to do this in the help file. Do a search for custom data, click here if you need help accessing the help file. Now that the custom data has been added to the item information, open the Item Report Builder. For this example, I created a new Item Report only using Item Custom Data Field and Job Custom Data Field. Under Table, select Item Custom Data Field. Under the Contents tab, enable Display data for index#. Notice ...

The out of the box Fabrication Software is not setup with Usernames and Permissions. If you are sharing a database between 2 or more users, Usernames and Permissions are a must. Here are some of the advantages for setting up Usernames and Permissions. If you have more than 2 Users using a shared database, it’s important that there is only one user that has the ability to make edits to the entire database. This user is typically the database manager. It’s a good rule of thumb that the database manager is set up with Enforce Single Login checked and given a password. This will ensure that only the database manager can login without anyone else making changes while there in the database. This will reduce mistakes like overwriting the database and making faulty changes that will affect all users. It is good practice to setup an Administrator account ie: Usermane:admin Password: admin. That way the manger of the estimating department, CAD department or CAM department can log on to make necessary changes to the database. For all other users it is good ...

When using designline, wouldn't it be nice to have a button or command to fill unfilled inactive designlines without double clicking, activating and selecting the Fill3D button? Use the command FILLOBJS. This will allow you to select any designline that is not active and fill it in with the last service that was used. Make sure to select the design line once you run the command by left clicking. FILLOBJS works with multiple designlines no matter the discipline.

With the 2013 release of Autodesk Fabrication CADmep, some costing features were removed from the program but there are still some useful costing tools left. The costing features in CADmep are not a substitute for ESTmep but rather a tool for quick reporting, cost break down and CSV exporting within CADmep. Let’s look at the available costing features in CADmep 2014. 1.      In the main database, select the Costing Tab. Here you have access to Wastage, Fabrication Times, Installation Times and Labor Rates. Notice you do not have access to Price List. You will need ESTmep to setup the Costing properly and I do not recommend trying to use CADmep as your Estimating software but as a tool for quick reference.  If working on a shared database with ESTmep users, before making any changes to Costing in CADmep, check with the Estimating Department. All changes made in CADmep will affect ESTmep. 2.      Located under the Fittings Icon, select Connectors. Select the Costing icon next to the Manufacturing and Drawing icon. Double click on the desired connector. The Costing tab gives the user the ability to ...

When launching Fabrication CADmep®, you are not presented with a list of configurations to choose from, what do you do? This common support issue can be a pest if you don't know how to fix it. Follow the steps below to remedy this issue. 1.      Go to Start->All Programs->Autodesk->Fabrication CADmep 2014->Edit Configuration 2.      The configuration dialouge box is displayed. Uncheck the box “Remember this next time”. 3.      Click Ok. 4.     The CADmep Config Editor dialogue is displayed. Simply click Ok again. Launch the program and select the desired configuration and select Ok.

One of the most common support issues I run across in CADmep®, is not being able to see Leaders. Within CADmep® and AutoCAD®, there are three settings that need to be configured to display or customize leaders and arrowheads. Note: This applies to Number Text, Size Text, Level Text and Offset Text located in the Main Database>Takeoff>CAD Settings>Annotation. 1.  In CADmep®, go to Main Database>Takeoff>CAD Settings>Annotation 2.  Under Number Text>Text Style type in the Text Style Name. i. Example: Text Style=Tags 3.  At the command line type STYLE to open the Text Style dialogue box. i. Select New to create a new Text Style. Name the Text Style the same as the Text Style example in step 2. Click Apply 4.  At the command line type DIMSTYLE to open the Dimension Style Manager dialogue box. i.  Select New. Name the Dimension Style the same as the Text Style example in step 2. Click Continue   ii.  Select Symbols and Arrows. This tab will allow you to modify the Arrowheads, Leader and Arrow size along with other settings.   5.  Select a CADmep® item from the service palette and place it into the ...

I get the “how to” question quite a bit and my first response is, “have you checked the help file”? More times than none the answer is, “I didn’t know there was a help file”. Below are the steps to locate, add shortcut and navigate through the help file. Locate the .chm file: CADmep: C:Program FilesAutodeskFabrication 2014CADmepen-USCADmep.chm ESTmep: C:Program FilesAutodeskFabrication 2014ESTmepen-USESTmep.chm CAMduct: C:Program FilesAutodeskFabrication 2014CAMducten-USCAMduct.chm I recommend creating a shortcut on the desktop. Double click the shortcut to open the help menu. Using the search field. Click on search Type in a topic you are searching for Click list topics   This will bring up a selection of topics to choose from, simply double click the topic to open.   Adding to favorites. Click on the Favorites tab Right click and add or hit the add button. This topic will now be added to your favorites.    

I find myself answering this question quite often while answering support cases. I would like to share this simple but overlooked feature. CADmep has the ability to export CADmep items as an ESJ/MAJ file to be used with ESTmep or CAMduct. Follow the steps below to create a ESJ/MAJ: Create or open an existing job within CADmep. There are two options to save the job as an ESJ/MAJ. Using the Command Line 1.      In the command line type CREATECAM 2.      The command line prompts: Select Objects Type ALL or useany of the normal AutoCAD selection methods and confirm. The Save Job As dialogue is nowdisplayed. 1.      Name the file  2.      Browse to the save location or use default save location  3.      Select file type, MAJ or ESJ  4.      Click Save     Using Context Menus 1.      In your Autocad workspace, Shift+Right Click  2.      Hover the mouse arrow over CADmep to expand the dialogue box 3.      Hover the mouse arrow over CAM/Print  4.      Left Click on CAM.  5.      Follow the same steps from above starting with #2 - The ...

Ever wonder if there are keyboard shortcuts within ESTmep and CAMduct that could replace the pick and clicks? You’re in luck, both ESTmep and CAMduct have built in shortcut keys. Below is a list of shortcut keys for ESTmep and CAMduct. F1: Will access your .CHM File (HELP FILE). F5- Zoom extents: Brings the model to the extents limit in whatever projection you are in (Item edit window, CAD View, etc). If within Item folders, it will take you back to the 3-D Viewer. F7- Redraw: Redraws the item to reflect the dimensional changes. F8- Develop: Shows all flat pattern developments that make the component/item up F9: Creates a new section. F12- Reset Layout: Changes the toolbar placement back to default layout. End: Accepts the item into the job. Home: Resets the item selection for Quick Takeoff. Ctrl+Shift+C: Brings up the console for switching users, creating patterns, etc. Ctrl+S: Save Job. Shift+F9: Add Couplings. Shift+F10: Add Supports.