Applied Software


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

Scott Hendricks
Scott Hendricks
Scott Hendricks's Blog

New tricks to make modeling with Design Line easier. Here is a download of button images for your new buttons.

Join me at AU—Autodesk University! It’s a great opportunity to learn about the future of making things and connect with the best in the business As an AU attendee, I’ll be able to: Explore new tools and technologies, plus get insider tips and tricks Network with peers, partners, expert speakers, and Autodesk product teams Learn new skills I can share with my colleagues Take free Autodesk Certification exams (over 1,500 attendees took exams at AU last year) I will be speaking in the following sessions MSF21307 - Creating Great Fabrication Services MSF22010 - The Ins and Outs of Fabrication Ancillaries Get all the details at the AU Las Vegas website. Watch AU 2015 Las Vegas in 90 seconds! for a taste of the creativity and inspiration that is AU. See you there!

Adding fall to a Design Line is a fairly simple task but here is a trick to make sure your Design Lines stay connected to your equipment after applying fall to it.

The Positioner in Autodesk's Fabrication CADmep is a pretty handy little tool. Check out this video and I will show you a few things that you can do with it.  

Everyone likes free software. It's even better when that software is actually good. I want tell you about one Autodesk software that I've been using for a long time and really like. It's Autodesk Screencast, Screencast is a desktop recording application that allows you to record your screen and then share it with others. Now I know there are other screen recording applications out there but if you're in Autodesk software user you really should check out Screencast it works fantastic with Autodesk products giving you a button right inside software to start a recording. It records mouse movement, clicks, keystrokes and commands typed at the command line in AutoCAD. This is great for recording tips and tricks to share with coworkers or to illustrate issues for support. Give Autodesk Screencast a try it won't cost you a dime and I think you'll like it. 

Autodesk Fabrication CADmep has a very good tool build in for checking our models for things like duplicate items, connector mismatches, size mismatches, open ends and collisions.  Check out this video on service validation to learn more.  Download:  Service Validation Palette

Linear nesting can reduce your material waste and lower your labor cost associated with prefabrication but the report can be tricky to setup. The video below should help you get your report working properly.

Below is an list sorted by priority of how the Autodesk Fabrication products get standard lengths and O.D.’s. When creating content, knowing how Standard Length and O.D.’s are applied to items will save you hours of frustration.               Priority 1 Item Dimensions   (A number can be input here and that will be the default length or it can be set to Auto in which it will move to Priority 2) Priority 2 Specification/Material/Straights Only   Priority 3 Specification/Material/All Types Priority 4 Specification/Material (Any)/Straights Only Priority 5 Specification/Material (Any)/All Types Priority 6 Materials/Specification/Gauge   (This priority only applies to O.D. and this length is only used for Linear Nesting reports)

You may have noticed that during the Convert 3D process in CADmep that your perfectly round solids get turned into something that more resembles a hexagon. In the process of rebuilding one of my converted items I noticed that my newly converted item didn't look as good as my older one and after a little testing I figured out why. It was the AutoCAD setting "Rendered object smoothness", so I did a little testing and here are my results. Visual Performance Test Machine CPU - Intel Core i7-3770K Overclocked to 4.3 GHz GPU - Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 RAM - 32GB DDR3 1600 Software - AutoCAD 2015, CADmep 2015 Testing Process Each item was inserted into a blank drawing and arrayed 100x100 (10,000 items) in the model. I then timed how long it took to go from a top view to a front view.                       Summary In my opinion the performance was so close that I have no problem setting the Rendered object smoothness to 1. I also tried higher numbers with diminished returns. If you wish you could change this setting while converting solids and switch it back to the default of 0.5 without affecting ...

On May 12, 2014 Autodesk released a bunch of new items for download on Here is a run down of what they updated and what they added.   Charlotte - Service Weight Cast Iron - Updated Charlotte - Service Weight Cast Iron XH - Updated Charlotte - No-Hub Cast Iron - Updated Mueller - DWV PVC - Added Mueller - DWV ABS - Added CTS Fabrication - Electrolysis Insulated Flanges - Added Weldbend - Carbon Steel XS - Added Weldbend - Carbon Steel STD - Updated Weldbend - Carbon Steel Flanges 300 - Added Weldbend - Carbon Steel Flanges 150 - Added US Pipe - Ductile Iron Mechanical Joint 250 - Added US Pipe - Ductile Iron Flanged 150 - Added Tyco - Ductile Iron Valves - Added Tyler - Ductile Iron Mechanical Joint 350 PSI - Added Tyler - Ductile Iron Mechanical Joint 250 PSI - Added Tyler - Cast Iron No Hub Fittings - Updated Tyler - Cast Iron Service Weight Fittings - Added Spears - PVC True Union 2000 Valves - Added Spears - CPVC Schedule 40 Flameguard - Added Spears - CPVC Schedule 80 Flameguard - Added Spears - CPVC True Union 2000 Valves ...

Last week I created a post on downloading Autodesk Fabrication content from the and since then an update to the Fabrication products has come out, SP2b, which repaired a great feature. Here is a video on downloading or updating content from from within the program.  

I have an updated post that has a simpler download method. You can find it here. Autodesk on 11/28/13 added over 7,000 parts to their imperial catalog on the site, from Victaulic, Nibco and Anvil. This made me think that it would be a good time to put together a how-to on getting that content into your configuration.

I had reports with incorrect hanger rod diameters for years using CADmep. It drove me nuts to print a report and then change the rod sizes by hand before giving it to purchasing. The problem was that the rod size was tied to the hanger not to the pipe so when insulation is added to the pipe the hanger would oversize but so would the rod. I have since fixed my hangers and they now report out correctly and here is how you can do the same. Click on image to enlarge.

Custom buttons can save a lot of time by automating repetitive workflows. This video will guide you through building a custom palette button for tagging diffusers but the same would apply many different workflows. Here is the code for the button we will be creating: ^C^C^P(MapFilter "#5025=#34")(princ)(ctext "Diffuser-Tag")(princ) More can be found on the filter in this code by searching the CADmep help file for "MapFilter".

Put your own images on your scripted button assemblies.

Here is a download containing the carriers that I used in this video, for them to work in your configuration you may have to change the connectors to match the connectors on your pipe. ZurnCarriers

AutoCAD 2014 Service Pack 1 is out. You can download it from here. Autodesk - Autodesk AutoCAD Services & Support - Updates & Service Packs.

There are times in the MEP modeling industry that we need to create a structural model and CADmep is a very good tool for this. So let’s take a look at how we can quickly and efficiently build our structural model. (For this example you will need a 2D structural drawing) Open your 2D structural drawing Click on the Polyline 3D Fill button Select the line you wish to fill (does not need to be a polyline can be a standard line) The “Fill Start Options” dialog box will open In the first box select your structural steel service In the second box set your section (optional) Select the appropriate size (W16x26 in this example) Click on the offset button and select how you would like it to fill (I generally select “Top” so that when I choose my elevation it will be top of steel) Click on the elevation button and set your elevation Click on the OK button Select ...

AutoCAD workspaces can be a great way to organize your drawing environment based on the task you're currently working. Here is a short "how-to" on creating a AutoCAD workspace.