Several readers have asked about the Inventor add-in I created, All Thumbs. All Thumbs allows you to set consistent background color and visual settings for file thumbnails regardless of your application settings within Inventor. Although I wouldn’t say it’s official supported by me anymore, it does seem to work well with the latest version of Inventor.
‘Swift Prints’ has recently been updated for compatibility with Inventor 2018. In this update, the method to which your username to Autodesk 360 is obtained to validate your Swift Prints license has been changed.
If it wasn’t already easy enough to use Swift Prints with Autodesk Inventor to print your drawings, you can now print by just clicking a single button on the toolbar. 1-click adds the ability to send a print based on the last used printer configuration.
The people have spoken and they love ‘Swift Prints’ for Inventor. If you’re not already using Swift Prints, it allows you to create templates for common printer configurations that you can quickly access later for one click printing of Autodesk® Inventor® drawings.
I was doing some early spring cleaning on my backup drive and found some old remnants of past AutoCAD and Inventor macros that I thought would be cool to share. I’m going to share these one per blog post. None of these are really functional anymore and some only exist as saved screenshots but it’s neat to see what’s possible with some good ole’ fashion, down and dirty coding. You can read the 1st part of this blog post series here.
This is the 2nd macro I want to share with you, AutoCAD Batch Plot. This macro was the basis for the conceptual idea behind my Swift Prints Inventor add-in. Printing from any CAD application, including AutoCAD isn’t very painful but it still takes quite a few mouse clicks to get the plot settings you desire. This macro pre-configured standard plots to the printers in use. Settings for size, orientation and scale, and other settings were preset. A user only had to select the desired paper size and how many copies they needed to print the AutoCAD drawing.
At the time, this macro was really advanced as far as offering some very quick methods to plotting an entire drawing package. The macro batch plotted an entire drawing package as a bid or construction package which was limited to 8.5X11 or 11X17 plots. Drawings were limited to this size as faxing was the standard method at the time for transmitting drawings to suppliers. The macro worked by the user first copying all the files into either one of two folders named, for 8.5X11 or 11X17. Once the macro was launched it would traverse the folders plotting the drawings and deleting the files after a succesful plot was sent. You could plot a few hundred drawings in a few minutes. Of course, printers were a bit slower back in the late 90’s and the few minutes it would take to send the plot could result in an hour or more of actual printing.
Permanent link to this article: http://cadtoolbox.com/2011/02/28/macros-2/
- By Off Topic
February 24, 2011
February 24, 2011
I really had to share this really cool video that shows some stuff that may or may not be coming in our future. It shows what can be possible using various Corning glass technologies. I really want to know who’s going to follow all these people around cleaning the finger print smudges from all of these touchscreens. Idea: glass for touchscreens that kills bacteria and removes KFC grease.
Permanent link to this article: http://cadtoolbox.com/2011/02/24/glass/
I was doing some early spring cleaning on my backup drive and found some old remnants of past AutoCAD and Inventor macros that I thought would be cool to share. I’m going to share these one per blog post. None of these are really functional anymore and some only exist as saved screenshots but it’s neat to see what’s possible with some good ole’ fashion, down and dirty coding.
The first is a Batch Mode Operations tool for AutoCAD. This macro was used to batch process an entire folder of drawings by updating the drawing number and renaming the file. It also could update some title block attributes. This tool was used to copy an entire projects design from one plant location to be used in another plant location. Since the designs had the tendency to diverge once the equipment was installed, the drawings needed to be separate
and unique. It would have consumed a few weeks of someone’s time to copy out the files, rename them and update the title block values. This batch tool could accomplish the same task within a few minutes.
The other function of the macro was to batch extract title block attributes to an Access database. The macro would create a database in the selected folder if one did not exist already. The macro allowed you to add the attributes from the files or update the values if the filename already existed in the database. You could also remove entries based on the current batch. This allowed you to keep your drawing properties synched to the database. I was in the process of adding the functionality to feed the database properties back to the drawings when the project was shelved.
Here’s what the exported database would look like:
This entire tool was completely designed in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) for AutoCAD (circa 2001 or so). Next set of posts, I’ll show you some more cool tools you develop using VBA. I’m so glad I save everything. Now I just wish I would have saved the actual macros.
Permanent link to this article: http://cadtoolbox.com/2011/02/24/macros/
- By Inventor
February 15, 2011
February 15, 2011
iLogic is a great tool for Inventor. It allows for rules driven design that automates and standardizes functions of Inventor. These rules can control many different aspects of a model or Inventor drawing. Rules can be either stored within the individual CAD file or an external iLogic file that can be reused on multiple files. You can read more about iLogic on the Autodesk WikiHelp site.
Rules must be applied to the event triggers you want to fire them with, such as on save, iProperty change, etc. Each file you work with can be customized as to what rules apply to what triggers. You apply a rule to a trigger by clicking on the event trigger and selecting the rules you want to apply. So each file you work with would need the rules applied to each trigger you want to use. There is currently no streamlined method for applying a rule to an event by default. This makes iLogic as a tool to enforce company wide rules somewhat difficult to configure to large groups of people efficiently in its current incarnation.
A workaround is to save the rules applied to the appropriate triggers into your standard template files. Each time a new file is created using these templates, the rules will be applied correctly to the triggers and fire when desired. This doesn’t help you with existing files and doesn’t give you a good method to make future edits or additions.
The word from Autodesk so far is that iLogic, being an add-in acquired from a acquisition has not fully been integrated into Inventor yet. You can get an idea of this just in the look and feel of the dialog windows not being integrated into the look and workflow of Inventor. I’m sure we’ll see some big improvement with iLogic in the 2012 and 2013 releases. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Permanent link to this article: http://cadtoolbox.com/2011/02/15/ilogic/