Finding inspiration in even the most mundane of tasks

Posts Tagged ‘Tips’

Preview Your Leader

In Revit on October 4, 2012 at 5:35 am

I just realized I never shared this tip. It’s something that drove me nuts until I figured it out. Sometimes when adding a keynote, the keynote tag would be visible while placing, but not the leader. After placement, the leader and keynote both show up just fine. In my case, the reason was that my current workset was one that was hidden in the view. Changing the current workset to one that was visible brought back the leader visibility. Apparently keynotes (perhaps other annotation as well?) take on the internal workset of the view, not the user-defined workset that happens to be current. If anyone knows of other culprits that cause this visibility issue, feel free to comment and I’ll update this post.

P.S. I recognize the interesting timing on a post with this title. It’s just that I started this draft a long time ago and didn’t want to change it. If you came here expecting something else, sorry. I think #BigBird is still trending on Twitter.  .-)

Topo in Section Cut – Bug?

In Revit on February 28, 2011 at 8:49 am

My standard when viewing a building section is to view *only* what the section line is cutting through – not the elements beyond. For this reason, after placing the section in plan view, I drag the bounding box line that represents the far clip offset really close (technical term) to the section line. I don’t see a way to set it to a distance of zero, so I just zoom in and eyeball it (technical term that comes from using Revit). The problem this causes is that where the section cuts through a toposurface the cut fill will not display.

When I increased the far clip offset to 1″ the cut pattern became visible. It turns invisible when the far clip offset is set to any value smaller than 0.89″ in fact. This seems to me to be a bug with the toposurface entity, since none of the other cut patterns in the model behave this way – they are consistently visible. Hopefully this tip will save somebody some time. I won’t say how much time it would have saved me because it’s just too darn embarrassing.

Outta My Way! (Interference)

In AutoCAD Architecture on July 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

Some would call this a workaround. Well, it is.

AutoCAD Architecture wall objects allow Interference Conditions.  I use this feature to show my wall boundary being cut by recessed fire extinguisher cabinets.  The block I use for the cabinets includes a mass element, which is what cuts the wall.  A problem arises when attempting to use more than one fire extinguisher on a single wall.  Apparently there is a rule with Interference Conditions that a single item cannot be attached to a wall more than once.  Even though each instance of the block has a unique handle, the mass elements within each block all are technically the same object.

This leaves two options:

1.) Break the wall into two separate walls.

2.) Create a duplicate block definition, and make sure to copy the mass element so its handle is different from the original.

Either choice should work fine, but I chose to create a new block because I didn’t want to break the wall.  Plus, I now have an extra block ready to use next time I encounter the same problem.

The MText Question

In AutoCAD Architecture on January 16, 2010 at 10:44 am

Just a quick AutoCAD tip for the weekend.  A lot of companies that have used AutoCAD for more than a decade have customized their standard SHX font, especially to show symbols such as Diameter, Angle, Centerline, etc.  The common method for displaying these special characters is to use the ‘percent percent’ code (e.g. %%169).  This has worked fine for years, but in newer versions of AutoCAD, when using MText, for some reason some of the symbols display as question marks.

You could explode the MText object to single-line text to get the symbol to display, but I’m not too fond of that solution as I am a die hard fan of MText.  The solution I have used is to use the ‘ALT key code’, which works for most of the problematic symbols I’ve encountered.  The way to to this is to hold the ALT key while keying a 4-digit number on your keyboard’s number pad (make sure NumLock is on).  It can be a little tricky on a laptop, but it still works.  For example, %%169 would be ALT+0169, and %%43 would be ALT+0043 (the zero padding is applied to the front of the code).

If you have any other solutions feel free to comment.

Doctor, it hurts when I do this

In AutoCAD Architecture on January 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm

“Don’t do that.”

Here is a recent glitch we encountered with ACA 2008.  We use Project Navigator, with our details set up as individual View drawings.  We then drag the defined Model Space Views in these drawings onto the Sheet to place the details.  Sometimes the wrong MSV is accidentally dragged into the Sheet, and the natural reaction to correct the error is to hit the ESC key.  For some users, if the ESC key is pressed before picking the insertion point for the viewport ACA crashes.   Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Be Afraid – Prologue

In AutoCAD Architecture, CAD / BIM Manager on December 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Due in large part to a recent thread on the Autodesk forums, I am going to be reevaluating my content storage and delivery systems in AutoCAD Architecture.  That is, the style templates and tool palettes.

Style Templates

Currently all our AEC content exists in a single ‘style template’ drawing file.  The biggest reason for this setup is the complexity of the Display System, Read the rest of this entry »