Importing SketchUp files into AutoCAD

Do you have a SketchUp (SKP) file you need to import into a DWG? Need to know how to do it? Tried it but it didn’t work? This tip is for you. If you’re using AutoCAD 2016 to 2019 for Windows, you can download and install the SketchUp Import plug-in from the Autodesk App Store. If that goes according to plan, this will add the command IMPORTSKP to AutoCAD. You may need to restart your AutoCAD first. It’s straightforward enough; select a file to import and it becomes a block in your drawing. Reading the reviews for this add-on, it’s …

Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 6, future proofing

This is the sixth and final post in this series where I explain why this statement holds true: As a CAD Manager looking after AutoCAD users, or a power user looking after yourself, it’s worth your while to have a copy of BricsCAD handy. This post explains why adding a copy of BricsCAD to your stable of AutoCAD licenses is a good thing for your future and that of your company. A CAD Management thing I did a few years ago was to examine the options for replacing AutoCAD and other Autodesk products. I was an AutoCAD loyalist (albeit a …

Tiny tip of the day – ten more Windows shortcuts

My last tiny tip post (Ctrl+Shift+Esc takes you directly to Task Manager) seemed quite popular so here’s another one. This post includes ten more keystrokes that I use to save me time with CAD management, development, documentation and support. All of these use the Windows key, which is located between Ctrl and Alt on most keyboards. These keystrokes apply to Windows 10 but most of them also work with earlier releases. Keystroke Action Win + D Show the desktop (minimize all windows). It’s a toggle, so use it again to put them back how they were. (Win + M also …

Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 5, LISP

This is the fifth post in this series where I explain why this statement holds true: As a CAD Manager looking after AutoCAD users, or a power user looking after yourself, it’s worth your while to have a copy of BricsCAD handy. This post is about BricsCAD being better than AutoCAD at the one thing that made AutoCAD win the race against its competitors back in the 80s – LISP. That is, AutoLISP (added fully to AutoCAD in Version 2.18) and Visual LISP (fully integrated with AutoCAD 2000). If you’re a good AutoCAD CAD Manager, you’ll already know the reasons …

Tiny tip of the day – go directly to Task Manager

Windows software (e.g AutoCAD) taking way too long to perform a certain operation? Apparently stuck in an endless loop? Won’t stop even when you hit Esc? Need to end the task so you can try something else instead? Not even hitting the red X in the corner works? Then you might find this tiny tip handy. Ctrl+Shift+Esc takes you directly to Task Manager. Do not hit Ctrl+Alt+Del. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Enjoy!

Having trouble authorising Autodesk products?

You’re not alone. At the time of writing, the Autodesk license service at auth.autodesk.com is down, so if you need a response from that service before your software will work you’re likely to be severely out of luck. That’s more likely to be inconvenient if you’re on subscription rather than a perpetual license, because Autodesk subscription software phones home every month. Yes, even if you have a 3-year license.

An email exchange with a friend about AutoCAD

Here’s an email exchange I just had with a friend. He’s a local person who I don’t normally discuss CAD with. He works for an architect. He has given me permission to use this discussion here. Hi Steve, We are looking to update from 2007 and 2010 versions in the office to more recent versions of Autodesk’s AutoCAD. We don’t need full version but if that’s what is available ok then. Lite version is ok as we use for 2D architectural only. We use other packages when 3D work required. We also have call to open consultants drawings which may …

Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 4, efficiency

This is the fourth post in this series where I explain why this statement holds true: As a CAD Manager looking after AutoCAD users, or a power user looking after yourself, it’s worth your while to have a copy of BricsCAD handy. This post is about BricsCAD being more efficient than AutoCAD for some of the things a CAD Manager might need to do. What do I mean? BricsCAD starts up and closes down faster than AutoCAD, much faster in some environments. If your AutoCAD starts up slow (e.g. in some secure proxy server environments), pretty much any job you …

Is anyone going to Autodesk University this year?

No, I don’t mean, “Hey, I’m going to Autodesk University this year, let’s hang out!” I mean, is anyone going to Autodesk University this year? Edit: in this post I am referring to AU2018 in Las Vegas, not any other event. Because I’m seeing lots of people saying they’re not going. People who haven’t missed it for many years. When Robert Green announced his forthcoming non-attendance on Facebook, I was amazed to see so many prominent long-term Autodesk loyalists do likewise. Here are a few comments: OUCH! With all the people I know who won’t be there, AU is going …

Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 3, parts on demand

This is the third post in this series where I explain why this statement holds true: As a CAD Manager looking after AutoCAD users, or a power user looking after yourself, it’s worth your while to have a copy of BricsCAD handy. This post is about using BricsCAD as a mechanical and structural parts library for your AutoCAD users. As I mentioned in my last post in this series, I was writing a client-specific AutoCAD 3D training course recently. To demonstrate the concept of revolving profiles, and also to compare and contrast different styles of solid creation, I wanted to …

IPoC interview – Lynn Allen – part 3

This is the third in a series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). Lynn Allen is a legendary figure in the CAD world and really needs no introduction. I’m very happy that she agreed to be interviewed for this series. Here is the third and final part of Lynn’s interview. Learn about Lynn’s departure from Autodesk, people’s reactions to the news, and what Lynn thinks about Heidi Hewett going to Bricsys. Also, Miss Tiffany. Steve: So after all these years, you’re no longer with Autodesk. Was that a shock to the system? Lynn: After 24 years, it is …

Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 2, 3D operations

This is the second post in this series where I explain why this statement holds true: As a CAD Manager looking after AutoCAD users, or a power user looking after yourself, it’s worth your while to have a copy of BricsCAD handy. This post is about using BricsCAD to do things to help out your AutoCAD users who are having problems with 3D operations. Why would you bother using BricsCAD to mess with AutoCAD 3D models? Because sometimes AutoCAD can’t do stuff with them, and BricsCAD can. If you have a user who finally asks for help after fighting AutoCAD …

IPoC interview – Lynn Allen – part 2

This is the third in a series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). Lynn Allen is a legendary figure in the CAD world and really needs no introduction. I’m very happy that she agreed to be interviewed for this series. Here is the second part of Lynn’s interview, which includes discussion of travel, gender issues and a nasty poster. Steve: As Technology Evangelist for Autodesk for over 20 years, presentation was a big part of your job. You have a comedic, apparently casual approach to your presentations that is very popular. How much preparation do you have to …

Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 1, fixing drawings

Here’s a mega-tip with a lot of experience behind it: As a CAD Manager looking after AutoCAD users, or a power user looking after yourself, it’s worth your while to have a copy of BricsCAD handy. Why? There are too many reasons to fit in one blog post, so I’m going to do a mini-series. The first post is about using BricsCAD to fix up drawings that are giving your AutoCAD users problems. One of the things that surprised me most when evaluating BricsCAD as a potential replacement for AutoCAD was that my expectations were wrong when it came to …

IPoC interview – Lynn Allen – part 1

This is the third in a series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). Lynn Allen is a legendary figure in the CAD world and really needs no introduction. I’m very happy that she agreed to be interviewed for this series. Here is the first part of Lynn’s interview. Topics include life before Autodesk, that AU wig and user groups, especially AUGI. Steve: Can you tell me a little about your background before you started with Autodesk? Have you always been involved in teaching and training? Lynn: I started using AutoCAD with Version 1.4 at American Honda. I then …

More details of Bricsys 2018 in London

As I mentioned in March, this year’s Bricsys conference will be held in London (yes, the British one) on 23 and 24 October. More details have now been revealed on the Bricsys Conference page and tickets are now on sale. We now know: Venue: The Brewery, 52 Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4SD, UK. Cost: €150, which is about US$180 (plus taxes in the EU, which you may be able to deduct). This is the early bird rate until 30 June. Speakers: Ten have been named so far, including big-name signing Heidi Hewett. My attendance at the 2016 and 2017 conferences …

IPoC interview – David Kingsley – part 3

Welcome to the second in this series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). David Kingsley has had a long and interesting career, was present in the early days of CAD adoption, and served as an AUGI board member for years. Here is the third and final part of David’s interview. This was the most interesting part of the interview for me, but unfortunately much of the more hilarious anecdotes and other discussions were off the record so I can’t share them. I hope you enjoy what’s left! Steve: What are you most proud of achieving with AUGI? David: …

IPoC interview – David Kingsley – part 2

Welcome to the second in this series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). David Kingsley has had a long and interesting career, was present in the early days of CAD adoption, and served as an AUGI board member for years. Here is the second part of David’s interview which covers his involvement in AUGI, the controversy over how it was managed, and how that ended his involvement. Steve: What was your first involvement with AUGI or NAAUG? At what stage did you get involved? David: I think it was NAAUG in Philadelphia. Paul Jackson came up to me …

IPoC interview – David Kingsley – part 1

Welcome to the second in this series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). David Kingsley has had a long and interesting career, was present in the early days of CAD adoption, and served as an AUGI board member for years. Here is the first part of David’s interview, which covers his career. It’s a long career, so this is a loooong post! Strap in tight for a candid discussion of solar plants, a couple of US Presidents, primeval Autodesk University, Autodesk before and after Lynn Allen, a personal opinion of the current CEO, sailing on an America’s Cup …