A & B Tip 9 – drilling holes 3 – counterbores

In this series of posts, I’ll be providing tips that show how to do something in both AutoCAD and BricsCAD, hence A & B. The Series The idea behind this series is to provide useful information for several sorts of reader: AutoCAD users. BricsCAD users. People in the process of transitioning from AutoCAD to BricsCAD and who need to know what to do differently (if anything). People considering transitioning from AutoCAD to BricsCAD and who want to know about the differences and similarities. Counterbored holes This post continues to explain more about how to put holes in your 3D models. …

Autodesk Fusion 360 massive subscription price rise/drop

Autodesk’s cloud-based 3D design tool, Fusion 360, is changing price and structure from 7 October 2018. Whether it’s a huge price rise or a huge price drop depends on your perspective. Price rise The current annual subscription cost for Fusion 360 is US$310 and that’s going to change to US$495, which represents a 60% price increase. Existing subscribers are being kept at the same annual rate of US$310 or US$300 (depending on when you first subscribed) “for as long as you renew”. Existing subscribers, that looks like a promise to never increase your prices as long as you keep up …

A & B Tip 8 – drilling holes 2

In this series of posts, I’ll be providing tips that show how to do something in both AutoCAD and BricsCAD, hence A & B. The Series The idea behind this series is to provide useful information for several sorts of reader: AutoCAD users. BricsCAD users. People in the process of transitioning from AutoCAD to BricsCAD and who need to know what to do differently (if anything). People considering transitioning from AutoCAD to BricsCAD and who want to know about the differences and similarities. Drilling holes This post continues to explain more about how to put holes in your 3D models. …

A & B Tip 7 – drilling holes 1

In this series of posts, I’ll be providing tips that show how to do something in both AutoCAD and BricsCAD, hence A & B. The Series The idea behind this series is to provide useful information for several sorts of reader: AutoCAD users. BricsCAD users. People in the process of transitioning from AutoCAD to BricsCAD and who need to know what to do differently (if anything). People considering transitioning from AutoCAD to BricsCAD and who want to know about the differences and similarities. Drilling holes This post explains how to put holes in your 3D models. This post will cover …

A & B Tip 5 – polyline areas

In this series of posts, I’ll be providing tips that show how to do something in both AutoCAD and BricsCAD, hence A & B. The Series The idea behind this series is to provide useful information for several sorts of reader: AutoCAD users. BricsCAD users. People in the process of transitioning from AutoCAD to BricsCAD and who need to know what to do differently (if anything). People considering transitioning from AutoCAD to BricsCAD and who want to know about the differences and similarities. What area is that polyline? There are several ways of determining the area enclosed by a polyline. …

A & B Tip 4 – turning on toolbars

In this series of posts, I’ll be providing tips that show how to do something in both AutoCAD and BricsCAD, hence A & B. The Series The idea behind this series is to provide useful information for several sorts of reader: AutoCAD users. BricsCAD users. People in the process of transitioning from AutoCAD to BricsCAD and who need to know what to do differently (if anything). People considering transitioning from AutoCAD to BricsCAD and who want to know about the differences and similarities. Your First Toolbar If you are using a ribbon-based workspace, you may want to have some toolbars …

A & B Tip 2 – realistic threads

In this series of posts, I’ll be providing tips that show how to do something in both AutoCAD and BricsCAD, hence A & B. The Series The idea behind this series is to provide useful information for several sorts of reader: AutoCAD users. BricsCAD users. People in the process of transitioning from AutoCAD to BricsCAD and who need to know what to do differently (if anything). People considering transitioning from AutoCAD to BricsCAD and who want to know about the differences and similarities. Realistic Threads This post explains how to create realistic-looking threads for screws, nuts and the like in …

BricsCAD Shape for Mac

BricsCAD Shape, the free DWG-based 3D direct modeling application from Bricsys, has now been released for macOS (formerly OS X). See my previous post on Shape for details of what it’s all about. This is the same, just on a different OS. That’s because unlike Autodesk’s versions of its DWG products, the Bricsys versions are not cynically watered down for Apple users. Those users can now do full 3D conceptual modeling as part of a workflow that leads to full BIM (or simply view and edit DWG files if you’re not that ambitious), and without paying for the privilege. It’s …

Video – 3Dconnexion fine tuning in BricsCAD and BricsCAD Shape

The second video in the cad nauseam YouTube channel is more typical than the first in that it’s a tips and tricks video. In this case it only applies to BricsCAD and Shape users, but future videos will provide information for AutoCAD and other DWG-based CAD applications.

Bricsys shows Autodesk how to do mid-term updates – again!

BricsCAD V18.2 for Windows is out. The new stuff in this mid-term update is again showing up Autodesk’s lack of progress with its once-flagship product, AutoCAD. I’m sure Autodesk would love customers to accept that there’s only so much anyone can do with a DWG-based CAD product once it reaches a certain level of maturity. Customers should get used to nothing of significance being added year after year. Diminishing returns, and all that. Pay to continue using the product, but don’t expect it to get better. What a shame for Autodesk, then, that Bricsys exists. By consistently providing a raft …

That awkward moment when I just failed to create BIM

I recently updated my resume, and I thought it might be relevant to include an episode from my early career. This post is an expansion on what I had to say about that episode. I was managing a tiny CAD training and development company, Educad. Much of my time there was spent developing software called NIDIS (originally called NEEDS), a project that was started in 1987 or 1988 with Nixdorf Computer as the client. It was intended to take over the market among first the home building companies of Western Australia, then Australia, then the World! What’s special about NIDIS …

Why Bricsys makes the best AutoCAD for Mac

Bricsys has just released BricsCAD V18 for Mac. Here’s the download link and here are the release notes. BricsCAD V18 is an excellent DWG 2018-based CAD application, and the Mac version lacks little in comparison to the Windows version. It’s so much more capable than the perpetually half-baked AutoCAD for Mac that I struggle to comprehend why anybody with the choice would even contemplate the notably inferior and seriously overpriced Autodesk offering. That’s not just opinion, it can be supported objectively. Price first. US prices are shown here for a single standalone license over five years, inclusive of the cost …

BricsCAD Shape – can a free DWG product be a BIM game-changer?

At the Bricsys 2017 Conference in Paris, one of the biggest surprises was the announcement of BricsCAD Shape. This product was demonstrated live, very impressively, in pre-release form. As I live-tweeted at the time, the demo jock was able to create a pretty decent architectural model in minutes, from scratch, very easily. That product has now been released. What is BricsCAD Shape? Shape is a 3D direct modeling application. At the core, it’s a simplified BricsCAD BIM. That means it’s small, fast, stable and it uses 2018 DWG as its native format. These are all good things. It’s obviously aimed …

AutoCAD 2018 for Mac – welcome to twenty years ago

In the past, I’ve described how AutoCAD for Mac was released half-baked (as I predicted) and has remained half-baked ever since. But wait! Autodesk has proudly announced AutoCAD 2018 for Mac. Skimming through that blog post, I must admit my jaw dropped when I saw some of the new features. This one, for example: This “new feature” was first provided to AutoCAD users in the 20th century. It was an Express Tool in AutoCAD 2000 (released 1999) and was absorbed into mainstream AutoCAD a few years later. The alias editor goes back even further, to the Release 14 Bonus Tools …

Draping images over surfaces in Civil 3D

Having recently overcome various difficulties to successfully drape an image over a surface in Civil 3D, it may be useful to pass on a few points I have learned. There are various posts and videos out there that helpfully go through this process, but some of them (including Autodesk sources) contain information that is irrelevant or just plain wrong, and none of them contained all  of the information I needed to complete the task. I used Civil 3D 2015 for this, but the principles apply to all recent releases. Here is the basic sequence required: In the drawing containing the …

Let’s critique AutoCAD’s parametric constraints

One of the big-ticket features of AutoCAD 2010 was parametric constraints. This was old hat for many applications, even some based on AutoCAD like Mechanical Desktop. Parametrics and constraints already existed in vanilla AutoCAD in the guise of dynamic blocks, but this was the first time ordinary AutoCAD allowed ordinary AutoCAD objects to be constrained and linked to parametric dimensions. Contraints mean that you can draw some objects and tell them that they are only allowed to behave in certain ways. For example, two lines have to remain parallel to each other. Parametrics mean that objects can be tied to special dimensions such …

3DConnexion device support in AutoCAD

Do you have a 3DConnexion device (3D ‘mouse’) and use it in AutoCAD or AutoCAD-based products? What do you think of the way it works in the most recent releases of AutoCAD? From AutoCAD 2011 on, Autodesk provided built-in support for these devices. Has that made things better or worse than in earlier releases? If you’re having problems, exactly what are they and how does it affect your ability to work with AutoCAD in 3D? Is the 2012 support any better than 2011? How does AutoCAD’s support for these devices compare with that of other products?

Siemens 0, Autodesk (April) 1

Personally, I find most April fool jokes to be pretty lame. I considered doing one myself, and had what I thought was a pretty convincing idea, but finally decided against it. Maybe next year. This year, there was one definite exception to the lameness rule. It was well set up, clever and funny. Siemens killed it. Or, to be more accurate, they foolishly attempted to kill it. Fortunately, the Twitter CADville app is still alive and even now being tended by somebody with a fine sense of humour, as you can see from tweets like this: Sometimes you will see …

Carl Bass on TV

Autodesk big cheese Carl Bass gets a friendly interview on NBC’s Press:Here (amusing name, “press colon here”). It’s kind of funny seeing CAD described by non-CAD people (the presenters, not Carl). Among other things, he discusses being fired by Carol Bartz, Autodesk’s role in Avatar, the benefits of piracy, iPhones, 3D printing, open source and Autodesk being green. I’ve embedded the two Bassy bits here for convenience; these embeds will display ads that are not under my control. Edit: I’ve removed the embedded clips as they were slowing down this whole site for some users and even disabling some features. …

Open Letter to James Cameron

James, you don’t know me, but I see you have been getting involved in CAD events lately, which is my area of interest. Autodesk University 2009 attendees got a sneak preview of Avatar and you were a key speaker at Solidworks World 2010. I absolutely loved Avatar. It’s the only film I’ve ever seen where I immediately wanted to watch it again. Yes, it’s possible to poke holes in the plot, but that applies to 99% of films and anyway, this film isn’t about the plot, is it? It’s about the breathtaking visuals. I was dreaming about Pandora for days …