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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Steve’s BLADE presentation at the BricsCAD New Zealand and Australia Roadshow

Sofoco (Australia) and CAD Concepts (New Zealand) recently ran a series of seminars throughout Australasia demonstrating BricsCAD. I attended the last of these in Brisbane on April 19 and gave a presentation about BricsCAD’s LISP, with reference to AutoCAD compatibility and the tools available to CAD Managers and developers, including BLADE. The talk was aimed at anybody who is writing or maintaining LISP code for AutoCAD or BricsCAD. I had the just-before-lunch slot, which is never desirable for a presenter. People are dozing off and/or bursting to go to the toilet, and time adjustments have to be made if earlier …

Autodesk remotely killswitches AutoCAD licenses – again

Following the AutoCAD 2019 rollout disaster, where subscription users found their AutoCAD 2018s were broken by an Autodesk licensing system meltdown, Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost issued an apology. He also assured customers on Twitter that it wouldn’t happen again: While I welcomed that, I did have this to say at the time: I don’t think such a guarantee is realistic, given that the nature of subscription software is to only work when it knows you’ve paid up. At least it demonstrates that the desire is there right at the top to try to prevent such debacles from occurring in future. …

The game has changed – Robert Green migrates to BricsCAD

Is anybody left who still thinks BricsCAD isn’t a serious replacement for AutoCAD? If that’s you, perhaps the latest news might make you take it seriously. No, not the Heidi Hewett news. Even more recent news than that! Robert Green, CAD Management guru, Cadalyst writer and consultant (not to mention a rather good guitarist) has been announced as the first Bricsys Certified Migration Consultant. Read all about what Robert has to say on this Bricsys blog post. Anybody who has been reading this blog for the last few years will be surprised by none of what Robert has to say …

Steve at the BricsCAD New Zealand and Australia Roadshow

Sofoco (Australia) and CAD Concepts (New Zealand) are currently running a series of seminars throughout Australasia demonstrating BricsCAD. Here are the dates and locations: Auckland – 9 April 2018, Jet Park Hotel and Conference Centre Christchurch – 11 April 2018, Christchurch Community House Melbourne – 17 April 2018, Airport Motel and Convention Centre Sydney – 18 April 2018, Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport Brisbane – 19 April 2018, Royal on the Park Each seminar is in two parts. The morning session is for leaders and decision makers and the the afternoon is less structured and goes into more details, with informal discussions, questions and answers and …

Autodesk removes ability to control products and updates by device

If you’re a CAD Manager controlling Autodesk software through Autodesk Account, make sure you don’t ignore this little notice near the top: Full details can be found on the page Device Management Discontinued in Autodesk Account, but in short another level of control and flexibility will be removed from you in a month or so. I hope you’re sincerely grateful for Autodesk improving and simplifying the user management experience. This only applies if you allow Autodesk desktop app to be installed, which I’ve always advised against. Of course, if you’re in a secure proxy environment there’s a good chance that …

The great Autodesk Collections rip-off has ended

I reported in January that, “The way Autodesk Collection licensing works, you can’t use more than two of the products in a Collection at once.” Thanks to a policy reversal from Autodesk, this is no longer true. Felice on the Autodesk forums shared the good news: Hi all, I have an update to share on this topic… we are removing the Industry Collection concurrent usage policy limitation. Here are some more details/background: Overview: Currently, the Industry Collection concurrent usage policy limits the number of collection products that can be used at the same time to two. The terms and conditions related …

Still can’t download AutoCAD 2019? Read this

Timeline of AutoCAD 2019 events to date 20 March 2018 – Somebody (a reseller?) posts a video on YouTube with a collection of Autodesk video materials describing AutoCAD 2019; this is quickly removed 22 March 2018 – AutoCAD 2019 Released 22 March 2018 – Reports surface of AutoCAD 2019 activation acting as a killswitch for AutoCAD 2018 23 March 2018 – Attempts by myself and others to download AutocAD 2019 are thwarted by the non-availability of links and other issues 24 March 2018 – AVA, Autodesk Account and Autodesk desktop app all know nothing about AutoCAD 2019 24 March 2018 – …

AutoCAD 2019 rollout disaster

If you’re an AutoCAD user, you may have been intrigued by the news about the new way Autodesk is bundling up AutoCAD 2019 with various verticals (perpetual license owners need not apply). This is Autodesk’s latest attempt to promote its subscription model and raise prices again. 7% this time, but much more to come. But never mind that, the main point is that you’re getting a whole lot of stuff, and who could say that’s not a good thing? So it’s most unfortunate for Autodesk that the AutoCAD 2019 rollout has been an unmitigated disaster. My own experiences in trying …

Bricsys 2018 comes to London

I’ve had the pleasure of attending the Bricsys Conference in 2016 (Munich) and 2017 (Paris). This year’s conference will be in another great European city, London, on 23 and 24 October. Other details have not yet been revealed, but will be posted on the Bricsys Conference page as time goes on. You can sign up on that page for email notifications. This is a great opportunity for British companies looking at reducing costs and improving efficiency in their CAD and BIM operations to get an idea of what BricsCAD and related applications can do. If you’re further afield, it’s still …

Rock on, Robert Green!

I’d like to offer my congratulations to Robert Green on his landmark of 400 issues of the CAD Manager’s Newsletter. There’s a interview with Robert here.

As a fellow CAD Manager and Cadalyst contributor, I’ve admired Robert’s work for many years. I finally got to meet Robert last year at the Bricsys Conference 2017 in Paris, and it was a pleasure.

Some of you will already be aware that Robert is a seriously good guitarist, and he did not disappoint at the after-conference party. I look forward to seeing Robert again, and to reading many more of his insightful articles.

CAD Panacea tip – startup files in BricsCAD

One of the things that might initially baffle a CAD Manager or power user when investigating switching from AutoCAD to BricsCAD is how to set up the startup routines. Head over to CAD Panacea for R.K. McSwain’s concise, handy description of how to do it. Due to BricsCAD’s high level of compatibility, you can maintain a common folder or set of folders containing LISP and other custom files for both applications. That way, you don’t need to do double maintenance during the transition period. I’ve done this successfully in a highly complex custom environment. Some code and other adjustments were …

Autodesk contemplates Bentley-style licensing

Some of you may have received an invitation from Autodesk to provide survey feedback. This hints at a possible move towards time based licensing (e.g. hourly), and asks what kind of tools you will need to handle that. Sometimes these questions lead to nothing, other times they are a precursor to inevitable change (desirable or not). If it’s the latter, I can only surmise that Autodesk is concerned that its customers haven’t been thoroughly peed off by anything new in a while and is investigating novel and interesting ways to annoy them. Ask a Bentley customer what annoys them most …

Are your drawings SHOUTING?

This post was inspired by a question raised by Jamie Myers in the CAD Managers Unite! Facebook group. Long ago, before CAD was in common use, I was taught technical drawing at school. One of the things I was taught was to follow drafting standards, BS308 at the time. Later, I was expected to follow AS1100. One of the things I was taught was to always use capital letters in text on drawings, using the approved ISO font. Without a machine, without a template. This stuck to me to such an extent that even today I use all caps when …

How to sign your LISP files

This post follows on from Why digitally sign your LISP files? and How to obtain a digital signature to sign your LISP files. In the first post, I explained why you might want to digitally sign your LISP files. In the second, I explained how to obtain and install a digital signature. This third and final post in the series assumes you have done all that and now want to sign your files. There are two methods available to you, using a dialog box or command-line interface. Signing LISP using the AcSignApply.exe dialog box Autodesk has provided a utility called …

How to obtain a digital signature to sign your LISP files

In an earlier post, I explained why you might want to digitally sign your LISP files. If you decide to go ahead with that, then this post explains how you can obtain and install the digital signature you will need to sign your files. This is the most difficult part of the process and it involves spending money. Getting a digital signature Although you can make your own digital signature (there’s an Autodesk Knowledgebase article describing the process), there’s little point in doing this. You can sign your files, sure, but that signature won’t be seen as trusted by software …