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 …

A & B Tip 1 – clean slate

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. Clean Slate This first post explains how to convince your CAD application how to start in a …

Adding Express Tools to BricsCAD

If you’re evaluating BricsCAD to replace AutoCAD, you might be put off by the apparent absence of the Express Tools. Don’t be. First, some express tool commands have been added to BricsCAD as native commands, such as OVERKILL and TXTEXP. Next, the Express Tools menu can be added, thanks to a free add-on by Martin Drese (CADwiesel). Here’s the step-by-step process: Go to the Bricsys Applications page. Start typing “EXPRESS” into the search box. You should be pleasantly surprised to discover that by the time you’ve typed four characters, what you are chasing will already be displayed for you:   …

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 …

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!

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 …

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 – …

How to get your Wacom Graphire 4 tablet working in Windows 10

I’ve been setting up a new PC at home and one of the things I struggled with was getting my Wacom Graphire 4 tablet working. This isn’t a CAD tablet (remember those?); instead, I use its pressure-sensitive stylus for image creation and editing. Press harder and you get more ink. Turn the pen over and you automatically erase instead of drawing. Press the eraser harder and you get more erasing. I use PaintShop Pro for my image work, by the way, not Photoshop. You can still buy and optionally upgrade PaintShop Pro perpetual licenses, which is how it should be. …

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.

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 …

BLADE – putting things back to “normal”

Disclaimer: I’m making money using BLADE. I’m using it on a paying project right now (well, not while I’m typing this, but you get the idea). I’m developing a routine to automate a massively repetitive task for one of my AutoCAD-using clients, and I’m developing it in BricsCAD and BLADE rather than AutoCAD and VLIDE. I can simply develop faster in the more modern environment, and BricsCAD’s significantly quicker start-up time helps with that. So does the fact that the routine runs several times faster in BricsCAD, making testing the large data sets much more efficient. I’m getting paid on …

Guest post (BlackBox) – Why every click counts

With a bit of tongue in cheek, “This is not only my first guest post on [blog nauseam], it’s also my first guest post on any blog.” Thanks, Steve! I get to write about one of my favorite AutoCAD features, and share a short personal story. Yesterday I read Frank Mayfield’s article on time-sensitive Right Click, which made me recall an opportunity to help a new user on a design task the other day. I led them through an approach to mitigate a design issue, noticed they weren’t using time-sensitive Right Click, and asked them why? User: Why not? Me: Fair …

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 …