The goal here is to produce a cut and fill map similar to what is shown above, where:

  • The positive and negative values are different colors
  • The positive values include a leading "+" sign
  • The negative values include a leading "-" sign

The inherit problem is that you want to place a single label and have it display the proper sign and be in the proper color. If you do not require the "+" sign, then you can do this in a different (and less complex) way. So back to our goal stated above. I have seen various ways of doing this, and this is probably a combination of a few of them as far as I can tell. Read more about Cut and Fill color map in Civil 3D

Do you get annoyed at AutoCAD when those little blue boxes that appear on objects and quickly start mashing the ESC key? Are these blue boxes, better known as Grips, just in your way? Let’s take a look at Grips and how you might use them to your advantage instead of causing you grief.

Grips allow you to perform many tasks in fewer steps than you may realize. The most common editing commands are built into grips for all entities, including Stretch, Move, Rotate, Scale, and Mirror. Multifunctional grips offer even more editing commands that vary depending on the object type.

Grips are located at strategic points which also vary depending on the object. So think about this for a second; you select an object and a key point on that object is already selected. You have done two things with one pick, this is what makes pre-selecting objects so powerful. Now what exactly can you do with Grips? Let’s take a look. Read more about AutoCAD Grips 101

As we mentioned here back in September, Autodesk Design Review is being discontinued. Autodesk Labs program manager Scott Sheppard confirmed this again yesterday, along with a notice that Autodesk Freewheel will be shutdown on January 31, 2014. You can read Scott's post in the Autodesk forums here. Read more about The end of Autodesk Freewheel

Many of you know we are a huge advocate of using Process Monitor to watch file and registry activity when you detect a slow down problem in an application. We ran across a case recently where the AutoCAD cursor was very "sticky" feeling as the user moved it around on the screen. Closer inspection revealed that the cursor would pause for a moment whenever it passed over an entity. We tried a new empty, no template drawing and constructed a single line. Same problem existed, so we were pretty confident this was not a drawing problem, but rather a application problem. You can imagine the frustration when working in a busy drawing where just about any movement of the cursor resulting in it passing over some entity.

In this case using Process Monitor, we were able to see that AutoCAD was looking for a particular CUIX (menu) file, every single time the cursor passed over an object, over and over and over. Why was it looking for this particular menu file? Who knows? I suspect that whenever the AutoCAD cursor passes over an object in a drawing, it is looking for information about that entity. Whatever the reason, the saved path to this particular menu file was on a slow secondary hard drive and the delay was especially noticeable. Read more about Unresolved partial menus in AutoCAD

A few years ago, we posted some info and sample code on how to create a table in AutoCAD using autolisp. That works OK, but what if you want to define a particular table style first? I ran across this post by Lee Ambrosius on creating a table style from scratch using autolisp.



Read more about Create a table style in AutoCAD using autolisp


Another Autodesk University has come and gone. The week after Thanksgiving seems to pass much more quickly than the same week back at our jobs. Attendees wait all year for that day in late summer when registration opens and then patiently tide the time away until Thanksgiving. But did you know that Autodesk University is in operation in some form or fashion the other 51 weeks of the year also?


The planning for the next AU begins even before the current AU takes place. The event planners are busy booking the venues, planning the schedule, and evaluating our feedback from prior AU's. The call for class proposals goes out in the spring and an AU team starts working on compiling what hopes to be a successful set of classes and other activities. Read more about AU 2013, it's a wrap

Three years ago we started to talk to you about cloud, social and mobile computing and how it would change the way we all work. - Carl Bass, 03 Dec 2013

In the last three years, cloud based computing has taken a stronghold. In some areas more than others, but the growth is evident. Let's take a look at the status of some of the more popular offerings from Autodesk, including information revealed at Autodesk University last week.

  • Fusion 360 has a fast growing passionate community with over 17,000 unique users who have created over 67,000 designs in the cloud. Although Fusion 360's only language is English, there are users in over 90 countries including the top four countries of the U.S., India, the U.K., and China. Every day there are approximately 300 new designs posted and collaborated on and the average user can sit at a local machine and begin working in less than 3 minutes. 83% of Fusion 360 users are in companies with less than 200 employees and a full 90% of Fusion 360 users are new to Autodesk.
  • Autodesk 360 is "like Facebook for engineers" according to Autodesk CEO Carl Bass. Autodesk 360 now has over 26 million accounts, up some 73% from last year. Autodesk 360 users have created 5.6 million renderings and over 1.2 million of those in the last quarter alone. The 14 million paid subscribers is up 60% from last year. The virtually infinite computing power available allows you to do more with less.
  • Infraworks 360, launched just a few months ago, already contains over 3800 projects.
  • BIM 360 has over 15,000 monthly active users, up over 60% from last year, and there are 50 new users a day on average.
  • SIM 360 has executed over 142,000 simulation jobs in the cloud, including fatique, stress and thermal anaysis. Some 10 jobs per user, per week are being run in SIM 360.
  • Autodesk CEO Carl Bass said that PLM360 is "the world's first cloud based PLM solution. What being in the cloud really means is that it's instantly on and it's innately mobile." PLM 360 has over 10,000 users, 66,000 workspaces, and 4 million items in the cloud.
  • The newest service, just announced at Autodesk University 2013 is CAM 360, which according to Autodesk is "The only CAM solution that combines CNC programming, simulation, and design with real-time collaboration and online project and data management in one easy-to-use product."


Read more about 360 branded offerings from Autodesk - how will you work in the cloud?

AU started off early this morning for us with the Augi Volunteer Breakfast. Augi President David Harrington recognized all attendees, and distributed special awards to board members. Volunteering opportunities are available if you are so inclined. Visit the Volunteer page at Augi for contact information.

The Keynote address is scheduled to begin in 1 hour. If you are not at AU2013, you can watch online.

More to follow. Read more about AU 2013 Day 1

Autodesk University is only a few days away, December 3-5. If you are not going to make it this year, you can still get in on some of the events from your office or mobile device, for free.

Click here or the image below for details on sessions that will be streamed live at no cost.


Autodesk University 2013
Read more about AU 2013 Sessions streaming live next week

Autodesk is conducting a survey to gather feedback on AutoCAD HELP. A lot of people did not like the change to primarily online help, now is your chance to tell them. There are also questions on what kind of content you would like to see in HELP.

AutoCAD HELP Survey

  Read more about Give your feedback on AutoCAD HELP

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