16 November 2011

Bought a new Dell XPS 9100

Recently bought a Dell XPS9100. Be sure you research the components before you buy from Dell...or you will regret it. I've had several problems so far all related to the video card and misinformation on the Dell website. Then in trying to sort it out I get the runaround between sales, technical support, returns, etc. That of course is broken up by the eventual disconnect at about the 45-50 min mark during the support call. At this point I have given up...sigh.

18 October 2011

Win a trip to AU 2011 and a 3D mouse, compliments of 3Dconnexion!

Introduce yourself to new products, people, and techniques at the premier conference and exhibition for Autodesk product users, and take home a new SpacePilot PRO – the ultimate 3D mouse!

Register now to enter to win:

· One full-conference pass to Autodesk University 2011 in Las Vegas, NV Nov 29 through Dec 1, 2011

· Airfare and hotel accommodations for 3 nights

· A SpacePilot PRO - The Ultimate Professional 3D Mouse

21 September 2011

Are suites, sweet?

Just got the Autodesk Design Suite Premium 2012. Something new was the distribution, it came in a small box with a USB flash drive! No more stacks of CD/DVD cases…

This little thing came packed with software too! AutoCAD, Autodesk SketchBook Designer, Autodesk Showcase, Autodesk Mudbox, and 3ds Max Design! The MSRP is about $5000 but these titles by themselves are almost $10k! For me, having AutoCAD is a no-brainer, everyone can use that. I’ve played with SketchBook but unfortunately I am not much of a freehand artist. But I can model with the best of them and then render real-life with 3ds Max.

This form of bundling and delivery is certainly appealing. The biggest benefit is getting access to some apps that under normal circumstances I would not have been able to buy without a specific use case presented. But now, for example, Showcase, having access to that can cut a lot of time from the “just give me a rendering” efforts. You know, you need a nice render but don’t have the time to do an awesome render.

Where this goes into the future is unclear. I have my doubts about Autodesk providing these USB flash drives to deliver software. I would bet that pretty soon it will be internet download only. Better get yours while supplies last!

26 August 2011


I’m starting to get organized for AU2011 this year in Las Vegas. This year should be a bit busier than most with my additional AUGI responsibilities. I’m really looking forward to meeting some great AUGI volunteers and members. I also really enjoy having a chance to talk Autodesk’s ears off about the software we know and love.

17 August 2011

AU 2011 Class Catalog Is Live

The preview version of the Autodesk University 2011 class catalog is now live. View it now and begin planning out your AU schedule.Class space at AU is limited so plan to sign up when AU registration goes live for AU members on August 30.
Highlights for AU 2011 include:
• New! Classes on:
o Advanced features and workflows
o Cloud, mobile technologies, and visualization
o Autodesk Certification preparation
• New! Innovation Forums
• New! AU Leadership Forum
• New! Media & Entertainment Developer Network Conference
Remember, early registration for AU members starts one week before general registration. Plan to register starting August 30, 2011. Learn more http://au.autodesk.com/?nd=e2011.

19 July 2011

Vote for my project!

This is a project of mine under construction at the moment. The roof is actually done and the project was submitted for the annual Tekla design competition. One crazy design…



16 July 2011

Point Cloud UsabilityStudy- Call for Participants

ANNOUNCEMENT: Call for Participants!
Dear AutoCAD user!
The AutoCAD Team is planning series of user research validations (usability studies) between July 18 and July 22, 2011. All sessions will be remote (using the GoToMeeting and the phone).
We will compensate your time with $30 Amazon Gift Certificate.

Working with Point Cloud data in AutoCAD.

Who Should Participate?
We are looking for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Civil and/or any other application users with experience and need for working with Point Cloud data in their design process.

How is the Study Conducted?
Remotely; an individual 60 min remote session will be conducted via the internet (GoToMeeting) and phone.
The study will be conducted between July 18 and July 22, 2011.

How To Sign Up?
Please submit qualification data and indicate your availability here:

You will be receiving $30 Amazon Gift Certificate as a Thank You for your participation or you can also donate this amount to one of the charities.
Note: This research requires a Non-Disclosure Agreement.

Thanks for your help!
AutoCAD User Experience Team
Autodesk, Inc.

16 June 2011

AutoCAD Design & User Experience Team is looking for Studyparticipants!


Dear Autodesk product User!

We are looking for participants in the usability study which will be conducted between June 22 and June 30, 2011.


Documenting 3D Models in AutoCAD (creating views of 3D models).

Who Should Participate?

We are looking for AutoCAD Mechanical, Inventor and/or AutoCAD users with experience and need for creating views of 3D mechanical parts and models (3D models from various sources).

How the Study will be conducted?

Remotely;   individual 60 min remote session will be conducted with the GoToMeeting and the phone (all info will be provided in the invitation).

How To Sign Up?

Please submit qualification data and indicate your availability here:


You will be receiving $30 Amazon Gift Certificate as a Thank You for your participation.

Please note: this research requires a Non- Disclosure Agreement.

Thanks for your help!

AutoCAD User Experience Team

Autodesk, Inc.

Contact <Elena.fadeeva@autodesk.com> if you have any questions.

 Follow AutoCAD Research on Twitter:



19 April 2011

AUGIWorld April 2011 issue available!

AUGI is pleased to announce that the April 2011 issue of AUGIWorld is now available for download via PDF and online via digital edition.

Autodesk has released new versions of most of its products!

Click Here to read the AUGIWorld April 2011 issue.

Also in this issue of AUGIWorld:

  • Beth Powell uncovers a streamlined and simplified AutoCAD MEP 2012
  • Brian Benton examines the productivity boost in AutoCAD 2012
  • Stephen Preston unplugs the latest AutoCAD 2012 API’s
  • Brian Benton goes mobile with AutoCAD WS 2012
  • Autodesk’s Harlan Brumm answers AUGI’s 15 most interesting questions
  • Christopher Fugitt gets sand between his toes with AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012
  • Lonnie Cumpton and team win big with Revit Architecture 2012 & Platform
  • William Troeak gives you a Heads Up with all the latest updates, services packs and top known issues.
  • Erik Lewis has the latest industry news in the Inside Track
  • R. Robert Bell unveils what’s in the Revit MEP 2012 box
  • Phil Russo reinforces the value found in Revit Structure 2012
  • Richard Parker gets interoperable with Navisworks 2012
  • John Evans finds all the new nuts and bolts in Autodesk Inventor 2012

15 April 2011

Customize your 2012

So I'm deep into installing Autodesk 2012 deployments for a network installation of these products and missed an important step. I don't know about others but I prefer to have clear instructions on what to do next.

In previous version of Autodesk products, if you wanted to customize the build, perhaps to change the defaults or pull files in special locations, you clicked the Customize button.

However, with 2012 and the fancy, yet cool, installer, this can easily be overlooked. The "button" to Customize is only displayed when you hover over the area with the \/ arrow.

I admit I missed it... I didn't play around looking for the Customize button. I do this about once a year and so it didn't dawn on me. I clicked Create and sat back and enjoyed my coffee.

Afterwards I noticed I never saw a Customize option and then contacted some folks at Autodesk for more insight.

When I repeated the process, this time looking for anything, I found the button to Customize. Autodesk calls it Configure, same thing to me.

Anyway, that's it for this post. Keep an eye out for it when you are creating deployments.

11 April 2011

Point Cloud: Looking for your feedback

From Autodesk…

Greetings CAD software User!

Are you using the Point Cloud data? - The AutoCAD User Experience &Product Design Team would like your feedback on the use of Point Cloud files (from various 3D laser scanners) in your projects.

Please participate in the research by submitting the Point Cloud Survey:


We look forward to hearing from you,

AutoCAD User Experience & Product Design Team

05 April 2011

Autodesk BIM 360

There is a new product bundle (suite-ish) coming from Autodesk. Here is a run down of what it is it:

Vault Collaboration AEC
Project Bluestreak
Design Review

Pretty dense Rebar

Snapped a pic from Jay Bhatt's presentation of highly detailed Revit Structure model of a foundation mat. Ugh... scary...but cool.

It's begun

Paul Sullivan with Autodesk gave a brief introduction of the events to occur over the next few days. Following that Jay Bhatt is pumped and giving a nice discussion on where Autodesk is going and what the AEC industry is breaking in. Snapped a quick pic of Jay... ;)

Autodesk AEC Media Event

So today up in Waltham, MA, USA, Autodesk is holding the 2012 Product Release Media Event. In a nutshell this event is attended by the press from all over the world. I am also attending, representing my firm, Walter P. Moore and Assoc., as well as Autodesk User Group International, AUGIWorld magazine, and my little blog CADDHELP and related Twitter.

What I actually end up saying is to be seen but I'll try to do my best to let you know what Autodesk is saying this year and what might be relevant to most users.

03 April 2011

Next up...Waltham, MA

Tomorrow morning, heading to Autodesk AEC HQ in Waltham, near Boston, MA. This trip is twofold, to meet and greet some of the guys who make Revit what it is and to raise awareness about the new wares from Autodesk.

Look for more early this week.

29 March 2011

22 March 2011

Revit 2012 webcast comments

I'm not a MEP guy but this is looking really good. I wish I had a MEP counterpart who would do this level of detail.

Revit 2012 webcast comments

Assemblies are totally new. You can select elements and create views that focus only on those elements. Talk about a smart beam or column schedule! Back in the day we used to do make these drawings but they took a long time. Seeing this in Revit is astounding.

Revit 2012 webcast comments

Nice! Rebar ties can now in RST2012 to not intersect themselves and actually lap as it does in real life elements. The power of this is huge, but now we have to worry about it as well. :p

Revit 2012 webcast comments

Hey, some new features that create 24 different ways to place rebar in RST2012!

Revit 2012 webcast comments

Revit Structural enhancements look pretty cool.

A big improvement has been made for the analytical properties of elements. You can enable and disable this as needed. You can also turn the display of the AM on and off easily.

Revit 2012 webcast comments

New visualization methods really do improve the workability via selection transparency. That keeps things clearer as you work and select stuff. Gone is the Shaded with Edges and that is managed via the Graphic Display Options. A much better placement IMHO.

Don't be afraid of the Ghost....it's cool!

It is getting close to not need rendering at all in 3ds max... damn... max was fun.

Point clouds scare me, talk about filling up your model with data. But it comes with the territory if you need to do it. Changing the point cloud within Revit is pretty easy, scale and placement is just by property and placement.

Once you have the cloud in place you can actually reference the inherent planes made by the mass of points to place work such as walls. That is pretty damn cool.

Revit 2012 webcast comments

Revit server doesn’t work for you? Now you can try Citrix!

Revit 2012 webcast comments

This point cloud scan is of the Autodesk HQ in Waltham, MA! Cool stuff!

Revit Webcast comments

David Mills and Anthony Hauck are presenting a live webcast on Revit 2012 products! WOOHOO!

Autodesk Suites are sweeter!

Clearly there is a huge push by Autodesk to suite products together. I don’t know if it is a great thing for the average user since many products are networked and you get what your IT group gives you. But it should do wonders for expanding the single user by providing access to other apps they never had access to in the past.

Revit 2012 is coming soon!

Autodesk exposed many of the new features of Revit 2012 during a worldwide webcast on Mar 21. It is all very exciting! Somewhat akin to Christmas, or a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get! Now the key question is what do these features mean for you, the everyday user? Well like anything else, you need to try it to find out. Now there are other blogs with more detailed info than mine (here is David Light’s http://autodesk-revit.blogspot.com/2011/03/autodesk-revit-architecture-2012.html) but everyone deserves an opinion so here is my take on some of these.

Revit Server gets add’l platform support. Yawn… yea, it’s great to see this improve but I don’t use Revit for that feature so it doesn’t really touch me.

Linking and tagging. Now we are talking! This one feature has potential to dramatically change how we all use Revit. My only concern is that we start to further break into more models now (because we can) and therefore tracking down *where* something is becomes more of a challenge. But yet, having the option to tag thru a linked model was something that has been needed from the beginning.

Work sharing. This is one of those features that at first seems like “oh, ok, that’s nice” and you don’t really care. But once you put this into practice you will find that they added visual insight will become so second nature if they took the feature away you would get angry.

DWG exports. At some point, it always happens. You have to provide DWG files and cringe at the thought of how messed up your purty drawing will become. This enhancement should remove most of your worry for now you can tweak and tweak to heart’s content. I guess the problem then is when to stop.

General improvements. There are a handful of other improvements that basically shine up a feature or two. Colors and graphics along with rendering styles all help Revit 2012 a little more refined, like a nice 6y old wine, rather than the brute 2y discounted wine. I really like the new assembly views features. I guess my problem now is plotting in color – I don’t have a large format color plotter.

Core modeling. Wow…neat and fun is all I have to say! I can’t wait to get a job where it is usable. Too bad most users don’t have a need for that level of Gehry type design. Of course all should benefit from the ability to cut into family files of all types. Punch holes in my beams? No problem! Donuts coming right up!

Revit parts. Every want to make a view of just one thing? Bingo, Revit parts to the rescue. I’m very excited about this because it finally frees up the modeler from having to worry about all the other junk in the mode polluting their view of a specific object. Who hasn’t produced a series of drawings only to find something stray in a series of views. Arg! This would help that a lot!

Massing. There are a number of improvements to massing although I don’t use it much it will help those that do. Especially curves and refinement of surfaces.

Materials. They are never perfect so they got tweaked again.

Point Cloud. This one is exciting and scary. I love the idea of being able to have this directly in my model, but what happens when I’m expected to model to the cloud precision with all the camber, sag, creep, in the existing structure. Painful to say the least. Hey, but at least I can see how much the building has sagged.

IFC. Industry Foundation Classes got improved. Until I have a need I don’t really know if this solves many problems.

That’s it for now. I think I’ll dive into more later.

21 March 2011

Autodesk Webcast Invitation!

You’re invited! There is a kick-off webcast will be hosted by Amar Hanspal on March 21st at 5p Eastern Daylight Time.  This webcast is open to the general public. 

·         What: Autodesk invites you to a live webcast featuring Senior Vice President Amar Hanspal.  Learn about Autodesk’s new products for the design, engineering, and entertainment industries.

·         When: Monday, March 21 @ 5p EDT

·         Preregister: http://autode.sk/glzUsA


16 March 2011

AUGIWorld magazine - March 2011 issue

AUGI is pleased to announce that the March 2011 issue of AUGIWorld is now available for download via PDF and online via digital edition.

Christian Barrett provides a Civil 3D Guide to Sustainable Designing.


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Click Here to read the AUGIWorld March issue

 Also in this issue of AUGIWorld

• David Harrington, interim AUGIWorld Editor-in-Chief introduces the new AUGIWorld Content Management team

• Erik Lewis has the latest industry news in the Inside Track

• Antonio Fontenele introduces the new AutoCAD Material Editor and Browser

• Beth Powell covers her top 5 commands that she can’t live without in AutoCAD

• Christopher Fugitt admits we don’t know everything we could about AutoCAD Civil 3D

• Jeff Bartels speaks volumes in AutoCAD Civil 3D for Earthwork in living color

• Melinda Heavrin explains how Display Themes work in AutoCAD Architecture

• Matt Worland gets old school with AutoCAD AutoLISP

• Phil Russo finds the Formula for success in Revit Structure

• Todd Shackelford exposes Revit MEP Lighting Fixture Schedules

• William Troeak gathers in Heads Up all the latest updates, services packs and top known issues.

02 March 2011

Do you use 3D in your AutoCAD work? Autodesk wants to learn from you!

If you are familiar with 3D modeling, lighting, rendering, or visual styles, either in AutoCAD or in other software, we're interested in finding out more about how you work. 


Autodesk is conducting a survey to learn about your 3D work process.  The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete, and your feedback will help them improve future versions of AutoCAD.  Here is the link:




They are also conducting a series of paid research sessions over the next few weeks.  At the end of the survey, you will have a chance to sign up for sessions if you are interested.


Who they’re looking for: People who are familiar with lighting, rendering, or visual styles


What it involves: If you are selected to participate, they will get in touch with you to set up a study time.  During the 1-hour session:


·         You will work 1-1 with a facilitator using meeting software and the phone

·         They will observe part of your work process and ask questions

·         You will be given a $30 Amazon gift card as a thank-you for your time


Dates:  They are conducting studies during the week of March 7th and the week of March 14th.


They look forward to receiving your feedback!


18 January 2011

AUGIWorld Jan/Feb 2011 Issue Available!

Ok, so here it is, my excuse… been busy…okay? I had AU2010 to deal with, took a vacation, took on more responsibility at AUGI, and generally gave up much of my personal life…


On with the show now.


There is a new issue of AUGIWorld out! Find out more at http://augi.typepad.com/augi_news/2011/01/januaryfebruary-2011-augiworld-magazine-now-available-for-download.html