Wednesday, December 14, 2011

CAD Clues on Google Currents

CAD Clues can now be found on the new Google Currents app for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets.  Just open the app and search for CAD Clues.
Need to know more about Google Currents, check out the video bellow.

Google Currents

CAD Clues on Currents

Monday, December 12, 2011

Calling All Android Users!!

Autodesk Design Review needs your help testing out the beta version of there Android app.  To get started follow the link and fill out your information.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Creating AutoCAD WS App for your desktop (Part 2)

Autodesk has a Web, iPhone, iPad, Android and now a Mac application for their awesome online version of AutoCAD called AutoCAD WS. What about all the Window users out there that would like their own AutoCAD WS application? We can use the web application shortcut that makes it feel a little bit more like AutoCAD. Today we are going to show you how to make an application for your windows computer using Mozilla Prism.

1. Download Mozilla Prism at (I would suggest download the standalone application and not the Firefox Extension)

2. Once the zip file is downloaded and unzipped, select the prism.exe file to start the application.

3. All you need to do now is fill out the information in the blanks to create the desktop application.
a. URL =
b. Name = AutoCAD WS
c. Keep Navigation bar, show status, navigation keys, and Display in the notification area unchecked
d. Create your Shortcuts (Win7 users can pin the application to the start bar by adding the application to the desktop. Then click and drag the icon to the start bar)
e. Icon: You can use the standard black and white Autodesk icon for your app or you can do what I did here and find the nice WS icon on the web to use.


4. Select OK and done.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

CAD Clues Now on Google+

CAD Clues is now on Google+! Drop by our profile and add us to your Circle of Friends.

AU Virtual 2011 Registration is open

If you can't make it to AU in Vegas this year then the next best thing is AU Virtual.  It's not like going to the real deal, but good news is you get to sleep in your own bed.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Simplifying TIN Surface Editing.

The Problem
Editing TIN surface information can be a pain. To make any small change, we end up going to Toolspace, then surface, the surface, definition, right click on edit, lastly select the tool we need. By the time I get to the tool, I forgot what I was doing.


The Fix
Use a LISP file to launch each command. This will keep you from the number of clicks it takes to edit the TIN surface.

Creating LISP File

  1. Open Notepad in windows.
  2. Save a blank text file.
  3. Copy and paste the text below.
  4. Save
  5. Right click on the file in Windows Explorer and Rename.
  6. Change the extension from .txt to .lsp

(defun c:sal ()
(command "addsurfaceline")
(defun c:sdl ()
(command "deletesurfaceline")
(defun c:swe ()
(command "editsurfaceswapedge")
(defun c:sap ()
(command "addsurfacepoint")
(defun c:sdp ()
(command "deletesurfacepoint")
(defun c:sep ()
(command "editsurfacepoint")
(defun c:smp ()
(command "movesurfacepoint")

LISP Commands
SAL = Add Surface Line
SDL = Delete Surface Line
SWE = Swap Edge
SAP = Add Surface Point
SDP = Delete Surface Point
SEP = Edit Surface Point
SMP = Move Surface Point

Loading LISP File
Load Application command
Ribbon > Manage > Applications > Load Application or command: _appload


Once the Load/Unload Application pop up box shows up, follow the steps to load the LISP file.

  • A. Find location of the LISP file.
  • B. Select Load
  • C. Confirm the file was loaded
  • D. Close
  • E. If you need the file to load every time Civil 3D is opened, you can use Startup Suite to auto load the file.



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Creating A Block Without Creating a Drawing File.

Today, we are going to talk about how to make a block without creating another drawing to add to the random crap on your hard drive or server. You can copy multiple objects using groups but the bad part of using groups is the editing. Once the block is created, you can copy and edit it using block editor to change all the objects at once.

1. Copy with Base Point command
Right click > Clipboard > Copy with Base Point.


2. Select Base Point.
3. Select objects to make into a block
4. Paste as Block command
Right Click > Clipboard > Paste as Block
Here is the tricky part; if the Paste as Block command in the right click menu is shaded back, then you will need to select an object (any object) in your drawing before using the Paste as Block command.


The objects are now in a block which makes it easy for copying and editing.



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Quick Clue–Osnap Menu

In AutoCAD, if you hold shift and right click at the same time, a menu will show up with all Osnap options.  This is a great tool for snapping to a point in your drawing when you have a cramped area.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

AutoCAD WS 1.3 Update

AutoCAD WS update 1.3 is now available in the app store and Android market.  The new update brings big changes to the already awesome mobile app.

New Features

  • Layers
  • Accurate Input
  • Area Measurement
  • File Management

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quick Clue – ncopy

Ncopy is a simple but powerful tool that allows you to copy objects from a nested object (blocks and xrefs) in AutoCAD.


Once the command is launched, it acts just like the standard copy command.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What was AutoCAD's big Announcement? #design816

AutoCAD's big announcement was all about the Mac.  AutoCAD introduced us to AutoCAD 2012 for Mac, AutoCAD LT for Mac and AutoCAD WS for Mac. AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 is available now (US and Canada) at the Mac App store.  AutoCAD WS (free) is available for download on Thursday August 18th.

More information on AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT
More information on AutoCAD WS

Monday, August 15, 2011

AutoCAD Announcement #design816

The AutoCAD team is announcing something tomorrow.  No I don't know what it is, but we can find out on August 16th at 10am (PDT) on Facebook at

If you use twitter, you can follow what is going on by search #design816.

Check out the teaser video.

What do you think is the big announcement tomorrow?

UPDATE 08.16.11
If you are unable to view the live stream on facebook, you can see it here on CAD Clues.

Watch live streaming video from autocad at

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Going Mobile with Autodesk Mobile apps.

SketchBook (iOS and Android)

App Store
Android Market

Buzzsaw Mobile (iOS)
Buzzsaw allows you to access and exchange building information on current projects all in one location.

Inventor Publisher Mobile Viewer (iOS and Android)
View 3D assemblies on the go.

App Store
Android Market

Bluestreak (iOS)
This application allows people using Project Bluestreak to communicate with team members.

AutoCAD WS (iOS and Android)
AutoCAD on your mobile phone!

App Store
Android Market

TinkerBox (iOS)
I put this one in just for fun.  Enjoy!

App Store

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top 5 AutoCAD Productivity Apps

Now that Autodesk has started the new AutoCAD app store, it is time to share our top five productivity apps.
Clipboard Manager
Clipboard Manager is a useful tool that keeps track of everything you copy and paste. Now you have a fast way to copy and paste more than one object.
Darn you xref!!! Why Can I not offset you?!?!?! Being in Civil Engineering, this is on the top of my list. This app allows you to offset objects that are located in an external reference or block.
DWF/PDF Batch Publish
Need a quick set for redlines? Use this tool for fast printing.
This app approximates 2D and 3D curves to change them into a number of straight line segments.
Dimension Patrol checks your current drawing for any dimensions that have been changed or manually overridden.
Have you been playing with the new app store?
Do you think the app store is going to stay?
Do you have a great app to share?

The new Autodesk Exchange App store is now available from your web browser.  Check out the new store my clicking the banner bellow.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Creating Linetypes Tool

Creating Linetypes
Creating linetypes in AutoCAD can be faster than you think. A couple of releases ago AutoCAD created an express tool that can create a linetype from lines and text.


Make Linetype Commend
Command: _mkltype
Under Express Tools >; Tools > Make Linetype


Once the Make Linetype command is launched the software will ask for a .lin file so that your linetype can be saved. The options to create a linetype file or use an existing linetype file can be done.


Then the command line will ask a number of questions.
1. Name new linetype.
2. Linetype description
3. The start location of the new linetype
4. The ending locaton of the new linetype
5. Selecting the object to add to the new linetype.


That is it! Done! Creating a new linetype is created.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Using Google+ as a project communication tool

Google has started the new social networking website Google+, but how does it stand out from Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites?  Today we are going to talk about the tools in Google+ and how to use them as a team communication tool

A Quick Look
 Check out the quick look video by Google

Great way to share project information with only the people working on the project without bugging everybody.  Just place them in a Circle and start sharing

Huddle is a way to send a fast text to a group of people.  Good way to set up a meeting with everyone or ask a quick question.

Huddle helps you set up a meeting, but what if you want to do an online meeting.  That is what Hangout is all about.  It is a nice group video chat.  Now you can have all your team attend an online meeting.

Mobile Information
At the time the only Mobile app available is on the Android, but Apple version of Google+ is on the way.

Monday, June 27, 2011

New To CAD Clues

We are introducing a number of new features to the CAD Clues website.

New Look
One big change you can see is the new look to the website. We are keeping the simple look and feel, but getting a nicer look. We hope you like it

CAD Clues Desktop App
Internet Browser
I am a big fan of Google Chrome web browser. One of the things I like about it is the ability to make a web application shortcut from any website. Today we are going to show you how to make a web application shortcut for CAD Clues.
1. Download Google Chrome.
2. Go the CAD Clues website
3. Select the custom button located on the to right of the web browser
4. Select tools and then Create application shortcuts...
5. The Create application shortcuts pop up box will appear asking where you want to place your new application (Desktop, Start menu, and/or Pin to Taskbar)
6. Enjoy!!!

CAD Clues Mobile Web App
Did you know at CAD Clues has a Mobile Web App available in both iOS and Android system.
Creating the CAD Clues MWA on your handheld device.
1. go to CAD Clues MWA on your phone.
2. web clip the webpage.
3. enjoy!


Web Icon
Say buy buy to the blogger icon and hello to the new CAD Clues icon to your web browser.

Share Bar
We are very happy to add this new feature to the website. The new share bar (powered by Meebo) allows you to share post from CAD Clues to Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. The ability to use IM services like Google Talk, Yahoo, and much more is also available from the share bar. Find out more at

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Profiles 101

Cutting profiles are needed in almost all projects. In Civil 3D, you can view horizontal information in the form of a vertical profile. Today we are going to learn how to:
  1. Generate a profile from an existing alignment
  2. Changing profile styles and editing profile properties
First, we need to define “profile.” A profile is an object which represents elevation information for a horizontal alignment or object line. The profile contains two components: profile view and profile object. The profile view is the object, such as the profile grid and display information. The profile object is the vertical information form the horizontal alignment, such as the existing or proposed grade.

Generate a profile from an existing alignment
First, an alignment and surface is needed before creating a profile. Once the alignment is ready, it is time to create the profile.
Menu > Profiles > Create Profile from Surface.


“Create Profile from Surface” box pops up. This is where the profile object information (existing surface) is added to the profile view information (grid, station labels, etc). Under Alignment, select the alignment to profile.

Once you select the surface, click on “add” to place the information in the profile list.


Tip: Profile object information can be added and removed by using the same steps above without recreating the profile.
Tip: When the profile is generated, it is helpful to check the style used for the profile object information.


Once all proper information is placed, click on “Draw in profile view” button. A new box will pop up when creating a new profile. The settings are divided into categories:
  • General
  • Station Range
  • Profile View Height
  • Profile Display Options
  • Pipe Network Display
  • Data Bands
  • Profile Hatch Options

Select alignment: The alignment in which to create the profile
Profile view name: Give it a name everyone will understand
Description: Remember to add today’s date here
Profile view style: Standard Style set by your CAD Manager
Profile view layer: allows layer to be changed of profile element
Show offset profile box: If you have offsets in your profile, this will place it in different profiles instead of the same profile.
Station Range:
Automatic: This will automatically set up the station range for the profile
User specified range: Customize the station range of the new profile
Profile View Height:
Automatic: Automatically sets elevation range
User specified: Customize the elevation range of the new profile
Split Profile View: Refer to help menu
Profile Display Options:
Same as the profile list in last “Profile View” box
Pipe Network Display:
Pipe information for the profile can be added
Data Bands:
Data Bands are information which can be placed in the profile such as the existing and proposed surface, pipe information, etc. The data bands can be placed at the top or the bottom of the profile.
Selection Band Set: Selection of the type of data bands needed
Location: Location of bands (top or bottom)
Set band properties: Setting per design.
Profile Hatch Options:
Hatch can be added to areas within the profile.
Once setup is complete, click “Create Profile View.” The software will prompt for the location of the profile. Select the location in the drawing in which to place the profile.

Changing profile styles and editing profiles properties
Profile properties can be modified at any time after creating the profile by:
Clicking on the Profile > Right Click > Profile View Properties


After a profile has been generated, information can be edited as if you were creating a new profile.


Friday, June 3, 2011

5 Free Must Have Autodesk Tools

Desktop Applications

Autodesk 123D
123D is a great little 3D modeling application that is simple to use.  I can spend hours playing with this software.


Autodesk Design Review
Design Review is one of best application for sharing your design documents.


DWG Viewer
No AutoCAD, no problem.  DWG Viewer allows you to view and print dwg files from any computer for free.

Web Applications

Ever wish you could design a dream house or  play Architect for a day?  Now you can with the new Homestyler by Autodesk.


Check it out: Homestyler


Check it out: AutoCAD WS

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dynamic Easements – Part 3

Cleanup and Modifying

There are times we need to start and stop the easement. For example, the picture below shows the sanitary sewer crossing a right-of-way. The easement needs to stop at the right-of-way and restart on the other side.


Selecting the alignment will pull up the grip editing on the easements, which will allow you to change the starting and stopping station of the dynamic easement (offset alignment). The grip edit can be snapped to the intersection of the easement and right-of-way to make the easement stop at the proper location.


To restart the easement on the other side of the right-of-way, create a new offset alignment with the starting stations and the ending station at the proper location.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dynamic Easements – Part 2

Getting Some Style
Now that we have the offset alignment representing the dynamic easement, it’s time to make an alignment style.

1. Select the offset alignment > quick properties > under style select Create/Edit


2. The alignment style pop up box will appear. Select the edit pull down and click Create New


3. The alignment style editor will pop up. For today, we are only changing four setting to create this style.
a. Under information tab, change name to “Easement”
b. Under display tab, change component type line color to yellow
c. Under display tab, change component type line type to dash
d. Under display tab, change component type line layer to easement


4. Once the setting are ready, select OK


Now, the dynamic easement is ready.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dynamic Easements – Part 1

Creating a Dynamic Easements
I want to start off by saying that dynamic easement is not a standard tool in Civil3D. Using a new tool added to Civil3D 2010 called offset alignments we can create easements that will update with your alignment.

For the example today, we are creating an easement for a sanitary sewer line. The alignment has already been created and represents the centerline of the sanitary sewer.

1. Deploy the offset alignment command
Home > Create Design > Alignment > Create Offset Alignment


2. Select the alignment to offset and the Create Offset Alignment box will pop up. The pop up box gives the ability to make changes like:
a. Station range
b. Number of offsets for both right and left
c. Incremental offset both right and left
d. Site
e. Alignment style
f. Alignment layer
g. Alignment label set

Settings we are going to use today:
a. Deselect station range from start to end
b. Keep number of offset to 1 on both right and left
c. Keep incremental offset at 10’
d. Keep site on none
e. Keep alignment style at offset (we will change that later)
f. Keep alignment layer the same
g. Keep label style at _No Labels


3. Once the settings are set, select OK.

Now the offset alignment is created. Every time the sewer alignment is moved, the offset alignment will move with the sewer alignment.