A2K's top technical tips & tricks



 
  Our latest Tips and Tricks are now published on the A2K Technologies blog. Visit our Tips and Tricks section today!  
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #1   REVIT
 
  Use the TAB key to cycle through objects that are close together.  
     
  Submitted by Shane Morris,
CTO, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #2   AUTOCAD
 
  If your dialog boxes don't show up in AutoCAD, type FILEDIA at the command line and set the value to 1.  
     
  Submitted by Shane Morris,
CTO, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #3   INVENTOR
 
  In Inventor use the Shift + right-mouse button to access the list of selection filters.  
     
  Submitted by Shane Morris,
CTO, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #4   NAVISWORKS
 
  In NavisWorks Simulate/Manage use the Scene Statistics tool to identify missing object enablers to ensure model displays correctly. This can also be used to identify original program drawing was created in.  
     
  Submitted by Alan Barney,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #5   AUTODESK CSAT SURVEY
 
  In the Autodesk Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT), only scores of 9 or 10 indicate you are satisfied with your reseller. Scores of 7 to 8 are considered neutral and not attributed as a score at all, and anything that is a 6 or below is considered negative ie you were dissatisfied by the service of your re-seller.  
     
  Submitted by Kristen O'Loughlin,
Customer Service Executive, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #6   AUTOCAD
 
  If you need to create a layout file for a series of points say for a building pad. Instead of using the ID command to ID each point.

1. Insert a basic block with the insertion point at the intersections
2. Use the EATTEXT to read these points collecting X,Y and Z Coords
3. This can then be written back to the file as a table or exported to an excel file.
 
     
  Submitted by Kevin Hawkins,
COO, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #7   AUTOCAD
 
  In AutoCAD, The OOPS command allows you to restore the LAST thing you erased. Just type OOPS into the command line.  
     
  Submitted by John McAteer,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #8   CIVIL 3D
 
  When working with Large Data sets such as mines etc you can limit the calculated data by applying a Data Clip Boundary.  
     
  The Data Clip Boundary limits what data is used for the calculations. This can greatly improve the performance of the surface when using lidar data etc.  
     
  If you use the normal Outer boundary the TIN is still calculated and then hidden which can diminish performance.  
     
  Submitted by Kevin Hawkins,
COO, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #9   INVENTOR
 
  By reducing your file dependencies within Inventor, you can optimize your modelling speeds. You can do this by using Shrinkwrap Substitutes (breaking links) within your assemblies, limiting the number of tiers in your assembly hierarchy to 3-5 nodes by employing iLogic in place of iParts and iAssemblies where possible.  
     
  Submitted by Edmund Hiew,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #10   AUTOCAD
 
  In AutoCAD, to copy and paste more accurately between drawings use 'Copy with Base Point'. Select your objects and use CTRL+SHIFT+C, manually pick a base point and then paste into the target file. The objects will be attached to your cursor where you selected the base point.  
     
  Submitted by John McAteer,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #11   SHOWCASE
 
  Quickly create animations in Showcase by converting driven constraints in Inventor to behaviours when using the suite workflow option from Inventor to Showcase.  
     
  Split cylindrical surfaces on Inventor models for FEA using cylindrical extruded surfaces and the split tool.  
     
  Submitted by Niall Smith,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #12   AUTOCAD
 
  In AutoCAD, type TIME into the command line to see how long you have spent working on a drawing. The calculation is based on time the mouse and keyboard is active, the clock stops if the drawing is left idol.  
     
  Submitted by John McAteer,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #13   REVIT
 
  You can use the dynamic input as a calculator by starting with =, also you can use it to convert units by typing 3m instead of 3000, and 6' instead of googling what 6' is in mm.  
     
  Submitted by Glenn Sinclair,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #14   INVENTOR/VAULT
 
  Make your iLogic rules generic so that you can apply them to other objects.  
     
  Submitted by Edmund Hiew,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #15   AUTOCAD
 
  The reason it's so important to do a proper project establishment and create a local project origin point is because of reduced accuracy, usually for consultants working in mm (Arch, Struc, MEP). AutoCAD works on 16 digit coordinates, the more digits you have in front of the point the less digits you have for accuracy, i.e. 1000.000000000000 is 1m from origin and 10000000.00000000 is 10km from origin. If using the Surveyors real world coordinates as the WCS there will be accuracy issues with hatches, trimming offsetting lines etc.  
     
  Submitted by Glenn Sinclair,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #16   AUTOCAD
 
  The Cloud Sync for AutoCAD Architecture/MEP plug-in is a great free* technology preview that allows users to manage drawing access on local computer networks and also across cloud storage services (e.g., Autodesk 360, Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive). With this functionality and depending on how a user has elected to set up a given cloud storage service, automatic access to the Internet and automatic sync of a file between a local machine (or network) and the cloud storage service is possible.  
     
  Submitted by Morgan Smith,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #17   REVIT
 
  The Beam System in Revit is a very powerful and useful tool; it allows us to frame floors, walls and roofs very quickly.
Download PDF
 
     
  Submitted by Eldad Asoulin,
Solution Integrator, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #18   INVENTOR
 
  You can use the keyboard shortcuts just like you could in AutoCAD with Inventor controls - coupled with a 3D mouse, you will be a productivity power-house!
Click here for Keystroke References
 
     
  Submitted by Edmund Hiew,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #19   AUTOCAD Elec
 
  Cross-Reference Symbols  
     
  ACADE allows you to insert your own stand-alone cross-reference symbols if the JIS/IEC standards are not what you are after.  
     
  Insert stand-alone cross-reference symbols:
  1. Click Schematic tab > Insert Components panel > Dashed Link Line drop-down > Insert Stand-Alone Cross-Referencing.
  2. On the Insert Component dialog box, select the cross-reference symbol to insert from the Symbol Preview window.
  3. You can also enter the symbol to insert in the Type it edit box or click Browse to select a symbol to insert.
  4. Specify the insertion point on the drawing.
  5. On the Stand-alone Source Cross-Reference Symbol dialog box, specify the unique name for the source/destination pair. You can select the code:
    - From a list of recently used codes.
    - From a list of codes on the active drawing.
    - From a list of codes in the active project.
    - From a destination cross-reference symbol.
  6. Click OK.
 
     
  Submitted by Edmund Hiew,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #20   REVIT
 
  For values of numerical parameters, you can calculate basic arithmetic by starting with an '=' symbol. You can even use parentheses ( ) to order the way the value is calculated. e.g. = (100 + 50) / 2. In this example the '(100 + 50)' is calculated before the '/ 2'.
Click here for more or
visit Chad's blog at www.revitkb.com
 
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #21   REVIT
 
 
Tip #21   In Revit 2014, you can control the double click action of certain object types; refer to the image below. This can be accessed from the Revit Options (big "R"). "Options" is next to the "Exit Revit" button.
 
     
  Submitted by Kent Watson,
Senior Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #22   INVENTOR
 
  If you are missing your Australian Standard sections from Frame Generator, plug in the installation media and make sure the "Other" library is selected in the Inventor Content Centre section of the installation splash screen.  
     
  Submitted by Niall Smith,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #23   INVENTOR
 
  Setting the ‘Initial View Extents’ option for ‘Default Width/Height’ to values of 0 and 0 will cause Inventor to ‘Zoom All’ when you open an IPT or IAM.  
     
  Submitted by Shane Morris,
CTO, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #24   REVIT
 
  If you want to equally space items such as columns, you can dimension them with the Aligned dimension type.  Once the dimension is placed, click the EQ symbol on the dimension to equally space them.  
     
  Submitted by Shane Morris,
CTO, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #25   CIVIL 3D
 
  You can extract the contours from a surface by using the Surface > Utilities > Extract Objects from a Surface tool. A dialog box opens listing the available objects that can be extracted. Check only the boxes for the objects that you want extracted. If you leave Value set at 'Select All' it will create a copy of all contours as polylines on top of your existing surface. Or, if you change Value to 'Select from Drawing' it will allow you select only the specific contour you want extracted.  
     
  Submitted by Shane Morris,
CTO, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #26   REVIT
 
  In Revit you can nudge elements in any direction by selecting them and using the arrows on your keyboard. If you hold down shift while hitting the arrow key, the selected element will move by a larger increment.  
     
  Submitted by Brendan Upton,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #27   REVIT
 
  In Revit sheets, the guide grid tool can be used to accurately line up views on multiple sheets. This prevents plans jumping around the page when viewing a presentation.  
     
  Submitted by Glenn Sinclair,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #28   REVIT
 
  When creating Families, Type Catalogs provide a means to define Types without the need to enter the Type data directly into the Family.

But, this now creates a disconnect between the Family (.RFA), and the Type Catalog (.TXT) files. If a user is editing the Family file, they may not be immediately aware that there is an accompanying Type Catalog file.

To help address this, in the Family file define a single Type and label it something like 'Refer to Type Catalog'. This way the user stands a chance of being aware that the Type data is defined elsewhere!
 
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #29   AUTOCAD
 
  AutoCAD, the difference between freezing and turning off layers relates to layers nested in blocks. If a block's layer is frozen, any layers within the block will not be visible, if the block's layer is turned off (with the light bulb) any layers within will still be visible.  
     
  Submitted by Glenn Sinclair,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #30   PLANT 3D
 
  You can substitute a bolt set by holding down the CTRL key and selecting the red circle of a flanged connector. Click the bolt set and then click a Substitute grip to select another bolt set.  
     
  Submitted by Shane Morris,
CTO, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #31   INFRAWORKS
 
  Easily identify data sets such as elevation by using the 'Terrain Themes' tool to apply colour coding to terrains.  
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #32   REVIT
 
  If you need to share a model outside your office but don’t want to include all views/sheets etc, you can create a view or sheet schedule, and then easily delete what you don't want by highlighting those rows and selecting ‘delete’ from the ribbon.  
     
  Submitted by Brendan Upton,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #33   CIVIL 3D
 
  Civil 3D  
     
  In Civil3D, if you have a very large surface (7 million triangles and bigger), the Object Viewer may become almost unusable. However, if you’re using version 2013 or later, you can turn on 'Level of Detail' (View tab > Views panel > Level of detail) so the number of triangles displayed in the Object Viewer becomes dynamic, and your surface will be manageable again.  
     
  Submitted by Dean Petersen,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #34   3DS Max Design
 
  When working with large scenes in 3DS Max Design:

1. Turn on 'Compress on Save' under Customize > Preferences> Files. This compresses the size of the output file.

2. If using complex model geometry (e.g. many trees), consider using mr Proxy objects.

3. Limit the number of asset paths and length of path structure, especially if saving to a network location. Using the resource collector can be a good way to collate your resources into one location and re-path your maps!
 
     
  Submitted by Sheldon Elsmore-Cary,
Consulting Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #35   ReCap
 
  Before taking photos to use in ReCap 360, put a ruler in the scene (on the ground) as a scaled reference. The ruler also acts as a reference marker to aid in the 'stitching' process of the scene.  
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #36   REVIT
 
  You can quickly expand or minimise all levels of the project browser by selecting the top level element and pressing the Asterisk or Minus key respectively.  
     
  Submitted by Brendan Upton,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #37   NAVISWORKS
 
  If you sometimes struggle to rename elements by right-clicking, use the F2-Key to rename them. This command can also be used in other applications and environments.  
     
  Submitted by Klaus Stroehl,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #38   ReCap
 
  To clean up the point cloud file before using it in your desired design application, use the selection tools to assist in deleting unnecessary points.  
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #39   INFRAWORKS
 
  Using Linework from DWG files.

DWG import is a little tricky. It works fine for spatial entities like boundaries, lot lines, parking lots, building outline and water outlines, but you must remember that you are limited to 2D linework, with no text, hatching, dimensions, etc. These entities will confuse the import.

Here are some tips to remember:

  1. When possible, convert lines to polylines (this is not required, but is a bit ‘cleaner’)
  2. Verify that polylines that appear closed are actually closed (check props)
  3. Avoid duplicate linework on top of each other
  4. Remember you can work in 2D only
  5. When configuring in InfraWorks, in the ‘Source’ tab, set ‘Draping Options’ to ‘Drape’, and check ON the ‘Convert closed polylines to polygons’
  6. To get what you want WHERE you want it, ensure your coordinate systems are correct, or placed interactively in the ‘Geo Location’ tab

Note: The reason you are forced to specify what type of entity to configure the DWG is because it needs to know what kind of style to apply. For a parking lot for example, import the outline as a DWG, configure as a coverage area and apply an asphalt-like style.
 
     
  Submitted by Morgan Smith,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #40   INFRAWORKS
 
  Use COGO points to generate multiple points of interest, for example, populating power poles in your model.

  1. Select your point-based FDO data source (e.g. SHP, SDF, etc.), and provide the positions for import. Open the data source config dialog – it will open automatically if you drag and drop the file into the scene, otherwise double-click the data source in the Data Source Explorer.
  2. Set the target class/type to ‘City Furniture’
  3. For the ‘Rule Style’ property mapping select the 3D model style ‘3D Model\Energy\Transmission Pole – Simple’
  4. Click ‘Close and Refresh’

Now, the geo-referenced points defined by your external file should be represented as city furniture features within the model scene, using the Transmission Pole 3D model as instanced model.
 
     
  Submitted by Morgan Smith,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #41   AUTOCAD
 
  Do you want to see some objects in layers, but want to turn off others without turning the actual layer off? Use 'Object Isolate Hide' to hide/isolate any geometry without turning layers off.  
     
  Tech Tip 41  
     
  Submitted by Alex Varas,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #42   AUTOCAD
 
  Want to count the number of blocks in a drawing - e.g. columns, furniture, windows, doors etc? You can select all objects of similar type by selecting one block of the type, then right clicking. From the menu displayed, select 'select similar'. Having the properties pallet always visible will then display the total number.  
     
  Tech Tip 42  
     
  Submitted by Alex Varas,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #43   AUTOCAD
 
  'MTEXT' and 'abc' sample text  
     
  When you use the MTEXT command, sample text appears (‘abc’). This is AutoCAD’s way of showing you the current text style in use. You can change the text by typing 'mtjigstring' <enter>. Type a word up to 10 characters (can be alphanumeric).  
     
  Tech Tip 43  
     
  Submitted by Alex Varas,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #44   REVIT
 
 
Here’s how to use Revit.ini for structural slab display - add the below syntax to the .ini file to control hidden slab edges.
 
HiddenSlabEdge = all
 
Below from the help menu - HiddenSlabEdge determines how hidden lines of slab edges display in plan views of the ‘structural’ discipline.

Type = string
 
Tip 44
 
Valid values:
All = show all hidden lines for slab edges
Itself = show the bearing or hidden edges (default)
Other = show the edge intersecting the slab
None = show no hidden lines for slab edges)
  Submitted by Alex Varas,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
     
     
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #45   REVIT
 
 
When entering length dimensions for modelling walls, lines, moving objects, etc., type '10m' rather than '10000'. Revit will translate to mm for you. This also works if you type '100cm' or 32’80” (feet and inches).

Also, you can type a formula when entering the dimensions. Type ‘=’ first, then type the formula. This can also be applied when selecting objects and changing temporary dimension values.
  Tip 45
 
     
  Submitted by Alex Varas,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #46   CIVIL 3D
 
  Bring Civil3D Corridors Back into InfraWorks via IMX

Many of us want to show our Civi3D corridors back in InfraWorks as an easy way of achieving good visualisations without having to use 3ds Max. However, this is swimming against the tide a little, as InfraWorks is designed to be used before Civil3D instead of after.

There is however, a method that will work using the IMX export, described in detail here.
 
     
  Submitted by Dean Petersen,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #47   INVENTOR
 
  Tip #47  
     
  Display a Flat Pattern in Sheet Metal

  1. Right-click a random place on the ribbon (in the tab of issue; in this case the ‘Sheet Metal’ tab)
  2. Choose ‘Show Panels’ in the menu
  3. Click to check or remove check mark of the panel, depending on whether you want to add or remove.
 
     
  Submitted by Edmund Hiew,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #48   REVIT
 
  Most new Revit users will make a unique Tag for Doors, Windows, Floors, etc, that will all tag a single parameter, such as Type Mark. This is fine if each of these Tags need to look graphically, i.e. Font, Size, Linework, etc.

But what if all the Tags that tag the Type Mark all look the same?

Instead, try creating a single Multi-Category Tag. This will greatly reduce the Tag family quantities in your content library.

By doing this, your content library can contain a separate Multi-Category Tag for commonly tagged parameters such as:
  • Description
  • Manufacturer
  • Mark
  • Model
  • Type Mark
 
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #49   AUTOCAD
 
  AutoCAD 2015 NEW function - Select objects with the new Lasso feature

The new way of selecting objects in AutoCAD 2015 is to use the Lasso feature, although this is not an obvious option.

While in a command (or not) press and drag (LMB). This will automatically use the lasso feature. As usual, when selecting objects left->right / right->left, window / crossing select applies. If you just click and drag, the normal rectangle selection feature will be applied.

Note: pressing the space bar while dragging will cycle between fence / window polygon / crossing polygon for the lasso selection.
 
     
  Submitted by Alex Varas,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
     
  Tip #49  
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #50   AUTODESK
 
  To improve performance, check your graphics card is correct for your software, and that the correct certified driver is installed, by visiting this page. Autodesk tests system hardware, graphics hardware and drivers for a number of Autodesk products and suites.  
     
  Submitted by Alan Barney,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #51   VEO
 
  Styles can be created to have a transparency (alpha channel) set in their properties. When applied to elements, these elements will no longer be selectable, so that other visible elements behind them can be selected. This functionality helps with the general selection process.  
     
  To override the selection process so you can also select the transparent elements, hold down the Shift key while selecting.  
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #52   AUTOCAD
 
  For a quick way to edit attributes without going to the dialogue box, simply hold the Control key and double click the attribute. This will allow you to edit it directly on the drawing.  
     
  Submitted by John McAteer,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #53   AutoCAD
 
  Selecting 'Automatic Publish' in the main options dialogue box will set AutoCAD to automatically print a PDF or DWF file when you save or close drawings.  
     
  Submitted by John McAteer,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #54   REVIT
 
 
Sometimes you want Center Line markers on dimensions, and sometimes you don't. But when dimensioning Families, you don't really have a choice if you need to select a reference that is considered to be a Center.

To get around this, in the Family draw an 'Invisible' Detail Line where you want to pick up the non-Center Line dimension as a reference.

Then when back in the project, use TAB to highlight and select the Detail Line rather than the Center Line.
  Tip 54
 
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #55   REVIT
 
  When developing complex formulas, first use first short letters, then change the parameter to its real name. This will also update the formula.  
     
  Submitted by Florian Neumayr,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
     
  Tip #55  
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #56   AutoCAD
 
  Layer Walk is a great tool for investigating layer standards. Use the ‘LAYWALK’ command to cycle through and view existing layers on a drawing.  
     
  Submitted by John McAteer,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #57   NAVISWORKS
 
  In Navisworks, you can window select elements without using the 'Select Box' tool. While using the regular 'Select' tool, simply hold down the Spacebar and then draw a window around the elements. Use the Spacebar as a toggle between pick selecting and window selecting, or Shift + Spacebar for a crossing window selection.  
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologie
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #58   BIM 360 Field
 
  If you can’t use the BIM360 Field mobile app on your mobile device, any issues (with attachments like photos) can be emailed directly into BIM360 Field.

You can find the project-specific email address by clicking on the Notification in the top-right corner. When the page loads, the email address will be at the top-right. Issues will be emailed to BIM360 Field as a draft for further input.
 
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #59   CIVIL 3D
 
  Selected Objects now glow blue when hardware acceleration is enabled. This enables users to see what is selected. But if you prefer how it was in 2014 and earlier versions, change the system variable SELECTIONEFFECT to 0 (Zero). This trick will also work in other AutoCAD-based products.  
     
  Submitted by Morgan Smith,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #60   SIMULATION
 
  Looking for videos, information or tips on Simulation? Check out Autodesk’s SimHub at simhub.autodesk.com/resources for an in-depth library of Simulation papers, report, tutorials and demos.  
     
  Submitted by Niall Smith,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #61   REVIT
 
  Schedule Conditional Formatting will only allow for 1 colour per column. But you can apply a second 'base' colour using the following procedure:  
     
  1. Select the entire column, and set a Shading. This is the base colour.  
  2. For the second colour, use the Conditional Format.  
     
  The Conditional Format colour will override the base colour, giving you a two colour result.  
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
     
  Tip #61  
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #62   AutoCAD
 
  Layer Walk for Creating Layer States (ON/OFF) (Layers panel)  
     
  Selecting the Layer Walk command will launch the Layer Walk pallet.  
     
  The image below shows all layers that the drawing has turned ON.
Before you start selecting different layers, make sure to save the current view as Original.
Right click on a highlighted layer, and select Save Layer State.
Name it ‘Original’ or similar.
 
     
  Continuing reading the process described in detail here.  
     
  Submitted by Alex Varas,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #63   INVENTOR
 
  In Inventor 2015, the default drawing file uses *.dwg. If you want to use *.idw:  
     
  Click on the Tools tab > Application Options (or Application menu (big 'I') > Options) > Click on the Drawing tab > set 'Default Drawing File Type' to 'Inventor Drawing' (*.idw ).  
     
  Submitted by Kent Watson,
Senior Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
     
  Tip #63  
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #64   INVENTOR
 
  Inventor 2015 defaults to imperial units for new files, but you can easily change this to metric units.  
     
  From the home screen, simply click the ‘Configure Default Templates…’ link, and then select Millimeters, and ISO, and then click OK.  
     
  Submitted by Kent Watson,
Senior Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
     
  Tip #64  
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #65   NAVISWORKS
 
  The 'Selection Resolution' options can be quickly cycled through, by holding down SHIFT and then selecting an element.  
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologie
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #66   INVENTOR
 
  If you don't have a 3D mouse (such as a SpaceNavigator) for model orbiting, you can constrain the vertical axis to make this interaction much easier. Open the Application Options, then on the Display tab set the 'Default Orbit Type' to 'Constrained'.  
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
     
  Tip #66  
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #67   REVIT
 
  When creating conceptual models, Mass Floor elements adopt certain properties from the host Mass. This allows for more detailed scheduling of Mass Floors.  
     
  In example shown, each zone of the building (shown coloured) is an individual Mass Family. Note that the zones that span multiple levels are still a single element. Each zone (Mass) specifies the Building and Usage, which in turn populates in the Mass Floor Schedule.  
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
     
  Tip #67  
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #68   CIVIL 3D
 
  Just like AutoCAD, Civil 3D has some useful Inquiry commands. You can run inquiries on points, surfaces, alignments, profiles, profile views, sections, section views, and corridor sections. They can be found on the 'Analyze' tab, 'Inquiry' Panel of the Ribbon.  
     
  A complete list of tools can be found in the Civil 3D 2015 Online Help.  
     
  Submitted by Morgan Smith,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
     
  Tip #68  
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #69   INFRAWORKS
 
  Some of the latest workstation laptops use Nvidia Optimus. This feature saves energy by automatically choosing the ‘appropriate’ graphics card for the current work being processed, and activating the heavy graphics card for games, etc. Optimus decides that InfraWorks isn’t a game and launches with the 'Integrated Graphics.'  
     
  To get most out of your laptop, you need to force it to use the high performance Graphics Processor instead of the default 'Integrated Graphics' when launching Autodesk products such as InfraWorks.  
     
  Autodesk has documented two solutions in this Knowledge Base Document.  
     
  Submitted by Morgan Smith,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #70   AUTODESK VEHICLE TRACKING
 
  The Extended Vehicle Libraries for Autodesk Vehicle Tracking 2015 download contains five additional libraries of vehicles intended for use with Autodesk Vehicle Tracking 2015 software. Over 500 realistic and 3D presentation vehicles from around the world are provided. Vehicle categories include: agricultural, buses, cars, commercial, emergency, fire, forklift, pick-up, over-sized, quarry, taxis, trucks and vans.  
     
  Extended Vehicle Libraries for Autodesk Vehicle Tracking 2015 is available only from the Subscription Centre.  
     
  Note: Use of the Extended Vehicle Libraries requires installation of Autodesk Vehicle Tracking 2015. To access the additional content, install the download. The additional vehicle libraries will then appear in the Vehicle Library Explorer the next time you run Autodesk Vehicle Tracking.  
     
  Submitted by Morgan Smith,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #71   CIVIL 3D
 
  Civil3D Corridor Breaklines  
     
  There are occasionally times when your corridor surface does not triangulate correctly, particularly where the frequency lines of the corridor are very close together - such as at the ends of a kerb return alignment in the intersection builder, or where you have widened a road lane (see first part of image).  
     
  Although this is not a documented function, I teach in our training courses that you can add Dynamic Breaklines to a corridor top surface by adding in the corridor featurelines for TopCurb, Flange, and FlowlineGutter AFTER you have added all the top links to the surface. These breaklines are then dynamic and move with the corridor which is very useful (see second part of image).  
     
  Submitted by Dean Petersen,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
     
  Tip #68  
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #72   REVIT
 
  To more easily and visibly identify unreferenced 'working' views such as sections and elevations, try putting a big 'W' in a view's marker family, and then assign it to a new view type (i.e. Type Selector).  
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
     
  Tip #72  
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #73   REVIT
 
  If you are planning to install the Revit 2015 R2 update, it won't work if update Release 4 has been installed. This needs to be uninstalled and re-installed from scratch again to work, as per the Autodesk Release Notes:  
     
  "Installation will also be blocked if Autodesk Revit 2015 Update Release 4 (build: 20140903_1530)) has been applied, a full uninstall followed by a new install of Autodesk Revit 2015 will be needed in order to apply Release 2".  
     
  Submitted by Brendan Upton,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #74   ReCap
 
  If you haven't yet used Autodesk ReCap, it allows you to easily integrate reality capture data into your design process, and turns the real world into as-built 3D data that you can use with other Autodesk products.  
     
  Autodesk has now launched a dedicated website for ReCap that details the range of products and services in the ReCap family.  
     
  Visit it at http://recap.autodesk.com/  
     
  Submitted by Morgan Smith,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #75   INVENTOR - iLogic
 
  Question: Is there a way to automatically have the scale of the first base view appear in the title block of a drawing?

Answer: Yes, with iLogic!

1) Go to iProperties > Custom, and add a text variable called "first_view_scale". Set the value to "empty".
2) Edit your titleblock and use the Custom property.
3) Manage > iLogic > add rule

Copy and paste the following:

'Assumption 1: Custom text iProperty scale exists
'Assumption 2: Base View Label is FRONT VIEW
'You can preset your view label naming in Styles
'and Standards Editor so that this is always the
'case for your 'first base view for this to work
iProperties.Value("Custom", "scale") = ActiveSheet.View("FRONT VIEW").ScaleString

4) Save rule.
5) Create Event Trigger on Drawing View Change.
6) Save to Template.

This will ensure your scale is regenerated each time you modify your base view.
 
     
  Submitted by Edmund Hiew,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
     
  TOP TECH TIP #76   REVIT
 
 
When entering in parameter values, you can specify different units to what the project is globally set to.

Looking at the example image, the roof's default units for the Slope is in decimal degrees.

But, a different unit such as rise over run can also be entered into the value instead. After this value is applied, it will then default the units back to decimal degrees again. This technique can be applied to other values, such as if you are working in metric, you could enter the value in feet and inches instead.
  Tip 76
 
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #77   INVENTOR
 
  Convert existing Inventor 3D models into sales tools by publishing them to tablets and phones using Inventor Publisher. 3D PDFs can also be generated for increased client collaboration.  
     
  Submitted by Niall Smith,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #78   Ideate BIMLink (REVIT)
 
  This intelligent add on for Revit gives you better ways to access Revit data. Here are a few you can use within BIMLink:
  • You can extract the hidden data within Revit elements that Revit will not naturally display, e.g. the X,Y,Z coordinates of individual elements.
  • You can extract all your view names from Revit, export to Excel and then convert from lowercase to uppercase. Once complete, import back into BIMLink and this will update all your view names.
  • You can create all your drawing sheets using Excel and import without the need to manually create them inside Revit.
 
  Submitted by Peter Harris,
Technical Consultant Lead, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #79   AUTOCAD
 
 
Here’s how to start AutoCAD with a default template using switches:

  • Right click on the AutoCAD shortcut icon in the desktop, and click on properties.
  • As shown in the image, at the end of the address in the Target field, add '/t' followed by a space, and then the path to the template file, eg: /t templatefilename.dwt
  • Click OK.
  • Now every time you open AutoCAD using this shortcut, it will open with the template specified.
  Tip 79
 
     
  Submitted by Raghulan Gowthaman,
Senior Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #80   CIVIL 3D
 
 
For those of you who are using the Pipes in Civil3D 2015, there is a little issue you may have come across.

When a manhole depth becomes less than its width, - such as when you grip edit the sump depth grip upwards - it goes haywire, as shown in the image. Autodesk do know about this issue, but have not found a fix as yet (October 2015).

The only workaround we have found so far is to open the drawing in Civil3D version 2014 (you can do that now), make the sump adjustment you want in that version, then re-open the drawing in 2015 and continue on. As long as you do not grip edit the sump again in 2015, the shape appears to be stable.
  Tip 80
 
     
  Submitted by Dean Petersen,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #81   Ideate BIMLink New!
 
  This intelligent add on for Revit gives you better ways to access Revit data. Did you know...?

1. With BIMlink, you can edit any instance-based parameter that would control the elements. Using this it is now possible to edit your model with Excel.

2. The latest version of BIMlink now allows you to use an existing schedule to link into Excel.

3. The power of BIMlink becomes apparent when you need to fill out any data for BIM and facilities management.
 
     
  Submitted by Peter Harris,
Technical Consultant Lead, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #82   ReCap New!
 
  Selecting points can be tricky in a complicated scene.

To help with this, after assigning points to a Scan Region, toggle on the Lock Region option. Now, any point on a locked region will be ignored when doing a Window Selection.
 
     
  Submitted by Peter Harris,
Technical Consultant Lead, A2K Technologies
 
     
  Tip #82  
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #83   AUTOCAD 360 New!
 
  The AutoCAD 360 mobile app can be connected to any service that supports Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV). This can include your own internal servers if they support the protocol.

Run AutoCAD 360 and log in. Go to the menu on the left and select Connect, then Other in the next menu, which then brings you to the details prompt.
 
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
     
  Tip #83  
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #84   REVIT ARCHITECTURENew!
 
  +Google Maps is a great source of geographical and cadastral information in image form, which can then be used in conceptual design work.

But it can also suffer from having too much information such as landmarks (e.g. business names), which you might not want on your presentations.

Sites like www.nearby.org.uk/google/nolabels-map.php provide Google Map access, but without all the noise. Using this service, after you locate the site, simply turn off the labels by pressing the No Labels button in the top-right of the screen.

Once you have captured a screenshot you can then create a Revit material from it and assign it to a topography element.

Disclaimer: The web service referenced in this tip was active at the time of writing.
 
     
  Submitted by Chad Smith,
Consulting Technical Lead, A2K Technologies
 
     
  Tip #84  
 
 
  TOP TECH TIP #85   REVIT New!
 
 
Excel Concatenate for Revit Family Type Naming
 
     
  Using Excel, open the family types.txt (catalogue) file of the family you want to change the values for, e.g. sizes (H&W).  
     
  Tip #85  
  Family types file (catalogue)  
     
  But what if you also want to name the new types as per the new values...?  
  Download PDF to read more.  
     
     
  Submitted by Dean Petersen,
Technical Consultant, A2K Technologies
 
 
 
 
  Our latest Tips and Tricks are now published on the A2K Technologies blog. Visit our Tips and Tricks section today!