Your contours aren't showing

What happens when you can not enclose your figure. When using the contour command (whether it be outside or inside), the contour only appears as broken lines. What's up with that? A little research and I find that if any part of the contour is an ellipse, you are hosed. A little editing magic and tada, you are full figured uhmmm contoured again.


I need details!

Ok, so you forgot the details. No, I am not talking about your anniversary. The details in Mechanical disappeared again. But wait you say, did we not fix this. Well almost, I found that detailing blocks not on layer 0 or AM_0 kept the Detail command from showing all. Move blocks to an non offending layer and the details of life become clear again. Whew, close one.


It's all in the details...

But my details are not detailed enough. A user was using the Detail command and the detail showed up with items missing. Nothing we tried worked. I asked a user who had the problem previously and he reminded me of the fix. It was service pack 2 to the rescue. We checked which version the user was running (AMVER at the command line), and when we saw he was still at SP1a, we upgraded to SP2 and tada, the details of his life shown through. WE are back.


I need some dialog ASSISTance...

Oh where oh where have my dialogs gone. A user here was working and his dialog box for the Rename command vanished. He typed in his REN shortcut and it appeared to execute correctly but nothing appeared. I tried a variety of things but nothing worked. I did a search on the Autodesk forum and I found a message that said to type in the ASSIST command. When the dialog appears, cancel the command. The missing dialogs should appear. Seemed strange, but we gave it a try and ... they were back. Hmmmm. Are you listening Autodesk. Bug. Thanks for listening.


Z is for Zorr... Zero

How to be level headed. I do not know how it happens (I have a few guesses), but we get entities with non zero Z components in our drawings quite a bit. These wreak havoc when creating 2D drawings because lines begin to have strange measurements and objects will not edit correctly. It is much harder after the fact to try and correct this but there are some methods. Use of AutoCAD's own FLATTEN command is a good place to start. It works pretty good but we have found it doesn't fix everything usually. Entities inside blocks and objects like splines will not flatten. You will have to edit them individually to flatten them. One thing we have done is that since we use quite a few converted 3D drafting files (from Unigraphics), we flatten them before they come into our assemblies. Flattening them before we start using them to snap to is a big help. We try, I repeat try to, not to use the converted 3D ents to draw to but it is a mixed bag. In Mechanical, the Hide function has issues with entities that are not on the same plane so take note. In the meantime, keep calm and keep a flat, err.. level head.


Ejection Button.

Eject all your unused baggage. A long time ago I wrote a purge routine that would purge all nested items. I am reposting to help you "lighten the load"

(defun pp_PurgeAllReport (/ test tpurgd purgd total)
(command "_.LAYER" "M" "0" "")
(setq tpurgd 0)
(setq purgd 2)
(while (>= purgd 2)
(progn (setq purgd 0)
(setvar "cmdecho" 0)
(command "_.purge" "_all" "*")
(while (not (zerop (getvar "cmdactive")))
(command "_y")
(setq purgd (1+ purgd))
(setq tpurgd (1+ tpurgd))
(prompt "\nPurging nested items!")
(princ "\n")
(setq tpurgd (1- tpurgd))
(setq total (cons tpurgd '(items purged)))
(princ total)


X-Ray vision

Construction lines only see the positive side of life?

Posted at the Autodesk forum: if your construction lines only extend to right and upward (the positve directions), then you need to toggle construction line creation from ray to xline. Use AMCONSTSWI at the command line to be able to see in all directions. Up, up and away.


I'm no longer a status symbol

Does your status line look "just smashing" or "just smashed".

A nice tip from Autodesk for a "smashed looking" status line.

1) Execute AMPOWERSNAP command
2) Select "Current Settings" tab and uncheck "Show Snap in status line"


Supersize Me

Are your inserts from Design Center bigger than large fries? Well, this is one that comes up from time to time. We insert standard features in from Design Center but they came in "ginormous" (for you Elf fans) and scaled to inches (we use ISO and metric). "It must be the standards settings" I thought. I looked and they were set to ISO and Metric. Hmmm... Oh a thought, I checked under the OPTIONS and it was under USER PREFERENCES and under Insertion Scale, it was set to Inch. I set it to Millimeters and then the items inserted correctly. We are now back to regular size fries. I feel so much better.


My instant MTEXT messenger

A users MTEXT began speaking to him today. A user here had his MTEXT command issue an error on startup (after the text window was selected). It shown a dialog saying "Cannot find shell program". A ever trustworthy "hmmmmm... I have never seen that before" from myself and I was off to the races. A quick Google and I was on it. The variable inside AutoCAD "MTEXTED" was incorrect. You see, we have a designer from our German branch of the company and he uses a digitizer (another discussion), but anyway, his setup said "INTERN" instead of "INTERNAL". I typed in MTEXTED and set it to INTERNAL. Back in business again. Isn't the internet cool for these problems? Till next time.


I IGES, you IGES, we all IGES

Just a reminder, AutoCAD Mechanical comes with IGESIN and IGESOUT commands built in.

Regular AutoCAD users have to pay extra for the command. Oh, "membership has it's privileges."