30 Sep 2013

Simple but often asked dimension problems in Inventor

While using Inventor many people often ask for various tips on dimensioning circles and similar shapes. Often we find that a circle will automatically dimension itself from the centre point to the allocated line, projected line or component. However there is such a way we can dimension to the outer edge of the circle or form one tangent point of a circular sketch to another.

The first option is to dimension from a projected or sketched line to the circle edge. First simply select the constrain feature (in this case the straight line) and then hover the mouse over the circle edge at which you can allocate a dimension distance. The icon next to the mouse will display a small "distance to circle edge" symbol rather than the usual distance symbol.

The second part of the video shows a circle within a circle option. Often like before a single click on the two circles will only off an option to dimension from the centre of each circle. However when selecting sketch edges hold the 'Alt' key while doing so and this will allow you to dimension from edge to edge of each circle.


Thanks once again to Peter Barker for this great tip.

27 Sep 2013

AutoCAD Electrical 2014 Service Pack 1

The first Service Pack for AutoCAD Electrical 2014 is now available for download:


 ACE2014SP1_32bit.exe (exe - 33858Kb)
 ACE2014SP1_64bit.exe (exe - 44248Kb)


Some issues addressed are as follows:
Problems Reported with the Customer Error Reporting Utility
As a result of detailed information from customers who used the Customer Error Reporting Utility, a number of problems were identified and fixed. This service pack also includes problems fixed by Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 Service Pack 1. Updates have been made in the following commands and features:
Project Manager
  • Occasional crashes while working with Project Manager.
OLE
  • Occasional crashes or program hangs when performing copy and paste or plot operations with drawings that contain OLE objects.

General Service Pack Updates
This service pack also includes Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 Service Pack 1. The following defects have been addressed by AutoCAD Electrical 2014 Service Pack 1:
Cross Reference
  • Symbol mapping option of the table style cross referencing does not work unless the library is listed first in the Project Properties.
Catalog Lookup
  • Catalog data shifts some of the columns when do the Catalog Lookup for some special database.
  • Catalog lookup locks up when switch from a table have more columns to a table have less columns.
Insert/Edit Components/Footprints
  • Insert Panel from Schematic list may fail in some Localization version.
  • DESC1, DESC2 and DESC3 are not copied to multi-pole when insert child poles.
Ladder
  • Set Line reference values with sheet number template does not update to match the drawing sheet number during creation of new drawing.
Project Tools
  • Project_wide update always save drawings in 2013 format.
  • Component Update From Catalog does not work well to update the Weblink and Pinlist.
Tagging
  • Fails to recognize duplication of tag when working with multiple drawings.
Terminal Strip Editor
  • Cannot sort by all column headers in Terminal Strip Editor.
  • Poor performance when editing the Terminal Strip that contains lots of terminals.

Autumn's Major Mobile Phone Releases

Autumn phone sales, or any other season when an iPhone is released, is usually dominated by Apple.  Their latest iteration of the handset always brings in customers new and old alike.  But this could be the season of discontent as many loyal fans are starting to turn their back on the phone in favour of a smartphone touting the Android operating system citing restrictive behaviour of iOS as the main concern.

Left: iPhone 5s             Right iPhone 5c

So who will contend the iPhone 5s & 5c?  Samsung and HTC have already released their flagship phones this year in the form of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One.  Players such as Nokia, Motorola, and Blackberry rarely pose a threat to Apple, and Huawei is still building steam in Western markets.

The main competitor to Apple this season could possibly be one that was ranked as an outsider, until a recent announcement concerning a smartwatch stole a lot of attention - the Samsung Galaxy Note III.

Galaxy Note III

With a 5.7" screen this behemoth of a phone is classed as a phablet - a hybrid of phone and tablet - and in previous generations has been focused towards those interested in productivity due to it's cumbersome size.  But a combination of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch announcement and a desire for something different may have changed that and several people are turning their heads towards this particular phone.

The Galaxy Gear is a watch that relays the standard information you receive on your phone such as, messages, mail, phone calls, and displays it on your wrist.  Beyond that, Samsung have promised compatibility with some 70 apps at launch, including Evernote and Run Keeper.

Will this be enough to topple Apple?  Probably not in the UK.  The Note III was due for a worldwide release on the 25th September, and few of the major providers have any information on it despite worldwide hype.  Those who are impatient are either going back with Apple or going with the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, another phablet but not quite as feature heavy as the Note III.

Don't touch your Apple screen!!

With the arrival of Apples new iPhone 5S I'm sure we'll be seeing a few of them around here and there. However there is one little detail a German based computer club has released. The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) claims that they can beat Apples new finger scanner.

The new finger scanner allows users to unlock their phones through  the home button, where a laser cut crystal is used with a sensor to image the users fingerprint and unlock the phone 'securely'. However the CCC have claimed that by the use of a latex slide from a piece of glass, they ramped up the resolution of this image and used it to unlock the phone.

Unfortunately finger prints are left everywhere all day, every day. So its no surprise the use of finger prints are not the most effective use of security - its not quite like a password which you can change - a finger print is just something you've got.

26 Sep 2013

AutoCAD Mechanical 2014 Service Pack 1

The first Service Pack for AutoCAD Mechanical 2014 is now available for download:

 ACM2014SP1_32bit.exe (exe - 31293Kb)
 ACM2014SP1_64bit.exe (exe - 43921Kb)


Some issues addressed are as follows:
Problems Reported with the Customer Error Reporting Utility
As a result of detailed information from customers who used the Customer Error Reporting Utility, a number of problems were identified and fixed. This service pack also includes problems fixed by Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 Service Pack 1. Updates have been made in the following commands and features:
Shaft
  • Crashes in shaft calculations.
Centerline
  • In some drawings, grip edit of centerlines can result in crash.
Surface Texture
  • Crashes when adding leaders to surface texture symbols in Windows 8.

General Service Pack Updates
This service pack also includes Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 Service Pack 1. The following defects have been addressed by AutoCAD Mechanical 2014 Service Pack 1:
XREF Binding
  • Some xref drawings cannot be binded.
  • Performance issue when binding large xref drawings one at a time.
Partlist
  • Partlist items from drawings saved in AutoCAD Mechanical 2007 version cannot be updated.
Content
  • Description of some External Thread Ends is not correct.
  • Description of hole in hole chart is not translated in the German version of AutoCAD Mechanical 2014.
Shaft
  • Side view of DIN 5480 profile is not shown correctly in the drawing.
Hatch
  • Block attributes are removed after deleting hatches and disabling AM_6 layer.
STEP and IGES
  • IGESIN/IGESOUT and STEPIN/STEPOUT commands are not available in vanilla AutoCAD profile.
General
  • In some drawings, AMCONVDWG does not yeild correct results in layer conversion.

25 Sep 2013

Introducing myself to the Blog

Dear Readers,

You may have noticed over the last month or so that the topics covered in the blog have deviated slightly from a CAD focused nature to something a little more eclectic.  That would be partly due to myself coming on board to chip in with the content.  Hi, I'm Scott Cunliffe.

I'm one of the helpdesk support engineers here at Micro Concepts, and I have been given free reign to post articles on things I find interesting in the world.  Having a degree in mechanical engineering and an interest in all things technological - both hardware and software based - the topics I post about will cover a pretty wide area of the modern world and won't be limited to just Autodesk tips n tricks or the latest service pack releases.  I like to keep on top of the latest developments going on in the consumer electronics market and that means articles on monitors, graphics cards, mobile phones and other kinds of gadgetry.  From the engineering side of things, I like the big stories as much as the smaller surprises in engineering advances, and it's the increasingly symbiotic nature that software and hardware plays in in conjunction with engineering practices that really motivates me.  I'm particularly interested to see how emerging tech, such as augmented reality, can benefit the engineering world and how we at Micro Concepts can play a part in something so promising.

I'll be writing in a mostly objective manner, but now and then I'll be dropping my own opinions into the fray and I'd welcome you to debate any of the points I put across.  If there's anything you would like me to cover in future posts, do get in touch and let me know what interests you.

Best regards,
Scott Cunliffe






24 Sep 2013

The founder of McAfee, John McAfee

I'm sure most of you will have had experience of McAfee anti-virus software.  It comes packaged on many pre-built desktops, is offered as a secondary install on several software applications, and even manages to pop-up in your browser offering a quick scan of your hard drive.  The software is internationally recognised as one of the major players in anti-virus solutions.

What isn't so well known, is the turbulent lifestyle of it's founder, John McAfee.  A man of many career related accomplishments, he also has quite a chequered past - and present.  He's currently on the run from the Belize government regarding the murder of his neighbour, but this is is just the tip of the iceberg.


Wired took a look at the history of John McAfee, and some of it is eye-popping.  To date he is rumoured to have been:

- a yoga expert
- a spiritual guru
- friends with killers
- a cocaine addict
- a drug manufacturer
- a paranoid schizophrenic

He has started poking fun at these accusations in some video blogs which can be found by searching for his name on YouTube.  In addition to this there is a biography due to be published and a movie to follow.

What is John's advice to customers of McAfee software?  In his own words, "uninstall it".  Even though he has not been involved with the company for the last 15 years, advice like this must surely be keeping McAfee AV's PR department on their toes.

23 Sep 2013

Vault 2014 SP1 Hotfix 1

A new hotfix is available for Vault 2014, client and server.  Please read the readme and follow the instructions for your setup.

 DL21995541.zip
Description of the Issues
  1. The Change Order Approval dialog now supports Windows authentication.
  2. Resolved a revision sorting order that resulted in the 'attach file' and 'edit item BOM' features to be non-functional.
  3. Resolved multiple content source property provider issues to prevent DWG check in problems and IIS worker process crashes.
  4. The Web Client now logs in properly after an automatic log out.
  5. Adding a new property to a replicated file and attempting to check out the file or edit the property, incorrectly resulted in the error, "The requested file was missing from the file store."


As always, updating Vault should be a planned event when it is most convenient for your users and server manager so please consult with each other before executing the fix.