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Old January 16th, 2007, 01:13 PM   #1
kemppioy
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automating autocad lt 2004

Hey,

I am fairly new to autocad lt 2004 and want to know if anyone knows of good tools that can be integrated into autocad to allow a more automatic creation of electrical drawings. I have used EPLAN which is very good for design work and will jump to referenced pages automatically by clicking on the component that shows the page number. I am also looking for easy ways to align objects in autocad lt 2004 so that I can easily select many objects such as texts or blocks and align them left, right, top, center, etc in the same way as most software packages allow these days. Also looking for a tool that will search many different drawing .dwg files and find the text buried in the block attributes so that if I have a project I am not familiar with, I can search for components and find where they are used. If someone knows of a good place to find these add ons, please let me know.

Thanks

Paul
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Old January 16th, 2007, 01:24 PM   #2
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A problem you'll run into with AutoCad LT is that it can't execute AutoCad Lisp scripts and that's what a lot of nifty little tools that other users have developed is written in. There maybe a way of running some type of Macros on LT and IIRC there is a nifty little tool someone sells to get around the LISP deficiency but others that are more informed may be able to help you.

For 2D electrical drawings, I've been getting by fine with ACAD2000 and a shareware conversion utility that will convert any customer or vender drawing that is in a newer version to 2000 so I haven't felt the need to upgrade yet. So IMHO, even a old version of full blown AutoCAD is better than LT.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #3
OkiePC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstolaruk
...For 2D electrical drawings, I've been getting by fine with ACAD2000 and a shareware conversion utility that will convert any customer or vender drawing that is in a newer version to 2000...
I'd be interested in that shareware conversion utility. Got a Link?

Thanks,
Paul
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Old January 16th, 2007, 01:45 PM   #4
jstolaruk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OkiePC
I'd be interested in that shareware conversion utility. Got a Link?

Thanks,
Paul
sure thing: http://www.dwggateway.com/
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Old January 16th, 2007, 01:56 PM   #5
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For aligning object in Cad just draw a staight construction line and then move your objects to the line using the "nearest" autosnap function, then delete the line.

There may be fancier ways to do this but it has always worked fine for me.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 02:20 PM   #6
OkiePC
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Thanks for that link!
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Old January 17th, 2007, 06:46 AM   #7
kemppioy
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Hey,,
Yes I just learned this one today as well. Thanks for your input!

PK
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Old January 18th, 2007, 08:16 AM   #8
kemppioy
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Hey,

Since you seem to be a cad wizard I had another question for you. Do you know of any third party utilities that allow you to edit block attributes of a whole project where there are many pages (layouts)? We would like some kind of program that allows us to edit the customer names, drawing revision number, type of voltage for the project, and also automatically insert or remove pages that are not used. These would be done by a dialog box that asks us what equipment is used and what power, customer name, etc. I know you can work with block attributes and easily change them with find replace and other utilities but what about some kind of software that would generate or remove the pages (layouts)automatically based on my selections? Thanks again!

PK
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Old January 18th, 2007, 08:52 AM   #9
rdrast
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OkiePC...
Here's a CAD converter I use... http://www.freefirestudio.com/

It handles all AutoCad conversions (including from the 'broken' .dxf files some programs export) from ACAD 2.5 to ACAD 2007, as well as supporting batch processing, and export of a host of different formats (PDF included)
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Old January 18th, 2007, 09:04 AM   #10
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I'm not a CAD guru, but do a little bit of it. What I do with LT to make drawing blocks easily changable for a lot of drawings at once is to put the drawing title block on the model tab of the drawing, and have the drawings for that panel as layout tabs (you can rename the tabs, I rename them to that particular drawing number) and reference the drawing title block from the model tab. This way you change it in one place and it happens everywhere.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 01:29 PM   #11
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Hello,

Do you happen to know of a converstion utility like this but also for Autocad Lt? Thanks

Paul
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 03:41 PM   #12
jstolaruk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kemppioy
Hello,

Do you happen to know of a converstion utility like this but also for Autocad Lt? Thanks

Paul
No, sorry I don't. This is one of the pitfalls of AutoCAD LT; its not as easy to customize for the user.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 10:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allscott
For aligning object in Cad just draw a staight construction line and then move your objects to the line using the "nearest" autosnap function, then delete the line.

There may be fancier ways to do this but it has always worked fine for me.
Two good commands for this are "Offset" and "Array" these can be used to quickly replicate objects a fixed distance. Pressing the F8 key whilst in 2d will lock the crosshair so you can only travel straight x and y whilst using offset or copying objects.

"Offset" is a simple command that replicates objects one at a time a preset distance in either 2d plane.

"Array" can be used to replicate an object a preset number of times for a preset distance in both X any y directions at once.

Both are easy to use, if you type your commands as I do, just follow the command line prompts.

Also, the company I previously worked for used Autocad 14 and LT 2000 with a MS Access database as a front end. You used the database to input all the drawing title block details (which allowed you to search the database for drawing info) but Autocad then opened up the appropriate drawing and filled in the drawing detail.

This was all done using text commands sent from MSAccess which utilised the command prompt in AutoCAD. These commands basically replicated the commands you would have to type to achieve the same thing manually.

Cheers,

Lee
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Old January 26th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #14
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Okay, Autocad Gurus...I have an idea, that goes something like this:


I have my electrical ladder style schematics with line numbers along the left side.

Sometimes these line numbers are repeated on every sheet in a set, and referenced by page-line in the device references.

Sometimes they are contiuosly incremented.

I want to construct blocks, say a block for a motor starter.

I want to be able to put the pieces of that block anywhere in my drawing set.

So the Coil ends up on line 725, and two normally open contacts on lines 672 and 686, and then there are the motor contacts on lines 94, 95, and 96.

How can I have those references (in paranthesis below each contact, and at the end of the multiline text box that describes the coil) filled in automatically? I want the references to automatically find the correct line numbers any time I move one of the parts of that block and automatically update them.


PS: I just noticed that they used the same wire numbers twice...before and after the disconnect...I'll have to fix that too...

Last edited by OkiePC; January 26th, 2007 at 01:26 PM.
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