Sunday, January 11, 2004

CAD and Customization

After a distressed e-mail from an old friend who needed to make many changes to a set of drawings I whipped up a small visual lisp routine for him to use and he remarked how many hours this has saved him just in these couple of drawings. This led into a good discussion of the many different ways to customize CAD to save you time.

One of my favorite things about AutoCAD is that you can customize it, other times my least favorite thing about AutoCAD is that you can customize it. :) Some of the many ways you can customize it are button macros, script files, lisp, visual lisp, VB, VBA and more. If you work with AutoCAD daily you should really look into learning ways to save you time. What the future holds for programming languages and AutoCAD is anyone's guess at this point, but I expect to see more .net. This would be good for you to know as this can then interface with many other programs to share and exchange information.

My wishlist for customization? I have been learning MAXScripting for VIZ/MAX and love the recorder. I have used this type of feature in other programs that basically give you the code for what you just did. Real programmers would never use this you say? For me I am not a daily programmer so this would give me the code start I need so I can focus on tweaking this into exactly what I need. Many times my coding is used to save time by doing repetitive tasks, other times it is done to create a command or tool that does not exist. That is what I love about this, many ways to do any task and many possible solutions when you add programming to your bag of tricks.

happy coding...

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