Thursday, December 17, 2015

DWGsign - protect contents of your AutoCAD drawings

As already the 29th application by CAD Studio published in Autodesk Exchange Apps store, the AutoCAD add-on DWGsign was released recently. CADstudio DWGsign is a simple to use AutoCAD utility which watermarks your DWG drawing document with a unique, permanent and invisible silent signature containing your name or the name of your company. This add-on tool helps to protect your intellectual property as you can prove ownership of the original content in any future DWG file which is based on this signed document. Your original signature can be checked and viewed using the free DWGsign Reader application.

No one will copy your work!

DWGsign does not prove an unmodified state of the original document (like digital signature does), it just proves that a particular drawing is based on your original data. Non-authorized users (even in your company) cannot remove the DWG signature. The signature remains part of the DWG file even if the DWGsign utility is not installed on a workstation. Its use is completely transparent to standard AutoCAD operations.

This is how DWGsign is used

More info on the DWGsign homepage.

See/try/buy DWGsign and other CAD Studio tools on Exchange Apps.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Measure and markup CAD data in Autodesk A360

The cloud service for CAD document management, Autodesk A360, gets more and more useful functions. Especially the universal CAD data viewer A360 Viewer (can be used also separately) can replace - thanks to its support of almost all widely used 2D and 3D CAD formats (not only files from Autodesk products) - existing desktop applications requiring installation, maintenance and OS-compatibility updates. The whole A360 is built on purely internet technologies HTML5 a so you can use it with just a plain internet browser, ony any device. You may want to install the free application A360 Mobile for better performance on mobile devices.

For your projects maintained by Autodesk A360, you can new use the markup function for any type of CAD data, plus the measure function for 2D views (and 3D models with topology). This adds to the existing functions for secure online communication with your customers and team members. You can use section planes and section boxes on your 3D models, display the assembly tree structure and properties of the clicked model elements. Today, you don't need the complicated and barely secure FTP setups, nor the limited functionality of sending files over e-mail. Try the intelligent workplace and advanced functions of the A360 cloud on your own drawings and models on

Markups in a STEP file

Section box in a 3D DWG file

Commented section in an Inventor assembly

Measuring in a Revit project

Measure in an AutoCAD drawing

Monday, December 14, 2015

We give out CAD tools for Christmas (again)

Again, for the thirteenth time already, CAD Studio gives out its traditional Christmas presents - CAD tools for all AutoCAD, Inventor and Revit users.

Extend Windows Explorer to recognize Revit file version, punch your favorite photos into sheet metal in Inventor, make your DWGs more intelligent by storing LISP macros into them, add virtual parts from Excel to Inventor assemblies, make linetypes on the fly, or pick another of the productivity tools for your everyday work.

Read more at 2015 Christmas CAD utilities giveaway by CAD Studio

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

New Inventor 2016 R3 - Connected Design and IFC

Only 6 weeks after the release of version R2 (Shape generator, ForceEffect, PCB), Autodesk released another "in-between" version of Inventor for customers with an active Maintenance or Desktop Subscription - Inventor 2016 R3. The "What's New" list is shorter this time but it nevertheless brings interesting functionality for those who design AEC and MEP products, and for those who want to easily share and review their Inventor designs online.

Version R3 installs on top of the version R2 and contains the following two new functions:

  • Connected Design (Inventor Connect)
    This is a publishing function bringing your simplified 3D model online, to the secured A360 cloud for simple sharing and reviewing. The function "Connected Design" is accessible through the blue translucent icon in the bottom right corner of the model window. Clicking on it displays the docked panel "Connected Design". Here you can invite your collaborators and other participants of the online discussion.

    All participants can interactively view your 3D design in a standard desktop web browser or even on their mobile devices (i.e. without any access to Inventor). They can access the assembly model tree, explode the model, add their comments - without having access to your Inventor source CAD data.

    Technically, the published model, so called "Design Share", is a file with the extension .collaboration - it is a lightweight database proxy image of the original model. All model comments are tracked and stored centrally, including the time record when the comment was received.

  • IFC Export
    This function performs export of Inventor 3D models to the neutral AEC/BIM format IFC (Industry Foundation Classes), e.g. for Autodesk Revit or AutoCAD MEP (fabricated MEP parts). You can find it in the ribbon System environment > BIM Exchange > Manage > Export building components - in the dialog then switch from the default .ADSK file type to .IFC (IFC 2x3).

You can download the R3 update immediately from your Autodesk Account or through the Application Manager.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Autodesk Graphic - new illustration tool for iOS and Mac

When Autodesk bought the premium internet domain couple of days ago, it was not obvious for which project this domain will be used. It is clear now after a new (new-old) illustration software has been released - Autodesk Graphic. Autodesk Graphic is a professional vector software for technical illustrations and art design.

Former version of this app was called iDraw (Indeeo). Now, under a new name and under Autodesk's umbrella, this application is available with enhanced functionality for Mac OS X, for iPad and for iPhone. So you can edit graphic design on any Apple device.

You can insert editable elements from SVG, AI, PDF and PSD files, export the resulting design to PNG, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, SVG, PSD, AI and PDF. Graphic supports pressure-sensitive drafting, variable-width strokes, including pressure-sensitive Wacom tablets and Force Touch trackpads. You can create your own styles of calligraphic pens, perform advanced object transformations, or automate your workflows using scripts.

Autodesk Graphic can be used in architecture, manufacturing, in design of web elements and UI mockups, for drawing precise scaled floor plans, schemes, art design, media and game development. See also other mobile aplications by Autodesk.

Autodesk Graphic is available for 24.99$ (Mac), 8.99$ (iPad) and 2.99$ (iPhone).

More on (and now also on

Sunday, September 20, 2015

September update of the CAD/CAM/CAE application Autodesk Fusion 360

The CAD/CAM application based on cloud technologies, Autodesk Fusion 360, is being updated very frequently, almost monthly, and each update brings new functionality. Today released September update differs from the usual update rhythm because of its scope of added new functions.

Thanks to its favorable price, Fusion 360 becomes ever popular design tool especially for smaller companies and startups. It offers a full set of 3D modeling, manufacturing and data management functions in a single, easy-to-use application.

The main new feature in the recent version of Fusion 360 (build 2.0.1628) are the new simulation tools. Besides CAD functions for 3D modeling of solid and surface models of parts and assemblies, associative 2D drawings, CAM functions, rendering and document management, Fusion 360 now contains also CAE functionality for static load simulation and modal frequency analysis (in a new SIM workspace).

The new "Live review" is also a very useful tool allowing concurrent online discussion on a 3D model. In a plain web browser you can discuss with your customer or multiple design team members, synchronously review model- or simulation details and perform markups. This function is based on the new Autodesk A360 service (and need to be enabled in Preferences).

The creation of 2D drawing views was enhanced - numbering and aligning of balloons, parts list sorting, annotation styles, associative axis and center marks. You can use feature patterns in modeling. Sketch performance was improved. Quality and performance of renderings and animations is now improved. The CAM environment was extended in several ways - laser and plasma cutting, tool library management, new post-processors. Additional functions are now supported in the API for programming of Fusion 360 add-ons. Besides the English and Chinese version, Fusion 360 is newly available also in Japanese (other localizations are planned).

An important new feature in terms of productivity are the newly added keyboard shortcuts. Hotkeys are the fastest method of launching commands in any application. The updated list of all keyboard shortcuts defined in Fusion 360 can be found in the Tip 10167.

The summary of Fusion 360 September update - What's new:

Price of Autodesk Fusion 360 has not changed - the rental still starts on 27€/month. Fusion 360 is also a part of the Autodesk Product Design Suite licenses (with Subscription). Existing users of Fusion 360 are automatically prompted to download and install this update.

More information on Autodesk Fusion 360, on Download and on Design Differently (source)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Shadow cube - 3D model of C-A-D

Shadow cubes are an interesting design challenge, checking your imagination and your design skills in the 3D CAD software of your choice. The goal is to design a 3D model, that casts three different letters as a shadow in the individual orthographic views (top, side, front - X, Y, Z). So e.g. "C" in the top view, "A" in the side view and "D" in the front view. Start your Inventor, Fusion 360 or 123D Design and test yourself designing such model for an arbitrary combination of 3 letters. Be warned, some combinations are very difficult.

If you dare to endanger your own Karma by an innocent cheat, you can seek help through a useful tool, the programmers CAD modeler OpenSCAD. In this application, enter the following script and generate the 3D model by pressing F6.

// podle: UlrichB1


S=10; // size in mm

// "C" "A" "D" - modelled letters

intersection() {
 M("A", S); // "A"
 translate([0, S, 0])rotate([90, 0, 0]) M("D", S); // "D"
 translate([-S/2, S/2, 0])rotate([90, 0, 90])M("C", S); // "C"

 module M(t,s) {
 resize([s, s, s])linear_extrude(1) text(t, halign="center", font="Raavi:style=Bold");

Then you can export your model e.g. to the STL format - for 3D print or for further processing in another CAD application. If you want to get it into AutoCAD, you can use the conversion service STL2DWG. A sample AutoCAD model can be downloaded from the CAD/BIM block library, or viewed interactively through the online viewer A360:

The model in Fusion 360:

via Instructables and InventorGuru