Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa is coming - CAD Studio's tools for Christmas

Grab new CAD applications that are given out by CAD Studio as a traditional Christmas present - this year for the twelfth time already. This year's CAD presents are available especially for AutoCAD users.

Dimension length of any 2D or 3D curve, trace points on a curve in the specified distance (stationing), open a custom palette with a converter for hundreds of common and less-common international and historical physical units, log all changes performed in a DWG drawing, automatically switch layers for texts, dimensions, hatches, etc. - pick one of our free productivity tools for your everyday work.

Read more at Twelfth Christmas CAD utilities given out by CAD Studio.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Another update in Autodesk Memento - comparing 3D models

One of the fastest growing Autodesk application is the tool for processing large 3D mesh models - Autodesk Memento. It is an important tool for 3D reality-capture from photos, 3D point-cloud scanning or handheld scanners - converting the acquired data into 3D models for CAD and BIM software. Today released version of Memento (V1.0.12.1; expires March 31,2015) brings a couple of important new features. You can export AVI videos with presentations of the model in multiple resolutions. 3D navigation in the model was simplified by using the spherical orbit gizmo and by assigning coordinate systems to the processed model. You can export OBJ files without textures or with re-baked textures. There is an enhanced support for Artec 3D scanners.

But probably the most interesting new feature is the difference analysis between two 3D meshes. You can easily perform a comparison of differences between two mesh models. The results are presented as a colored hypsometry enhancing positive and negative changes of the model geometry - comparing two different files or an old and a new version of the same model. So you can easily compare e.g. photographed and generated 3D models of the same scene after some time (e.g. plant growing, terrain erosion), compare the theoretical (CAD-based) and the real shape of a manufactured and scanned 3D part, find changes in geometry between two versions of a 3D assembly from a CAD software (outer shape only, a mesh).

In the sample below, a doggie-toy model (generated in Memento from a photographed scene) was modified to a new version by using the "push" and "pull" smoothing tool on the dog's neck and back leg. Subsequently, the function Analyze > Analyze the difference was used to compare the loaded model with its original untouched version (.RCM file on disk). The dialog "Difference analysis" allows to set the display scale for the difference sizes, plus the "neutral area", where small differences are ignored. The result then clearly indicates areas where the model shape was changed using the "3D brush" (by adding and subtracting mass).

The original model:

Edit by smoothing:

Result of the comparison:

See Project Memento on Autodesk Labs.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

KORADO heating bodies as BIM objects for Revit MEP

CAD Studio cooperates with the Technical University in Ceske Budejovice (VSTE) and as a part of this cooperation, VSTE students prepared a large library of BIM objects of real MEP products for Revit. Our CAD/BIM library at Blocks now e.g. contains an extended choice of 3D models of KORADO heating panels.

The KORADO BIM library contain steel radiators (wall heating panels) - the product lines RADIK - RADIK KLASIK, RADIK KLASIK - R (steel panel radiators for reconstructions) and VENTIL KOMPAKT (RADIK VK). This adds to the existing BIM models RADIK VKU, RADIK VKL, RADIK VKM  , RADIK COMBI VK and PLAN (RADIK PLAN KLASIK, RADIK PLAN VK, RADIK PLAN VKL, RADIK PLAN VKM).

The Revit family files (RFA) contain fully parametric 3D models and 2D symbols and other technical data as specified by the manufacturer.

The 46 newly published RFA files also contain a vast number of family types (with thousands of variants), so you can find a type catalog (TXT) with every RFA file. Type catalogs contain all types in a given family and you can choose the types you need for your current project when you load the RFA file (making the project file smaller). The type catalog text files must have the same name as the respective RFA file and must be stored in the same folder - so do not forget to download also the TXT attachment with the RFA file from our online library.

You can use these library elements in the BIM software Autodesk Revit versions 2014 and 2015.

The author of the families is Bc. Michal Marek.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fixed Bing Live Maps in AutoCAD 2015/2014

Six days ago, we started to receive customer support tickets related to problems accessing online maps Microsoft Bing LiveMaps from the function GEOGRAPHICLOCATION in AutoCAD 2015 and 2014 (all verticals). The source of this problem was a change in the communication protocol (API) performed on Microsoft servers, triggered by a security problem identified in the SSLv3 encryption protocol.

Autodesk reworked the communication method used for the Bing mapping service and after a testing phase released a fix for the related program files (specifically AcGeoLocationUI.arx) for the AutoCAD 2014 and 2015 product family. The respective files and instructions for performing the can be downloaded from

using LiveMaps in the add-on CADstudio GeoCode

This incident has shown pitfalls of internet communication and dependencies of connected applications. On the other hand, it illustrates also the possibilities of a quick "global" fix for a newly discovered security problem.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

AutoCAD for Mac 2015 and LT 2015 for Mac released

Apple is different. Also the release dates for the Mac version of AutoCAD have always been different from the usual spring release dates for new Autodesk product families. The FCS dates for Mac are driven by new releases of the Apple Mac OS. So this year's "AutoCAD for Mac 2015" and "AutoCAD LT for Mac 2015" had to wait until today while other Autodesk "2015" family products are already available for a long time.

AutoCAD for Mac 2015 (codename "Lightsaber") is compatible with Mac computers with the latest Mac OS X 10.10.0 Yosemite. Same as previous versions for Mac, it is fully compatible with DWG files from the better known Windows version of AutoCAD. Function set of the Mac version was substantially enhanced. Older Mac versions were missing some functions compared to Windows. AutoCAD for Mac now contains extended tools for 2D and 3D design, including dynamic block editor, quick selection of drawing objects by their properties, layer states and data links to Excel.

Besides other new features of the version 2015, AutoCAD for Mac 2015 allows to:
  • create intelligent and flexible dynamic blocks and libraries
  • embed live links to Excel spreadsheets in drawings
  • create and manage layer states (Layer State Manager)
  • locate and select drawing objects by properties with Quick Select
  • preview commands and automatically fix typos or synonyms
  • benefit from increased performance of the application

Videos - DataLink and Quick Select:

Price of the version 2015 remains unchanged, English and French localizations are available. AutoCAD LT for Mac can be obtained also as Desktop Subscription (time-limited rental).

Friday, September 26, 2014

Autodesk ReCap family updated

Autodesk's point cloud processing software - Autodesk ReCap, ReCap Pro and ReCap 360 was updated to new versions. The latest Windows version is You can update to the latest version via the Application Manager or by downloading and installing the "trial" version of ReCap Pro 2015. The "Pro" functionality (e.g. targetless scan-to-scan registration, survey points) reverts automatically to the standard version after your trial period or Pro license expires. The standard version of ReCap is a free application. ReCap is available in 14 languages (switchable inside the application).

Autodesk ReCap is a popular and easy to use tool allowing to effectively process very large point clouds (billions of points) from laser scanning (LiDAR) in all major point cloud formats. Indexed point clouds can be then directly read into AutoCAD, Autodesk Revit, Inventor, Navisworks or 3ds Max or published through the ReCap 360 cloud service on the internet.

Some of the new functions in version 1.4:
  • Create accuracy reports based on checkerboard or sphere targets (for problem detection and quality-information)
  • Target-based registration refinement (improves the registration of low feature environments, automatically extracts target center points)
  • Registration rollback (deleting scans without the need to re-register)

The intro image is a ReCap scan of the historical city hall and Old square in Prague - done by Turn 10 Studios for the Forza Motorsport 5 game for Xbox One.

More information on

(via Between the lines)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

123D Catch - turn your mobile phone into a 3D scanner

The mobile application Autodesk 123D Catch employs cloud technology for easy to use 3D scanning. It converts a series of photographs of any object taken from different angles to a realistic textured 3D model - directly on your smartphone or tablet. 123D Catch was available only for iPhone, iPad or Google Chrome web browsers. Now it is newly released as an Android application so you can 3D-scan also on the most widely used phones and tablets based on the Google operating system (requires Android 4.0.3 and higher).

This "modeling" application, originally known as "Photofly" has also a professional version - "Autodesk ReCap Photo". But the 123D Catch app is free. You can easily create and then share, interactively display and print 3D models of people, artefacts, buildings, plants - anything, what you can capture from all directions and angles so that the application can reconstruct a 3D model from the photographs. 123D Catch also offers functions for model healing, 3D printing and exporting to different 3D formats (also for CAD applications).

You can download Autodesk 123D Catch from Google Play and from iTunes.

See also: