Sunday, October 28, 2012

Guilloche and parametric math curves in AutoCAD

During my Friday's visit of the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Austria, I have seen an interesting, mechanically simple machine drawing complex curves - guilloches:

A similar machine at work:

As we have received a lot reactions and feedbacks on the 3DPlot utility we released in February 2012, I have decided to use a similar principle and make a "guilloche-engine" in AutoCAD. My first attempt went through modeling the scheme of a true machine using the parametric constraints on AutoCAD geometric objects but this way has proven to be too difficult.

A more reliable way - similar to that used for 3DPlot - is using hypotrochoids, epitrochiods and other parametric curves. The resulting 2DPlot add-on application for AutoCAD can assist you in drawing any parametric curve defined by a mathematical expression (equation) of the type XY=f(u). The examples included in this LISP routine show interesting and visually pleasant artistic curves which can be used e.g. for decoration on diplomas, printed stocks and other materials. You can export them from AutoCAD to other software, e.g. for DTP, in any precision.

Try yourself both the 2DPlot and 3DPlot utilities for free and create drawings like this:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Winners of the CAXMIX contest - balloon flight

Readers of the CAXMIX magazine had a chance to participate in a competition sponsored by CAD Studio. The first prize was a hot-air balloon flight. The participants had to give right answers to a couple of technical questions and guess the number of newly registered users on the portal.

Here is the list of winners of this contest:
  • 1st place – sightseeing hot-air balloon flight
    Winner: Lubomir Pavel
  • 2nd place – 3D mouse 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator
    Winner: Pavel Nekuza
  • 3rd and 4th place – USB flash disk 32 GB and a subscription of the CAXMIX magazine
    Winners: Jan Augste, Jiri Mahring
Congratulations to all the winners! You can view a video-report from the balloon flight and an interview with the winner on YouTube: More information in the articles on the CAXMIX web site - the results and the flight.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's an acquisition season for Autodesk

This week, Autodesk has announced two acquisitions. The first one is an important milestone and it will probably change the CAD and manufacturing industry quite substantially.

HSMWorks, a well known CAM tool for Solidworks, is now "Autodesk HSMWorks" and still remains an important CAM tool for Solidworks. But of course Autodesk will work hard to make it quickly first of all an important CAM tool for the Autodesk family of manufacturing software, especially for Inventor. Specific integration plans for HSMWorks and Autodesk CAD software were not revealed but it is more then probable that HSMWorks will become an integrated part of the Autodesk Design Suites and Autodesk 360 cloud services. The digital prototyping line will be extended to manufacturing and NC codes.

The latest acquisition is more "cloudy". Autodesk has acquired the Qontext Social Collaboration Platform (from the India-based Pramati Technologies), which will be used to expand the social capabilities of the Autodesk 360 cloud services. With Qontext, Autodesk will add social functionality to the traditional design teams and help design professionals complete projects smarter and faster.