In todays post I am kicking off my 2016 gear guides for CAD designers and drafters. I get a ton of questions from my youtube channel and email list but never seem to have enough time to answer them all. Many of them are a form of “What’s the best (insert gadget/peripheral) for AutoCAD” ranging from best mouse, monitor or PC, all the way to chairs and desks etc.. I definitely understand it too, when I was getting into computers in general I felt lost and had tons of questions and even now I still do a ton of research before I buy the newest monitor or smart phone. So in this series of CAD Gear Guide posts (and videos) I’m going to go over what to look for when buying each product as well as which product I’m currently using and/or have heard good things about. Since there seem to be hundreds of new products every month these post aren’t necessarily going to be individual product reviews but more of a guide to help you pick the one that best suites your needs. To do that I will point out features/options to look for and what will be beneficial in a design or CAD environment. I think that’s a long enough intro so lets get started with some key features to look for in Mice: Comfortable: Mice are probably the most “personal” product you will buy as a computer user, every person likes a different style, feel and fit when it comes to their mouse and it varies greatly from one user to another. Since we spend most of our time using a mouse (I definitely believe a mouse is necessary, it’s pretty inefficient to draft using a laptop touch pad) you will want to choose one that is ergonomic and fits your hand for extended periods of use.
How do you organize your project folders and drawing files? Use these tips and tricks to save time and sanity: Do you have a method to your madness? I know I didn’t for a few years, well that’s not exactly true. I had a system that I thought worked really well, heck I am willing to bet a lot of engineers and drafters use a similar system to what I used and even think it’s working well for them. It wasn’t until I started working on more and more complex jobs that I realized my organized folders weren’t very organized. Here is a folder layout similar to what I used originally:
5 Productivity Tips that will save you hours: 1. Always Use Both Hands: By using both of your hands as input devices you allow yourself to focus on two separate tasks. Using your left hand as your keyboard input so much time can be saved by entering commands via the command line instead of finding and clicking the icon to initiate that same command. For example; say you’re looking to quickly insert a block that you have previously made or downloaded. To bring up the insert command using just your mouse you need to move your cursor and switch to the insert tab of the ribbon, once on the insert tab you then need to find and click the insert button to bring up the insert dialog box. Doing this takes your attention off of drawing and requires you to instead focus on looking for a command button.
I’ve been meaning to write a round-up post of a few of my favorite AutoCAD Sites and Resources for a while now but seem to have suffered from a bad case of procrastination for far too long. So when I was making a list of posts I want to write this month this one finally got moved to the top. There are literally hundreds and possibly even thousands of AutoCAD related sites on the web right now and narrowing it down to a best of list would be impossible. I quickly decided to go a different route with my selections today and simply flipped through my bookmarks and favorites list and picked out 8 sites. These sites give a cutaway look at some of the most helpful resources for new and advanced AutoCAD designers and drafters looking to keep up to date with CAD and the skills needed to excel in our industry. Without further ado here are my top 8: 1. The CAD Block Exchange Network: A great place to find those hard to come by autocad blocks. The website is based upon a free exchange method where you can upload your cad blocks for others to use and in turn download other cad users blocks for your use. While I don’t use the site very often, when I do happen to need a block I check out the Block exchange first and can usually find something I can use. 2. CAD Corner Canada: CAD Corner is an awesome resource of cad tutorials, tips and downloads. The downloads include a wide variety of useful lisp routines, blocks and hatches. It is definitely worth visiting and I recommend it highly.
In todays video I go over how to insert the free 8.5×11 title block you get when subscribing to my newslettr into a layout even if the units and or scales are different. By using the scale and reference length commands you can easily start using the free title block right away. (to get it now, simply enter your email address in the box on the right and it will be emailed to you) Watch the video below:
So I’ve finally gotten around to putting together a quick and easy to follow tutorial in order to insert a Title Block into your drawings layout space. I feel like I have somehow been missing this as a video tutorial before now and I don’t know why… I’ve been giving away my own title blocks for months with no video or tutorial explain how to insert them in to your drawings. Luckily the wait is over, below is a very easy to follow video walk through showing how to insert my free 8.5×11 landscape title block in to a black paper space/layout space.
If you’ve been a subscriber to my newsletter (you can subscribe in the sidebar;) ) for a little while you already know how much I like productivity tips and tricks. I try to include one in each of my newsletters. When it comes to drafting and especially freelance cad work there are so many ways to save yourself time and in return make more money that it’s hard to implement them all without feeling overwhelmed at times. I’ve always found it easiest to pick one or two productivity tips to focus on and make sure they have become second nature to me before trying to add any more. This way you will slowly train yourself to be as efficient as possible whether it’s at work or in day-to-day life.