Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2014 Gift Wish List for Engineers

With Black Friday coming up everyone is making a holiday gift wish list so I thought I would too. Here's what's on my personal list:

Laser Project Keyboard: We live in the future! This virtual keyboard is a 63-key QWERTY holograph that projects at full size onto any flat surface, lessening the tediousness of mobile texting and emailing, and helping curb embarrassing auto correct fails.


Quadcopter: Why did this make the list? Because it looks like fun! Wouldn't it be great to play with on Christmas morning?
Now, the following items are recommended by Emmett Ross of scripting4v5.com:

Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA by John Walkenbach. This book covers all the methods and tools you need to know in order to program with Excel, a great way to start off if you’re just getting into programming before you tackle CATIA macros.
power programming with vba cover
The History of Visual Magic in Computers: How Beautiful Images are Made in CAD, 3D, VR and AR. Traces the earliest understanding of 3D and then foundational mathematics to explain and construct 3D; from mechanical computers up to today’s tablets.
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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. This book contains hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask, like: What if everyone on earth aimed a laser pointer at the moon at the same time? What if you could drain all the water from the oceans? What if all the lightning in the world struck the same place? Very fun and interesting read!
what if book cover

TECH, GADGETS, AND TOYS

3Dconnexion 3DX-700028 SpaceNavigator 3D Mouse. My trusty 3D mouse. Anyone doing 3D CAD modeling should consider investing in one of these!
best 3d mouse for catia macros
Google ChromeCast HDMI Streaming Media Player. Stream my YouTube videos right to your TV using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop!
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Laser Point: This laser pointer always comes in handy when it’s time for a meeting or presentation. Plus, it doubles as a toy to keep your cats entertained.
laser pointer for excel presentations
Dash and Dot Wonder Workshop Programmable Robots: If you’re into programming things like CATIA macros and you want to teach your kids the joys of programming then I’ve found the perfect gift for you. These cute robots are designed to help introduce children to the wonderful world of programming. Oh, and they’re fun for adults too! Can’t wait to use this with my son in a few years.programmable toy robot
LEGO Mindstorms EV3 31313: Create and command robots that do what you want. Includes 3 interactive servo motors, remote control, improved and redesigned color sensor, redesigned touch sensor, infrared sensor and 550+ LEGO Technic elements. Intuitive software (PC and Mac) with icon-based drag-and-drop programming interface Control and command your robot with the enclosed remote control or download the free app for your smart device.
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Raspberry Pi Computer: The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing, and games, as well as plays high-definition video. However, you need ALL of the peripheral equipment such as mouse, keyboard, monitor (HDMI output), ethernet cable, power supply.raspberry pi computer for spreadsheets

I have a ChromeCast and it's pretty cool. What’s on your 2014 holiday wish list?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

CATIA V5 Tips and Tricks Book

CATIA V5 Tips and Tricks by Emmett Ross contains over 70 tips to improve your CATIA design efficiency and productivity! If you’ve ever thought to yourself “there has to be a better way to do this,” while using CATIA V5, then know you're probably right. There probably is a better way to complete your tasks you just don't know what it is and you don't have time to read a boring, expensive, thousand page manual on every single CATIA feature. If so, then CATIA V5 Tips and Tricks is for you. No fluff, just CATIA best practices and time savers you can put to use right away. From taming the specification tree to sketching, managing large assemblies and drawings, CATIA V5 Tips and Tricks will save you time and help you avoid common stumbling blocks. 


catia v5 tips and tricks book

Check out the table of contents on Amazon to see a list of all the tips: CATIA V5 Tips and Tricks 

I'm giving away three copies of the book for free! Comment below saying how the book will help you and you'll automatically be entered to win a paperback copy of the book. Random drawing on 9-14-14.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Able2Extract PDF Converter Review

Often times in the world of CAD and engineering we find ourselves with a PDF document that we wish we could modify but can't. The solution used to be we had to recreate the document in its native program from scratch. This was especially painful if we were dealing with a complicated AutoCAD drawing in PDF format. Luckily, those days are long gone. Investintech has created the best PDF conversion software around and one of the best benefits is being able to convert those pesky PDFs back into DWG or DXF files. Not  only does it convert PDF to AutoCAD, it also does the whole range of Office products including Excel, Word, PPT, and others. How awesome is that? It's easy to use and there are Windows, Mac, and Linux versions available.


You can see some document conversion examples on their website as well as a link to download a free trial here: http://www.investintech.com/able2extract.html
I highly recommend you check it out!

Monday, November 25, 2013

2013 Gift Guide for Engineers

Looking for holiday gift ideas for CAD users and engineers? The holiday season is right around the corner and it’s never too soon to start thinking about what presents you are going to get your friends, family, or coworkers. To help you out, I’ve made a list of items I think would be very useful or exciting for your fellow CATIA users. Some of these items I use on a daily basis and others are things that are on my own personal wish list. Enjoy and feel free to suggest items by leaving a comment below!

CATIA Programming Books

  • VB Scripting for CATIA V5: How to program CATIA macros by Emmett Ross. The first book to teach you how to program macros for CATIA V5 with no prior programming experience required. Download it instantly here.
  • CATIA V5 Macro Programming with Visual Basic Script by Dieter Ziethen. Shows you, step by step, how to create your own macros that automate repetitive tasks, accelerate design procedures, and automatically generate complex geometries. Filled with full-color screenshots and illustrations, this practical guide walks you through the entire process of writing, storing, and executing reusable macros for CATIA V5. Nice alternative to Emmett's book but more expensive.

Programming and Other Books

  • Mastering VBA for Office 2010 by Richard Mansfield. Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access. This complete guide shows both IT professionals and novice developers how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for specific business needs.
  • Excel 2010 Bible by John Walkenbach:This is by far the best Excel book I have ever found for anyone who uses Microsoft Excel spreadsheets on a daily basis.

Other Tech, Gadgets, and Toys

  • Google ChromeCast HDMI Streaming Media Player. Stream YouTube videos right to your TV using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop!
  • R/C Helicopter. This Brand New 3 Channel mini rc helicopter is the world's newest, most durable and stable helicopter. The item comes with the latest gyro system for precision control. The metal frame has proven to withstand dozens of crashes.
  • LEGO Mindstorms EV3 31313: Create and command robots that do what you want. Includes 3 interactive servo motors, remote control, improved and redesigned color sensor, redesigned touch sensor, infrared sensor and 550+ LEGO Technic elements. Intuitive software (PC and Mac) with icon-based drag-and-drop programming interface Control and command your robot with the enclosed remote control or download the free app for your smart device.
  • HDMI Pocket Projector. Projects up to 1080p HD images up to 60" diagonal. Rechargeable and portable. Connects via HDMI to most smartphones, tablets, computers, video players, cameras and more.
  •  Breaking Bad: Complete Series. All seasons plus tons of amazing extras for the greatest show on television. The episode titled "Ozymandias" is my favorite episode of any TV show I've ever seen.

Amazon Prime

I highly recommend joining Amazon Prime. If you order something off of Amazon on average once per month then it pays for itself, or if you're ordering a bunch of gifts this holiday season it probably will too. The FREE two day shipping is awesome and everything I've ordered really has come in two days or less. You can also stream movies, TV shows, and get a Kindle book every month. Great alternative for Netflix or Hulu and well worth the investment in my opinion. Cheers!

What's on your 2013 holiday wish list?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How to hide CATIA geometry with a macro


Use selection method to select a piece or pieces of geometry in CATIA. You can do this by searching for name or by type. Now you can use the code below to hide or unhide the geometry in CATIA.



‘hide

Dim visPropertySet1 As VisPropertySet

Set visPropertySet1 = oSelection.visProperties

VisPropertySet1.SetShow catVisPropertyNoShowAttr

‘alternative method: VisPropertySet1.SetShow 1

oSelection.Clear

 

‘unhide

Set visPropertySet1 = oSelection.visProperties

VisPropertySet1.SetShow catVisPropertyShowAttr

‘alternative method: VisPropertySet1.SetShow 0

oSelection.Clear

 

To learn more try this free CATIA macro exercise to search by name.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

How to Reorder Drawing Sheets in CATIA V5

One of the most asked questions I’ve seen on various CATIA forums is: How do you reorder drawing sheets in CATIA V5? Many times when dealing with a large CATDrawing with multiple sheets, the sheets are typically not in any logical order, which can get quite confusing. The best thing to do is rearrange the drawing sheets in a logical order, and not just rename them. If you want to reorder the sheets in V5 R17 or lower then you are stuck doing it the old fashioned way: cut and paste. Don’t worry, this method should still keep any links to CATParts or CATProducts, simply select the sheets in the order you want, cut, then paste as specified.

 
How to Reorder Drawing Sheets in CATIA V5


Fortunately, if you are using R18 or higher you now have access to a handy Reorder tool. Select the drawing sheets you want to rearrange, right click, go to Selected Objects, then click Reorder (as shown in the picture). If you hover over the sheets an arrow will appear. That’s how you reorder drawing sheets in CATIA V5.


Here’s a good video tutorial on the drawing workbench in CATIA.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How to count individual parts and display userforms

Many designers are wondering  how to count the number of unique parts in a CATIA assembly (not including instances of a part) with a macro and how to display the result with a VBA user forms. Emmett Ross decided to combine these topics into one tutorial and took it up a notch by making it a dynamic userform as well. This new VBA macro to be run on an assembly to display in a userform:

  • the total number of components
  • the total number of assemblies
  • the total number of parts
  • the total number of UNIQUE parts
 
The next part of the userform is dynamic, meaning its size changes and is dependent on the number of subassemblies in the master assembly. A new label is added to the form for each product which displays their name and the number of child parts for each.
 
Confused? Here's a short video to show how this works (and there's a link to the code in the video's description):
 


Have you ever used a dynamic form before?