from Civil to Inventor

The Autodesk enthusiast exile

Civil 3D – Error Code 21 and User Rights

Last week a new student contacted me regarding an educational install of AutoCAD, and an odd error code that did not bring much from Google.  On first run, this error flags and shuts them down.

Unable to Initialize ADLM – Internal Error Message Error Code <21>

After some research I came up empty, except that some other folks had similar issues, but no one commented.  So I suggested the “reinstall option” and checking the user rights. 

User rights was the ticket.  Make sure your user account has sufficient rights to ADLM, file and template structures, and any the Program Data file locations.

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January 11, 2010 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Error Code | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inventor – the Virtual Reality Blog

Wasim Younis has a new Blog site titled “Virtual Reality”.

http://vdssolutions.wordpress.com/

Wasim wrote the book “Up and Running with Autodesk Inventor Simulation”, and has proven to be an informative look at numerous points throughout the simulation process.  I plan to promote the book with some chapter reviews and a book giveaway as well.

The site is brand new so go check him out.  If we can extend some attention his way, perhaps he’ll keep the simulation tips coming.

January 11, 2010 Posted by | 2010, Autodesk, Inventor, Simulation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Not just another Space Pilot Review

subnav101a3D Connexion released the newest creation in their line 3D navigation tools, the Space Pilot Pro.  I have always been fascinated by 3D Connexion’s tools, as they clearly are unique items.  However I kept them at a distance because of a few factors: Price, Uneasiness, and Dependency. 

If I can’t have it, I usually won’t go play with it.  This keeps my marriage in tact as well.

Price  – I believe that at least 50% of the users out there know something about these devices, and know they are fairly expensive.  Well, this is partially true.  If you get in at sale time, you can pickup a notebook model for 80 USD.  I don’t think there are any buttons, just view mobility.  That’s still a nice item for 80 bucks.  The new deluxe model comes in at 500 USD.  That’s pricey.

Uneasiness – Mostly my innate lack of desire to change something that works; namely the way I have been doing it.   The 3 button mouse and an ALT key covers a lot of ground.  I watched some field experts navigate quite well with a 3 button mouse, and there was no lack of speed.  Which brings us to the last item.

Dependency – Ever since Vibrant Graphics dumped us old people, I have been very jaded about dependency on non-OEM functionality.  I still wrote C++/C# code, but usually this was to cover things that were reasonably impossible with other methods.  No odd command aliases, no large menu configurations, mostly out of the box.  This way I would never be bent over the way I was in 2000, when I had to relearn the interface.

AU2009

These 3D mice have always been super-popular at AU. So I decided to do a few 3D Connexion promotions for the upcoming Tekni Creative Inventor training, and the powers that be agreed to pay for the mice.  I however was not one of the lucky ones that will get said mice.

The curiosity was killing me.  While I’d like to try it in Inventor, my question is how will it work in Civil?

So my associates introduced me to some people at 3D Connexion, and Walt and Company, and they kindly agreed to let me play with one of the new toys.  During the last discussion, they asked what I intended to do with it, and I told them I intended to review the product in different environments, and then publish the results.  A few days later a new Space Pilot Pro ended up on my door step.  Like a kid in a candy shop.

The Box

SNC00002 I told my boys, “That’s Daddy’s, get away!” I threw in the universally understood word: “Mine!”.  They reluctantly backed off.  I told my youngest, “It’s not food, go away”. 

What came in the box was a folder from the company, containing some fact sheets, Company Rep contact info, the driver CD, and the Space Pilot Pro….and a note that said basically “If you need any assistance, please call.” 

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January 8, 2010 Posted by | AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk, Autodesk University, Inventor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – How do you use Civil?

Autodesk products have a long history of broad uses, form common to the really odd.  I first noted this when I began programming many years ago.  However as I began to concentrate on Civil 3D more and less on programming, this nuance faded from my consciousness a bit.  (I see it more on the Inventor side as I do more training and support).

The differing uses became quite evident during numerous meetings at AU this past December.  I met many people from different industries, and ran into situations with uses that varied significantly.

That said, I’d like to invite everyone to post how they use Civil 3D.  Just drop us a quick line about what you do and how you use the software.

  • What industry you work in?
  • In what daily capacity do you use Civil 3D?
  • What major portion of Civil do you use?
  • What major portion of civil do you not use?
  • What is your most and least favorite part of civil?
  • What is the wierdest, strangest, and off the wall thing Civil 3D has performed for you?

I will post the results in my next AUGI World Column.  I’d like to detail a wide cross section of uses, so get everyone you know to post their thoughts.

Here is your chance to get your name out there. I’ll credit those who participated and their company in the article.  I think this will turn out really great if we can get some participation.

January 6, 2010 Posted by | AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk University, industry | , , , , , | 14 Comments

Inventor – Assembly Constraint Naming

Management of features and components in Inventor is kind interesting.  In AutoCAD, the technician is free to create things in almost any way.  A great deal of management is required to be efficient.  I recall using Inventor for the first time.  It was such a relief, because Inventor automatically took care of entity management through styles.  Features however are a different story.

Naming features such as constraints is one option available to help reduce the confusion in Inventor.  If you don’t rename constraints, you can end up with spaghetti.  Waiting until you have a troubleshooting session to rename the Assembly Constraints will result in a disaster, because you will have numerous Constraints all named similarly.

Design Accelerators compound the issue because they autonomously create features at once, without consulting the user for names.  When you get done with a few gears, you have a mess.

image

In this example I was troubleshooting why my actuator was not moving in the assembly when the motor motion was applied.  When sorting constraints out, I recommend 3 things:

Changing to Modeling View

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Changing the view will group all the constraints into 1 region, assembled into 1 feature instead of broken into pairs over the 2 respective constrained components.  This allows us to see them in a simple collection.

Rename the Assembly Constraints

Renaming the Constraints as you go is quite important.  After creating 2 sets of gears and a shaft, I have about 18 constraints named Angle:2 and Mate:5.

So I like to give them names that include:  The 2 components that are being constrained; The purpose of the constraint; possibly the nature of the constraint as well.

In this example I had an overlapping constraint, but could not see it until I had changed to Modeling view and finished renaming everything.  I pick each object, and Inventor highlights the planar faces and features that are associated in the Constraint, which allows the user to get a feel for what is going on.

image

I renamed this angular constraint to WormToSpurGearLock, so I would see the 2 Gears involved (Worm and Spur gears), and the purpose was to lock their rotations together.  In another I used MotorShaft-Drive so that I could find the Drive components quickly and distinguish them from the others.

Isolation

If I wasn’t sure what was constrained, which is often the issue, we can Isolate the pair.  This way it is quite easy to see how and what is being constrained.

image

 

Thoughts

Once the naming was complete, it did not take long to read each one, and check off the list of what was expected between each component. Eventually I found where I had included an angle control on the shaft that would not allow the actuator to turn.

Naming your Constraints as you complete procedures, whether it be manual assembly, or Design Accelerators is a good habit to get into.  In his example I just needed to proof out a solution, but inevitably wanted to keep it.  Taking the small amount of time to name the constraints as you go will really pay off in the future.

January 4, 2010 Posted by | 2010, Constraints, Gear Generator, Inventor | , , , , | 2 Comments