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Autodesk University 2014

I am finally getting this done after a few weeks back in the cold state of Michigan. This is my look back at Autodesk University 2014. The most wonderful time of the year!


Home again to the cold state of Michigan after a long week at Autodesk University 2014. This was my third year speaking at the conference and I was honored to be selected to present again. I decided to take on a very important but comprehensive topic and put it in a lab, Sheet Sets!  My class, No Sheet you can do that with the SSM in AutoCAD quickly had comments like Holy Sheet! How are we going to do this in 75 or even 90 minutes? 75 minutes was difficult, I spent too much time in the beginning getting the class setup on the folders and how to navigate quickly throughout the class. After reading the reviews, I adjusted and was well prepared for the 90 minutes session two days later. Yes, I did go to the lab 2 hours early (I was lucky it was an 8am class and I could do that) and setup each computer as most of them still had datasets from the previous day. I was very determined to make this lab better. Follow the link to my class and you will find a very comprehensive handout detailing how to create a sheet set prototype and link to a drawing template for your company standards. There are also 4 appendices covering different areas of sheet sets that I was unable to cover during the class at Autodesk University.

AC8218-No Sheet_SSM-AutoCAD_2014-1204
I am very thankful for having some of the best lab assistants that AU2014 could offer. Click on each persons name to be taken to their individual website or blog. Each person has valuable CAD information that you can use to improve you skills in CAD.

My first group for No Sheet! You can do that with the SSM in AutoCAD shown below. This was what I called dream team #2 at AU2014. These 3 individuals are very skilled and it was very exciting for me to meet and have the opportunity to work with each and every one of them. The time limit on the first class was cut from 90 minutes to 75 minutes, we had some work to do.

Left to Right

Melanie Perry, Mistress of the Dorkness, Archibus System Admin (St. Louis, Missouri)

Paul Munford, Halstock Cabinet Makers, CAD/CAM Manager (London, UK)

Sam Lucido, CAD Services Manager, Haley and Aldrich (Detroit, Michigan)

Greg Battin, Arapahoe Community College, CAD Tutor (Denver, Colorado)


Comments were good but I still received many comments about the pace and that I took on a difficult topic. The feedback tells me that there is continued interest in the topic just too much material. I learned from this session that bite size chunks are better than the entire meal. The SSM in AutoCAD is an extremely large topic with many separate pieces some could be covered individually in a lab. I covered the setup, printing and populating data, still a large amount for even 90 minutes. I wanted users to understand the relationship between the Sheet Set template (.dst) file and the drawing template (.dwt) file. I believe my handout with 4 appendices will let the users go back home and have a great starting point to work from.

We knew going in we were in a battle so why not be prepared with some custom made bracelet for the team and class. I gave away 200 of these before each of my class sessions.



My second group for No Sheet! You can do that with the SSM in AutoCAD. This all started with my friend Michael Beall, thank you Michael! This was dream team #1 at AU2014. I still remember the day when I finally had Rick Ellis and Curt Moreno added to the team, I was very excited to finally meet each of these people as I have learned from all of them over the coarse of my career.

Left to Right

Curt Moreno – Corporate CAD Coordinator, Kung Fu Drafter (Houston, TX)

Michael E. Beall – President, CAD Trainer Guy, LLC (Shelbyville, KY)

Rick Ellis – Owner, Cadapult Software Solutions, Inc. (Canby, OR)

Sam Lucido, CAD Services Manager, Haley and Aldrich (Detroit, Michigan)


My lecture was named Mighty Macros: Pumping up Productivity one command at a time. This class has quickly become extremely popular. Starting on the second day in a much smaller room we had a more intimate feel for the class. I ran into technical difficulties as my winpointer (crayon tool) did not work and I had to adjust quickly. My first example ran a blank palette (not sure if anyone caught that). I quickly went to the pre-populated palette and started working from there.  Class ran about 75 minutes and had some good feedback. I believe people like this class because it combines macros with tips and tricks, script files, lisp files and templates. A little bit of everything and at a fun pace.

AC4873-Mighty Macros_2014-1114_FINAL

Look for me to take the Marco class to the lab next year, there has been some interest. Also, A video on Sheet Sets will be posted soon.  See you all at Autodesk University 2015 in Las Vegas. If there is interest I would do No Sheet again but may need to focus on separate areas, longer class, or a part one and part two. Something to think about.

I wish each and all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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