Tips & Bits...

Architecture and Design

posted Oct 31, 2015, 9:53 PM by Reinaldo Togores Fernández   [ updated Oct 31, 2015, 9:57 PM ]

My work involves two distinct stages, the first one during my life in Cuba and the second -since 1992- in Spain. The first stage was devoted to professional practice as an Architect and Designer and to teaching Architectural Design at the Faculty of Architecture and of Industrial Design at the Higher Institute of Industrial Design, both in Havana. Since 1992 I have focused my efforts on research and teaching in the areas of Graphic Expression and Computer Aided Design at the University of Cantabria in Santander.
Much of my work as an architect was devoted to the design of schools, including among them the Vocational School of the province of Camaguey, one of the 186 Modern Movement buildings that in 2010 were included in the Cuban Registry of National and Local Monuments.
Among other works it is worth mentioning the monument to José Martí, Cuba's national hero that was erected in Rome in 1988.

Photo: Enrique de la Uz

SSPLIT: an aid for Conceptual Design

posted Jun 10, 2013, 9:34 AM by Reinaldo Togores Fernández

A short demonstration of the use of the SSPLIT App in mass studies. SSPLIT is part of the TRIMSPLIT App that can be downloaded from Autodesk Exchange.


posted Jun 10, 2013, 9:27 AM by Reinaldo Togores Fernández   [ updated Jun 10, 2013, 9:36 AM ]

This video demonstrates the way the new version of the STRIM and SSPLIT 3DSolid modeling commands can streamline your modeling workflow.
SYTRIM and SSPLIT are part of the TRIMSPLIT App that can be downloaded from Autodesk Exchange.

What this is all about...

posted May 15, 2013, 6:56 AM by Reinaldo Togores Fernández

If you have ever tinkered with some AutoLISP program you downloaded from the Internet and thought "Gosh, what's this all about?" you definitely need this book!

AutoLISP is all about really controlling AutoCAD. If AutoCAD doesn't have it, I wont wait for them developers to add it in some future Release...  I'll make it up.

For example, I was fed up with copying one solid part so I could subtract it from another without losing the original. So I went to work and in a couple of days I came up with STRIM, The 3DSolids trimming App you can now download from Autodesk Exchange. Using it you can select a bunch of "trimming" solids whose volume will be subtracted from another bunch of solids selected to be trimmed. They say "time is money" and this tool I'm sharing with you all has sure saved me a lot of time.

Once I solved the trimming, I wondered if sometimes I would need not to TRIM the solids, but instead to SPLIT them in a way that all the portions overlapping would be split into separate solids.
So I put AutoLISP to work again. And here came SSPLIT, the other App I'm sharing.

But I don't want to keep the way it's done secret. I've been a teacher all my life and that's a thing I really enjoy. So if you wish to do things like this, then this books can help you. Be it in the Paperback edition or the Kindle e-books.

Hope you enjoy them. I look forward for your feedback.

Convert legacy Polyface meshes into 3dSolids

posted Feb 26, 2013, 11:15 AM by Reinaldo Togores Fernández

Converting meshes to 3DSolids is possible, but not the legacy Polygon or Polyface meshes. They have to be the new MESH entities.
To convert legacy Polygon or Polyface Meshes into the new MESH (SubDMesh) objects we can use the _MESHOPTIONS command. Once the objects are converted into the new MESH class, in case they are watertight (that is, they enclose a volume with no holes) they an be converted into 3DSolids using the _CONVTOSOLID command. This is shown in the following video.

In case they are not "watertight" they could be converted into solids using the _THICKEN command. Other option would be to convert the meshes into Surfaces and using these surfaces to SLICE a 3DSolid.

AutoCAD expert's Visual LISP

posted Feb 24, 2013, 1:54 PM by Reinaldo Togores Fernández   [ updated Feb 24, 2013, 2:09 PM ]

This book aims at guiding he who uses AutoCAD on a daily basis in becoming a true expert. That kind of AutoCAD expert that is acquainted with, understands and can manipulate the program’s inner workings to achieve the desired output in a fast and efficient way. That expert who is not satisfied with what comes out of the box, but demands more.  
Like automating the creation and shaping of 3D objects, whether 3DSolids, subdivision meshes, associative or NURBS surfaces and setting the points of view and visualization modes that help in understanding the generated models. To these and other advanced techniques, including parameterization, reactors, the graphical user interface and building applications, more than half of this book is dedicated. 
For this we use Visual LISP, the tool of choice to customize and extend AutoCAD’s features, be it by its capabilities as a basic scripting language to automate repetitive tasks or taking advantage of advanced drawing database access possibilities and the management of properties and methods exposed through the ActiveX interface.  
LISP programming techniques, including the use of the Visual LISP Integrated Development Environment, are explained starting from scratch. No previous experience in programming is required to profit from this book's contents.  Updated for AutoCAD 2013.  
User support is available at

Entmaking XLINEs

posted Feb 24, 2013, 12:12 PM by Reinaldo Togores Fernández

Some days ago Hutter7405 posted this question in the forum:
I created an XLine function that when I type XV or XH puts a vertical or horizontal XLine on the Defpoints layer and automatically switches back to the previous layer. How do I make it so the function stays on Defpoints until you hit ESC then it returns to the original layer?
The function he created depended on calling the AutoCAD commands "_-LAYER" and "_XLINE" using the AutoLISP command function. Su he had to create or set the "Defpoints" layer as current, draw the XLINEs and when finished, return to the previous layer. This can be done, but it is unnecessarily complicated.
A simpler way would be to use the AutoLISP entmake function that can create an entity on any layer even if it not the current one. So no need to change the current layer. But, in addition, when entmake creates an entity on a non-existent layer, the layer will be automatically created.

Best Wishes for 2013!

posted Dec 30, 2012, 2:24 AM by Reinaldo Togores Fernández

Autodesk University 2012 Virtual

posted Nov 20, 2012, 10:26 AM by Reinaldo Togores Fernández   [ updated Jun 10, 2013, 10:11 AM ]

LISP your MESH to Shape!

My class in AU2012 deals with managing MESH objects through AutoLISP. MESH objects, aka Subdivision Surfaces are among the features added recently to AutoCAD® software. These entities are exposed in the classic entity list format. So, our good old AutoLISP® can be used for creating and modifying them.
By calculating the coordinates for their vertices from different math formulas, we can create an unlimited variety of 3D shapes. By smoothing these meshes, converting them to surfaces and solids, and applying the different surface and solid editing tools, we can explore a vast universe of 3D forms. These forms can be used in other Autodesk® software like Revit or MAX for the development of new design concepts.

Learning Objectives At the end of this class, you will be able to:
  • Understand, load, test and execute AutoLISP code.
  • Automate 3D Point of View and Visual Styles.
  • Understand the structure of MESH DXF group codes.
  • Create and modify MESH entities through AutoLISP programming.
  • Understand and apply different AutoCAD 3D object conversion an edition commands.

Parametric Design.

posted Apr 6, 2011, 11:11 AM by Reinaldo Togores Fernández   [ updated Nov 23, 2012, 10:02 AM ]

The parameterization process consists in the specification of points, lines, curves or surfaces by means of one or more variables that take values ​​within user-defined ranges. Parametric modeling is an important resource for conceptual design, allowing precise control of design variations. Revit Architecture provides a complete set of parametric modeling tools, while both Maya and 3ds Max implement parametric behavior based on the modeling sequence. AutoCAD offers in its latest versions a parametric drawing environment that enables the creation of 2D geometric and dimensional constraints, in addition to dynamic blocks.

Parametric design involves a change in the way we approach design tasks. The usual way to work with AutoCAD so far has been to create lines, arcs, circles, etc.. geometric entities representing a preconceived design. Working like this, any modification of the design involves replacing some of those geometric entities to represent the new solution.

In the parametric approach the designer begins by establishing the relationships between the parts, building the design from these relationships and modifying them as the evaluation and selection of the results obtained advise. The software is responsible for maintaining the design's consistency from preset geometric and dimensional constraints. This will enhance the possibility of examining variations without the need to redoing each time the graphic representation. This requires a change in the designer's working habits so as to include the definition of relations, the logic that makes his design consistent as an essential phase in the design process. Within a parametric model, each entity has associated parameters. These parameters control various geometric properties of the entity, such as its length, width, height, radius, etc. They also control the location of these entities in the model and the way entities relate to each other. The parameters can be modified by the designer to create the desired geometry.

From the experience gained teaching Parametric Design courses in applications such as Autodesk Inventor and Microstation Modeler I have prepared a series of tutorials that I hope will serve as an introduction to this new approach to the design process for AutoCAD users.

More information...

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