Saturday, August 14, 2010

WYSIWYG – AutoCAD 2011 and AutoCAD LT 2011: No Experience Required

I recently received a copy of Donnie Gladfelter’s book AutoCAD 2011 and AutoCAD LT 2011: No Experience Required to review. The book is a behemoth at 982 pages and packs all of the steps required to create a plan set and model of The Cad Geek’s Cabin inside. By using the example the user is taught how to create a plan set and the steps required to accomplish it. The book is well laid out starting with a review of AutoCAD’s user interface and ending with converting the 2D linework into a 3D model of the building complete with materials. The step by step instructions are enhanced with AutoCAD screenshots of both where to pick and how the final product should look like.
The target of the book is primarily new users to the program although newer features of the program are included which could benefit experienced users. Examples of this include the parametric, newer 3D tools and dynamic blocks. I for one hadn’t noticed the Infer Constraints button on the status bar. The Infer Constraints button, according to the book, “…will automatically apply constraints between objects as you create or modify them.” Another feature that I forgot about was the ability to detach the ribbon from the top or remove a panel from it and drag it off to the side. This provides functionality similar to toolbars the ribbon replaced.
For the most part the book is an easy read and provides explanations and reasons for doing the steps. I also liked where the book provided examples on how to accomplish the same task in different ways. Such as using lines and offsetting, and them trimming or using polylines and offsetting them without having the need to go back and trim. The book has an index and glossary providing an easy way to find topics in the book.
If we had a new hire in the office who wanted to learn AutoCAD I wouldn't hesitate using this book as a learning tool. It would provide a good foundation to build CAD knowledge.
Disclaimer: I received the book from the publisher free of charge.

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