CS395 Internship Company: Rohde & Associates Intern: Chris Kulhanek
A Very Brief Background • Rohde & Associates, Inc. Architects • Commercial Grade Construction • ASD, DOT, Private Contractors • $1,000,000.00 A Year In Contracts • Been In Business Since 1997 • I Am 1 of 5 Employees.
The Problem • AutoCAD is primary tool for production • Always looking for ways to improve production • Out of date scripts written with out of date language. • Need to improve scripts and improve scripting language • Most important, make finished product easy to deliver and install.
Starting Point • Existing scripts are written in AutoLISP, a dialect of the Lisp programming language. • Existing scripts are manual install. Cumbersome for those not familiar with how to install them into AutoCAD. • No user manual on scripts of things go wrong.
Goal • Covert Scripts to modern HLL. VBA or if needed C++. • Wrapper into an easy to distribute and use self install pack. • No command entry, use toolbars and menus.
How was this accomplished? • VBA was first chosen • VBA has no easy way to wrapper and install • Was decided to convert again to AutoCAD ObjectARX and C++ API
AutoCAD and ObjectARX • You are basically creating a .dll • Compile creates an AutoCAD .dll called .arx • Every .arx is a specific new command for AutoCAD ie: stairs is stairs.arx
How do we package up? • Could write our own package, but why? • Installshield was used • Easy to use once native scripting language was understood
Problems Encountered • General hassle of C++ • Lack of knowledge on .dll operations • Needed to learn the windows registry • AutoCAD is not user friendly concerning beta testing • The company upgraded to AutoCAD 2006 mid development
Concluding Outline • Rank existing scripts by order of need • Convert to VBA / C++ routines • Include in shortcut menu and toolbar • Package into .exe for distribution