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Design & Drafting To Cease Development of LD Assistant™ Software

May, 2017

Rufus Warren, Founder/CEO of Design & Drafting, announced today that the company is ceasing all further development of their LD Assistant™ lighting design software. Design & Drafting will continue to offer technical support to existing customers. The advanced design tools found in LD Assistant will remain viable for the next decade.

Incorporated in 1985, Chicago Stage Equipment Co. Inc. DBA Design & Drafting has been at the forefront of entertainment technology software for many years. LD Assistant is a powerful lighting design and event planning software that has been used by thousands worldwide to augment their creative work flow. Encompassing lighting, sound, video and scenery elements, the program’s product development has always been driven by one desire, to help designers win more jobs by showing realistic renderings to their clients.

Warren comments, “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved with LD Assistant through the years, and truly grateful to our core user base. There are many LD Assistant power users that have achieved results I didn’t imagine possible. I look forward to supporting our existing customer base while spending more time with my wife and dog, and exploring 3D printing!”

Warren is the recipient of several integral patents that helped move the modern professional lighting industry forward during its first three decades. In 1986, Design & Drafting created 5,000 symbols for use in computer assisted design. After designing the entertainment lighting package for venues including Mike Ditka’s City Lights, Arlington Park, Whitey Herzog’s Power Station and Excalibur Chicago, the company’s focus shifted to product design. In 1990, Warren received US Patent 4,949,020 as the inventor of MOSFET Dimming technology. In 1992, Design & Drafting launched their LD Assistant Plug-in for VectorWorks. In 1993, Warren received US Patent 5,268,631, and the following year received International Patent 2,2241,393 as co-inventor of Dimmer Power Phase Control. Additionally, 3,000 Design & Drafting symbols were licensed to Diehl Graphsoft (now Nemetschek).

In 1995, Design & Drafting released their LD Assistant Pro Plug-in for VectorWorks, once again raising the bar for design finesse in the lighting field. Two years later, Warren received US Patent 5,600,233 as the inventor of the Dimmer Power Control Circuit. Another patent followed in 1999 with Warren receiving International Patent 2,010,313 for Lighting Control Systems. This turned out to be a pivotal year, as Design & Drafting became an Autodesk OEM and ADN Developer. In 2001 LD Assistant AC and PL 01 was launched, and in 2002 LD Assistant AC won Product of the Year at LDI.

In 2003, the company became an HP Developer, and the AutoCAD® ACAD plug-in was launched. From 2004 through the present, Warren and Design & Drafting continued to introduce new versions of the LD Assistant software, featuring quantum leap revisions such as effects rendering. IES support files, video and show simulation, connection to ETC consoles and dimming systems using sACN, 3D Audio, pyrotechnic effects, wire & cable, DMX patch editor and many more innovations.

Design & Drafting Releases LD Assistant 2014
Visit the new Design & support page to see how easy it is to Edit your DMX patch.
CAD Articles
Old system variables by Ellen Finkelstein,
Some of the issues could be related to old system variables. For example, in this drawing, DIMASSOC is set to 1, which creates non-associative dimensions. That means that when the dimensions objects are edited, the dimensions don’t update automatically. AutoCAD has offered associative dimensions since Release 2002, but if the drawing was created before then, you’ll see non-associative dimensions.
You should fix this by changing the value of DIMASSOC to 2 and then using DIMREASSOCIATE to associate the dimensions to their objects. I explain this process in my post, "Dimensions and associativity." Click here to keep reading
How to Save AutoCAD DWT Template to Lower Version By Edwin Prakoso, CAD Notes
If you have different versions of AutoCAD in your office, you might have this problem. AutoCAD 2013 has changed the file version (we all already know it), it means lower versions can’t open it.
The same thing happens if updated your template file with AutoCAD 2013. You open your template file, modify it then save it.
If you share the templates with your coworkers, they who use AutoCAD 2012 or older will not be able to use it.
AutoCAD does allow you to save to older version. However, it only have versions for DWG but only one DWT. It means you can’t save it to lower DWT version, and your coworker can’t open it using AutoCAD 2012. Click here to keep reading
How to Automatically Display the Plotting Scale on Your AutoCAD Drawing by Ellen Finkelstein
Yes, you can! I’m going to assume that you have 1 viewport on a layout tab with a title block that will display the scale of that viewport. Here are the steps:
1.Set the scale for the viewport. I explain how in this tip, "Create a scale for plotting."
2.Start the MTEXT command. (On the ribbon, choose Home tab, Annotation panel, Multiline Text.)
3.At the Specify first corner: and Specify opposite corner: prompts, click to place. Click here to view
Can't Explode a Block by RK McSwain, CAD Panacea
Invoke block command, select desired block, check 'allow exploding' box to change block definition, redefine block in AutoCAD.
Have you ever come across a block that you could not explode? You might try and get this message:
Command: explode
Select objects: 1 found
Select objects:
1 could not be exploded.
Command: . Click here to keep reading
Why Layer Stumble through your content when you can Layer Walk by By Isaac Harper
Even though Layer Walk (LAYWALK) started off being an Express (or Bonus) tool and a short time later had worked its way up to being an honorary AutoCAD command… I am quite surprised that there are still quite a few people that I know (using AutoCAD for quite some time) have not gotten around to trying it out! And the worst part is it has been around for almost a decade. So if you have never used it… NOW IS THE TIME!
Layer Walk combines several layer commands together at once, from Searching by Layer naming, using existing Filters, Count of your layers or best of all… Displaying what is on what layer(s) all in one simple real time dialog box. To launch the Layer Walk command from the Ribbon on the Home tab expand the layer panel and click the Layer Walk button. (Or type in the command: LAYWALK) . Click here to keep reading
Terminology by John Flanagan, CADline
Understanding commonly used terms like property, ribbon, selection view, snap, styles, view, UCS, units,
Property - Any specific characteristic of an object such as layer, scale, linetype, start point, etc.
Ribbon- The Ribbon runs across the top of the drawing space and contains panel - each panel has a group of associated tool. Switch to different panels by clicking on the tabs at the top of the ribbon.
Relative Coordinates - A way of inputting points based on a starting point.
Section View - A drawing that represents a cross section of a part or assembly.
Selection Set - The current group of objects selected for modifying.
Snap - This is a drawing mode that allows you to snap your cursor to precise points laid out in a grid pattern. Toggle with the F9 key.
Styles - Formatting that defines the look of text, dimensions, etc.
Units - The basic drawing unit set for you drawing. For example, you can use inches or millimetres depending on your needs. You can also set the precision you want displayed, such nearest 1/4", 1/2" 1/64", etc.
User coordinate system (UCS) - Modifications made to the World Coordinate System (WCS) results in a User Coordinate System (UCS)
View - A particular area of your drawing.
Viewport - A separate 'window' on your drawing. You may have more than one viewport visible to see different areas of your drawing at the same time.
Wizard - An easy step-by-step instruction set to help you set-up certain aspects of your drawing.
World Coordinate System - This is the common X-Y coordinate system that is the default. If it is modified, it becomes a User coordinate System (UCS)
Zoom - To view either a smaller section of your drawing (zoom in) or a larger section (zoom out)
Mobile Champion - Lenovo ThinkPad W530 mobile workstation delivers incredible price and performance. by David Cohn
Over the past few years, we've reviewed numerous Lenovo ThinkStation workstations. We've consistently been impressed with the company's ability to deliver performance at an affordable price. But it's been more than four years since we last looked at one of the company's mobile workstations. We were, therefore, excited when the Lenovo ThinkPad W530 arrived. Click here to keep reading
Thank You!
Design & Drafting appreciates your interest in our products. Please forward this newsletter to your friends and associates, however, NO part of this newsletter may be used without permission. © Copyright 2013 by Chicago Stage Equipment Company Inc. D.B.A. Design & Drafting. Autodesk, AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, DWF, DWG, DXF, ObjectARX are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.© 2012
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