What is AutoLISP?
AutoLISP is a programming language integrated into the AutoCAD software designed to enable the user to write
custom commands and applications inside the AutoCAD programming environment. AutoLISP comes packaged with
the full version of AutoCAD, no special licence or purchase is required.
How do I use an AutoLISP program?
An AutoLISP program is simply an ASCII text file of program code that can be loaded in AutoCAD by selecting "Load
Applications" from the AutoCAD "Tools" menu, and selecting the AutoLISP file. The file can also be made to load
automatically every time you run AutoCAD by adding the selected file to the "Startup Suite" list in the "Load
Applications" dialog box. After loading the AutoLISP text file, all of the new program commands that have been
coded are available for use like any other AutoCAD command.
Why should I use AutoLISP?
Speed, accuracy and consistency.
As an example, Pixel Graphics Inc. was contacted by a start-up manufacturing company who initially needed over
300 drawings of their new "widgets" before they could begin manufacturing. Each part was similar, but all of the
dimensions that defined the parts were different. The company had received quotes averaging $100 per drawing
from other drafting/design firms.
By writing an AutoLISP program that fully automated drawing and dimensioning the parts, we were able to save the
client approximately two-thirds of the quoted cost. The program also enabled the non-AutoCAD trained client to
immediately generate their own drawings by entering a single command in AutoCAD, then entering approximately 12
dimensions that defined the part. Each drawing generated by the AutoLISP program took approximately five
seconds to complete. Every part was drawn to scale, tolerance dimensioned exactly the same way, fully title blocked
and even automatically saved under a drawing name standard derived from the part parameters. This gave the
client the immediate ability to generate new drawings whenever they needed them and saved them countless
dollars in drafting costs. That AutoLISP program, which was written over ten years ago, is still being used by that
client to this day.
In this specific case the automation process was taken a step further. After the AutoLISP program for drawing the
part was completed and proven to be accurate, another program was written to take read the part dimension data
from an Excel spreadsheet that the client had created for the 300 parts mentioned. The program then wrote an
AutoCAD script that fed all of the data into the part drawing program. After launching the script, the client and I sat
back and watched AutoCAD draw, dimension, title block and save the 300 part drawings in less than 30 minutes.
Why use Pixel Graphics Inc. for AutoCAD automation?
We have over 12 years experience programming and customizing AutoCAD not only for our manufacturing clients,
but for ourselves to automate common drafting, 3D modeling and other AutoCAD tasks. Contact us if you have a
need for automating AutoCAD and making the software work the way it was meant to, at light speed.
AutoLisp Programming Overview
|LITIGATION GRAPHICS - COMPUTER ANIMATION - TECHNICAL ILLUSTRATION - CAD DRAFTING - AUTOLISP PROGRAMMING
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