Visual Basic Developer / Programmer Visual Basic Programmer - AutoCAD, Excel, Access, Frontpage, Windows/Web: Solution and Automation Development.
This is a sampling of projects I have developed in Visual Basic over a decade rounded. AutoCAD was the predominate automation host, yet many applications employed Excel, Access, Word and internet/web automation as well as Windows API and other automation supports. I'm using this sampling to demonstrate my versatility at creating solutions for automation, constraint removal and production/design/management aids in a variety of situations. I have designed and programmed webs in common forms and can program ASP as another VB related resource. I enjoy building and developing automation solutions to various obstacles in many businesses. I also enjoy educating others on aspects of automation/ActiveX, which they may not have considered as solutions to on-going constraints they maybe experiencing in Windows based business computing.
Applications (Sample Apps, Utility complexes)
Arizopia Digital PortfolioX_COM Encapsulated digital projects for access, promotion, archive record from a self contained .exe with expansion to web file loctions
DWF Library QuickBrowse Same as above, but utilizing only Drawing Web Format file libraries.
ImageXinterface_ImButtons Application archive for producing tiled Windows application buttons with images instead of text.
Planet GPS COMplex Lite GPS aids for plant inventories, filed inventories in an updatable centralized digital engine as an executable application employing Execl, Access Db and AutoCAD.
PlanetGPS_Tracker Same as above, with post inventory ability to view points and tracks in motion over an aerieal or digital plan of sites inventoried.
PlantationDatabase Landscape planting design drawing database for aid in production work of a repetitive nature.
PlantationSuperLite The AutoCAd component of the above for "planting" design components quickly from a dynamic library.
ScreenManager For sampling Windows screens as bitmaps in a very quick 1-3 click interface.
TOOLTABLETECH-TableHeart-Ltd For creating Excel tables quickly as AutoCAd entities.
VisualPalette_Lite PlantBlockCreator Pod1 Aid for creating planting design symbology from a database of graphics, pre-existing symbols, and images.
VisualPalette_Lite_Plants More compact version of "PlantationSuperLite" with extended data management tools.
Textcount Utility for quantifying planting design counts from text tags sometimes employed by some designers.
Plantforms_lite_ADO Planting schedulizer running off of Acess databases.
TABLETOOLS-XL Library of tools which comprised "TOOLTABLETECH-TableHeart-Ltd", with variations for use on other projects not includrd in the former.
Textsyle Change Utility for managing drawing textstyles in AutoCAD, for consolidating numerous styles into a more manageable amount.
AcadVIEWS AutoCAd "View" creator and manager, employing automation for accessing design based views and UCS from a single click interface.
ResourceFiles Development for encapsulating quantities if image and other data into one .exe or .dll.
DWF Library QuickBrowse1024 Updated above.
InsertExcelBMP2AutoCAD Production aid for handling screenshots from Excel, for attachment into AutoCAd quickly.
TOOLTABLETECH-TableHeart-Ltd Updated above.
DesignGraphicsImageLibrary2003 Application foraiding the use of images for image attachments in section and elevational graphics in AutoCAD.
LayerSnapTo Quick click access to design layers interface visual.
NTolesq A now obsolete NT automation printing bridge.
SpeedTest Tracked and quantified various computer speed tests for review.
3D-BlockScaler Quick interface for scaling 3D components which were repetively placed in design AutoCAD drawings.
AcImageScaler AutoCAD image distorter interface.
Annotation Quick interface visual for applying various AutoCAD annotations and dimensions.
AttArray Interface for assembling various large quantity attribute data into excel, Acess, and text files.
AutoCAD VisibilityToggler Security tool for hiding active AutoCAD sessions from other users, or for clearing taskbars of icons.
AutoCADScreenImage Interface for referencing images for AutoCAd editing.
BananaSplit Screen Windows tiler and toggler for specialized uses of designers.
BlockDuplicates Exact duplicate block ref detector, for validating exact drawing quantities and spacing.
BlockShopLITE Block utilites of many varieties for use in macros and utilities commonly beeded in AutoCAD design of various specialties.
BlockTabulator-Simple Quick block counter and schedulizer.
CELLPHONEDIALER Utility for management to have there cell phones dialed at specific times, and specific repetitions as a ploy to leave lengthy meeting that they did not feel necessary to attend. Can be used for other things.
ClipboardList Assembled clipboard text into various applications and in various formatting as an automation.
CLOCK Specialized super clock.
CUBICgenerator Random solid generator for artistic 3D uses.
DirectoryDrawingLists Data sampler for creating lists of files and directories from Windows Explorer for informational purposes. Used for this list for example.
Elevator Controlled elevation application to various AutoCAd entities.
Entity-BlockRancher A block manager with specialized and common functions.
ExtendedDataForms For attaching exteded data, like acad Xdata, to AutoCAd entites. The data was linked to forms which contained the data, instead of being embedded in the drawing.
HatchCad Hatching automator, with flexibility.
HTMtableizer A dynamic html generator for creating pages which were repeated in large quantities, and updated frequently, from templates. Done outside of asp, for previewing with out the need of asp on a server.
IRRIGATION TOOLS Multiple utilites for automating irrigation tasks, and managing data in AutoCAD and Excel.
Line Length Annotation Attached line data to entites as graphic text.
PLANTING TOOLS Multiple utilites for automating planting design tasks, and managing data in AutoCAD and Excel.
PolylineLength-irrigation Utilites for automating irrigation piping tasks, and managing data in AutoCAD and Excel.
ScreenIllusion Security device for covering screen with hoax windows.
SendElevation Automation devive for sending specific data from an AutoCAD drawing to Excel, Access and/or txt files.
TileMode TileMatrix Calculator Ceramic tile map generator.
TileMode TileMatrix Calculator2
ExternalRefLaunch Auto launcher/reloader.
QproConversion Converting Qpro macors to visual basic.
RD-AnonBlock Anonymous block management.
ActiveXCapsule-AutoCADDrawing Encapsulating drawings and drawing libraries into single unlinked exe's.
AddIncrementedText Automated manging text sequences and adding text sequences to lotting designs.
Annotation2003 Quick interface visual for applying various AutoCAD annotations and dimensions.
AppLaunch_WindowsStandards Visual interface for starting applications commonly used from a single click interface.
Attribute-Paperspace-Updater2003 For applying attribute data to multiple paper space blocks from a quicker visual interface.
AutoExcel_BlockCountTableizer2003 Block count performed in Excel and entified into AutoCAD.
BlackOut_TextEditor A stickable window for accessing text data for use in AutoCAD without screen tiling, or data window minimizing.
BlockBlaster-TableGenerator2003 Generated AutoCAD entity tables from Access database tables.
ClipBoardtoPicture Attach clipboard raster as an AutoCAD image attachment through automation.
DetachALL Acad image attachment management automator.
EraseMax2003 Erase with filters and various entity criteria.
Excel Excel automation utilities as templates for future development.
ExcelVBA_MenuMacros2 Utility for attaching macros and macro families and new toolbars in Excel.
FrontPage2000x Frontpage automator for specific AutoCAD related needs.
Generic-Modelspace Library of utilites which were sole macros or in development.
HTMGenerator2-ImagePages Same as above, with extended image file handling for changing images in multiple page generations.
InsertMultipleDrawings Xref automator.
LDD_SpeedPalette Planting interface tailored to LDD data needs.
LoadVBAProject VBA project loader from a customized single click, multiple disk location interface.
MouseTrap security device which trapped pointing icon in a "blackhole"
ObjectHandler Realtime tracking of specific AutoCAD entities and entity types.
ParcelAttribute2003 A utility to attach polygons (polylines) to data blocks within them to automate land use planning data through automation.
PasswordIllusion Security device to create the illusion of an unloggable system.
PolyBomber Specialized polyline functions and automations.
PolygonAttributeData A utility to attach polygons (polylines) to data blocks within them to automate land use planning data through automation.
RtextFileFeed An automation device to use multiple RTEXT attachments to text files, instead of repeating text in multiple drawings with the same notation etc.
SelectbyPolygon For running analysis on polygonal areas selected, for autoating selection set generation and selection.
SpeedBlockFactory Quick interface for creating block definitions and inserting them for reference.
SpeedWBlock2003 same as above, except definition is written to block file on disk.
StringSplitter Parsing aids.
Text_Align2003 Drawing clean up for visual clarity.
TextInventory2003 Analysis of all, or specific text in a drawing, in excel, where it could be checked, zoomed to, updated, deleted etc.
TrigX Trig design functions and utilities.
VB AddRaster-Multiple Addition of multiple raster images, of any acceptable format for attchment into AutoCAD.
VB Block2Text 1401 inserted block to text ref automatically.
VB Block2Text 2000
VB BLOCKanatomizer Block sub-entity management and analysis.
VB DIMENSIONCONVERT Annotation utilities.
VB GUITAR-FRETBOARD Creates guitar patterns in Autocad
VB GUITAR-SCALEIZER Creates guitar scales and hybrids in Autocad
VB Invisible Entities Project security or other device for making acad entities invisible, but dta is still there.
VB NarratorExpletive automated the windows narrator to warn unauthorized users, from a user defined text dialogue file.
VB PlotLogProcessor Extended plotting log file.
VB PolyLine Elevator
XDataProject Xdata automator from visual interface.
BootLogger tracked system boots and logins on a specific machine, system independent.
AutoCAD_DeClogger Obstacle dialogue box quasher for continuing unattended operations.
BatchPackMode2005 Pack and Go batch file automator, to pack multiple drawing sequentially through automation.
BCount_CompareTotals Used to design and compare block count status represented in the BCOUNT text screen, from the text feed of multiple bcount commands, to see how updating to a target block count was progressing.
Centriod Polygonal center marker.
CleanerMachine security cleaning of log and dat files which contained private data.
CleanMachine security cleaning of log and dat files which contained private data.
ClipSplitnLoad Text parsing from text on clipboard through automation.
Copybase_withName Inserted a "copy with basepoint" block as a named block, instead of the AutoCAD A$ random name.
DsoExtendedProperties Summary properties of Windows files automator.
LAColor Entity/Layer color automator
MusicFile_SummaryProperties Summary properties of Windows mp3 files automator.
Van Scalen Autoscaler through automation.
XrefColorSet Set xref attached colors through automation
Zoom2BlockList Zoom to various blocks for editing and data.
FlowerPower_Library raster geometry for design generator in AutoCAD
GeoMetrixxx Geometry for design generator in AutoCAD
Orchardfx Geometry for design generator in AutoCAD
LSD4Plantscapes Geometry for design generator in AutoCAD
Plant Style Processor
PlantingFX_PlantingDesignAnalysis and Modifications
PolyGeo_OrchardX Geometry for design generator in AutoCAD
3D Vector Blaster (Vector to 3D entities for Digital AutoCAD Artists)
GPS PersonalTrax (tracker)
I'll describe any other example which I have not went into detail about upon request. Thanks for your interest. I like brainstorming on possible solutions or varieties of solutions to different computer/software goals. I inspire passion in applying these technologies to areas many continue to handle manually, or in constaining disjointed processes which can be forever removed and made digitally efficient.
Here is a link to some other case studies in more detail:
Web design, web programmer, internet programmer, database programmer, com design, asp, php, netobjects, flash programmer, visual basic programmer, C# programmer, autocad objectARX programmer, automation programmer, autocad programmer, activex programmer
Geometry Software Test Images:
Land Development Graphics:
Selected Case Studies in Automation and Solution Development
AutoCAD Programmer and Drafting and Design
Name: Mark Acuna
Purpose: These case studies demonstrate the advantage of computer customizations in AutoCAD, and the affect certain solutions had upon common production processes, and constraints for given time periods.
What may be common knowledge or tech tools today in software and systems, were not always such. Many solutions I have developed have no reciprocation even today, while others were eventually developed within Autodesk and Microsoft products in subsequent years, so that some say to me, Excel or AutoCAD or so and so program does that, well at the time, it did not, and if it did it was hundreds if not thousands of dollars for the software solution, and you could not customize to specific needs. What follows are innovations in their time, for either unique programming and/or process solutions, or solutions provided cheaper and with more flexibility than comparable third party software solutions then available. What it demonstrates is that in any given computing epoch in design, data and presentation, I innovated consistently while a part of production in the trenches, whether or not the management system recognized it, it is my research and development history. Names can be revealed if any find it interesting, all applications are in my possession, and many are available on the internet, at sites such as planet-source-code.com, and cadalog.com, etc. I hope the following case studies may remind someone of current constraints they may be experiencing which they would like to remove for all time, insteading of repeating past bottlenecks over and over.
I do not change the way production does their tasks, such as everyones own idiosyncratic software habits, a misapprehension some hold, I remove tediums, constraints and time drains that occur consistently or repetively over time, and I use software as a tool, just as AutoLISP became a tool to some draftspersons who could operate or master it. Over years in this business, I saw owners and managers who seemed unaware that they were attacking production below the potential of tools available.
Case Study: Cheap GPS! (2000)
I developed an AutoCAD integration for inexpensive Garmin handhelds, to speed up the common process of the Native Plant Inventory for a firm which was doing it 'by hand', and did not desire investing the $5,000 for Trimble or other comparable technologies. This solution used a $100 dollar Garmin 12CX handheld, AutoCAD and Excel.
Product: The system developed used a text code entered into the Garmin, at a marked waypoint, this was then automatically dispersed (before Autodesk Map!), with attribute information, block symbology, and tracks, to reduce time recording plants in the field. It also created automatically from Excel or Access, a corresponding plant table, of all required data, importable into AutoCAD automatically with data connectivity between the drawings points, and there associated tabulation. This turned a tedious process, full of disconnected potential for error, into the cheapest solution on the planet, which was completely data connected, in 2000. Many GPS solutions, for thousands of dollars, are still not as data connective, and more importantly are available to everyone and their competition, this solution put this firm ahead of their competition, and was customizable to the nth degree, no more remote technical assistance and wish lists.
Product: ActiveX Planet GPS application from several VBA macros. Macros could be run in AutoCAD, from the command line, the ActiveX module ran as a Windows application.
Time Savings: 5 to 10 times faster, depending on project scale.
Case Study: Visual Planting Design Interface to AutoCAD (2000)
The goal of this solution was to give designers visual access to planting design components in AutoCAD and reduce the steps needed in the standard AutoCAD command and dialog box sequence, bypassing it, to select, plant, label, tabulate and quantify landscape planting designs. This visual interface gave instant access to drawing design blocks, and disk stored blocks, for quicker design production, the tabulation was vastly superior to anything in AutoCAD, and the flexibility with which I customized for various situations, made it like the firm had a LandCADD prgrammer in thrie back pocket, accessed as needed. This allowed automation of every previously manual operation, and a new standard for innovators in landscape design.
Product: ActiveX Visual Design applicationThe ActiveX module ran as a Windows application, developed primarily in Visual Basic 6.0.
Time Savings: 2-5 times the production speed, with automated quantification, block replace, and other automation constraint removals.
Case Study: Illustrative Artwork Product Solutions (2003)
The goal of this was to replace the artist, me! My purpose in this process innovation was to create plan renderings, completely within AutoCAD and Photoshop, that did not look computer, but retained a human looseness and variability in certain visual aspects, such as line quality, drop shadows, fill and background tonality. The idea was to take an AutoCAD drawing that looked after illustrative processing, like a hand drawn, hand colored, artistically washed or water colored effected illustrative rendering, without ever leaving the computer, as fast or faster than traditional means. This project turned into a few sub variations, but the original worked from within Architectural Desktop, and Photoshop, with sampled real art textures, from the artist, to produce an illustrative which was indistinguishable from ones done with hand rendering and traditional artwork techniques.
Product: VBA Macros could be run in AutoCAD, from command line, but this was treated as a mult-process solution, including Native AutoCAD commands, Photoshop standards, and a process description.
Time Saving: 2-3 times in most cases, highly detailed enhancements took as long as traditional techniques, but produced a more detailed, flexible end product, in Photoshop and/or AutoCAD.
Case Study: Automated Irrigation Data Tabulation (2002)
This firm was joyfully wasting profit by hand calculating irrigation zones data in large subdivion and roadway projects, upon every planting design iteration, revision or edit. The solution I developed was to automatically calculate irrigation flow and valve data, for multiple irrigation zones, sometimes up to 20 and 30 high volume stations, automatically. This eliminated hand or AutoCAD Bcounts, re-refeencing nd Valve Identification block attribute updating manually. This solution also tabulated and quantified every irrigation zone separately or collectively, sizing valves, mainlines with complete zonal data, such as areas, distances, pressure losses and all associated materials take-offs, like pipe sizes, quantities, etc.
Product: ActiveX AcIrrigation application from several VBA macros. Macros could be run in AutoCAD, from the command line, the ActiveX module ran as a Windows application, and most of this was VB first, then VBA conversions as macros were created.
Time Savings: Depending on project scale, this was 5 times as fast, and completely data accurate.
Case Study: Hydrology Handmaiden (2004)
A design engineer at a certain firm, was wasting countless hours weekly, transferring data from AutoCAD, to Excel for mathematics, to HecRas for summarization, back to AutoCAD. My solution to this tedious constraint was an AutoCAD selection and associated data keystroke automator and ActiveX GUI injector. The gist of the innovation was to mine all data from AutoCAD once, input it into several Excel spreadsheets, return the calculations, inject those into HecRas legacy GUI's, mine those associated data files for the final data, and plug that all back into AutoCAD tables or site specific AutoCAD drawing liocations automatically. This allowed design engineers to have the flexibility of running numerous design iterations, for improved design development, instead of taking whole days doing tedious data entry, switching from application interface to interface, cutting and pasting etc.
Product: VB ActiveX app could be run between AutoCAD/Excel/HECRAS, from command line, but this was treated as a mult-process solution, including Native AutoCAD commands, Excel processes, and a process description.
Time Saving: 5-10 times, and allowed better design development from this.
Case Study: Multiple Images in AutoCAD (2002)
This producer was having to attach thousands of digital images, of varying formats into AutoCAD manually, sometimes site specific, sometimes as masses of hundereds of photographs. I made a visual interface to allow this to be done with single clicks, for hundreds at once, and to attach others, faster than inserting blocks in standard AutoCAD. The eliminated lost time surfing around for photos, and image attaching them through the standard AutoCAD interface, a tedious multi-stepped operation.
Product: This was a VB developed ActiveX GUI.
Time Savings: 10-50 Times, depending on operation process and final product.
Case Study: Planners Nitemare Resolved (2002)
This planner was spending hours offsetting center lines of streets in huge sub divisions, for pavement, curbs, row, sidewalks, lot boudaries and setbacks. The solution developed would offset from a given aligment, all the needed offsets and associated plines or lines, to specific layers, with customizable distances, and a default. This turned a tedious nitemare, into an automatic dream!
Product: ActiveX Polyline Bomber application from several VBA macros. Macros could be run in AutoCAD, from the command line, the ActiveX module ran as a Windows application.
Time Savings: easily beyond three times faster.
Case Study: Quantity Takeoff Controller (1999)
This firm was spending hours, and half days, quantifying various parks, roadways, and commercial landscape planting, irrigation and hardscape quantities. The solution developed would quantify entire projects, quantify them in a adatabase, spreadsheet, text file, and/or AutoCAD in minutes, the VBA version would do it in seconds. This was later integrated into a developed landscape database to allow additional components and graphically invisible costs to added as needed.
Product: This was a VB developed ActiveX GUI, which borrowed Excel or Access in a multi-step process which could also be a seamless routine, but different steps were taken depending on the project anatomy being dissected and quantified.
Time Savings: Even in it's primitive form, it was hundreds of times faster, and more accurate than manual tracking could allow.
Case Study: AutoCAD Multiplex
This was a drawing mangement aid formulated to migrate legacy drawings to various current standards, such as sub entity properties, of thousands of blocks, in thousands of drawings. This solution allowed a CAD manager to manipulate layers, block, styles nomenclature across drawing groups, to process in batches, or single, within batches of blocks in drawings or individually, to update current standards to drawings of past creation, which were often 'frankensteined' for various parts, which invariably cluttered current organization by introducing non-standard names, colors, layers etc.
Product: This was a VB developed ActiveX GUI, which borrowed external sources for standards, or had names hardwired in. It was more of a multi-process record of how to do multiple modifications to thousands of drawings.
Time Savings: This was infinite because no one knew how long it took to fix 200 blocks and layers in 20000 drawings, but it was substantial, it was more for ongoing maintenance in it's possibilities of modification and customization.
Case Study: Design Matchline Dissector
This solution created multiple layouts for various site design projects, from a set of AutoCAD entities, such as polyline rectangles windowing design areas, in groups, updating titleblocks per layout nd automating certain tediums in division of sites to corresponding plan sheet layouts. It also corresponded a set of design views, to associated viewports, allowing site views and schedlues and legends to become standardized by defining them as visual areas, to be set into viewports of various sheets, for various plan design types.
Product: This was a VB developed ActiveX GUI, which refernced standards according to design type. It was a multi-process record of how to arrange spatial design into paper sheet layouts, and to assemble design tabulations to appropriate 2d plan views, as is commonly done when creating plans manually for drawing sets.
Time Savings: This was propbably faster, but also required standardizing project types, and practicing on projects, which at some point woud have logically connected to a project database for previously manually entered drawing project information.
Case Study: Attribute Interpreter
This solution was developed to not only extract attribute data, a common procedure automated by AutoCAD and many third parties now, but to also reduce steps of subsequent calculations upon the data in Excel, Access, or within the program itself. This eliminated the extra steps on many projects, of sifting through thousands of drawing records in Excel, and reformating or formulizeing them after extraction. This application and concept did this during extraction, it was then easy to make the new information and data exporatble to other destinations, also automatically.
Time Savings: Three to five times faster, scaled up as data quantity/project size increased.