Ten ways you can work smarter with AutoCAD 2021 – Get the eBook

AutoCAD 2021 – Get the free ebook

Design with confidence using AutoCAD 2021 software 

Think you know AutoCAD inside and out? Know all the shortcuts, time-saving applications and features?

AutoCAD software includes industry-specific toolsets; improved workflows across desktop, web and mobile; and new features such as drawing history. AutoCAD is packed with new features and enhancements to help you design, draft, and bring your vision to life. Performance improvements to speed up your design flows, a new blocks palette as well as a fresh new look, are just some of the changes to the latest version of AutoCAD.

In this ebook you will learn about

Drawing History, Xref Compare, Blocks Palette, Performance Enhancements, Breakatpoint Command, Cloud Storage Connectivity, Quick Measure Command, Enhanced DWG Compare, Rev Cloud, AutoCAD any time, anywhere.

A bit about Quadra Solutions

Quadra Solutions are Gold Autodesk CAD Design Software Solutions Providers. We work with customers to provide advice and strategies for Autodesk Design software solutions for the Construction and Manufacturing industries. InventorRevitAutoCAD Collections and Vault software helps our customers design, visualise, innovate and implement solutions. At Quadra, we build long-term relationships with our clients who we think of as our partners, rather than customers. We are proud of our reputation for good, honest advice and friendliness. It is our policy to ensure you have all the support you need, when you need it.

Subscribe to AutoCAD software and get access to AutoCAD for Windows and AutoCAD for Mac, plus industry-specific toolsets (Windows only) including Architecture, Electrical, Map 3D, Mechanical, MEP, Plant 3D and Raster Design, and the AutoCAD web and mobile apps.

Download the ebook now – fill in the form below

What’s new for AutoCAD 2021 – Quick Measure Command

Paul Tolliday takes us through new functionality in AutoCAD 2021


Hello and Welcome to What’s new for AutoCAD 2021.
We are going to be having a quick look and the quick measure command. There has been some additional functionality added for this release.

So if we go to our measure as before, as we hover over we will see the dimensions, the radius, diameter etc. and now if we want to select an area of an object we can simply click inside and it will find the boundaries and it will display the area and the perimeter length.

So that’s just doing a single profile there. If we want to have the area of this component or this cutout, we can just click inside it and it will give us the area for each of these boundary points but also if we hold down the shift key. we can select multiple boundaries and again we can select that whole component and you can see that the area is being displayed.

So a little bit of extra functionality but very useful.


Design with confidence using AutoCAD software 

AutoCAD is packed with new features and enhancements to help you design, draft, and bring your vision to life.  

Performance improvements to speed up your design flows, a new blocks palette as well as a fresh new look, are just some of the changes to the latest version of AutoCAD.


Learn more about AutoCAD

Contact us for more information about AutoCAD 2021

Or download our free ebook about AutoCAD2021

Hierarchical Blocks in eCADSTAR

But Firstly, What is a Hierarchical Layout?

Hierarchical blocks are normally used for top-down designs, where the block is drawn on the top-level schematic and associated signal pins are added.

Benefits of a Hierarchical Design

  • Hierarchy reduces the workload for identical blocks of circuitry. 
  • Hierarchy encourages team pcb design
  • Hierarchy enables design reuse.

Want more information about eCADSTAR and PCB design, contact us below

If I copy these devices and drop some down here.
I’m just doing this because I am going to create a Hierarchical block from an existing piece of circuit and you need a component in there to do that.
But that also shows how we can split the net as we are placing a component

Block from area. You need to give it a name
Quadra Block and I will just draw a rectangle around here and there it has created a block for us. Now you can right-click and edit the symbol to make the symbol smaller

Let’s move these, rotate, fit to data. I can change the colour of this and you can add additional pins. and save and that has updated that symbol in my schematic.

But the contents of the symbol, I can access it with a right-click, I can drop down to the lower level in the hierarchy. There we can see the circuit. We can also see it in our design tree, I’m in sheet 1 and there’s the block.

So a couple of different ways to access that

For more information about eCADSTAR

We love when our customers love what we do!

We love when our Autodesk customers love what we do!

When I joined the Engineering team in 2008 all of our CAD work was carried out using Autodesk Lt, and our data management was all based in a Windows Explorer environment, with no specific search functions or cataloguing.

Our company makes a wide range of bespoke equipment, with many shared components used in similar designs, but all unique to suit our customers. With no intelligence behind our CAD use, repetition was a daily occurrence.

Upon my promotion to Senior Mechanical Engineer in 2011 one of my first acts was to present a case to our management team to move over to 3D CAD and the relevant data management programs. Quadra had already helped one of our sister companies with their transition over, and by the middle of the following year, we were using Autodesk Inventor and Vault Pro.

Our early focus was on CAD, understanding how to transfer over our old drawings, and getting used to the new concept (for us) of modelling first, then creating drawings after.

Initially, we tried to use Vault in the same way as the Windows environment that we were familiar with, but we soon grew to realise that it was much more than that. As we learnt the capabilities of Vault, we added many different pieces of metadata to our designs, some general, but most specific to our company which allowed us to quickly search through hundreds of designs which shaved hours off our design times.

Sales quotes could now be based on previous designs, giving our sales team instant access to previous job numbers and BOMs of components. We have dedicated commissioning personnel who travel the globe, and by giving them access to our Vault via the web client, coupled with a user-friendly search function, they could access all the relevant drawings very easily.

The bespoke lifecycle we created within Vault ensures they only have access to the latest information. Fast forward 8 years and it is difficult to imagine our daily engineering life without Inventor and Vault.

We have 6 people who use these products on a daily basis, and another 10/15 people who access our Vault on a regular basis to gain information quickly and easily. The subsequent use of change orders was another large step forward in our productivity, removing a separate external database, and more recently the enforced working from home due to COVID has meant that we are relying on collaboration products such as Fusion more and more, which will probably stay with us, even when we find ourselves back in the office.

We now have instant access to 8 years’ worth of design data, which is crucial for getting out quick, accurate quotes, for helping new starters to understand our designs and shared components, and also to our continuing commitment to our customers, of creating bespoke designs to challenging specifications all across the globe.


For more examples of how we have helped our customers click here

Where will your Quadra Autodesk Training Passport take you?

At Quadra, we understand that it can be difficult in the fast-paced world of business to make time for personal development. And in this strange year, it can feel like we are ‘literally’ not going anywhere. That is why we have introduced the Quadra Training Passport to give you, more freedom and flexibility in how you gain access to Autodesk training courses.

The Quadra Autodesk Training Passport gives you

  • Access to any of our scheduled training courses throughout the year (we run over 125 courses throughout the year);
  • Opportunity to build your own unique development plan, selecting the courses that would be most useful to you;
  • The foundations of a great training package for a new starter or continuous professional development plan;
  • Cost-effective solution to company training requirements and personal development plans.

Reasons to sign up for a Quadra Training Passport

  • Unbridled Access to all Scheduled Autodesk Training Courses for a period of 12 months;
  • Minimal burden on purchasing teams;
  • Unprecedented flexibility in attending training courses allowing you to make the scheduled calendar work for you;
  • Provides the freedom to customers to construct a unique development plan for all employees in possession of a training passport.

Interested in training with us?

Contact us now about our Training Passport Please Note: If a delegate or member of staff becomes unwell with a new continuous cough or high temperature, they must go home immediately and follow the stay at home guidelines (the NHS recommended safe temperature is 37.8 degrees, any higher is classed as a fever and could potentially be Covid-19 Coronavirus).

Connected PCB Design – Quadra’s PCB Designers now using Altium 365

Altium 365 makes PCB design collaboration easier!

Altium’s newest cloud-based platform, Altium 365, creates a connected experience throughout the PCB development and manufacturing process, making it easy to share PCB designs and collaborate in real-time with anyone, anywhere.

Have a look below at how easy it is to move between the schematic, PCB, 3D and BOM


By sharing a link to your design, real-time collaboration can occur. With Altium 365, you can bring together all the relevant decision-makers, while keeping your IP secure and your design under control.

Altium 365 leverages CAD-specific intelligence to store your data in a way that makes your projects, files and version history accessible and easy to navigate.

What do our designers say?

Altium Designer, Gary Mulqueen, says,

“Altium 365 enables us as a Design Bureau to easily collaborate with customers at any point during the design of their PCB, revision control can also be used to track and monitor updates and changes streamlining the design process for both us and the customer. The cloud-based system also allows access for any stakeholder using an internet browser, bringing together all stakeholders involved in the design.”

We’ve been delivering Altium PCB design for some time now and our capacity to deliver high-quality and complex Altium PCB designs is continuing to grow. We are now regularly helping both train and support businesses using Altium for their design projects.

Our Altium design team not only has over 8 years experience of Altium PCB CAD package experience, they also have mechanical design experience including the use of Autodesk Inventor. Understanding the mechanical constraints as well as the electronic is critical to a successful PCB design.

As one of the largest PCB design bureaus in the UK, with IPC CID+ accredited designers, we are able to ensure the highest standards of design are delivered. A major advantage of working with Quadra is that we can help you achieve those tight deadlines and save money.

 Data Preparation
 Library Creation
 Circuit Diagrams
 PCB Layout
 Post Layout Services
 Reverse Engineering
 Design Integrity
 PCB Procurement, Component Sourcing & PCB Assembly

For more information about our Altium PCB design Service, contact us.

New eCADSTAR Bytesize PCB Design Tutorials

PCB Design Tutorial

PCB Design Tutorial

So Samacsys have sourced this footprint for us and they aligned it. The alignment process is really easy. If there isn’t a 3d model, usually the manufacturer doesn’t have one, occasionally Samacsys might overlook one, always worth checking the manufacturer, if they don’t have a 3D model, then a good resource is 3dcontentcentral.com. There’s a lot of content on there. You have to do your due diligence but it’s a good resource. Part acceptance, this is useful.

If you are using the ECIP ( Electronic Component Information Partner) downloading parts from the internet, it might be a good idea to say unapproved and then add a reason. Then at various stages of your design, that will pop up on screen. Any devices that are unapproved for example if you are pushing your schematic out to a PCB or generating Gerbers, a little pop up on screen will say these parts are still unapproved. Do you wish to continue? yes or no? It’s not restrictive you can carry on. It’s just making you aware that some devices are unapproved.

For more information about eCADSTAR click here

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