MacroMitt increases AutoCAD productivity
May 25th, 2022—
AutoCAD is conventional 2D CAD (drafting) software that still contains many “legacy” features that you won’t find in modern 3D CAD programs. One of those features is the command line, in which users can type short commands to perform various functions or launch tools. For example, typing “line” and pressing Enter will launch the line tool. It can be a pain to enter commands, which is why Wingletang created MacroMitt to increase their AutoCAD productivity.
MacroMitt is a simple macro keyboard dedicated to AutoCAD functions. Its buttons are arranged to be comfortable for the user’s left hand, leaving their right hand free to manipulate the mouse. It has six functions: OSNAP (toggles object snapping), ORTHO (toggles orthogonal mouse movement), PICKSTYLE (toggles group/individual object selection), CANCEL (escape key), RETURN (enter key), and volume control. Pressing one of the main buttons will automatically move to activate the command line, enter the appropriate command, and then exit the command line.
An Arduino Micro board controls the MacroMitt’s functions. Wingletang chose the Micro because its ATmega32U4 microcontroller can appear as a USB HID (like a standard keyboard) when plugged into a computer. Other components include Cherry MX-style mechanical key switches and key caps, a rotary encoder, and a stripboard for wiring.
MacroMitt’s enclosure is 3D-printable and MacroMitt published the 3MF files along with the necessary Arduino sketch in their Instructables tutorial. If you work with AutoCAD and want to speed up your workflow, MacroMitt is a configurable system that should help.