DesignCAD User Forum

General DesignCAD Topics => General Discussion => Topic started by: Dr PR on February 28, 2018, 12:01:45 AM

Title: Large file
Post by: Dr PR on February 28, 2018, 12:01:45 AM
I am almost finished with my CAD model of the USS Oklahoma City CLG-5. I started back in April of 2004 - nearly14 years ago!!

I have a few details to add and some features to modify a bit. The model is currently in four major files. Here are some details:

File                                 Size (megabytes)    Entities          Points
Hull                                     135.7                 423,365       3,868,297
Forward Superstructure     312.1                 847,780       6,464,369
Midships superstructure     235.0                 583,615       4,561,908
Aft superstructure              286.8                 862,393       6,433,165
Total                                  969.6            2,717,153    21,322,739

Any bets whether DesignCAD can work with numbers that large? The largest file I have worked with was about 725 megabytes. When I tried to add more by copying from smaller files and pasting into the new file some parts were lost. All it takes is a variable left over from 32 bit days that can't store numbers this large and it fails.

Wish me luck!

Title: Re: Large file
Post by: adriank on February 28, 2018, 01:11:12 AM
Good luck Phil. You certainly know how to push boundaries...

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Dempsey on February 28, 2018, 03:42:38 PM

Use the 26.2 64-bit DesignCAD version to have any chance on success.

I also hope that each of the four major files uses different layers so that you can selectively enable/disable them.

Check any limitations (

What happens to duplicate group and/or solid IDs? Do they just merge?
Title: Re: Large file
Post by: adriank on February 28, 2018, 04:50:38 PM
On the subject of layers, DCad now has 2000 to choose from, I'd be very interested to know how many layers you will have needed to create your combined 969Mb file - officially be the largest DCad file in the world.

When do you think we'll get to see a rendering?
Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Dr PR on February 28, 2018, 10:14:58 PM
I have used different layer schemes in each of the four files. The one I am working on now with the upper hull and main deck is 50 layers.

Actually, there are dozens of individual files, one for each of the many complex components, and each file can contain many layers. For some larger components, like the hull, I have created several different drawings using the same layer structure to allow me to work on  parts of the whole in smaller files. For example, I have a lower hull drawing (below the waterline), upper hull (hull sides above the waterline, and main deck. When all are finished they are combined into a single hull drawing.

When I paste each component into a larger file I put it all on one layer. In effect, each layer is a "component." Likewise, when I build the composite file for the whole ship there will be only five layers - reference, hull, forward superstructure, midships superstructure and aft superstructure.

The reference layer has a drawing base line and frame scale for the ship. It is in every major drawing and everything is created relative to this base line. To combine different drawings I copy and paste relative to a point on this base line.

If I have to make changes to any part I start at the original file, then copy the changed part to the next higher file, etc. I do this because it is very difficult and slow to work in a file larger than a hundred megabytes. The first render (OpenGL Gouraud) of a 200 megabyte file takes 20-30 minutes. View rotations are very slow - several seconds per frame if all layers are enabled (I normally disable almost everything to make a view rotation and then enable the layers I want to see).

I am using 26.2x64.

When will we see a rendering? IF I can combine everything into one file I expect it to take several hours for the first simple Gouraud rendering. Then a Phong with shadows should take maybe 10 minutes for each view. Image file saves will also take about 10-15 minutes each.

Copying and pasting several 200-300 Mbyte files is an all day process, and can be very frustrating. I probably won't try to make a composite file of the entire ship for several weeks.

Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Shaheryar Rafiq on February 28, 2018, 11:10:58 PM

This is exciting. Looking forward to the outcome of this activity. After you're done, will you please share the final drawing with us?. We would love to play with it considering it as a benchmark for Equivalence partitioning for DesignCAD .
Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Dr PR on March 01, 2018, 12:48:24 PM

Actually, I am not optimistic about ever having a single 960 Mbyte composite drawing of the whole ship. In the past I have never been able to create a drawing greater than about 725 Mbytes. Beyond that when I paste new material into the drawing some parts are lost.

I will try again and report the outcome. If I succeed I can send the file on a DVD.

You don't need my ship file to create extremely large drawings for testing. I have create some pretty large test files using the Array function. I created an object with lines,planes, solids, etc., and then made the largest possible 3D array. Then I Duplicated (N) the array over and over until I had the file size I wanted. I think the largest file I created this way was about 100 Mbytes. I used it to test redraw times with different versions of DesignCAD and on different machines. But it wouldn't be hard to continue Duplicating until you had a gigabyte files - assuming DesignCAD will actually work with a file that large.

Warning: When you go over 100 Mbytes be prepared to spend a lot of time waiting for the program to finish each operation. I am working on a 250 Mbyte file right now and the first OpenGL Gouraud shading takes about 35 minutes on a 3.2 GHz six core i7 with 32 Gbytes of the fastest memory I could buy (1.6 GHz memory bus) and a Quatro 2000 video card.

Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Dempsey on March 01, 2018, 08:49:46 PM

Have you ever tried you 250 MBytes file to render under RedSDK? I figure that it requires twice as much memory, but once rendered it would be a delight to rotate the view.
Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Dr PR on March 02, 2018, 05:58:05 AM

I have used RedSDK and the large files rotate MUCH MUCH MUCH faster!!

However, I use OpenGL Gouraud frequently to verify that things are drawn correctly and until recently RedSDK did not have a shaded mode. In large drawings I can't tell front from back in Wireframe so I need a shaded mode.

It has been too much bother to switch between RedSDK for fast Wireframe views and OpenGL for Gouraud shading - you had to restart the program. When it takes 30 minutes after restarting the program to generate the first shaded view - well, you get the idea.

Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Lar on March 02, 2018, 08:45:41 AM

... and until recently RedSDK did not have a shaded mode.
My RedSDK always had a shaded mode.

Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Rob S on March 02, 2018, 08:54:02 AM
Maybe meaning smooth shaded RED mode?

We had it temporarily, but AFAIK it departed again in the final versions.

There is a lot you cannot see properly with the current quick-shade interpretation.

I find myself running red mode to avoid the slow redraws of rubber band lines, and shading in OPENGL Gouraud at the same time.
Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Dr PR on March 02, 2018, 02:10:13 PM

I should have said smooth shading in RedSDK. I have never used quick shading, even before RedSDK, because you can't see what things actually look like.

I think the latest version has the ability to do OpenGL or GDI Gouraud shading when RedSDK is enabled, but I haven't had time to play with it yet. It really isn't useful to me if the smooth shaded view cannot be rotated.

For Wireframe views RedSDK is MUCH faster than GDI mode. Let's hope we get some kind of RedSDK smooth shading soon. Then I can start working with RedSDK enabled and see what bugs I can flush out!

Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Lar on March 02, 2018, 07:11:35 PM

For me this latest red is useless, like swimming in dried concrete. I can't do anything, much less orbit in wireframe mode. It takes like 15 seconds between me initiating a command and it showing up on the screen. Previously I could at least work for an hour or two before red up and croaked.

Good thing is I can actually get work done in regular openGL shaded modes. And with mixed mode shading I don't have to export to cinema 4d as much. I can do colored prints and easy presentations straight from dcad.

Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Dr PR on October 02, 2018, 09:28:15 PM
For practical purposes the model is

Well, I still need to add the SH-2 Seasprite helicopter. And the images below were made by pasting together four separate images of the hull and the forward, midships and aft superstructures in Photoshop.

The four files total 1.071 gigabytes. There are a few duplicated elements in the superstructure files, but after these are removed and the four files combined into one whole ship file it will still be about a gigabyte. Assuming DesignCAD can actually work with a gigabyte file! That is still to be determined.

There are 2,860,185 entities in the files, and 22,058,295 points. I have been working on it for fourteen years! Now what do I do?

Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Rob S on October 03, 2018, 07:24:48 AM
Wow, congratulations!!

I think you should just get aboard and sail off into the sunset.  ;D

(maybe take the computer and DCAD with you in case you get bored)
Title: Re: Large file
Post by: kchoekstra on October 03, 2018, 07:36:46 AM
Spectacular. Nice job. Our first Compaq, 20meg ahrd drive, 1986 D-Cad 5-1/4" floppies. The file sizes are amazing. Congratulations.

Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Pearco on October 03, 2018, 09:05:41 AM

Very very very nice.
My hat is off to you.
Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Dempsey on October 07, 2018, 09:59:42 AM

Congratulations. She is a beauty!

On average 560 entities or 4,317 points per day !!!

Yes, you deserve a day off  ;D
Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Dr PR on October 07, 2018, 11:15:10 AM

I hadn't thought if it that way! 560 entities per day, for 14 years!

I'm not certain what a DesignCAD entity is. Individual lines, curves, etc. do seem to be entities. But are solids single entities or collections of entities? What about grids?

In any case, it is somewhat mind boggling to think of averaging 560 of anything per day, especially since most of the days in those 14 years I wasn't working on the model. There were periods of several months at a time when I did no actual work on the model, but when I was occupied with other things, such as working in my business, managing several web pages, researching the model or just hiking/back packing around Oregon.

On those days I was working on the model I must have been churning out several thousand entities per day!


Being curious about entities and points, I started with a blank drawing with no entities or points, and deleted everything except the specific object I was working on (all template lines were deleted after creating the grids). Here is what I discovered:

a line - 1 entity and 4 points.
a curve - 1 entity and 5 points
a plane - 1 entity and 7 points
a grid - 3 entities and 8 points (a grid stretched over two straight lines with one plane per line and no intermediate breaks)
a grid - 6 entities and 45 points (a grid stretched over three curves, with six planes per line and one intermediate break)
a cube - 5 entities and 28 points
a cylinder - 20 entities and 106 points (12 facets)


Well there are a lot of cylinders and grids in the model, so I guess it is easy to see how I racked up lots of entities and points.

Title: Re: Large file
Post by: Lar on October 07, 2018, 01:24:38 PM
Beautiful work, Phil. Amazing.