Author Topic: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?  (Read 6278 times)

Mon

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DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« on: January 05, 2012, 04:24:42 AM »
Hi All,

Nice community here :)

I have been using CAD intermittently since 1991, starting with DOS EasyCAD and FastCAD to make land survey drawings, then TurboCAD in the mid 90s for a couple of years before switching to Autosketch 8 in the late 90s, mainly for architectural drawings. I have used Sketchup more recently to get a idea of how to produce 3D drawings.

My father has been using TurboCAD for about 10 years (currently using an out of date v 9.2) and has had some problems with it. He uses it to draw fairly simple engineering diagrams. He has decided to upgrade or try an alternative, but is worried at nearly 80 it takes him a long time to pick stuff up and the curve for TurboCAD was steep enough. He lives in a remote part of Africa and has only recently got a decent internet connection, so was basically on his own trying to learn.

I want to take his 2D drawings and turn them into 3D, and also to be able to help him with whatever program he chooses for his 2D work. So we are looking for a cheap package we can both buy, and it seems it is a choice between TurboCAD Deluxe 17 and DesignCAD 3d Max. All his files are in TCW format so would need converting to dwg (maybe as a batch?).

Assuming I can help him pick up DesignCAD, can anyone tell me what the major differences are regarding 3D work between TC Deluxe and DC? When I look on the TurboCAD forum, everyone seems to favour the Pro or Platinum versions, which are far too expensive. I don't want photorealistic images as they will be used for construction manuals and likely to be shaded only. Any particular reasons we should pick DesignCAD?

One other question, I want to be able to create a 3D model then show it as an exploded isometric to show how the pieces fit together. Is it a matter of copying the drawing and manually separating the parts, or is there a built-in way to achieve this?

Thanks for reading. 


MarkX

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 08:59:19 AM »
Nice community here :)
Yes, it really is!

I've been learning both TC and DC for awhile. Having just come back from vacation trying to educate my own octogenarian (pushing nonogenarian) family member in basic computer tech , I'd have to say that you should probably stick with TC. By now he's probably committed SEKE's to muscle memory, and anything else will be frustrating.

DC's way of doing things are not quite as intuitive and there are fewer hand-holding prompts. After months, I still find myself confused about how to use the various "relative" options.

Movement through 3D space is better in TC. You can move around much like you can in Sketchup. In order to move freely in DC, you need to set the XZ plane into the screen matching your horizon and the Y axis straight up. Basically, DC allows axis movement around the X and Y axis, but omits the Z axis. No telling why they did this, but the workaround is to set the work-plane accordingly. After that it works pretty well. The way you set a graphic as camera center is more intuitive in DC IMHO.

Quote

I have used Sketchup more recently to get a idea of how to produce 3D drawings.
Sketchup depends heavily on the really powerful Push/Pull technology. In fact, it was built around it. TC and DC both offer extrusion, but its nothing like Push/Pull. You have to get TC PRO v18 to get Push/Pull. Where Sketchup will let you down is when you want to make engineering style presentations. Or 2D presentations where you want to have more than one line type. You'll need Sketchup Pro to get those kind of features.


Quote
Assuming I can help him pick up DesignCAD, can anyone tell me what the major differences are regarding 3D work between TC Deluxe and DC? When I look on the

I made a comparison in another forum. I can send you the text if you're interested.

Quote
TurboCAD forum, everyone seems to favour the Pro or Platinum versions, which are far too expensive.
Yes, I find that attitude annoying too. Its like saying if you don't drive a MACH truck you can't pick up groceries at the local store.


Quote
I don't want photorealistic images as they will be used for construction manuals and likely to be shaded only. Any particular reasons we should pick DesignCAD?
I've noticed that DC seems to have a much more international audience. Its possible that there are more African users of DC than other tech. You should ask around and find out what other people over in Africa use. Those are the people that might be able to help when you are far away.

There's not a lot of inexpensive literature available for either TC or DC. No "Dummies" book, for instance.

Quote
One other question, I want to be able to create a 3D model then show it as an exploded isometric to show how the pieces fit together. Is it a matter of copying the drawing and manually separating the parts, or is there a built-in way to achieve this?

In TC deluxe, the only way to do this is to move the parts out. In DC, someone has made a macro to do this, though I believe its not a 100% solution. Either way, its not a big deal.

HTH
Mark

Dr PR

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2012, 11:08:32 AM »
Mark is probably right about switching from a known (TurboCad) to an unknown (DesignCAD). The programs definitely have different user interfaces, so DesignCAD will have a learning curve.

I went the other way. I started using DesignCAD (ProDesign) in 1987 after switching from AutoCRUD. Later I tried to switch to TurboCAD and found the user interface extremely frustrating. Things I can do in DesignCAD in one operation could take several steps in TurboCAD. Unlike Mark, I find the way DesignCAD rotates things to be MUCH more intuitive and easier to use than the way TurboCAD works. The TurboCAD user interface is modeled after AutoCRUD, and the horrible user interface of AutoCRUD is the reason I switched to DesignCAD!

I think DesignCAD has far and away the best user interface design of all the CAD programs I have used - when you understand it you can do things much faster than in other programs. But, again, there is the learning curve to get to understand it. If you were starting from scratch I would recommend DesignCAD. Most of the people on the DesignCAD forum who have used multiple CAD programs agree that DesignCAD is the easiest to use. However, just knowing how things work in TurboCAD (or any other CAD program) will be a great handicap in trying to learn DesignCAD, or any other new CAD program.

The cheaper versions of TurboCAD are badly crippled - they are come-ons to get you to spend more money for the full versions. The reason TC Forum users recommend the more expensive versions is that the cheaper versions just can't do all of the things you need to do in 3D CAD. DesignCAD 3D MAX is a full featured CAD program for an incredibly low price - no additional add-ons or expensive upgrades. It will do some things that far more expensive CAD programs can't do. Is it perfect? Of course not!

If you want to know what you can do in DesignCAD, just check out this site:

http://www.okieboat.com/CAD%20model.html

All of the 3D CAD models and 2D illustrations on this web site were done in DesignCAD.

Phil
DesignCAD user since 1987

MarkX

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2012, 02:06:38 PM »
I went the other way. I started using DesignCAD (ProDesign) in 1987 after switching from AutoCRUD. Later I tried to switch to TurboCAD and found the user interface extremely frustrating. Things I can do in DesignCAD in one operation could take several steps in TurboCAD. Unlike Mark, I find the way DesignCAD rotates things to be MUCH more intuitive and easier to use than the way TurboCAD works. The TurboCAD user interface is modeled after AutoCRUD, and the horrible user interface of AutoCRUD is the reason I switched to DesignCAD!
Hi Dr Pr,

What version of TC did you try? To be fair, you would need to spend at least 2 weeks in a good tutorial to be able to compare. With 20 years experience in DC you are probably working around difficulties in DC without even knowing that you're doing it. Certain operations -- especially involving the use of the "Relative" option, are just not intuitive.

My comparison is based on working my way through about 200 pages of a detailed tutorial -- in both systems. When you've done that many pages, you have a good feel for how either system works.

What operation can you do in DC that requires several in TC?  I find that they can do about the same things, just using a slightly different set of keystrokes. Certain things, like moving an entire complex object by changing just the X,Y or Z value can't be done in DC at all without a macro. 

I never said there was anything wrong with Rotation in DC. I said that the way you move through 3D space is not as intuitive as that in TC. Ideally you would be able to just use your mouse to zoom around through the landscape, as if you were in a little plane. This is how it works in TC and in Sketchup. To make it work this way in DC your view has to match your workplane in just the right way (Y up, X to the right, and Z into the plane) . It doesn't match by default. This limitation appears to be due to the fact that they don't give you a way to rotate around the Z axis (There's X axis, Y axis, and SCREEN ROTATE).

TC Deluxe is fully functioning, but is limited mostly in terms of the high-end 3D tools. All the tools they give you are exactly like they would be in the pro version -- they just give you fewer tools. So for instance, you can't do 3D filleting in TCD. The PRO version has features like bending a pipe that I don't think you can do in DC either.

Mark



Dr PR

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2012, 11:38:37 PM »
Mark,

I don't remember what version of TC I was using - it was several years ago. I thought I would switch to TC because it had the ability to render shadows. However, I was never able to get lighting to work in a sensible way in TC, even after about a year of working with it regularly. Then shadows were incorporated into DesignCAD and TC was redundant.

It is funny, but the relative movement operations in DesignCAD make perfect sense to me - and they are extremely simple to use.

About moving the view - I use a macro that allows me to snap the view center to any visible object, and then the mouse allows me to rotate around that object. It is very simple to use. You are right about rotations being primarily around the Y axis, although you can rotate around the X and Z axes with the mouse. This appears to be unique to DesignCAD, and for a good reason. AutoCRUD was originally a 2D program that was used mainly for drawing floor plans in the XY plane. When 3D was added the original XY plane was made the default horizontal surface. This drove me nuts because all 2D profile views ended up on their side and had to be rotated into the XZ plane in 3D.

DesignCAD was created by a programmer who was originally a mechanical engineer. He knew that in 2D mathematical graphs the Y axis is vertical, and in 3D graphs the XZ plane is horizontal. That is the way DesignCAD is implemented - Y is the default vertical (you can change this if you want to). And in most cases when you view objects you want to rotate the view around the vertical. To me this makes far more sense than spinning them wildly around all three axes the way TC and AutoCRUD do.

Moving the work position couldn't be simpler. Literally! However, you must use the program the way it was designed, and not the way other programs were designed. That is a problem many users have when switching to DesignCAD. You need to forget everything you know about how more primitive programs work and learn how DesignCAD is intended to work.

There are two Selection Modes in DesignCAD - 2D and 3D. In 3D mode you must move the cursor in the X, Y and Z planes to position it close to objects. This is the way AutoCRUD and most other programs work, and your "flying around like in an airplane" cursor movement is necessary. It is an extremely primitive and labor intensive way to move around in a drawing, and you are right, DesignCAD doesn't do this very well.

From the earliest days DesignCAD was created to avoid all this time wasting "flying around" in the drawing. If you select 2D Selection Mode you just have to move the cursor near to any object and gravity snap and your work position has moved to that point - in all dimensions. It cannot get any simpler than that! You don't have to waste time "zooming around like you were in a little airplane." Of course TC and AutoCRUD do not have gravity snap so you have to fiddle with the cursor or waste time entering coordinates (if you know them). 2D selection mode and gravity snap are DesignCAD's greatest features, and the reason I prefer the program over all other CAD programs I have used.

For example, with DesignCAD if you want to move an object or a collection of objects you just set a reference handle then drag and snap the objects to any point on another object. You don't have to waste time entering X, Y and Z values. If you want to move the objects to a position not associated with any other object you just set the handle and use "Point Relative," "Point Polar" or "Point XYZ." Again, it is not possible for the operation to be simpler.

For what it is worth, in all the 26 years I have been using DesignCAD I have almost never paid attention to the XYZ positions of objects. It is totally unnecessary. That is one of the main reasons DesignCAD is simpler to use - everything is drawing relative and actual coordinates are irrelevant in most cases. The only times I have used drawing coordinates is when I was making maps from sets of geographic coordinates, or when I entered XYZ values from Tables of Offsets for ship's hulls. You can try to do everything with XYZ coordinates if you want to, but it is the wrong way to use DesignCAD.

One other time I pay attention to the actual coordinates is when I am exporting to a stereolith (STL) file where all coordinates must be positive. For this I just use the "Point/Origin" function to set the origin (0,0,0) so all of the drawing coordinates are positive - but I do this only after the drawing is complete. It is also a good idea to do this if you are exporting a drawing to some other CAD programs because they may have limitations on object positions (PC boards, for example, must have all positive coordinates). But in DesignCAD the actual position of the origin or the actual coordinates of points and objects can be totally irrelevant while creating the drawing.

Like I said, I used TC for quite a while and found it to be far more cumbersome and tiresome to use than DesignCAD. However, I have found that people who have experience in AutoCRUD (and TC?) find DesignCAD confusing precisely because the user interface is far more streamlined. They try to stumble along with all the unnecessary steps they are used to in other programs and DesignCAD just doesn't work that way.

You are correct about working around difficulties in DesignCAD - it isn't perfect. However, I am a beta tester for DesignCAD, and I am very aware of the "difficulties." It has far fewer "difficulties" than many of the other CAD programs I have used. I once worked with the ORCRUD circuit design program. I found and documented 122 repeatable ways to crash the program in just one week - all while following their tutorials! 25 of the crashes caused the "Blue Screen of Death." It cost many times as much as DesignCAD and barely worked at all.

All in all there are very few real "difficulties" in DesignCAD and the price is impossible to beat.

Phil
DesignCAD user since 1987

Mon

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 02:25:13 AM »
Thanks Mark and Phil, very useful comments

I think we will try DesignCAD for a couple of weeks and see how we get on with it. We can always set up the shortcut keys to do what he has already learned.

Pete

Dean

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 06:26:42 AM »
"DesignCAD was created by a programmer who was originally a mechanical engineer"

Ah! that explains the intuitive design workflow in Design cad. I use autocrud ,turbocad platinum and sketch up. For some reason I keep using design cad 3d max as my "go to" tool. go figure. In my opinion I would download the trail versions so you get a "hands on" feel for the programs then you can decide which program best fits your needs. Aside from that for what you pay for design cad it is worth having even if you feel it doesn't do it all.
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MarkX

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2012, 09:13:12 AM »
From the earliest days DesignCAD was created to avoid all this time wasting "flying around" in the drawing. If you select 2D Selection Mode you just have to move the cursor near to any object and gravity snap and your work position has moved to that point - in all dimensions. It cannot get any simpler than that! You don't have to waste time "zooming around like you were in a little airplane." Of course TC and AutoCRUD do not have gravity snap so you have to fiddle with the cursor or waste time entering coordinates (if you know them). 2D selection mode and gravity snap are DesignCAD's greatest features, and the reason I prefer the program over all other CAD programs I have used.
It sounds like you used a very old version of TC.

I don't know what AC has, but DC has SEKE's. They are like gravity
snap, only let you specify what kind of point you are going to snap
to. This is important when two points are close to each other. If someone doesn't take time to learn SEKE's
they might get frustrated in TC.

The problem with gravity snap is that it doesn't always snap to the
right thing. And sometimes it doesn't seem to want to snap at all. Or
two points are too close. Or two points are right down the same axis.
Then you need to zoom in, and rotate the
view a little, to get a clear separation. This is true in every
program I've tried. In 3D, you often need to move around objects to
get a clear shot at what you need. Or you need to look at the back
side of an object. Moving around in 3D space quickly
is still important with or without gravity snap.

Having to shift the workplane in order to make movement natural isn't
too much of a hardship  -- but its not documented.

As I've said, I've spent hours in modern versions of both programs,
and I've researched *how* both programs are supposed to work.


Mark




Pearco

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2012, 11:17:36 AM »
Mon;

Look at this site  www.jqoc.com/DesignCad-Tutorial/. It has a lot of Dcad tutorials written a few years ago, but they still apply.


Lower part of page has a Design Cad link that takes you to them.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 11:21:42 AM by Pearco »
Jim
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John R

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2012, 12:58:45 PM »
Hi All,

Nice community here :)

I have been using CAD intermittently since 1991, starting with DOS EasyCAD and FastCAD to make land survey drawings, then TurboCAD in the mid 90s for a couple of years before switching to Autosketch 8 in the late 90s, mainly for architectural drawings. I have used Sketchup more recently to get a idea of how to produce 3D drawings.

My father has been using TurboCAD for about 10 years (currently using an out of date v 9.2) and has had some problems with it. He uses it to draw fairly simple engineering diagrams. He has decided to upgrade or try an alternative, but is worried at nearly 80 it takes him a long time to pick stuff up and the curve for TurboCAD was steep enough. He lives in a remote part of Africa and has only recently got a decent internet connection, so was basically on his own trying to learn.

I want to take his 2D drawings and turn them into 3D, and also to be able to help him with whatever program he chooses for his 2D work. So we are looking for a cheap package we can both buy, and it seems it is a choice between TurboCAD Deluxe 17 and DesignCAD 3d Max. All his files are in TCW format so would need converting to dwg (maybe as a batch?).

Assuming I can help him pick up DesignCAD, can anyone tell me what the major differences are regarding 3D work between TC Deluxe and DC? When I look on the TurboCAD forum, everyone seems to favour the Pro or Platinum versions, which are far too expensive. I don't want photorealistic images as they will be used for construction manuals and likely to be shaded only. Any particular reasons we should pick DesignCAD?

One other question, I want to be able to create a 3D model then show it as an exploded isometric to show how the pieces fit together. Is it a matter of copying the drawing and manually separating the parts, or is there a built-in way to achieve this?

Thanks for reading. 

You mention Deluxe 18 in the subject title. If you do try the V18 Deluxe trial, be aware that they made drastic changes to the Workspace and most of the tools have been tossed all over the place. Your father will most likely spend a lifetime trying to make sense out of this new setup. You can go to "Tools / Customize—›Options" page and select the "1024x768_del_pre18" Workspace and click on the "Load From" button. This will give you a workspace that is very similar to what he had in V9.
John R.

Dr PR

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2012, 01:44:59 PM »
Mark,

You are certainly right about the difficulties of trying to select one of several closely spaced points. Zooming in and out can be tedious. In many cases I just turn off all the layers but the one with the item I want to select. No matter what you do, it will be more work to snap to a point in a crowd than it is to snap to an isolated point.

AutoCRUD had something like the "SEKEs" you describe the last time I used it about 25 years ago. But you had to open a menu and tell it you wanted to draw a line. Then you had to open another menu and say what kind of object (circle, square , line, etc.) you wanted to draw from, then a menu to select the point type (endpoint, midpoint, etc.) you wanted to start the line at, then another menu to tell what kind of object you wanted to draw to, and a menu to tell what kind of point you wanted to end the line. You had to close each menu after it was opened. After you had set up the operation you had to tell it to execute ... It went on and on - a dozen or two mouse movements and keyboard clicks to draw one simple line segment! The boneheads who wrote the program just mimicked all the individual steps you had to do to draw on paper. It was horrible! You simply could not design a worse user interface if you tried.

Then ProDesign came along. Press V to start drawing a line, gravity snap, gravity snap. And you are done. It cannot be simpler! After seeing just that one feature we dumped all of our $1000 a copy AutoCRUD junk in the trash and switched to the $300 ProDesign. We haven't looked back. ProDesign/DesignCAD's greatest asset is that it was created by someone who had experience in mechanical design and who had the intelligence to stop and think of the fastest and easiest way possible to get the job done on a computer. Better still, he implemented at least four ways to execute each command (for whatever work style preferences you have) and macros! And all this in 1986 or 1987! He was decades ahead of his competitors.

Personally, I find zooming in and out - using the three small view windows if necessary - to locate the exact point I want to select to be MUCH prefereable and MUCH MUCH faster than a bunch of "select this or that" commands. Zooming is so easy and fast. But that is a personal preference.

I rate software by the amount of effort I have to expend to accomplish a task. Of all the programs I have used DesignCAD is far and away the most efficient. Again, a personal opinion.

Phil
DesignCAD user since 1987

Lar

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2012, 02:06:59 AM »
The problem with gravity snap is that it doesn't always snap to the
right thing. And sometimes it doesn't seem to want to snap at all. Or
two points are too close. Or two points are right down the same axis.
Then you need to zoom in, and rotate the
view a little, to get a clear separation.

...

Having to shift the workplane in order to make movement natural isn't
too much of a hardship  -- but its not documented.

Mark, I share your pain about sometimes snapping to the wrong point but I'm completely lost as to why you have to change the workplane to orbit around a point. What to do is use 'set viewer point' from the View toolbox (the camera with a red x). This command normally takes 2 points but the first one sets the viewer focus so snap to the point you want to orbit around then press enter (which you can do by pressing the middle mouse button/wheel while in a command). Then press the Y key (or the black 4-arrow camera in the View toolbox) and start orbiting. Once you distinguish your point to snap to press the middle mouse button to end the orbit. All of this can be done while in another command, such as when drawing a line. If you need to get back to your previous view after snapping to the correct point just 'zoom redo' and continue drawing your line. If for some reason you want to abort orbiting just press 'esc' and the view will jump back to how it was before starting the orbit.

Lar
ps: I don't think using 'set viewer points' in this way is documented anywhere except on this forum (which is how I learned about it, many years ago) and there is no individual command for it, so as to avoid having to press enter after setting the first point).

MarkX

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2012, 10:04:07 AM »

Mark, I share your pain about sometimes snapping to the wrong point but I'm completely lost as to why you have to change the workplane to orbit around a point. What to do is use 'set viewer point' from the View toolbox (the camera with a red x). ...
Hi Lar,

I know about setting viewer points, though setting the 2nd point is usually unnecessary.

Make a standard 2D drawing. Switch to 3D. Set a camera pointing to the middle of your drawing.  Use Y to move about. Try to walk around the drawing around so that you can view what was in front from behind. It will be virtually impossible. You can tilt the drawing (up/down) and you can turn the drawing upside down, but what you can't do is simple walk around front to back. Along the way, the entire landscape will tilt in some uncontrollable orientation.  The actions available correspond to the two camera movements: X axis, Y axis. NO Z axis.

To make movement natural, the way most people would want to navigate around a landscape you will need to either (1) Physically rotate the entire drawing into the XZ plane or (2) create a new workplane with the axises rotated 90 degrees so that XZ lies along the horizon of your drawing.

Its not a big thing, but other programs work that way out of the box. I spent weeks figuring it out -- it wasn't documented. Movement out of the box is more natural in TC and SU.

The "Getting Started" guide should have this information prominently displayed right from the start of the 3D section. Most people working in 3D are going to want movement just like you would have if you were walking around a landscape.

Thanks!
Mark

P.S. Still using that great macro you wrote -- don't know how others work without it.






Rob S

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2012, 10:47:43 AM »
Try the following link for the Designcad tutorials mentioned above, it takes you there directly

Ths should deserve a separate topic - seems to be some good useful stuff there that I had not seen before

http://www.jqoc.com/soft/DesignCAD-Tutorial/
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Dr PR

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Re: DesignCAD 3D Max 21 or TurboCAD Deluxe 18?
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2012, 12:35:44 PM »
Mark,

You are conditionally wrong about not being able to rotate and look at the back side of a drawing. I have been doing this for decades BECAUSE I work with the Y axis vertical (the default).

With the Y axis vertical and the XZ plane horizontal the "Y" function works like this:

1. Move the cursor left-right and the view rotates around the Y axis as you would expect. Continue moving the cursor the same direction and the view will rotate 360 degrees.

Note: It doesn't matter where the cursor is on the screen, the view rotates around the vertical axis. Cursor position relative to the drawing/object center is irrelevant. Only cursor movement relative to the screen is important. This is true of all rotations.

2. Move the cursor up-down and the view rotates around the X axis, as you expect. Continue moving the cursor the same direction and the view will rotate 360 degrees.

3. Move the cursor toward the upper right of the screen and the view rotates around both X and Y axes, as you would expect - although because you are rotating around two axes at once the view will appear to tumble. But if you continue moving the cursor the same you will rotate back to the original view.

4. Rotate the view 90 degrees around the Y axis (cursor left right). Now move the cursor up-down and the view rotates around the Z axis. Continue moving the cursor the same direction and the view will rotate 360 degrees.

****

The problem I have with AutoCRUD and other programs like it is that it is almost impossible to rotate the view around a single axis. To rotate only about the vertical axis you must carefully position the cursor so it is exactly to the side of the view/object. If the cursor is even a slight bit above or below the plane of the center of the view/object, the view will rotate about multiple axes.

In these programs when I simply want to rotate 180 degrees around the vertical axis the view tumbles wildly around all three axes, and I end up looking at the obejct upside down and backwards. Having learned DesignCAD's much simpler and more intuitive rotation method these other programs just drive me nuts. I found them impossible to use until I discovered the necessity to very carefully position the cursor before I started rotation - something you don't have to bother with in DesignCAD. Again, DesignCAD's method is far more advanced that the primitive hard to control tumble viewing that every other program uses - in my opinion. Like almost everything else in DesignCAD the original programmer was far ahead of his competition.

****

Having said this, you may have a good point about rotations if you screw with the default settings. I am not familiar with program behavior with horizintal planes other than XY. I could try it, but why?

****

I have always been amused with people who fuss with absolute coordinates and particular coordinate axis orientations. It doesn't take much thought to realize that these are totally irrelevant to drawing in 3D. It doesn't matter which axis is "up" - in 3D space there is no up. Likewise, what does it matter what the absolute coordinates are when you are drawing. If you draw a house plan do you start by setting the origin at latitude 000.00.00 and longitude 000.00.00?

Likewise, it doesn't matter what units you work in. A real world object is the same length no matter what measuring system you use. In DesignCAD you can reassign the drawing distances any time you wish, and the drawing procedure will be no different.

All that is important is that you can reassign the axis orientations and units of measurement when you want to transfer the drawing to another program that requires you to fuss with such trivial details.

Phil
DesignCAD user since 1987