Author Topic: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.  (Read 211 times)

Michaeld04

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I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« on: March 20, 2018, 11:13:19 AM »
Possibly Useless Background: I've used AutoCad for over thirty years, at work AND at home. The legal problem is that "My" drawings are not mine in a court of law. Try proving it even if I spend over $4000.00 for my own license. DesignCad 3D max(v27) 2018 to the rescue! DC lets me import, edit, export, print, so far, everything!
 Except for the Mouse use, I haven't had any of the problems that I've read any posts about.
I just can't wrap my head around a simple command like: LINE (V), point, point, point, ; length, angle, ; length, angle, Enter, Enter.

What I'm not getting is:  How do I;     V, "x-coordinate", "y-coordinate", "z-coordinate", TO: "x-coordinate", "y-coordinate", "z-coordinate", and on farther.
 When I press the second "Enter" there is nothing on the screen.  I don't have any trouble with "somewhere" on the screen to "somewhere else" on the screen, or "length, angle" to "length, angle" selecting "OK" ending by "Enter".
When I do the   "V" then move to the co-ordinate bar, input my Dims, and so on. So I think, I'm not doing something either going to the co-ordinate bar, or coming from it.  I am sure I'm making it more complex than it needs to be. I've always had trouble with that.  I just don't see it in the manual or the videos.

Bob P

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Re: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 01:39:08 PM »
There are separate hotkeys for PointPolar, PointRelative and PointXYZ. I've attached a table of shortcut keys that will make your life somewhat easier. Rename the extension to .xls. The forum doesn't allow attaching xls extension'd files.

Lar

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Re: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 03:05:40 PM »

Welcome to Dcad, Michaeld04. Here's what you do to draw a line:


1] press V to invoke the command (or Draw menu> Lines...> Line, or click button with the zig-zag line in the Main Toolbar, or press the spacebar and enter 'line' in the command line then press enter)...


2] Click somewhere on the screen to set the first point of the line, or use one of the Point commands mentioned in 3b. If you move the mouse away a green preview (aka 'rubberband') line will follow the mouse...


3] To set the 2nd point do one of the following:
  a] click somewhere else;
  b] from the Points menu chose either Point Relative (to set the next point a certain distance from the last point set), Point XYZ (to set the next points at an absolute coordinate) or Point Polar (to set the next point a certain distance away and at an angle from the last point set). These commands require tons of explaining so read the help on them.


4] Continue doing 3a or 3b until you have all the points you want for that line. At one time dcad lines were limited to 200 points, don't know if that's still the case (back then you could set more than 200 points but the result will be separate connecting lines of no more than 200 points each).


5] When done press enter to end the line command (you can also press the middle mouse button to end commands).


If you want the line broken into 2 point segments press the 'break' key (   |   , the one over 'backslash').


One nice thing about dcad: when you want to start a line a known distance from an existing point you don't have to draw a temporary line first. Just start the Point Relative command and in the dialog box enter the deltaX, and/or
deltaY and/or deltaZ values. Then click 'Reference Point' and click OK or press Enter. When the dialog box goes away put the cursor near the existing point and 'gravity snap' (right click or press the Period key)(if a menu opens when you right click uncheck the top item and right click near the existing point again). The 1st point of the line will be set the specified delta distances from where you snapped.

Lar

Dr PR

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Re: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 03:29:27 PM »
Michael,

The earlier posts cover your question pretty well.

With DesignCAD individual commands are pretty simple, like the Live (V) command - it just starts the line drawing process without defining any points. After that you have a bunch of different ways to set individual points. The same point setting methods are used in all functions where you set points.

For example, the Plane (P) function works the same way. First you start the command, and then you use the various point setting functions to define the points of the plane. You do the same thing for a box/cube, cylinder, circle, sphere, ...

While setting points during the execution of these commands you can also start other functions, like the point setting functions. Everything nests nicely and when you press Enter the initial drawing command is completed.

CAUTION: You cannot nest macros within drawing operations - they terminate any commands in progress. For example, if you are drawing a line and have set a few points and then execute a macro the line will be terminated using the existing points. So you cannot use a macro to set points for drawing commands UNLESS the macro starts the drawing command.

One shortcut I find useful is that you can terminate one drawing operation by starting another. For example if you are creating a line you can finish it by pressing "V" again to finish the current line and start working on another. Or you can press "C" to finish the line and start a curve.

DesignCAD's command structure is simpler and easier to use than any other CAD program I have used, but you may have to "unlearn" a few habits from other programs before DesignCAD will seem simple to use.

Welcome to DesignCAD!

Phil
DesignCAD user since 1987

Rob S

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Re: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2018, 07:45:54 AM »
Pardon me I couldn't resist - buried within the elaborate extensive expoundings above is indeed the answer to your question,  :)

Quote
What I'm not getting is:  How do I;     V, "x-coordinate", "y-coordinate", "z-coordinate", TO: "x-coordinate", "y-coordinate", "z-coordinate", and on farther.

To set points at specific co-ordinates, use the PointXYZ command shortcut colon  ":".   so V, :, enter coordinates say 1,1 in the box, enter, :, edit one of the co-ordinates for a horizontal or vertical line, say 1,4, enter.

It is possible to move the cursor by entering numbers in the co-ordinate bar, but this does not set any points, so you would have to click the mouse, which will most likely move the cursor a bit before the point is set.

ok so now forgive me while I briefly mention a couple of things an autocad user might not immediately pick up on.

Trim commands in designcad are much more flexible - they will trim or extend as required even to a line which does not cross the path of the line you are adjusting.

Also, read up on point select mode - very useful for all kinds of moving and stretching operations
User since Pro-design

Michaeld04

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Re: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 09:05:04 AM »

Bob P:   Thanks. Looks like you put a lot of hours making the Excel file. Now I won't have to search through a desk full of papers to find the "Point XYZ" key.
All I had to do was drop the ".txt" and change "_xls" to ".xls) and it loaded right into Excel. In case you need to save disk space, I saved it as "xlsb" and it cut the file size in half.

Dr. Pr:   I do find a lot of "things" more simple in DesignCad than AutoCad. Searching through the menus is about the same. (easy to get lost, till the whole thing is memorized). I miss being able to program mouse buttons as menus. I love being able to use the keyboard so freely.
"Unlearning" is the key.

Lar: Thanks, Picking a point somewhere in oblivion was what I had a problem with. Sometimes the center of my screen would be two hundred feet from where I wanted to draw a segmented construction line from x0,y0,z0 to x0,y-0.25,z-0.25... a half inch square so on & so on.  It would take forever to zoom to the little box.

Rob S: Thanks for not "resisting".  It was the colon that I was missing.  Yes, "Trim" and "Extend" is easier to use in DesignCad than AutoCad.  I like the way "Snap"(s) work too.

Thank you, to all of you, All of your help got my angular, elliptical, torus, thinking brain wrapped around a simple thing like: "V", ":", ":", and so on.

bdeck

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Re: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2018, 11:39:50 AM »
Hello Michaeld04,

On a somewhat unrelated note:

In nearly 25 years of using DC in 2D mode, I cannot remember ever using  Point XYZ (:) to set a point. (my memory is not that good.)

I start nearly every drawing with a freehand horizontal or vertical line of arbitrary length at an arbitrary location  (V, LMB, shiftLMB).

Then I use parallel by distance (F2, distance, LMB) to create another line.  That leaves me with all I need to start a drawing.

Gravity (RMB or .) and Point Relative (') are my two most used point-setting commands. I use parallel by distance (F2, distance, LMB) and parallel (=, LMB, RMB) heavily for construction.

Eventually I might use Menu/Point/Origin to move the entire drawing to the origin, but rarely.  If it were often necessary, I would have saved a macro to draw the initial line starting at the origin.  ( Note -- Menu/Point/Origin is in the wrong menu. Do not try to use it to set a point for a drawing command.)

bd

PS: When I first press the RMB in a new version, I always set RMB to the "gravity" option, but using (.) for gravity works just as well. The "Right Click Popup Menu" can be restored in Menu/Options/Options/General. 

« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 11:45:01 AM by bdeck »

Bob P

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Re: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2018, 01:23:23 PM »
Hello Michaeld04...
In nearly 25 years of using DC in 2D mode, I cannot remember ever using  Point XYZ (:) to set a point. (my memory is not that good.)
In my work, I sometimes must convert physical flat patterns to CAD files. What I do is tape the pattern down to the corner of a square table. Then I can just measure up for Y values and right for X values. It's much easier and more accurate than actually measuring distances on the surface of the pattern.

Dr PR

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Re: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2018, 09:16:04 PM »
Like bdeck I just start drawing and don't worry about where the origin is or the actual coordinates of the points. Everything is relative to what I have already drawn.

The only time I care about the actual drawing origin is when I am exporting drawings to some other program. Some programs do not allow negative coordinates - especially STL translators, schematic capture programs, etc. So after the drawing is finished I set the origin to a position relative to everything in the the finished drawing so all points will have positive coordinate values.

****

One thing I don't like about DesignCAD is the "View Center" concept. Somewhere in your drawing is an invisible point that the view "camera" always points to. As you have discovered, that View Point is never anywhere near what you actually want to look at or zoom to.

You are supposed to use the "Set View Point" command every time you want to look at a particular part of a drawing or zoom in. That idea is pure BS! It is the only really poorly executed feature in DesignCAD. Fortunately, there is a simple cure.

Use the "vc.d3m" macro (attached). I have assigned it to the "Y" key in place of the "Set View By View Center" function that is the default "Y" key function. The macro sets the View Center wherever you left click in the drawing and then executes "Set View By View Center." This way you point and click, and then zoom, rotate the view or whatever and you are always looking at the place in the drawing you want to see and not some place light years away. This is how "Set View" should have worked from the beginning.

As I said earlier, there is a catch. You can't use macros within other commands - the macro will terminate the command prematurely. So you need to set the View Center and rotation before you start drawing. Of course you can use the "Set View Center" and "Set View By View Center" functions while executing DesignCAD drawing commands.

vc.d3m is a good example of how you can customize the operation of DesignCAD to suit your particular preferences. One of the guys on the Forum created it years ago, and unfortunately the author's name slipped my memory. But I would like to thank him once again? Author?

Phil
DesignCAD user since 1987

bdeck

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Re: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2018, 11:14:14 PM »
Sometimes the center of my screen would be two hundred feet from where I wanted to draw a segmented construction line from x0,y0,z0 to x0,y-0.25,z-0.25... a half inch square so on & so on.  It would take forever to zoom to the little box.

"Fit to window" (Cntrl-W) and "Zoom Window" (Z) are two navigation tools that can solve that problem in two steps. Most serious users have remapped "Fit to Window" to the unshifted "W" key.  (Why DC still ships without this change totally escapes me.)

Using SelectAll (Cntrl-A)  may help you to locate entities too small to be seen otherwise after Fit To Window.

Lar

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Re: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2018, 10:31:54 AM »
As I said earlier, there is a catch. You can't use macros within other commands - the macro will terminate the command prematurely. So you need to set the View Center and rotation before you start drawing.
To clarify: if you need to change focus while performing a command just use the "Set Viewer Point" command (which other than a macro seems to be only accessible via the View Toolbox) and set only the 1st point where you want the focus, then press enter to end 'Set Viewer Point', then press Y to orbit... enter when done orbiting, then continue with the original command.

Author?
The style looks like BobP's or Prl's (short filename, starts macro with " 'Program: filename.)

But I think a few of us came up with the same idea around the same time, maybe because a forum member was lamenting the need for it. I know it wasn't long after finding out that "Set View" didn't need both points (setting only the 1st point and pressing enter would set the focus without you having to also set the viewer position) that I wrote the same macro (I remember it being Lee, or was it DT, who leaked that secret). I also remember a few members requesting a macro that would set the focus on the current selection and that might have started the ball rolling.

Since then I have written numerous macros that focus either on a point (or points) or a selection, some with "Y" added and some without. I even used the idea to pinpoint individual surfaces in a solid to flip the normal.


Lar
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 10:34:39 AM by Lar »

Michaeld04

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Re: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2018, 01:17:16 PM »
I hope I'm not getting to far off topic. I really appreciate all of the help and comments on this Forum.
Just to expand on the topic of using "Point xyz" in Drawings and how (sometimes) important it is.... Years ago....(ouch!)  When machine parts where made only on paper, and the side view was still "X" and "Y" and a machinist (like I was) would get a blue print and a piece of metal that cost $10,000.00+, I would spend a week making it just like the print.  If the print says: "Right Side view"  and it was really the "Left side view"  I couldn't help but smile when they would tell me: "You're just a machinist! What do you know!"  Everyone in the shop would look at me and smile when the Boss, the part, and the engineer, would go out to the dumpster and only the Boss would come back.  (The part into the dumpster, not the engineer.) The engineer? left, never to come back.
After a bunch of years I was finally invited to Engineering and The world of 3D CAD.  AutoCad was so cool!  With "3D" I was able to show "them" That the hole on this side went into a hole it wasn't suppose to.  So on and So on.  Thus, working from a constant xyz point of four or more decimal places gets carried through to computer machining.  I've always worked with "scale"ing sizes of parts to allow for temperature shrink or expansion so it was critical to work and scale from the exact "X-0", "Y-0", "Z-0".  I hope I'm not the only one that has had to explain to the boss why I had to use eight decimal places to scale a part because at four decimals the Boring Mill wouldn't accept that the error due to rounding made two radius' "not Tangent".
So, I can see why most people wouldn't have a need for using locations the way I do,  I don't all the time.  But, DesgnCad 3D Max, so far does everything that I did in AutoCad. and since I've retired, DesignCad is well worth the price.  I'm hoping that out-putting my drawings to a 3D printer works as well as going from Engineering to the Machine Shop.

Bob P

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Re: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2018, 01:31:10 PM »
In case it hasn't been mentioned yet... DesignCad's XYZ convention might be different from what you're used to. X and Y are right-left and up-down, but Z is positive into the screen. Sometimes 3D printers expect the reversed Z values, and or X and Y are on the horizontal plane and Z is up.

Michaeld04

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Re: "X", "Y", "Z" plus or minus
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2018, 11:24:54 AM »
Right OH!  Correct-o-Mundo.
That's simply a matter of changing the user coords' system from left hand to right hand.
Once the other Engineers got used to it, Doing that simple little thing, saved the Machine programmer hours.
All of our CNC machines, the tool was @ "Z" plus.
Really hard to get them to change, 'cause "That's how I (they) was showed in school".

Dr PR

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Re: I have trouble with simple. truly complex is where I'm at.
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2018, 09:13:35 PM »
DesignCAD (ProDesign) started as a 2D only drafting program, so there were only two dimensions - X was horizontal and Y was vertical, just like a 2D graph.

When 3D was added X was horizontal and Y vertical to maintain compatibility with existing drawings. I'm not sure why +Z looks into the screen, but I suspect it is because that is the way the math textbooks say to generate 3D graphs - for most mathematical graphing purposes data is graphed from 0 to + infinity on all three axes so the lower left corner is the 0,0,0 "origin."

I used to think the reason some programs had a vertical Z axis was because the programmers flunked math. But a vertical Z axis does make sense for architectural drawings where each floor is a separate 2D (X and Y) floor plan. Then to stack them vertically you use a vertical Z axis. The same is true of multi-layer circuit board drawings.

Phil
DesignCAD user since 1987