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Layout Bugs and Quirks


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#1 Duncan303

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 07:24 PM

Hi,

 

As a daily user of the layout mode in FormZ 8 I thought i'd list a few things I've noticed recently that might be issues just for new or potentially for all users.

 

• Multi Dimension Tool - some of these disappear when you create a pdf, I've given up on using it and just use single Dimension tool.

 

• Leader Lines - I annotate a lot of my layout work with these and find it causes the application to crash a lot, enough times for it to be a real hinderance to getting work completed in time. I've talked to Tech about this before and have looked at fixing faults with fonts on my computer etc, but it still happens. The strange thing i've found is it doesn't tend to happen if the layout file is the only file i have open at the time, if i have multiple files open that is when the problem occurs.

 

Also when i output a pdf i find the text I have inputted into the dialogue box of the leader line has shifted down in the relation to the end of the leader line - this is a consistent fault and has happened since i began using layout.

 

• PDF Output - Thankfully the latest update has fixed many of the issues here, great stuff. The print line widths being corrected is a huge help. Also the addition of all the hidden line attributes to the options in layout is awesome, showing hidden edges is a great addition. My only gripe is that when outputting pdf's which i then take into illustrator to add title blocks is that any curves in my drawing (and sometimes straight lines too) become just a whole lot of points rather than a boolean curve. It seems FormZ already has a good interface with illustrator, being able to import/export illustrator files etc, it'd be great if the pdf's from layout had the same quality. Worth noting i've tried exporting illustrator field direct from layout and i get the same result. 

 

Title Block Function - This was talked about being part of FormZ 8 but has still not materialised as yet??

 

• Also wonder if it'd be a good addition to the dimensioning tool palette to have a 'section' tool where you could annotate where you have a section. Would then be easy to show said section in another pane using a clipping plane or the actual section tool.

 

Interested to see not only what Tech thinks on this but any of the other FormZ users out there who use Layout regularly. I post a bit on Layout and sometimes feel as though not many other people are using it. Maybe I'm wrong and other people just aren't finding fault with it.

 

Thanks in advance.


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#2 Shibui Design

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 10:42 AM

I would really like to be able to use Layout extensively to avoid going to CAD but have not committed time to do so, based on bad reviews here. A fast, intuitive and very capable 3D modeler tightly coupled with excellent 2D documentation tools is a market winner. Look at how wide the Sketchup market has grown. I really don't want to move to that application but fear I might need to in order to benefit from the gap that the current Layout seems to leave. Is anyone on here using Layout extensively?


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#3 Tech

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 02:18 PM

Hi Duncan, 

 
Thank you for bringing the issue with the Multi-Dimension tool to our attention.   You are using the Export Image to PDF, right?  If instead, you use the Print command, and Print to a PDF file, then the Multi-Dimensions should appear properly.  Does that work for you?
 
We have not been able to reproduce the problem with Leader Lines crashing formZ with multiple projects running in the background, or any shift text when exporting or saving to a PDF.  IF you could send us a copy of your file, we would be able to pursue this issue further.  Also, when formZ does crash, please also send us the crash report with a brief overview of the processes that caused your crash and we will investigate and see what we can prevent this issue happing in future builds. 
 
As far as importing PDFs into Illustrator, have you tried exporting the formZ Layout file to a .DWG?  This will allow your lines to be “whole” rather than just a series of points or partial segments that are produced when using a PDF as the middle file format.  Does that work better for you?
 
We are still in the process of refining a Title Block function so it integrates seamlessly into formZ Layouts.  This should be available in the not too distant future.
 
You are aware of the option to use Clipping Planes in Layout Frames, right?  (If you are using a project built in formZ, just create a Clipping Plane in the desired location for your section.  Then in Layout, click on the Frame tool, place the Frame area and the Frame Parameters dialog will appear.  Open the project file in the Source section and then in the “Define Parameters” section click on the drop-down next to View and click Section and set Section Plane to Clipping Plane 1 (or whatever name you set for the clipping plane).  This will produce a section for your project in the specified frame.)  
 
Thanks for the suggestion to have a "section tool" to easily note this location, we will see if that can be added in the future.
 
Envdesign,
 
Yes, there were some issues with Layout that were causing some issues.  A major focus of this update was to fix these issues, and another update will be available fairly soon to address any remaining issues, as well as add more features such as Components and Title Blocks.  
 
Get the update, give it a try, and let us know what you think!  ;)


#4 Duncan303

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:59 PM

Hi Envdesign, 

Yep, I use layout extensively. Everyday pretty much as part of my work. I used to use drafting in Formz6 and actually have to say i think the new layout is better and quicker. There are a lot of issues which are holding it back and i have been considering looking at sketchup or autoCAD as a different route to go down. I work for a small company and am the only CAD user/Designer in house so can't really justify running more than one application and FormZ is what i know and for the conceptually modelling and rendering i do, I'm more than satisfied. I plan on brushing up on my animation skills too to add that into the mix.

I've put together numerous site plans, steel and alloy shop drawings, other fabrication plans in layout so far and sometimes it can be a bit painful but I think I've found a few work arounds for the problems as they arise, which is not ideal as i'd like to be able to do it all in FormZ and output working drawings from there. 

What is it specifically you have issues with? I might have some suggestions..

Would be good to get some dialogue on the forums about layout, the silence is deafening sometimes!

 



#5 Duncan303

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 07:10 PM

Hi Tech,

 

Glad to hear the title block function is coming along. Look forward to the update.

 

yeah, I set up clipping planes in the modelling space and turn off and on in layout to create sections, this works really well now that you can assign hatches to materials in the attributes palette. Also really nice that when you have a couple of clipping planes set up to perhaps isolate a small section of a larger model the drawing is centred in the layout frame.

 

I'm using the print dialogue to output my pdfs, with the vector option turned on. I'll try the dwg method you describe and let you know how i get on. My main reason for outputting the pdf this way was that it's very easy to just open that pdf in Illustrator, ungroup the drawing, add a title block, (i used to have to change the line weights but now won't need to as you've fixed this) and then save as.

 

With the leader lines I have sent numerous fault reports on this and pretty much given up on finding out whats wrong at this stage. I'm changing the text in the leader line all the time as I use it as way of annotating my drawings - could this be the problem? Also if i get time i'll try not changing the text and see what happens when i create the pdf and see if the text moves.

 

thanks



#6 Tech

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 08:44 AM

Hi Duncan,

 

Great, glad this is working better for you now.  We have received quite a few logs from you regarding Leader lines, but we have not been able to reproduce any issues, and we have not had these reports from anyone else.  The logs seem to point to a bad font in your system, but if we recall correctly, you already ran Font Book, Validated all your fonts, and removed the faulty ones, correct?  Perhaps there is something specific that you are doing when you are changing the text?  If you notice any patterns on this that lead up to the problem, or if you have any further suggestions or issues, please let us know.



#7 Gyro

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 03:11 PM

FormZ Layout crashes everytime I launch, deleted the prefs but still crashing any ideas.

 

Thanks Andrew



#8 Alan Cooper

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 06:19 AM

 

Hi Duncan, 

 
Thank you for bringing the issue with the Multi-Dimension tool to our attention.   You are using the Export Image to PDF, right?  If instead, you use the Print command, and Print to a PDF file, then the Multi-Dimensions should appear properly.  Does that work for you?
 
We have not been able to reproduce the problem with Leader Lines crashing formZ with multiple projects running in the background, or any shift text when exporting or saving to a PDF.  IF you could send us a copy of your file, we would be able to pursue this issue further.  Also, when formZ does crash, please also send us the crash report with a brief overview of the processes that caused your crash and we will investigate and see what we can prevent this issue happing in future builds. 
 
As far as importing PDFs into Illustrator, have you tried exporting the formZ Layout file to a .DWG?  This will allow your lines to be “whole” rather than just a series of points or partial segments that are produced when using a PDF as the middle file format.  Does that work better for you?
 
We are still in the process of refining a Title Block function so it integrates seamlessly into formZ Layouts.  This should be available in the not too distant future.
 
You are aware of the option to use Clipping Planes in Layout Frames, right?  (If you are using a project built in formZ, just create a Clipping Plane in the desired location for your section.  Then in Layout, click on the Frame tool, place the Frame area and the Frame Parameters dialog will appear.  Open the project file in the Source section and then in the “Define Parameters” section click on the drop-down next to View and click Section and set Section Plane to Clipping Plane 1 (or whatever name you set for the clipping plane).  This will produce a section for your project in the specified frame.)  
 
Thanks for the suggestion to have a "section tool" to easily note this location, we will see if that can be added in the future.
 
Envdesign,
 
Yes, there were some issues with Layout that were causing some issues.  A major focus of this update was to fix these issues, and another update will be available fairly soon to address any remaining issues, as well as add more features such as Components and Title Blocks.  
 
Get the update, give it a try, and let us know what you think!   ;)

 

Tech,

I'm glad that the issues concerning Layout are fading away gradually. I did try Layout well over a year ago and crashes and slowness terminated my perseverance.

The carrot I need to give it another try would be automated balloon label part naming / numbering, preferably within FormZ itself and which could also be used in Layout. Even manual labelling with something like the leader dimension tool would be progress.


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#9 Tech

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 08:55 AM

Gyro,

Please refrain from posting the same problem in two different threads. 

We have replied to your inquiry here: http://forums.formz....ation-troubles/

 

 

FormZ Layout crashes everytime I launch, deleted the prefs but still crashing any ideas.

 

Thanks Andrew

 



#10 Tech

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 09:00 AM

Alan, 

 

The Leader Line tool is available in Layout.  Granted this is an entirely manual operation for "part labeling," but it should do what you are trying to achieve, no?

 

 

Tech,

I'm glad that the issues concerning Layout are fading away gradually. I did try Layout well over a year ago and crashes and slowness terminated my perseverance.

The carrot I need to give it another try would be automated balloon label part naming / numbering, preferably within FormZ itself and which could also be used in Layout. Even manual labelling with something like the leader dimension tool would be progress.

 

 



#11 Alan Cooper

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 10:20 AM

Tech, sorry, no, it's just too time consuming to name many parts individually again, I would rather number the parts using other software which has more advanced text and annotation capability than type each object name into Layout's leader line tool. If leader line is intelligent enough to indicate line length or face area, I would have thought it could also indicate object name without needing to type it. In practice, as manufacturers, what we do is either keep the model open on the laptop for referencing parts (where available if the maker has access to and understanding of FZ) and describe parts quite carefully so most are identifiable simply by their description and size, and keep groups of assemblies fairly small so as not to make them too complicated with too many parts, but we could increase the group size and reduce number of grouped assemblies and nested groups if we had balloon labelling preferably as a stand alone feature, which would label all selected parts, with ability to afterwards drag the names and 'leader line' positions individually for bespoke placement.


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#12 Tech

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 12:35 PM

Alan, 

 

Perhaps a "Show Object Name in Project Window" would be an option that you would like to see implemented?  Thanks for the suggestion, we will see if this can be added in the future.



#13 ZTEK

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 02:26 PM

+1, you have my vote too  :)



#14 Alan Cooper

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 03:31 PM

Alan, 

 

Perhaps a "Show Object Name in Project Window" would be an option that you would like to see implemented?  Thanks for the suggestion, we will see if this can be added in the future.

Hi Tech,

 

Hmm, is that really of any more advantage than what we already have in the objects palette, where, selected objects have a nice clear red tick against them?

I'm looking for a situation where parts can be labelled and the view can be printed to pdf so a manufacturer can visually see the parts with their names against them.

We can capture a window with the part names showing in the object palette, or in an info management window, but it is guesswork as to which part refers to which highlighted object unless only one object is selected at a time.

 

Or were you meaning the names would be shown in the project window exactly over the top of the selected parts. That would be good for identification, although it could obstruct the view of the part, but if we printed or captured 2 versions of the view, one with and one without the 'show object name in project window', that could certainly be a solution if the text is not too crammed together with overlaps etc.

 

Is it not easier for you to add the object name option to the leader-line tool, to begin with and hopefully develop a full featured labelling tool in the future?


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#15 Tech

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 03:51 PM

Alan, 

 

I'm referring to the latter.  The "Project Window" is the modeling window. 

 

Perhaps adding a "Use Object Name" in the Leader Line tool options might be a better way to go... 


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#16 Alan Cooper

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 05:33 PM

:)

Yes please....and just to make sure the last used setting sticks, ie object name, rather than defaulting back to measurement for the next leader.


Edited by Alan Cooper, 05 May 2017 - 05:36 PM.

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#17 setz

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:00 PM

Hoping the following will appear in the next update:

 

In the Note, Text and Leader Tools the input interface doesn't seem to utilize conventional behavior regarding key input.

Can they be modified to behave as follows:

 

Escape key - cancels the dialog

Return key - performs a carriage return

Enter key - enters the input in the text field and closes the dialog



#18 Tech

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:01 AM

Hi setz, 

 

Yes that would seem reasonable that we follow the conventional behavior  :)

 

Thanks for the report! 






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