Jump to content


Photo

FormZ to Construction Drawings - again

Openclip layout dxf dwg

  • Please log in to reply
52 replies to this topic

#21 jonmoore

jonmoore

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 285 posts

Posted 25 November 2014 - 08:49 AM

In short, I would like to see FormZ concentrating on its core modelling ability and on those items that need to be done in 3D eg. BIM, schedules of materials etc. (Profiles in the Lab are a great start to this!); keeping tools like Layout and Renderzone but understanding that they will only ever satisfy a small percentage of users and making a great effort to ease integration with other programs. For me the first step would be to implement Openclip copy and paste out of FormZ.

 

This seems a sensible compromise (certainly in agreement on the Layout side of things). This strategy would need to be backed up by clear documentation that clarifies that Layout isn't attempting to compete with specialist 2d programs but providing a set of simple tools for those that don't already own a specialist 2d/layout package. And I'd also agree that it's the IO plugins between programs that needs the most attention.


  • Ekbergzem likes this

#22 Hugo

Hugo

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 208 posts
  • LocationNetherlands

Posted 25 November 2014 - 08:58 AM

I agree with the idea that FormZ should works better with DWG files in both directions import and export. And if the option to do this with copy and paste, wonderful.

But, on the other hand, the more conversions we have between programs the more time consuming and mistakes we get during the drawing process of a project. The principle of thinking in 3D should be kept as long as we can in the drawing process to avoid terrible mistakes. Because of this reason it's good to develop Layout just that it works! Making nice renderings is not critical in the process, having good 2D output connected to the model is. Then we can use the FormZ model deeper in the process. And, yes, because it's real 3D we can get materials schedules etc. In an old thread I asked for Information Management improvement, but not many people reacted on the idea. Because 3D modeling is so good and simple with FormZ 3D we could use it much longer in the process, 2D output is just simple output... But, make it happen.

 

And about BIM, then we should have IFC conversion. 


  • Alan Cooper likes this

VANDENBOOMEN-ARCHITECTen...

 

MACOS 10.12 SIERRA | Form Z 8.5.7 | Vectorworks 2017 SP | AutoCad 2017 LT | Maxwell Render 4.1.x.x | Thea Render | Renderzone | Affinity Photo and Designer

Mac Pro late 2013 8-core 3.0Ghz 32Gb RAM, 2x FirePro D500 3GB | MacBook Pro Retina 15" mid 2014 i7 2.8Ghz 16Gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 750M 2Gb+Intel Iris

Mac Pro mid 2010 12-core 3,46Ghz 96Gb RAM, SSD | Mac Mini mid 2010 2,4Ghz 2-core 16Gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce 320M 256MB | Cinema Display 27" 2560x1440 | LG 31" 4K 4096x2160


#23 Guest_seasdes_*

Guest_seasdes_*
  • Guests

Posted 25 November 2014 - 05:42 PM

I accept that in the short term FormZ should conentrate on 3D modelling. However it is essential that Autodesys needs to provide the tools (especially tutorials) to get ino to and from CAD software to allow the production of construction drawings .
What is worrying to me as a new user is the lack of input intput by Autodesys into this topic. Maybe I am missing something.

#24 jonmoore

jonmoore

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 285 posts

Posted 25 November 2014 - 06:29 PM

Autodessys are apparently improving the quality of the IO plugins that help FormZ communicate with a variety of 3rd party programs including other CAD programs better suited to the creation of construction drawings. These have been long promised so hopefully they'll be included in a update in the near future.

 

If official tutorials aren't provided to help you get the most from these new IO plugins there are plenty of folk here on the forum who I'm sure will be willing to share guidance and personal usage tips (myself included).



#25 Tech

Tech

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,110 posts

Posted 26 November 2014 - 12:30 PM

Hi Gentlemen,

 

Rest assured that we do pay attention to all forum posts, and that we are working on improvements to these areas for the near future...


  • Hugo and Alan Cooper like this

#26 csajovic

csajovic

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 28 November 2014 - 03:15 PM

Output to other CAD programs is fine. But I really want a competent drafting element that is fully integrated with the 3D model. I hate having to redo all my drafting work when I change the model. 


  • AHTOH and Hugo like this

#27 R2D2

R2D2

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 123 posts

Posted 04 December 2014 - 08:20 AM

I guess "copy-paste" will never be an option, but it would help to have some "best practice" examples to get from Z to 2D (in my case Vectorworks, but for other SW too...)

 

Assume you have something that is rounded in your file and you need a section resulting in a fillable ploygon.

The old way workaround of doing this was generating 2D sections and exporting as polygons.

(rotate your section to ortho before exporting or else no scale...)

But now it seems I can only get lines.

 

"Look at face" exports to a "no scale" dwg. That would be a handy option.

"Look at clipping Plane"> export HL to scale. Can this be added ? That would help a lot.

 

I have found that once I succeed getting my section into Layout mode, Step export sometimes does produce "some" filled Nurbs and also arcs, but other curves dont always work.

 

Hidden Line export works really well to illustrator > export this from .ai to dwg and it even keeps the thicker contur-outlines, very nice.

BUT scale is lost.

 

> Is there an example how to geht a HL scaled into ai and then out to a dwg ?

> what are the basic settings to get (fillable) Polygons and proper curves out of Z, into a properly scaled 2D dwg

 

Thanks for reading



#28 malcineurope

malcineurope

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts

Posted 04 December 2014 - 09:13 AM

Copy-paste could be an option. There is an existing format called Openclip that was developed by Autodssys and Alfred Scott, author of WildTools for Powercadd. This allows users of Powercadd to copy in Powercadd and Paste into FormZ, at scale and with all lines, curves and shades etc. intact. If items are given a z height in Powercadd it will even bring them into FormZ in 3D. Unfortunately, at the moment you cannot copy in FormZ and paste into Powercadd. I hope that Autodessys are working on this, perhaps they could confirm that they are doing so?

 Whilst, this ability is, at the moment restricted to users of Powercadd, Openclip is an open and free piece of software and there is no reason why other software companies should not take it up. Perhaps if Autodesys get the copy part working then it will spur them to do so.  

Apart from the ease of use that Copy and Paste using Openclip would bring, the format is designed to maintain accurate curves, something that is woefully missing in dwg.

R2D2, your comment re Ai is interesting. Does this maintain proper curves? If so, one would have thought that this format could also form the basis of an alternative to Openclip which may satisfy users that still do not use mac OS.



#29 R2D2

R2D2

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 123 posts

Posted 04 December 2014 - 10:32 AM

Regarding export my 2c is that a "better" standard output support such as dwg will be more important; as my guess is we wont be getting the whole industry to support openclip (as much as I like the thought)

 

Regarding .ai export: no, there are no curves - it just looks better as you get the thicker outlines exported.

The only 2D curves I got so far were exported out of the FZ draft module (Layout) but just a small test.

 

In Vectorworks I just found that FZ actually exports its line styles from HL render to dwg, and they display as single segments in VW2015.

It also keeps scale (when coming from ortho view...) but no linethickness , and no curves, no colour...

If Z exported HL render to dwg while keeping different layers (Support hint, hint) it would make a good base.

(oc you can workaround and export one layer a time...hm but then your HL is, ehm, no HL anymore ?...)



#30 Alfred Scott

Alfred Scott

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 13 December 2014 - 09:28 AM

If I may chime in on this, the main obstacle to getting all this working as Copy to OpenClip has been my fault. I have recently moved my office and I haven't had a spare moment. Indeed Susan Arruda actually fired me a month or so ago, and I'm the owner!

I'm now getting back up to speed.

My first step in this process is to create a simple Shapefile importer program that will open any number of Shapefiles in a single operation and copy them in OpenClip format, which you can then paste into PowerCADD and FormZ.

A Shapefile is a GIS format file of geometry, basically points and polygons. The files have a .shp extension, and they are almost universally used by states, cities and counties as a way of publishing maps. Typically there will be individual files for streets, lakes, railroads, etc. You choose the ones you want and then import them as a group so all of the pieces will be correctly positioned relative to each other. Getting these files into a CAD program is a challenge for a user. But that's not going to be a problem for us!

Shapefiles are actually a set of related files, all with the same name but with different file extensions. Some of these files include database information such as population, average income, crazypersons per capita, etc. but this information is stored in DBase2 format, which is hopelessly obsolete and I can't find any programming tools to deal with this.

So please stand by. Things are going to happen and this is going to be a wild ride.

Alfred

#31 rob

rob

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 239 posts

Posted 13 December 2014 - 01:19 PM

Thanks Alfred, sounds promising!



#32 malcineurope

malcineurope

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts

Posted 04 March 2015 - 05:05 PM

Forgive me for opening this topic again but we were promised nearly 3 months ago that it was being actively pursued i.e. the ability to copy and paste out of FormZ and into other programs via Openclip or similar. Would an update be too much to ask?



#33 Tech

Tech

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,110 posts

Posted 06 March 2015 - 05:08 PM

Hi Malc,

 

This is still a work in progress.  Unfortunately despite repeated requests, our license of PowerCADD has not been updated, so we are still waiting on them.  We have just sent them a 4th reminder.



#34 Duncan303

Duncan303

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 37 posts

Posted 15 March 2015 - 05:54 PM

Hi All,

 

Finding this a really interesting thread. I post a bit on issues relating to Layout as I have to use it extensively to produce production drawings and site plans etc. I might add I have been doing this with relative success for a number of years now. There are definitely limitations and working with some other companies i notice the quality of drafting work to be on another level - mostly architectural firms.

 

I manage to successfully communicate what i need to though and as a company we are able to send out complete fabrication drawings for a variety of different things, producing bespoke components to suit our needs out of materials such as timber, steel, alloy and fabric.

 

I mostly use Form Z for its modelling capacity though and again have been doing this successfully for the last few years, producing visuals/renders etc that help sell what our company does.

 

I guess what i'm interested in though is increasing efficiency and saving time in the drafting side of form z. Layout is killing me some days and driving me a little crazy.

 

I'd be interested to talk to some people about the use of Form Z and another CAD program, potentially Vectorworks - using Form Z for my modelling and rendering and using Vectorworks for my drafting. I would love for Layout to be the solution but there seem to be so many issues and not a lot of resolution regarding improvements (maybe more in depth tutorials would help). My company has a decent turnover but a small team, I am a design team of one which means any investment in new CAD software has to be thought out very carefully hence the reason why i'd like to stick with Form Z but the time it's taking me to draft up larger models is causing me a great deal of frustration.

 

If there are any users out there using Form Z and another program for drafting let me know your thoughts and recommendations on this please.

 

Thanks in advance for the help..

 

 


Edited by Duncan303, 15 March 2015 - 05:55 PM.


#35 Tech

Tech

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,110 posts

Posted 16 March 2015 - 07:59 AM

Hi Duncan,

 

We are actively working on Layout updates and the next version coming soon will include many of these.  Of course, you can also Export to other dedicated drafting packages as well, including Autocad, Vectorworks, PowerCadd, and many others.  For those with personal experience with these, feel free to share your thoughts with Duncan here!



#36 Duncan303

Duncan303

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 37 posts

Posted 16 March 2015 - 02:22 PM

Thanks Support,

As I think I touched on previously, ideally I'd like to work within one program for all aspects of my work, Form Z. A small business such as ourselves can only invest in one CAD program realistically. I'm just exploring the options to be more efficient with my workflow.

 

Look forward to hearing from other forum users regards this.



#37 Alan Cooper

Alan Cooper

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 473 posts
  • LocationBuckinghamshire, UK

Posted 16 March 2015 - 02:24 PM

Duncan, Turbocad Deluxe is great value for 2d drafting and capable of some 3d. I find it very effective, but I much prefer FormZ pro 8 for 3d modelling. They do exchange reasonably well through the .dwg file format, in fact turbocad will open it directly. A good combination in my view without spending too much.


  • Duncan303 likes this

FZ8.5 pro with Renderzone on Windows 7 64bit.

Family Plan.


#38 Mike_Concentric

Mike_Concentric

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 16 March 2015 - 03:36 PM

Duncan,

 

Take a look at these: Realcad( PC/ MAC version coming), BricsCad( PC/MAC), and High Design (MAC). I have been test driving High Design and I really like it. All of them are professional cad programs. My favorite 2d cad package is PowerCADD but I can't recommend it until certain internal at the company issues is resolved.


  • Duncan303 likes this

#39 malcineurope

malcineurope

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts

Posted 16 March 2015 - 05:48 PM

Apologies. I hit the wrong button and posted before I had completed. What I meant to say is

 

My own feeling is that you will always require two programs. A modelling program and a CAD program. They do different things and there is no way that one company will have the resources or, more importantly, the mindset to do both equally well. I find FormZ ideal for modelling but need a CAD program both initially and to complete my drawings. My choice is Powercadd with Wildtools but others may prefer Vector Works or even Autocad. Different people have different requirements. The most important thing from my point of view is the ability to transfer easily and accurately between programs. DWG does not do it for me. There are too many steps and it is pretty useless at curves. What I really want to be able to do is to copy and paste between my programs. I can do this from Powercad to FormZ but not back from FormZ to Powercad, although I believe that this is being worked upon.  If I had to rely only on one program it would be my CAD package, Powercad, and I would use its perspective and axonometric drawing tools to produce my images. However, the ability to use FormZ is great. It produces great models quickly and easily which I then use as a basis for my final drawings. However, I have never sent out a construction drawing produced entirely in FormZ and am unlikely to do so. An image yes. A construction drawing no.


  • Duncan303 likes this

#40 Mike_Concentric

Mike_Concentric

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 16 March 2015 - 09:34 PM

I agree 100%

 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Openclip, layout, dxf, dwg

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users