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FormZ to Construction Drawings - again

Openclip layout dxf dwg

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#41 Alan Cooper

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 12:50 AM

I disagree, I think FormZ could improve its CAD capabilities and I look forward to being able to do modelling and construction drawings all within the same program. Autodessys, please do not give up on especially improving the basic 2d construction tools and manipulation of the same. Having to use more than one program is a nuisance which inevitably absorbs time, efficiency and profits. 


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

Family Plan.


#42 bluemonkey

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 05:00 AM

+1

 

My workflow for several years has been FormZ and Vectorworks too - and both a great at what they do, but communication between the 2 could be better - I like the idea of 'open clip' and if more applications integrated this it would make life much easier.

 

In the mean time:

 

http://architosh.com...story-of-formz/

 

http://www.caddigest..._autodessys.htm

 

 

“Q: Do you have any other products planned?

A: There will be a formZ Layout application, where the layout procedures will be sold separately from the modeling. There will also be a formZ Viewer, which will allow users to view models from formZ and other applications on smart phones and tablets. There will be more renderers and other plug-ins. Expect more specific announcements in the not too distant future.”



#43 Duncan303

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 04:00 PM

Hi All,

 

Thanks so much for all the advice and recommendations, it's great to get some solid advice through the forum.

 

I'll look into the programs mentioned and see if can work within our business model.

 

Interesting to hear that some people would never use form z for construction drawings. I have actually produced a building consent drawing package for a 15,000 seater stadium structure (my previous job) before in Form Z, version 6 mind you and it took me a very long time and any design changes caused me a huge amount of grief as I'd have to manually go through the drawing set and make changes where necessary. 

 

I hope this thread keeps running for a bit longer as there are obviously a lot of opinions and advice we can all share to help each other out.

 

Thanks again.

 

 



#44 dubir

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 03:44 PM

+1



#45 Charles Freeborn

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 02:58 PM

And here we are another 3 months later.... Can ANYONE suggest a way to take a Layout drawing and export it to PowerCadd and retain dimensional accuracy? When I attempt to do so, drawings are off by non-sensical amounts rendering the F•Z model (and layout drawing) useless as working drawings.I then have to re-draw completely in PowerCadd. 

Thank you.



#46 Tech

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 03:03 PM

Dear Charles,

 

The formZ 8.5 Layout should be greatly improved, and you can download the current version from here if you like:

 

http://www.formz.com...e_App_Only.html

 

You should be able to Export: DWG (not Export Image) and get the proper scale.  NOTE that the file does not specify the units, so you need to set the same units between both programs, which you can do at either Import or Export from formZ (in the Format Units at the top of the options).  If you get the wrong scale doing this, then you are likely either off by a factor of 10 (if both programs are using metric units), off by a factor of 12 (if both programs are using English Units) or off by a conversion factor between the two unit types (like 2.54 or 25.4x times).

 

If you give this a try and have any issues, please send your files to support@formz.com so we can see what you are trying to do and help further.



#47 malcineurope

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 03:34 PM

I have spent much of the weekend trying to get construction drawings out of Layout  and into Powercad. I have not had trouble with scales although why it insists on exporting in cms when I my Project is in metres I do not know! I have three main grouses.

 

What I get in a Frame in Layout seems very hit and miss and it seems to insist on putting in a previous section even when I have changed the position of that section or want a different one, updated everything in both FormZ and Layout etc.

 

Secondly, I am used to producing all my drawings in colour and Layout seems to insist on exporting in black and white (or white on white!) even when the colour tab is ticked.

 

Finally, the resulting drawing seems to be a mixture of polygons and lines which do not correspond to the solids in FormZ. This makes it very difficult to fill with colour or use a Powercad hatch. For instance I exported a section that had a number of rafters. Some of the rafters exported as polygons, others as lines. Why the inconsistency?

 

I am aware that some of the above may be due to my unfamiliarity with Layout but I could not find useful help in the documentation. If the above faults are due to my not understanding the program well enough, perhaps a short tutorial may be in order.

 

I was using 8.5 beta 3

 

Finally, now that Todd is back in full swing is there any progress on getting Openclip working for export?



#48 Tech

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 03:46 PM

If you give this a try and have any issues, please send your files to support@formz.com so we can see what you are trying to do and help further.

 

Hi Malc,

 

The color is not supported (at least not yet) but if that would be useful to you we can see if this can be added.

 

Regarding the other two issues you mention, can you please send your FML and FMZ files so we can test with these here?

 

Regarding OpenClip, we previously had a developer scheduled to work on this, but with 3 months of no reply from PowerCadd, we had to move on.  Perhaps that project can be revived in the future if there is sufficient demand...



#49 malcineurope

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 04:59 PM

Yes. Colour is very important and useful. I have produced all my construction drawings in colour since 1988 and do not want to go back to just showing a mass of lines!  Using an image is not the answer. Apart from problems of scale jagged lines etc. are awful and there is no way of amending or altering the image.

 

I will send the files to tech support.

 

Expect some demand for Openclip :-))



#50 Charles Freeborn

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 01:12 PM

Okay, I've put a little more time and thought into this. I should first say, I am not a geek. I use these programs to convey designs to my customers and generate working drawings for my subs an myself. Design is, for the most part, a money loser for me so I look for the fastest way to accurately get something on paper. I only make a profit by actually building, or have built what I draw.

The method I've come up with is this:

First in PowerCadd generate a template that is the sheet size and drawing scale you want to use. The scale should probably match the scale you've set in "parameters" of your Layout sheet. I don't know what will happen if you use multiple scales in multiple panes of Layout. For this purpose I've set everything to 1 ½" = 1'. That is a common scale for what I do, which is custom furniture.

Then save that template to the "Stationary" folder in the PC application folder.

Next export your Layout sheet as dwg. Then open that dwg file in PC. When the dialog comes up to select a template use the one you just created.

I tried both using the Import command in PC and Open from the file menu and got essentially the same result. Color information (even black) is lost. I use Select All and assign the pen color to black as a first step.

If anyone has ideas or suggestions on streamlining or improving this process I'm all ears.

 

 

Here is what I came up with using that method. I've included a rendering at the end to illustrate the  piece I'm working on.

 

First the Layout sheet:

CoffeeTable 8.1Working Drawings.jpg

Then the dwg import to PowerCadd. Neither the dimensions nor text were scaled properly. The 3d image (from a scene) was turned into hash and is essentially un-usable:

C sheet 1 ½ = 1' Export.JPG

 

So, for me all text and dimensions are useless, as is the perspective view. My strategy is to import only the plan and elevation geometry and do all the detailing, including text and dimensions in PC. Any perspective views have to be saved out of F•Z as a graphic and pasted into PC (as a graphic). Compared to the old days of being able to use open clip bi-directionally, this is an utter wast of time.

If F•Z had the Wild Tools palette available in Layout, I could probably do all my detailing in Layout and skip the PC conversion. Then I would use PC only for documents that originate in that application.

 

Lastly, an annoying thing I've found in Layout is the Measure tool does not reflect scale settings, at least not for me. I've tried my usual method (pushing buttons) but checking and unchecking tool settings does not seem to fix it:

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.31.43 AM.png

 

 

CoffeeTable8.2WithWood.jpg

 

https://sketchfab.co...ba0d8323877c4e9

-C



#51 Tech

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 02:03 PM

Hi Charles,

 

Can you send your FMZ and FML files so we can test to see if the text / dimension / perspective issues you mention are something we can improve -- or if that is something that needs to be reported to PowerCadd?

 

The Measure tool is not (yet) designed to consider the Layout Frame Scale, but we will consider this for the future.

 

It is too bad that PowerCadd was non-responsive when we had scheduled some time to work on the OpenClip translators.  We will see if this can be rescheduled for some time in the future.  Thanks for letting us know that this is important to you.



#52 Charles Freeborn

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 10:36 AM

Yes, will do. The PowerCadd file too.



#53 Tech

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 01:12 PM

Hi Charles,

 

Thanks for sending the files. We will work with PowerCadd to improve on this transfer!







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