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  1. Gavinmac

    form•Z Mobile Viewer Video

    I just watched the video in a state of anguish... because I recently purchased an Android tablet. The FormZ viewer definitely would have dictated my decision in favour of an iPad. For the record, I have been through every CAD viewer on Google Play, and all of them are missing two key features (as far as I can tell): snaps and dimensions in 3D mode. I'm guessing that these two features would save me 80 hours a year, because I wouldn't need to be so thorough in 2D shop drawings. Please consider developing an Android application, and congratulations on a groundbreaking product!
  2. Ztech, please let me try your patience one more time. Maybe I'm just not getting it, but I seem to be able to use scenes in conjunction with views just fine. Attached is a PDF which is the print out of a simple Layout file (I'm continuing my well-worn table analogy ). Note carefully that I get multiple views with one scene selected, by first choosing the scene, and then modifying the view angle with the view parameter. There are only 3 scenes in this file: 1. isometric type view of the whole model 2. one table apron from the back 3. one leg from the back. Am I missing something? The grid does disappear - zooming in and out does nothing. Although of course now I can't re-create it. I'll take your advice regarding the printing. I'll e-mail you the files I'm referring to above. LayoutTest4.pdf
  3. Okay I made a simple sample model, and tested Layout from the beginning, using Ztech’s and Rob's suggestions. It is definitely workable, besides the first issue listed below, and I produced a Layout file that printed properly (my mistake on the title block getting trimmed thing). I still maintain that the selection sets idea is a good one. I found out the following: Layout gets confused when you try to use both the view and scene frame parameters in conjunction. It appears to get ‘stuck’ on a particular scene parameter, and you can’t get back to using just view parameters. I kind of got the impression that maybe this has something to do with having layers checked in the view parameters that the scene parameters disallows? Anyway, the frame parameters dialogue needs to be fixed and updated to make it clear that it’s possible to use both at the same time, and which parameters (view/scene, or view and scene) are active. Arcs don’t show line weights, and vector lines don’t either if they are connected to arcs. The grid disappears after a while (even though it’s checked on). I think it has something to do with switching back and forth between FormZ and Layout, or maybe when Layout updates saved FormZ files in the current project. I’m not sure how you print full-scale 2D drafting you do in Layout, because Layout will only print the sheets? Is there an ability to ‘print from model space’.
  4. I believe I understand what you're saying. I suspect I may be an atypical FormZ user in that what I'm trying to get, as an end product, are working or shop drawings for manufacture. My guess would be that architects and similar users are more interested in section views, and elevations and plan views of the entire model, or at least an one or more layers. I typically use about a dozen layers. With myself, generally only a sheet or two would be devoted to viewing the entire model in 2D. A lot of sheets are devoted to relaying typical construction of a part, or details of a part. The parts I need details for are almost always not unique objects. - i.e. there are multiple identical parts in the model. The problem (arguably) with organizing the model using layers to get frames of only one object, is that you have to be thinking ahead to your working drawings the entire time, while you're modelling. The scene palette does work to organize the model at the object level, but the intention seems to be more viewing objects at various angles. When I'm talking about using scenes (in my initial post), I mean creating scenes specifically for use in Layout, and not to control visibility of objects in the model. What I like about my existing software is the ability to select whatever objects I want to appear in a frame, click a button, and then be able to view those objects from top, bottom, right etc. as well as from standard isometric views. I just noticed that the selection set palette already has essentially the same concept within the model, and if taken into Layout, would offer an additional way to chose which object(s) end up in a frame. To expand on my example of above - If I modelled a table, and wanted a frame which showed details of one leg, I would have to have a sub-layer under 'legs' called 'example leg' or something, with only one leg in it. Anyway, it's entirely possible I my logic is flawed, and I simply have to adapt. I'll play with my printer settings some more to avoid crying wolf about the title block problem, and let you know.
  5. I have been tinkering with the Layout module in the new 8.5 beta version with renewed enthusiasm. I’m thrilled with the addition of the title blocks, as that was one thing I was really hoping for. Also, Layout in general seems to be working better, especially in regards to dimensioning. I have a couple of questions, and a bug to report. I know you guys are working hard at this, and the improvements are much appreciated. If I want to isolate an object from my model to view in a Layout frame, I have been isolating that object, then creating a scene with the ‘objects’ option checked. I then lock the scene and turn the scene off. Is this the correct procedure? I find using scenes this way can be confusing, with unexpected results in what's visible and what's not. Maybe it's just me. I’ve figured out that Layout can use a combination of the scene and the view parameters, even though only one button can be checked at a time. Maybe I’m the last to discover this, but the frame menu doesn’t make this clear. This is exactly what I’m after, as you can create a scene of one object in your model, and then view that object in a Layout frame from different angles. As an example, you could create ‘scene 4’ with only object 4 in it, from any camera angle (checking object in the scene options), choose ‘scene 4’ while creating a frame, then choose the 'back' view parameter (turning off the ‘use project scene’ as an option), and end up with a frame showing the back of object 4. A potentially easier way to do this would be to have Layout able to accept selection sets. This would be similar to another program I own, where you select the objects you want to appear in a sheet (from your model), then create a sheet, specifying the view. Adding standard isometric views would further simplify things. I understand that I could isolate objects by layer, but would argue that this is awkward and time consuming for objects that have multiple instances. For example, to isolate one leg of a table, I would need a separate layer for one leg. Lastly, when I print my layout sheets, my title block gets trimmed on the bottom. I’ve tried different margins, but It doesn’t seem to help. Thanks again for the improvements, great work AutoDeSys!
  6. Hi Alan, Just to let you know I think you did a great job of this. I have been tinkering with this exact issue (creating cut lists from FormZ models). I ended up taking a different route, which involves exporting into another CAD program first. I would, however, love to stay in FormZ for modeling, shop drawings, and cut lists. What you’ve accomplished is a major step in this direction. Layout just needs a few improvements and everything could be done under one roof. It’s worth noting that I convinced the developer of the other CAD program mentioned above to create a utility inside their B.O.M. function to do what you have done (the data exports from the CAD program already sorted). It parses the x,y,z extents or ‘bounding box’ data so that a ‘length’ field is always largest, and ‘thickness’ is always smallest, and ‘width’ is always in between. Maybe something the FormZ team would be interested in? This would be a benefit to not just woodworkers, but anyone who works with parts created through deduction (wood, metal, glass etc.). I absolutely agree that FormZ deserves more exposure in woodworking circles. Thanks again, Gavin