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ZTEK

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ZTEK last won the day on March 7

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About ZTEK

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    : Seattle, WA
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    Registered 04 - 2001

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  1. Great Cris, I am in the same boat. Very excited about the new Macs. I also know I am going to run into a lot of bugs and problems. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to take the leap and not delay the transition any longer. This way I will have everything running smoothly when things get really interesting in a while. Please, be sure to share in the forum your impressions. Best, Marcelo
  2. Innes, To solve this problem, you don't need to go back to version 8.6. Version 9.0.6.1 (A286) works fine, and as v.9.1 is far superior to v.8.6. Related to this problem, reading on other forums such as the Vectorworks forum, some users have also complained of similar issues when using some of the latest versions on macOS Big Sur. In general, they attribute them to changes that Apple would have implemented to the OpenGL. I hope ADS will soon release an update to v.9.1 that fixes them. 🤞 As Stez says, the objects outlined in red correspond to the selection preview. In my case, I use a keyboard shortcut when I want to disable it temporarily, which works very well. Besides the issue you mention, I'm curious to know if you have discovered any other problems using formZ 9.1 on the M1 Mac Mini. I couldn't wait any longer, and I just bought one as an intermediate solution to replace my elderly MacBook Pro before Apple released the Pro Mx models. Best, Marcelo
  3. rmulley and Tech, In my post, I forgot to mention that I am currently still using version 9.0.6.1 on my Mac, due to some real-time graphics issues with the latest version 9.1, which I have not yet reported. As my MacBook is from mid-2012, with 1GB graphic card, I thought that it was more a hardware problem than a software issue with the new version, but maybe I was wrong. I just tested your Cube Sample file again in version 9.1, and the same jaggies of the lines happened this time when exporting. So it may be related to your hardware if it is not very recent and, indeed, the new version could have some graphics problem when exporting the images. I tested with different formats, and it happens with all of them. Changing the resolution, to higher or lower, doesn't change anything and the problem persist. MacBook Pro 15" Retina mid-2012 / macOS 10.15.7 Catalina / 8GB RAM / 1GB VRAM Screen Shot in png format in version 9.1 Exported image in jpg format in version 9.1
  4. As Tech says, looking at your parameters, the only thing to do would be to activate the anti-aliasing in Display Options. The Mac I'm using is a mid-2012 MB Pro Retina 15" with a 1GB graphics card. However, I don't have any major problems with Shaded Full, except for not using Ambient Occlusion, and I rarely use shadows. If you work in Wintel it may be a driver update issue (?). I copy you two images at the same resolution to compare. One is a screenshot and the other I saved first as a jpg. Cube Sample.jpg Screen Shot.png
  5. Can you share a copy of your file with one of the objects seen in your images?... to check your settings.
  6. ZTEK

    union bug

    If you check the roof with the Object Doctor tool, you will see that both sloped planes are not planar. If you don’t have a strict reason for not work parallel to the X and Y axes, it’s always preferable that you rotate your model and place some notable point at the origin 0,0,0. To do it, I usually draw in plan view an auxiliary line between my chosen point on the model and the origin, which serves to move and rotate using snaps. I keep the line in an auxiliary layer as a reference for later. This way, I can return the model to its original position if it’s needed. The following are some of my general recommendations to help with this kind of error when modeling architecture in formZ. Increase the Numerical Precision to a minimum of 4 decimal places, preferable 6 if you are working on meters. In your file, you only have 0.001 m. I always work in centimeters or inches with 6 decimals for Numerical Precision and 4 for Angular Precision. Try Stick To Edges in the Palettes/Snap Options and be careful when using Give Guide Snaps Priority. Consider using Snap to Point, Endpoint, and Midpoint regularly and, in general, use only when necessary Snap to Segment, Snap to Perpendicular, or Snap to Intersection. Use Grid Snap always on with a measure that make sense. If I work in centimeters, I use 1 cm, and if I work in inches, I use 0.25 (¼”). In formZ, the snaps to the grid work great, and don’t bother when drawing (I cannot say the same in the case of AutoCAD!). You are wright, the Extend tool is one of best for architectural work, I use it all the time. I hope it helps.
  7. ZTEK

    1995 University exam

    I like it, it's a beautiful project, and those images are very nice... they seem to be a bit dreamlike, dreaming architecture! It also reminded me of my university days. Your project is very Aldo Rossi-ish. He was one of my architectural gurus at that time. A great pity that he died at 66 in a car accident, at the peak of his career, and with years ahead to develop more ideas and designs.
  8. ZTEK

    Left field, far out suggestion

    I also think it's a great idea, and I hope it comes to fruition. Already, I offer myself to participate, and you can also count on me to test it during the development period if you need it. I don't have any programming experience, but I am methodical. I hope ADS will be interested and you receive their support. I suppose you will need it. Thanks for the propositive initiative and ideas!
  9. The other day, I borrowed an HP i7 laptop with Geforce GTX from a friend who just switched completely to Mac with a new MacBook Pro, iPhone 12, iPad Pro, and Watch! I wanted to try the most current version of BricsCAD to check the differences with macOS. Also, have a taste of formZ 9.1 on Wintel. It took me a couple of hours to download and install everything, and it took me only 5 minutes to realize I'm not interested in the test anymore! 😳🤯😇 Working on my mid-2012 MacBook Pro is still a pleasure, while I wait a bit longer for the new Mx-based Macs. Besides, the last realistic render I did was over TEN years ago!… my fault with Shaded Full display mode complicity. Thanks, ADS!
  10. ZTEK

    Palette Window Workaround

    The minimalist layout that I use on my MacBook Pro 15” Retina for all my work. I control the visibility of the palettes with keyboard shortcuts, from F1 to F12.
  11. ZTEK

    Can't draw with line on a surface...

    Andrew, Your objects are well-formed, although, in the following case, there are a couple of extra points. I assume that it's impossible to insert segments into the faces you want because these objects are smooth and hole-punched geometry and because they are pretty complex with multiple sides, kind of smooth n-gons. That's not a problem, and I think it's somehow related to how formZ deals with this kind of smooths solid objects. In both cases, if you try to insert segments into their flat four-sided faces, you will see that it is perfectly possible. As Setz well says, there is always more than one way to do what you need or want in formZ, which is fantastic. The following would be two possible solutions for the particular case of one of your objects. It is possible to do the same for the other using a similar technique. Finally, forget about the Projection tool. Initially, I thought that the objects were not well constructed (strictly not flat). Also, I noticed that it converts smooth objects to faceted, which is a limitation I was unaware of if you are dealing with smooth geometry. I apologize for the misinformation and confusion. Hope it helps... best. Option 1 Option 2
  12. ZTEK

    Can't draw with line on a surface...

    Try to increase the numerical accuracy to a minimum of 4 decimal places. In your files, you only have 2 (0.01"). I always work with 6 for Numerical Precision and 4 for Angular Precision. Also, I recommend that you switch to Stick To Edges in the Snap Options and be careful when using Give Guide Snaps Priority. Also, consider using Snap to Endpoint and, in general, not use Snap to Segment, Snap to Perpendicular, or Snap to Intersection, only when necessary. In both files, I derived the faces, projected them to the work plane, and extruded them with Reshape. Then I had no problem inserting segments at the vertices. I hope it helps. shapes copy.fmz Untitled4 copy.fmz
  13. Yes, the PDFs are from BricsCAD, although I imported the last one to Affinity Publisher to make other tests. You are right when you mention that it looks a bit dense but can be adjusted quite easily. I need to optimize it a bit, hiding some details and some layers. For now, my focus is on playing with the options and the whole system. The reflected ceiling plan is wrong and should not be a mirror. I'm not paying too much attention because these are only trials, but thanks for point that out. I don't remember when was the last time I did one of those, and I don't have my Francis D. K. Ching books with me anymore! haha I made some quick editions and changed the hatching. I added a second page displaying only the viewports content, with only the information generated automatically sectioning the formZ model, without any intervention. The third page only shows what I added in BCAD, like annotations, dimensions, and hatching for the interior glazing. I was without a demo version for a few days and stopped testing, but already I have a new educational license installed. Now I'm starting to play with other options, more interesting. For example, how you can convert repeated objects to blocks with the Blockify tool. I plan to convert all possible, edit their parameters in BCAD and bring them back to formZ as components to see what happens. Another test I did was to open the file in AutoCAD without any problem. It keeps all the information in the model space and the layout. It seems to be 100% compatible. FZC-BC-model 6 test sheet Arch D 210208.pdf
  14. Thanks, guys, for your comments and info. Thanks, Kim, for your support... you made me laugh also. I would like to know more about your CNC workflow... share something later 😉 The link between formZ and Dynamo sounds very promising R2D2, could you share something? I'm a Mac user though, but I would like to try it sometime soon... I could take a walk to the dark side to try using it with my Parallels shield! (sounds like a conspiracy theory!)... oh, and my mask, of course! For years, I have been using the method you mention skybound13. Generating drawings in AutoCAD (ACAD) from orthogonal projections of my models, sectioning them first if necessary. Both ACAD and BricsCAD (BCAD) have a tool called Flatshot, which works perfectly well as a smart version of a hidden line view. The method is simple. You start importing your formZ models in DWG-ACIS format, slice them as necessary to produce the horizontal or vertical sections, and using Flatshot, generate the flat projections as blocks. It requires some methodology, but it's simple to do and systematic. Then you explode the blocks and continue editing and drawing in 2D, like in any CAD software. The results are excellent if the models are well constructed, with clean geometry. This method is essentially manual, and the only part automatic is the use of the Flatshot tool. But it works very well if it suits you. Updating the drawings could be tedious if the model changes too much, but it will depend on how organized it's everything. To do it right, I usually generate a new block without exploding it and overlay and lock it. This way, I can edit my drawings with some ease. Both ACAD and BCAD have all the necessary capabilities and tools for that. A newer option is to compare two DWG files to update changes with ease and systematically, which sounds great, but I did not test it yet. formZ can help if you are organized. For example, if you make changes, you don't need to export the whole model each time, and you can export only the modified objects selecting them beforehand. Again, it's more about the method than anything else. Next phase What I'm exploring in my testing is how to move to the next phase, more automatic than manual, similar to what formZ Layout is trying to do. BCAD is superior to ACAD to achieve this, which is saying a lot. BCAD has more tools that expand it to other areas, and some tools in common more developed. After using it for a while, ACAD feels like a younger brother. Two major A/E/C developers are pushing the DWG format to a higher level than Autodesk. One is Bricsys with BricsCAD, and the other is Gräbert with ARES Commander. The way BCAD works to produce drawings is similar to Vectorworks and others. In simple terms, they offer an automatic system to generate drawings sectioning a 3D model or directly from 2D information, which could be previously drawn with 2D tools or imported. Based on viewports linked to drawing sheets. The info is organized, managed, and displayed according to a system of layers/classes. In theory, not destructive, and the flow is alive from 3D to 2D only. Everything will be easier if you model or draw in the same software, of course. But the situation changes a bit if you model in another 3D app and you import the geometry. That's why the quality of the exporter module is so important. More recently, all the new connections between different apps like Rhino.Inside, Dynamo-Revit, etc. ACAD and BCAD are DWG-based, and the DWG exporter in formZ is great. VW is based on the Parasolid kernel and not on ACIS, like formZ, and I'm still not clear if this may produce some limitations for what I want to do, based on VW's implementation. Archicad uses the proprietary GDL and is a different history, but they have their custom connection with Rhino-Grasshopper. One possibility is to import the 2D information generated in formZ Layout as an intermediate step, the way that Shibui and AsOne work. The other is to import the 3D geometry directly, like R2D2. The latter is the one I'm trying with BCAD in my test. In my case, I want to redefine the connection with formZ, looking to establish a new workflow that integrated both apps in 3D. My idea is simple Find the right app, learn it well and develop a new workflow with formZ that complements and integrates them on the 3D side, blurring the boundary between the two. For me, the key is to establish the link as a relationship of "intersection" where the two apps share an area and stop seeing it as if it were a "bridge" to cross from one to the other. In practice, I imagine the method modeling interchangeably in both applications using their best tools efficiently in a combined way, exporting and importing in both directions, and editing the resulting drawings as little as possible. The method has to be systematic, without causing more problems than it intends to solve, and efficient and not a waste of time. As I said before, I prefer it to be flexible rather than fast, and with good quality results, of course. I have been using formZ in different areas in the past, not only in architecture. I used it for a couple of jobs in hardware design with prototyping, working with geodesic domes and fabric patterning, and fabrication. Base on these experiences, using fZ Layout does not appeal to me in its current implementation. Just as I never liked the 2D drawing module in version 6 and earlier. I tried it many times and even used it on a couple of multi-story buildings in the office where I was working at that time, but in the end, I decided not to insist any more. It works if you are trying to make architectural drawings at the usual scales to generate plans, and small errors don't cause trouble. But it doesn't work for other purposes that need the precision of a CAD program. In the end, it's not about how much it's needed or how many decimal places. The problem is with the transfer of information and how fZ Layout degrades it, producing little errors. formZ is a double-precision floating-point CAD application, and fZ Layout is NOT in its current implementation. That is the problem for me. The same doesn't happen with software like ACAD or BCAD, Rhino, and I'm guessing in VW or Revit either. I leave Archicad aside because it's not a very open application. It's the same reason I use formZ and don't use Sketchup, and if you need to share a 2D file with a co-worker or provider that requires precision, fZ Layout doesn't work as an intermediate stage. About the test I made some modifications to the formZ test file and generated all the plans again. In total, the "redrawing" process in BricsCAD took me no more than 1 hour, including deleting the entire previous model, importing the new version, and generating all the sections replacing the blocks automatically. The only new thing was to reapply the gray glass hatches. In total, the whole test took me between 35 to 40 hours of work during one week, measuring the entire apartment with my new laser meter while learning how to use it, haha. Modeling everything simultaneously in formZ and then generating the plans in BricsCAD. The latter took no more than 10 hours to produce the complete test drawing sheet. FZC-BC-model 6 test sheet Arch D 210206.pdf
  15. Skybound13, Thanks for your comments. Yes, a lot of thought, but not too much effort. I have fun and enjoy the learning process also. Your observations are in alignment with my own experience and way of thinking. More than anything, in this area, I believe in the right tools with the best method of integration. I learned this when I try a vertical app like Archicad long ago. I learned a lot, but in the end, it didn't work. At the beginning of my career, I worked for 15 years at an architectural studio specializing in residential design. The owner is a famous Chilean architect, from the old school, and with a particular mix of traditional Chilean and Mediterranean style. In the office, the work was done only by hand drawing with drafting instruments. A little later, I bought two Archicad licenses, one for the office and another for my personal use, setting up a studio offering custom 3D modeling and visualization services. In the end, in the office, we could not solve the kind of architectural details, and the expression of our new digital plans was of lower quality and disappointing. Later, I left Archicad after I discovered formZ, and then the office moved to AutoCAD. The teaching was clear: you cannot force yourself if the tool doesn't allow you to do otherwise. My search is still a work in progress. As I mentioned before, AutoCAD works very well with formZ. To me, that means seamless integration and the ability to produce accurate and expressive 2D drawings. I measure efficiency in terms of flexibility rather than speed. That's how I work in formZ, and I expect the same for my 2D production tool. BricsCAD accomplishes perfectly well, and with the plus of complementing with formZ in the 3D side better than ACAD. Much better, according to my particular way of working. On top of that, you have the possibility of further expansion to BIM, which is not part of my goals now, but it could be like an expansion pack for later. The only drawback could be that Bricsys, the developers, have a Wintel oriented history. As a result, the Mac version is a little behind and not so polished, but supposedly they are working to resolve that, and the Apple Mx processors are pushing to make it real. We will see what happens soon. With Vectorworks, the issue is more about the 3D integration and the modeler in itself. It's a beautiful app that produces excellent drawings and graphic work, and there is no problem with the support to macOS. I need more learning time and investigate more to visualize a better way to integrate them. Now, I can do it acceptable, but degrading and losing some of the info on my formZ models. It works, but the methodology is not very good. Probably, it would force me later to make some changes in the way I work in formZ. For example, as we know, the DWG format only carries the material info at the object level and not at the face level. I use the latter a lot in my architectural models. I build complex solid objects with different associated materials. Before exporting, you can separate those objects by color. formZ has all the tools to do this easily. Then, in BricsCAD, I can rebuild the topology, stitching into a solid all the surface objects preserving the edges, and maintaining the face colors with very little work, the same way you do it in formZ. In Vectorworks, I couldn't find yet a way to repeat the same procedure. I can change my method in formZ, but I don't want to do that in the early stage of the design process because it's not very efficient. I could also obviate this step and equally produce the 2D drawings with the section tools, keeping the surface objects unstitched. It works, but it degrades the models. About the possibility of expansion to BIM, this is not part of my search now. I do not need it, but it would certainly be interesting to explore, to see which could be the advantages for later. The BIM part, or modules, of this kind of apps, includes specific tools to facilitate or enhance different aspects of a project. I want to try some of them, not the BIM itself in terms of the concept. What attracts me the most is the possibility to move from my generic solid-based formZ models to a BIM-ify model. That is what BricsCAD offers in its implementation, to design/model with freedom using generic 3D tools first and convert your designs to BIM in the process. Without knowing the app deeply, I have the idea that Vectorworks could allow something similar. Again, my interest is in the process of integration and the workflow. People who use Rhino-Grasshopper have Rhino.Inside and other connections to link their geometry to different BIM apps. I use formZ for my designs, so I need to find my customized method.
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