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Alan Cooper

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Alan Cooper last won the day on September 13

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About Alan Cooper

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    Buckinghamshire, UK

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  1. Alan Cooper

    manual project backup trigger via hotkey

    There is an extension in the Lab File category for incremental save which gives you control of when you save, with a keyboard shortcut of your choice. I use it all the time and prefer the manual control for incremental save as. FormZpro 8.6 Sorry, I misread the original post. Personally, incremental file name (number) works for me.
  2. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    Another video showing organising a piece of furniture in FormZ for orderly construction. Plus some other tips.
  3. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    Thanks Chris, I was only disappointed that SJD hadn't produced the Audi models, but reading more carefully there was no suggestion of it. I was sort of joking. I think you sense when you have the right program for the job because you feel a high degree of productivity, and I do feel that with FZ. By the way, I know I should but don't even use nurbs, I did try a few times but I learn slowly and never got past the probably not-very-high pain-barrier. One day I will persevere and get through it.
  4. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    Thanks Chris, sounds like you have reassured me I still have, in FormZ, the best program for designing fairly simple furniture. It is way ahead of Sketchup, I know that because that is what I used previously, and Turbocad before that.
  5. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    I'm disappointed now. Maybe AD will lower its aim a little and concentrate on an affordable (and faster) contender against Sketchup, and with the continued perpetual licence option. I doubt they will take on Modo head-on for a while but I would love to be proved wrong.
  6. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    SJD, I know you were addressing this to Chris, but hey, very good work indeed! As for me, I will stick with what I know and have already invested in, but I get your point. Please would you post the wire-frames, just because they would be interesting to look at.
  7. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    In case anyone following this thread needs a quick link: from the formZ website: https://www.youtube.com/user/formz3D/videos older webinars (than the few new ones on the formZ website) (from 2019 website) http://www.formz.com/webinars/webinarReplay.html
  8. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    As has been said before, most of the basic modelling skills have been demonstrated with excellence by Matthew Holewinski several years ago and are still relevant. Maybe they need to be resubmitted into YouTube in a new exciting promotional wrapper to update them for FormZ marketing purposes. Let's celebrate Matthew's great efforts and breath new life into them! One thing I would add though, a lot of Matthew's work was just clicking by eye, whereas I like to model to precise dimensions, which is both possible and very easy in FormZ
  9. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    I'm a furniture designer/maker, not an architect. FWIW I will explain how we work, because who knows, it might be the direction things are going generally, and in my small workshop I am not constrained by any formalities, as do not need to present any diagrams outside of our own organisation. I employ 2 21-year old cabinetmakers one being my son who has worked for me for 18 months, and the other has worked for me for over 3 years, having started as an apprentice. They are both learning very quickly and although I keep an eye on them and point out the pit-falls in their work to warn them before accidents happen, and demonstrate any new tecniques they are unfamiliar with, they mainly get on with their work with very little intervention, producing high quality work, often working on high specification projects for millionaires locally, and they also help me to install it. The biggest challenge I have found working with young men is to maintain the discipline of continuous tidiness, but that is really a life-skill and efficiency improves with it. We don't use or need 2d diagrams. We have 3 laptops, all with a license for FZ pro. Only mine additionally has renderzone which helps me present a better illustration to our customers, not brilliant by today's standards, but I like that because absolute perfection sets a precident which goes beyond what we require, and is likely to waste time ironing out a little crinkle which doesn't matter if the overall effect is just an approximate impression of the result, especially for material rendering accuracy, time is money after all and we normally do work in the £thousands, not £tens of thousands. I produce an accurate FZ model of every bespoke piece of furniture we make, complete with properly sorted groups, a few layers, (groups are our main narrowing-down, and layers secondary, for alternative type across-groups narrowing-down) part names and numbering (very efficient with the excellent part name plugin). I do not put any measurements in the models. Either I or the lads use the Information Management part of the program to produce complete cutlist outputs from FormZ and import that (slightly adjusted) output into Cutlist Plus Platinum edition. The lads are familiar with which type of part requires a trimming allowance as they cut out the material from the dimensioned layout illustrations in Cutlist Plus and they label the part number (which starts with group number) on the end of each part with marker pen and put into the racks. When all the parts have been cut and racked, they can use the FormZ model to construct each group. Being used to the 3d gaming world, navigating my 3d models comes naturally to them, they quickly learned my keyboard shortcuts, can isolate anything they need to view, dimension whatever they need to as they copy what they are viewing on screen into real pieces being constructed on the work-bench. Of course, they have already taken a look at each group beforehand, so any repeat operations on the spindle moulder have been performed in advance of construction. At the end of each working day, they have never wanted to save where they have got to in the CAD file. They already have a picture on their mobile phone of the screen they were last using. There is never a time when the file gets over-complicated, disordered or full of dimensions. We like the way we work and they rarely distract me while I am working on the designs for the next projects as they are constructing. When I employed older traditional cabinetmakers I had to produce fully dimensioned 2d orthographic, isometric and perspective diagrams. I no longer need to waste my time on that, except for a very basic view with some key dimensions before we go on site to install. We also use Google Drive a lot with 2 accounts so they access via 'shared with me' permission, so that there are no file-loss accidents and we name our files by year, month, day, description, save-as no. , so we keep an automatically ordered, good track of file versions in case of amendments. Survey photos automatically load onto Google photos from my phone, and any relevant collections of photos are accessible from a link in each customer project's Google document. We tried other management systems but didn't like them. Google Drive and FormZ have something in common, they are uncomplicated, do not push you into a corner to do things in a particular way with unnecessary distractions. Simple and efficient. Brilliant.
  10. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    CJT - thanks for the kind comments. I must use a different mic in future, it seems that the inbuilt one is so close to the mic it is overwhelming, I wasn't even aware of the fan while recording.
  11. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    Forgive my inexperience in making video presentations but here is one I have just made for you showing an example of why I like the simplicity of FormZ for bespoke furniture designing. https://youtu.be/TFdgbqeEFw4 I would also like to point out that there are other ways to achieve a similar result. For example I could have used the Modify/Difference (boolean subtract) tool.
  12. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    It would be interesting to know what ADS's current vision is at this particular time. I can see an argument for plodding on with tweaking this new version for a little longer, until it is 'ready' for a big marketing thrust. Launching such a thrust to early might be suicide, but on the contrary, finalising preparations in advance of such a launch is prudency. I think I need to leave this conversation now.
  13. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    I would say that one-to-one training is not necessarily the same as presentation-quality demonstation, example: others have already given criticism of a recent demonstration (which I actually thought was perfectly adequate for the purpose of explaining some new capabilities). As for the fully tuned remark, this sort of software is highly complex hence 9.0, 9.1,9.2 etc where there will be fixes and added features. Many software developers first put out a 'beta' as you will be aware, and some would argue that the full software is released too early, possibly to keep a schedule-promise which may have been exceeded already, but after several version points along the way there will become a point where most fixes have been made and that is what I mean by 'fully tuned'.
  14. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    Or maybe they would be interested, but it is taking a long time to find just the right talent to execute it, as well as waiting for V9 to be fully tuned...which is sensible. I believe they are taking a slow and steady approach and patience will eventually deliver our expectations. A small business can be easier to keep control of and develop smoothly, I can identify with that.
  15. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    Budapest, having a long history in CAD could even be the place to find a recruit!
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