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Alan Cooper

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Everything posted by Alan Cooper

  1. Alan Cooper

    Weird component behaviour

    In my experience, components work well as a library and can even be organised at file system level. In FormZ I first make a group of what I am making a component of. When bringing a component into a file, I explode it to leave as a group which is a safer situation. Agree with AHTOH too risky to use components active in a model in case unexpected changes occur. By the way, I only very occasionally get crashes in FormZ but that is because I work in a routine to get my work done which doesn't use all its features, and you do learn to predict what is risky to the stability of the program, and 'save as' before taking a risk. Persevere because FormZ has a lot to offer and you can get work done more quickly with it than many other programs, if used carefully.
  2. Alan Cooper

    Change recording of scenes

    After several years of use it still catches me out regularly where I set a scene, go to it again, and loose it because it was recording while I changed it. To not save a scene until actually clicking a 'save scene' button would be far preferable.
  3. Alan Cooper

    form•Z 8.6 Update Released

    Thanks. Would it be possible please to move this to a new thread called 'Update 8.6.5' with this list of improvements, which would make this easier to find?
  4. FormZ is great for woodworkers as a modelling tool. It also has the Information Management palette to get the data out to a csv file and from that, into a cutlist program. 2 files attached: a translation spreadsheet in .xls format which can be opened in Open Office Calc or Microsoft Excel, among others, and instructions in the PDF file. Enjoy! Alan. SortThicknessLengthWidthTemplate04.zip BillOfMaterialsFzToCutlistplusViaOOCalc.pdf
  5. We are now finding the conversion of our FormZ bill of materials csv output to a format which Cutlistplus can import a very simple process by use of a macro recorded in open office calc. Please note that the parts are organised in numbered 2 digit assembly groups and 2 digit part numbers (serial numbers) which are produced with the FormZ rename objects labs extension tool. It puts a space in between the group number (suffix) and the serial number which is placed after that, so our parts have 5 digits including the space, which works well for us. (Set the appropriate padding in renamer serial numbers to include any required leading zeros). Others might prefer 6 or 7 digits in total depending on how many objects you have in your assembly groups, and the macro would need to be adjusted for this to take 6 or 7 digits across to the part number column using the RIGHT function instead of 5. Here is the macro we use in open office 4.1.6 calc, attached here as a rich text file. Even those of us who are not familiar with programming can recognise a logical process and command pattern structure within it. Please note that just before we apply the macro we have to select all cells in the csv file. I hope this encourages more woodworkers to use the combination of FormZ pro 8 and above and Cutlistplus FX (gold or platinum) as they make for a superb workflow and help to keep material waste to a minimum. OpenOfficeMacroCutlistplus190210.zip
  6. Alan Cooper

    Picking Inside Objects

    I don't think that is happening on my system. Can you post your file?
  7. Alan Cooper

    formZ v8.6.4 released

    FormZ works great for me but I have trained myself to avoid those little issues that FormZ notoriously hasn't been able to handle, editing within a group being one of them. Instead, I copy group contents to a new file, make the change and paste back when done. Use the program to its strengths, don't risk its weak areas, they will cause you frustration every so often.
  8. Alan Cooper

    The Green + Button

    If you don't need the insert option you could switch it off.
  9. Why does info management output a different result to object information palette? Preference for modelling currently set to always smooth. Draw a circle 12.5mm radius and reshape it. The resulting smooth cylinder shows as 12.5mm radius (25mm diameter) in the pick object info parameters. But info management says the cylinder measures 24.9974 mm x24.9959 mm. The obvious explanation would be that info management first converts everything to faceted before its calculations. This is unfortunate in my opinion, but maybe the only way it can operate. I would love circles to be recognised as circles and circle derived cylinders and circles to maintain their geometric dimensions. This would also be useful when using FormZ in a geometrical way, where intersections need to be found on circle perimeters. It doesn't work if circles are faceted.
  10. Alan Cooper

    Info management. Size output BOM

    Unless I have some project settings wrong. Attached settings.
  11. Alan Cooper

    Info management. Size output BOM

    I just tried again, this time result is 24.9975 x 25.0000
  12. Alan Cooper

    Info management. Size output BOM

    Could this be a difference between Mac and Windows?
  13. Gyro, I have looked at your file. Perhaps there is a simpler way than this, but you could: Select just each of the inside or outside faces of your object and paste them into a new file. Reshape each face by a uniform amount. Depending on external or internal fold, there will be some objects which intesecting ends and some which do not meet. Treat the two situations differently. For the intesecting ones, copy two intersecting objects and paste them into a new file. Modify intersect them and move a segment to point of intersection, then paste it back into previous file. You now have a face which you can extend face to. For the non-intesecting ones, use derive extrude tool on both ends, then cut and paste the two extrusions into new file, move a segment from point to point of intesection and paste back into previous file. Again, you have a face which you can extend face to.
  14. Alan Cooper

    Area Select

    Should work. Do you still have this problem?
  15. Alan Cooper

    Modeling frames

    I wonder whether you are approaching this the best way. I would change the size of FormZ existing geometry by working in wireframe and area selecting then moving points or segments. It is not parametric but so quick to do does it really need to be?
  16. Why does my windows 7 laptop choose FormZ when it has an unknown file type to open? Typically this will be a pdf invoice viewable in Firefox. If I want to print it to pdf using pdf995 to rename and store with my other invoices, Firefox viewer has a problem with that and instead downloads it. If I select the choice to open the file, FormZ will start and try to open it, unsuccessfully of course. My question is why of all programs does my computer choose FormZ to try to open unknown file types?
  17. Alan Cooper


    I have 2 licenses for 8.5pro and very occasionally could use a third but my budget is quite limited. If anyone has one spare no longer requred, going cheap, you might like to let me know. Phil's is no longer available. I am in no particular hurry.
  18. Alan Cooper


    Sounds like you sold it. Well done. Surely uninstalling would deactivate? Maybe make sure you are online and restart the computer.
  19. Alan Cooper

    8.6 bugs

    Much as it's nice to spend time face to face with each other, inevitably not everyone can take the substantial time out or expense to go to a far away conference, I suggest an online conference (recorded for webinar for those who can't make the time). It could be split up into sections to make it more manageable so a different part-day for different user types, eg architectural, manufacturing, design with manufacturing (like with furniture) - that's my field, film sets, gaming, animation, chemistry and/or whatever AD decides to be more appropriate, as they have a more thorough knowledge of the range of uses. There could at the end be a summary conference where AD can present to everyone the results of their feedback from the mini-conferences.
  20. Alan Cooper

    select by criteria - suggestions, again

    Yes, as far as priorities are concerned, this ought to be high on the list but seems forgotten as you say.
  21. Alan Cooper

    FormZ 8.6 email

    Hi support, Just received an email inviting to download 8.6 The link doesn't take me to a download, but the website and the only download there is for trial version.
  22. Alan Cooper

    FormZ 8.6 email

    Thank you Tech. Working fine now.
  23. Alan Cooper

    FormZ 8.6 email

    Sorry 3dworks, I should have mentioned the email was addressed to Family Plan members, I don't know if you are one. I found the email in my gmail 'promotions' label area rather than 'primary'
  24. Alan Cooper

    Underlay File

    Thanks pkcn, I'll give it a try sometime.
  25. Alan Cooper

    Underlay File

    Is it possible to make some objects over-ride the underlay file? I would like to show my door model when it is open but it is hidden behind the underlay file. Maybe I could cut a transparent area into the underlay image, in an external program, but seems like too much effort to do that accurately. It is nice to be able to place objects over an underlay photo, but they work best when the object is fairly flat. As soon as different depths are involved, the effect is difficult to achieve.