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Bo Atkinson

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Posts posted by Bo Atkinson

  1. Yes please restore this excellent feature !


    Mac OS also lost its "Quicklook Preview" and now forces user to fully open each file, instead of quickly scrolling through a list of image-files so easily. Now we have to close each of the wrong files. 

  2. Ah ZTEK, thanks!

    These are just multiple tetrahedrons and nothing else ;)   Simply copy-move the first terahedron, snapping vertex to vertex. Some say fractals, I say 'multrals', heh, heh, because I started with one and added many, instead of subdividing to get many.

    Screen Shot 2022-06-09 at 7.27.54 AM.png

  3. Thanks very much for input, which helps me find the way...

    I just now noticed:  FormZ 9 / Menu/ File/ Export Image / SVG 

    This converts a complex 3d model very well and does open 2d drawings of 3d views in inkscape for plotting-


    The new plotters are very economical and versitile, but I have to solve why the lift-pen function wrongly lowers the pen and vice versa. The tech support is responsive but with some language barriers, plus there are far too many driver options and plotter models all mixed up. (Because it uses open source software with various kinds of adaptions).

  4. Thanks vva, You helped me see my post lacked the key part!

    I meant to ask about formZ Draft.

    Does anyone use formZ Draft to export SVG format to plotters?  

    I don't seek another modeling app, just the best workflow from formZ to plotters which use SVG.

  5. Has anyone found this a good path to get 2D vector models into AxiDraw (open source plotter tools)?

    I need SVG Format to load into  inkscape.app (Mac).

    Or does anyone do plotting here on the cheap? I got a UUNATEK  XY  plotter (with little support).

  6. Chris, I very much appreciate your input, and regret I could not explain it all much more smoothly, in the in the first post. I even managed to send the wrong 'save' of the fmz, and threw out the one ready for the illustrated rotation. It is possibly more complicated than we wish to trouble over. I'll use my old MacPro and formZ 6 if I need too, as it has has simpler tracing with the Vector Line Tool.

    Mac support has always been good IMO, but I live too far from the store to get them to analyze the hardware.  I still prefer Mac which I came to buy into, only to get formZ in 1995,  which was  not available on Windows until years later.

    The current base download was apparently made into 12.1, but I am stopped from going higher with my MacMini, which is mostly for the internet, anyway, and only for simple things which sometimes are not simple. As the years pass, developers will not be able to support all systems as there will be too many rare combinations of issues cropping up.




  7. PS- I forgot to emphasize that the Vector Line Tool, refused to trace on two sets of faces, even by use of Lock Reference Plane snapping, to get away from the first object which was generated. I was tracing on a tetrahedron, and wanted to trace out two separate parts of the tetrahedron. It sounds as though Justin succeeded in that, whereas, no matter what I tried, formZ insisted on generating the trace on the one and the same tetrahedron part. It refused to let the whole tetrahedron be covered, as a result. I hope that clarifies it. 

    And this is why I stumbled on the rotation problem as a work-around.

  8. Thanks all of you for the support. I hope the following story answers each of you well, and explains the problem better. I was actually not forming surfaces or solids, but was working around the defaults to generate curves.

    To duplicate my poor results, it is possibly necessary to use my ill-fated M1 Mac Mini  on  OSX 12.1. This Mac has multiple quirks in other apps, even TextEdit, (a built in app). It, (Mac),  also lost my password so I had to reinstall OSX 12.1. I never heard of this before either!

    Did anyone have OSX 12.1 running? I can't even update this Mac, the friendly Apple Tech guy said that I probably need a faster connection, faster than my 4Mbs download speed, just to get the OSX Update successfully, so I'm stuck way out in the woods here. My update failed twice, he suspected, due to my download 4Mbs speed limit, even though it was done in the pre dawn hours, on two different days.  I'll probably try it on Windows at some point, but this it not urgent.

    So back to the issue. First of all I was in fact attempting to trace with the Vector Line Tool, to make curves, but Formz 9 insists on automatically forming up surfaces instead of actual curves, (so that one has to uncover the surface afterwards, in order to get the curve). This default is new with version 9.

    The rotation part seemed a quick alternative until it actually refused to rotate. I would retry this, but I accidentally trashed the original. Perhaps this works better on Windows. The transition to ARM processors leaves us Mac users in a lurch, methinks. 

  9. With version 9 of formZ, more and  more work-arounds become needed, but this time I'm stumped.  How can one get these two surfaces to enclose the pyramidal space? So that it looks like a pyramidal shape. Version 9.2.01 refuses to allow the snapped rotation result of the left object 

    This is actually a work around because tracing the vertices with the V-Line tool produces the same false result, by refusing to separate the two individualized objects in the correct orientation, and by always glueing them as if superimposed as one object alone.



  10. I am inspired to reach out to science and philosophy minded people, to freely exchange ideas. Here is an isotropic field effect, figured out in formZ. One friend pointed out it might relate to the so called monopole, but as an effect, I expect the other pole is simply confined to a common center. Here it is:


    Screen Shot 2022-02-20 at 5.07.39 PM.png

  11. On 11/11/2021 at 8:31 PM, ZTEK said:

    Bo, your object is smooth and the faceting is only visual, because in the object attributes you have the Override Project Smooth Shading option selected. If you deselect it, it will look smooth as you want.


    image 1.jpeg


    Thanks so much ZTECH, that is the very key solution needed! 

    Seeing the dialog-box-screen-shot makes more sense than reading the text in the box.




  12. Yes Ztech! That is the look I was hoping for, (when I was recommending formZ at my meeting some weeks ago). Your post does sound promising , however I made the first model in formZ Pro 9.1.0, (and I was trying to encourage my associates to test my model in formZfree which does many useful functions well besides mirroring), and all of which begs the question, what other option should I check, to get the smooth surfaces in your image?  

    Which settings, in addition to:  formZ menu/edit/preferences/modeling/always smooth option on, plus the Display Options, iso lines unchecked ... formz still shows the facets as displayed my images.

    I just now modeled a version which has made the start-up-tetrahedron smooth, by slightly rounding its edges. The original tetrahedron was facetted, and was not smoothed. The spheres were all smooth too...The result still appears facetted.  So please let us know what else can be done in formZ to avoid the facetted results in todays, attached fmz smooth object?

    Smoothed Spheric-Voids.jpg

    Smoothed Spheric-Voids.fmz

  13. Ahah, so that is it. Always check for possible ambiguity, as in the word-name- 'face'. Make a new face, and don't plan on mirroring from the face of the object to be duplicated. They ought to add this explanation to the manual.  

    Thanks Chris, I was trying to show this to an informal institute online, but got stuck, and the formzFree version doesn't have that tool anyway, (for them to try); and embarrassingly, Autocad had a free version which did the mirroring!

    Furthermore, the Autocad seemed to allow the smooth Booleans to remove the isoline-display, and therefore to look smoother. Whereas, even with the formZ menu/edit/preferences/modeling/always smooth option on, plus the Display Options, iso lines unchecked, formz still shows the facets as in this image.


  14. Is there a sure way to mirror an object about one of its faces? I have noticed a tool labeled somewhat similarly, but never could see how that tool should function. Does a formZ video show that?

    The attached fmz opens with Layer 2 containing an object and its copy "mirrored" but I had to take multiple steps to get the copied object attached at its face.

    Is there an easy way to mirror the second object?

    Layer 1 of the fmz show how the object was differenced from spheres.



  15. Thanks for continued version update work!


    Unfortunately some of my shortcuts are not working, as was also happening in the last version as well.

    I tried several things, reset workspace, deleted library folder and open-closed a project, (things which were helpful earlier in version 9) 

    I will send in the set file, in case that helps.

  16. On 2/9/2021 at 7:19 PM, mattedmonds said:

    Super helpful Bo. I'm going to start with your second approach to see if that works. If I understand you correctly, the independent scale tool is to move the controls on the right side into alignment with the simple concave right edge profile?

    Yes, because beginning with two identical curves, which are lofted into one surface, assures consistency from left to right, providing the subsequent editing, does snap to  a plane which is based on the closed curve which is being edited.

  17. I suggest copy-pasting just the left side flat segments/face(as a smooth object),  into a new project. Then move-copy it to the right side position. Next treat just the part which you want changed on the right side,  by first using the C-Recon Tool to change it to a smooth  3º curve, and then switch to Pick Tool and make sure Inspector has "Show Controls" indicated.  Next select all the points between concave ends, and Independent-Scale them to the level of protrusion you want in the final result. Immediately save this result, (as it's own project name), before proceeding further. Next reshape the whole segment to conform with the concave sample you would have also snapped into place before this step.

    This procedure assures that some degree of ridge detail will exist on the right side after you use the N-Loft Tool, and you can use N-Edit to refine the look in Shaded Work View.

  18. My own Windows10 transition is definitely not for my main work, as W10 is bothersome to navigate, for example word dictionaries are scant in W10 . My main use is rather to explore very specific new tools in Rhino7, (as their Mac side is less supported in the plugins and in the Youtube training of very specific work tasks).  Rhino's Youtube support vids are amazingly extensive, covering many instant-solutions, as done by users at no cost to viewers. Specialized tool solutions are demoed quickly, which I prefer to the long showcase videos or long courses-A-Z. Keyword searches make this fast. 

    The basic geometry stuff is the same and Rhino gives me more depth to explore, as for example the deform tools for complex objects are much faster and easier than formZ, (RE Bend and Taper).

    My 2012MacPro  is about equally fast for my W10 installation of formZ. Common shortcut-hand-patterns for formZ and for Rhino, in both Mac and in W10 might be possible, by "re-mapping" the Alt- and Command- keys,  when adjusting sct files in W10, and I don't plan on using other W10 apps with many shortcuts.  

    I expect the new MacPros might eventually become affordable, but the old ones are good enough for me on OSX 10.13.6. Chances are future upgrades of everything will be subscription only, so older will be better for me working offline.

  19. Thanks all!  I appreciate hearing that online storage is preferred, though it is not for me. I do see now that a new paradigm shift is coming, with on line apps as subscriptions, paid by the month, but my lifestyle is low key, more like the old book of living on a desert island, independently. One app looked at today, makes life so un-intuitive, and hard to save a work file to disk! Interesting though, the promises of the big www collective without copyrights, hmmm.

    I found my answer was to use Mac's ExFAT format which works well for Windows10, except getting W10 to locate drives took a while and the same hot-swap drawer has to be used per HD. I have some old 2.5 HDs to start with and use the motherboard HD for sys speed, and physical backups. Changing the HD drawer looses W10 link to the last hot swap HD it had. 

    Mac runs formZ best however so W10 is just for format converting on W10, and the OS - UI differences help keep my first use of Rhino7 clearer... Just using Rhino to compare types of geometry and meshes is my learning approach. Hard to say how useful grasshopper will be. Thinking of using x-keys.