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malcineurope

FormZ to Construction Drawings - again

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Yes, I like the new Forum look. However, I was disappointed to see that, not only did the old threads not carry over but the archive has reduced the number of replies on this topic from 22 to 9! For those that missed it, the replies included extremely eloquent postings, particularly that from Bernd, as to why FormZ/Layout etc is inadequate for construction drawings and the problems associated with using dwg.  There was considerable support for the use of Openclip as a means of being able to copy and paste from FormZ to Powercadd, or if it were to be implemented, also to Vectorworks. I also posted this from Alfred Scott, who wrote Openclip with help, I understand, from Autodessys!

 

What is reasonable to ask for in FormZ is to Copy using OpenClip the same vector graphics that are presently exported as vector graphics in DWG.  

It has the advantage that you could just select a few objects to move between the programs, and it has the added advantage that splines, and other curves do not become polygons. That capability is built into OpenClip and has been from the beginning.

 

The last post on the old forum was a plea for Openclip to be fully implemented in FormZ or to be given a reason why it should not be. It would be good to hear from AutodesSys on this.

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+1

 

Yes, it would be nice if formZ could do the suggestions to Vectorworks as well, because FormZ Layout is not yet workable, in my opinion...

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+1

I would also add that objects paste via open clip from PC to FZ should respect the global coordinates - In other words, they should paste at the same location in FZ as the same object exported via .dwg.Not sure whether this is on FZ or PC's end, but it would be great if the two developers could talk and figure out what's needed to make it happen. Thanks!

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I think there is a simple and elegant path for this. I've used FormZ and Sketchup to do the majority of the design work before creating real architectural sets. Let's be clear... FormZ never will be and never should be a dedicated drawing program real drawing sets.

 

Here is a flow that I have used successfully. I have done 3,4,5 manually, but it could be automated by Z:

 

1. Build your model

2. Set up section planes w/ depth-clips

3. Associate each section plane with a file export to DWG, VW, etc. 

4. Click "Update Sections"

5. Watch as all your reference files get updated. 

6. Modify accordingly in your drawing program. 

 

The point here is to leverage the section tool as an automatic base drawing creation tool. Sure, copy and paste are nice but they don't solve the overall flow problem. 

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Guest seasdes

How do you "Associate each section plane with a file export to DWG, VW, etc."

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Guest seasdes

Roman

There appears to be some steps missing in your instructions. Is there a tutorial on doing this?

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Currently there is not an automated process for what Roman is describing.  

 

It would be a huge improvement if non-destructive section planes were available directly from clipping planes. 

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Guest seasdes

So, do you create a section. Then export saved section to dwg format. Then undo the section in FormZ. Then Xref the exported dwg into a CAD program.

 

I find it frustraing to learn and do what should be a simple and everyday task.

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yes.  Make sure to backup before the section cut, otherwise if you keep working and forget to undo (or the program or cpu crashes) you lose your model.  

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F•Z to Powercadd user here too. Been frustrated by this for some time too. I'd like to be able to generate the model in F•Z, build a "layout" with views, then export the whole thing with geometry intact ( objects, splines, etc ) into PC and do my detailing from there.

Any suggestions?

-C

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Guest seasdes

Why doesnt support step in and offer a detailed set of instructions. Looks like I am not the only one trying to do an everyday task.

Walter

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Walter,

 

...because that make no sense, Layout is far from usable, at least not yet.

From time to time I try to use Layout and stop because of the lack of control or graphical output.

For myself I use only the wonderful 3D FormZ modeler with text and dimensions, make high resolution image and use Indesign for communicating with my clients. If everything should be worked out on the highest level of detail, Vectorworks is my program I love for 2D drawing.

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What we see in this thread is that we 'all' (+1) want an option to work in an other program then Layout. That's a sign and say a lot about Layout the way it is at the moment.

 

The feeling I got is that Layout is just a group of tools selected we already have in the 3D modeler but not yet developed to work as it should be the way ADS sell it; As a program integrated with the 3D modeler. In fact, it is far from integrated, therefore we got al these issue's.

 

Hopefully Layout get a real 3D "connection" soon and works as simple as beautiful as the 3D modeler does, with all options we got in the 3D 'Display Options' panel. Then we could stay working in FormZ, fully integrated.

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My view on this is that in many ways Autodessys do themselves a disservice with the quality of the current Layout toolset. Vectorworks doesn't even begin to dent FormZ when it comes to 3d modelling capabilities but for presentation drawings (and it's 2d toolset in general) nothing comes close. Vectorworks Architect is of course approximately 50% more expensive than FormZ Pro but this is the standard of layout tools Autodessys needs to be delivering if they want to compete.

 

There's a separate argument that says ditch Layout altogether (thus freeing up development resources for other parts of the FZ toolset) and provide better integration tools so customers can use whichever layout tools serve their purpose best. This option would be the prefered one for many of the companies I work with but they have the budgets in place for multiple toolsets and I understand that not everybody has this luxury.

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My own feeling is that the rarely does the work in Formz end up as the final output from a design office. Either it is used as a basis for modelling scenes that are rendered using a different rendering program or it is used to design an object which is then taken to another program to produce construction drawings. This certainly seems to be the case from the forum where the use of other programs in combination with FormZ receives the most views/replies.  I see nothing wrong with this. FormZ is a wonderful modelling program, which is why we like it and use it. However, in order to produce construction drawings Layout would have to be as sophisticated as the 2D program I currently use., which is, itself, the product of 26 years of continuous development. Others want to use the program that they are familiar with and suits the way they work.

The same with rendering packages. For Autodessys to try and match these programs is, in my view, counterproductive. FormZ is, first and foremost, a modelling program and does that very well. It contains tools with Layout and Renderzone that are sufficient for those users whose needs are simple eg. I occasionally need a rendered 3D image which illustrates how parts of a building fits together. Renderzone is fine for me for that. I do not need to produce photographic quality images of the interiors of buildings for clients. Others do but do not need to produce construction drawings.

 

What is required is the ability to move between programs. In my case between my model and a 2D program to produce construction drawings. It is clear from this thread and the one in the old forum that this ability is lacking. DWG is not good enough, especially for curves and, in any case, means several steps moving from one program to another. As a user of Powercadd I find the ease of copying and pasting from Powercadd into FormZ using Openclip great, I just wish I could go in the other direction.

 

In short, I would like to see FormZ concentrating on its core modelling ability and on those items that need to be done in 3D eg. BIM, schedules of materials etc. (Profiles in the Lab are a great start to this!); keeping tools like Layout and Renderzone but understanding that they will only ever satisfy a small percentage of users and making a great effort to ease integration with other programs. For me the first step would be to implement Openclip copy and paste out of FormZ.

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In short, I would like to see FormZ concentrating on its core modelling ability and on those items that need to be done in 3D eg. BIM, schedules of materials etc. (Profiles in the Lab are a great start to this!); keeping tools like Layout and Renderzone but understanding that they will only ever satisfy a small percentage of users and making a great effort to ease integration with other programs. For me the first step would be to implement Openclip copy and paste out of FormZ.

 

This seems a sensible compromise (certainly in agreement on the Layout side of things). This strategy would need to be backed up by clear documentation that clarifies that Layout isn't attempting to compete with specialist 2d programs but providing a set of simple tools for those that don't already own a specialist 2d/layout package. And I'd also agree that it's the IO plugins between programs that needs the most attention.

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I agree with the idea that FormZ should works better with DWG files in both directions import and export. And if the option to do this with copy and paste, wonderful.

But, on the other hand, the more conversions we have between programs the more time consuming and mistakes we get during the drawing process of a project. The principle of thinking in 3D should be kept as long as we can in the drawing process to avoid terrible mistakes. Because of this reason it's good to develop Layout just that it works! Making nice renderings is not critical in the process, having good 2D output connected to the model is. Then we can use the FormZ model deeper in the process. And, yes, because it's real 3D we can get materials schedules etc. In an old thread I asked for Information Management improvement, but not many people reacted on the idea. Because 3D modeling is so good and simple with FormZ 3D we could use it much longer in the process, 2D output is just simple output... But, make it happen.

 

And about BIM, then we should have IFC conversion. 

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Guest seasdes

I accept that in the short term FormZ should conentrate on 3D modelling. However it is essential that Autodesys needs to provide the tools (especially tutorials) to get ino to and from CAD software to allow the production of construction drawings .

What is worrying to me as a new user is the lack of input intput by Autodesys into this topic. Maybe I am missing something.

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Autodessys are apparently improving the quality of the IO plugins that help FormZ communicate with a variety of 3rd party programs including other CAD programs better suited to the creation of construction drawings. These have been long promised so hopefully they'll be included in a update in the near future.

 

If official tutorials aren't provided to help you get the most from these new IO plugins there are plenty of folk here on the forum who I'm sure will be willing to share guidance and personal usage tips (myself included).

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