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Data Base and feilds
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* August 09, 2011, 07:25:14 AM
Hi, I am trying to use the data base reports for all of my parts in the drawings.  Hoping to make a bill of materials for each assembly drawing.  Am having a problem in the Data base report window.  After i have selected my criteria and click OK.  I get a Syntax Error.  I would like to show you a screen shot of this but i don't know how to do that.  Any sugestions?

Thanks in advance.

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* August 09, 2011, 07:36:07 AM
#1
Ok I found out how to take a screen shot.
Here it is

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* August 09, 2011, 08:39:53 AM
#2
I found out the problem.  the "All" needs to be deleted.  but, i would like to find out more about the data base reporting and tables and how to use this more effeicintly.  Dose any one have any good sources to look into?  The TC help dose not give good example base ideas.

Thanks

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* August 11, 2011, 08:35:25 AM
#3
Well No sugguestions on this One????
I have been working with this and been trying to work this out.  So if any one is interested i did come up with a way to make a BOM using the Database and fields.  Please take note of the BOM in the drawing.  This was all done with TC.  I did not take this out of TC and insert it in to Execll.  I am trying to fugure out a  way to name my parts and only name them once.  with out naming them with the same name.  so once the part is complete i create block then name it a part #, then when report is generated i choose the objects/Blocks. and use summary report.

It did take me a while to come up with this.  You have to do the steps just right or you wont follow the part all the way through, kind of a headach.  I would like to create this report with out blocks and using only layers. but not very good result, because once the part is made and i shell it or imprint or add holes i cannot mirror copy or any other liner/radial copy because the Attrubutes don't follow.  The copied part is changed into a ASIS Solid?????  Thier for the report dose not like the ASIS solid.  So you have to always keep the part in its origanal form.

If any one has any suggestions for me, i shure would appriciate it.

Thanks in addvace

Caleb Becker

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August 11, 2011, 08:57:16 AM
#4
Well No sugguestions on this One????
I have been working with this and been trying to work this out.  So if any one is interested i did come up with a way to make a BOM using the Database and fields.  Please take note of the BOM in the drawing.  This was all done with TC.  I did not take this out of TC and insert it in to Execll.  I am trying to fugure out a  way to name my parts and only name them once.  with out naming them with the same name.  so once the part is complete i create block then name it a part #, then when report is generated i choose the objects/Blocks. and use summary report.

It did take me a while to come up with this.  You have to do the steps just right or you wont follow the part all the way through, kind of a headach.  I would like to create this report with out blocks and using only layers. but not very good result, because once the part is made and i shell it or imprint or add holes i cannot mirror copy or any other liner/radial copy because the Attrubutes don't follow.  The copied part is changed into a ASIS Solid?????  Thier for the report dose not like the ASIS solid.  So you have to always keep the part in its origanal form.

If any one has any suggestions for me, i shure would appriciate it.

Thanks in addvace

Caleb Becker

Sorry you haven't been getting much response to this topic.

Personally, I find the whole report business and table business in TC to be less than appealing. It seems over complicated and the results just so unappealing, graphics wise. Users have complained for years that they wanted a BOM function and the response was to add a few functions to the database report functions. This was received with zero enthusiasm by most users that I know because it was not an answer at all. I know this sounds very negative and I don't like to come across that way, but that is how I feel in this particular area. Maybe there is no easy way to incorporate a user friendly BOM function. Of this I have no idea since I am not a programmer. From what I have seen in other programs, a lot of extra data entry is required to populate any BOM or cut list or report. One must really need this in order to put in the effort to make it happen, and hope that the result increases production and generates sales.


* August 11, 2011, 09:22:04 AM
#5
Don,
Thanks for your imput. It is worth the effort for our busness.  I am willing to put some more time into this to be able to get some kind of report for our drawings.  If i have to revert back to programes like Excell then that is fine.  But i would have to work on this one to for awhile to make this one channel user friendly.
I will keep adding some more input as i contunue with this.


Thanks again.

Caleb
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 06:22:41 AM by Shop Man »

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August 16, 2011, 06:54:52 AM
#6
Yeah I'm with you there. The BOM function would be great if it was easy to use and the results were acceptable. one thing i remember is when making a block you have to first make the block without creating the bom then when its dragged back into the drawing as a block thats when you add all the details for the bom. then use that same block (in the drawing,,,not from the blocks pallet) if you want more of the same block in the drawing. Funny how the animal works. If my memory serves my correct I think it was Tom Snape that created it and created a user guid for it, No Idea if this has been updated since but will find the user guide that comes with it and post it.

Pjay

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Turbocad 2016 Ver 23.2 Build 61.2  / Lightworks / Win 10 64bit / Hp Probook 6560b Core i3 / 8Gb ram.


* August 17, 2011, 02:01:30 AM
#7
databases work well once you have set them up.
I have a problem with selection criteria in version 18 though I did submit a ticket a couple of months ago and they said they would get back to me - still waiting.
So I have gone back to version 17.

I Do use blocks and block attributes to define the fields for standard items because I find custom properties and the database connect pallette to be a bit painful.

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Nikki
TC20 platinum
TC 2015 platinum
TC 2017 with lightworks


* October 21, 2011, 09:15:01 AM
#8
databases work well once you have set them up.
I have a problem with selection criteria in version 18 though I did submit a ticket a couple of months ago and they said they would get back to me - still waiting.
So I have gone back to version 17.

I Do use blocks and block attributes to define the fields for standard items because I find custom properties and the database connect pallette to be a bit painful.

I aggree painfull is the word.  I couldn't have said it better myself

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* November 07, 2011, 01:23:33 PM
#9
There is a lot of flexibility built into TC's reporting but that comes at a time cost of having to do some set up work.   As of v18 block data can be extracted via the Summary (as opposed to detail) type of report then go to the advanced  report tab as you have discovered so that was a huge task to overcome compared to the previous versions where you had to explode the block.  This was something requested by a fairly large number of users.  

However we are interested to know if any of you have any ideas on how to produce BOMs more efficiently.  


« Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 01:53:18 PM by Dave Taylor »

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* November 07, 2011, 02:09:21 PM
#10
There is a lot of flexibility built into TC's reporting but that comes at a time cost of having to do some set up work.   As of v18 block data can be extracted via the Summary (as opposed to detail) type of report then go to the advanced  report tab as you have discovered so that was a huge task to overcome compared to the previous versions where you had to explode the block.  This was something requested by a fairly large number of users.  

However we are interested to know if any of you have any ideas on how to produce BOMs more efficiently.  



Maybe I should just apply for a job there... as it is not a trivial exercise.  ::)


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WillR
SW:TC 21 Pro Platinum, FM15, 20 Pro Platinum 64 Bit, also V 19.1 64Bit & 32 bit 17.2 and 18.1; Furniture Maker 14 and 10. HW: Vista 64 Ultimate, AMD 1090 (6 core) 8GB memory Plus also an AMD  8 core systemFX


* November 07, 2011, 02:26:37 PM
#11
Don,
Thanks for your input. It is worth the effort for our business.  I am willing to put some more time into this to be able to get some kind of report for our drawings.  If i have to revert back to programs like Excel then that is fine.  But i would have to work on this one to for awhile to make this one channel user friendly.
I will keep adding some more input as i continue with this.


Thanks again.

Caleb

Maybe I will look at this in the new year. I have to work on a project a few thousand miles from home so I have to travel shortly. I will see if my TC loads up on my work machine "over there". If it does so without complaining about "license theft" then I may be able to start sooner rather than later.


DAEX cut (Furniture Maker 10) is a start in what is needed. It is not the answer as you cannot access their files in any way I can see.

What I propose is that some of the same approach as FM10 be used --

1) meticulous placement of items on layers, and that certain layers be examined for inclusion in a BOM.
2) that attention be made to "raw materials" for process manufacturing.
3) That Hierarchical bills be allowed since most drawings will have many parts which are grouped under an assembly number.
4) That the data be passed out to say Interbase (cheap) or Microsoft SQL server format. (Since I have Interbase -- guess what it will be in my project.)

Note: Process manufacturing uses things like sheet goods or rolls of metal or blocks of metal that are machined. The usage of material has an "efficiency"  -- like how much did you use to make that cabinet -- as opposed to the "optimum" amount. Many people need to be able to assign the raw material and determine likely usage -- and/or log it at the manufacturing stage. It really should have a "proposal" or Schedule of goods -- and at manufacturing be compared to the proposal/schedule.

Bottom line -- the data must be accessible -- whether easily so is another issue as some people do not like SQL DB format (and I don't mean MS Access or Corel Paradox) and do not consider it accessible. But a small shop even should not be using Excel.


Any good DB for manufacturing should be able to integrate with ISO 9000 programs, and should be able to log ECO's (Engineering Change Orders), Engineering Approvals and Regulatory approvals. The responsibility should maybe be elsewhere, but anybody drawing the packages should be able to retrieve the approvals and keep them in their DB to be able to justify upgrades/changes to parts.

The DB should also be able to feed any scheduling and data collection software with the BOM and drawings.

I have done all this before so I have some idea how to go about it -- but times change and other people have other perspectives -- this is just a synopsis of some ideas feel free to add-on.


« Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 02:29:41 PM by WillR »

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WillR
SW:TC 21 Pro Platinum, FM15, 20 Pro Platinum 64 Bit, also V 19.1 64Bit & 32 bit 17.2 and 18.1; Furniture Maker 14 and 10. HW: Vista 64 Ultimate, AMD 1090 (6 core) 8GB memory Plus also an AMD  8 core systemFX


* November 07, 2011, 03:34:37 PM
#12
That is definitely a good start. We are currently investigating output to something like CSV which I think would take care of number 4.  Currently the XLS output has serious limitations.

I will take a good look at FM10.  As you know that is a 3rd party product and will discuss #1-3 with our programmers. Thanks for your input!

EDIT - As for #1 I did find that you can choose certain layers by customizing the report criteria.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 03:49:19 PM by Dave Taylor »

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November 07, 2011, 04:13:27 PM
#13
That is definitely a good start. We are currently investigating output to something like CSV which I think would take care of number 4.  Currently the XLS output has serious limitations.

I will take a good look at FM10.  As you know that is a 3rd party product and will discuss #1-3 with our programmers. Thanks for your input!

EDIT - As for #1 I did find that you can choose certain layers by customizing the report criteria.



You can already save as .csv. Perhaps you are referring to something else.

It also as a save as .mdb but I get a warning that I don't know what to do to remedy.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 04:19:17 PM by Don Cheke »

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* November 07, 2011, 04:20:44 PM
#14
That is definitely a good start. We are currently investigating output to something like CSV which I think would take care of number 4.  Currently the XLS output has serious limitations.

I will take a good look at FM10.  As you know that is a 3rd party product and will discuss #1-3 with our programmers. Thanks for your input!

EDIT - As for #1 I did find that you can choose certain layers by customizing the report criteria.


CSV (Comma Separated Values in  ASCII) has its own limitations.  I strongly suggest that you bring in some real DB (SQL Style) expertise and look at this in a serious way. We use a lot of programs like Mapinfo with Geology attachments, Mapping storage etc -- virtually everything now has the ability to link to SQL Servers of some description  once you get to the more expensive programs. This is the age of ODBC drivers -- at the very least. CSV output would not "take care of number 4"  ;D -- just my opinion though...


There are lots of California programmers that understand ERP and DB (SQL) looking for work...You really need to know how to handle manufacturing work flow and what data is required for Job shop, process, flow shops, kanban etc. I suggest a few white papers and discussion papers (in effect proposals) to get the ball rolling with the group.

I am not against programming in a few bells and whistles -- but this is a "serious" project.

Regardless any start is a good one.



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WillR
SW:TC 21 Pro Platinum, FM15, 20 Pro Platinum 64 Bit, also V 19.1 64Bit & 32 bit 17.2 and 18.1; Furniture Maker 14 and 10. HW: Vista 64 Ultimate, AMD 1090 (6 core) 8GB memory Plus also an AMD  8 core systemFX


* November 07, 2011, 04:23:23 PM
#15
That is definitely a good start. We are currently investigating output to something like CSV which I think would take care of number 4.  Currently the XLS output has serious limitations.

I will take a good look at FM10.  As you know that is a 3rd party product and will discuss #1-3 with our programmers. Thanks for your input!

EDIT - As for #1 I did find that you can choose certain layers by customizing the report criteria.





You can already save as .csv. Perhaps you are referring to something else.

It also as a save as .mdb but I get a warning that I don't know what to do to remedy.


I think you would need to set up a DB first -- but just guessing.


Regardless mdb format is a little weak for what a small manufacturing company would need. I don't know of any ERP for manufacturing that uses that format.

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WillR
SW:TC 21 Pro Platinum, FM15, 20 Pro Platinum 64 Bit, also V 19.1 64Bit & 32 bit 17.2 and 18.1; Furniture Maker 14 and 10. HW: Vista 64 Ultimate, AMD 1090 (6 core) 8GB memory Plus also an AMD  8 core systemFX


November 08, 2011, 11:03:32 AM
#16
Just to add a couple of pennies here:
In my work I need to produce two main kinds of drawings with BOMs on them - PCB assemblies and sub (and final) assemblies.  My company uses a database program for production control, but I have not found any way to integrate the BOMs in the drawings with those in the DB program.
One issue is that a PCB assembly BOM has to have:
     a call out field - ideally tied to the number in a leader pointing to the component
     a schematic ID - one or more names of components from the schematic, such as R23, R24 etc.
     a part number - internal part ID such as in our case 3RES64
     a part description - such as Resistor, 63 ohms, 1%
     a quantity used - such as 2.
The DB program recognizes the last three, but not the first two.  It would be nice if TCAD at least tied the leaders to the first one, but it can't do that.

I end up making the BOM in Excel, and linking it into the TCAD drawing.  We then manually create the main database BOM based on the Excel spreadsheet.  Making changes in these requires a fair bit of care.

The assembly drawings are the same, except they don't need the schematic ID.  Hence you can't use the same procedure to generate them.

My experience is that it's the schematic ID that stumps the integration with the main database.  They don't think about that.  Also the output of the DB isn't as pretty as Excel, and it's hard to link it into the drawing.

It would be very nice if TCAD could integrate the leader call out with the spreadsheet somehow, so that there was an automatic link when changes are made, but that seems particularly hard to do.  One thing is that there might be several leaders for each line in the spreadsheet.

FWIW

Roland

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Roland Aldridge
Windows 7 ultimate, Core i7 3.07GHz, 4 cores, 9G memory GEForce GTX 285


November 08, 2011, 03:16:25 PM
#17
There is a lot of flexibility built into TC's reporting but that comes at a time cost of having to do some set up work.   As of v18 block data can be extracted via the Summary (as opposed to detail) type of report then go to the advanced  report tab as you have discovered so that was a huge task to overcome compared to the previous versions where you had to explode the block.  This was something requested by a fairly large number of users.  

However we are interested to know if any of you have any ideas on how to produce BOMs more efficiently.  



Hi Dave, so once again IMSI Design is showing a return of interest toward Bill of Materials and database functionality. I look forward to this, maybe we will at long last get the very long awaited upgrade to take the place of the downgrade when Dan Hunting's Bill of Materials was lost back in the very early versions of Turbocad!

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Alan.
Platinum 21. & Deluxe 21.
TC user since 1995. (version 3)


* November 08, 2011, 06:20:26 PM
#18
Roland:

As far as I am concerned all your requirements are do-able. My creds: My start was as a logician doing back-plane design (wire boards/interconnect for the PCB's) -- that was a few years ago. -- and yes I did a bit of PCB design too. Part of my job was to deliver the automation control programming through our CAD/CAM system. So I understand manufacturing systems for the computer industry and have done same for plastics, steel wood and other systems.Not exactly like your job, but close enough. Just so you know I'm not guessing about this. I am not claiming it's easy -- just that it can be done and can be made to work well.


I think it is a matter of people with some interest laying out these requirements and then we can see what develops. The hardest part is actually writing a clear easy to follow description of what information must move (data flow) and exactly what the information is that must be tracked. (The table design and the relationships. For this and I use CASE tools to map the data structure and flow.

As long as there is ODBC (I Think there is) and we can create custom fields that hold those part numbers and descriptions... Hopefully we can Use Delphi -- or whatever language to access the drawing and link it to the DB.

I have done this before with AutoCad -- picked items off a drawing and linked to a DB. As long as the SDK allows us to update the drawing as well -- which I understand we can do -- then we have a closed loop system. SO a modification to a drawing should drive a request to modify the DB, and a modification to the DB should request a drawing change. I use the word request quite deliberately as drawing changes should not happen without approval, and a change to the db must be checked as well that the change is intended.


My guess is that there will be a series of templates which are specialized by industry. (Electronics, wood, machining for example). However many elements are common regardless of the industry.

Any further thoughts?

...and.. So how we gonna get this show on the road?

« Last Edit: November 08, 2011, 06:26:05 PM by WillR »

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WillR
SW:TC 21 Pro Platinum, FM15, 20 Pro Platinum 64 Bit, also V 19.1 64Bit & 32 bit 17.2 and 18.1; Furniture Maker 14 and 10. HW: Vista 64 Ultimate, AMD 1090 (6 core) 8GB memory Plus also an AMD  8 core systemFX


November 08, 2011, 11:33:19 PM
#19
Will, isn't this something the TC developers should be putting the effort into, to make an easy interface for users to work with? I am no programmer, but sounds to me that you are suggesting something like, as an analogy, modifying a basic low cost production car for sports purposes, which will require an awful lot of effort, where the alternative is spending more initial outlay on a ready prepared sports vehicle, designed for purpose from the beginning?

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Alan.
Platinum 21. & Deluxe 21.
TC user since 1995. (version 3)


* November 09, 2011, 05:56:04 AM
#20
Will, isn't this something the TC developers should be putting the effort into, to make an easy interface for users to work with? I am no programmer, but sounds to me that you are suggesting something like, as an analogy, modifying a basic low cost production car for sports purposes, which will require an awful lot of effort, where the alternative is spending more initial outlay on a ready prepared sports vehicle, designed for purpose from the beginning?

Alan:

No. Not suggesting anything of the kind.

TC is a very well thought out product. It appears to have all (or most) of the facilities built in that would do the required work.

It is always a bit of an art -- or perhaps more like bear wrestling -- to do the initial integration.

Furniture Maker 10 uses most of the required techniques, and I had a look at some of Don Cheke's work (which is excellent stuff) -- he is a good part of the way there. I am guessing he is no DB expert -- but if he were, he would probably be able to offer a product. He has designed templates that are compatible with the idea of picking off particular components and assigning product codes or part numbers.


I was thinking about this last night....

The first step is defining a base template (for manufacturing integration) that has all of the required information to connect part numbers to the company db:

At it's simplest it requires:

Internal Key: Integer (For speed in large part number files)
User Part Number: Alpha-Numeric 16 (say...) (for human convenience)
Category: Code -- Integer (Used for filtering searches -- may need sub codes)
Part Description: Alpha-Numeric 31
Part Source: Code (Integer) -- This would be for specifying internal or external supplier
Assembly: Boolean Is this part a base part or a collection/assy of parts)?
Supplier: (Code (Integer) -- if needed would be filled in (These two can be collapsed into one field)
SourceMaterial: Code (Used to specify type of wood, steel, paint or whatever)
PartStatusLink: Code (Link to the DB where status is maintained as in active, obsolete, upgraded etc)


Anything that is labeled "Code" is at least a 32 bit integer used for database keys for internal linking...

Keep in mind that you really do need to be able to query the company database as you draw -- since many parts can be stored as templates and reused -- like door latches, screws, dowels, springs... whether you make them or buy them.


As far as I know most drawing packages suffer from "integration after the fact" so -- "no big deal".

I know when I did my first Integration with AutoCad that what we were doing had never been tackled before -- mainly because we were using beta ODBC drivers and were warned that there were no commercial products being offered that had DB integration -- we were on our own good luck!... Admittedly it was over 10 years ago.

If we can get general agreement on what should be included for any part then perhaps IMSI can build in the facility so that the above record -- or similar can be attached to anything we wish to view as a distinct part. (Whether it be a hydraulic ram or a shelf).


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WillR
SW:TC 21 Pro Platinum, FM15, 20 Pro Platinum 64 Bit, also V 19.1 64Bit & 32 bit 17.2 and 18.1; Furniture Maker 14 and 10. HW: Vista 64 Ultimate, AMD 1090 (6 core) 8GB memory Plus also an AMD  8 core systemFX


November 09, 2011, 11:27:34 AM
#21
Ok, well out of my depth. 'TC is a very well thought out product' Reviews like that, about 15 years ago are what made me choose TC when I was a know nothing at all about computers. Good luck, and I also am eagerly anticipating the results to Don Checke's BOM. Best regards, Al.

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Alan.
Platinum 21. & Deluxe 21.
TC user since 1995. (version 3)


November 09, 2011, 12:58:42 PM
#22
Ok, well out of my depth. 'TC is a very well thought out product' Reviews like that, about 15 years ago are what made me choose TC when I was a know nothing at all about computers. Good luck, and I also am eagerly anticipating the results to Don Checke's BOM. Best regards, Al.

I think that there are some mixed messages going around that I need to clear up. I am not a programmer so I would have no idea how to create a BOM add-on program for TurboCAD. The only thing I did, and have made available, was to create a new tutorial that illustrates how to use the existing database tools to create a BOM that is inserted into a TurboCAD drawing or exported to Excel for further calculation work. It is quite straightforward, although requires considerable time to input the required data. I have attached the simple BOM created in the tutorial.

What I have created in the way of a tutorial is in no way the all inclusive 'program' that Will is describing. I would have no idea how to create such a thing, nor would I even know what all needs to be included. If IMSI does travel down the road to create a BOM function I sure hope that it is user friendly. Too much that has come out over the last few versions is just way to complex (user unfriendly) in my opinion (i.e. creating parametric part scripting, constraints, database connect palette, to name three that come readily to mind.


* November 09, 2011, 02:19:52 PM
#23
I've had a chance to speak to our developers about this topic.  Ironically this topic exemplifies a very large issue with BOMS in general  which is echoed by them.   That is that there are many use cases for BOMs.  For instance so far we've discussed Woodworking, 2 use cases of of industrial/manufacturing not to mention the very large architectural market.  I'm sure we could easily name a few more but you get the point.  

We think that we have all low level functionality for BOM now.   But we need to improve UI of setting BOM information to objects and exporting resulting data to external database.    We don't have a good idea of what that UI should be. 'Furniture Maker' has good UI, but it is very specialized tool.

So the next immediate goal is to find some common solution.  I have been asked to look at other CAD products by development and let them know what solution is better from my/our point of view?  So that we can provide a good solution for the UI.  

Another option might be to find some 3rd party solution providers.  For instance FM seems to be pretty good for woodworking.   Perhaps we try to find 3rd party developers who already have industry specific expertise that we can leverage.   Especially since we already have the DB connectivity groundwork done and have also updated and cleaned up our SDK.




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* November 09, 2011, 02:45:15 PM
#24
I've had a chance to speak to our developers about this topic.  Ironically this topic exemplifies a very large issue with BOMS in general  which is echoed by them.   That is that there are many use cases for BOMs.  For instance so far we've discussed Woodworking, 2 use cases of of industrial/manufacturing not to mention the very large architectural market.  I'm sure we could easily name a few more but you get the point.  

We think that we have all low level functionality for BOM now.   But we need to improve UI of setting BOM information to objects and exporting resulting data to external database.    We don't have a good idea of what that UI should be. 'Furniture Maker' has good UI, but it is very specialized tool.

So the next immediate goal is to find some common solution.  I have been asked to look at other CAD products by development and let them know what solution is better from my/our point of view?  So that we can provide a good solution for the UI.  

Another option might be to find some 3rd party solution providers.  For instance FM seems to be pretty good for woodworking.   Perhaps we try to find 3rd party developers who already have industry specific expertise that we can leverage.   Especially since we already have the DB connectivity groundwork done and have also updated and cleaned up our SDK.





I think we said the same thing.  ;)

Just somewhat different style.


And one more thing... I hope you read what I had to say about FM10 over in the FM 10 forum. I have sent a note to Spinar and have heard nothing.

Should I file specific reports with TC support? There are some issues I really would like resolved.


« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 02:47:41 PM by WillR »

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WillR
SW:TC 21 Pro Platinum, FM15, 20 Pro Platinum 64 Bit, also V 19.1 64Bit & 32 bit 17.2 and 18.1; Furniture Maker 14 and 10. HW: Vista 64 Ultimate, AMD 1090 (6 core) 8GB memory Plus also an AMD  8 core systemFX


November 09, 2011, 02:50:16 PM
#25
We think that we have all low level functionality for BOM now.   But we need to improve UI of setting BOM information to objects and exporting resulting data to external database.    We don't have a good idea of what that UI should be. 'Furniture Maker' has good UI, but it is very specialized tool.

I agree with what you are saying. I don't use a BOM very much anymore as most of my work does not warrant it. However, while writing the tutorial I was quite impressed with the capabilities.

A couple things that I really noticed that need addressing are the ability to correct spelling errors without losing data connections and the ability to reorganize the list within the Properties dialogue and the Selection Info palette. I realize this can be rearranged when creating the report, but being able to have it in the desired order as one is inputting data is very helpful.

The other thing is the ability to insert an Excel spreadsheet into the drawing at its full width, whatever that may be for the user, and be able to work with it in the drawing if need be. Currently it can be inserted but it is totally unusable at its current level of functionality.

If one is using TurboCAD Tables in the drawing based on the inserted data, then the tables editing capabilities must be improved. Editing is a nightmare, it take so long, especially since one cannot select multiple rows for deletion, which one needs to do if they are assigning database data to all instances of a common part.

I hope that helps a bit with a direction.


* November 09, 2011, 02:54:41 PM
#26
Ok, well out of my depth. 'TC is a very well thought out product' Reviews like that, about 15 years ago are what made me choose TC when I was a know nothing at all about computers. Good luck, and I also am eagerly anticipating the results to Don Checke's BOM. Best regards, Al.

I think that there are some mixed messages going around that I need to clear up. I am not a programmer so I would have no idea how to create a BOM add-on program for TurboCAD. The only thing I did, and have made available, was to create a new tutorial that illustrates how to use the existing database tools to create a BOM that is inserted into a TurboCAD drawing or exported to Excel for further calculation work. It is quite straightforward, although requires considerable time to input the required data. I have attached the simple BOM created in the tutorial.

What I have created in the way of a tutorial is in no way the all inclusive 'program' that Will is describing. I would have no idea how to create such a thing, nor would I even know what all needs to be included. If IMSI does travel down the road to create a BOM function I sure hope that it is user friendly. Too much that has come out over the last few versions is just way to complex (user unfriendly) in my opinion (i.e. creating parametric part scripting, constraints, database connect palette, to name three that come readily to mind.

I have done more than a few of these integrations -- designing them, doing the architecture, programming the DB design -- all aspects -- helping the programmers.

You actually do have a pretty good handle on it. It is also obvious that you are not a programmer -- a programmer with your level of understanding could never have resisted adding just a few more bells and whistles. Since you stopped just short of what I see as an obvious goal indicated you just aren't a propeller head. A little further and you might get the beanie -- which is the first award.


What you did was not generalized -- I tried to show how one might take what you did and allow it be generalized.

FM 10 is a specific problem with a specific solution that should never be generalized. They did not use "DB architecture" but rather programmed a solution and "made it work" by clever programing. Since I am not that clever and hate programming I try to find solutions that are more data driven. They are harder to lay out -- but work in a wider range of circumstances.


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WillR
SW:TC 21 Pro Platinum, FM15, 20 Pro Platinum 64 Bit, also V 19.1 64Bit & 32 bit 17.2 and 18.1; Furniture Maker 14 and 10. HW: Vista 64 Ultimate, AMD 1090 (6 core) 8GB memory Plus also an AMD  8 core systemFX


November 09, 2011, 03:44:03 PM
#27
I've had a chance to speak to our developers about this topic.  Ironically this topic exemplifies a very large issue with BOMS in general  which is echoed by them.   That is that there are many use cases for BOMs.  For instance so far we've discussed Woodworking, 2 use cases of of industrial/manufacturing not to mention the very large architectural market.  I'm sure we could easily name a few more but you get the point.  

We think that we have all low level functionality for BOM now.   But we need to improve UI of setting BOM information to objects and exporting resulting data to external database.    We don't have a good idea of what that UI should be. 'Furniture Maker' has good UI, but it is very specialized tool.

So the next immediate goal is to find some common solution.  I have been asked to look at other CAD products by development and let them know what solution is better from my/our point of view?  So that we can provide a good solution for the UI.  

Another option might be to find some 3rd party solution providers.  For instance FM seems to be pretty good for woodworking.   Perhaps we try to find 3rd party developers who already have industry specific expertise that we can leverage.   Especially since we already have the DB connectivity groundwork done and have also updated and cleaned up our SDK.




Dave, great that there is forwards movement with this. I appreciate that BOM takes various forms for a variety of industries. From a woodworker's point of view, please research not only other 3rd party cad providers, but also look if you are not already familiar, at CutlistPlus from Bridgewood Designs, because for Bill of Materials for woodworkers, Cutlistplus is excellent, and is what many of us will be wanting to use to import TC data into, by way of a csv file. Something I particularly find missing when I use a very old version of TC in conjunction with Dan Huntings very old TC plugin [I have a version which will work with TC 10.5pro] [and very reliable providing I use only surface based 3d entities], is automatic part numbering. It would be nice to click on an item on the drawing and see it highlighted in the Bom list and vice versa, and for the automatic part numbering [simple low-level numbers please] to be able to show up on a drawing, and be in the list in the bom for importing into CutlistPlus. Regarding automatic part numbering, I do have Dave Bell's excellent bci tool for manual part numbering by way of the magic leader tools, but it is easy to miss a part that way and requires lots of clicking, so needs to be automatic.

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Alan.
Platinum 21. & Deluxe 21.
TC user since 1995. (version 3)


* November 09, 2011, 04:21:07 PM
#28
We'll have a look at cutlist plus.

WillR I am not sure which FM post you meant....I assume this one?

http://forums.turbocad.com/index.php/topic,7417.0.html
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 11:40:24 AM by Dave Taylor »

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* November 09, 2011, 07:46:00 PM
#29
We'll have a look at cutlist plus.

WillR I am not sure which FM post you meant....I assume this one?

http://forums.turbocad.com/index.php/topic,7417.0.html


It looks like you found the right post However your link went "strange"...
http://forums.turbocad.com/index.php/topic,7417.0.html

We'll see if mine works better.

Note: It did -- yours added something at the leading edge.


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WillR
SW:TC 21 Pro Platinum, FM15, 20 Pro Platinum 64 Bit, also V 19.1 64Bit & 32 bit 17.2 and 18.1; Furniture Maker 14 and 10. HW: Vista 64 Ultimate, AMD 1090 (6 core) 8GB memory Plus also an AMD  8 core systemFX


November 11, 2011, 03:24:01 PM
#30
Ok, well out of my depth. 'TC is a very well thought out product' Reviews like that, about 15 years ago are what made me choose TC when I was a know nothing at all about computers. Good luck, and I also am eagerly anticipating the results to Don Checke's BOM. Best regards, Al.

I think that there are some mixed messages going around that I need to clear up. I am not a programmer so I would have no idea how to create a BOM add-on program for TurboCAD. The only thing I did, and have made available, was to create a new tutorial that illustrates how to use the existing database tools to create a BOM that is inserted into a TurboCAD drawing or exported to Excel for further calculation work. It is quite straightforward, although requires considerable time to input the required data. I have attached the simple BOM created in the tutorial.

What I have created in the way of a tutorial is in no way the all inclusive 'program' that Will is describing. I would have no idea how to create such a thing, nor would I even know what all needs to be included. If IMSI does travel down the road to create a BOM function I sure hope that it is user friendly. Too much that has come out over the last few versions is just way to complex (user unfriendly) in my opinion (i.e. creating parametric part scripting, constraints, database connect palette, to name three that come readily to mind.

Hi Don, I have just taken a look on your website re the BOM tutorial. Is this tutorial to create a BOM where the list of parts with dimension information etc, is generated automatically from the model-space content, because I am a bit concerned about your comment 'requires considerable time to input the required data' because that doesn't sound like an automatically generated BOM, where the only required input for each part is the part description [attribute]. I am comparing with the old Dan Hunting BoM which automatically counts quantities of a part and generates the parts list, ordering by longest dimension as follows: Length,Width,Thickness, so any part with a width greater than a length will need to be manually swapped in the spreadsheet, [though CutlistPlus has a swap L&W feature so then I mention in the attribute but leave swapping till later.]

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Alan.
Platinum 21. & Deluxe 21.
TC user since 1995. (version 3)


November 11, 2011, 08:45:33 PM
#31
Hi Don, I have just taken a look on your website re the BOM tutorial. Is this tutorial to create a BOM where the list of parts with dimension information etc, is generated automatically from the model-space content, because I am a bit concerned about your comment 'requires considerable time to input the required data' because that doesn't sound like an automatically generated BOM, where the only required input for each part is the part description [attribute]. I am comparing with the old Dan Hunting BoM which automatically counts quantities of a part and generates the parts list, ordering by longest dimension as follows: Length,Width,Thickness, so any part with a width greater than a length will need to be manually swapped in the spreadsheet, [though CutlistPlus has a swap L&W feature so then I mention in the attribute but leave swapping till later.]

Hi Alan, All the data is manually entered via the properties dialogue or the Selection Info palette because what automation there is in the program does not give the required info. One must type all kinds of data anyway while the parts are selected so it is just as easy to type the dimensions, taking grain into account. The count is easily found on the selection Info palette. All one need do is select by layer (the layer the specific part is assigned to). The automation really comes into play when creating the spreadsheet and then afterward defining functions in the spreadsheet. It does not work like the old add-on you are referring to, but it is not too bad in my opinion for what it is.


November 12, 2011, 01:14:57 PM
#32
Thanks Don. I'm sticking with the facility I use with TC 10.5 as haven't the time for lengthly inputs. By the way, have you seen the Rubyscript BoM for Google Sketchup? I'm not sure if it is only for the pay-for version of S.U.  I would think it would be possible for anyone with TC v18 to save as googlesketchup and perform an automated BoM that way. Not wanting to pour water on your fire and am sure there is plenty of useful information in your tutorial, but I do think that it is fair to inform people if there is a more time saving option available. Time is money for professionals. Kind regards, Al.

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Alan.
Platinum 21. & Deluxe 21.
TC user since 1995. (version 3)


* December 06, 2011, 11:41:14 AM
#33
As a cabinetmaker, I too have been wanting for quite some time to be able to integrate a BOM function to my drawings.  I agree with Don Cheke that the reports and tables are painful to use, and the responses so far to add functions to the database report functions are not what is needed and definitely not what is wanted.  As a woodworker, I agree also with Alan that Cutlist Plus gives us exactly what we need, as it also generates optimized parts layout on sheet goods, cutlist reports, BOM reports, label printing, and pricing proposals, and I would also say that it is user friendly.  We just need a way to get the right information to send to Cutlist.  Cutlist works with .csv files as well as Excel files.  I think better integration with Excel is needed anyway as the tables function is so painful it is of little use.

Don, I can't speak for the other Cad programs out there, but the majority of cabinet design programs have the same or similar functions built-in as Cutlist.  The information used to generate the BOM reports is automatically entered by the program, in addition to the capability to output to CNC.  Programs such as www.kcdsoftware.com, www.planit.comwww.cabinetpro.com, have this ability.  No extra data entry is required to generate the reports.  I personally would like to stay with TC as I am not willing to spend as little as five to ten times the cost of TC for programs that are mostly drag and drop type of design programs. I also really like the power and flexibility of TC to draw any kind of cabinet I need.  There is one new add-on program to SketchUp that has a lot of promise though, www.cabinetsensesoftware.com.  The Cabinet Sense program uses SketchUp's dynamic componets and creates fully parametric cabinets and then generates the reports with a built-in simplified version of Cutlist or it can output to the full version of Cutlist Plus, as well as Excel.  There are limitations with this as well. 

Dave, I don't see FM as being the solution either, with the translation and support issues I have been reading about.  Cutlist has a few price points that seem pretty reasonable.  Since these cabinet making programs have the BOM functions built-in, maybe they can serve as inspiration? 

As a starting point for the UI may I suggest adding an on/off button in the tool/object properties dialog for a BOM, so the user can tell TC to keep track of the attributes chosen by the user in say a BOM dialog or the styles pallete, or something?  This way the user can add parts to the BOM either as they draw, or by selecting objects.  This should also carry through in the blocks/symbols palletes.  In addition to the button, a box for naming the part, and a couple of drop downs to choose other attributes set up in the previously mentioned BOM dialog or the styles pallete.  There could be automatic numbering with prefix and suffix when dragging blocks into the drawing.  Just a couple of thoughts.

Dan

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Deluxe 16.2
Pro Platinum 18.2
Running on HP HDX laptop w/win7 Home Intel Duo Core, 2.53GHz 4GB RAM, 64Bit OS


December 07, 2011, 03:20:51 PM
#34
Woodan, thank you, Cabinetsense does look interesting. Reminds me a bit of EcabinetSystems but with more cad functionality. [freedom].

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Alan.
Platinum 21. & Deluxe 21.
TC user since 1995. (version 3)


* December 20, 2011, 05:43:24 PM
#35
It seems if you are going to have a BOM or part list manager, you need to have several flavors for each target discipline. There is electronics, plumbing, home building, cabinetry, general wood working and more.
Being able to customize and define your base template as WillR mentioned is the starting point.

For woodworking, it would be nice to create a 3d part, like a board, then click it's properties to set a part number. From that alone, the object's length, width and thickness could be automatically entered into the cut list. Special fields for material type could be a simple drop down menu of user defined materials or for other disceplines, parts descriptions, sources, prices, etc...
Simple check boxes would be used to defined which parameters are to be included in the list.
Once the list is completed, custom tables could be added to viewports to include associated parts.
Also, the ability to export lists to excel would be nice.

This is what the CA in CAD is all about "Computer - Aided".  I think we're all tired of using pencil & paper for this task!

Maybe an formal programming spec by users is in order.

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December 20, 2011, 11:49:28 PM
#36
Shotglass, I haven't been compiling manual lists for years because over 10 years ago there was a great plugin for woodworkers BOM available from Imsi compiled by Dan Hunting. I can hardly believe that they ditched support for it without plugging the gap first. Imsi Design seemed full of promises at first, but same old I fear.

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Alan.
Platinum 21. & Deluxe 21.
TC user since 1995. (version 3)


* December 21, 2011, 01:53:01 PM
#37
It seems if you are going to have a BOM or part list manager, you need to have several flavors for each target discipline. There is electronics, plumbing, home building, cabinetry, general wood working and more.

Being able to customize and define your base template as WillR mentioned is the starting point.



This is what the CA in CAD is all about "Computer - Aided".  I think we're all tired of using pencil & paper for this task!

Maybe an formal programming spec by users is in order.


I have been working on this as I design a mineral refining plant. I'm getting a feel for what is built in and what is not. Maybe I will automate it -- maybe not. It's only a few hundred main assemblies... and the detail work is not my problem (yet?). All the drawings are finished in initial form.  {Actually one diagram is quite detailed and maybe that is the candidate...}

It worked out the way I said it should -- a lot of fields/parameters are the same -- and then there are the fields that depend on part/assembly category (or classification) if you prefer. It's not exactly a tough/difficult problem -- just tedious.

As I refine the design (pun intended) over Christmas maybe I will try a hook in to a SQL server (Interbase -- by Embarcadero) since I have all those tools running at this client. I also have Delphi 2007 loaded so I can do some modest programming quickly. if I find the time.


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WillR
SW:TC 21 Pro Platinum, FM15, 20 Pro Platinum 64 Bit, also V 19.1 64Bit & 32 bit 17.2 and 18.1; Furniture Maker 14 and 10. HW: Vista 64 Ultimate, AMD 1090 (6 core) 8GB memory Plus also an AMD  8 core systemFX