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About to give up on TurboCAD
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* January 04, 2018, 10:49:10 PM
I am almost at the point where I will give up. The concept of TurboCAD is good, but the implementation is not good enough. The software has too many bugs. It crashes unpredictably, on many different computers including powerful workstations with vast amounts of hardware and resources. Also, fatally, the STL output (which is crucial for producing 3D-printed prototypes) is not sufficiently precise. What good does it do to design beautiful screw threads, if the output is low-rez at best and completely screwed up at worst?

At this point, I am strongly tempted to switch to AutoCAD. I am a university professor, and AutoCAD is provided at no cost to educators. Hence the economics would be OK. The downside is that I will have to learn how to use it - which of course is a major pain, but it may be worth the effort in view of the problems depicted above.

If you give me a strong reason to stick with TurboCAD, I will consider your arguments. My thought of giving up have grown out of frustration with the implementation of the software, not with its general conceptual framework which I actually like.


* January 04, 2018, 11:07:48 PM
If you aren't happy switch.
We are all users of TC not employees and don't benefit from encouraging you to persevere with Turbocad.

TC20 platinum
TC 2015 platinum
TC 2017 with lightworks

* January 05, 2018, 02:30:54 AM
Thank you for your response Nikki. I appreciate that neither you nor anybody else is trying to "sell" me on TurboCAD. I was kind-of-hoping to hear that the frequent crashes are an anomaly, because I am not looking forward to switching. It's more like an act of desperation. I got used to saving stuff every few minutes in order to minimize the waste - but that cannot be a long-term solution!

On the other hand, I have no hands-on experience with AutoCAD and I have no specific reason to believe that it will be more stable, or that the STL output will be more precise. Time will tell, I guess.


* January 05, 2018, 02:47:04 AM
You didn't mention what version of TC you're using. I've been using TC since V3 and admit that some versions are better than others. V21 PP is very stable on my X64 Win10 system, and I currently have no plans to upgrade (for various reasons).
As an aside, I've found that I prefer Fusion for creating STLs, but find TC better for certain other things.

Gary Wooding
Win10 64-bit,
TC21.2 x64 Plat, Bld59
TC16.2 Plat, Bld54.0
TCC 3.5

* January 05, 2018, 03:59:30 AM
Also, fatally, the STL output (which is crucial for producing 3D-printed prototypes) is not sufficiently precise. What good does it do to design beautiful screw threads, if the output is low-rez at best and completely screwed up at worst?

I haven't done much 3D printing, but I'd agree STL isn't the best output from TC, so I always run the STL through the free MeshLab and / or Free NetFabb, to repair any bad faces, i'm not saying this is how it should be, just how I do it,  as for the low resolution, it depends on what TC version / type you are using, with deluxe I think its best to crank up the facets to max (somewhere around 90), with pro (what I use) I increase ACIS facetor to max and sometimes override it with custom setting before converting to surface or STL, to output at a higher resolution.

Crashes, they are more difficult to diagnose,  for example one user cured his instability by installing both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions on the same computer, even though he only used 64 bit (I think),  there was a problem last year which only seemed to be reported by people in the UK, that was a strange one.

I am by no means an expert with TC, but I don't get too many crashes unless I start playing wth constraints, or pushing the AnimationLab plug-in a bit too far, I'd guess on average over a year it would work out at between one to two crash a week, but then I'm retired so I don't use TC to the extent that others would, I find it best to shut down TC after a few hours, let it settel and re-open it, seems to clear out some of the cobwebs that appear to built up over time.
Note - although I'm marked as a moderator, its purely a title for spam-watcher, I have no connection with IMSI nor TC apart from being a user.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 04:11:31 AM by Andy H »


January 05, 2018, 03:59:38 PM
The smoothness of STL exports depends on the ACIS setting (assuming you are using Solid modeling).

Under the Properties drop-down menu, select ACIS and see the first image (will vary slightly with version).  The default value is 50.  The second image shows a sample output viewed in Meshlab.  The third image was created with ACIS = 95.  If Expert Faceter Parameters is activated, even finer (or rougher) results can be obtained.

With smoother settings, the file size will increase dramatically.  For the jewelry I send out for 3D printing, I have to limit the file size to, IIRC, 60 MB and adjusting the ACIS setting is the simplest way to do that.

*** EDIT *** Keep in mind that higher ACIS settings can drastically increase the rendering time. *** EDIT OFF ***

« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 04:02:20 PM by Jeffin90620 »

TC Pro Platinum 2017, 2016 & 2015 (all with LightWorks) & V21
System: i7-5820K @ 3.30GHz, ASRock X99 Extreme4, 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM, Gigabyte GTX 970, Samsung NVMe SSD 950 (256GB), Windows 7 Pro (64-bit) SP1

* January 05, 2018, 05:22:27 PM
Why would any of us try to persuade you to keep using TurboCAD?  There have been a number of complaints here recently that TC doesn't do this or that for the complainant, that it's too hard to use or whatever.  Your complaint about the precision of the .stl output is itself imprecise.  "Fatally"?  You mustn't know how to adjust the ACIS parameters.  There are any number of competitive programs available as academic versions for little or no cost, and the FreeCAD open source program.  I've paid for some of them myself for specialised uses alongside TC, I visit their forums and am aware of many of their shortcomings too.  The fact is that most CAD software works pretty much as advertised.  Every one that I've used has had bugs, and almost every bug has workarounds, none are show-stoppers.  Yes, TC crashes occasionally.  So does exactly everything else I use, so I'm particular about backups and autosaves, and most times pay attention to what I was trying to do that might have caused a crash, because repeatable actions are fixable.   
Your "frustration with the implementation of the software" is a nebulous smear that reveals that you're struggling with TC and blaming it for your failures with it.  I don't know how many seats of recent Platinum versions are out there, but successful and (relatively) satisfied users must number in the thousands at least, and no class actions or demonstrated repeatable fatal flaws. 
If you feel that switching to AutoCAD or anything else is going to benefit you, grab that benefit.   Sheesh.  Nobody here owes you an education.   
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 05:25:28 PM by murray dickinson »


January 06, 2018, 05:35:06 AM
Hi aag,

ah, decisions, decisions!

Having tried all the major CAD packages, plus freebies, as a means of earning a living and now as a rapidly deteriorating, retiree hobbyist, I cannot say there are any without faults.
So, be wary of free lunches!

Today, it's just as likely to be operator error, as anything.

There is no quick way to be proficient with TurboCAD, anymore than with AutoCAD, unless you are sticking with simple 2-D drawings.
There's very little that cannot be achieved in TurboCAD, with perseverance.  That's what makes the difference.  It's your choice.

There is no quick fix/alternative to spending many hours, patiently learning.
That's the price for success.

Regards Tim

You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2016/2017 + Lightworks (64-bit versions).

* January 06, 2018, 06:18:35 AM
My only persistent issue with TC is the Animation Lab plugin, other than that TC ( many version ) have run OK, I can't recall the last time I had TC just crash ( without AL help that is ). I have made many parts on TC, saved as STL and have 3D printed, can't say I have any gripes with resolution. I printed a nut and bolt ( I think around 13TPI thread, not really fine ) but they screwed right together. Any issues I run into are a limitation of my Pursa printer.

As Jeff mentions above, there are settings that will improve things for you

« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 07:11:00 AM by Joel »


* January 07, 2018, 02:22:27 AM
Hey Professor what version of TurboCAD are you using?

I will give you the benefit of the doubt and just presume your winging, crikey Ive spat the dummy more than once and that was most likely due to my lack of experience/knowledge.

So post a drawing or file and let us help you out!

Thanks Daz ( Darryl )
Using TCW 2015, 2016 & 2017 Platinum, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3300Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best

* January 07, 2018, 10:20:51 AM
This sounds familiar.  When I first got TC Pro Platinum, I got crashes.    Now I have had one crash in 6 months. That was after a very long day and MANY applications running on my computer in the background.   I was doing a complicated set of changes to a very large and complex drawing.  So, I restarted removed all the other open windows.   I have an Asus mboard, AMD 8 core processor with 4 GHZ speed and the W4300 compact video card.

I found that my version of Windows had stopped updating and that Windows had a fix for that.  It is a program you down load from Microsoft and then run it.  Then you will get constant updates.  After about a week of updates, no crashes. 

The resources in the computer can and do conflict with the resources used by TC. And you know that the programmers are using the latest updated software test the programming.   Also I set up a "TurboCad" user on my computer and stopped using the "Administrator" for this software.   Windows 7 Pro.   I tried 10 and hated it.  Such a lot of useless (stuff for home computers and touchscreen) in the way of just running programs.

I took one of my drawings with 3 mm .5 threads and converted it to STL.  Took a look and it looks fine.  Maybe it is because it is the latest version of the Platinum Pro.