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Why Can't I Assemble The Simplest 3D Objects?
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* June 08, 2019, 10:18:27 AM
Even as simple as a couple of cylinders, end to end and concentrically.

I don't know why I still even try to draw anything in 3D.... That free-form geological sketch I put on the Gallery recently is now with its paper, under review; but my last "accurate" 3D drawing was of a small crankshaft I displayed some time last year. Otherwise I have utterly failed in any real 3D drawing since, largely because I cannot assemble different entities as they should be. Nothing I try, works.
 
I know TC uses at least 3 different "solids" types, of different properties. However, whether I use extrusions or primitives, they dissolve into polygonal prisms of adjoining but independent facets that cannot be re-assembled. If I try to select the entire figure, the tool picks up only one facet.

Consequently it's impossible to put even two simple entities together. The "manual" barely mentions "Assembling", and then only to link rectangular blocks by corners and edges. I recollect, vaguely, having to move both figures' reference-points, but I could never make that work, the "Assemble" instructions do not mention it, and if the figure has been dissolved into facets, it won't work.

"Add" them? Same result, giving a unified whole but still a mass of facets impossible to modify.
Building on work-planes placed on selected facets? That dissolution seems to delete the ends, and the side facets are not necessarily parallel or perpendicular to the appropriate axes. 

I can connect only intact 'primitives', and only by co-ordinates; awkward with symmetrical ones, impossible with anything complicated. I drew the crankshaft by co-ordinates, and the geological diagram by a mixture of co-ordinates and by eye.


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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* June 08, 2019, 10:58:17 AM
#1
Does this image help as far as moving goes.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 11:01:41 AM by John R »

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John R.

V17—V21, 2015—2019
Designer, Deluxe, (Professional, Expert, Basic), Platinum
RedSDK enabled
Windows 10 Pro (1803), 64-bit


* June 08, 2019, 11:47:31 AM
#2
Nigel, the problem you're having with facets seems to indicate that the 3D object has been exploded too many times. Before exploding anything, it might be prudent to open the Selection Info palette, select the object to be exploded, and note how it's identified in the upper window of the palette--e.g., "Cylinder," "ACIS Solid," "TC Surface," or something else. If it's a"TC Surface," don't explode further. If it's a bunch of "Polylines" or other 2D entities, you've already gone too far. An immediate Undo will fix it IF you haven't done anything else after committing the latest Explode. If it's too late to Undo, I know of no practical way to reassemble the fragments.

Henry H

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* June 08, 2019, 03:17:30 PM
#3
Sorry John - your screen-shot is not very clear. I'll try to view it in some other way.

Henry - I don't need to use Explode. These things are either being exploded by whatever I do to them, or they start as a collection of individual bits anyway. I've only tried to use Explode and what I thought its opposite (Group) later on when things were already going wrong.

I found that if I wish to edit an assembled unity some time after putting it together, I can't because its components are "welded" together and the only way to separate them is by Explode - which just ruins the lot.

I experimented again this evening, and whilst I was able to put together a few shapes, I noticed their properties all seemed very different from each other, with no clear pattern to them. I know it's from how they are made, but not what actually happens.

Among the oddities, I tried to draw a simple rectangular torus, like a thick washer. I drew the outer as a "Cylinder", but could not copy and reduce it in place to make the hole (lengthened so I could subtract it from the outer shell). I am sure I have used that method previously, but this time had to draw a second cylinder separately to seed the "hole".

It's all very discouraging. TurboCAD has no obvious logic or patterns to it, and its "manual" is atrocious. At least I know I am not the only one to find this. 

 

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* June 08, 2019, 04:16:13 PM
#4
"I found that if I wish to edit an assembled unity some time after putting it together, I can't because its components are "welded" together and the only way to separate them is by Explode - which just ruins the lot."

That's what happens if you 3D-Add the components. If there's any chance that you'll want to separate or edit the components of an assembly later on, then Group them instead of Adding them. Exploding a Group once will un-group it; or you can select the Group and then press Ctrl+G to enter the Group Edit mode. (Press Ctrl+Shift+G to exit Group Edit mode.)

"Among the oddities, I tried to draw a simple rectangular torus, like a thick washer. I drew the outer as a "Cylinder", but could not copy and reduce it in place to make the hole (lengthened so I could subtract it from the outer shell). I am sure I have used that method previously, but this time had to draw a second cylinder separately to seed the "hole"."

To copy it so you can change its dimensions, select it and click the "Make Copy" icon on the Inspector Bar. Use the Scale or Size fields of the IBar; you'll be editing the copy and leaving the original untouched. Be sure that "Make Copy" is turned off before you begin working with some other object in your drawing, or you'll be creating unwanted extra copies.

Henry H

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* June 09, 2019, 02:02:20 PM
#5
Thankyou Henry.

I'd not realised that is one the points of Group - I thought it was to facilitate such tasks as copying a repeated sub-assembly onto the same or a different drawing.

I thought that's what I was doing with that cylinder copying; on a drawing that is not "of" any "thing", but purely an exercise to try to get to grips with the beast. I find this a useful approach because I'm not distracted by whether the "thing" will work or how to make it. I can worry about that later; aware of the trap that you can easily design something impossible to make!

I have the Copy tool-bar of its own always on; and looking at it now to write this. I've noticed that whilst the selection labels for most as "xxx Copy", the "ordinary" copy I normally use, and denoted by a pair of footprints, is labelled "Duplicate and group the selected objects". 

So I placed a random cylinder away from the main image,  entering its dimensions in the temporary form this opens.
I selected it, and selected that "Duplicate..." tool.
This does not produce the entry form again, but allows the new size in the main Inspector Bar list.
And Size Z lets me change its height.
Their properties are what I'd expect, too.

So far so good - I don't know what I missed yesterday.

I've now tried extruding a circle and repeating the same copy in place technique; but what is odd that whilst the Inspector Bar lets me adjust the Size X and Size Y, Size Z changed its vertical position instead. I've been utterly baffled and frustrated by that a few times previously.
Its properties tell me it's a "Simple Extrude", but I noticed that comes with a puzzling 1-side / 2-side option. With no idea what that means but nothing to lose, I selected 2-sided experimentally. To my surprise, the extrusion immediately sprang to the new length I'd typed in.
The Position Z box works as it says.

Why should this sort of thing happen? Intuitively, using a Cylinder straight away seems simply a neat short-cut to extruding it from a circle and deleting that circle; whereas Extrusion handles shapes outside of TC's own library.

And does "Duplicate and group the selected objects" have the same meaning as the "Create group" command  signified by a couple of part-overlapped squares? If so, where does that first "group" go or is it only on the drawing presently on the screen?


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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* June 09, 2019, 02:25:57 PM
#6
"And does "Duplicate and group the selected objects" have the same meaning as the "Create group" command  signified by a couple of part-overlapped squares? If so, where does that first "group" go or is it only on the drawing presently on the screen?"

Nigel, I wasn't sure your TCad installation offers the "Pair of footprints" tool. It's the one I use myself, finding it safer than the "Make copy" IBar option. As far as I can tell, it duplicates but does NOT "group" a selected object.

Henry H

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* June 09, 2019, 04:12:40 PM
#7
One Side or two side options mean that the extrusion is in one direction from the profile or in two directions simultaneousy which is why the size in the direction of extrusion is doubled, not the Z dimension. If you extrude along any Vector in two directions, the  direction of the vector is the dimension that's apparently 'doubled'.  If you extrude a profile double-sided,  the result  will be the same whether the extrusion value is positive or negative.  If you extrude  in one direction,  the protile  will be at one end of the extrusion, in two directions the profile is in the centre.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 04:29:43 PM by murray dickinson »

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* June 10, 2019, 04:44:06 AM
#8
Henry - I think we have subtly different versions of TC.

 I have searched carefully, and my edition does not have anything called "Make copy".

Originally it had "Copy in place", but I forget its symbol. Then at some point I received up-dates that replaced "Copy in place" with the footprints labelled with "Duplicate...". Does the same thing!
 
So "and groups" in that label is misleading and "Duplicate in place" would have been better. I don't know if there is something else in there to justify the change, especially as the other tools' labels in the same set all use "Copy". It is still a valuable tool though!   

Murray - Thank you but I'm still puzzled by this. I know the definition of a vector as magnitude with direction; but I was asking it to change just the magnitude part. So if I leave it as single-sided, does it mean the extension is actually there but hidden "within" the original, a bit like copying in place?

I have my "Shapes" drawing open on a second window - as its name suggests, a pure exercise with a few random solids. Experimenting, I discovered what "vector copy" means though not how to control it accurately; but the 1 or 2-side option doesn't seem to apply to primitive cylinders (different properties).

So extruded a circle into a facetted cylinder. Then made a smaller, concentric Duplicate to examine. Sure enough, deliberately leaving the copy's extrude property as single-sided meant "Size Z" altered its altitude, not height. 2-sided made it immediately stay at the same altitude but of the new height.

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* June 10, 2019, 05:57:32 AM
#9
Murray - Thank you but I'm still puzzled by this. I know the definition of a vector as magnitude with direction; but I was asking it to change just the magnitude part. So if I leave it as single-sided, does it mean the extension is actually there but hidden "within" the original, a bit like copying in place?

I have my "Shapes" drawing open on a second window - as its name suggests, a pure exercise with a few random solids. Experimenting, I discovered what "vector copy" means though not how to control it accurately; but the 1 or 2-side option doesn't seem to apply to primitive cylinders (different properties).

So extruded a circle into a facetted cylinder. Then made a smaller, concentric Duplicate to examine. Sure enough, deliberately leaving the copy's extrude property as single-sided meant "Size Z" altered its altitude, not height. 2-sided made it immediately stay at the same altitude but of the new height.

I don't know what you mean by altering its altitude, not height.  Size Z is the dimension of the bounding box, an ortho box that notionally encloses the object, and its size represents the x, y and z dimensions of the objects.  Nothing to do with altitude, it's the median point between the z limits, it's top and bottom.  The position of the object is the centre of extents of the bounding box, its geometric centre, relative to the current workplane.  That'll change if you pick up the selected item by the z handle. 

If you declare that your extrusion is double-sided, the size is double the vector/extrusion length.   

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* June 10, 2019, 09:29:08 AM
#10
Henry - I think we have subtly different versions of TC.

 I have searched carefully, and my edition does not have anything called "Make copy".

Originally it had "Copy in place", but I forget its symbol. Then at some point I received up-dates that replaced "Copy in place" with the footprints labelled with "Duplicate...". Does the same thing!
 
So "and groups" in that label is misleading and "Duplicate in place" would have been better. I don't know if there is something else in there to justify the change, especially as the other tools' labels in the same set all use "Copy". It is still a valuable tool though!   

>>>SNIP

"Copy in Place" is a tool found under the "SDK" Command category.
"Make Copy" is a Local Menu option, available when the Select tool (Spacebar) is active.

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John R.

V17—V21, 2015—2019
Designer, Deluxe, (Professional, Expert, Basic), Platinum
RedSDK enabled
Windows 10 Pro (1803), 64-bit


* June 10, 2019, 01:54:32 PM
#11
The "Make Copy" tool I was referring to is an icon on the Inspector Bar--and it might not be visible unless you "float" the IBar by grabbing its extreme left-hand end and dragging it into the drawing area. Once there, its shape can be edited by dragging, and a couple of its other properties can be specified in Options>Desktop. I've assigned a hotkey to toggle the IBar's visibility On/Off so I can hide it when it gets in my way.

Henry H

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* June 11, 2019, 12:00:51 PM
#12
Murray -
 
From your explanation then, what I meant by "altitude" is therefore the position of the object's reference-point / centre of extent above or below the work-plane (Z = 0), while its "height" is the vertical or Z size of the object's bounding frame - but with simple cylinders and blocks standing on end, the it's the position and size of the object too. . I was seeing it only in terms of the object itself, not the cage automatically plotted around it.

I've been trying this on simple, symmetrical cylinders standing on one end, and square "slabs" laying horizontally on one of the square faces, so I can see that the RO and C-of-E are the same for each, and that bounding box touches all surfaces of the object. For the "slab" the boundaries match the object completely.

Fairly obvious really, now you've told me, but that's with very simple, symmetrical shapes. I've not tried unsymmetrical objects to see what happens when the RP and CoE fall outside the outline.  I can guess though - a messed-up drawing and me even more confused.

Henry -
I found the Make Copy tool, but didn't need to move the Inspector Bar anywhere. I'd not spotted that it was on there all the time, shown by a pair of little triangles. I'm afraid I don't know what 'SDK' means or where it is.

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* June 11, 2019, 09:28:46 PM
#13
No, the CofE, which is the default RP, can't fall outside the bounding box, so you don't need to consider that or grumble about the possibility.  I suppose you might be able to concoct some sort of outrageous object that demonstrates that you can have the CofE outside the object's "outline", but why, and why worry about the possibility?    The RP is a different story, it can be moved anywhere within the drawing, and with that deceptively simple capacity, you can do most of the copying and transformations that Pro has specific tools for that deluxe doesn't.   When you move the RP, though, you aren't moving the CofE.  That can be varied by changing the object's orientation, or by using a different coordinate system.  I don't think I've ever done that deliberately or accidentally or felt that it needed to be done, and I can't imagine why it would, so that's another thing to disregard/ignore with the expectation that it'll never disadvantage you. 

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June 12, 2019, 12:57:14 AM
#14
Quote
I'm afraid I don't know what 'SDK' means or where it is.

NigelG,

hi. There is no need to be afraid!
For as long as I can remember, it's always been in the same place.
Knowing its meaning, may just add to your confusion.
It's the location for a couple of additional tools, which may prove useful.

Regards Tim
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 02:17:52 AM by Tim Stewart »

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You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2016/2017/2018 + Lightworks (64-bit versions) + AnimationLab.


* June 12, 2019, 09:49:24 AM
#15
re: …I'm afraid I don't know what 'SDK' means…

SDK

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John R.

V17—V21, 2015—2019
Designer, Deluxe, (Professional, Expert, Basic), Platinum
RedSDK enabled
Windows 10 Pro (1803), 64-bit


* June 15, 2019, 01:20:09 PM
#16
Murray -

I'd not realised the C of E can only be in that bounding box. I was confusing it with what might happen in an unsymmetrical object. That and probably confusing it with the Reference Point, probably because I've been setting up exercises based on simple, symmetrical shapes.

Every time I try, I fail on something - today, when trying to draw a worm-gearbox I want to make. (I didn't try drawing the worm and wheel except as circles or rectangles). Copying a centre-line from one elevation to another stepped the destination outlines sideways under it! I'd set the outlines, centre-lines and hidden-detail lines on 3 different Layers as I thought that was one purpose of Layers, but it just put the drawing on lots of work-planes, in 2D at that. I should have used just the default layer, and edited the lines individually. Needless to say, the Users' Guide didn't help - and it mixes the Layers and Snaps sections together.

Henry -

You explained using Groups a few posts back. I tried using them previously but they caused me more problems.

John -

SDK... Err, I followed that link, thank-you, and ended up rather wishing I'd not asked! I thought it was a TurboCAD tool or function.   

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* June 15, 2019, 01:54:25 PM
#17
Re: SDK...

It does embody a set of TCad tools/functions. In my 2017 Deluxe installation there is a "SDK" menu heading, but it includes only a couple of options.

Henry H

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* June 15, 2019, 02:04:20 PM
#18
Re: Groups...

I've found that many of the problems with Groups can be avoided if one is careful to assure that all members of the Group are on the same Layer. The program places a newly created Group on Layer 0 regardless of which Layer(s) its components inhabit, but this can be changed via the Design Director or the Layer window in the Property toolbar at the top of the screen.

Henry H

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* June 16, 2019, 05:22:54 AM
#19
I looked up "Design Director" in the Guide but I must admit I am none the wiser and it seems very complicated. Most of it lists things like lighting angles and cameras but I see it does allow controlling Layers. I've always found the Layers menu more directly - the table that lists them and their properties - but I've not fathomed out what they are supposed to do and how to use them. Are Layers and Groups two more general CAD concepts you are expected to know before even installing TurboCAD?

If drawing in 2D uses only one work-plane (the World one?), why would groups or layers create extra ones? I don't know what that drawing was doing, but something was generating one work-plane after another, and as fast as I tried to make it all World WP only, it seemed a new one would be generated. Every new entity wanted a WP of its own.

That copied centre-line seemed to be working across two work-planes, with copies of the outlines on each and off-set from each other, but only one visible at a time. I solved it by deleting the copy of the line and drawing a new one just for that elevation. 

The off-set occurred because I had made the assembly's axis that of the gearbox casing, then realised it should be that of the shafts, a quarter-inch off-set; but also I needed the axis on a major grid-line to help me place everything correctly. It was if moving it all actually copied it to a secondary layer or WP or something rather than merely sliding it sideways on a single WP with 2 or 3 layers... Or is a layer actually on a floating work-plane of its own?

Very odd....

.... And only in two dimensions, too.     

I tried to find SDK in the Guide, but it's either not there or well hidden!

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* June 16, 2019, 07:36:40 AM
#20
Layers can be considered as analogous to transparent overlays that you can keep associated  drawing elements on (say the second floor of a building, drawn on the footprint of the first and its foundations, which you can snap to as template dimensions).  You're able to switch individual layer visibility on and off, which is like being able to take a transparent overlay out from a physical stack of them, so the objects on that layer aren't seen.  You can also lock them, so that they're there in your view or not, but the elements and features on that layer don't attract snaps, they can't be dimensioned and you can't edit or add to the elements on that layer while it's locked.  Layers can also be given preset attributes like colour and line thickness (usually called line weight) that will apply to anything you draw on that layer but not on others.  Layers have nothing to do with workplanes.  Elements on a layer can be on any workplane.  You can create template drawings that already have layers and workplanes in them, even when there are no objects in the drawing.  Layers are useful in model space and in paper space, workplanes aren't active in paper space at all.  Grouping doesn't add layers or workplanes, it has no effect on either of those things.  TC does occasionally lose track of objects' workplanes, but it's not an endemic occurrence every time a user creates an object.  TC would certainly have disappeared from the marketplace long since if many users  experienced what you're complaining about.   We can't see how you're using it, so we don't know what you're doing wrong, but we do know that YOU are doing something wrong.  Occasionally the program crashes, and it does have the occasional bug, but it doesn't screw things up all the time.     
You aren't expected to know anything about CAD when you begin using it, but you are expected to learn from using it.  TC behaves consistently most of the time, and there are occasional errors and tribulations, but nothing like the torrent of continual explosions and failure that you report/complain about.   
When CAD programs were so expensive that only enterprises could afford them, the CAD vendors used to charge a great deal of money to teach employees how to use it.  TC created what's now called "retail" low-cost CAD, the flipside of that is that people who could now afford it were and are unwilling to spend more on education and turned their attention to complaining that the programs are too complicated or "not intuitive enough".   Old-timers who started earlier than you either got educated at their employers' expense, and/or attended night school courses at their own and got some certification as well.  In those days, the education was usually in AutoCAD and people like us adapted what we'd learned in AutoCAD and other more expensive programs used in work to TC, because CAD programs do mostly similar things but in different ways, and even identical functions often have different names in each.  You mightn't like videos, but they're the dominant education medium now and you can watch and repeat endlessly until you have learned something, even from other programs' capacities.   Experimentation in TC does no damage and costs you nothing but some time, well-spent if you learn something.
Things like layers, groups, blocks, attributes et al are abilities that can be used to advantage when you've learned to do so, but there are no expectations about what level of education you should have to begin to use the program.  If something seems too complicated, and you don't understand it or why you'd want to use it, don't use it. 
The Design Director puts access and controls to layers, lighting, groups, categories (another sub-grouping that allows you to switch off the visibility of individual objects instead of the layer that carries them), and of other things all together in one palette.  That's less complicated than having to know where all of those things are located to use them otherwise.  Palettes are furled to the border and don't obstruct the drawing space until you need them, they can be set to only unfurl when you need them by hovering or clicking on their tab, then they can be pinned open until you dismiss them and they furl up again, like transient toolbars, which the tools palette can be when you learn to use it.

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* June 16, 2019, 08:55:33 AM
#21
Nigel, only you can create additional Layers in your drawing, and it's not something that's going to happen accidentally.

Workplanes, however, can be quirky. I avoid most of  their potential problems by following this one rule religiously: After I have moved any 2D object, and while it is still selected, I press Alt+Shift+W on the keyboard. This action assures that the object is indeed on the active Workplane (which is the default World WP if one is working strictly in 2D and has not intentionally changed it). Why this should be necessary is not easy to explain--please don't ask me--and complaining about it is futile.

Henry H

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* June 16, 2019, 09:22:44 AM
#22
Thank you Murray, for explaining those Layers, Design Director etc.

I KNOW it's me not TurboCAD that's going wrong, but I report what happens on my monitor, irrespective of cause. Well, I don't know the cause otherwise I might not have caused it!  I had guessed many users here have had formal CAD training, even if in a different package. I bought TC knowing what CAD generally could do for me if I learnt how; and I bought it through the model-engineering trade so I have to teach myself how. It did come with an introductory CD, by IMSI, in 2D but that kept failing at a specific point early in the first exercise. I might try it again to see if I can see why - I may simply have missed something despite repeated attempts.

Yes, I am afraid TC is non-intuitive if you have never used CAD previously, even if you understand technical drawing; unless you already know CAD principles or are being taught it formally. The User's Guide sketchily describes the individual tools, but still needs prior knowledge and doesn't help when something traps you.

I am aware that videos rule the roost, but I find them difficult to follow. I have tried viewing the videos selected by the Help menu but they always demand I install Adobe, and it never installs itself anyway.

Regarding not using parts of TC that seem too complicated, these include what appear to be basics to anything at all useful; in 2D or 3D.

"people who could now afford it were and are unwilling to spend more on education "

The price of TC in the UK was actually very reasonable, but the only education available is the videos. The agent at the time I bought it, Paul Tracy, does or did run introductory courses but does still offer advice, and his own site even advertises Don Cheke's TC videos. No-one else in the UK, as far as I know, teaches CAD outside of universities, some colleges* and the agents' own trade courses, at full commercial rates beyond many private users; and generally only in AutoCAD or SolidWorks.

I am not expecting to be able to draw 3D models of the standard on the Gallery without many months or years of practice, if ever; but I still want to be able to produce workshop 2D elevations and fairly simple 3D assemblies. Some CAD programmes expect taking the elevations from the model, and I know you can do that with TC, but at least it's not "compulsory"!

'
"... like transient toolbars, which the tools palette can be when you learn to use it"
Is that the tick-box list of tool-bar names, reached by right-clicking the tool-bar pane? Actually, I do use that quite a bit, though I've several tool-bars always along the top of the screen. I might find the Design Director useful too, though perhaps not at my present stage, wherever that is.
'

* Colleges: UK meaning, of adult-education including industrial apprentices. I know the UK and USA education systems are not quite parallel, but not how.
'

Henry -

I was putting things back on the work-plane all the time! The 2 extra layers were ones I'd created, probably mistaking what I thought layers are meant to do.

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.


* June 16, 2019, 11:16:46 AM
#23
I've just tried the IMSI-issued training manual again.[/I

]It's not a video but a step-by-step guide - a bit awkward to use on the same monitor as the drawing but I managed.

It worked this time. Previously, it had kept failing, but it struck me it may have been written for an earlier edition of TC. Sure enough, using the Select arrow rather than ESC to exit from each move (as it asked) worked.

I had some odd difficulties. It has you draw a rectangle, explode it then use its separated side to create 3 centre-lines to locate a pair of circles; then use Parallel Lines and Trim to cut one "hole" to the end of the "plate". Then dimension it by Quick and Orthogonal dimensions.

The first problem was that I missed the point it wanted you to use the programme's own template, but that may not have mattered. It called for a Layer named CL for centre-lines. Ah. The Layer menu didn't look much like my edition's, and of course held no CL Layer;  but I created one. I thought. Only I could not make it hold the line-type. It still drew the default thin, single line so I had to edit their properties separately. I'll investigate the template.

Then there was that trimming. One side went fine but the other failed despite all the co-ordinates and sizes being right according to the Inspector Bar, until I moved the circle very slightly. Sometimes I think things fall between pixels, as it were: slight rounding errors somewhere?

That sorted, the Quick dimensioning went all right - but I had to edit their Properties to make them legible!

I could not make the Orthogonal ones work properly, even following the instructed Snaps. They kept raising a message about 'No Snap Points in Snap Aperture' - the only obvious solutions it seemed to offer were turning the Snaps off, which seems to defeat the object, or creating them on their source points, exiting Dimensions to fix them, then selecting them and moving them outside the figure by X or Y co-ordinates. They had no extension lines either. I could see no obvious reasons for these problems.

I had one big surprise. That manual says "2D CAD" in big letters all over the CD and box, but in fact it goes into 3D too, with the last exercise being quite an elaborate picture of a padlock with arched hasp and elliptical body, according to the last exercise's first page.

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Nigel.

On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.