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Workplanes... In 2D? And Order of Process?
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* December 10, 2018, 02:59:01 PM
The Manual says a 2D drawing is by default on a single Workplane.

Fine - I can understand that, if only by simple logic.

I've also learnt that the merest fragments floating in 3D on an apparently all-orthographic drawing, create havoc!

Only, when I tried moving some dimensions about on a drawing that started and continues in 2D only, with the 2D/3D switch is set to 2D, several of the moves raised that warning about changing the work-plane, and do I wish to continue? Yes I did, apparently without harm, but why might these warnings appear where you don't expect them?

I add that some of the dimensions are on a separate layer from the outlines, at least I intended that. Also that if you Group objects into a single component, it stays visible but on its own, hidden layer? I copied one part of the mechanism at issue displaced to give a rough estimate of movement and clearances, but was unable to colour the copy differently to clarify the resulting overlap. So do Layers affect this work-plane matter? 

(Rough estimate because the part's actual movement is a complex dance almost defying manual plotting, maybe even CAD. It is suspended by a slot holding a sliding block on a reciprocating rod,  plus three separate points from three links - with two controlled further by eccentrics on a crankshaft !)

Secondly, am I right that the idea of [any]CAD is to produce a 3D-effect model, then the orthographic manufacturing drawings from that? Not try to expand a possibly-multi-shaped object from flat to "solid" version? I have noticed the professional practice of placing a small 3D rendering of the object next to its orthographic views, to help the machinist visualise it; but I don't know the order in which these drawings are created.


On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.

* December 10, 2018, 09:17:11 PM
I see  CAD as a computerized drawing board.
3d is a newer concept although it is still CAD I think of it as 3d modelling.

TC20 platinum
TC 2015 platinum
TC 2017 with lightworks

* December 11, 2018, 10:21:13 AM
Yes, I see CAD that way too, though I include 3D modelling as an extension of the isometric method in manual drawing. Its main differences include the abilities to turn the drawing into a picture; and more importantly, to view the work-piece from different sides. I am designing bits of machinery, and I knew even before I bought TurboCAD that the isometric projection and view-rotating function could be very useful to me... but unfortunately, I've found 3D work prohibitively difficult.

This though doesn't answer my questions about 2D-only work.

If a drawing is in 2D so on a single work-plane, why would it sometimes invoke the "changing work-planes" warnings?

Where do Groups go? They are visible but seem to act as if on a hidden layer, and un-editable (e.g. to change the colour for contrast).

Do layers act as if "floating" above the main work-plane so create a hidden 3D characteristic? I can't see otherwise why dimensions might warn about work-planes.

I am sorry these are probably extremely basic questions, maybe even silly, to most people here; but when you're a beginner, you cannot see why odd effects happen or tools go on strike despite me following the instructions carefully!  Worse, you can be led totally astray when the "obvious" causes of the problem are not the hidden, real ones at all.



On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.

* December 11, 2018, 11:55:16 AM
"Where do Groups go? They are visible but seem to act as if on a hidden layer, and un-editable (e.g. to change the colour for contrast)."

A Group, by default, is placed on Layer 0 regardless of which Layer(s) its components inhabit. I always assign all objects that I intend to group to the same Layer and then assign the Group itself to that same Layer after creating it.

To edit a Group, select it and press Ctrl+G on the keyboard. This will open a new window in which only the components of that Group are visible, and they can then be edited as necessary. Press Ctrl+Shift+G when finished editing.

Henry H


* December 11, 2018, 02:42:35 PM
Thank you Henry.

Until now I'd simply let everything reside on Layer 0, and edited objects individually to differentiate centre, hidden-detail, dimension, and work-piece lines; sometimes using colour to indicate particular lines among the spaghetti.

I'd half-grasped that Layers exist to let you avoid such individual editing; but obviously not how to make them work as they should. Besides, I kept forgetting to switch between layers so it all became muddled!

So presumably, you can assign overall line styles to a layer, but that makes anything put on it acquire the same properties as everything else there? If so that suggests you use Layers 0 and 1 for Groups and construction-lines as  default; having created extra layers, e.g. 2 for outline, 3 for dimensions & annotations?

Hmmm, perhaps I'm safer using only the default Layers 0 and 1 (everything I draw, and only construction lines, respectively).

I'm still baffled about the work-plane warnings. They were raised only by some of the dimensions. I tried to find any "floating" fragments by looking at the drawing side-on in 3D mode, and as expected it was just a line across the screen.


On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.

* December 12, 2018, 01:10:46 AM
I think of layers as a way to organize items. Almost like chapters in a book.
I use layers to group items of the same type. Ie: Walls, text, dimensions.
I work with architectural drawings which have a lot of different types of components
So It makes sense to put components of the same type into one layer and different type of object into another layer.
Each items properties are set to "by layer" for example colour "By Layer"
When I want to change that property I change it in the layer palette and all items on that layer will change - even if they are in a block or group.
If I hide that layer all items on that layer will be hidden - even if they are in a block or group.
If the block  is on a layer that is hidden everything in the block will be hidden - regardless of the layer they are on.
This can become quite confusing so a lot of people recommend placing objects in a block on layer 0 and the block itself on the layer you want to control the object. Which works for simple objects but controlling different types of objects in one block with different colours and pen settings is more work because you have to open the block to edit properties and when you have a lot of blocks it can be time consuming.
For this reason , I use different layers in blocks. So I will have a sort of "Parent"  layer which is the general layer that the block will be on. Like a window will be on the window layer. The window sill will be on a sublayer "sills", trimmings on another layer and shutters on another layer. I usually have a 2d plan which I leave on layer 0 - this  will be controlled by the windows layer.

As well as being able to hide layers in viewports you can change the way objects appear in the viewport if you use "by layer" properties. Which is quite useful when you want a black and white drawing and your models uses every colour in the rainbow. 

  The position in space (co-ordinates) of the items in each layer is not related to the layer.
Unlike graphic design programs where display order is linked to layer position.
It is worth experimenting with layers as they can be quite powerful.

TC20 platinum
TC 2015 platinum
TC 2017 with lightworks

* December 12, 2018, 12:31:46 PM
Nigel, this way you do not have to find 3d objects.

1. All layers must be turned on and visible, unlocked.
2. Inspector bar: in 2D-3D selector must be checked: 3D Mode for Model Space3D (or 2D / 3D Depending on Selected Object and Space Mode).  Size Z and Pos Z must be checked : https://turbocaddoc.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/TG/pages/172066530/2D-3D+Selector. See also if you have not selected Set Selector by UCS
If everything is set correctly, then :

3. Select all.
Not with the mouse. Better from the Menu / Edit / Select all.

4. Look down at the Inspector Bar.
If it's really only a 2d drawing, Size Z must be "0.00"! If not, then the drawing contains any 3d objects. Or - It can by only 2d objects, but at other working height (difrent Pos Z).

5. Repair  (all must be selected)
Now you change the Workplane to the world - By Menu or Pop-up: https://turbocaddoc.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/TG/pages/174752350/Changing+the+Workplane. .
The next step is:
Place all selected on Workplane :  https://turbocaddoc.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/TG/pages/174752561/Place+on+WorkPlane

6. Nowl ook down at the Inspector Bar.
If it's really only a 2d drawing, Size Z must be now be "0,00"!  And you can work :-)
If not, then the drawing contains some 3D objects.

Tips for 2d:
Draw on workplane by World
When any problem - Place on workplane (World workplane)
Use not Set Selector by UCS
In Snap use not Auto workplane


* December 12, 2018, 03:16:48 PM
Objects can be on the same plane but registered to a different coordinate system, say a translated origin, using polar grid rather than cartesian, relative coordinates instead of absolute, each of those is a different workplane to standard world plane.   Layers don't have physical coordinate registration except where you've described a relationship between a workplane and layer.  If you haven't done that, coordinate systems don't exclude anything from layers. 


* December 12, 2018, 03:59:22 PM
Nikki -

Thank you for that summary. My two CAD text-books do deal with the Layers concept, necessarily in general terms as they are not specific to any one "make" of CAD,  but not ever so clearly. In one the writer shows using layers to produce a repeated sub-assembly on the general arrangement drawing, then a separate drawing detailing the sub-assembly alone.

I'm afraid though you rather lost me quite quickly, because you are using layers and blocks to a very high level - I had no idea you can such things as "sub-layers", for example. If I understand Henry correctly, TC plonks blocks on Layer 0 unless you ask it otherwise; which does mean you don't have to worry about where they are. Looking at parallels between your architectural and my engineering drawings, I was trying to place dimensions on a different layer to the drawing layer itself, but forgetting to switch to the right layer before adding anything does not help!

I am sure Layers are powerful things, but the more I try to learn of TurboCAD the harder it becomes.


MPavalek -

Thank-you for those diagnostic techniques. This is the sort of thing the manual does not tell you: you follow all the instructions but things still won't work, and the manual does not help you find why!

I'd thought 2D uses just one default work-plane and co-ordinate system: I find 2D difficult enough, but 3D is impenetrable. I still can't see though, why just a few elements of a 2D drawing would apparently have 3D characteristics.

You say don't use "Auto" work-plane for snaps. I've found it's also better not to use "auto" mode in trying to make polylines, either.   



On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.

* December 12, 2018, 04:50:05 PM
Nigel, if you are fully committed to 2D work only, you might want to consider using the "Designer" edition of TCad. It is exclusively 2D -- X and Y only -- and does not even recognize the existence of a possible third dimension. And it's a lot cheaper than TCad's other versions.

Henry H


December 13, 2018, 12:07:08 AM

TC Designer will also allow you to open all your drawings, created in TC deluxe, or other versions of TurboCAD, but will not load any 3D Objects.
So, you could be onto a winner.

Regards Tim

You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2016/2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2018/2019 + Lightworks (64-bit versions) + AnimationLab 5.2.
Windows 10 Pro (1909) 64-bit

* December 13, 2018, 03:09:47 PM
Thank you Henry & Tim,

but I already have the full version, and it's easier and cheaper simply to avoid the advanced functions! After all, 'Word' and 'Excel' offer much more than I need.

(I have just finished an 'Excel' spread-sheet helping me adapt a published drawing set to suit my own project, whose GA is in vague progress in TurboCAD. It converts the given vulgar-fractional dimensions to decimals, in inches. I've also used 'Word' and 'Excel' for my alphabetical index to TurboCAD's Manual.)   

When I thought TC had developed a fault two or three weeks ago, I removed and re-loaded it, from the CD, whereupon it treated itself to some up-dates - I don't know their identities but they took some time to embed themselves

I had bought the programme knowing it has isometric and related capabilities very useful to me; but not knowing even basic 3D drawing that is fairly simple manually, is extremely difficult in CAD. However, by keeping the edition I have, that aspect of TurboCAD is still there if I wish to risk it again.

Murray - re your explanation, for which thank-you.  I understand Polar and Cartesian Co-ordinates having created umpteen graphs in both, professionally, but I'm afraid you rather lost me with TurboCAD's assorted co-ordinate systems. Normally, when I start a new drawing I play safe and use only the default co-ordinates, work-plane and layers, so if I'd changed any of their settings, it was by untraceable accident.


On TC Deluxe 19: hobby use.