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Everything posted by DMcD

  1. Thanks for the replies. We own our own CNC machines from multi axis mills and turning centres to flatbed routers, some with Siemens controllers (mainly dreadful) and others with other controllers and software so I know well the limitations with post-processing VW DXF files for CNC. For production parts, I only do use lines, arcs and circles. However it's the VW surface extract tool which converts arcs in polylines to beziers, not me! Useful entities like rounded rectangles (for a machined slot) are converted into a mess of points. I have to go back and either redraw or manually extract the original arcs and lines profile from the model and paste it into the 2D file. Is this what we use CAD for? Not me! You suggest doing a paper PDF print… it's this which is the major time sink. You might accurately draw a shaft or a bore in VW to 1" but when you come to dimension this in a viewport, VW will rarely give you an even number like 1.00 any more, it's aways inaccurately to one or two decimal places which of course is useless for production of anything other than cheese. And trying to extract a diameter from a circle doesn't seem to work at all unless you draw the circle again in the viewport annotation. All this leads to mistakes and a loss of precision which oddly, is what we started using CAD to avoid. You should not have to draw a part twice. I had a Morgan Plus 8 once. Morgan specified the length of the car to ±2"! You would not get away with that any more. But as they said to a parliamentary enquiry, "We have a five year full order book, and you?" Post processing software varies enormously. One program takes groups but insists on the outlines of polys being decomposed. Another won't see a group but is OK with contiguous polys. You learn this. For work done outside, we normally take the dumbest option. However, it's for outside work that we get the most problems where either their post-processing software is different to that which we use, or more usually, the operator doesn't know enough about CAD to run it or they require drawings to an accuracy which VW seems unable to offer without a lot of workarounds. In most cases, in-house, we decide in the post processing software how to sort the paths because it's a tool path then, not a drawing. So with round holes in a perimeter, what we do is based on the tools used to cut the shape. Most of this is tedious but well understood. "Nesting - I can always beat the nesting software" You're using the wrong software! I've been nesting since MiniCAD 4 and I would bet you that there isn't a human out there who can do better than the best nesting software unless the shapes are simple and/or the time really long. As a test, I have nested really complex toy puzzles in 10 seconds which would take almost anyone minutes to complete. I have nested files with hundreds of shapes over 3000 feet long down to a fifth of this in under 20 seconds and got results which were 5% better than I could achieve in hours. D
  2. Hello. Does anyone still use VW for drawing things which need manufacturing with any degree of accuracy? For example, metalwork which needs CNC cutting on a mill, laser or waterjet? I find that VW's 3D modelling is generally great but extracting geometry for real-world machining is like having teeth pulled. 10 times as complicated and not entirely accurate. Even though objects are drawn by numbers to a precise size, when it comes to dimensioning a viewport, VW seems to be only somewhat accurate. It's almost always a decimal point or two out. And when it comes to actually making a DXF file to send out for production, the drawing has to be almost always done again in 2D because arcs become beziers, arcs are split and circles become semi-circles etc. Snapping seems also to have become a bit vague and I find myself deconstructing models and realigning objects over time in spite of rigorously aligning them in the first place. Or is this just me? D
  3. I have a Mac Pro and a 16" MBP with the M1 Pro chip. VW works better on the MacBook than the Mac Pro. That being said, screen drawing appears to have slowed in current versions of VW 2022.
  4. That world "legacy" fills me with dread. While I have been working in 3D 100% for some time, there are occasions when 2D is essential. All water jet, plasma and laser cutters are 2D and many will throw a wobbly when given anything which is not 2D. So for a lot of real world work (in other words, anything which isn't printed or emailed) abandoning 2D could be the end of the line for many VW users. Yes, VW is not great at converting 3D objects to 2D. The extract tool is useful but riddled with bugs and anomalies such as converting arcs in polylines to bezier curves and converting circles into two 180º arcs. What I find concerning is that VW might think that nobody uses 2D and rather than improving these tools, they'll abandon 2D altogether. Please say this is not so!
  5. HA, What do people use as a crash recovery technique to make sure that work is not lost somewhere in the wreckage? Using VW 2020, 2021 Mac OS 10.15 etc. I get three or four crashes a day (before coffee time) (and we take coffee early around here) and sometimes it's difficult to know what's been lost. A backup is saved every 10 operations. Once upon a time, VW would tell you if something could not be regenerated. This appears to be no longer the case, lulling the user into a false sense of security that a backup is similar to the work in the original file lost during the crash. Since I discovered that VW crashes a lot less with small files, I have been working on sections of a drawing and copying them into the main drawing only after a nervous save (a lot of the crashes are just after saving, losing the saved work). The problem with this strategy is that when you have multiple windows open with multiple structures in different states, it gets confusing to know what's what during a recovery. When the time comes to work on larger files, it just a lottery. If there was some routine to check and compare two files after a crash, it would make me a lot less insecure. I guess the usual suspects will say reinstall VW, update to the latest version, trash prefs, redo templates etc. I've done all these with no apparent improvement in stability and really, my job is designing not IT. It's not even as if I am guilty of doing anything. The most recent crash happened while VW was sitting in the background all by itself. It's not even as if any other software that I use bombs as often as VW. Adobe stuff bombs but you'd expect that. However it recovers gracefully which is something VW does not do. It's up to the user to pick their way through the wreckage and salvage something. So what's your strategy? D
  6. HA, I'm having many fairly consistent problems with Undo (triggered by a keyboard shortcut) with VW 2021 on a Mac. Instead of stepping through a series of undos, performing one undo reverts to the first version in the stack and doing a Redo doesn't restore the previous state of a drawing. The big problem with this is that I've no longer any sure way of knowing what state the drawing is because things I wanted to keep may have been deleted. D
  7. HH, I can't see that as being a problem if you upgrade your CAD software annually. Apple does change the OS, frequently to cope with security problems but it also issues beta versions of operating systems which developers can download. The problem with VW is mostly that their release cycle is just one month away from Apple's. If it was delayed, then they would have a better chance to fix bugs caused by changed APIs. Well that's certainly something I could do… but wait a minute, I'm a designer! I could not sit in front of Windows for more than a few minutes without wanting a headache pill! Some years ago, we had a French intern who had big design aspirations and was a big Windows fan. I grabbed his laptop and turned it upside down alongside mine and asked him which, as a designer, he preferred. One looked like the underside of a 55 Chev. The other didn't. But that's just a matter of taste. If I go into our computer graveyard, there are as many PCs as Macs. But we use 6 times more Macs than PCs. My previous Mac was 2013 and still works brilliantly. I do hear what you are saying about constant updates through. I'm well over it. However Adobe is not the best example to use since every update is just moving the furniture and increasing their interface nightmare! We're all on an update bandwagon which is impossible to get off. D
  8. Thread 0 Crashed:: CrBrowserMain Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread 0 libsystem_kernel.dylib 0x00007fff71f1733a __pthread_kill + 10 1 libsystem_pthread.dylib 0x00007fff71fd3e60 pthread_kill + 430 2 libsystem_c.dylib 0x00007fff71e9e808 abort + 120 3 libGPUSupportMercury.dylib 0x00007fff5921b0a5 gpusGenerateCrashLog.cold.1 + 95 4 libGPUSupportMercury.dylib 0x00007fff5921218f gpusGenerateCrashLog + 89 5 com.apple.AMDRadeonX4000GLDriver 0x000000011fd688b1 gpusKillClientExt + 9 Possibly: gpus_ReturnNotPermittedKillClient causing huge number of crashes https://forums.developer.apple.com/thread/30896 The crash happens mostly after a save action. The file isn't saved. D
  9. "Good luck" is about right. Not a professional standard though. Rather than having to reset everything, I bought a new Mac Pro running Catalina, new monitors etc and did a new, clean install of VW 2020. Isn't this. troubleshooting 100? Currently running with a backup every 10 actions and the lowest, worst graphics settings, I regularly get crashes (well, regularly within each hour) and lost time and work in backups. It's a miserable state of affairs. What's worse is that with SP3 now, VW 2021 is just around the corner. I feel that it's time some software companies concentrated on stability rather than new features and at some time, said sorry to their users and gave a year or two free until the software was (at least in this case) at professional level. D
  10. >>please contact (or prompt, or get back to) the tech support provider for your region about this so they can either establish a path to resolution or escalate to Vectorworks software engineers. You also have the option of submitting a bug report directly to engineering. Use the 'Bug Submit' link at the bottom of this page to do so. Done all that and the replies were… 'nobody else is experiencing this, or 'your computer config is unusual' or 'wait for the next bug fix release.' And also, on submitting a complete working bomb and procedure with a file, "that bug is really obscure, don't expect a fix any time soon.' I have been religious about submitting well documented bug reports over the years and on every new release looked to see if my bugs were squashed and the answer is overwhelmingly no. This thread is about Catalina compatibility. VW 2020 is compatible with Catalina under some circumstances but bombs a lot for me, often many times a day. What else can I say? D
  11. Honestly, I think this is a huge cop-out and an abdication of responsibility to the customer. I pay for VW service select every year and dutifully install increasingly buggy upgrades and lose time and work from continual bombs. This is on several computers with everything from old messy drives to brand new top of the line clean computer installs… and the behaviour of VW is the same. While I know that Apple is to blame for a lot of the problems, I'm not paying them for system upgrades, but I am paying VW for service select. Any yet I have to search VW Help for advice which is normally 'nobody else is experiencing this, or 'your computer config is unusual' or 'wait for the next bug fix release.' The alternative is to call a live human at Apple (who I have not paid) for a chat about the problems with a third party app? 2018 was pretty solid. Sure there were feature limitations which largely still exist in 2020 but it did run reliably. •• Only two crashes yesterday and one was VW leaving the room while it was in the background. Probably only 15 minutes lost reconstructing files from backups. D
  12. >>It is logical to me that the problems you have described have absolutely nothing to do with the compatibility of Vectorworks with Catalina. I guess it's always logical unless it's happening to you. Since I cannot downgrade to Mojave or VW 2019 (which were good in the last 6 months I used them) I have to sheet this home to both the current version of VW and its relationship to the current OS… Oh, and VWs reluctancy to do much about this sort of thing unless it's stating 'it must be something you are doing' or 'it must be your video card' or 'perhaps try using just one monitor' or 'what happens if you don't turn your computer on?' Since VW 2020 had so many problems with my previous Mac Pro and Cataina demands it, everything is on the main HD in the docs folder. No network, no external drives. Clean install of everything. I can't see that saving onto the desktop would make any difference. The crashes happen for all sorts of reasons… perhaps saving or autosaving being one of them but by the time the crash has happened, the times on the autosaved files are not exactly current so you can't say that it was one keypress or another which caused the bomb. It's largely a graphics kernel error which happens when changing layers, changing views, saving, etc. >>If Step 1 works fine and Step 2 let crash the application, then let try to split Step 2 in several smaller steps. It's difficult to split saving into more than one step. That being said, the menu highlights for a while after pressing the save command and the crash happens afterwards, and the file itself is not saved suggesting that VW collects everything before spitting the dummy and does not save anything. Only in the last few frustrating hours has it has been when pasting a group from an autosaved file back into the main file and saving I have had crashes. If I don't save, I can work for a few minutes… but what's the point? The group copied from the autosaved file has the same geometry as the main file and is opened from a saved… obviously. But the backup file has a warning that shapes cannot be regenerated so all I'm interested in is the last 10-20 actions on the objects in the copied group. However, it's not just that. There are a lot of oddities with this version of VW, from the inability to dimension anything other than corner points in viewports to inaccuracies with dimensions in general which were in most cases, not there in earlier versions of VW. I have submitted many repeatable bugs over the years but rarely if ever seen any fixed, even to the point that in one instance I was told that 'this is unlikely to get fixed since (though repeatable) it's fairly obscure. Really, any full bomb signifies a problem somewhere which should be fixed. For me, VW 2020 and Catalina are the most buggy versions of VW since… well VW 2019 and Mojave in the early months. Normally obsessive saving and autosaved backups mean I only lose about 1/4 of the day. I don't need most of the new features but I do need stability. I also don't need being told that my setup, whatever it happens to be that month, is unusual and therefore a cause which doesn't need following up. D
  13. HA, I wonder if the work 'compatible' needs defining in the context of VW and Catalina? I am running the latest version of VW 2020 and Catalina and getting a crash every few minutes, mainly while saving. The error msgs claim it's a graphics kernel bug but the bombs happen after a save. This is a bit of a catch 22 since I have my version autosaving after every 20 operations. I guess I'm only losing 20 minutes of work an hour recovering from each bomb. Is this normal compatibility? D
  14. >>Note: If I had chosen a different AMD card I could have kept the Thunderbolts monitors.They cannot be used with a full-size display port to mini-display port adaptor. I was having all sorts of problems connecting an old Thunderbolt Display to anything recent… 16" MacBook or Mac Pro and looking for alternative displays. In the end I got a really cheap USB-C to mini display port adaptor from the local office supplies shop and the TD now works fine… to a point. Last year I was using two older 30" displays and having continual fights with others in the building about the line widths I was using to get a decent screen view or print. I ended up buying an Apple/LG 5K display and it certainly makes a huge difference. It's smaller than the 30" by quite a lot which means less neck bending but far higher resolution and better looking 3D rendering. The result is that I have to change all the line widths to something much smaller than I had been using. Regrettably, the screen view is now not the same as the MBP users get. Re graphics cards etc. does VW publish and recommendations about what works and what doesn't in terms of standard Macs, or external graphics units? Might save a lot of time and money. I have read that most are getting out of openGL into other rendering tech. Does this mean if you spend a lot on openGL monitors, it will be a dead end soonish? D
  15. Yes, I have it working on Catalina. It just crashes more often than 2019 under Mojave and a few features don't work and even on a fast computer, it can get slow… normally some time before a bomb. I have my preferences set up to save every 20 actions… ie normally more than once a minute, so I don't lose too much. I frequently close a file and reopen it when the graphics get scrambled and quit VW from time to time but it doesn't take too long to reboot. D
  16. >>. Instead of just upgrading your operating system, erase then install it fresh. - You should expect to do this at least every few upgrades anyway. This is what I did just before the better than one crash per hour days. >> Account for inevitable data corruption. 1 in 1500 files are corrupt, so: Expect to recreate your resource files at some point. Vectorworks resources and others. I'm not sure what to say about this suggestion! Isn't this like saying "have you tried turning it off and on again?" It's akin to losing 10% or more of your working year, redrawing symbols etc. with the guarantee of errors every time and fine for a distributor to suggest but not a user. I have done this in the past, including recreating workspaces etc and not found any significant difference in stability. For the other limitations in each release where there are bugs or tools which don't work, it won't make any difference. There are several programs I use which scan plugins and other resource files for possible errors, either on startup, on migration or on request. If corrupted resources are a factor, then surely this is something that NNA should sort out? My guess is that they would know better than me what might corrupt VW and cause a crash. DMcD
  17. I would say that VW runs mostly reliably on Catalina. I had a crash an hour or more on Friday but none on Monday with the same files. Restarting didn't appear to affect stability. I don't believe that VW2020 is as reliable as VW 2019 was at the end of last year though and some fairly major bugs or feature limitations (things which just don't work at the moment) are still present. A yardstick I use is recently opened files. Since putting VW2020 onto a new computer, I have not yet got better than 10 recently opened files in the menu… that's to say that VW crashes and loses the items in the list fairly regularly! With VW2019, I almost always had 20 files in the list. There are more than a few oddities in VW2020 with 3D graphics where entities will appear out of place after a while and views be in the wrong orientation… for example, a front view will suddenly become the top view after editing a symbol. And various symbols will appear in the wrong place… I think this is purely a graphics/cache bug… until the file is closed and reopened when they go back to being in the right spot. Not that this behaviour is new to 2020, it's been there since 2018 at least. I just hoped some of these things would get better. What is better in 2020 is the reduced rendering delays when working in 3D. You can open a large drawing and start work sooner though many of the shapes will be incorrect for some time… circles coming out as rectangles and hex shapes. On the other hand, I am not sure if I can think of many reasons to go from 2019 to 2020. I can't think of any particularly important new features other than the ability to edit 3D shapes which have a fillet on them without having to redo the fillet but this is countered by some of the newer bugs. What would be really nice, apart from having some of the long standing bugs fixed, is if NNA had an officially OK computer, something which was tested to work with VW so we didn't always have the get-out clause of nobody else uses that setup or nobody else has reported that problem which I always get. What's the recommended setup? A 27" iMac? A Mac Pro? A MacBook Pro? I'd just like to know to see if the bugs I get also happen on other computers. D
  18. I have been using VW2020 Sp1 on Mojave for most of last week and most of the problems I saw with the initial release have been fixed. Under Mojave it's quite usable now. No noticeable improvement o 2019 as far as my work is concerned and the only feature which appeared to be interesting, 3D modelling history, doesn't appear in my workflow. So 2020 SP1 is vastly better than 2019 at the same point in 2019 but more or less the same as 2019 functionally. I'm not sure whether anyone deserves congratulations for standing still 🙂
  19. Hello Shorter. All the other software works fine so why spring clean? No bombs. No lost work. No requirement to change the computer or video card. VW 2019 works fine now. VW 2020 bombs. So I have to completely clean out and reinstall my software just for VW 2020? I can almost guarantee that in 6 months, if I do nothing. VW 2020 will work ok. Maybe but then again, that's their job isn't it. I know it is not mine! But what are the mainstream Mac setups? In fact, what are the recommended setups? Is the Mac Pro on the list? I would expect it is. Is the MBP? I doubt it since most people who spend the day with CAD software need a larger monitor. Fortunately 2019 works well and 2020 doesn't appear to have enough new features that make it worthwhile changing. I just wish I didn't have to pay for being a beta tester. D
  20. HA, First up, the 2020 install I did was a full install on a high spec 2018 MBP running the latest Mojave. I had three or four crashes a day. That's enough for me. In comparison on the same computer, 2019 is very stable and hardly ever bombs (now). 2020 did not have much in the way of speed improvement over 2019 when rotating complex 3D shapes although the compressed save files are nice. The Mac Pro is still a current computer. Yes is old but was high end and at the time of writing, the replacement is not on sale. Comparing the performance of iMacs and the MBP, I'm happy that the Mac Pro outperforms them, especially with 2 x 30" monitors running VW 2019. It's VW2020 which plays up on the same Mac Pro. We develop software and there's no doubt that Mojave was a nightmare for developers and we have been very cross with Apple over this year. However, our software runs on Catalina without any changes. That being said, have no intention of upgrading to Catalina for anything other than testing our software for end users who update by mistake. It's fine to say reformat but… if VW was the only software I used, then this would be easy. But it's not the only software on the computer and re-downloading a host of Adobe stuff, X-Code, FCP, and all the rest would take close to a week at our internet speeds. Doing a migration of an old OS back to a new install seems to be the worst solution. BR D
  21. I'm not sure if this should be a Catalina post or a Mojave post… It's both really. I spend the weekend with the new VW 2020 working in Mojave on a 12 month old touchbar 15" MacBook Pro. The tiny screen isn't ideal so I changed to a Mac Pro with two 30" Apple monitors also running 2020 and set the MBP to upgrade to Catalina (on an external SSD.) What I found was the normal hatful of rain. VW2020 crashes more than VW2019 on Mojave on either computer. Too much to be acceptable and I'm too busy to bother to bug search for another company who ought to do their own bug fixes before release with a 12 month old OS. VW2020 doesn't work at all well with the Mac Pro and 30" monitors. The screen graphics are woeful but more importantly, there are huge problems with screen refreshes. For example, you can double click on an object to edit it… for example to edit an extrude… and the screen shows the original image with stray handles all over the place so you can't tell if you are in edit mode or not. Heaps of problems along these lines forcing a Z key refresh every time you do a command to make sure you're seeing the right things. Objects appear to hyperspace, disappearing off-screen and requiring recentring all the time and groups won't ungroup etc. On the same computer, VW 2019 works fine or probably will until I get to work to be told I have used up my registrations and have to send a stamped addressed postcard to VW to de-register an installation. Catalina took all night to install… about 24 hours between connecting an external USB 3 SSD, cloning the original HDD and then updating. The installer sat for hours on 11 minutes remaining. Once that had finished, I found that a handful of key apps… including Aperture (not news there) and all the CS6 Adobe programs wouldn't run, so I disconnected the drive and went back to Mojave and VW2019. I honestly don't understand why VW releases happen like this. Why not release as a beta version for the first 9 months? I think it was May to June before 2019 was stable enough to really use. And for me, not being an architect, there's little reason to use the update anyway and the 3D history 'feature' doesn't appear anywhere, in spite of reading some very vague documentation in the help pages. Not entirely happy! I wonder if my 'service select' (no idea what that actually means in English) program can be delayed by 12 months? D
  22. A huge amount of problems were caused by Mojave with many apps. A lot of this was due to changes in the graphics APIs, many due to OpenGL support or lack of it. Many of us involved in app development had similar problems to VW. I don't think that excuses VW entirely though. If I was VW I would not time my annual release to be exactly when the Mac OS was released. They could have seen from the Mojave betas that there were going to be problems and alerted users. These days, there's a lot of nonsense talked about 'Pro' users… I mean, who apart from a politician would be a 'Pro' phone users. Nevertheless, many of us depend on software like VW for our income and it shows a lack of understand and respect for their user base to dump known buggy software onto the market. It reminds me of……… MS Word 3.01. On the other hand, we've tested our apps with Catalina and there appear to be far less problems… well none so far as we can see. That being said, I'm not going to rush to upgrade because I am sure there are lots of 32 bit things I use on a regular basis. D
  23. I can't believe I have been caught with this one again. At home for the weekend with some pressing work to do and decide to use my desktop with a bigger screen and… nothing… can't reactivate my own software. Many software companies live in an isolated world with high speed internet connections while some of the rest of us have either thirds world internet speeds, or are out of contact with internet or even mains electricity for periods of time each year… in my case often 3-4 weeks… and when I start up my computer and find VW needs reactivation and it can't get it. For example, crossing the Atlantic on a sailing boat a year or so ago. Nearly a month without the ability to use an essential work took which I paid for. Yes, people may break the rules but why are they prioritised over legitimate paid up users? I wonder what the breakdown is between VW programmers spending time perfecting annoying and damaging copy protection compared with fixing long standing bugs, erroneous behaviour and adding features loyal customers have been asking for for many many releases? A very annoyed VW customer. D
  24. HA >>our office is planning to change to one of the big and really reliable cad software houses If it were only as easy as that. I tried switching and spent months with Solidworks and some days with Rhino and found that especially SW was more buggy and unreliable than VW with all sorts of limitations and tools that did not work. I agree that VW could do a lot better and offer more in the annual upgrades… I can't remember when there was a "must have" tool or release, but regrettably, I have not found something better. D
  25. I wonder if this has something to do with your computer. We have Mojave on two Touch Bar type MacBook Pros with SP1 and Mojave. It totally fails. I also tried a downgrade to High Sierra which also fails as many have pointed out on Mac OS sites. If you actually work in VW for a living, I'd really suggest waiting to upgrade to Mojave. On the other hand, VW 2019 appears to work OK on a Mac Pro (2013). I say OK… I have had only one crash in 3 weeks but have all sorts of graphics problems which mean restarts and closing and reopening files. JC
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