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Everything posted by BenG

  1. I have no idea if this is a VW problem or not, but it is certainly related. My current business is designing plastic motorized microscope stages (XYZ). I design the parts in VW, convert the files to .stl files, read them into a “Slicer” program, which exports the gcode necessary to run the 3D printer. Occasionally, the Slicer program produces a garbled result, so the gcode is garbage. The .stl object looks OK when imported into the Slicer pgm, but slicing shows numerous errors and problems. I have not suspected VW in the past, but recent events make me wonder. First is the bloated file size of VW. We are told to Convert to a Generic Solid, which does reduce file size dramatically. VW should have an optional automatic command to do this as we draw. I understand this means the internal surface joints (from adds, subtracts, P/P…) are not properly executed, leaving internal code conflicts which are not visible to the designer. Generic Solids is supposed to help this situation, but there are no details as to what this means. Sometimes VW says it cannot do the Generic conversion and spews out the famous “fix the file and try again” as if that means anything. Recently, I got a significant failure of the Slicer to properly render a VW file. I went back to the .wvx file and did my best to clean it up. I looked at the wireframe view to see if there were any hidden lines indicating edges, surfaces, etc. that shouldn't be there. After numerous cycles of fixing, exporting .stl, and Slicing failures, I posted my problem on the 3D printer forum and was asked to post the .stl file for someone to examine. Remember, this file comes directly from VW. I hasn't gone to the Slicer yet. The reviewer's comments are below: --------------------------------- Wow, that's quite possibly the most broken stl file I have come across. Imported it into Blender and it was obvious that its broken as I'd say about 50% of the faces are missing and you can see through large parts of it. If you run the 3d print tool on it it reports the following 44604 Non Manifold Edges 1357 Non Contiguous Edges 18832 Intersecting Faces 976 Zero Faces 188 Thin Faces --------------------------------- I then went back to the previous copy of the file (several days before), which sliced OK (but citing numerous internal errors). All I can say is VW doesn’t seem to have a robust way of getting rid of internal conflicts. I have had numerous problems with ordinary commands such as P/P, Add, Subtract, fillet, chamfer, etc. not working properly - as mentioned in many posts elsewhere. Now I can add creating .stl files to the list. Is there any information about detecting and fixing the internal errors VW seems to create?
  2. "I've been using VW since 1994 MiniCAD”. Me from their first version for Mac (92?), including Apple CAD before that. But they never seem to fix the fundamentals. Push Pull works 10% of the time. Fillet and Chamfer maybe 30%. Then randomly on one side of an object, but not on the mirror image side. Convert to Generic is manditory to get the file size down. The view and mode jump around haphazardly. Slow downs and stopping dead for a minute are regular events. Can't draw or select anything. I have to use a memory recycler to get the 15MB back to 3.5MB available. “Fix the Geometry” is useless - tells you its broke. There are maybe 20 macros they could implement to help align/space objects and sve tremendous time. ( I have written maybe 50 macros in Keyboard Macro) The worst part is the rather nasty and aggressive demand for you to upgrade or they will double the price periodically therafter.
  3. For years I have wondered how to use VWs Origin settings. I can't make any sense out of the way VW deals with placement of 3d objects. For example, I create a simple object. I then use the Center the DWG on the Internal Origin. The 2d picture snaps to center. When I click any isometric view, the object is at the top of the “frame/active area”. I can manually center the object in the frame and all is well until the next time. If I am looking at a properly centered object and snap on an edge and drag a rectangle, for example, the newly created part may be completely out of the frame and hard to find. Doesn't matter if the new object is 2d or 3d, it jumps to odd places and requires dragging or cut/paste or translate to get it back to where it is supposed ot be. Why this behavior? This is a pain to chase after all additions to a dwg. Am I missing something?
  4. Update. I repeated the instructions to delete all the .plist files and restarted. The system hung on tranferring old (2017) setups and I had to force quit. However, the dimensions now work.
  5. Contnuing problems with VW18 & Mojave. I tried everything I could find on these forum sites. Finally, I completely deleted and reloaded VW18. Some problems disappeared, others remained. The most annoying is the dimension tool. I cannot create or modify a dimn without a 5 min beachball. I can't even click on an exising dimn without the BB. Any ideas?
  6. Jeremy, You are right. I have done the same thing - made the same mistakes. So, I try to keep that in mind as I draw. For example, I start with small fillets and if they take, I increase them up to what I want. But when one side will take fillets and the other identical side won’t, I don’t know what the cause is. When Push/Pull won't work, but will when I simply change the view, there is something screwy going on. Many times joined edges are not flush when they were drawn flush. I guess an accuracy problem. PP may or may not fix it, but I have been able to use PP to pull the surface way out, and then it will properly make them flush. However, I have used PP to pull a surface out, then it quits working - wont go in or out. Over the years I have learned a number of work arounds and things to try, but it is still very frustrating to waste hours on things that should work.
  7. @Mark Aceto Mark, That would be easy enough if I didn't have 29 years of MiniCAD/VW files.
  8. @MaWi Unfortunately, optoner is mostly right. I am a scientist, not an architect, so my comments are related to the Designer set of tools. (Yes, I know Nemestchek has abandoned all fields except architecture/landscape). After I spent a month, fiddling with the buggy VW/Mojave, I finally reloaded VW from scratch, which seems to have fixed the crashing, hanging, and dead commands. Yesterday, I decided to design a shoe horn. Here are some of the commands that worked some of the time, but not others: (VW18 sp 6/Mojave / 2013 MBP, 2.6 Ghz, 16GB, 1TB SSD) 1. Add solids 2. Subtract solids 3. Push Pull 4. Fillet edge / chamfer edge 5. Randomly jumps between rendering/wire frame 6. Randomly jumps between views For example, these objects are obviously symmetric. On the horn part, I went down the left set of edges doing a fillet. Worked OK, except refused to work in one spot. I then started down the right side in the same order, same tool, same settings. It would not fillet any edge. My solution? Cut the horn in half vertically along the long axis, copy and reverse the side, then join the two halves back together. Time wasted - about two hours trying every trick in the book until that one worked. This shoddy behavior has been going on for years - all versions of Mac OS and VW. I have sent numerous files to Nemeschek for fixing, which they do. But I am tired of the money rat race for no fixes to very old problems.
  9. I don't buy the comments about VW warning not to upgrade. As others have said, I don't spend my time pourimg over the VW forum. They could have sent a note to all license holders - they can send an automatic update notice, can't they? But there is a bigger problem. VW/Nemestchek has gotten very greedy. They want to force you to spend $1500/year for trivial upgrades. I have been using their CAD programs since about 1990 and they have gotten progressively worse about forcing upgrades. This year I have opted out. Then I found out from a support tech that VW doesn't intend to do any more Mojave compatibility fixes to VW18. Feature upgrades is one thing, but fundamental usability fixes are another. VW has become very user unfriendly. I can make VW18 do what I need on Mojave with many workarounds I developed over the years, but I don't think they will ever see any more of my money.
  10. @JimW Jim, My VW18 SP6 program is sort of having a meltdown. I get a spinning beach ball (about 5 min) somewhat at random after selecting a function (dimension, rectangle….). The flyover tool has stopped showing the origin point and may rotate about a global axis rather than the selected point. I get the VISION Library dialog randomly. The Snapping window will not stay open. I followed all the suggestions for clearing out .plist files - twice - and the problem just moved around. I have reloaded the .dmg with cold boot. No improvement. I tried to follow the instructions in this thread about deleting the RunTimeCache folder, but I can't find it (see attachment). What do I do now? MacBook Pro.spx
  11. I am also having multiple problems with VW2018 SP6 on Mojave. 1. Freezing: It seems random and can last from a couple of minutes to 10-15 minutes. Beach ball spins. The FORCE QUIT window shows VW as “not responding”. This happens multiple times a day. The available memory can be high or low. 2. Jumping to other functions: It will sporatically jump into a different view, or pop up a dialog for some functiion I am not using at the time. Seems random, but changing the window view is most common. 3. Push/Pull, Fillet, Chamfer, Add, Subtract will work when they feel like it: Sometimes just changing the view will make it work. I have to use all kinds of work arounds to get the job done. Sometimes I have to redraw the whole object to get a component right (think hours). It may happen on a complicated dwg (lots of mods creating internal conflicts), or a simple one with no mods. 4. Update: I just drew a simple 2D triangle using the 2D polygon tool. VW locked up immediately when I finished the third side. Lasted about 5 min. I repeated this 2D Polygon test many times. I now have another ~ 5 min wait for the program to come back. I have 2.25GB free. Appears to 100% defective every time I use it. Maybe I need to reload VW18 sp6. What is the best way to do that?
  12. Oops!, Now it says “ can’t load Vision Files” everytime I start up. It seems to run OK after I dismiss that notice. How do I get rid of that?
  13. Jim, I am having a lot of long hangups in VW1018 SP6 in Mojave, so I am trying to reset preferences. The address: HD/Users/Library/Application Support/Vectorworks/2018 does not show any of the .plist files above. What I see is in the attached file. Please give a more complete address.
  14. Kevin, MY MBP has NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2 GB Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB So, the NVIDIA is a dedicated graphics chip and the Iris Pro is the built-in chip. Let me add another bug to my VW18 list. Frequently, the Object Info Pallet is blank and will not show my object’s specs. Everything else works, but the Info pallet is useless. Opening and closing the pallette doesn’t help. It may come back later.
  15. UPDATE: I now have VW2018 and see many of the same problems, with new ones thrown in. Let me review. When a part becomes “complicated” with many edits, VW refuses to do a lot of things, such as add, subtract, fillet, chamfer, PPT, even highlight a selected object. ALL my parts are complicated. They are the components of a microscope stage, with multiple parts, holes, curves, etc. I can’t do design any other way - I have to fit them together, look at views for conflicts, then modify. The conflicts sometimes require adding a hole, or extending a surface, or moving something to a different location. I may move/create parts in separate dwgs, then bring them back to the assembly file for “testing”. For example, sometimes the PPT will highlight an object, show the extension menu in or out, accept a typed distance, then do nothing when asked to execute. The same surface may pull/push if I use a large number, then p/p back to the original desired location. Sometimes it will pull out and not go back. Sometimes fillet will accept all the inputs, but refuse to execute (no messages), but chamfer will work on the same edge. The best workarounds I have found so far are generic solids, which works about 30% of the time. Intersect solids seems to work better and do about the same thing. In VW 18 I am having slowdowns/freezes that can last 20 minutes. For example, I highlighted an object to change the line width and color. It froze for ~15 minutes. The same can happen when I cut and paste an object from an assembly dwg to a new file with only one simple part in it. 5-20 minute waits have happened for it to paste the object in the new file. Dosen’t seem to be related to the object size. I have begun monitoring the Activity Monitor on my MBP to see if I can tell what the prcessor is doing, or the memory, etc. My computer is a 2013 MBP with retina screen,16GB RAM, i7 @ 2.6 GHz, 1TB SSD drive, so it shouldn’t be underpowered. I am also powering a 28” 4k monitor and a 28” 1080 monitor. I know that is a lot of monitor, and I heard from VW that they are having problems with 4k external monitors (back in vw17). So, I have tested using no external monitors ( a little better) and using one 1080 monitor only. Still have problems. My Vectorworks/ %CPU register frequently shows 150-180% when the program is hung up on the simplest tasks. It must be running around in never-never land, but there is no “not responding” message. My memory usage shows 8GB when I first start VW (all other pgms shut down - browser, mail, etc.). The first file below is 4.65GB, and the total RAM used jumps to 12-13GB. Note that the file of just the right side of the assembly (2nd pic) is 4.32GB. This can’t be true. When both files are active, the RAM still shows ~13GB. The total memory usage by VW is 40GB. RAM and SSD. I have tried rebooting (warm and cold) and things improve in the short term, then go downhill. Ideas?
  16. Thanks for all the comments. I have been using Vectorworks since the first MiniCAD and agree that some problems never get fixed. As to design methodology, I am probably a very messy designer. For example, I may design a part, finish it off with fillets, etc, then 6 months later find I need to change something. Add a part, change a dimension, etc. I have parts that fit together, so if I change one, the other has to change. That is why my parts are convoluted, they are works in progress. I try to clean them up as I go, but get into trouble along the way. VW is unpredicatable as to when and where a problem will occur. I frequently get long delays while it is thinking. It will do an operation on one component and not do it on an identical feature nearby. I spent hours redrawing the part I sent in the post. Had to redo fitting parts also. Converting to generic solids doesn’t seem to help. I don’t see or hear of this behavior in other CADs.
  17. I am having a real problem with VW not being able to do “simple” things, like adding, subtracting, intersecting two objects, Push/Pull….. The error message is either a blip at the bottom of the screen saying the process has failed, or a pop up window with "You have tried to create a solid object which cannot be computed. Edit the geometry to resolve this condition and try again.” Of course, both these error messages are meaningless. They don’t tell you what is wrong, or how to fix it (edit the geometry?????). This has happened over many years and versions, so it is not particular to VW17 (my current). I may draw all day on an object (medical devices) to print on a 3D printer, and get this message several times a day. The object will have many edits and changes - additions and subtractions - as I fit things together or try a new approach. Somewhere in the process I will run into the dreaded message below. I can waste many hours redrawing a complicated object. I have sent files off to VW and they have explained some internal conflict, which I cannot see, or know what it means. I know CAD software is extremely complex but it seems VW is behind the curve on trouble free drawing. So, my question is what workarounds do forum members have when: 1. Add/subtact/intersect/section solids doesn’t work. 2. Push/Pull doesn’t work. All the construction lines appear, but will not execute. Sometimes I can use ADD or Subtract to do what P/P is supposed to, and it works. 3. I have tried to convert to generic solids, thinking that will wipe out all internal conflicts, but it doesn’t help. 4. Above is flakey. May have three screw holes in a object. Two work (subtract) and the third doesn’t. VW_error_can't_add.vwx
  18. Suggstion to VW. This process is extremely tedious. I am drawing small things in one dwg and large things in another (engineering). I suggest adding a section in the Obj Info pallette to allow changing the arrow size immediately for each object. I might want to change them 3 times in one dwg. BTW, changing the line arrow size in Attributes won’t work (it disappears for dimns), and it won’t work for going to Organization/Classes/Markers.
  19. Why does VW only use one CPU core? We should be long past that in modern CAD. I have 8 cores waiting to be used, but VW hangs up frequently using only one.


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