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Claes Lundstrom

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Everything posted by Claes Lundstrom

  1. Claes Lundstrom

    Homemade CNC

    It's most likely a question of using the right elements in the drawing. CAM, cutter controller, etc programs are often very limited in what they accept and can process. As a rule, it's therefore recommended to keep things as simple as possible. Avoid symbols, Polylines, Polylines defined as a filled surface (with holes in it), filled objects in general, possible groups, etc. A rounded rectangle is a Polyline and they should be avoided as they very often cause all sorts of problems. Lines, arcs and polygons almost always work. What you can do if you have a problem is to run the Decompose command before exporting, export, and then run Undo to get back to the civilization again. I have found that it almost always solves the problem.
  2. Claes Lundstrom

    Homemade CNC

    Wish VW would support SVG as it gives yet another alternative to exporting to Adobe Illustrator and similar. You can use EPSF and DXF but the DXF import filter in Illustrator and many cutting programs are very unreliable.
  3. The solution to the ZY problem is to have a flip dialogue whenever there is a 3D conversion, in, as well as out. VW does it..... sometimes.
  4. OBJ should work, though VW could do with some improvements, for example a dialog where you state the up direction (Z in VW, Y in many rendering programs). Support for plain colors would be good too (textures seem to work ok both in and out from VW). And a scale factor function, as many of the "blob squeezer" types of programs don't care much about physical scale. Many of them work with very small models, which requires quite a lot of model searching when exporting and importing between CAD and rendering programs.
  5. Claes Lundstrom

    3D silhouette line

    You can of course fake it in a viewport but that does it make it a 3D object. You can however fake it in 3D in OpenGL. OpenGL has one setting in the GL rendering setting for solid objects contours. You can however bypass that by using non filled objects such as 3D polygons, which do have their own setting using the settings in the Attributes palette. In this case I extracted the top face into a 3D polygon rectangle, made it unfilled, adjusted the line thickness and placed it ate the top. As you can see, it clearly differs in thickness (OK I may have overdone it a bit).
  6. Claes Lundstrom

    3D silhouette line

    OpenGL can give you edge lines, but not individually controllable. You have to draw them by hand and give them a thickness. For edges, you can extract a face, and make it unfilled having a line thickness. The same applies to extracting edges as lines or curves and setting the line thickness.
  7. Claes Lundstrom

    Homemade CNC

    Why odd ? Considering one myself. Had two 3D printers, one Co2 laser for cutting plastic parts, two knife cutting machines for cutting cardboard for scale models with printed textures. Considering one of these: https://shop.stepcraft-systems.com/D-Series , mainly because it can carry many tools using the same mechanics. Milling, laser head, knifes, pens, 3D printer heads, etc. Good if you have limited space. Also handy as all these methods have their plus and minus sides.
  8. Claes Lundstrom

    how to stretch a symbol

    If it's 3D, you can trim it with an enclosing solid.
  9. Claes Lundstrom

    Need to draw a Boat

    Been there, done that. All fabrics based examples. Same program.
  10. Claes Lundstrom

    Need to draw a Boat

    I probably have the best program for complex unfolds such a boat hulls and all other parts of a boat for that matter. It does not just try and say if it works or not. It allows you to adjust the shape interactively as a part of the hull fairing, and it's probably the only program on the market that does so. I typically use this dynamic interaction to optimize the design so that it uses a minimal amount of material, and also interacts with the nesting of the panels. The example shows a 34 foot stainless steel boat having just under 200 parts plus various profiles, which we ran directly into laser cutting from the CAD files provided. The laser also added on skin marketings so that for example frames and bulkheads could be fitted without really measuring. We just placed the parts on the reference lines, which dramatically decreased the production time. The model was 100% generated in one program except for the renderings, and some documentation drawings done in VW.
  11. Claes Lundstrom

    Need to draw a Boat

    VW is probably not the first choice for boat design. It's NURBS features are simply too limited. A few steps could bring VW to say average (like say Rhino), for example the ability to nudge control points (like with mesh points), the ability to edit any number of control points in any number of objects at the same time, etc. Rhino is probably the most commonly used program in boat design, though in my opinion it's a misconception to say that Rhino alone is a professional grade boat design software. It's not. It still lacks fundamental stuff like hydrostatics, dynamic cross sectioning, etc. You need to add a set of plug-ins called Orca, though I have to say after having evaluated it, it very much feels like an after construction. It's rather clunky to work with compared to dedicated boat design programs. It's therefore not a top contender in my opinion as a professional designer.
  12. Claes Lundstrom

    Using 2 CAD systems

    No shame in using more than one CAD program. I do it all the time. You can re-paint your house with a screwdriver, but why bother as its' much quicker using a brush.
  13. Claes Lundstrom

    Renderworks or Artlantis Advice

    I actually use a combination of Renderworks, Artlantis and Keyshot. Renderworks biggest advantage is that it's inside VW, so there is no need for conversion. It's well adopted for architectural work with lot's of textures, symbols and resources in that area. Applying textures and getting it right can sometimes be a bit time consuming to get to an acceptable rendering quality, as it lacks a separate rendering window with controllable size and an efficient realtime preview features like the other programs have. Texture mapping can sometimes be a bit frustrating, especially if you mostly work with complex shapes like I do. Artlantis biggest advantage is that it's comparatively straight forward and easy to use once you get the model imported, and provided that the model is well organized. You get from A to B quickly. I have a comparatively old version, and the rendering quality is perhaps not absolutely top notch but not bad either, and since the realtime rendering gives you quick feedback, it often delivers better result than Renderworks based on the often limited time you have to spend on renderings. Exporting from VW to Atlantis can be done through a plug-in, or using .3DS, OBJ, Collada, etc, which works comparatively well. Keyshot also supplies realtime previews, which are probably better in quality than the other two, by a long way. Importing works well using a wide range of formats, such as 3DS, OBJ, STL, VRLM, STEP, IGES, DXF/DWG, though a major drawback is it's inability to add and correct normals, which is a huge problem from VW as normals is a bit of a mess in VW. Normals, which is used to create smoothing in renderings (draw a sphere, convert it into a mesh and render in OpenGL and it looks edgy despite being set to smooth), is basically not working as it should for mesh models, and that is also carried through to polygon mesh based model formats such as 3DS, OBJ, etc. Keyshot is very strong in textures, but it feels more oriented towards product visualizations rather than architectural visualizations, so it may not be an option for all VW users.
  14. Hi, We are looking for a freelance with VW skills, preferably in the Birmingham - Wolverhampton area. The work involves modification and production adjustments of exciting drawings for a product line of super realistic product physical 3D replicas. If you are interested, please contact me for further information at info@touchcad.com /Claes Lundstrom Lundstrom Design
  15. Claes Lundstrom

    still using Artlantis; update?

    I use both, as both have their virtues.
  16. Claes Lundstrom

    3D Shape question

    Very easy to do. Front view. Draw a line. Mirror and Duplicate to vertical. From the top view draw and arc using the three point mode having the same length as the line. Front view, rotate it to 45 degrees. Convert everything to NURBS. Ungroup and then loft into to a surface.
  17. Here is a thread on car modeling if anybody is interested :
  18. Claes Lundstrom

    Photogrammetry is Coming

    Point clouds are useful in many cases, but not always. Besides using point clouds, would it therefore also be possible to just extract user defined points, like you can do with for example PhotoModeler? I have done quite a lot of boat cover designs in the past, where we are essentially only interested in the panel edges, getting them as precise as possible, and then re-skin the model manually. In such a case you only need say 100 points or less. The rest of the cloud (99.9999%) is then basically waste info, and usually doesn't match the exact key points used for skinning.
  19. Claes Lundstrom

    Lumion and Renderworks. What do you think?

    Windows only it seems. Check out Keyshot too if you are interested in an external rendering program. About 2/3 of the price.
  20. Claes Lundstrom

    Laser cutting from Vectorworks file

    You are obviously not talking about sending an ordinary cutting file to a laser. More like engraving based on colors or shades of gray, which is a completely different thing. This is a different technique also possible do with laser machines but also for milling machines based, but instead of being based on vector couriers, it's based on pictures. What we talked about is actually cutting out contours, which you can also do with a laser. So, two completely different things. So, perhaps a relevant question is what 0.01 actually means. In VW it refers to millimeters, but I somehow doubt that any normal printer would actually be able to print such a thin line. Probably why the thinnest line is set to 0.05. Perhaps though your number refers to 0.01 inches, which is about 0.254 mm, and so on. Would make so much more sense. Here is a laser cut I did some years ago on my office laser cutter in acrylic glass. Nice cuts but very smelly.
  21. Claes Lundstrom

    Laser cutting from Vectorworks file

    Just export as an older version DXF. V14 or V12. The line thickness should be compensated by the the cutter driver if everything works as it should, depending on what material you cut and how thick it is. This applies to closed shapes, where it's obvious if the cut is to be on the inside or outside, or if you have closed shapes inside and already closed shape, for example holes on a given surface. In some variants of DXF, such as then AAMA-DXF (used in the industrial fabrics sector), you have special layer codes for outline cuts, cuts inside an online cut, texts, and just plot lines. Good idea to limit yourself to lines, arcs, and when using polylines only consisting of line segments and arcs. Avoid anything more complex, such as symbols and groups. Avoid fills of any kind. Illustrator adds absolutely nothing, as the precision is lower than CAD standard and their DXF converter is crap.
  22. Claes Lundstrom


    Step 2 are as follows: Import the DXF again into VW. Does it work? Try importing it into another program for reference, for example SolidWorks E-drawings or Dassault Draftsight (Both can be download for free). Does it work ? If it works, you can be pretty sure that there is something wrong with the CNC side. Check with the supplier. Re-install, and so on.
  23. Claes Lundstrom


    These milling programs often tend to be both a bit flaky and fragile, so here are a few other tips: - Save as an older version of DXF (try V14 or V12) - Simplify as much as possible: - Avoid using symbols - Avoid using filled objects - Explode (decompose in VW) objects before exporting and then Undo it back to civilization once exported (many programs have problems with VW polylines consisting of a mixture of corner types, holes etc, even from bigger suppliers like Adobe, Graphtec Silhouette Studio, etc) - Check that the receiving program actually reads curves properly. A super safe bet if it's a problem is to use lines, arcs and circles only for 2D paths. - Export DXF as TEXT and not Binary - Export and the import it again into VW to see if it reads properly. Test import the model in another free program such as Draftsight or SolidWorks E-drawings (none of them are particularly nice to work with but they do have very competent import filters).
  24. Claes Lundstrom


    Check that you have the same (A) Codex and (B) Line Feed settings in both files in a programming oriented word processor such as BB Edit or Text Wrangler. Some of these programs have problems with Mac style line feeds, which are different from Windows style line feeds. /Claes
  25. Claes Lundstrom

    sketchup v vw for 3d modelling

    The model was direct exported from VW to Keyshot using the Collada format. KeyShot is basically a stand alone rendering program that reads from other programs via plug-ins, but also reads a wide range of file formats. I mostly tested it for product visualization, where it's more easy going than with architectural models. Rendering quality is by far the best of quite a few programs I used over the years. Very good textures. All materials tested (metallic paint, chrome, rubber, leather, glass ) looks very realistic. The background image used was a stock one, it's 360, and it instantly generates shadows and reflections in the model despite the model not really standing on something, and updates instantly and follows the model when you rotate the model. Photo realistic realtime updates. I'm testing on a demo, so what you see is a screen dump, and it takes say 5-10 seconds to get there after a change of say color of view. Seems to communicate well with VW in all sorts of file formats, including IGES, XT, STEP, DWG, DXF, 3DS, OBJ, VRML, Collada, etc. 3DS and Collada allows you to bring over Renderworks stuff like textures and lights, but where Collada works better as it exports as NURBS models, whereas 3DS exports as trimeshes. So far good then. Bad things, and the this is a colossal flaw, is that it can't smooth off a polygon or trimesh based model (what the ... where they thinking there not being able to do what virtually all other programs can do), and it's also quite expensive.


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