Is QCAD good for us?

Do you have a question you want to ask an existing QCAD user about QCAD and what you can do with it? Do you want to know if a particular feature exists? This is the place to ask.

Moderator: andrew

Menno
Newbie Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:26 am

Is QCAD good for us?

Postby Menno » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:04 pm

I want to start of by saying that I am extremely biased towards Autocad/ZWCad, I have worked with these tools for years, I'm a command line junky and I'm extremely efficient with these applications. I'm currently employed as a land surveyor in a small company that does not have any prior experience with CAD software. Drawing is done by hand in the field and these raw drawings often end up being our final product and seems very unprofessional to me. So I picked up a ZWcad trial and showed what I can do with it, my employer seems pleased with the results.

Now my employer discovered QCAD which costs less then 10% of ZWCad so without any experience with the software he is now biased towards QCAD but the longer I work with it the more I get disappointed with it. But disregarding the speed of the workflow we don't need to do all that much with a CAD program.

- We usually get our background/reference drawings and just need to add a couple dozen to a couple hundred of lines and add numbers to these. This can easily be done with QCAD of course.
- We also need to be able to control draw order with hatches, this however seems not supported. We need to have mostly preexisting text being drawn on top of a hatch.
- We need to print/PDF parts of the drawing on scale with a label containing company logo and drawing information. I already created templates (Viewports alongside a label in paper space) in ZWCad for different paper sizes/orientation this. I believe QCAD does not have anything like paperspace, but does it allow me to setup templates with labels and easy scaling (Zoom/xp in AutoCad/ZWCad). Likewise, does it allow to scale up text elements (semi)automatically when zooming?
- What is the deal with DWG exactly? I believe it is not included in QCAD pro. This means we either have to convert reference drawing we get, or ask for DXF drawings specifically.
- Can I alter the UCS somehow? I need to draw a lot of perpendicular line without proper control over the coordinate system I don't see a easy way of doing this. Rotating the drawing is not a option due to coordinates and the size of some drawings.
- For my own sake, is there any way to get to the command line by just typing like in autocad? And is there a list of commands somewhere so I can at least look up commands? I know hundreds of autocad commands and it's very convenient it autocompletes and shows relative commands, just thinking about having to use the GUI makes me cringe.

I'm sure my employer will buy at least one version of QCAD since it's priced so low but I'm concerned with spending too much time on learning a product that is just not cutting it for us. I need to spend about 2 hours on a drawing per large project, the workflow of QCAD seems to add a significant amount of time to that. Perhaps not the right place to ask this but is QCAD really a good option for profesional use at this moment and are FreeCad or LibreCad worth checking out with the above points in mind?

User avatar
andrew
Site Admin
Posts: 5054
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:07 am

Re: Is QCAD good for us?

Postby andrew » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:16 pm

Menno wrote:I want to start of by saying that I am extremely biased towards Autocad/ZWCad


There's nothing wrong with these CAD systems. QCAD has a different approach though which is intended and works better for most of our users, many of whom don't use CAD daily or even regularly. Having said that, QCAD Professional is also being used very effectively by companies across all industries.

I understand that Autocad users are used to working in a different way. However, many Autocad users tend to forget about the years of training and experience they required to get to where they are and just assume that naturally, other products should just work the same way and require no training at all. This assumption is of course wrong. If you have received that amount of training for Autocad, you should probably simply stick with Autocad or one of its many clones. QCAD is not one of them (and will never be).

Menno wrote: - We also need to be able to control draw order with hatches, this however seems not supported. We need to have mostly preexisting text being drawn on top of a hatch.


Have a look at the "draw order" property in the property editor.

Menno wrote: - We need to print/PDF parts of the drawing on scale with a label containing company logo and drawing information. I already created templates (Viewports alongside a label in paper space) in ZWCad for different paper sizes/orientation this. I believe QCAD does not have anything like paperspace, but does it allow me to setup templates with labels and easy scaling (Zoom/xp in AutoCad/ZWCad). Likewise, does it allow to scale up text elements (semi)automatically when zooming?


You would typically create your border / logo, etc. at an inverse scale of your drawing scale. See also:
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=3317

Menno wrote: - What is the deal with DWG exactly? I believe it is not included in QCAD pro. This means we either have to convert reference drawing we get, or ask for DXF drawings specifically.


QCAD Professional supports both DWG and DXF for reading and writing.

Menno wrote:- Can I alter the UCS somehow? I need to draw a lot of perpendicular line without proper control over the coordinate system I don't see a easy way of doing this. Rotating the drawing is not a option due to coordinates and the size of some drawings.


No, UCS is currently not supported in QCAD.

Menno wrote: - For my own sake, is there any way to get to the command line by just typing like in autocad?


The recommended way to work in QCAD is using keycodes (without having to activate the command line). Simple press the L key followed by the I key to start drawing lines. O followed by F for to offset, etc. Yes, these two or three letter key codes make you potentially faster than with command line based CAD systems e_surprised

That's because for a line:
[L][I][click][click][Escape] is faster than [L][I][N][E][Enter][click][click][Escape]

For a bisector:
[L][B][click][click][Escape] is faster than [X][L][I][N][E][Enter][B][Enter][click][click][Escape]

Menno wrote:I'm sure my employer will buy at least one version of QCAD since it's priced so low but I'm concerned with spending too much time on learning a product that is just not cutting it for us. I need to spend about 2 hours on a drawing per large project, the workflow of QCAD seems to add a significant amount of time to that. Perhaps not the right place to ask this but is QCAD really a good option for profesional use at this moment and are FreeCad or LibreCad worth checking out with the above points in mind?


You're absolutely right: This is not the right place to ask something like this. You'd really have to talk to your employer about this business decision. As all software and arguably all products, QCAD is great for some and not for others.

Menno
Newbie Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:26 am

Re: Is QCAD good for us?

Postby Menno » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:49 pm

Thank you for your reply, the key code is indeed fast I was under the impression I still had to click the command line. Your impression of a command line junky workflow in Autocad is not completely accurate however. But the key codes does make it fast enough once properly learned to work with it. I have no official education in Autocad but just worked with it a lot. The label and printing in scales is the most important so I'm pleased this is possible as for the rest of the points except the lack of a UCS is a big bummer.

User avatar
andrew
Site Admin
Posts: 5054
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:07 am

Re: Is QCAD good for us?

Postby andrew » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:57 pm

Menno wrote:except the lack of a UCS is a big bummer.


UCS is indeed on our radar and will likely be implemented when time allows. Viewports / layouts are also in the works.

Menno
Newbie Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:26 am

Re: Is QCAD good for us?

Postby Menno » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:10 pm

That is great news! I already talked to my employer and if I can create a template for printing with a label including a logo, scale, drawer, filename, revision number/data, etc we will be buying a couple of professional versions. QCad is a great tool and the price makes it even better. Unfortunately I'm more of a Autocad user (and will probably always be) and have to deal with the change in workflow for the time being.

User avatar
Husky
Moderator/Drawing Help/Testing
Posts: 1750
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 9:25 am
Location: USA

Re: Is QCAD good for us?

Postby Husky » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:10 pm

Hello Menno - welcome to the forum.

Menno wrote:... and if I can create a template for printing with a label including a logo, scale, drawer, filename, revision number/data, etc we will be buying a couple of professional versions.

Maybe you doesn't need to reinvent the wheel again. In this sub forum you can find a couple of predefined templates. Maybe it helps as a base for modification on your own customized drawing template.
viewforum.php?f=51

Menno wrote:Unfortunately I'm more of a Autocad user (and will probably always be) and have to deal with the change in workflow for the time being.

If you need help to accomplish a task in QCAD just ask your questions in this forum. Most of the time we can help ... :wink:
Work smart, not hard: QCad Pro

User avatar
dfriasb
Full Member
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:08 pm
Location: Calafell, Tarragona, Spain

Re: Is QCAD good for us?

Postby dfriasb » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:33 am

Hello Menno,

I also come from AutoCAD. Two years ago I decided to start my own business as an architect. At the beginning, as usually it happens, incomes are not so many, so I decided to get QCAD a chance:
    - It is very cheap.
    - Performance is much better than others like FreeCAD and LibreCAD.
    - Support is really very good here, as you can see.
    - You can run it in other OS than Windows (Mac, Linux...).

I had almost the same problems like you:

    UCS: at this moment I just select everything and rotate in 0,0 origin. When finished, I do the opposite rotation.
    Plots: I use to copy the part of the drawing I want to print to a different file with the frame, and layer colors changed to print color (most of them black, some grey, and just a few in color). Of course I use always the same layer names.
    Command Line: It's true, at the beginning it's confusing, by keyboard QCAD typing is much faster at the end.

I'm still a bit disappointed with Apple Magic Mouse performance. I decided to eliminate zooming by mouse and do it by keyboard: + / - by default; I also added < / > shortcut to use them with left hand. This way I also use a lot Zoom Window and Zoom Previous; so at the end I'm not zooming in and out all the time, something it used to happen to me in other expensive software.

Something that would help a lot are External References, I think. I used to don't have any drawing in my plot files, I just XRefed them, and changes were made in the "working" files (model space). If I needed to change some particular thing in the plot, I did it, and change was automatically updated in model "working" space when opened the next time.
With blocks this way of manage presentations can be very close, but sometimes you can forget where did you introduced last changes, or something worst, you can change different things into different files but into the same piece of drawing.

I hope this can be useful for you.

Best regards,

David
David Frías Barranco | architect
dfriasb@gmail.com | davidfriasarquitecto.es


Return to “Pre-sales Questions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest