Hello From Bismarck, ND

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ljbuller
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Hello From Bismarck, ND

Post by ljbuller » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:34 am

Hi All. I am fairly new to QCAD, and I'm pretty impressed.
My company makes cnc machine tools geared towards the Aircraft Electronics industry.
Along with our machine we have supplied a copy of EasyCAD. It is a simple CAD but very fast and has an elegant quick interface. The author is the original author of AutoCAD.
The author has failed to update it and with newer versions of Windows, it has a nasty habit of crashing which does not endure it to the user. Ironically the auto save is one of the things that make it crash.

I want to find a CAD that I can easily configure so that when I go to train my customers, we don't have to spend a half day setting up the CAD environment.

Our machine ships with a folder of pre drawn aircraft instrument panels and another folder of aircraft instrument drawings. Our software directly uses the dxf files to cut the instrument panels out of aluminum sheet. It automatically generates the tool paths based on entities on particular layers.

EasyCAD has a "insert part" feature which is similar to blocks. With this command we go to our instrument folder, select a instrument and drop it on the screen. All of the entities stay grouped like a block, however unlike a block reference all of the entities are copied into the main file at each insertion. All of the entities stay grouped together so parts of the instrument do not get out of position when moved.

I see that QCAD has a block command, but the only way I can see to use it with an outside file is to file - import, which loads it just fine, but there is no grouping. so now we have to go through the create block from selection process which adds a lot of keystrokes.
Is there any work underway to insert blocks from a file like Draftsight or AutoCAD does?

I see the library setup in QCAD, and the instruments could conceivably be converted to the library format, however the instruments are stored by make and model. Many of them are very close in visual representation with slight variations in dimensions.

any help in understanding how QCAD does things in terms of import (and subsequent grouping of the entities) or insert as block from a file would be greatly appreciated. If this is under development.. I can wait, but it is a feature badly needed.

Is Libre CAD a fork of the QCAD code? There are a lot of things that look similar. On their file - import they have a file - import - block command which is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for.
Larry Buller

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Husky
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Re: Hello From Bismarck, ND

Post by Husky » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:08 am

Hello jbuller - welcome to the forum.

Thank you of introducing yourself - that gives us a good idea of what you are looking for.
Here just a few brief answers to your questions. If you have further question please feel free to post them separately in the regarding QCAD Sub forum (like "How do I") etc.. That will help us to keep this Forum overseeable and we can help more effectively. Thank you.

ljbuller wrote:... Along with our machine we have supplied a copy of EasyCAD.
ljbuller wrote:... I want to find a CAD that I can easily configure so that when I go to train my customers, we don't have to spend a half day setting up the CAD environment.
... with QCAD you would also be able to provide your own customized QCAD Interface and all QCAD settings just with coping one file. :wink:
ljbuller wrote:EasyCAD has a "insert part" feature which is similar to blocks. With this command we go to our instrument folder, select a instrument and drop it on the screen. All of the entities stay grouped like a block, however unlike a block reference all of the entities are copied into the main file at each insertion. All of the entities stay grouped together so parts of the instrument do not get out of position when moved.
This is what you can achieve with the QCAD Library. An extreme powerful item management.
ljbuller wrote:I see that QCAD has a block command, but the only way I can see to use it with an outside file is to file - import, which loads it just fine, but there is no grouping. so now we have to go through the create block from selection process which adds a lot of keystrokes.
Is there any work underway to insert blocks from a file like Draftsight or AutoCAD does?
Maybe Andrew has to look into an example of that behavior ...
ljbuller wrote:I see the library setup in QCAD, and the instruments could conceivably be converted to the library format...
.... Many of them are very close in visual representation with slight variations in dimensions.
QCAD will use Folders and Sub folders what will keep you organized. It will also provide the names and an icon preview for each stored item. The Favorite management is also a nice plus ...
ljbuller wrote:any help in understanding how QCAD does things in terms of import (and subsequent grouping of the entities) or insert as block from a file would be greatly appreciated. If this is under development.. I can wait, but it is a feature badly needed.
In short:
File / Import
QCAD will import a complete drawing (small or big) into your actual drawing. The structure of the imported drawing will not change and it will not be converted to a single block. All previously used blocks in this imported drawing are still intact and are now usable in the target drawing. The import gives you options how to handle Rotation / Scale / Layers and blocks.

Library:
Items from the library inserted as a block. Options again for Rotation / Scale / Layer and block during the insert. Those block are editable for this actual drawing. If you edit a block in the actual drawing it will not change the original block in the library.

Blocks from drawing to drawing - just copy and paste.

I'm pretty sure you need more info's to this topic - please feel free to ask further questions in "How do I" etc subforen and we are happy to help you with that.
ljbuller wrote:Is Libre CAD a fork of the QCAD code? There are a lot of things that look similar. On their file - import they have a file - import - block command which is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for.
Yes, LibreCad is a fork of QCAD - to get more information on this please search the internet and see by yourself ....
... and this Block command in LibreCad is called Library in QCAD. :wink:

If you have further questions please feel free to ask us - we are here to help.
Husky
Work smart, not hard: QCad Pro

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andrew
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Re: Hello From Bismarck, ND

Post by andrew » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:18 am

ljbuller wrote:EasyCAD has a "insert part" feature which is similar to blocks. With this command we go to our instrument folder, select a instrument and drop it on the screen. All of the entities stay grouped like a block, however unlike a block reference all of the entities are copied into the main file at each insertion. All of the entities stay grouped together so parts of the instrument do not get out of position when moved.
I would suggest to use either the library browser or any system file browser of your preference (Windows Explorer, macOS Finder, etc.). From a file browser, you can simply drag and drop files into your drawing area. As long as file names are unique, a new block with name=filename is created for every dropped file. If you drop the same file twice, no new block is created. You can choose if you want to overwrite (update) the block or keep the block of the drawing and just insert another reference.

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