Contracts

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Kevin

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Message 1 of 15

 Contracts
12-11-2005 11:16 . am | View his/her posts only
I'm doing a lot of work in the construction sector right now and I'm spending a lot of time with architects discussing contractual issues on projects. What most (if not all) the bigger companies in the UK are moving to now is not issuing CAD data unless it is accompanied by either a pdf or hardcopy of a drawing sheet. In fact many are now using pdf as the method of issuing hardcopy drawings, by printing from the pdfs.

In the engineering sector we happily send 3D data around in whatever formats are requested. I know the bigger players have strict systems in place for this but for smaller businesses this is not usually an issue.

I'm just curious to know how others are handling this, and how critical this is to your sector. If a customer or supplier asks you for 3D data how do you send it and with what disclaimers attached? Signing off a drawing is one thing but how do you sign off 3D data?

What I do is issue a drawing as a pdf alongside the requested 3D format. The disclaimers amount to our standard terms and conditions and limited liability clauses. If sending multiple files I record who it has been sent to, the purpose of issue and the date, and what revision status was sent. If the 3D geometry is complex or there are critical fits I always get the customer to sign off a prototype before proceeding to tooling.....though even then it is not enough sometimes!!

I do know some designer who use e-drawings for this purpose, especially the pro version which allows redlining and other things. Be nice for VX to have that kind of functionality....

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warren

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Message 2 of 15

28-03-2006 03:35 . am | View his/her posts only
I work as a general design engineer and drafter. I work with both architects and manufaturing companies, usually Aerospace.

I've found the manufacturing houses have a better organized system of tracking parts and their digital info. Also, most engineers and designers more fully appreciate thevalue of approved dimensionally correct 3D parts.

Architecture is still a paper based system where the actual work can not be performed by machines that read straight digital data. Therfore the adiction of paper. I've worked with more then one architect who keeps the red-lined drawings as the final "as-built" project and (though they promise they'll get to it someday) never update the digital model. Hence the need for hard copies, which in my experience, are 100% of the time, redlined drawings from the work site.

How I handle this? This can get tricky. The most important issue for me is to have a signed document stating that the information they provided is correct. If I have a hardcopy AND a digital model I have them sign off on one or the other as to being the correct information. In my market rarely is the digital information the most current. There has been many-a-time when I have opened a drawing only to discover the dimension value has been over ridden with typed in data. SNEAKY DRAFTERS!!!

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Deri

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Registered: 2005-10-29

Message 3 of 15

06-03-2007 04:33 . pm | View his/her posts only
Most of my stuff goes out as locked down 2D PDf (to avoid the sneaky editing of dimensions). E-drawings is a very powerful tool for getting ideas over to people, but allowing free access to the measurement tools can lead to some hassle (Acrimonious arguing about check dimensions with a Scottish/South african at 7.30 am over the phone springs to mind) - being told that "they" have the right dimension when you're looking at the original CAD model you've spent he last two months staring at and know damn well they don't is galling!
I'm very weary of sending out CAD data - even if the other person is using Vx or whatever, you can almost guarentee they'll screw it up - importing in to another programme is a definite cause for concern unless you trust the person doing it. My terms and conditions and any quotes state what formats I'll deliver data in - generally 2D DWG cutting files or high res TIF files if it's viz work, Navisworks Freedom files if it's scan work - actually handing over 3D data is pretty rare.
Vx's biggest downfall to me is the ability to get high quality drawings and easily diseminated but controlable 3D data out - it's light years behind Solidworks - tying in to 3D PDF would be a god start.
Cheers
Deri

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 4 of 15

07-03-2007 08:37 . am | View his/her posts only
Hi Deri

VX does not have to be tied into 3D PDF for you to take advantage of it. Download the trial version from Adobe and see if delivers the better communication you are seeking.

http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat3d/tryout.html

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Kevin

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Message 5 of 15

08-03-2007 05:23 . am | View his/her posts only
Acrobat 3D has the potential to surpass E drawings as a definitive commmunication tool. Indeed in v8 (which I am currently beta testing) there are even more tools. The problem for VX is that unless they choose to export a 3D pdf there is no way to have anything other than a simple model file in Acrobat. This is why most (if not all) MCAD vendors are choosing to have an export 3D pdf function in the software, or, they have a native format that can be opened directly by Acrobat 3D ToolKit. What I mean here is this. If I have an assembly of 200 parts in SolidWorks, Acrobat can open the SolidWorks file and provide the part tree to let me turn components on and off as needed. Unless the native format is supported by Acrobat, or, there is a native 3D PDF export in the software, this functionality is not supported. Currently converting a VX file to Acrobat gives a single body. So in reality it is next to useless for anything other than single parts.

The concern I have is that at our recent user meeting in the UK this was all discussed but the outcome appeared to be let the end user download VX as a demo. That is not a solution.

What I like about the SolidWork E-Drawings is that they are drawings and models in one file. Very easy to understand. Like Deri, to me the biggest failing with VX is the drawings, and getting good quality presentable material in fron of a customer that might be on the other side of the world. At the end of the day, VX as a company has to choose where they want to go. Focus on the up front design market or continue to focus on the CAM side.

These issues are paramount for the design companies using VX. Why do our drawings have to look so bad compared to those a SolidWorks user can produce? Creating a quality document in VX is just too much like hard work compared to most other systems. Sorry, but these things do matter to us.

I think PDF is the way to go - the security features alone justify it. But VX has to support the format fully.




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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 6 of 15

08-03-2007 08:38 . am | View his/her posts only
Hello Dave





Ah, but nobody has said that VX Corp have chosen not to support this format........ I think everybody agrees that it should be going places. However, for many VX customers who expect excellent value for their money, the price is rather high. The Acrobat 3D format is in it's infancy and those that rush to support it now are likely to carry a heavy burden of maintenance issues. That said, we are well equipped - Adobe support XML and are going to support STEP in the forthcoming v8. Our leading 3rd Party development company is also seriously investigating the possibilities of native PDF support. The VX Viewer is the best choice in the mean time.




Your blanket criticism of VX drawings is unfair. Having seen VX customer 2D Layouts from around the world, I know people out there are producing accurate 2D layouts of a very high standard. Of course I have seen some excellent drawings produced with other 3D CAD systems too, including SolidWorks - but I have also seen some very very poor ones (seems to apply to SW in particular). It occurs to me therefore that the User is a major factor in the equation! However, where VX takes only minutes to produce several views, some competitors are taking hours to produce similar layouts and deliver less success/accuracy into the bargain. I am not trying to claim that VX 2D is perfect, but it is capable and it is competitive. All the CAD systems are different, they all have things about them that we love and things we loath. Over the past two years, the VX 2D Layout developers have done a really excellent job of enhancing the tools, mostly in response to customer requests. We shall continue to do so.

Concerning the exchange of 3D Data, I have been both the recipient and the sender. It is a good idea to time stamp the file names and have the recipient sign a confirmation slip (fax) that lists those exact file names. Further, either in 3D or on a 2D drawing, key points (XYZ) should be identified if the recipient is importing the data into a different CAD system. The recipient returns a table listing the values as verified on his system, so everyone knows that they are looking at the same beast. It is commonplace for that data to be the same as used for QA (CMM) when checking the manufactured parts, especially injection mouldings, where shrinkage and warping is a major area of interest. Generally speaking, the provision of 3D data avoids later disputes over dimensions, but one must be disciplined and issue the data within a formal and rigorous structure.














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Kevin

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Message 7 of 15

08-03-2007 08:55 . am | View his/her posts only
For 3D data I always include a 100x100x100 cube in the data. That way the recipient can check easily for data scaling issues.

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Kevin

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Message 8 of 15

08-03-2007 09:11 . am | View his/her posts only
Chris,

We have batted the drawing issues around many times here. Of course ultimately the quality of the drawings is dictated by the user but from a presentation point of view there are some fundamental issues that need to be addressed:

1. Text handling on drawings - adding paragraphs of notes is too hard - editing those notes even harder
2. Cannot use truetype fonts properly - they print as outlines - why?
3. Cannot get perspective views into drawings - this was bug listed a couple of versions back
4. Editing sections (ie moving the cutting lines) is unreliable (and yes I know you can set up section planes in modelling but for a quick drafting procedure this goes against the grain).
5. Shaded views - option to anti-alias or overlay linework would help here

As for the speed Chris, I can only comment on those apps I have used or seen in use - namely ThinkDesign, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, Pro-E and CATIA v5.....there are no issues with drawing update speeds in any of these - most update even complex assemblies in realtime.

The big issues for me are text handling. Often in early stage product design I need to add a lot of notes to drawings and this just isn't feasible in VX as it stands - it is far too time consuming. And I still cannot understand why fonts are so badly handled after all this time.


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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 9 of 15

08-03-2007 11:16 . am | View his/her posts only
Hi Kevin

Well, if text handling is your main problem then I have some good news for you. What the other customers are doing for paragraphs of text is simple - prepare it in a word processor such as MS Word. You can spell-check, grammar check and rearrange to your heart's content, then save to a text file and let the VX Text Editor pull it in to your drawing

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Kevin

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Message 10 of 15

08-03-2007 01:46 . pm | View his/her posts only
OK I've trawled the help and managed to get this to work. Yes that will do the job, thanks for that. Wasn't aware of that "hidden feature" Still it wouldn't it be better to be able to edit the text blocks actually on the page?

Now the fonts........am I doomed to use Roman Simplex for ever? What is so hard about coding in proper typefaces onto VX drawings? I can see the historical issues from UNIX days but that was 10 years ago. It's not like we have to model from them.

Personally I would rather see the ability to have proper fonts in drawings and direct editing on the page than the ability to create text ona path in modelling - most text modelling operations have workarounds - by importing a dwg or dxf from illlustrator or another application, but there is no workaround for inadequate text handling in drawings (unless we export as a dwg and apply the text in another application!).

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 11 of 15

08-03-2007 07:25 . pm | View his/her posts only


Hi again Kevin

Well, by weight of numbers, you have certainly been out-voted with regards to the text on curve function! It is more difficult for VX to support filled TTF because we try to keep everything platform independent but TTF requires a very MS way of doing things under Windows. We are however going to do it.




What is the point of building-in word processor functionality when everybody already has a suitable program, Wordpad, delivered as part of the OS? I think it is far better that we concentrate our time on delivering CAD functionality that you don't have. By the way, VX does deliver text block editing, you can load an existing text file or just type straight into the editor, and/or copy and paste. You can do this in the Layout text editor or if you have a huge amount of text, you will find in the top menu, Utilities, the Text File Editor. It's not directly on the drawing layout page, but that does not present a huge problem and there are certainly advantages in being able to store "standard" sets of notes in separate documents because you can use them across files, across projects and of course across applications. It's a different way of handling text but for the purposes of drawings it is not an inadequate way by any means.



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Kevin

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Message 12 of 15

09-03-2007 06:18 . am | View his/her posts only

Well, by weight of numbers, you have certainly been out-voted with regards to the text on curve function! It is more difficult for VX to support filled TTF because we try to keep everything platform independent but TTF requires a very MS way of doing things under Windows. We are however going to do it.



Platform independent? Why? Are VX bringing out a Mac version then

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 13 of 15

09-03-2007 09:37 . am | View his/her posts only
Well, at least one of the VX people I know has a financial interest in Apple - so, may be we can have VX on the ipod

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Steve

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Message 14 of 15

09-03-2007 09:54 . am | View his/her posts only
Quote

I can see the historical issues from UNIX days but that was 10 years ago. It's not like we have to model from them.


Have you SEEN the future from Microsoft? It's not very bright. They are going to drive the Mcad market right back to UNIX(Linux, OSX, BSD)
84-90% SLOWER on Vista.

Come on VX, give us a Linux & OSX versions

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 15 of 15

09-03-2007 07:18 . pm | View his/her posts only


....well, with desktop RAM and measured in terabytes in the near future, and hard drives already there, the hardware platform becomes much more flexible. So flexible that what we might see is CAD-CAM becoming independant of any OS, as it was in the early days when the hardware was built specifically for the application.

See also