TurboCAD Mac Forum

TurboCAD Mac Categories => Problems => Topic started by: Andrew1883 on January 21, 2015, 03:42:20 PM

Title: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on January 21, 2015, 03:42:20 PM
I am new and still working my way into this - largely successfully but can't get 'Fill' to work properly.

I am doing a drawing for photo etching and it is important all the areas not to be etched are filled. 'Fill' works fine for simple circles or rectangles, filling completely with a solid colour. Put two or three circles inside the rectangle (no overlapping), hoping to fill the rectangle but not the circles, and I get peculiar results. Typically, the rectangle will fill but so will some or parts of some of the circles. Additionally, lines will appear connecting the circles to each other and to a corner of the rectangle.

Attempting more complex shapes will result in the message:  ‘Hatch Error’ - valid hatch region not found

Is there some way of making ‘Fill’ simply fill to the boundaries (however complex) of the space selected?

I have worked through the video tutorial and searched the User Guide but without finding the answer. One thing I may not be understanding is the meaning of ‘object’ in this context.

I am running TurboCAD Mac Designer 8 on a MacBook Pro running OS X 10.9.5

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on January 23, 2015, 04:33:11 PM
Andrew1883,

Welcome to the forum.

Fills can cover other objects. Select an object and use the Arrange submenu under "Edit" to see if one object is hiding another. The extra lines you see connecting objects together are strange and I don't know what causes them. Setting show frame to off will hide them.

I have had the Hatch error also, holding down the shift key and selecting the boundaries is a way to get around this.

Anything in your drawing that you can select is an object, lines, circles, polygons, etc... This would include locked objects. Locked objects can't be selected because of the locked condition but are still objects.

Enjoy
Mitch
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on January 24, 2015, 05:49:03 AM
Thanks, Mitch - but that doesn't take me far.

If I start with a new drawing, draw a circle and draw another circle within it then select the fill tool and click on the space between the circles, both circles are filled and a line appears connecting the two circles where the space between them is widest.

If I then draw two overlapping circles and click 'fill' in each of the non-overlapped sectors, I get a good result. The non-overlapped sectors are filled but not the overlap and there are no added lines.

Similarly with a circle inside a rectangle and with a circle overlapping a rectangle.

No possibility of hidden objects as this was all done on a clean sheet. I can't find 'show frame', so can't switch it off and get rid of the extra lines.

Selecting 'objects' (e.g. the four sides of a rectangle) has no effect because, as soon as the fill tool is selected, the objects are deselected.

To keep my first project moving, I have had to export my drawings in .dwg format to a friend with AutoCAD for filling and submitting for etching. It's looking like getting AutoCAD myself may be the only way to go.

Regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on January 24, 2015, 04:53:13 PM
Hi Andrew1883

When I used the term hidden I wasn’t using it in the traditional CAD sense. I’m using the term to describe how one object can’t be seen because it is behind another object.

Lets do a little project here to demonstrate what I mean. Starting with a new sheet, draw a rectangle using single line mode. Set the fill color to green and solid pattern. Select the fill tool and click inside the rectangle. Notice that the top line of the Inspector says 1 polygon. Fills are associated with polygons, to change the color or fill pattern the polygon must be selected. If you switch to object properties -> data tab in the Inspector you will now see the show frame and show fill options.

Draw a small circle inside the rectangle on the left side, as soon as it’s done the circle disappears, the circle is behind the fill color. The Inspector shows 1 circle is selected so go to the Edit menu and open the Arrange submenu and click on “Bring To Front”. Your circle now appears. Click on an empty part of the drawing to deselect the circle, in the Inspector click the Fill Properties icon and change the color to blue. Go back to the Fill tool and click inside the circle. Nothing seems to happen but the top of the inspector says 1 polygon. Go to the Arrange submenu and “Bring To Front”.

On the right side of the rectangle create an oval, again “Bring To Front”. Deselect everything and change color to magenta. Fill the oval and again “Bring To Front”, I don’t know why we keep needing to use bring to front, you would think the object being worked with would be on top by default.

Make a third circle and have it intrude into the oval and extend outside the rectangle. Deselect all and change the fill color to brown, now use the fill tool and click inside this circle and in the green area of the rectangle, Bring To Front and see that the oval and the bottom line of the rectangle have formed a boundary limiting the color between the oval and the rectangle bottom. To fill in the circle go to Edit and undo the fill, now select the circle then the Fill tool (circle deselects), hold the shift key and select the circle again, then “Bring To Front”. The circle should be filled.

I have also noticed that making each object one at a time eliminates those extra lines.

I hope this allows you to complete your project.

Enjoy
Mitch 
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on January 25, 2015, 07:09:37 AM
Thanks, Mitch.

That all works as you describe but seems hopelessly difficult when trying to fill the kind of things I'm working with.

Attached (I hope) is one component that is in a sheet of over 20 components, many of which are similarly complex. Even filling this one component whilst leaving its 8 holes unfilled would not be straightforward.

In one layer of the drawing (the top), all the components are separated but in the other layer (the bottom) they are all connected by small tags. The bottom layer as a result is effectively one large and very complex object which needs to be filled, leaving holes and slots in the components unfilled.

I will have a go at filling the attached component myself and see how I get on - but I'm not feeling optimistic about using the fill process you describe successfully for the whole drawing.

Regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on January 25, 2015, 12:06:18 PM
Using your part I hid the circles using the show/hide tool and filled the frame. This prevented the extra lines from being created. I then unhide the circles and bring them to the front. Set fill color to white and select each circle, bring the polygons to front if needed.

It seems odd that the hatch tool will recognize holes and go around them but the fill tool doesn't.

I don't know if this will help with the other parts but I wish you luck!

Enjoy
Mitch
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on January 25, 2015, 03:04:56 PM
Yes, that works - thanks Mitch - and your way was better than mine (and now I know how to use the Show/Hide tool).

Hiding holes that way doesn't take long and I did it quite quickly for the bottom layer of the whole drawing. But then I'm left with the real problem. Attached is the bounded area that needs to be filled and which TurboCAD doesn't seem to cope with. I can't think of any way of breaking the task into smaller chunks, either.

Any suggestions?

Regards

Andrew

Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on January 25, 2015, 10:27:17 PM
Andrew1883,

I found some bad geometry and corrected it. I am posting two examples of the kind of things I found and the completed drawing or at least what I think you are looking for.

Enjoy
Mitch
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on January 26, 2015, 01:25:08 AM
Sorry about that. I must have used an earlier saved version when hiding the holes. I think the version I posted had four corners with gaps and two leftover line fragments (but I couldn't find the one you showed in your first png). I dealt with these and that should mean the area of the drawing that needs to be filled (representing the metal that will not be removed by etching) should have a continuous clean boundary.

The fill you have done is impressive but covers the areas that need to be etched away, rather than the components and outer frame - a sort of mirror image of what I need!

When I try to fill the component and frame areas of the attached drawing, TurboCAD thinks for quite a while - then crashes. Of course, I could have missed some other bad geometry, but I have done my best in searching for any.

Regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on January 26, 2015, 07:35:40 PM
Andrew1883,

First set a short cut key for "Bring To Front", to save some time and effort. see Screen shot 2.

Draw a fence around all the geometry inside the borders, click hide all and fill the inside of the borders to your favorite color.
Once again draw a fence around all your geometry inside the borders and bring to front. Good time to try out the short cut key. Set the fill color to white and select each of the enclosed pieces in turn. If it appears to work by forming a polygon bring it to front to see it. If you get the hatch error try again by clicking somewhere else inside the closed polygon, sometimes that works. If you don't get it by the third try then hold down the shift key and select the boundaries. As you select the lines watch for gaps or overlaps and lines formed by two or more shorter lines end to end. The fill tool does not like that, replace the multi lines with a single line.

One other thing to watch out for is the fill tool appears to work but when you Bring to Front you don't get the white color be sure to go to the Edit menu Undo tool and undo the fill. If you don't you will end up with a bunch of unwanted polygons as you chase down the problem and get it to work.

In this drawing I only found two multi lines, no gaps, or overlaps.

Enjoy
Mitch
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on January 27, 2015, 03:53:20 AM
Thanks, Mitch. Very impressive and I think I should be able get to where I need to now.

I'll let you know if I hit any roadblocks but meanwhile that feels like problem solved.

Possibly something to add to the list of desirable TurboCAD enhancements would be some simplification of this process!

Thanks again

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on August 25, 2016, 07:12:52 AM
Hi Mitch

I'm back on this same topic. Previously, I had made some progress but not to completion and had got a friend with AutoCAD to do the filing and checking for me.

Now, with a trial version of Mac Deluxe 9 (still running OS 10.9.5), I'm having another go. I've actually made very good progress using your Jan. 26th 2015 guidance - but there are still problems. Many relate to drawing errors and I now understand better how these arise and how to avoid them in future.

That leaves one main problem at present which I think arises because of my incomplete understanding of how the arrange tools and show/hide actually work. I have read through the manual (pages 102 and 147/8) but still am confused.

The problem arises when (to keep it simple) I have a rectangular frame with a rectangle within it containing the components. I am again describing a drawing for producing etched components so one layer (top) has the components connected to the frame by little tags whilst in the other (bottom) the components are unconnected. I have had no difficulty following your guidance in filling the top layer.

For the bottom layer, attempting to fill with white the areas around the components to be etched away just results in the whole of the inner rectangle being filled white, obliterating the components. I have attempted to hide the components and bring them back after the white fill; I have played with moving various selections backwards and forwards without consistent results; and I've experimented with combinations of these - all without success. Some of the results have surprised me and made me wonder if, for example, when you select an area within a filled rectangle you are selecting the rectangle, just because it's filled.

I wonder if you can help and stop my attempts to discover by trial and error?

Regards

Andrew

Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on August 25, 2016, 07:27:56 PM
Hi Andrew1883,

Could you post the drawing for me to look at? I don't think I know all the ins and outs of fills but I will wade through it and see what I come up with.

Enjoy
Mitch
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on August 26, 2016, 03:03:42 AM
Hi Mitch

I attach a version of the drawing I'm working on. As you will see, I have managed to complete the filling of the top layer (apart from small bits I have had no problem with previously). My current problem is with the bottom layer and is best shown by the six components in the rectangle at the top of the drawing. The area around the components needs to be filled white, together with the narrow gaps within each component. Trying to fill these areas simply causes the whole rectangle to fill. I suspect the way to succeed is some combination of moving elements of the drawing backwards or forwards and using the show/hide tool - but I haven't found the right combination! Exactly the same issue arises with the rest of the bottom layer but is likely to be complicated by some residual drawing errors.

Hope this makes sense and you can find some straightforward way to deal with the problem.

Regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on August 27, 2016, 02:35:21 AM
Hi Mitch

I have made some progress! I thought I could try applying the approach used for the whole drawing to each of the sections within the boundary frame of the bottom layer. So I drew a fence round the components within the rectangle at the top of the drawing, clicked hide and filled the rectangle with white. I then tried to get the (invisible) components back by drawing a fence round them and clicking show or alternatively clicking 'm' (bring to front). Trouble here is I'm not sure which is correct and the program's behaviour seems inconsistent. Eventually, by some sequence of show and 'm' (and repeating it) the components reappear.

The separate bounded sections of the component can then be filled (yellow). Any circular holes then disappear and need to be retrieved, again using show or 'm'. The holes can then be filled white, finally giving the desired result.

I went on to use this method on the more complex lower parts of the drawing, mostly successfully. A particularly disconcerting problem in doing this however is that, when retrieving the circular holes (for some components but not for other, identical, ones) clicking 'm' caused everything within the boundary frame to disappear. I tried and tried but could not find out why. In the end, I decided the best work-around (and probably the best way of working in the first place!) is to fill the bottom layer components and then to add the holes to them by copying, pasting in place and changing layer the already filled holes on the top layer.

Although I have now achieved a complete drawing (attached), it probably still contains some hidden stuff and I am left wondering if this could ever cause a problem.

It would also be good if you could help to sort out my confusion about the respective uses of 'show' and 'bring to front' and provide any explanation for the sort of inconsistent behaviour I've experienced.

Regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on August 28, 2016, 09:29:43 PM
Hi Andrew1883,

Nice drawing, you have done a lot of work on this.

The Arrange hierarchy for filled polygons starts with the first one filled being the highest with each one after it going down a step. To demonstrate this draw three circles in a line, then enclose them in a rectangle something like screen-shot 1. Select a color and fill the first circle, then the second, and then the third. Change the color and fill the rectangle. Now the first circle filled is level 1, the second is level 2, the third is level 3 and the rectangle is level 4. With the rectangle selected go to Arrange and click "Bring Forward". The rectangle moves up a level and covers the third circle. "Bring Forward" again covers the second circle, again and the third circle gets covered. At this point you can "Step Backward" and each circle will reappear in turn. The "Bring To Front" and "Send To Back" are the big steps that move the object all the way to the top or to the bottom of the pile.

I'm sure you noticed that if you start filling from the inside and work your way out you avoid hiding filled polygons as you work. Should you hide a filled polygon the best way to find it is to use the "partial object extents" fence. To do this, use the "Selection Arrow" and move it to the bottom right of the fill just inside and drag up and to the left. That will get you the ambiguity popup where the desired item can be selected, of course, if there is only one item inside the fence then that item will be selected without using the popup.

With this much repetitive work, I hope you are using the option key with drag for copying, for greater accuracy use the option drag with the gripper tool. With the Gripper tool, notice a "Distance" box appears in the data window after you start the drag where the exact move distance can be entered. It will do the same thing for rotate.

You might also find the "Select Mask" tool helpful for picking which type of objects get selected when drawing fences.

If I can be of any more assistance, just ask.

Enjoy
Mitch
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on August 30, 2016, 03:35:04 AM
Hi Mitch

That's fantastic! Lots there that I didn't really understand and I will work through it and get familiar with it.

Meanwhile, I have hit another problem which may be the result of something in my drawing or may be because it's now a filled drawing or may even be because I'm now using MacDeluxe9 (trial version) rather than MacDesigner9. Previously, I was able to convert an unfilled drawing in MacDesigner9 into an AutoCAD format without difficulty. Now, with a filled drawing in MacDeluxe9, I get the not particularly helpful error message 'DXF/DWG export error'. The etching firm I'm using is not OK with me submitting a .tcd drawing. This means that, even though I've managed to fill this drawing on my own, I'm still stuck.

I wonder if you can see anything in what I've done that could have caused this problem - or is there a more general problem in converting to an AutoCAD format?

Thanks for your help

Kind regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on August 30, 2016, 01:18:35 PM
Hi Andrew1883,

You have a bad polygon in your top layer that is causing the save fail. See my screenshot.

The method for finding these types of problems is to select a portion of the drawing, go to export and in that dialog box check "Selected Only" and save. If the save is good then move to another portion and repeat, continue until you fail. Once you fail you know the offending object is in the selected area, keep selecting smaller and smaller areas until the bad component is isolated.

For your drawing I isolated the bottom layer and saved it, no problem, repeated for the top layer and failed. I followed the above procedure until found. I first spotted it in the "Feature Tree", a pro only option. This polygon is buried so I had to "Bring To Top" to show its location in the screenshot. Deleting it allowed the save to succeed.

Enjoy
Mitch
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on August 30, 2016, 03:28:44 PM
Thanks Mitch.

It's good to know that conversion is possible and I've done it successfully using your guidance, essentially by finding polygon 184018, selecting it and cutting it. What didn't work for me was 'Bring to Front' (presumably equivalent to 'Bring to Top'?) so I was unable to see what I'd actually dealt with! So although I understand the search process you describe, I'm not sure I'll be able to carry it through myself on a new drawing.

What I've also ended up with after all this messing around is six little lines (one side of each of six tags) which are neither properly in the top or bottom layer. Very strange. I attach the .tcd drawing I successfully converted, complete with the six little lines.

Sounds as though I may need the pro version if I'm going to deal with some of these problems myself.

Thanks again for all the help

Kind regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on August 30, 2016, 04:42:05 PM
Looks like an extra polygon that you can delete.

My version has "Bring To Front", by the way, the current version is build 1204 for Designer, Deluxe, and Pro. If that's not what you have, upgrade at the IMSI website under Support.

Pro may be more than what you need and not worth the extra cost. You can download a trial version to take for a test drive and decide for yourself.

Enjoy
Mitch
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on August 31, 2016, 03:03:52 PM
Hi Mitch

I'm still finding difficulties, I'm afraid.

I can delete a polygon that gets rid if the little lines - but then I lose the white fill! I have fiddled around with the various polygons associated with the little lines but can't find the answer.

Perhaps the important question is - what could I have done that created this special condition here when the rest of the drawing is OK?

I confused you on 'Bring to Front'. You mentioned 'Bring to Top' whilst my version has 'Bring to Front'! I am running Deluxe 9, Build 1204, so am up to date. If you think I can do everything you've explained using Deluxe 9, I will stick with this for now. Pro is a big step up and contains lots that is of no use for all I plan doing at the moment - which is 2-layer, 2D drawings for photo etching.

Thanks again for your help. I will go through all you've covered on Arrange, Gripper, etc. before posting again.

Kind regards

Andrew

Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on September 01, 2016, 11:55:56 PM
Andrew1883,

I looked back in the thread and found where I said "Bring to top", oops my bad, I meant "Bring to Front"

Quote
I can delete a polygon that gets rid if the little lines - but then I lose the white fill! I have fiddled around with the various polygons associated with the little lines but can't find the answer.

When I deleted the polygon in the screen shot, I had both top and bottom layers visible. After hiding the bottom layer I now see the problem you are having. It looks like which polygon is on top are in conflict between the top and bottom layers since both layers are on the same plane. I think you might be better off making them separate views, have a top and bottom view side by side. This makes me think of a printed circuit board with etching on both sides, the sides of the board are separated by the thickness of the PCB.

Enjoy
Mitch

 
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on May 17, 2017, 04:30:47 PM
Hi Mitch

After upgrading to Mac Pro V10 (10.0.0, build 1317) and some very successful 3D printing, I'm back trying to fill a 2D drawing for photo etching. It is not going well.

I thought I would start by reminding myself where I'd got to, using your posting of August 28 2016, and I immediately hit problems. I draw the three circles, draw a box round them, select the fill tool and a colour and click on each circle in turn. So far, so good. Three coloured circles in a blank rectangle. I then 'change the colour' and the third circle changes to the new colour. I put it back to the intended colour, deselect and reselect the fill tool and then 'fill the rectangle'. No good - I get the message 'Valid hatch region not found'. So I'm stuck.

Back to the User Guide to try to understand the basics of how the fill tool should work. Starting on p39 at Fill Properties, with the Inspector Fill Properties displayed, and with the fill tool selected, I can set the fill colour and set the fill pattern to none (or the solid black at the top of the drop-down). Selecting none then pushes me to the solid black option anyway when I try to fill. What I can’t do is get anything sensible into the hatch pattern box (surely should be ‘none’). Does it matter what’s in the hatch pattern box if all I want to do is a solid fill?

So what can I do? So far, just fill circles with a solid colour of my choice. Trying to fill a simple rectangle (no circles involved) gets the ‘Valid hatch region not found’. Seems to me I must have some setting in Preferences or somewhere that needs to be changed.

I’m really hacked off with this. Going through all the steps you described before may be feasible but I can’t even start to do that now. To be possible to follow them reliably, it really needs a ‘step by step’ tutorial (found them really useful with 3D drawing). But surely filling an enclosed space ought to be a pretty simple one click process. What I’m doing is spending hours grappling with what seems like insane complexity.

Regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on May 17, 2017, 04:54:30 PM
Hi Mitch

Just after sending my last message, I discover I am drawing the rectangle as a smart polygon rather than 'single line'. Change that and I can successfully work through your 28 August message. Presumably if I've used smart polygons anywhere in the drawing I want to fill, it will fail. Perhaps something I need to check.

I will now go on working my way through your previous description of how to get my drawing filled.

Regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on May 18, 2017, 02:28:56 PM
Fills are associated with "Smart Polygons". After creating a smart polygon just select "Show Fill" in the Inspector, no "Fill" tool required. Go to the Fill Properties icon and in the Fill Pattern dropdown menu select "None". Go back to the "Object Properties" and see that the polygons "Show Fill" has been reset to "No". That is all that is happening, you are just turning "Show Fill" on and off. If you set a Fill Pattern, be aware that unlike hatches they are not scalable. The Hatch Pattern has no effect on the fill.

Drawing a "Single Line" polygon will not support a fill. When you select the fill tool and click inside a "Single Line" polygon, the tool will create a "Smart Polygon" and fill that. We do not have a tool for drawing a "Smart Circle" but selecting a circle with the Fill tool will create a circular smart polygon and fill it. Fills always completely fill their polygon, other objects inside the fill will need to be "brought to front" to be seen, or conversely, the covering fill "Send To Back".

Enjoy
Mitch   
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on May 18, 2017, 05:05:07 PM
Thanks Mitch

I think I am slowly understanding this better. The 'show' and 'bring to front' tools don't always do what I expect and I resort to trial and error.

I have managed to fill what I thought was the more difficult top view of my etch drawing. Two areas caused difficulty and I had to delete and replace polygons to make it work.

The bottom view raises a different difficulty. The etch drawing is attached. My plan was to fill the drawing blue, hide the 24 components so I could fill the three rectangular areas white and then bring back the 24 components, still coloured blue. Then all that would remain to do is fill the circles white. Trouble is, the 24 components don't come back blue. They are white.

Is there a sequence for doing this that will work in a straightforward way?

Kind regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on May 19, 2017, 12:36:36 AM
Hi Andrew,

Starting with the drawing you posted with the outer polygon set to blue. Select the Fill tool, set the color to white, solid fill and while holding the shift key click on each of the four lines forming the middle rectangle. Go to Arrange and click on "Bring Forward", repeat a second time and the polygon should now be white. Select the Fill tool, change the color to blue, and while holding down the shift key click on each line forming the outline of the part, with this polygon selected go to Arrange and bring forward twice. Your part should now be blue. Select the Fill tool and change the color to white. Click on each circle one at a time in the center, watch that the LogiCursor says center when you click. You may have to zoom in to see this for the smaller circles. You will get an "Invalid Region" error if you don't get the center. Click on each circle's polygon and Arrange "Bring To Front" since these are on top, just put them there with one click.

Now that one is complete all that is left is to copy and drag. Select the Selection Arrow, holding the shift key select just the six polygons of the part. Hold down the Option key, click on an edge of the part and drag a copy down to the next part, align it and release the Option key. Move your mouse away from the part then hold down the Option key, grab the part again and drag out another copy and place it down on the next part. This little motion here is to let the program know that we are done with the current part and are making another copy. The part should remain selected but if it becomes de-selected just re-select the six polygons and continue copying. Repeat the above for the two side boxes.

Enjoy
Mitch
 
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on May 21, 2017, 07:55:25 AM
Hi Mitch

This is still not going well and is consuming hours of time.

Your first three sentences are fine and I get to a middle rectangle in white with 20 components in outline, complete with circles. The next sentence ending in ‘bring forward twice' is ambiguous as it could mean click on each line and bring forward, doing the line selection and bringing forward twice, or it could mean selection once followed by bringing forward twice. I tried both interpretations several times but could not get the part to turn blue. As a more reliable way of selecting all the lines, I also tried using fill + shift to put a fence round the part including circles, deselected the circles by fill + shift clicking on each of them in turn until just the part outline was red and then ‘bring forward’. That didn’t work either.

In desperation, I tried a different approach. With one of the twenty parts in outline in white I used the select tool to put a fence round just the circles and then 'sent to back’. I then set fill to blue and using fill + shift put a fence round the empty outline of the part. 'Bring to front’ turned it blue. Then back to the select tool to put a fence round the location of the five circles, ‘bring to front’ and white fill the circles - and it’s there. Trouble is, it’s not reliable. One part works fine but the next part may end up with some of those strange connecting lines I had trouble with before. Sometimes, seemingly randomly, a circle may appear coloured blue. There can even be interaction between successive parts.

When I try to make the side rectangles white (each with their two parts showing in outline), the procedure that worked for the middle rectangle doesn’t seem to work.

It’s a bit hard to tell why I’m having all these difficulties. Whatever the reason, I’m still a long way from being able to do a drawing for an etch, confident that I will be able to fill it and send it away for etching. In some ways, this drawing is an easy example as there is scope with only limited success for copying and pasting to get the whole drawing done. More complex drawings will need every part to be able to be filled on its own.

I am wondering if I need a better understanding of the various arrange options (or possibly show and hide). I am conscious I do not know when it is appropriate to ‘bring forward’ as opposed to ‘bring to front’, for example.

Am I the only person finding fill so difficult? If others find it straightforward then it must be something about either me or my setup.

Kind regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on May 21, 2017, 04:09:31 PM
Hi Mitch

I've finally battled through to a complete filled etch! Trouble is, I'm not confident that the methods I used are reliable and that I won't run into difficulties filling my next drawing.

This time, I used your method with each rectangle in turn, then used my method for the parts within the rectangles. I did the four parts in the side rectangles and the top two in the middle rectangle. I then tried to delete the other eighteen parts in the middle rectangle but interdependencies got in the way, so I 'hid' the eighteen instead. By copying and pasting I then used the top two to recreate the eighteen - giving a completely filled etch. I'm not sure what effect the hidden unfilled eighteen parts could have - hopefully none.

Thank you for all the help. It would be good if you could tell me if I'm doing anything very wrong with 'Arrange'.

Kind regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on May 23, 2017, 12:25:49 AM
Hi Andrew,

Quote
The next sentence ending in ‘bring forward twice' is ambiguous

I was referring to the polygon created by clicking on the outline of the part, I should have added, but not the circles, bring that forward twice. This polygon is behind the other two polygons and to be seen it must be brought forward.

In your last reply, you talked about using cut & paste:

Quote
By copying and pasting

Just select the six polygons and hold down the Option key to copy, click on and drag them down to the next part, they will snap into place. Release the Option key then hold it down again then grab and drag again.

Quote
I am wondering if I need a better understanding of the various arrange options (or possibly show and hide). I am conscious I do not know when it is appropriate to ‘bring forward’ as opposed to ‘bring to front’, for example.

Try making four smart polygons, color each of them different and then tile them over each other. Use the arrange option to move them forward and backward. The "Bring to front" and "Send To Back" just move the selected polygon all the way to the front or all the way to the back with just one click. Circles behave a little different. Take a circle and fill it. You now have a circle and a filled polygon. The polygon cannot be moved by itself but select the circle and move that, the polygon will follow. The circle can also be deleted and the polygon will now move as expected. You will experience this same issue with smart polygons created by the fill tool if the underlying geometry is single line objects.

Consider making the parts in some unused portion of the drawing and when complete copy/drag it into place in the drawing.

Enjoy
Mitch
 

 
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on May 25, 2017, 04:39:58 PM
Thanks Mitch

I haven't followed through properly yet on your last reply as I have been trying to write notes on the complete method so I would have somewhere to start from next time I want to do a new drawing. I attach the result as a pdf (might be useful to others, though no guarantees of success).

I did the complete fill of my current drawing remarkably quickly by following my own notes - but then hit a surprise snag. Exporting in AutoCAD format (.dwg. R2000) didn't work. It was a surprise because it had worked with a complete filled earlier version of this drawing. I wonder if there is any obvious reason why exporting has failed? I attach the filled drawing in .tcp format.

Kind regards

Andrew

Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on May 27, 2017, 12:47:55 PM
Andrew,

What error indication did you get when saving?

Enjoy
Mitch
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on May 28, 2017, 04:48:49 PM
Hi Mitch

Screen shot attached

Regards  Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on May 29, 2017, 12:39:01 AM
After downloading your file I exported it as a dwg R2000 with no problem, which is why I asked the question. Try it again and see if the problem continues.

Enjoy
Mitch
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on June 07, 2017, 04:33:48 PM
Hi Mitch

I've had some time out doing (successfully) some 3D printing. Now I've come back and tried this 2D export again - without success.

Any thoughts on possible sources of the problem?

Kind regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on June 08, 2017, 04:51:04 PM
I'm testing using the file you posted "Filled etch using notes" 856 KB dated 5/25/2017. This file exports with no problem as a .dwg R2000 using V10 build 1340. I have used two different computers, one on Sierra and the other on El Capitan, both work. Is your file different than the one posted? Try exporting small portions of your drawing, say just the top layer and then the bottom layer. That will narrow down the problem geometry to one layer. Select smaller sections of that layer and export them until the offending geometry is located. In the export dialog box click on the "Selected Only" when exporting. Once the problem is found, use "Check Object" under the "Verify" menu and repair.

Enjoy
Mitch
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on June 10, 2017, 05:33:20 PM
Thanks again for your help, Mitch.

I am on build 1317, not 1340. I have tried to download a more recent build but can't see how to do it (I have downloaded TurboCAD Pro 10 again but just seem to get build 1317). I am on Sierra v10.12.4.

I followed your advice and tried to export layer by layer, using a download of the same file you had worked on. The bottom worked OK but not the top, so I tried the top in two halves, left and right - and that worked!

I had to alter a hole size and so modified and re-filled the drawing and attempted to export it in the same way. The bottom was fine but not the top. I then tried doing the top in segments - left half and right half or lower half and upper half. None of these worked. I thought I would let you have a look at the top layer to see if you can do this as easily as the previous file or see what my problem is.

Kind regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on June 10, 2017, 05:41:20 PM
Build 1340 is found in the Patches & Upgrades category.

http://tcmacforum.imsisupport.com/index.php?topic=2660.0 (http://tcmacforum.imsisupport.com/index.php?topic=2660.0)

I have downloaded your file and will take a look at it.

Enjoy
Mitch
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on June 11, 2017, 06:53:10 AM
Hi Mitch

Build 1340 seems to be the answer. I can export a two-layer drawing in .dwg R2000 format.

I hope this now means I can do the whole sequence of:  drawing -> filling -> exporting  without difficulty.

Thank you for continuing to help me all through this long saga.

Regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on June 11, 2017, 11:33:43 AM
I'm glad to hear that the upgrade has cleared up the export problem. It boggles the mind why the IMSI support page has all the updates for V5 through V9 but nothing for V10. I can only hope this oversight will be corrected soon.

Enjoy
Mitch
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on June 12, 2017, 05:11:16 PM
It boggles the mind too that I can buy the upgrade to Pro V10 on 5th April and only get build 1317 and then download it again on 8th June and still only get build 1317. The date on the upgrades urls is 3rd May.

Kind regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on July 29, 2017, 05:54:19 PM
Hi Mitch

I'm afraid I'm back. I thought I had really sorted out filling when i managed to complete my last project satisfactorily. What I've now done is draw a far more complicated drawing and attempted to fill it, using the methods I had summarised in my pdf.

On my top layer, I quickly ran into a serious problem. Having filled the whole etch with my selected colour and brought back the outlines of the components, I attempted to make the area containing the components white by Fill tool + shift clicking on each of the inner boundary lines, followed by 'bring forward'. I tried several times but it simply wouldn't work. I fiddled around a bit with the top layer, changing some things to white - but it was all a bit pointless without achieving the important step.

I then tried the bottom layer. This was perhaps a little more successful but some of the more complex enclosed areas were too much for the fill tool, even when using the Fill tool + shift clicking method on the boundary lines of the enclosed areas (some worked with this, but not all).

I'm not sure what to do now. The attached drawing shows where I got to and perhaps you can find out why I couldn't do more. It's been a lot of work to get this far and it would be a pity to fail now.

Kind regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on July 31, 2017, 05:16:52 PM
Hi Mitch

I tidied up my drawing to help with the white fill stage of the top layer, and this worked. I then started to fill the separate components and was reasonably successful - but only with the simpler shapes. An idea of what I found possible is given by the attachment. The problems now with the top layer are much the same as I was having with the bottom layer (I haven't tried filling the bottom layer of the tidied up drawing).

I seem to be up against a limit to the complexity that the fill function can cope with. I hope you can suggest a work-around!

Kind regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on August 01, 2017, 06:49:18 AM
Hi Mitch

I pressed on with trying to fill the tidied up drawing. On the top layer, I was left only with some relatively complicated shapes that produced those strange extra lines when I attempted to fill. On the bottom layer, I made good progress, though some of the larger and more complicated shapes simply wouldn't fill. I was planning to break these up with thin (0.4mm wide) bridging pieces so the shapes/areas would be less demanding.

The attached drawing shows where I had got to when the friend with AutoCAD rang to say he had filled the early version I had sent him without difficulty and without finding any errors. He will now send it off to be etched and I will stop trying to fill the drawing using TurbCAD. I hope you haven't spent much time on it.

I still in future want to be able to do the whole process myself using TurboCAD, so would be interested in any thoughts you have on how the problems I've had could be dealt with. More generally, I reckon 'filling' is something TurboCAD needs enhanced functionality if it is to be a satisfactory application for preparing drawings for photo-etching.

Kind regards.

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on August 02, 2017, 01:50:35 AM
Hi Andrew1883,

Sorry, it took so long for me to get some time to look at this. I've been busy doing a laundry room remodel.

The first thing I did was to click on the outer most polygon and the ambiguity popup showed three polygons, two were white filled and the third was blue filled. My response to this was to delete all the polygons and restart with just the basic geometry. The best approach to this is to start with the inside small objects and work your way out. I began by filling all the circles, then the slots. Next, I filled the etchings, found numerous geometry errors as I moved through them. I'm posting some example screenshots. I then filled the polygon for the space between the etchings and then the board.

When the geometry won't fill do a right click on one of the lines and in the popup menu click on "Select Chain" and see if it will go all the way around, if not zoom in and check the points where it stopped. Another tool is "Repair Curves", and again do a right click on one of the lines and click on "Select Chain" and look for errors. The select chain thing also works with the "Fill" tool, select the "Fill" tool then right click on one of the curves and select chain. If that doesn't get it then select the "Fill" tool and shift click each curve. Filling the "donuts" around holes required holding the shift key and clicking just inside of the outer circle then release the shift key to fill.

Enjoy
Mitch
 
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: Andrew1883 on August 03, 2017, 06:35:50 AM
Thanks Mitch.

Quite a lot to absorb there. I think perhaps I need to spend some time on the 'Verify' section of the TurboCAD manual!

Just one question for now. How do I get to the 'Repair Curves' tool (remembering I'm using ctrl click in the absence of a right click).

Kind regards

Andrew
Title: Re: How to 'Fill'
Post by: mitchb on August 03, 2017, 07:37:37 PM
Hi Andrew,

The "Repair Curves" tool is new in V10, it's at the end of the Trim tool bar.

I'm very leery of letting the tool do the repair, you will be much better off zooming in and making the repair yourself. The program will change your geometry in ways you may not want. After repairing, rerun the tool, it may find more errors.

Enjoy
Mitch