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How to 'Fill'
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* 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

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* January 23, 2015, 04:33:11 PM
#1
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

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* January 24, 2015, 05:49:03 AM
#2
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

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* January 24, 2015, 04:53:13 PM
#3
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 

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* January 25, 2015, 07:09:37 AM
#4
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

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* January 25, 2015, 12:06:18 PM
#5
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

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* January 25, 2015, 03:04:56 PM
#6
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


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* January 25, 2015, 10:27:17 PM
#7
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

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* January 26, 2015, 01:25:08 AM
#8
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

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* January 26, 2015, 07:35:40 PM
#9
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

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* January 27, 2015, 03:53:20 AM
#10
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

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* August 25, 2016, 07:12:52 AM
#11
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


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* August 25, 2016, 07:27:56 PM
#12
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

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* August 26, 2016, 03:03:42 AM
#13
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

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* August 27, 2016, 02:35:21 AM
#14
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

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