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How to 'Fill'
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* August 28, 2016, 09:29:43 PM
#15
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

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* August 30, 2016, 03:35:04 AM
#16
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

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* August 30, 2016, 01:18:35 PM
#17
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

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* August 30, 2016, 03:28:44 PM
#18
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

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* August 30, 2016, 04:42:05 PM
#19
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

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* August 31, 2016, 03:03:52 PM
#20
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


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* September 01, 2016, 11:55:56 PM
#21
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

 

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* May 17, 2017, 04:30:47 PM
#22
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

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* May 17, 2017, 04:54:30 PM
#23
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

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* May 18, 2017, 02:28:56 PM
#24
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   

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* May 18, 2017, 05:05:07 PM
#25
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

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* May 19, 2017, 12:36:36 AM
#26
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
 

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* May 21, 2017, 07:55:25 AM
#27
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

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* May 21, 2017, 04:09:31 PM
#28
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

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* May 23, 2017, 12:25:49 AM
#29
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
 

 

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