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Love Turbo Cad, but sometimes I think that not for serious use
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* May 02, 2016, 11:13:08 PM
Hi, all again.

I have been using TurboCad since a long time ago, mainly as a hobby.

My latest Windows version was Pro 16, which I have been using until recently.

I installed Turbo Cad mac Deluxe 9 recently and, after giving some tries, I am getting to the conclusión that is has too many glitches to be considered seriously for any serious design task. I find it that it hangs too often, or it has glitches or problems that stop one concentrating on the real mater (drafting or designing) to focus on solving problems to use the software.

The documentation really needs a serious overhaul to explain the features in more detail. I have noticed in numerous occasions that the reference manual is not clear, or doesn´t really explain how to use the tools in detail.

I don´t know if my comments will get anywhere, but I hope IMSI really does something about it. Perhaps they need more developers? IMO The Mac version fails too often like to be considered for anything serious.

Thanks

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* May 04, 2016, 05:22:28 AM
#1
Absolutely concur here. I'm a professional CAD engineer and programmer for a very large global company and the "Pro" in TurboCAD Mac is very misleading. It's far from it. Granted, the variety of tools is nice, but the very frequent wonkiness of their results makes them unreliable. I'll often spend hours dodging around glitches in the software instead of just simply getting a task done. For example, I have spent 3 weeks trying to get the program to export an STL file that doesn't contain distorted surfaces and have now given up and accepted that it's just not going to happen. I will say the user-interface is one of the better ones out there after having sampled many CAD applications but the program's documentation is severely lacking. I have been told "information on how this program works is difficult to find" and been suggested a 3rd-party book for learning the software. At a $400 price point, I expect IMSI to provide their own thorough documentation regarding their product. And don't even get me started on the Mac spinning color wheel or program crashes. Had I known when buying the program what I know now I would have spent my money on a different program, and I have no intention of upgrading to a newer version until the developers get their act together.

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* May 04, 2016, 01:46:14 PM
#2
Thanks for the feedback.    There are several free tutorials included in TurboCAD under the help menu, so you might look at those if you have not already.

As far as any problems you are having with the software it would great if you could report them here in the forum or email our support team at support@imsidesign.com
I think we do a decent job fixing problems when our users report and we can reproduce them.

Given your comments about needing better documentation again it would be helpful to let us know exactly where you feel the documentation is lacking.


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* May 04, 2016, 11:12:22 PM
#3
Dear dtaylor,

The documentation lacks in most features explained on the PDF manual. There are tools or functions that are not explained at all, or just incomplete. Perhaps I should make a note to all those now on, as I do normally read manuals from starting to end ...
Also the PDF has missplaced pictures and mistakes. I will elaborate on those now on.

To be clear, I have been using TurboCad for a while, not intensively nor proffesionally but I have come across situations where I had to give up as I didn´t know what was wrong.
There are occasions when I tried to draw something, or to do something and getting the wrong result every time, to be told by someone here (like in my previous comment about a countersink misplaced) that the function did not find a reference point to align the whole for the countersink.  How the hell on earth could I know this, unless someone in the forum points me out in the right direction? Perhaps things like this should be better documented in the manual. A little note like ´make sure that the centers of alignment are clearly defined. Or perhaps something like ´if the centers of reference are not clearly marke with a point, the countersink will come out of center ...
The point is that there are many, many glitches that are not documented in the manual AT ALL. One has to come to the forum and read countless number of posts to come accross common problems and their solutions ... Then there is not much in the market, regarding books or documentation.
TurboCad has been going on for a long time and lacks bibliography. Perhaps IMSI could do something to encourage writers to publish books like they do for software like Autocad, etc. Why aren´t many people publishing manuals about TurboCad??
Just a little feedback ..

Regards,
Santiago

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* May 04, 2016, 11:17:33 PM
#4
BTW, one thing that I find it completely unacceptable is that your software is not capable to read files from previous versions. That is reason enough not to even try your software ...

Whatever the difficulties there must be regarding this point, I am completely SURE that there must be solutions. As an ultimate resource perhaps IMSI should provide a batch converter to convert all the previous drawings to the latest version.
Can you imagine what this means for any draftman?? all the previous work left behind ...

This is a BIG BIG issue.

 

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* May 05, 2016, 05:05:44 AM
#5
Again, I will totally agree with sevesp. So many times I have tried in vain to draw something only to get a cryptic unhelpful error message, with documentation (usually) not providing any insight for what the problem is. I will provide a couple specific examples of incomplete and incorrect documentation related to a current task I've spent weeks trying to get right but the software persistently does not produce usable results. (This task should have taken me seconds, or minutes - certainly not weeks.)

Chapter 9, page 75 of the user manual, STL Export:

"The five (5) available settings are Surface Deviation, Normal Deviation, Edge Length, Aspect Ratio, and STL Facets."

This is incorrect. There are 8 settings: Surface Deviation, Normal Deviation, Edge Length, Aspect Ratio, Adjust Nodes, Adaptive Facets, STL Facets, and an unprompted combo drop-down. Of these, only Surface Deviation is documented well enough on page 76 for understanding precisely how the setting is used by the faceting algorithm. The rest of the settings documentation is either useless or absent. For example:

"Aspect Ratio
 This setting controls the maximum allowed aspect ratio of any given facet."

Really? Seriously? Do we have any further understanding of what an aspect ratio is or how it's used by the algorithm from that one sentence? All it does is state the obvious, Aspect Ratio controls the aspect ratio. Well, I certainly hope so! What is the aspect ratio? The same is true for all the other settings (except Surface Deviation). Adjust Nodes, Adaptive Facets, and the combo drop-down are not documented at all.

This is just a few examples out of many, as sevesp mentions. It's not really our place as end-users to proof-read or act as Editor for application documentation which we did not develop. (I do that plenty enough at my job, and get paid for it.) I would expect IMSI to have a department dedicated to testing code (yes, testing - verifying code works as intended and deliberately trying to break the code for providing feedback to the developers about error messages, incorrect results, and crash logs) and another department responsible for authoring documentation that is meaningful to users who aren't privy to the inner workings of the software. The philosophy I take at work is if somebody comes to me with a question after reading documentation then the documentation didn't do its job and requires updating. Just look at how many questions there are on the TurboCAD forums.....
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 05:58:23 AM by chappa-ai »

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* May 05, 2016, 11:02:36 PM
#6
There is a lot of information addressed on these forums so the point is, why do not the developers include all this information or at least some of it in future versions of their PDF manuals? Analysing the questions and answers the developer do have all the information required to make amendments to the PDF manual so the users know or are aware of common problems.

It takes a good deal of time to go through all the questions and answers in the forum, and that is precisely what most people don´t have in excess, that is TIME.

Santiago

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* May 05, 2016, 11:19:00 PM
#7
I believe there are some corrections needed on Tcad 9 user manual:

Page 255, where it says

Using the Uniform Scale with Data Entry Window;
1 Select objects to rotate ....

 it should say 1 Select the objets to SCALE ...

page 256, where it says

Using the Uniform Scale with Data Entry Window
1 Select objetcs to rotate

it should say ´1 Select the objects to SCALE ...

Same applies for

Using the differential scale
Mirror
Using the Linear Duplicate

Hope this help for future versions.

Santiago

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* May 06, 2016, 02:42:34 AM
#8
I concur completely with the comments posted in this thread re/ the shortcomings of TurboCADMac. However, my advise is that you are complaining about a publisher who demonstrably does not care about customer service and very rarely appears on this user forum - the reply post in this thread by "dtaylor" is a rarity!

In other words you are wasting your time expecting IMSI to actually use the valuable user feedback present in this forum to improve their product/documentation. It's not going to happen.
Obviously they continue to sell enough product under the present scheme and don't see any reason to change their approach. We users grumble here on the forum, but apparently new users are purchasing in enough numbers to make IMSI believe they are actually on the right track...

Just look at this forum under "Patches and Updates" - when was the last post by IMSI? In 2014 for v.7!
Or under "Wish List" - I have never in 18 months seen a post or comment there by IMSI, so posting any suggestions there is a complete waste of time as no-one is looking at them, other than us dedicated users, perpetuating the false belief that the publisher actually cares as much as we do.

What does IMSI do best? - Marketing. I've come to understand that they are mainly a marketing company. They apparently have no in-house tech support or development to speak of, instead they are re-labeling and selling a version of PunchCAD/ViaCAD, programs that are identical to TCM. But since those companies does not do as much marketing what comes up when you search for Mac CAD programs is TurboCAD...

I started with TCMPv8 about 1.5 years ago and am now on v.9 (a waste of money upgrade as nothing really has changed to justify the upgrade other than the publishers need to refill their coffers...).
I have posted numerous problems on this forum and have received great assistance from "mitchb" and others - as far as I understand they are user volunteers providing the service that a reasonable person would expect the publisher to provide, especially for a technically complex product as a CAD program.
I've also had email correspondence directly with Bob Mayer, President of IMSI/Design, but all to no avail. Although he claims tech support does not ignore this forum, I can count on one hand the posts I've seen from them in this forum over the last 18 months.

I have emailed IMSI customer service, but the only response has been when they could not figure out the complex problems I've encountered - in those cases they have not responded directly but instead pawned me off directly to Tim Olsen who appears to be the head programmer of the code that TCM is based on.

Tim has been extremely helpful and quick in his responses, but it turns out he's actually working for the company who writes the code for TCM and PunchCAD/Shark/ViaCAD, programs that are identical in just about every way to TCM.
Like TCM ViaCAD is not without it's problems, but they at least have a responsive and active tech support with Tim being on their user forum all the time giving speedy replies to problems and concerns. Tip: if you want to learn more about TurboCAD, use the ViaCAD forum!

I intended to switch over to ViaCAD to access Tim's excellent support, but since the ViaCAD program only allows installation on one computer it would not work for me, as I bounce between desktop and laptop, office and field. In this case TCM is preferable as the product key works on multiple computers.

But enough of my ranting. In response to the original post of this thread, here's an interesting (long) thread on the ViaCAD forum about the professional or not, aspects of ViaCAD (and logically therefore also in regards to TCM). http://forums.punchcad.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=7848

FYI, attached is a file with my notes of TCM problems encountered after about 6 months of using the program. After about 50 notes I gave up, as IMSI doesn't seems to be interested anyway... hopefully you'll find it useful. Most, if not all of the issues remain in v.9 as far as I can tell...

Cheers,

Mats


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* May 06, 2016, 10:46:37 PM
#9
Matso,

The current release is 1167, you can find it here:

http://downloads.imsidesign.com/TCMAC/v8/TurboCADMacPro8_1167_ESD.dmg

The User Guide needs to be improved a lot, I agree with that, IMSI should have a tech guy watching this forum to answer questions and correct misinformation. The program has a lot going for it but the developers need to pay more attention to details.

Enjoy
Mitch
 

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* May 07, 2016, 12:42:34 AM
#10
Perhpas IMSI should include with the software, or in their website, a section with ´known problems and solutions. So users can go straight away there rather than coming to the forum and looking for solutions ...

The Forum could be left for problems of last minute, or those who are unresolved in the ´Known problems and solutions section. They could be organized by operative system and by version.

It cannot be that difficult, I am ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED. A different matter is that IMSI care about this or not. Which doesn´t seem to do much.

A real pity, because TCad has a big potential.

Something that strike me, and did always in the past, is that there is little commercial literature about the software. Cannot they organize like a competition, or contest for book writers? or perhaps commission authors that have done books about other CAD software? Surely it will cost money, but nothing is free in life.

Just a thought.

Santiago

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* May 09, 2016, 04:29:14 PM
#11
Thanks for continuing feedback. Going trough the documentation issues now, thanks for reporting....
Due to an unfortunate series of events, there will never be a way to convert native versions 4-6 to the current versions 7, 8 & 9
 
Also we now have a very nice new products produced by a 3rd party provider which you might consider purchasing.  And we hope to continue producing more like it.

https://www.turbocad.com/turbocad-mac/tcm-training/turbocad-mac-2d3d-training-guides.html

I also manage the windows product lines.  Despite my best efforts there are certain times of the year that I might get overloaded and may not be able respond immediately to all forum posts.   if you find yourself not getting a response to a forum post in  timely manner you can always email directly.
dtaylor@imsidesign.com

I will also try to get more consistent attention on this forum from one of our tech guys....







« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 09:51:42 AM by dtaylor »

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* May 10, 2016, 01:20:32 AM
#12
Thanks for replying dtaylor!
It's good to see someone from IMSI actually is awake...
I know these posts reveal some pretty unhappy users in your ranks and if not managed properly the rebellion will spread :-)

The ignorance of IMSI towards its users seems to follow the same pattern as other software publishers I've dealt with over the years, like Intuit, Microsoft, Skype, IGG software etc etc. The modus operandi seems to be to pawn off customer support to the customers themselves in the form of a forum, like this one.
Then continue to ignore years of customer requests and bug reports, re-issue the same old buggy software as an "update" with a few new features that may give good PR, but does not resolve the long standing problems.

New customers don't get to see this picture until they've already invested in the program, had the lofty marketing expectations debunked, became frustrated and came to the user forum to seek help and advise.
Once there, he finds no sign whatsoever of the software publisher, only griping users. Some simple forum searches quickly paints the picture that bugs and errors remain unresolved for years.
Heck of away to run a business!

I don't know why it's so hard for you guys to actually monitor and participate in this forum - perhaps all the love is going to the Windows side of your business? There is so much great customer feedback presented here, something that I'd think be invaluable to a progressive software developer. But no, apparently not to IMSI, which tells me that your organization is mainly a marketing operation re-packaging ViaCAD under the TurboCAD name.

Your ignorance of this forum shows a deep disregard to your (Mac) users who paid good money for your product.
If Tim Olsen can monitor the ViaCAD forum daily and on weekends AND at the same time continue to develop the program source code, you guys at IMSI shure as heck could do the same. If not you simply have misplaced priorities.

Again, us users are no dummies, we see through this behavior pretty quick. Don't forget that your users are creative and technical people, and it does not take us long to see thru this charade that you're playing.
Once you pissed us off it takes a lot, A LOT, to get our confidence back.

What is saving your bacon (and your business) IMHO is the fact that friendly, knowledgeable users like "mitchb" et. al. cover up your lack of customer support by volunteering on a consistent basis. The fact that they are unpaid is shocking to me as a paying customer, and I think you owe them a lot! In fact, I believe that without their unpaid work you'd have no business as frustrated users would come here and get no help whatsoever.
At the very least you owe them a big turkey for Thanksgiving and week/year on a cruise ship!

So for you to say:
Quote
I will also try to get more consistent attention on this forum from one of our tech guys....
is just the very first step to try to regain the confidence of us users. You need to do a lot more!

Thanks for the link to J Borlaugs instruction videos. I bought them some time ago and they have been helpful.
But this kind of support material, as well as Tim Olsens book, is what I expect to get in the package when I pay 400 bucks for a program!

So excuse me for ranting again. I'm a dedicated TCM user, I invested $$ in the program, but most of all I've invested a very large amount of my time in trying to actually do some professional work with this program. Exposing the fact that the developer does not really care is a hard pill to swallow after such a large investment of time...

Cheers,

Mats

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May 10, 2016, 01:44:59 AM
#13
English is not my language, so I can not explain things like “Matso”
but I’m for 100% agree with him…

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As you get older, everything become worse, except for the oblivion, which is getting better and better ...

Beta tester- EazyCNC


* May 10, 2016, 12:43:14 PM
#14
I agree that we are extremely thankful to have power users such as Mitch B, Johnny and all of our forum users who combine forces to help our the entire community!
As I stated in my previous reply if there is ever a forum issue that you feel in not getting proper attention please just send myself dtaylor@imsidesign.com or our support team support@imsidesign.com an email and we will do our best to get you the answers you need to the best of our abilities and resources.

The link product below is actually produces by Val Carter, who also produces our TC Windows Guides and has many years experience in producing CAD training solutions.
These are new and project based -
https://www.turbocad.com/turbocad-mac/tcm-training/turbocad-mac-2d3d-training-guides.html

Johnny's are listed here - https://www.turbocad.com/turbocad-mac/tcm-training/turbocad-mac-2d-3d-training-essentials-bundl.html
and focus on going through all of the tools and tool options up to version 9.

We also hope to come out with more training options in the future.


« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 12:46:43 PM by dtaylor »

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