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Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

(OP)
I use AutoCAD 2015 at work, and have been using AutoCAD since v2.15 (OLD DOS days...!).

I need something I can use at home when I need to bring work home and conceptualize or complete, etc.
I have ProgeCAD 2011, and its very useful, looks and acts almost exactly like AutoCAD, and for many functions its very useful.
We do most of our 3D-2D work in Inventor 2015, but a significant portion of our work is 2D/3D hybrid, and AutoCAD is still the go-to product.

One thing ProgeCAD-2011/Pro doesn't do is 3D model to 2D representation, such as FLATSHOT in AutoCAD, whether producing standard ortho-views or producing the 2D-ISO view of the 3D model. I downloaded the current trial version (2016-Pro) and while it finally has a version of FLATSHOT implemented, its limited to one-component at a time (useless for extended assemblies) and lays the result right at the original 3D so you have to pick through the 3D components to dig out the resulting 2D FLATSHOT view. USELESS.

Question:
Are there ANY AutoCAD Alternatives that handle FLATSHOT well ? Any alternative approach to FLATSHOT that an ACAD work-alike has going ?

SOLVIEW and SOLDRAW were also good tools in previous ACADs, and the new ability to pull views directly (similar to Inventor) is extremely useful, but these are native AutoCAD and not implemented in ProgeCAD.

Thanks -
C Fee

RE: Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

I used flatshot for precisely one project before abandoning it completely. 1- it puts all the linework on one layer (or two..obj lines on one, hid on another) and 2- it creates a completely separate geometry that doesn't update with the changes to the original model which = multiplying the work you have to do to make simple changes. The only thing I continued to use SOLPROF/SOLVIEW/SOLDRAW for was for detailing structural connections after the design was done. And even then, I stopped doing it that way after a couple more projects.

The ideal solution for me was to simply use a viewport in paperspace set to HIDDEN(Legacy) viewstyle, which would then read the STB/CTB for lineweights when plotting. So I'd have all detail views and everything else based directly on the 3D model.

Anything that creates separate geometry that isn't tied to the design geometry is a recipe for failure IME. Viewport styles can make the model look how you want, with few exceptions.

_________________________________________
NX8.0, Solidworks 2014, AutoCAD, Enovia V5

RE: Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

(OP)
JNieman -

I agree. That would be best.

2nd best is the autogenerated detail using BASE and PROJECTED etc. functioning similar to Inventor. Cool thing about this is that the viewport is managed by the program (ACAD) and automatically updated at your command, with changes in underlying model geometry. 3rd down on my list is SOLVIEW and SOLDRAW (NOT SOLPROF !!! which LONG predates SOLVIEW and SOLDRAW, and is really NOT connected with them because SOLPROF's functionality was swallowed up in the later and far superior SOLDRAW) which allowed the user to create and manage the viewport, and with soldraw again, the viewport is updated automatically at your command at underlying geometry changes. Finally down on my list is FLATSHOT, which allows for manually generated 2D geometry, and can be controlled using sections, etc. CLUNKY but serviceable. Apparently, the only one of these that ProgeCAD developed was FLATSHOT. However, their implementation has the problems I mentioned above. in their latest release (2016-Pro) their implementation of HIDE for a viewport Visual Style lacks the functionality of the DISPSILH-1 variable, changing the display of a clean 2D ISOMETRIC style hide from a tessellated (with triangles)style hide (yuck !). This used to work (in their 2011-Pro release) but like ACAD, they attempted to "improve" with later releases. Again- yuck !

Question: Is there an ACAD workalike that handles this well ?

Thanks-
C Fee

RE: Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

You could get a Home Use license from Autodesk. You can request one home use license per seat that you pay for at work. The contract administrator has an Autodesk web site where they can request the license. They will eMail you a new serial number (I believe it lasts for one year). You install the software at home and register it with the new home use serial number.

_____________________________________
I have been called "A storehouse of worthless information" many times.

RE: Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

Two years ago, my previous employer was looking for a cheaper alternative to AutoCAD and came across with this software which was almost identical to AutoCAD. The software is called ZWCAD, you may be aware of it, or heard about it. It really is very identical to autocad, as the agent selling had given us demo to play with. So maybe it has flatshot function also.

http://www.zwsoft.com/zwcad/ZWCAD_Overview/

RE: Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

Anybody else check out ZWCAD? I find it too remarkably like AutoCAD. How did they do that?? And so cheaply!!

RE: Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

(OP)
transmissiontowers -
VERY good suggestion, except for one thing, which I didn't mention above, and that is like all designers, I get ideas from time to time that I don't want my employer to "own" since I used their software to develop it. Otherwise, your suggestion is SPOT-ON, and would be a great solution.

ZDR1985 -
Excellent input. I'll check it out. thanks !

Buggar -
GOOD point, so I'll install a trial and get back to all of you guys "soon" with some feedback ...

Thanks guys !

-C.

RE: Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

Quote (transmissiontowers -VERY good suggestion, except for one thing, which I didn't mention above, and that is like all designers, I get ideas from time to time that I don't want my employer to "own" since I used their software to develop it. Otherwise, your suggestion is SPOT-ON, and would be a great solution.
)


I am not a lawyer (I only watch them on TV) but from what I remember, most employers as a condition of employment can take ownership of anything you develop while you are employed, so I don't think it would matter if you own the S/W or they own it and let you use it while at home.

As an example, an Engineer that works with me developed a design and a construction process while at work (it helped the company save money). The company thought it was a good idea and they helped him get a patent for the process. The company paid for all the patent fees and he signed an agreement that he would receive a percentage of the patent royalties after the Company recovered 3 times their cost to obtain the patent. It was many years ago and I don't remember what percentage he was going to get. The Company tried to market the patented process but never sold a license (although a company from Israel came over and looked closely and we heard they just started using it without paying any royalty). The Company never got any money off the patent and it expired at the end of its term, so he never got any money off it.

My theory is that your company could exercise its rights to your intellectual property idea if you started making enough money to get their attention even if you used XYZ_CAD to draw the design, because you came up with the concept while working there. (this assumes that you were working on something related to your employer's business)

If you just came up with the idea after watching Shark Tank and used the ACAD Home Use License to draw it up, then I don't think the company has much right to your profits. If you made Billions, they might come after you. bigsmile

_____________________________________
I have been called "A storehouse of worthless information" many times.

RE: Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

(OP)
transmissiontowers-

All good points. I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV ! Still, I was under the impression that if the idea didn't relate to their core business, that they had no claim, unless company assets or time wre used in the development.

You're absolutely right, tho in the assertion that they could come after you for the idea, which is why you have to present them with the idea. first. If they reject it because its not something they're interested in or they don't think its viable, or doesn't relate to their core business ... then you need a letter from them saying as much. If they won't give you that letter, then you're not dealing with honest people, and you then have a decision to make - terminate employment and develop your idea but (I think its 6 months but I'd have to check) then you'd have to wait to introduce the idea to the market or investors, which would equal a reasonable time to develop a concept after employment anyway. What you'd then do is surrender the ORIGINAL drawings to them under the advice of counsel, and develop a significantly modified version of the original concept ...

All of this is just recollection from conversations I've had with patent attorneys, so should never be considered as accurate, but seems close, to the best of my recollection.

However, again- you're absolutely right: if it "Hit" they'd probably come after you ! Oh well, it'll never be different, I guess !

Anyway, thanks for your post. Good input !

-C.

RE: Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

You sound like you have researched it more than I ever will. I just apply a little logic to the situation. In this day of legal "sue for anything like a too hot cup of coffee that burned me", I guess anything is possible and the company might come after you. The companies are now trying to be good corporate citizens and allowing flex time and 9-80's and 4-10's to attract and keep employees happy and engaged. If you show the initiative to develop a product and it is not their core business, the odds these days are they will leave you alone and wish you well (well at least you can dream they will).

If you really get serious about developing something, I would go to the Ethics forum here and post your question and get some different perspective from some that may have done it before. At least it won't cost you anything and there are a lot of smart people that post here.

_____________________________________
I have been called "A storehouse of worthless information" many times.

RE: Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

(OP)
transmissiontowers-
VERY good input. I'll do just that when it becomes appropriate. In the mean time, looking for an inexpensive workalike. Will try ZWCAD and post back with results ...
Thanks !
-C.

RE: Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

You can get a Home use License for AutoCAD. 3D AutoCAD is the best to be used. All the Engineering drawings can be done within time in AutoCAD.

RE: Looking for an AutoCAD alternative that handles FLATSHOT effectively.

Hi all,
For over two years I'm using ZWCAD as AUTOCAD cheaper alternative.
There is FLATTEN command 3d converting to 2d. But it is not so precise as it made with AUTOCAD FLATSHOT.
The old known SOLPROF works good.

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