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 From:  eric (ERICCLOUGH)
4793.1 
Hi Michael and users of MoI ..

For some years I have been working on a book of small houses the reader could (relatively) easily build. I have neglected it in the last year ... too busy with other stuff.
But now I intend to spend some winter time trying to complete it.
I want to develop a series of 'best practice' construction details in 3D. MoI is a perfect tool for the drawings but ..

I need a program for dimensions in 3D as well as annotations that would be facing the reader when published in a paper view. I suppose I could do this in Photoshop but I am hoping for a simpler (and perhaps less expensive) method. These drawings would be like exploded technical parts drawings but not necessarily exploded.
I can also imagine these drawings being published in 3D PDF from MoI drawings but, again, don't know of a program that would allow annotations in that method.

Any and all ideas would be greatly appreciated though this is not specifically a question about MoI.

cheers and happy season's greetings to all,

eric
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 From:  Michael Gibson
4793.2 In reply to 4793.1 
Hi eric - I guess that in Rhino if you go to Dimension menu > Dimension properties , and then expand it go to the Default entry in the options dialog that pops up, there is a setting there for "Text alignment" and one of the choices is "Horizontal to view", which should make the dimension text label face towards the reader which may help with what you want. The only problem is that the size of the text is fixed in world units so in a perspective view if the dimension text is further away from you it is smaller in size instead of being a fixed size on the screen.

Other than that you might want to take a look at SketchUp, it has a pretty simple system for doing annotations and it makes dimensions that face you and have consistent text sizes as well.

For generating 3D PDFs, you might want to look at Simlab Composer:
http://www.simlab-soft.com/3d-products/simlab-composer-main.aspx
but I don't know if it is possible to generate dimension annotations that will show up in the PDF viewer or not.

- Michael
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 From:  Marc (TELLIER)
4793.3 
Maybe Viacad 3d could do 3d dimensioning?


As Michael says, Sketchup is not so bad, I don't thing there is many affordable packages that does this.

There's a couple of free 2d drafting programs, I think some of them accepts 3d information (just for viewing and dimensioning):

-Doublecad XT
-Solidedge Free2D
-Draftsight
-Progecad Smart.

None of them are easy to use though.
Let us know if you make discoveries on that topic!

I sure hope Moi would have some, It would fill a non-existing place in the "affordable and easy to use" world of detailing.

Hope this helps a bit

Marc
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 From:  eric (ERICCLOUGH)
4793.4 In reply to 4793.3 
Hi Michael and Marc

Thanks for the suggestions. Actually I have a lot of software I have purchased over the years but I have been on a personal quest to find ways to make modeling simpler, less expensive and clear. My wish to create a book for small houses anyone can build themselves is part of the same impetus. I do a range of architectural work but my passion is affordable housing, energy efficiency and renovation and retrofitting. I hope to create a portfolio of construction details (illustrations) anyone can understand without a lot of experience at reading drawings. Many manufacturers are doing fine work in this direction.
So, I now use MoI almost exclusively for modeling and for most 2D drafting, as well. Octane is producing decent renderings ... fast and low cost ...though for most of my 3D detail work screen prints from MoI are clean and clear enough. Draftsight is free and a very adequate 2D program for dimensioned layout plans.

I'm attaching a preliminary (and incomplete) illustration that I just did as an experiment with a small renovation project I am currently working on. The object was to work with inexpensive and efficient tools.

All modeling with MoI
Quick render with Octane (needs a CUDA equipped graphics card).
Lettering with Inkscape (a free Illustration program) saved as a .jpg file for small file size (using PhotoShop Elements). I think I will be able to use Inkscape for annotating construction details. (it does not save as .jpg files ... a pity as this takes another step).

By the way, SimLab Composer is great with 3d pdf creation and a good, low cost rendering tool, as well.

I know Michael is working on a .dxf export for MoI ... that will help a lot to export to a 2D drafting program.

So far I have not found ViaCad 3d very useful for importing MoI 3dm files ... it seems to miss significant parts in the translation (maybe I am not careful enough). I have been trying out ViaCad Pro 7.
ProgeCad is a good translator for AutoCad files but moderately expensive and Draftsight is free and does a pretty good job on .dwg files in both directions.

Sorry this discussion is straying away from MoI topics a bit ... but it is now my primary architectural design tool (After more than 30 years since setting aside my pencils and drafting table).

I have been looking for a magic bullet to take it from MoI to completion but have not found it yet.

cheers,
eric
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 From:  BurrMan
4793.5 In reply to 4793.4 
Hi Eric, Try to use STEP to go to Viacad.
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 From:  Michael T. (MICTU_UTCIM)
4793.6 
Yes, ViaCAD 2D/3D v8 can do 3D dimensioning. I have not played around with annotation in 3D yet.

Michael T.
Michael Tuttle a.k.a. mictu http://www.coroflot.com/DesignsByTuttle
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 From:  Marc (TELLIER)
4793.7 In reply to 4793.4 
Hi Eric, this looks like a great project, I would be interested in that book.!
Hope you keep us posted on it's progress.

Marc
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 From:  Mike (MIKE1138)
4793.8 
Eric,

not that MOI isn´t a great piece of software, and I personally haven´t done any architectural designing with MOI, but from just a quick glimpse at your visualization I can tell you that you definitely want to look into the free version of Sketchup. Combine that free version of Sketchup with the free version of Doublecad XT, and you have a pretty much very useful package for simple modeling. Sketchup models are imported very quickly into DCad, and you can then very quickly generate layouts and dimensioned views and sections.

MOI is way more versatile for creating mechanical things, and I love the more organic approach you can take with it, but it´s something completely different to what I as an architect would actually use for day to day work.
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 From:  eric (ERICCLOUGH)
4793.9 In reply to 4793.8 
Hi Mike ..
Thanks. I have tried Sketchup many times and even bought an early version of it after being a beta tester. I know it is a good program but have never felt very comfortable with it. I will check out Doublecad XT.
Thanks again,
eric
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 From:  eric (ERICCLOUGH)
4793.10 In reply to 4793.9 
Hi ..
Here is the type of illustration I was wanting to do when I started this discussion.

This is done with MoI .. a high res screen capture and then on to Inkscape ... finally to PhotoShop to convert to a .jpg file.

All I did with Inkscape was to erase a few lines I could not hide adequately with MoI and then the hex keys and the text,

It turned out to not be a difficult job and it gets the information across.

cheers,
eric
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 From:  eric (ERICCLOUGH)
4793.11 In reply to 4793.10 
Here is another illustration of a foundation detail variation.
The model is completely MoI using the high resolution screen capture Michael developed the script for.
The symbols, pointers and text were added using OpenOffice Draw ... a free program. It turned out to be the simplest to use illustration program I have found for free.
For me the days of 2d architectural details are about gone .. MoI makes it so simple.
cheers,
eric

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 From:  Mike (MIKE1138)
4793.12 In reply to 4793.11 
Eric, that illustration looks really good!

And I can immediately see the difference between the u.s. and Europe ;) The corner where the vertical and horizontal part of the foundation meet is at 90 degrees, allowing potential water to sit there, whereas over here in Europe that corner usually needs to have the isolation lead water away from the foundation at with two 135 degree angles http://www.tektorum.de/attachments/hochbau-konstruktion-planung/175d1107940878-bauko-2-schaliges-mw-fundament-bla.gif

But I digress :lol

I must admit, now I am tempted to start sketching up details in MOI ...
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 From:  eric (ERICCLOUGH)
4793.13 In reply to 4793.12 
Yes, Mike..
Yours is a better detail for getting water away.
Yes, MoI is a great tool for this.
thanks,
eric
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