7mm US model dabblings

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Jordan, 8 April 2013.

  1. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    I get the time is money in a commercial sense but I dont feel as though I'm wasting time doing it in my cack handed way.

    In fact I'm probably very fast at doing it the wrong way, more to the point, if I tried to learn how to do it the right way, the initial work flow would be much much slower. So it gets to the point, why learn something new if the benefits are not immediate.

    Maybe I'm just wired wrong, but snap to grid seems perfectly logical and comfortable for me when drawing straight lines or even curves. If I turn snap to grid off, or even the grid, then I'm royally stuffed, can't even draw two squares next to each other.

    I'm also a south paw which might explain a lot:p
  2. Lancastrian

    Lancastrian Western Thunderer

    No, you're just from Suffolk !

    On a more serious note though, when I was doing a teaching course, it was emphasised that different people learn in different ways, which requires differing methods to make the same point, whether it be verbal, visual or by demonstration. In this instance I wouldn't say there is a right or wrong way, we just learn a technique which suits our own logic and derive our own shortcuts to achieve the same ends, as long as it adds up to 77 ! ;)

  3. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    How dare thou :eek:, Suffolk.......

    I'm from Wiltshire (not long though, still being bottle fed before moving to Devon), Swindon I'll have you know and half blood Viking.

    Actually, not sure what's worse, Swindon or Suffolk......
  4. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    Swindon? That explains a great deal:p:p:p:p:p:p:p
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  5. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    Mick, I think the grid snap functionality is really a vestige of the very early days of Autocad, the days that Overseer speaks of, with digitizing tablets for input and very little dynamic entry of coordinates and the like. Snapping to a grid point at a known spacing would be a great time saver in those days, especially in architectural drafting where dimensions tend to stick to nice "round" fractions down to maybe an 1/8th. Now that distances and orientations can be entered dynamically and with a much greater degree of fluidity, the grid snap function is less critical. Hence, it certainly has fallen out of favor generally in the Autocad community. I'd actually be surprised if it was even taught these days.

    All that being said, if the grid snap method works for you, than continue on. It's not like it doesn't still work. Like many things, people can become quite adept at something through practice and repetition, that may seem awkward to the rest of us. It would be different if every time you drew a line, you got frustrated and said to yourself, "there's got to be a better way", but just didn't know what it was. You may however consider exploring the other means mentioned here, namely the object snap (osnap) and dynamic entry functions, as 3d cad becomes a greater percentage of the work you do. You'll clearly be doing more 3d cad going forward now that the 3d print is part of your kit-building arsenal.

    The advantage to working with cad in a vacuum, is that you only ever need to meet your own requirements. The disadvantage of course is that you may never have reason to learn new things. If anybody ever has questions about using Autocad, please feel free to ask. I'm always happy to proselytize. This even applies to cad concepts and processes in general. While Turbocad or Qcad or other programs may not do things exactly the same as in Autocad, things are very often done in a similar fashion. I can always do a video posted to youtube. Or perhaps even better now, is to do a live call via Zoom or the like.
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  6. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    I'm late with my reply above, but as noted, you may find the benefits much more immediate in 3d work.

    See, there's the problem. You don't draw two squares next to each other. You draw one, and copy it over. :rolleyes: You can do this!:thumbs:
  7. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Welcome, Mick :) Sit next to me, you won't feel so bad then, as since halfway down the last page you've all been speaking a foreign language.... :confused: :oops:
    Len Cattley, JasonD, Dog Star and 2 others like this.
  8. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    You entrust me with too much faith :p

    And, yes, on reflection I would cut and paste, it was a poor example.
  9. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    I don't know. From where I sit, you seem to have a knack for things generally. You even seem quite capable at spelling, most of the time, despite you citing it as one of your weaknesses. :D
  10. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    I get and acknowledge all that but I really am struggling to reason the concept of making things (to me) appear more difficult.

    Lets take for example a simple 1 x 1 mm cube, I draw everything to scale and then add the cusp later, in this case the cusp allowance is 0.15 mm.


    So doing it the 'modern' way I turn off snap to grid (F9) and for the hell of it the grid (F7) as well, I mean we don't need it now anyway. I've left Ortho (F8) on as the line is a linear movement.

    Next I left click the node (it's probably called something else, but in my world it's a node) I wish to move, it changes to red and I drag it to the right. Now I have two choices, watch the numbers scroll up and then when it's at 0.15 release, or, type in 0.15.

    I have serious issues with both of those options, in the first instance, how do I know it's really 0.15, it could be 0.148 or 0.152, doesn't matter y'all cry, well yes it does, because if I now have to butt something up against that face and flood fill it, then I may end up with a gap or overlay, both are bad.

    The second option requires me to type in 0.15, why, that means I now have to use two hands instead of one, twice the work, twice the effort.

    Moving on, or back to Jurassic mode we come to snap to grid.


    My grid is already laid out to 0.05 increments, I select my node and simply move it three boxes to the right, in fact it only has to be close as it'll snap to that line when it gets near. I don't have to type anything, I don't have to guess, the line moved exactly 0.15 in one simple click and drag operation.

    Unless I missed something really obvious, the Jurassic option is faster, less stressful and accurate (not more, as typing the value is just as accurate).

    There will of course be a swathe of yes but what if you need to do this or that, erm, I don't, my etch CAD world consists of three objects, a straight line, an angled line, an arc. It also consists of four operations, join, cut, fill, move.

    If I need to do serious 3D work, as opposed to dabbling in model train bits, I'll revert a real 3D engine, namely StudioMax, I used to moderately proficient in that.

    CV38 Shangri La_06 modified.jpg



    The Carrier was never completely finished, the Lynx was the most complex curved shape I had to work with and never got finished, not a flat surface on it; the Black Widow became donor ware (once painted by the graphics artist) to support the real aircraft's restoration. That was a feel good project, we had everything we needed from the sponsors and restorers, works drawings and photos/measurements of any part we wished for.

    These were the tail end of my involvement spread over several years, I got ripped off big time over royalties and monies, which was a lot considering the several hundred models I'd made so one morning I just deleted every single digital file and walked off. These are just a few renders left drifting around the archives.

    To be fair it was better in the early days working with Microsoft as a beta tester on their flight sims and combat sims as well as being a tester/developer for their modeling tools. Anyone can build a 3D model, the hard part is getting it into the simulator so that the game engine does not crash and it animates accordingly when you click the right button.

    I then moved into TrainSims and got ripped off by them as well, that's probably why I don't share my toys or work well with others.
    Last edited: 10 September 2020
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  11. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer


    Here's the options you get with my version of ACAD LT


    ...some of which would be diffcult to do snapping to the grid.

    Note that the OSnap settings are two tabs along from your Snap and Grid settings. :):)


    Attached Files:

  12. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Don't worry, normal service will be restored soon when the brass Challenger arrives :thumbs: and I do hope to get on with the GP9 shortly as well.
  13. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Okaaaay, explain again why I need to use this :))

    I have those same options as well, my problem is, I cannot see any function that I perform, or could conceive, that will benefit from all of those OSnap functions.

    The only one I use, rarely, is end point when I can't be bothered to zoom in when drawing a polyline, it just gives a nice green target box to aim the start and finish of the new line.

    People must be doing so much more exciting stuff than I, but then I don't need to, I just draw lines to make shapes and then fill them in. I'd love to learn, but for what I do, do I really need to?
  14. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    Nope. :cool:
  15. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    OK, I give in. :):) But I remember being told many years ago when I started with CAD to forget about the grid and snapping to it and I've OSnapped since Day 1.

    By the way, I would have used the Offset function to place a line 0.15mm from your 1mm cube. Set the distance to 0.15, click on the source line to select it then click on the side you wish the offset line and it's there. If 0.15 is a repeated offset then the value is remembered for your next offset operation.

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  16. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    The answer is you don't - your method works for you so no problem.

    However I will respond with a potential use case where I have found them useful, if this is not a situation you come across then it won't be of any use to you. If you have drawn a long rectangular panel and then decide you need a half etch line precisely in the centre then with snap to grid you will have to start counting squares or click until it looks right. By using the snap to middle as soon as my cursor approaches the line it jumps to the middle of the line. Now what about when the panel is an odd number of squares? Let's just say 3 squares, using snap to grid you will only snap to a point at either 1/3 or 2/3rds along the line - hence why I find things the different "snap to" options useful. In QCAD it's an easy one button click to swop between "snap to grid" or "snap to middle" etc. bu if you never draw a line down the middle of a panel then you won't need it.

    Screenshot 2020-09-10 at 19.33.36.png
  17. Lancastrian

    Lancastrian Western Thunderer


    Ah, I remember building a Black Widow many many years ago. Think it was an Airfix kit.

    Only half-blood Viking eh ?

  18. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Okay, I get the offset thingy, but again (my personal perspective) you've had to do several functions to achieve the same result. What would be handy is if you could offset all boundaries (by a given value) in one shot by just clicking that object. Having just had a test I think I've kind of got it but suspect it'll be back of the class room skill set again.

    If I click a object and type offset, then enter the value (0.15) it duly draws a boundary around the outside. I cannot get it to move just one line to that boundary, but, I don't think I need to; all I need to do is just delete the original object and leave the larger one in place :eek:. Now that function has merit and would save a lot of time :thumbs:

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not being purposefully obtuse, I'm just trying to work out why snap to grid is such a bad thing; I am one of three developers in Finney7 and the only one who snaps to grid.

    There several respected and competent CAD users in this forum, many posting here, and again, I am the only one who snaps to grid.
  19. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    A new line exactly in the middle is not a problem, just highlight the object and it will automatically show you the mid point node, see the 1 x 1 mm squares above, there are four corner nodes and four mid point nodes.

    Granted you may need to zoom in (mouse scroll) then start you new line where the middle node is. I will concede that as soon as you select polyline then the middle node turns off, so you do have to kind of stare transfixed at where the node was highlighted before drawing the new line.

    In reality, I cannot say if I draw lines in the exact middle often, I'm sure I must have but it's not a function that repeats often for it to trigger a memory response.

    If the panel is an odd number of squares, well then I cheat, I simply move one face by 0.05 to make it even :)) I'm told a tolerance of 0.05 mm in etching is taking thinks a little too seriously, so I've no idea what 0.025 would illicit. But I do see and concede that snap to mid point has it's uses.

    There are times when I do need something that doesn't fit to the grid, specifically half etched lines where the fold is not 90° or the material thickness precludes easy numbers divisible by 0.05. Example, a 45° bend on 0.45 mm material, a full bend would have a slot 0.45 wide but a half bend should be 0.225. If I really wanted 0.225 then I would turn off snap to grid (F9) and eyeball move that one line to give a slot width of 0.225.

    However, given the taking things too seriously comment above, I probably wouldn't move it free hand, I'd simply make the slot 0.3 mm wide and run a fillet of solder down the gap left during construction.
    adrian likes this.
  20. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Left side, right side is Anglo Saxon/Celt