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LDCad for VEX IQ

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  • LDCad for VEX IQ

    Looks like I forgot to make the announcement here!

    LDCad for VEX IQ is an advanced CAD editor for your VEX virtual models. LDCad for VEX IQ uses SnapCAD parts and creates files that are fully compatible with SnapCAD ones.
    Get the program here: http://philohome.com/vexldcad/ldcad4vex.htm

    ...and many thanks to Roland Melkert, the author of LDCad!

    Here is the presentation video:
    Last edited by Philo Hurbain; 05-21-2016, 10:07 AM.

  • #2
    And many thanks to Philo in the first place for all the work on the parts and this simple to use package.
    Two of my teams used LDCad (before this easy-to-install package) most of the season and never looked back to SnapCad (even though the models are 99.3% compatible).

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    • #3
      Thanks, nenik! Could you detail the 0.7% incompatibility you see?

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      • #4
        Inlined primitives.
        I have run into this long ago when switching from SnapCAD to LDCad, but it still causes troubles with the final 1.5 build of LDCad.
        Steps to reproduce:
        1) Create a new file in SnapCAD
        2) Add some part, then add primitive quad (say -32 -32 0 32 -32 0 32 32 0 -32 32 0)
        3) Save the file
        4) Open it with LDCad. (It will render well so far)
        5) Try adding some other part.

        Initially, I thought it was in a way SnapCad stored the primitives (before I learnt the file format), but now I can see SnapCAD does nothing out of ordinary, piece and then primitive:
        Code:
        1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 228-2500-001.dat
        4 14 -32 -32 0 32 -32 0 32 32 0 -32 32 0
        So now I think it is an LDCad bug and I am inclined towards thinking it mis-interprets such a file as a part definition, because if you save the file after step 5, you'll see this added:
        Code:
        0 !LDCAD SNAP_INCL [ref=228-2500-001.dat] [pos=-144 0 0]
        and LDCad behaves in a similar way if you actually open a part definition, where you can only edit the shadow metadata, it seems.

        Edit: Of course I can't really quantify it as 0.7%. For my students, it was 0% initially. Then they have learnt how to use a primitive in SNapCAD as a sizing "backdrop" and all their models become 100% incompatible :-) Afterwards, you have explained us how to turn this "backdrop" into a real custom part and that enabled us to fully transition to LDCad. I was surprised how well the kids grasped the LDraw .dat file format and quickly created a custom sizing box component:
        Code:
        0 MeasureBox
        0 Author: 2014K
        4 16 -640 -480 -416 -640 480 -416 640 480 -416 640 -480 -416
        0 16 -640 -480 416 -640 480 416 640 480 416 640 -480 416
        4 16 -640 -480 -416 -640 -480 416 -640 480 416 -640 480 -416
        4 16  640 -480 -416  640 -480 416  640 480 416  640 480 -416
        0 16 -640 -480 -416 -640 -480 416  640 -480  416 640 -480 -416
        4 16 -640  480 -416 -640  480 416  640  480  416 640  480 -416
        Last edited by nenik; 05-22-2016, 12:41 PM.

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        • #5
          Indeed, some incompatibility here, LDCad is purely a model editor while SnapCAD bridges the gap between parts editor and model editor.. Once you insert basic triangle/quads/lines your model gets seen as a part by LDCad, hence the weird behaviour. To solve this, you can make a part from your special element: Create a file named myquad.dat, placed in the same folder as your model, containing quad line:
          Code:
          4 14 -32 -32 0 32 -32 0 32 32 0 -32 32 0
          And your first example becomes
          Code:
          1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 228-2500-001.dat
          1 16 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 myquad.dat
          You may also find interesting geometric primitives (they are located in the p folder of the library). Using this your box example becomes simply
          Code:
          1 16 0 0 0 640 0 0 0 480 0 0 0 416 box.dat
          and since it is type 1 line (reference to part) it behaves "almost" perfectly with LDCad. Almost because it is scaled, so if you insert a new part after clicking on the box, the new part will inherit that scaling and appear gigantic...

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