A collection of training videos for DataCAD.
#62330 by zadachdesign
Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:29 pm
Does anyone know why my 3d model exported from Datacad in DXF format.
When the DXF file imports in to sketchup. All my layers are linked together
as a component. Just one big group. Maling the model very Difficult to work
with. How can I simplify this process.
Steve Z.
#62336 by Robert Scott
Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Have you tried exporting from Datacad as a SKP file? Is the behavior different?
"Grouping" is actually a feature you can use to your advantage. While I don't entirely model in DataCAD I will model sites and roofs at times and bring those in as group to "protect" them for sticking to the rest of the Sketchup model.

#62365 by fsoliver
Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:23 pm
You also might try exporting DataCAD DWG each layer at a time. Import into SU each layer DWG. and it will be a component or group. then assign the component to a the layer you want in SU. Make sure your origin is the same for both files and you can go back and forth.
#66056 by Ted B
Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:51 am
It's VERY IMPORTANT to recognize and understand that "layers" in Datacad and Autocad -- and "Layers" in Sketch-Up and Layout -- are not the same thing, and don't work the same. They don't even have the same purpose. The important concept to understand in Sketch-Up is Groups and Components for controlling the project, not layers. Minimize the number of layers before importing into S-U and Layout, organize by groups and components instead.

S-U and Layout "layers" act more like layers in Photoshop than layers in a CAD-environment. They mainly control visibility, stacking-order and the ability to "lock" features and drawing-elements. Or if you remember them, the old stacked-mylar pin-bar registration drafting systems with the vacuum-frame light-table Diazo printers popular in the 1980s and early 1990's before CAD.
#66067 by David Porter
Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:38 am
I have found it to actually be helpful to have the entire import with DXF remain as one "component" in SU. You can right click on the imported model in SU and then click on "edit component." All of the layers will then be visible and you can edit away and render the model. If you then change the design in DCAD, you can export it from DCAD and then import it into SU and it will remain as a single component so that you can replace it with the original imported model.
#66069 by Robert Scott
Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:49 am
I'm in full agreement with both Ted's and David's last post.
Really important stuff for those learning how to use Sketchup with DataCAD.

#66070 by fsoliver
Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:33 pm
Just curious, but very important is, what do you use SU FOR that DataCAD/o2c/DataCAD Sun Shader is not doing for you?
I would like the 3dconnexion's Space Navigator to work with DataCAD Sun Shader. If it can work with DataCAD and o2c more the better. (it works great in SU)

#66071 by Robert Scott
Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:44 pm
fsoliver wrote:Just curious, but very important is, what do you use SU FOR that DataCAD/o2c/DataCAD Sun Shader is not doing for you?
I would like the 3dconnexion's Space Navigator to work with DataCAD Sun Shader. If it can work with DataCAD and o2c more the better. (it works great in SU)


I'll bite: We do quite a bit of advanced rendering, animation and visualization. The SU interface works seamlessly with most rendering engines. In addtion, the modeling IN 3d is so much more intuitive in SU than in DataCAD. After 3 years of almost using SU daily for modeling I can model as fast in SU as I can draw 2D in DataCAD.

That being said, I've seen some very good 3D work in DataCAD.

#66082 by Ted B
Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:03 am
I haven't drawn a 2D elevation from scratch in Datacad in years. I find that 3D modeling is so much faster in S-U, and much more intuitive, particularly in the conceptual and Design-development phases. Then I either export a 2D .dwg of the views I want back into Datacad for further detailing for construction, or use S-U Layout to document for construction. Often I use both methods and recombine the results as .pdf-drwgs that I integrate back into a unified paper-drawing set using PDFill Tools into one .pdf-file for distribution.

Each system has it's advantages and drawbacks, and you have to experiment to see where you need a "work-around" -- depending on your needs. I do a lot of small projects that don't involve weeks of working on the same CAD files to a high degree of complexity. Finding a design solution, and documenting it, might require totally different approaches. I'll admit that I still don't really understand Datacad's 3D features very well, I've been using S-U for modeling and presentation. Conversely, I use Datacad exclusively for Floor Plans, Sections and Detailing since S-U and Layout really aren't drafting programs.

The biggest drawback of S-U and Layout is in their symbol libraries, or lack of; doors, residential windows, plumbing fixtures. And since Datacad isn't a .dwg-based CAD environment, there's a lot of extra steps taking a mfr's Autocad detail library symbol and converting it in Datacad to a usable S-U component. Andersen Windows Studio being a prime example. There are third-party apps, macros and component libraries out-there for the S-U / Layout work-environment, I just haven't had the time or need to invest the time in finding and experimenting with them...yet. Some of the dynamic-components out-there for kitchen cabinets in S-U are amazing for-example, but I don't design and model kitchen at that fractal-level.

The newest versions of Datacad and S-U support greater interoperability, I just have not had the time -- or the professional need -- to really explore them yet. In-part since I still don't really understand the 3D-side of Datacad, and I haven't up-graded to Datacad-16 or Datacad-17 yet. As a one-man home-office-based architectural practice, I just don't use either Sketch-Up/Layout or Datacad for enough hours each week to be a "power user on the bleeding edge", I'm happy just to get-by and move-on.

On the other hand, I've been doing this do for a long time. I've been using Datacad since it was part of Cadkey in the early 1990s, and Sketch-Up for nearly 15-years since the @Last Software days-- long before it was bought then sold by Google to Trimble. Ironically, I started on Autocad in the 1980s in the days of PCs running MS-DOS on 386/387 machines, although I haven't touched Autocad since probably 1996 or 1997. I stopped going to the Autodesk seminars when Revit and Architectural-Desktop came out. I'm not even sure I would remember how to even use Autocad at this point.
#66086 by David Porter
Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:16 pm
To answer the question of what can't you get from must using DCAD, o2c and SunShader, see the rendering clip I posted below that I completed a couple of weeks ago. I used DCAD to build the 3D model, SU to add color, materials, people, boats, and landscaping, and then RenderIn (a SU plug-in) to give it the photorealistic look.
10 screens.jpg

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