Use this forum to ask questions about DataCAD 18 and DataCAD LT 18.
#67771 by wvar
Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:39 pm
I have been a loyal user since version 3 and have updated as soon as a new version is released. I would appreciate some input by the Datacad authors on the issue that Dan has raised. I try to use the smart objects in Datacad so many times. However, I always revert to using Sketchup for its simplicity and now use datacad for 2D only.

Some feedback would be appreciated on whether the smarts are going to be improved soon as one can only spend so much time on work arounds. At the end of the day I have to get my jobs completed as efficiently as possible.

I don't want to sound like a troll however, I have been trying to use Datacad efficiently for many years. :( :(
#67776 by Mark F. Madura
Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:39 pm
Hello Walter,

<sad violin music>

DATACAD LLC is a small company. Our revenue is 2.499 Billion dollars less than Autodesk's. We were not bought out by Google then sold to Trimble. We were not bought out by Nemetschek. It's a minor miracle we survived the recession from 2008 - 2013. I could go on and make plenty of excuses like blaming the U.S. government for Autodesk's stranglehold on the DWG format. Or I could blame the Architecture profession for putting up with this monopoly. However, it's all irrelevant. If DataCAD doesn't provide you with the tools you require, then you'll look for another product that does.

</sad violin music>

For the past twenty years I've been confounded at my own inability to get DataCAD to where it needs to be. It's not anywhere near where I thought it would be by now. It's a great program with a long history and a loyal following. Over the past two years our business has finally, albeit excruciatingly slowly, begun to turn around. When you purchase a $300 subscription or a $495 upgrade from us, it's a big deal. Any major enhancement to DataCAD might require $100,000 for development costs or more than 300 subscriptions.

All I can tell you is that we are in a much better position than we were five years ago, and no one wants to advance DataCAD more than I do. So, I hope you'll continue to support us and that we'll be able to provide you with a return on your investment so you can stay with DataCAD.


#67777 by wvar
Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:10 pm
Thank you Mark for your prompt reply. I certainly understand and experience the difficulties of small businesses face in this cut throat world. Especially being continally being screwed on price and payments.

Personally I feel that the whole ecosystem of business is a race to the bottom. Therefore I prefer to support small / micro businesses where possible. I am continally being reminded that if I can't join the bigger boys on price then I need to compete on quality of my product. At the end of the day I need to pay my bills and get as much work done as possible.

I also understand the need to balance the need to inform users where Datacad is headed and minimise plagarism by other software companies. However, some users would like to be reassured that Datacad will be there for the medium /long term in the future.

I for one, would like to at least see more input from Datacad LLC of informing users by responding to questions like the one by Dan above as to how the problem could be solved. I know that you and Dave respond to a lot of posts. However, some users may see otherwise with comments focusing on adjustments to the ini file.

I hope that this is not taken as an opportunity to troll as it can be too easy to be critical. I certainly wish that, Datacad continues to develop and grow stronger and will be there for the long term and that we can be of benefit too each other.

Now this is headed way off topic and I hope that we can get back on topic.

#67779 by REX PEET
Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:20 am
I, for one will be very, very miffed if something bad happens to Datacad. For me, it is one of the quickest,easist, most accurate,....,... and best cad programs about.

The trouble that I have sorting out dwg files after importing them is monumental; caused, I believe the way autocad lets you draw and spread stuff all over the known universe. I am located in the middle of Australia, and had one dwg file with an entity in the vicinity of South Africa. Thanks to Datacad's fixit facility, Mark Toce was able to sort this out very quickly. Hooooray.

Keep going Datacad and give all the rest of these pretend cad programs what they deserve - a bloody good thrashing!!!
#67780 by Mark Bell
Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:21 am
MFM wrote "It's a great program with a long history and a loyal following." - Absolutely~! I have to take my hat off to everyone at DataCAD for sticking it out through the tougher times. I don't want to imagine having to work with one of the other namesakes and am grateful for the software we use daily that helps us make a living. For me, and I'd say my staff too, DataCAD is somewhat enjoyably addictive and makes designing and documenting buildings more rewarding. Having a reliable support network just adds the icing to the cake. ....let's hope the planets align next year and things continue to improve for DataCAD's bottom line. :D
#67781 by Mark Bell
Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:21 am
Hi Walter,

I'm not sure what type of projects you work in but we have been able to successfully transition from purely 2D documentation to a mix of smart entities and 2D entities and it works very well. The concept is designed using smart entities with walls mapped to solid fills, then once documentation starts the wall types are quickly changed to their respective construction type (pre-cast, CMU, stud etc.) with hatched walls in lieu of solid fills. The parametrics are a lot more stable than in X3 and using them in combination with standard 2D linework, smart symbols, covered polylines, GTV's, Clipcubes, Self-Xrefs/xrefs, Xclips etc. allows the drawing sheets to cover just about everything that's needed. If there's changes to the design, then these are automatically updated. You also have a 3D model to look at along the way which is your 2D documentation. Being able to include other 3D entities including covered polylines allows elements not currently supported using smart entities to be included. I've a current multi-storey project where the structural engineer has changed wall types to parts of the buildings several times. All that was needed on the documentation drawings was to change the walls from one type to another then Area the drawing and they all changed instantly including cleanups. If these were 2D lines it would have taken about 20 minutes to do. I agree, it would be nice to have more progress on the smart entities but it doesn't prevent what's currently available from being used. You can also have the smart doors/windows reference actual product assemblies so the real jamb or mullion is shown allowing the 'model' to be used for detailed drawings at a smaller scale (1:20, 1:10, 1:5 etc.).

I've read various forums where CAD users using Archicad, Revit and DataCAD opt to use SketchUp for their 3D design work then export to their CAD software for documentation. To me, this seems counter productive, but if it works, then why not? A good portion of my buildings are not linear and include curved facades or interiors. This is challenging from design but also with creating it in CAD and to date I've managed to do it wholly in DataCAD. We tend to find we get more productivity by limiting the number of software packages, and exports/imports. Essentially we use DataCAD and a rendering software for our design, presentation and documentation. I'm not skilled enough in SketchUp to comment whether overall there are savings in time made or whether the time gained in using it for concept design is lost in transferring into DataCAD, organizing layers, cleanups and making it suitable to work from? If the current way of using SU+DC isn't working as well as it should maybe take a another look at the the process but just in DataCAD and see if it works better? Just a thought.
#67782 by Mark Bell
Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:48 am
Hi Walter,

Forgot to mention, with your original post - turn F5 (one layer) OFF leaving F6 Any Layer ON and your doors will cut and insert into the walls. I'd also turn off Node Markers and Node Numbers as they only seem to clutter the drawing window, unless you need them.
#67784 by wvar
Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:51 pm
Thanks for your input Mark Bell. It is very helpfull as usual. FYI, I operate a micro business and most of my projects at present are single residential (both new and renovations). I avoid cookie cutter type projects. The terrain around here is hilly, so that makes things interesting.

Because of the types of buildings that I work on, most of the doors and windows need to be made up from scratch. So that is where an improvement to the smarts would be beneficial.

On the topic of using sketchup, Sketchup can very quickly export 2D views and sections in dwg format. Therefore, a major productivity boost would be if I could directly xref dwg files into Datacad. However, I seem to be beating a dead horse on that issue. I know that a 3D Sketchup model can be xreffed into Datacad. However, that is not as efficient for me.

I have just started some new projects (both new and renovations), so I will look at trying to use Smarts again.

Thanks again for your help.
#67792 by dmartens
Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:12 pm
Like Walter said we just want to be kept up to date with the status of smart entities. They have pretty much been ignored for the last few releases. I didn't think tweaking the problems with smarts would be considered a major enhancement since the fundamentals are in place. But I am not a programmer and it may in fact be a big deal. But improvement to smarts can only attract more users and it would only take 200 new users as opposed to 300 subscriptions to cover that cost. And if a user since ver 3 is not taking advantage of the smarts then this should raise a red flag at DataCAD.
I think we are all too well aware of the hurt the recession has put on us. Here in VT we still have a long way to go to be out of it. I would very much prefer to be using ver 18 instead of 15 but the work just isn't there. I just read the new enhancements for DC18 and there was not one enhancement to any smarts. So updating to 18 would have put me in the same boat as I am in now as far as smarts go. I think at least a small portion of the budget should be set aside for enhancements to the smarts so we as users can have faith they will not be relinquished to the back room.
And please don't think I am panning DataCAD. I used AutoCAD for 25 years and have now been using DataCAD for about 11 years. AutoCAD can't hold a candle to DataCAD in any aspect except maybe for accuracy. The people at DataCAD and on this forum are the friendliest and most helpful people one could ever hope to find. And I too will be severely bummed if anything bad happens at DataCAD and I can no longer use this software. Thank you.


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