Feature Overview

The ability for PowerDWG to automatically clip objects when writing (saving) a PowerCADD drawing as a DWG file.

Feature Description:

In PowerCADD, and on the Mac in general, we can create objects that are filled white; for example a rectangle that is filled white. If that filled rectangle is on top of another object, for example a line, the white fill hides the line (or portion of a line) below it as shown here:

That technique, which could loosely be referred to as masking, is a common one used in PowerCADD drawings and on the Mac OS?. When a PowerCADD drawing using that technique is saved as a DWG file, the fill pattern is ignored (not a surprise) and in AutoCAD the user sees through the rectangle to the line below. As shown here, that is clearly not the same condition as we drew in PowerCADD (illustrated above).


So, what do we mean by clipping when writing a DWG file?
In the old days, PowerCADD has a Plot Driver built in -- that plot driver would cut or clip overlapping objects when creating the HPGL? files necessary for output. In the example we're describing above, the results would be that the section of the line, hidden by the white fill, would be clipped where it intersects the sides of the rectangle. In effect, producing new line segments where they intersected. As shown here, if the PowerCADD PowerDWG Translator supported clipping, like it's old Plot Driver did, we'd see a result in AutoCAD that looked like this:

The result in AutoCAD would look like they did in the original PowerCADD drawing

A short trip in the way back machine, back to the roots of Engineered Software and their experience with writing Plot Drivers, would yield a valulable addition to the PowerDWG Translator that would bring us one step closer to WYSIWYG? translation between the Mac (PowerCADD) and Windows (AutoCAD) worlds.

Of course, we'd like the clip filled objects feature to be a radio button optional setting so we can choose to turn it on or off. Yes -- we'd like it all, thank you very much Cool

Work Around

Currently, the only work around is to manually trim the types of intersections illustrated earlier. Clearly, in a complex drawing, that can be an extensive (and expensive!) task, particularly where smart objects such as doors or windows are used to mask wall lines to create openings. The only other choice is to start the PowerCADD drawing, from the start, with the plan that is going to be exported via DWG to AutoCAD and draw down to that standard. While this is a reasonable approach, it negates many of the advantages we have by drawing on a Mac and with PowerCADD.

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Carried Over to PowerCADD 9 Wish List

This didn't make it into PowerCADD 8.0 released March 2008. We can always hope for a rolling update to PowerCADD v8, but until then we've moved this to the PowerCADD v9 wish list section. The poll is still open so cast your vote or post a comment (must be registered and logged into vote and post comments)

Clipping and Acad Wipeouts

Since at least AutoCAD 2004, AutoCAD has support for both colour solid-fills (hatches if you will) and an object call a wipe-out. Whereas a "white" fill would appear as 'Black' on a White drawing backgound (and the other way aound on Black), the AutoCAD wipe is essentailly a bitmap fill of the background colour. The effect is as the illusration above shows. Rather than clipping, the fill could be "translated" to an AutoCAD wipeout. This should maintain the PowerCAD intend - maintaining the 'intergrate' of the line while making it seem as if the foreground object has been cut into it.

In addition, if the fill is coloured, just vtranslate that to an AutoCAD solid hatch of the same colour.

AutoCAD will also permit gratuated 2-colour solid fills (er... hatches)

Jim "Oldguy" L

That's a great point and it

That's a great point and it would be a much better solution.

In fact, there are certain conditions where filled objects from AutoCAD come into PowerCADD as solid white or black Mac OS? fill patterns.

In a perfect works doing the wipeout as you describe would be great. But one problem that we can see is what happens if the PowerCADD user has created custom fill patterns and how are those translated.

that reminds me -- i need to add another wish list item! There used to be a feature in the Old PowerCADD Translator that allowed us to map Fill Patterns to hatch patterns when writing DXF? or DWG? files. That might cover both bases.

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