R. L. Davidson
Port Angeles, WA 98362 USA
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Questions And Answers:
If you think you want to texture map drawings (apply pictures (wood graining etc) to the surfaces of the drawing) to make photo type pictures of your drawings you need more. Besides the basic Designer Plus and DesignCAD 3D v4 you also need: DesignCAD 3D Max). The textured drawings can be printed with an output as that shown on the web site.
For Photo Realistic renderings you will also need a "RENDERING ENGINE" and the more expensive they are the better job they do. But unless your clients are very demanding and willing to pay "big bucks" (US slang for a lot) I wouldn't even consider rendering, and I have only used texture mapping or shading a few times. These advanced features take a lot of time to accomplish and require a lot more computer than the simpler line drawing.
The most common reason Designer Plus will not work is that the path is set wrong for where the program looks for components; under FILES use - set path, each path value must be complete.
The second is the line color being set the same as the background. The program is working you just can't see it. Edit the line color 1; tools - shade - color edit.
Designer Plus is not a mystical program, practically anybody with the need and ambition to try, could create a comparable program. Designer Plus was not developed with the intent of selling it to anyone, so development costs were covered in the day to day operations of Kitchen Consultants, a retail kitchen dealership in Port Angeles, Washington USA.
DesignCAD 3D is an obsolete program by computer standards but it is still functional, and the drawings made with it are 100% compatible with the latest versions of DesignCAD.
My offering it to others free of charge was based on the fact it is obsolete, I don't need to protect my business from this any longer and helping someone with some ambition succeed.
However if you want the raw code I am holding that to be a thank-you to those who contribute to maintaining this site on the web.
Not by me
Yes and no. To access Designer Plus from DesignCAD 3D you press the space bar and type "cab" and press enter, or use the cabinet pull down menu from the DesignCAD main menu. The pull down menu will access many of the Designer Plus programs. There are some short cuts but this accesses the main menu. You then select what you want Designer Plus to draw. Then Designer Plus instructs DesignCAD 3D to perform the same steps to draw the item as you would have done one keystroke at a time. After the item is drawn it is blocked and defined as a solid automatically so you can copy, rotate, delete, or move it as a single unit. At this point Designer Plus is terminated and control is returned to DesignCAD 3D.
You draw in real, full size 3D space. You can set the view to 2D, for plan or elevation, but you still have X Y Z coordinates to work with. For example assuming base cabinets are setting on the floor the elevation (Y) will equal 0. Base cabinets are referenced to either lower rear corner, and wall cabinets to an upper rear corner. These reference points were chosen because base cabinets usually set on the floor, and wall cabinets usually have a common top height. But any item can be placed anywhere in 3D space.
No. There is a specific program for drawing counter tops. (CTOP.BSX ) This eliminates the construction lines between each cabinet that would need to be edited out if a counter top were drawn on each cabinet.
All door and drawer base cabinets can be modified to no drawer in Designer Plus.
After selecting a drawer base you are asked how many drawers are in the stack, Designer Plus will draw up to 6 in a standard stack and allow split top drawers (side by side). A standard drawer base uses a standard height drawer head at the top then evenly divides the balance of the cabinet. A custom drawer base defaults with a standard top height (modifiable) then asks for the height of each drawer for the balance.
Use the panel and filler from Designer Plus, then using the DesignCAD 3D command "fillet edge", radius the edge to whatever you need.
Set 4 points and use DesignCAD 3D’s plane command. Or draw a 2 point box and rotate it.
Not directly supported by Designer Plus it would have to be drawn using 1 or 2 other cabinets, parts or DesignCAD itself. If you use standard sizes, draw this cabinet once and save it to disk, you can then recall and insert it whenever you need it. This is how symbols are created and stored. Designer Plus draws a cabinet with a plain door blank for each of the overlays turned on. Styled doors if desired are drawn over the plain door blanks. NOTE, symbols are the normal method of drawing kitchens using CAD, but if you load a drawing then stretch it to fill a different space the scale of the cabinet parts will change. Stretching a 30 inch cabinet to 36 inches will increase the door spacing on that cabinet 20%.
Designer Plus has full support for institutional type radius cabinets. That is to say Designer Plus will draw any arc segment of any radius inside or outside curved cabinet. However there are no styled doors or part listing available for radius cabinets at this time.
Is this a cabinet with an angled front? If so, these require more work to draw than other cabinets. There are step by step instructions for this in the manual.
Designer Plus has plain or styled panel drawing. You can also put doors on the end, or back of cabinets. As well as 2 faced peninsula cabinets.
Yes, in the styled door menu.
There are several styles of shaped top sections on wall and tall open shelf cabinets only.
The short answer is no. 2D drawings have only 2 axis x and y of information in the drawing. The information needed for the z axis is required for 3D. You can view in, or make 2D drawings from 3D but to go from 2D to 3D you are limited to extrusions.
See also the question on drawing in 2D
Detailed instructions are posted to walk you through installing and setting up the program. The screen message referred to is a video conflict issue this may be answered in the section detailing downloads and installation.
DesignCAD and Designer Plus require very modest resources. This is because when DesignCAD was written computers were slow and expensive. Creating a program for the masses which requires the most advanced gizmo to function would have made it more expensive than the masses would buy. The recommendations below are based on my experiences.
A Note for Windows XP and older OSs and some VISTA users**. DesignCAD 4.0 will run directly (like any other program only in a DOS window) on the 32 bit versions of these operating systems. DesignCAD 4.0 will NOT run on any 64 bit versions or any newer OSs. Using an emulator such as MS Virtual PC will work, but not with enough performance to make it practical. Because of the small memories available in 1990, Designer Plus uses a great deal of disk access (freeing RAM by writing it to and retrieving it from the harddrive) which process is very slow in emulation.
**Some video cards may not have DOS support in their drivers, using a different (or older) video card will correct this
Notes on hardware: DesignCAD v4 is a DOS (16 bit) program when using it on multi-core machines it runs only as fast as ONE of the cores. AMD processors are faster than Intel, I do not know why, for example Using a 1.12GHz Pentium IBM T21 as a bench mark:
2.9ghz 1-core 1.7 times faster
3.4ghz 2-core (1.7 ghz/core) 1.1 times faster
1.8+ghz 1-core (1.5ghz real) 1.5 times faster
4.8ghz 2-cores (2.4ghz) 3.0 times faster
6.0ghz 4-cores (1.8ghz) 1.6 times faster
3.0ghz 1-core (3.0ghz) 3.2 times faster
Video cards: I have had better luck with stand alone (not built into the mother board) ATI cards (I prefer Radeon), line weight is better defined and there are less problems when switching from Windows to DesignCAD v4 and back with the Alt-Tab key stroke. Drivers are the issue here newer video cards may not be written with the DOS instruction set and definitely are not tested with them.
Memory: 4gs of RAM on any Windows based newer computer as 32 bit XP can only use that much.
If you are not sure the computer is even the answer to your needs, do not invest money in hardware until you know what you do need. I started using DesignCAD 3D and wrote the beginning of what has become Designer Plus on a PC-AT 286/16 Mhz computer with 4 M RAM, 40 MB HD and DOS 4.0 OS. Most of Designer Plus was written on a 386/33 with the same 4 M RAM and 360 MB HD, inside of Windows 3.1 under DOS 5.0 OS. So the machine is not the issue, that you can use it is what is important.