19 August 2016

Tip of the month! August: Water fill feature

As the summer rages on, we here at Palette CAD are thinking of your well-being once again. To help you stay cool (if at least just virtually), now you can use the water fill feature to add that photo-realistic water finish in a matter of seconds, be it a cold glass of water, or an Olympic size swimming pool.

To start, select an appropriate object and then click on "Water", found under the "Insert" tab.

A new window will open up with a number of settings. A preview is also visible in the middle, and the water material is available in a number of options.

Some materials may look better in different presentation modes, Virtual Reality and Ambient Light, for example. Just choose how you wish to have it appear and select OK.

That's all there is to it! Now create and enjoy your own dream getaways.

Greeting from Stuttgart,
Your Palette CAD Blog Team


15 July 2016

Tip of the month! July: Virtually cost-free VR setup

There is no getting away from it, VR is the next big thing, and is likely to be the next big opportunity for businesses to quickly impress and win over customers. Most people think that it is an expensive upgrade to their showrooms, but it really doesn't need to be.

Following the hype, it is really easy to get carried away, or discouraged by the price tags of some of the VR goggles on the market right now. Palette CAD to the rescue once again. 

You can go as far as your budget will stretch, but also if you want to get started, and get a taste, all that is needed is any VR glasses, including Google Cardboard (sometimes a free giveaway) and a smartphone. Really impressive results can be achieved with most 30-50€ goggles where the smartphone is inserted as a screen.

Now simply download our FREE app Palette Move on your smartphone and you are good to go. You can chose from a number of existing interior designs, as well as, use design codes from Palette CAD panoramas. We have gone a step further by adding an intuitive "gaze control" system to Palette Move, making it very easy to navigate through our VR world.

To start the VR mode tap the VR goggles symbol in your mobile app. This will load the user into our virtual chill out room. Now simply look at what you wish to load, or to exit, just gaze at the exit button in the designs.

Of course it is possible to take this to the next level, and by purchasing our 3D design software Palette CAD, you can make and show off your own designs.

Try it out and see the reactions from your audience!

Greeting from Stuttgart,
Your Palette CAD Blog Team

17 June 2016

Tip of the month! June: Shopping basket feature

This month we bring you a very cool feature that has probably not been given the recognition it deserves. It also just happened to be my wife's favorite feature in our software, until I explained it in a little more detail and a realisation set in that it had no direct link to Internet retail.

Still for most interior designers it is a phenomenal time saver, as it allows a whole list of objects, such your favourite plants, for example, to be saved in one list, which you can then import into any design. No more searching necessary.

This little gem can be found under the "Design" tab. Simply click on the symbol and "Shopping basket" menu located on the right side of your screen will open.

To fill it with your own best-sellers simply open the object broswer "O" (or select "Object catalogues") and follow one of the two following options.

Option one: Find your desired object in the browser, right-click on it and select "Into the shopping basket".

Option two:  Follow the same steps as above but instead right-clicking, select your desired object by left-clicking on it once (this will highlight the object in blue) and then simply press the "+" symbol on your keyboard. 

Both options produce the same results. Far too easy! When done, just close the object catalogue browser. Now you can save your virtual goodies for future use. Under the shopping basket menu you can find the classic save symbol. Next to it is also the file symbol, which you can use in the future to find and open your saved objects. 

Objects from the shopping basket can be inserted into designs just like by using the catalogue browser, drag and drop or double-clicking on them. Once used they will disappear out of your basket, but worry not, if you wish to use the same object multiple times in one design, just use the copy feature.

Inspiration complete, now over to you to put to good us and show us what you got. Have fun and enjoy.

Greeting from Stuttgart,
Your Palette CAD Blog Team

20 May 2016

Tip of the month! May: v9.03 + v9.04 release notes

They say, good things come in pairs and our wizards from the Palettecador house of programming have managed just that. Below you can find the release notes from versions 9.03 and 9.04 that they conjured up. I for one am a huge fan of the new short cycle programming structure. Keep up the sorcery guys!

  • In the update manager, it is now possible to exclude individual catalogues from the automatic download process and later reactivate them
  • There is an object controller for profile objects
  • There is an object controller for extruded objects
  • There is an object controller for intelligent masonry enclosures
  • The “Draw” menu provides access to a new, independent 2D scene view (2D Planning)
  • 2D Planning is very practical for viewing, editing and managing 2D drawings
  • 2D Planning can be used as a 2D program that is integrated into Palette CAD
  • A 2D drawing derivation of a scene can be transferred into 2D Planning automatically
  • It is now also possible to create a drawing derivation of an axonometric view or a perspective and automatically transfer it to 2D Planning
  • 2D Planning replaces the previous “2D” display mode in the scene window
  • The user-defined line width in the Exposé now only refers to the edges of 3D objects and no longer to 2D elements because for these, a line width is already defined by the line style
  • Drawing derivations now transfer all selected objects and not just the currently displayed detail
  • In a drawing derivation, segmented circles and arcs are converted to 2D circles and arcs to the extent possible
  • During dimensioning and the creation of 2D elements, the selection of previously selected objects is no longer cancelled, which makes it easier to see and snap these objects
  • For walls, you can now pick the dimensions from the scene
  • The family replace function for the door handles of intelligent doors has now been revised so that it also works correctly for doors that are open
  • The intelligent staircase is able to show the position of risers on the steps
  • The masonry enclosure object can now create tiling areas for tiles on the front sides and on the top side
  • A rectangular masonry enclosure is now the default setting for the masonry enclosure object
  • It is possible to set the background colour and the display colour for the preview on intelligent primitives and masonry enclosure objects
  • The 2D pdf export in the File menu has been expanded for very large drawing areas
  • The DWG Import can import files that are password protected
  • The import of DXF, DWG and Collada now also supports texture coordinates (which means that the textures are displayed correctly for imported objects)
  • The import of SketchUp files has been expanded to accommodate the 2016 version
  • The maximum zoom factor for enlargements is now restricted to avoid inaccuracies due to strong magnification when snapping
  • There are many small improvements of details as well as bug fixes
  • 2D drawing: In the drawing derivation of a section, a hatch can be generated on the sectional area automatically
  • The edge view and the display of 2D elements in the presentation modes have been revised
  • The display of objects that cannot be hidden has been revised
  • In wood technology boards, the dynamic editing and the display of adjacent objects have been revised
  • The technical preparations for Wood Technology 4.0 have been completed. At least version 9.03 is required for Wood Technology 4.0. 

So there you have it. Be sure to check back next month and in the mean time enjoy "zauberning" your own projects.

Greeting from Stuttgart,
Your Palette CAD Blog Team

15 April 2016

Tip of the month! April: New in Palette CAD 9, pt.2

As promised then, this month we have the second part of the Palette CAD 9 features for you. Seeing as we have now changed our release cycle to more frequent 6-8 week releases, you will also be seeing more of such fun packed notes. No excuses then for not trying them out, get to it.

Palette Play / virtual rooms / room glasses
  • The export of virtual rooms has become much faster and creates even better photorealistic quality
  • At the current state of development, however, rooms which are not visible from the active camera are not given any lighting
  • The camera can be set so that it always creates an external panorama in which the camera always rotates about an object (Rotate camera about the visual focus)
  • In contrast to Palette CAD 8, it is not possible to continue working in Palette CAD during rendering for export to Palette Play
Sanitary equipment
  • The ARGE New Media catalogues of the German plumbing, heating and cooling industry are now indexed automatically in the background just like object and material catalogues
  • Plumbing equipment articles in the ARGE format now have an object controller
  • When a sanitary equipment article is selected, the article’s properties are displayed in the object controller
  • Animations, such as opening doors, can be run using this object controller
  • A dimensioning type can be assigned to every plumbing equipment object type (ARGE format) for the automatic dimensioning feature via an editable list
Tiles and natural stone
  • The former “Tiles” tab is now called “Lay”
  • This makes it clearer that the tools there can also be used to lay natural stone flags or parquet
  • The “Floor in rows” laying pattern now accommodates rows of different widths than the tiles
  • For tiling patterns, it is now possible to lock the size of the tiles so that when the tile or material is changed, the set size of the tiles is not changed
  • For automatic laying of corner profiles, it is now possible to select articles from manufacturers in addition to the general profiles
  • The new installation walls and interior walls automatically create isles in the laying area of the wall and the floor behind them
Wood technology
  • Wood technology boards have been completely reworked and now have a modern user interface
  • The board is shown in a 3D preview
  • Features can be clicked directly in the preview
  • Free-form milling is now possible
  • Milling contours can be exported and imported making processing easier
  • Inactive features can be hidden
  • Connectors can now create pockets and grooves in addition to bores and CNC programs
  • Board materials with a thickness of “0” do not change the board thickness when selected
  • The board manager now also shows the thickness of the boards
  • Direct printing and printing of a cover sheet directly from the wood technology board is once again possible
  • Edges and edge features as well as grain direction are marked in the board view
  • CNC tool assignment with additional CNC parameters is now possible for every feature
  • The start point of a milling operation can be selected (also in the centre of a contour element)
  • When the workshop text is used, this is marked with an exclamation point in the user interface
  • The alignment of a wood technology board can be changed at any time
  • It is now possible to copy the dimensions and angles of every feature from the scene
  • The subtraction of a cuboid from a wood technology board is now recognized as a rectangular pocket
  • There is a new intelligent nested distribution which can divide the height and width at the same time
  • The distribution of fronts and internal fittings can be coupled in such a way that changes are applied automatically
  • There are new, intelligent built-in objects which replace the previous placeholder objects
  • The intelligent built-in objects can control exchange operations and only suggest objects that it makes sense to swap in
  • The intelligent built-in objects can also be angled, making them suitable for corner cabinets and pitched-roof cabinets 

Stoves and fireplaces
  • The size of stove tiles can be calibrated
  • This makes it possible to adapt stove tiles to joint thicknesses that deviate from the standard joint thickness of 6 mm
  • The size of stove tiles can be set with precision when it deviates from the standard grid spacing
  • The calibration of stove tiles is controlled via the stove tile manager in the “Extras” menu
  • The stove technology module must be licensed for this function
  • The “Stoves and Fireplaces” catalogues as of version 19 support the calibration function
Simplify object
  • There is an operation called “Simplify object” with which the number of faces of an object can be reduced in steps
  • Simplify object can be found in the Extras menu
Smaller enhancements
  • The units for input and for dimensioning include m, inches and feet
  • With the masonry enclosure function, the walls which are to be included in the masonry enclosure can now also be selected manually
  • You can change the name of a project when sending it as an email
  • There is a new function in the editor called “Sew” with which the ill-fitting segmentation in the interior of objects can be joined together
Drawing frame
  • The previous option for quickly inserting a drawing frame during simple printing has been omitted
  • Drawing frames can now only be inserted in the Exposé
  • However, the options for drawing frames have been expanded and it is easier to set your own drawing frames

Palette CAD 9.02
  • When a style is selected in the managers for dimensioning styles, line styles and hatch styles and confirmed with OK, this style is automatically applied as the default setting
  • The positioning of dimension texts for small dimensions has been improved
  • When you switch to the Exposé, pending processes in the scene (such as camera settings or dialog boxes) are closed and the Exposé is no longer held up by these processes
  • Pending processes are also closed automatically when you switch between projects
  • In the Exposé, "Fit to page" has been added as a separate option in the context menu
  • In the Exposé, the first view loaded automatically fills the page in the display
  • This means that the Exposé can now be used for quick printouts with a drawing frame as used to be the case with print preview
  • You can set a fixed scale in the Exposé for transferring views
  • The display of 2D lines and dimensioning in the Exposé has been optimized
  • Standard lines from 2D drawings now automatically have a line width in the Exposé
  • The PDF export feature has been reworked
  • There is an object controller for rotation
  • The Copy operation remembers the setting for Gap or Offset when this has been made once
  • When a room is joined to form a group and then copied, the connection of the walls is retained
  • In the update manager, you can select a path for new catalogues that were previously not installed on the computer
  • The ifc import has been enhanced
  • For a DXF/DWG import, you can set whether invisible elements should be imported
  • Several interactions in 2D Drawing have been further improved
  • For the intelligent staircase, you can now click on the steps that you wish to move manually in the dialog’s preview
  • Further refinements in the new built-in object
  • Further refinements in the new nested distribution
  • Preview bitmaps for bathroom fittings and plumbing catalogues with the ARGE New Media format can be updated via the update manager
  • The new PCAD2Wop version 5 is supported for CNC connections 

Should be plenty to keep you all busy at the moment, but just in case there is the 9.03 update to look forward to before the end of the month. The details naturally then coming in the next post. Stay tuned and enjoy.

Greeting from Stuttgart,
Your Palette CAD Blog Team