22 September 2017

Tip of the month! September: Auto backup

You’re deep in to a project when suddenly…Power cut!

Your PC shuts off, you can’t remember the last time you hit the save button and the work is due tomorrow.

Do not fret! Palette CAD has an automatic backup save function. By default, the software creates a backup save every 20 steps. The file is saved to the same folder as your normal save, but instead of being a .p3d extension, it is .p3b.

To open the file, click “Open existing project”, then select the “Display auto save files” check box.

It is important to note that the Backup file is only a “light” save file to ensure top performance from the program, and therefore it is occasionally possible for materials or objects to be missing when it is loaded. So, while this can save you in a pinch, you should be hitting the standard save button regularly to keep your work safe.

To change the settings of the Automatic backup, go to File --> Program --> settings --> Input/output --> Object Browser:

Here you can change the Automatic backup frequency or turn it off (we recommend against this!).

So, the moral of the story, Save, Save, Save!

Greetings from Stuttgart
Your Palette CAD Blog Team

29 August 2017

Tip of the month! August: Customise object list

To help you work more effectively with the object list, you can customise the information that you want it to show you.

To customise the object list, click on the symbol for Fields:.

By default, the name of an object or group is listed, followed by whether an object is active or inactive. And finally, whether an object is draggable.

Number of faces is recommended as it will allow you to monitor the complexity of the objects. Type of an object is also very useful (e.g. Wall, Profile, Window, Wood technology board, etc.) among others.

The Fields dialog box shows the pre-built fields available to add to your object list.
These can simply be drag and dropped into the object list, or removed in the same way. The fields in the object list can be sorted in the same way, so long as the Field dialogue box is open.

Greetings from Stuttgart
Your Palette CAD Blog Team

28 July 2017

Tip of the month! July: Linear light

Hold onto your sunbrellas people, the summer is in full flow. Here another cool little gem to try out. A new feature in the latest update, linear light is a cool litle addition to lighting objects. It can be used as a great back lighting mood setter, or a freeform to fuel your design imagination.

It can be found in "Insert" tab under "Light" menu.

With the entire colour spectrum at your disposal, there are no limits to what you can create. Putting little touches like this into your designs really brings out the fun side of work. I had a go myself, and touched up one of my first plans.

For those with a keen eye, it is the same plan from the March TOTM, rendered from another viewpoint. Give it a go and see what you can come up with.

Greetings from Stuttgart
Your Palette CAD Blog Team

22 June 2017

Tip of the month! June: Status bar

What is hotter than the weather in Germany at the moment? The new TOTM for June, of course. It is a ridiculously simple one this month, but extremely useful at times, especially for some of the newer users.

The status bar guides you step by step through each operation in Palette CAD. Once you have started an operation, the bar at the bottom left of the screen displays the name of the current operation and the program's expected input.

Using the example above, after the operation "Move" (v) is started, the status bar displays the following:

 "L:" and "R:" refer to the left and right mouse buttons. This information is displayed for all editing and insertion operations.

You are looking for a reference point from which to move the selected object. If this is selected by a left mouse button click, the target point at which the object is to be moved is expected and the bar changes as follows: 

If the target point is also selected, the object is moved and the operation is terminated.

Piece of cake, right! Now try out some of the other operations and see what fun there is to be had.

Greetings from tropical Stuttgart
Your Palette CAD Blog Team

27 May 2017

Tip of the month! May: v9.11-13 release notes

The summer holidays are almost upon us, the trade fair season is in full flow at the moment, so what better time to have a look at the latest updates in Palette CAD. As you can see from the sizeable list below, we are in for another reading feast. Take a look and make sure to take some time and try a few out for yourselves.

Palette CAD 9.13

  • Faster saving of scenes and objects
  • With the Replace operation, you can now replace an object with other objects in the scene (until now, objects in the scene could only be replaced with objects from the catalogues)
  • In the Exposé, you can now set the background colour outside the sheet (Settings / Colour)
  • This means that drawing elements outside the sheet can now be made clearer
  • In the Exposé, the selected sheet size (e.g. A4) can be displayed next to the sheet
  • Views in the Exposé can be switched to preview mode more quickly via the context menu so that, for example, changing the size does not automatically lead to a re-rendering
  • In the Exposé, with “Calculating all views” you have the option to only re-render the views in preview mode
  • In the Exposé you can now set whether guide lines should be printed or exported to a PDF
  • In the 2D drawing menu the “Circle on 2 tangents” and “Circle on 3 tangents” design methods have been enhanced
  • In cases with multiple options, the possible tangent points are displayed in the preview for selection
  • It is now also possible to create a circle on 3 tangents which is tangential to other circles
  • When hatching non-closed contours, the missing sections are highlighted so that they can be located and filled in more easily
  • In 2D drawing, when a drawing derivation with background is created, the background bitmap is now restricted to the size of the objects
  • You can now arrange multiple derived 2D objects with a coloured bitmap on a drawing area (similar to views in the Exposé)
  • Importing Häfele catalogues has been changed from VRML to DWG format, which increases the quality of the objects
  • There is a new Wood technology tab in which important functions for joiners and cabinet makers are shown more quickly and more clearly
  • In Wood technology, boards can automatically be cut together to create a compound mitre cut
  • With CNC export for a contour from a wood technology board, the starting point for the feature can now be automatically set to the middle of the longest section
  • In the wood technology board there is now the option to store forms with values for calculations
  • In the Wood technology menu there is now the option to create and start macros to create and carry out defined processes automatically
  • In tiling technology, the display of cut tiles has been extended to bases and rounded faces
  • The export for Palette Play / Palette VR and for the virtual showroom has been revised and optimised  

Palette CAD 9.12

  • Interior walls can now automatically create a T-connection with neighbouring walls and connect to each other
  • This automatically creates an isle in the wall covering or a division into two partial coverings
  • Until now, the connection could only be restored manually in Wall Settings
  • Individual walls and interior walls can be inserted in the scene like an object as a wall with a fixed length
  • A wall covering can be quickly reset to its original state with a button on the left of the input area
  • This enables undesired “holes” in the covering, which can arise when moving dividing walls, to be fixed more easily
  • The position and properties of cameras automatically created with standard rooms or walls can now be adjusted in the dialog box
  • Objects from the CADENAS online database can be imported
  • Guide lines in 2D drawing can now be laid on their own layer to better differentiate between them and other drawing elements
  • Rectangles and hatches parallel to the axes in 2D drawings can be quickly created by inputting the diagonals
  • Tools and objects can be freely reshaped, extended and improved in the Editor
  • For reshaping objects you have the option to extrude faces and edit individual points
  • For laid tiles, the cutting is calculated and cut tiles can be shown in the scene
  • A button for cut tiles has been added to the “Lay” menu, which has been made clearer so that the tiling methods are more prominent
  • In the wood technology board, recognition of horizontal and vertical holes produced by adjacent connectors has been improved
  • In the wood technology board you have the option to transfer a pocket created by a connector to adjacent boards
  • The size of adopted connectors in the wood technology board can now be set separately
  • The thickness is now shown in the labels of edges in the wood technology board
  • The wood technology board shows the current coordinates of the mouse on the board
  • With DXF/DWG export from the wood technology board, connected lines are no longer exported as individual lines but as a polyline
  • With DXF/DWG export from the wood technology board, the part number is integrated into the name of the exported file



Palette CAD 9.11

  • In the Exposé you can set the sheet size individually for each sheet, independent of the currently active printer
  • The display of lines, text and dimensions in the Exposé has been fundamentally reworked so that these elements are now displayed as vectors rather than pixels
  • This means that, whereas the pixels were blurred, these elements will always look sharp when enlarged and when printed out
  • Line graphics now require significantly less memory when saving and printing
  • When an Exposé is exported as a PDF, lines and dimensions are transferred as vectors
  • The lines in the PDF can be edited in CAD programs, and the PDF also becomes considerably smaller
  • However, for technical reasons vector-optimized display cannot show any transparency in bitmaps when printed out
  • In Exposé print settings you can switch between the new vector-optimized display and the previous output as pixels
  • A “Calibrate size” button has been added to the “Change size” operation
  • This enables, for example, a PDF imported in sheet size to be adjusted to the actual size of a drawing by using Pick in the scene
  • With Rotate copy an offset can be entered along the axis of rotation and, for example, a coiled rotation can be created
  • In the Exposé the “Sketching” option has been reworked to give better results with round objects in particular
  • In the Exposé, the edges of overlapping objects can be rendered automatically at the point of overlap
  • Automatic backup is considerably faster, as textures and views in the Exposé are no longer saved
  • In the axonometric view, when you rotate a zoomed-in view the zoom remains the same
  • You can set the size and thereby display the background further away for a 360° Panorama used as a background image in the perspective
  • If an image type object is saved, the bitmap contained is saved directly with the object
  • This means it is no longer necessary to save a material when the image is to be transferred
  • Editing the form of floors and ceilings has been reworked and now behaves like editing the control points of a line
  • In the editor there is a new feature to deform objects and areas
  • If the connection to the software protection dongle is lost, the project can now still be saved before switching to demo mode
  • In the Drawing tab, the button for switching to the “2D project” drawing area has been moved from the Extras area to the Start so that this important feature is easier to find
  • Interior walls and installation walls adapt better to wall coverings (tiles) when they are connected to a wall
  • When laying tiles a patchwork can be created as a laying style
  • A patchwork is a way of laying tiles whereby the various tiles are automatically jumbled up without any two identical tiles being next to each other
  • The input process for creating tiling areas has been reworked
  • In the wood technology board, the inside and outside can be given a colour to make errors easier to recognize
  • In the wood technology board settings, a directory can be specified for the board database in order to select a unified database in multi-user operation
  • When importing tools in the wood technology board there is the option to clear the table before import
  • When wood technology boards are numbered, the part number is displayed in the title bar of a wood technology board

Well there you have it. We hope you made it all the way to the bottom of our Palette CAD update marathon. Something for everyone in there, of that we are sure. Enjoy!

Greetings from sunny Stuttgart
Your Palette CAD Blog Team

21 April 2017

Tip of the month! April: Tile cutting efficiency

Every 6 weeks Palette CAD releases an update, meaning tons of cool new features to try out. Sometimes you might not even have enough time to check them all out. This time for our TOTM feature we picked out a little gem that might have gone under the radar. It's perfect for tilers when it comes to tile ordering and cost calculations.

First part of the design is as usual. Make a room, add doors/windows and then lay the tiles as desired. Once the layout is complete, simply select "Cut tiles" from the Lay tab.

This will bring up a new window as seen below. It also allows for an overview of the entire project, as well as other useful information.

There is also the option to highlight the tiles that are cut, which can make it even easier with bigger or more complicated projects. To see the cut tiles just select "Mark cut tiles".

That's it, piece of cake. Give it a go and have some fun while you're at it!

Greetings from Stuttgart
Your Palette CAD Blog Team

24 March 2017

Tip of the month! March: Facebook 360° photos

There is no denying the growing role and impact of social media on marketing. This is exactly why we have added this cool feature to our existing panorama creator in Palette CAD. Now you can show off those awesome projects even easier, or use them to get a little extra exposure for your products and services on Facebook.

The groundwork is almost identical to creating the Palette Move panoramas. Start by positioning the active camera, in order to determine the viewing settings of your panorama. For best results, place the camera near the center of your plan, have the tilt angle at zero, and view height around 150-180cm. This will give the viewer a more immersive feeling, as if they are standing in the room. In perspective window you can see the starting point for your 360° image.

Once you are happy with the camara settings and positioning (don't forget about the ceiling in case it was hidden) , go to the file menu, and choose create panorama from the export features.

A new window will open with a number of options for your panorama. Decide on the quality and the visualisation style, and select save. More detailed explation of these options can be found in the Palette CAD help index (F1). The below window will pop up next. Choose a location to save, a name for your file and then make sure to change the save as type to panorama files for Facebook before clicking on save.

The image will now be rendered, which may take up to a few minutes depending on the quality options selected. The rest is very straight forward, just upload a photo in Facebook as usual, and select it from your computer when prompted.

The photo on your computer will appear as a normal image, as seen from the pic below, but once uploaded to Facebook should give you the option to look around freely.

That's all there is to it. You can find the 360° example from the plan above at our Facebook page, as well as, upload your own for our viewing pleasure. Funtastic!

Greetings from Stuttgart
Your Palette CAD Blog Team