NP Station

add-ons
architecture

(Okavango) #48

Hi everyone!

The addon has been accepted to Blender’s addons_contrib collection and is now a part of daily builds on Blender.org. It will also be a part of the upcoming 2.79 release candidate. Independently, you can download it on it’s Wiki page, together with the PDF documentation that goes with it. The version that got accepted is an updated 020 version with the following improvements:

Some code cleanup, with the help of meta-androcto, matali23 and mano-wii

Added panel renaming feature in addon settings - you can now choose the location of the addon panel in the toolshelf

Cleaner console output while operating - minor speed gain

Removed logging to UI toolprops panel while operating - less blender workload and a moderate speed gain

Slightly more precise roto-widget, with the help of nBurn

Corrected color of the numerics in point_distance operator - better visibility in a standard theme

Added ‘hold result’ feature to point_distance, following a suggestion by nBurn, quite nice feature

Added SNAP-TARGET toggle to float_poly, the user is now able to change the snapping target while operating, similar to point_distance

Some minor bugs fixed


(mkbreuer) #49

Congratulations! +1


(patoaltaco) #50

Great news!! Congrats okavango!!


(bekic.bojan) #51

Congrats, man, great job!


(matali) #52

Congrats, really usefull addon :slight_smile:


(Okavango) #53

Thank you guys, it’s nice to see your support. I hope i will be able to upgrade it further.


I would also like to appeal to all the people from CAD - architectural, mechanical and other technical backgrounds to be more vocal and take a larger part in the development discussions.

Right now we are very low under the radar of the development teams and constantly being overwhelmed by artistic community. Not saying artistic aspect of Blender is not important, on the contrary, it made Blender what it is today. On the other hand, CAD topics are fading into oblivion, lacking visible support. I noticed there are quite a few CAD members around these forums keeping a low profile and just taking what they need, without showing appreciation or support (to be completely honest, i was like that for some time). The resulting impression is that CAD features are not in the demand and that there are no serious benefits from implementing them in Blender.

There IS the need for CAD features and they are possible under the existing Blender tech! And will make Blender better, more versatile and appealing to professionals. Here are some topics you can support through comments and overall presence (sorry if i forgot any, feel free to remind me):

New concept of Blender templates, with the emphasis on the CAD template - don’t let this idea fade out! This is probably our main battle front, be vocal!

An ongoing discussion on possible implementation of transform navigation, started by mano-wii. This upgrade is an obvious and badly needed upgrade for precise modelling workflows and needs your immediate support.

Archipack by stephen_leger, a possible beginning of real parametric arch objects in Blender

Mechanical blender by mauge - a new fork of Blender with emphasis on technical features, with unit control, upgraded snapping, reference planes and dimensioning

CAD snap utilities by mano-wii - drawing addon with phenomenal openGL snapping made from scratch

Extrude and reshape by mano-wii - upgraded surface push-and-pull tool with snapping

Sverchok , parametric nodes for architects add-on (Rhinos Grasshopper alternative) who is taking some attention lately

GSoC 2016 - Improvements to Bezier Curves project it’s awaiting some review to be included (hopefully) into the upcoming 2.79 version of Blender

BlenderCAM project who have some interesting 5axis gcode output (in beta for now)

Direct Autocad-Intellicad to Blender exporter LISP made by 1D_inc. Can be of great use for architects.

Offset edges by Bon Baba, now a standard ‘CAD offset’ workaround for Blender

xOffsets by nBurn, a new, engeniring style approach to geometry control

Archimesh and Measure it by Antonioya

Edge Tools by zeffi and T+Align by mkbreuer

Mesh Align Plus by egtwobits and 1D_Scripts by 1D_inc

Layer manager by Alfonso Annarumma and mont29 - the best available workaround for CAD-like control of layers in Blender

The obvious grouping issues of Blender, tackled here. This thread withered out quickly with small response, emanating danger that this issues will not be addressed by developers.

A couple of issues initiated on Rclick Select site, thirsting for support. Rclick Select is the main message board for Blender suggestions.

Now is the right time, the major changes are happening as we speak, with the 2.8 evolution and will go on in the next few months. Speak up!


collectionProperty error on blenderstart custom UI list
(matali) #54

Totally agree, very good post. It’s not always easy to do everything one want in a day. I would need 48hours days :smiley: I was very quiet in the last month because of a lot of work. I’ll do my best to give more time for the community as soon as I can.


(theApe) #55

Marketing tip, if you want the Blender foundation to warm up to adding CAD-tools in Blender, don´t call them CAD-tools :wink: Sounds silly, but Ton seems to dislike everything CAD (yes, I know I´m exaggerating:) but apparently words like layers, mesh, align and snap tools sound very unthreatening to the Blender philosophy.


(Okavango) #56

Totally agree, very good post. It’s not always easy to do everything one want in a day. I would need 48hours days :smiley: I was very quiet in the last month because of a lot of work. I’ll do my best to give more time for the community as soon as I can.

There are a quarter of a million registered users on BA. There are 3 million downloads of Blender per half a year (let’s say standard upgrade cycle), let’s say one in 40 users need and use precise modelling (being pessimistic here). I am not talking about regularly present users like you matali, i was talking about these guys.

Marketing tip, if you want the Blender foundation to warm up to adding CAD-tools in Blender, don´t call them CAD-tools https://blenderartists.org/forum/images/smilies/sago/wink.gif Sounds silly, but Ton seems to dislike everything CAD (yes, I know I´m exaggeratinghttps://blenderartists.org/forum/images/smilies/sago/smile.gif but apparently words like layers, mesh, align and snap tools sound very unthreatening to the Blender philosophy.

Hahaha, didn’t know that one, thanks. I did talk to Ton once over irc though, asking for some advice. I showed him the tool gifs, he was very supportive.


(artisanicview) #57

I totally agree with you and I’m also very interested to push into the direction of having more CAD like tools into Blender.

The architects can have a lot of great use having ALL the basic artistic and technical tools in one single package. In Blender you can create a building and render a picture for visualisation. Or with the Armory3D project will be able to make an interactive walk-through the building, without the need to switch between packages. But will be beautiful to be able to do also the technical CAD part of things also in Blender.

Myself I’m envisioning a Blender that it’s allowing me to create all the necessary (technical) parts for furniture creation. Even if right now seems difficult, potentially Blender have all the building blocks required to achieve this.

As “Technical” projects for Blender, I would like to add to your list:

If we want to succeed we will need a better organisation, because to bring CAD tools in Blender will require some resources. Some users requested more features in Blender, like this one: Nurbs Modeling Addons? How? but because the lack of organisation they are going to a dead end.


(mkbreuer) #58

Hy Okavango!

Can you add a Marker or 2xCircle for Golden Ratio 1:1618… to Point Distance?
Often used for architect or other design stuff.
The image below, with a golden ratio circle tool, shows what i mean :


more explaination


(burnin) #59

Just a thought, an opinion… written down.

Ain’t ‘CAD’ an implication of a high precision software (double-float)?
Personally, am one of those who don’t like to (ab)use words like ‘CAD’, neither as a suggestion for blender modeling tools or any other DCC apps, because of confusion that it brings. ‘CAD’ became synonymous to ‘high precision’ in engineering.
With Blender you can’t easily make precise tools or semi-products - not even for watch- , jewelry- , … , detailed stuff-making. Now imagine something much bigger or smaller.
I accepted the fact and moved on…

ps
There are so many other namings, why get hung on this?


(Okavango) #60

The architects can have a lot of great use having ALL the basic artistic and technical tools in one single package. In Blender you can create a building and render a picture for visualisation. Or with the Armory3D project will be able to make an interactive walk-through the building, without the need to switch between packages. But will be beautiful to be able to do also the technical CAD part of things also in Blender.

Totally agree with you on this artisanicview, that would probably be the fastest and most efficient combination for precision users. You can imagine what architects think of having lightning fast precision sketching and Cycles-grade renderer in one place.

As “Technical” projects for Blender, I would like to add to your list:

  • BlenderCAM project who have some interesting 5axis gcode output (in beta for now).

Nice ones, added :slight_smile:

Hy Okavango!

Can you add a Marker or 2xCircle for Golden Ratio 1:1618… to Point Distance?
Often used for architect or other design stuff.
The image below, with a golden ratio circle tool, shows what i mean :

Hi mkbreuer, check the zip in the attachment if it does what you suggested.

Ain’t ‘CAD’ an implication of a high precision software (double-float)?
Personally, am one of those who don’t like to (ab)use words like ‘CAD’, neither as a suggestion for blender modeling tools or any other DCC apps, because of confusion that it brings. ‘CAD’ became synonymous to ‘high precision’ in engineering.
With Blender you can’t easily make precise tools or semi-products - not even for watch- , jewelry- , … , detailed stuff-making. Now imagine something much bigger or smaller.

You’re probably right burnin, though it seems CAD term took the place of ‘precision modelling’ in our everyday communication. Even one of the suggested Blender templates bares the term CAD. We are talking BriliantApe’s terms here, mentioned few posts up.

Attachments

np_station_2017_04_29_golden.zip (110 KB)


(mkbreuer) #61

Thank you Okavango!
This is perfect! The Golden Ratio rocks!
(Maybe in the future there will be also a default blender ruler with this function?)

The image shows the new ‘Golden Ratio’ in Point Distance:



(artisanicview) #62

Hi Okavango. I had some time to check your addon and I need to report an issue I have with it.

Seems that on my screen, the bottom toolbar it’s just to long and gets hidden behind the tool-shelf. It’s possible to make it somehow shorter? Maybe a preference or something? Please check the attached screenshot.

Some features I would like to see (if possible) in your addon:

  • Create perpendicular line to an existing edge.
  • Create lines to a certain angle.
  • Create other kinds of geometry like circles and arches.
  • Infinite lines or Construction Lines (like in Sketchup) with a button to switch the visibility on and off.



(artisanicview) #63

@Okavango: Please add to your list also the Direct Autocad-Intellicad to Blender exporter LISP made by 1D_inc. Can be of great use for architects.


(stephen_leger) #64

Hi,

Working on a snap utility for Archipack walls, i only need a small add into np_point_move to get it working.

Please take a look at “external access proposal for np_move_point”:

This could also be done on all np based snap tools so they could be “easly” extended for other addons.

@Okavango:Thank you for your support !


(Okavango) #65

Thank you Okavango!
This is perfect! The Golden Ratio rocks!
(Maybe in the future there will be also a default blender ruler with this function?)

No problem, mkbreuer, glad if it helps. It is interesting to see someone is still taking care of the good-old proportional tips, so often used in the past :wink:

As for the default ruler, i really couldn’t find the way to use it efficiently as it is, it is one of the things that forced me to make point_distance.

Seems that on my screen, the bottom toolbar it’s just to long and gets hidden behind the tool-shelf. It’s possible to make it somehow shorter? Maybe a preference or something? Please check the attached screenshot.

Hi artisanicview, thanks for bug report and the interest you have taken in CAD issues. I think the problem is that you are using transparent regions, i didn’t try that scenario because i don’t use that feature. You can check the zip in the attachment if it solves the problem.

Some features I would like to see (if possible) in your addon:

  • Create perpendicular line to an existing edge.
  • Create lines to a certain angle.
  • Create other kinds of geometry like circles and arches.
  • Infinite lines or Construction Lines (like in Sketchup) with a button to switch the visibility on and off.

All of those, and much more, are in plans. I saw your other posts on NP threads, all the things you suggested are logical next steps for this set. Unfortunately, i have very little spare time and for the time being i am limited to small fixes. I also lack python knowledge to do this quickly and i have researching to do also, which is almost impossible now. I am hoping someone will come along in the near future with good coding skills to help me extend this set to truly powerful CAD platform.

Parametric architectural elements were also in plans for NP, but now stephen_leger has emerged with Archipack, i am regrouping a little bit and looking for some kind of cooperation so we can work together and synchronise these tools. He has similar goals and is much faster and better in python than me.

@Okavango: Please add to your list also the Direct Autocad-Intellicad to Blender exporter LISP made by 1D_inc. Can be of great use for architects.

Added :wink:

Hi,

Working on a snap utility for Archipack walls, i only need a small add into np_point_move to get it working.

Please take a look at “external access proposal for np_move_point”:
https://github.com/s-leger/NP_station

This could also be done on all np based snap tools so they could be “easly” extended for other addons.

Hi stephen_leger, it seems like a great idea and i have confidence that you can add the required code. I checked the git link you sent and at first glance it seems ok. Just check if you are returning the ‘state’ and other new variables to default values when exiting the operator.

If you wish, you can alter all the files you think external addons can use, and send me the new pack. We can check it together afterwards and as long all the functionalities in the NP remain operative it is a good step forward.

@Okavango:Thank you for your support !

No problem mate, you are a fresh wind in our sales :wink:

Attachments

np_station_2017_05_01_overlap.zip (110 KB)


(artisanicview) #66

Thank you for the possible fix, I will check tomorrow and report back. Now it is late here and I need sleep. :frowning:


(artisanicview) #67

I just tested the newest version and it’s better than the previous one, but still the bottom info area is very long for my screen. It is possible to reduce even further so to occupy only the space needed to draw the messages?