Tutorial - Getting Started

Tutorial - Getting Started

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HighDesign: Getting StartedThis tutorial will help you familiarize with the environment and basic commands of Ilexsoft HighDesign. You will be guided through setting up the general options of the workspace, preparing your project by choosing the right drawing scale, units and grid size, learning the basic commands for drawing and editing.If not already open, launch HighDesign. Although the images contained here may show some features available to the Professional edition only, all the chapters apply to the Standard edition as well.1. Setting Up Your WorkspaceMost of the settings that let you customize the workspace of HighDesign are available via the Preferences window.Open the Preferences window by choosing HighDesign > Preferences.The General panel lets you set your preferred language, the actions to perform automatically when the application launches and the options for Automatic Save and Undo.In Automatic Save, set the time interval at which the application saves a copy of your current project. With larger projects, saving can be a lengthy operation and an automatic save set to a very short period (e.g. 1-2 minutes) can slow down your workflow.The Undo section lets you set the maximum number of Undo/Redo actions to be recorded in memory. The amount of memory required by the Undo cache can vary on the type and number of items stored in each action. The “Clear Undos on save” is provided as a way of keeping that amount under control, as each time ...

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HighDesign: Getting Started
This tutorial will help you familiarize with the environment and basic commands of Ilexsoft HighDesign. You will be guided through setting up the general options of the workspace, preparing your project by choosing the right drawing scale, units and grid size, learning the basic commands for drawing and editing.
If not already open, launch HighDesign. Although the images contained here may show some features available to the Professional edition only, all the chapters apply to the Standard edition as well.
1. Setting Up Your Workspace
Most of the settings that let you customize the workspace of HighDesign are available via the Preferences window. Open the Preferences window by choosing HighDesign > Preferences. The General  panel lets you set your preferred language, the actions to perform automatically when the application launches and the options for Automatic Save and Undo. In Automatic Save , set the time interval at which the application saves a copy of your current project. With larger projects, saving can be a lengthy operation and an automatic save set to a very short period (e.g. 1-2 minutes) can slow down your workflow. The Undo section lets you set the maximum number of Undo/Redo actions to be recorded in memory. The amount of memory required by the Undo cache can vary on the type and number of items stored in each action. The “Clear Undos on save” is provided as a way of keeping that amount under control, as each time you hit the Save command, the program clears the Undo cache. With small and medium projects, you can just leave that button unchecked.
Now click the Drawing panel: for the purpose of this tutorial we will focus on Drawing and Graphics options only. By setting the Drawing Mode option you can tell HighDesign how you are used to draw on your computer: Click-Drag is the traditional Mac behavior. It means to draw an item you have to click and hold the mouse button, drag and release the button. Click-Click is the de-facto standard drawing method in CAD applications. It translates to click once, move and click again. This is the method used in this tutorial. Snap range is the maximum distance at which the mouse pointer will be captured by an item ʼ s control point or object body. Higher values allow faster drawing, lower values allow greater precision. Pen Weights controls the way items are displayed on screen: Hairline means all items will be displayed with the pen-weight 1, though retaining their own pen-weight property. Bitmap weight shows the items with a pixel-based representation, so that pen 1 is 1-pixel wide, 5 is 5-pixel wide, etc. It is a symbolic method, because it does not reflect the actual results on a printout. “Actual weights” approximates on screen the line widths of a high-resolution printer.
The last step of general customization consists of setting the options provided by the Workspace panel. You can choose a background color or a tile image, whether to associate sound effects to events, the transparency of palettes, etc.
2. Preparing Your Project
Setting Units, Grid and Drawing Scale A drawing in HighDesign is always a representation of a real model. As such, it must have a drawing scale to allow a proportional measurement of the model. Another benefit is that all measures are entered in their actual size: e.g. to draw a line 10 feet long, you would enter a length of “10 ʼ ”. The line is then created at the current scale and displayed with the current zoom factor. Before you begin a project, you should choose the measurement units and the drawing scale you will use. You can also change them at any time without affecting the drawing. Drawing Units In the Preferences window, click the Units button. In this tutorial we will use Decimal Feet for linear units and Decimal Degrees for angle measurements. The Precision popup menus let you choose the degree of accuracy you want when entering and storing values, from round integers up to eight decimals. Grid Now click the Grid button and set both horizontal and vertical sizes to 2 feet (~61 cm). You can also choose an appropriate color and line-style and the option to display the grid lines behind or in front of the drawing. Grid lines are not printed. Also, note that the Snap to Grid option does not activate automatically when you choose to display the grid. You can now close the Preferences window and set drawing scale, paper size and layers.
Drawing Scale To set the drawing scale: 1. Click the button on the lower left hand side of the main window (or choose the menu item Drawing > Change Drawing Scale). The Drawing Scale dialog opens.
2. Since we are using decimal feet, the popup menu lists the most common scale factors as fractional values. The popup menu is provided as a shortcut to some commonly used factors, but you can enter any value different from 0. 3. Choose 1/8 ʼʼ , which equals to 1:96.
In HighDesign Professional, each sheet has its own scale factor, so to make it easier to manage the different drawings that make up a project.
We can now set the paper size . The main window shows a portion of larger area you can use as a canvas for your drawing, and there are no bounds apart the size of the canvas. It is possible, though, to set a page size so to arrange the drawings on a layout ready for print output.
To set a page size for the current sheet: 1. Choose File > Sheet Size. The Sheet Size dialog opens. 2. Click the Show Page Extents button. 3. In the System popup menu, choose US ARCH. Other options are ISO (A5 through A0), ASME and custom size. 4. The preview box shows the sizes available in the
chose system. Click B. The Show Margins option displays the current printer margins inside the page. The Invert button changes the page orientation from landscape to portrait. 5. Click OK. The dialog closes and the frame of the selected page appear on the main window.
As for the drawing scale, each sheet in HighDesign Professional can have its own page size.
Layers Now that you have customized the workspace, selected units and drawing scale, set a grid and paper size, the only operation left before you can start drawing is managing the layers of the drawing. First, a short description of what a layer is: a layer is a concept used in CAD programs to conveniently group elements in a logical way. As its name implies, this concept derives from the use of overlaid semitransparent papers in manual drafting. As in manual drafting, layers are used in HighDesign to organize a complex drawing into different component parts, but, differently from real layers, each CAD layer has its own properties. HighDesign comes with a set of pre-defined layers ready to use. Although it would not be required for this tutorial, we will now create a new layer and set its attributes.
To create a new layer: 1. In the main window, open the Layers pop-up menu and choose New Layer. The Layers pop-up menu is the first button from the left on the lower horizontal toolbar called the Properties bar. There are other commands to create a new layer, but we will leave them out for now. As you choose the New Layer item, a dialog pops up. 2. Enter a name for this new layer. We have chosen “Getting Started” to make it clear it is the layer used by the items of this tutorial, but you can enter any name you like. You do not have even to worry about duplicate names, since layers are stored and handled by an internal reference and not by their name. 3. You can leave the color property untouched if you do not mind the default color. Otherwise, you can change it to any of the millions of colors provided by the operating system. This property controls the displayed color of the items belonging to this layer when you activate the “By Layer” option.
4. Visibility and Lock are pretty much self explanatory. If a layer is locked, you can still draw on it, but its items are not selectable. 5. With the Scope property you decide whether the layer should be stored inside this document only or if it should also be loaded when the application creates a new blank document. Leave it on “Document layer” and click OK.
To rename, modify or delete layers, you would have to open the Drawing Manager window, available through the menu item Organize > Drawing Manager.
You can now save the current document : choose File > Save As, enter the name “Getting Started”, choose the destination folder and push Save. The title of the main window changes from “untitled” to “Getting Started .
3. Drawing lines and constraining lengths
As an exercise to help you familiarize with the drawing and editing tools of HighDesign, we are going to draw a simple plan of a roof. Nothing fancy, but it will show you how to draw orthogonal lines, set a length, constrain an angle and a direction, and use some editing tools to modify the objects. First, make sure the zoom factor is set to 100%.
To change the zoom factor: • Click once the zoom button on the lower left hand corner of the main window to set the zoom to 100%. Since the drawing has a defined scale and units, there is also a “100%” zoom factor at which the drawing is displayed at its actual (scaled) size. • By clicking the double arrows at the right edge of the button you open a pop-up menu with pre-defined zoom factors.
• The zoom factor can be changed in a number of other ways, including the keys 1-9 or “+“ and “-” of the keyboard, the scroll wheel of a multi-button mouse, the commands to Zoom In and Out (Drawing > View) and the Zoom tool.
Now, let ʼ s draw the outline of the roof. The figure below shows the outline we are going to draw. It is a “L” shaped roof, constructed of simple lines on the layer “Getting Started” we created before.
Draw the first line: 1. Select the line tool and choose the layer “Getting Started” from the layers pop-up menu in the Properties bar. 2. Now we are drawing the left edge of the roof, a line 50 ʼ long (15.24m). Place the pointer on the upper side of the drawing area, not too close to the horizontal ruler, click and move.
3. To set the length of the line to 50 feet, click the Constrain Length button on the Methods bar, enter “50” and push RETURN. The line is now constrained to the new length, and acts like the radius of a circle. 4. To constrain the vertical direction, move the pointer so that the line has a vertical orientation and hold down the SHIFT key. The line adjusts itself automatically to an angle of 90 degrees. Click to close the operation.
You can also constrain the current length by using the keyboard shortcut for “Constrain Length”, which is the L key by default, or by entering the value directly during the construction.
    We can now draw the other lines of the outline. 1. Place the pointer on the lower endpoint of the line you have just traced. The cursor changes to show the snap has recognized an endpoint and that the click will get the coordinates of that point. Click to set the first endpoint of the horizontal line. 2. To set the length of this line, push the “L” key on the keyboard. This key is the shortcut for the Constrain Length command. Enter “40” (12.19m), move the pointer to the right, hold down the SHIFT key to constrain the direction to horizontal and click to close the line. 3. The next two lines can be traced in the same way as that of point 2. Place the cursor on the last endpoint of the previous line, click, push “L” and enter “25” (7.6m) for the vertical and “8” (2.44m) for the short horizontal. 4. The last two lines, that is those closing the shape on its upper right angle, do not require any length constrain, since we already have all the references we need. Click on the last endpoint of the short horizontal line, move the pointer up in a vertical direction and push the SHIFT key. 5. While holding the SHIFT key down, move the pointer to the left. You will notice a construction line originates from the free endpoint of the line you are tracing. This construction line can be used as an alignment guide to set the endpoint. Place the pointer over the first endpoint of the first line we created, the 50 ʼ long vertical line. The current line is still being traced, but it is constrained in its direction (vertical with the SHIFT key) and now its length too. Click to close this line. 6. The last line can simply be traced from endpoint to endpoint, with no particular command to set its length or angle since the Snap to Object takes care of its accuracy.
The first stage of the drawing is complete. You can choose File > Save (or Cmnd-S) to store the progress so far.
4. Constraining angles and modifying objects.
Now that the outline of the roof is ready, we can add the other lines that will identify the shape for what it actually is, the plan of a roof.  Draw the ridges, hips and valleys of the roof: 1. Move the pointer to the upper horizontal line of the outline. As you place the pointer over the line, you notice a red dot appears on it, showing the location of the midpoint of the line. On other types of objects it may show different points, such as the center of a circle or the control point of a curve. Click on the midpoint of that line. 2. Holding down the SHIFT key, draw a vertical line down to the opposite horizontal line. Click when the cursor changes to a gray pen. This line is the ridge of the main sloping planes of the roof.
Next, we need to draw the hips of the main roof. In our plan, they are oblique lines with an angle of 48 degrees, so we are going to use the Angle Constrain command. To Draw a Line With a Given Angle: 1. With the line tool, click on the lower left corner of the roof. 2. Click the Constrain Angle button on the Methods bar (close to the Constrain Length button) or push the “A” key on the keyboard. Enter “48 and push ENTER. 3. The line is now constrained to the new angle. Move the pointer to the vertical line of the ridge and click when the cursor turns gray. 4. Note that if you click on the destination line when the pointer is close to the free endpoint of the oblique line, this is automatically extended to intersect the vertical line. Otherwise, if the cursor is distant from the endpoint the oblique line does not extend to the intersection point. To force-extend the line, hold down the COMMAND key when clicking.
The next step is to create the other three oblique lines representing the hips of the main roof. To draw them, we will use the “Mirror a Copy” tool.
To Mirror a Copy of an Object: 1. Select the oblique line. To select an object you can click it with the Arrow tool or, with any other tool, SHIFT-click it. If you have a two-button mouse, you can also right-click the object. 2. Click the Mirror A Copy button on the Edit Tools bar. To use this tool, you have to specify an axis around which to mirror and create the new objects. 3. Move the pointer to the vertical line of the ridge and click on its midpoint. 4. Move the pointer to the left, hold down the SHIFT key to trace a horizontal axis and click. As you move the pointer, a “ghost” copy of the object shows you the location of the object. 5. Now, without deselecting the first line, select this new line with a SHIFT-click, activate again the Mirror a Copy tool, click on the midpoint of the ridge, move the pointer upward with the SHIFT key pressed to trace a vertical axis and click. 6. Click on a void point of the drawing to deselect.
The vertical ridge line has to be trimmed to intersect the oblique lines we have just created. To do so, we will use the Trim tool.
To Trim Objects: 1. Select the top left hip line, that is, the upper oblique line on the left. 2. Click the Trim tool icon on the Edit Tools bar. 3. The four oblique lines divide the vertical ridge line in three parts. Click on the upper segment of the ridge line. 4. Click on a void point or push ESC to exit the Trim tool. 5. Select the other oblique line and re-activate the Trim tool to repeat the procedure and trim the lower segment of the ridge line.
The second stage of the drawing is complete. Choose File > Save (or Cmnd-S) to store the progresses so far.