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  • Question about old Cad Software?

    I have a question about an old cad program that we use at work. It's called Expedite 3-D and the copyright info says 1988-90. I'm no computer guru but the guys at work say it is a DOS operated program. Anyway, I plan on getting up to date with Autocad soon, but for now I'm very proficient with Expedite so I use it regularly to calculate points and features that may not be on the print I'm working on.

    On to the question. I need some help printing from the program. We used to use the print screen function after making a drawing and then go over to microsoft paint and paste it and print from there, but a long while back one of the windows updates stopped that from working, or that's what we think anyway. By the way, we are using XP Pro. Do you know of any way to print using some other method? It would sure be nice to be able to print the part we have just drawn and take it back to the machine.

    The company has pretty much given up on it and we don't have the "dongle" for it anymore, not sure if that is the correct terminology. We still have one computer with the dongle that will print, but we don't have access to that computer all of the time. During the day shifts through the week we usually just go to inspection and they would calculate some of this stuff on their newer cad systems but on the weekends or nights they are off, so Expedite sure saves our butt when we are working on a "By Morning Job" and the print is less than desired. Any help you could give me would be very much appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited by japcas; 05-16-2007, 04:47 PM.
    Jonathan P.

  • #2
    Does the program have an option to save in a standard file format like .dxf or .dwg? If so there are quite a few freebie downloadable CAD programs that will load your files and print them from within Windows.

    No matter what Win update you've installed, I'm pretty sure the standard shift/Print Screen command should copy the screen into the buffer and then should paste into Paint or WordPad or any image editing program.
    Milton

    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

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    • #3
      When I try to use the save option on the program it tells me the security plug isn't installed. When I use the print screen button and go to Microsoft Paint the Paste button isn't an option. It acts like nothing is in the buffer.

      Any more suggestions?
      Jonathan P.

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      • #4
        I dont know why print screen wouldn't work, try ctrl-alt-print screen and see if that helps. I guess a digital camera would be another option.

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        • #5
          I just went over and tried that also Mochinist. Didn't work. I don't understand why print screen won't work either. Any one else have any suggestions. I'm willing to try anything.
          Jonathan P.

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          • #6
            Hi, This is some free software I've used to print screen.

            http://www.printdesktop.com/

            Hope this helps

            cheers

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            • #7
              Tgarey, I tried your program and it works on windows operations but wouldn't work for this dos program. I even used the suggestions they had for dos programs and it didn't help. Looks like I'm not going to find a solution after all. Thanks for your help. I am still willing to try some other things though if anybody else has some more.
              Jonathan P.

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              • #8
                This program says it can do what you want, if I read it right.

                http://www.techsmith.com/snagit.asp

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                • #9
                  W-e-l-l, looks like it's time to bite the bullet and learn some new software. Sounds like Mr. Dongle's pretty clever at preventing you from doing anything useful with the program without him.

                  Here's a link to TurboCAD LE (Learning Edition) a freeby 2D CAD program. It's a fairly simple, full-featured program that's free with no funny stuff...doesn't expire or have limited functions. Just an older version. It'll load & save .dxf's and .dwg's as well as their proprietery .tcw format. I used it for a long time until I bought their v9.0 Deluxe for like $19.95 or so. More power than I'll ever need.

                  http://www.al-ki.com/tcad/download.php

                  Just a suggestion.
                  Milton

                  "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

                  "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Is there any way you can 'print to file' from the DOS software?
                    This usually saves as a .PLT file which you should then be able to print (plot) from windows.
                    Just got my head together
                    now my body's falling apart

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                    • #11
                      Create a shortcut on the desktop if you don't already have one to start the program. Then right click on the shortcut and select properties.

                      This will open the properties sheet for the shortcut. First, click the compatibility tab and set the program compatibility mode to Windows 2000.



                      Then select the Misc tab and make sure the Alt-PrtScr checkbox is checked to reserve the use of that key combination for Windows.



                      Then run the program from the shortcut icon and try using Alt-PrtScr to capture the screen.
                      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by japcas
                        I have a question about an old cad program that we use at work. It's called Expedite 3-D and the copyright info says 1988-90.... it is a DOS operated program.

                        .............I need some help printing from the program..........

                        ........ one of the windows updates stopped that from working, or that's what we think anyway. By the way, we are using XP Pro.........

                        ......... and we don't have the "dongle" for it anymore, not sure if that is the correct terminology. We still have one computer with the dongle that will print, but we don't have access to that computer all of the time.

                        ...................
                        Hi japcas and all.

                        Let's try getting back to basics.

                        I guess from the opening remarks that it is basically a DOS-based program running under windows with windows as a "shell".

                        Have you tried installing it on a HDD formatted for DOS with DOS installed?

                        The last MS DOS was 6.22 I think. It might run under other DOS's as well such as IBM DOS and the "Freebie" = FreeDOS which emulate DOS. There are others - try "Google".

                        The main problems with DOS are that is a "command line" program (usually - but not always) and "memory management" - that is you have to set up the "DOS environment".

                        Output is usually as a "Print to file" - where you use your printer, or it can be a *.DXF file where you can import it into a variety of other programs for viewing (and or perhaps for working on and) printing, or perhaps a (*.PLT file which can be used on plotter/printer) or perhaps as a HPGL1 or 2 file where it can be used to print from a plotter - perhaps only a "pen" plotter. The real test is to see whether it can export as a version of the universal *.dwg (AutoCAD) format.

                        If you can export or "print to" a Plotter file and have your printer emulate that plotter format you may well get a result.

                        Is there any real reason why it can't be sketched by hand and photocopied and/or faxed or perhaps scanned as a *.jpg file or as a *.pdf file?

                        Does it have to be done by CAD at all? And if so why? Must you get your dimensions from the CAD system or are you typing them in?

                        I see RHINO CAD used a lot on these forums - is it a "freebie", will it do the job, is it easy (enough) to learn?

                        I think you are on the right track thinking it might be a compatability problem with newer versions of Windows - and I don't just mean, say, 98SE > W2K > XP as I'd regard upgrading of the version by Service Pack (ie SP1, SP2 etc.) and perhaps even by MS "updates" on "update Tuesdays" as "upgrades" as well.

                        You are correct with the term "Dongle" which is the "trade" name for "hardware lock" which was usually inserted into the parallel (ie printer) port and so tied the CAD program to that particular computer. AutoCAD and a lot of others used them - but they were "breakable" or "crackable". In telling you that I am in no way advising that you use these methods.

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                        • #13
                          Well, I've been trying your advice Evan and when I go over to paint there is still nothing on the clipboard. I guess I do need to learn something a little more modern. Thanks for the advice too old tiffie, but I'm not computer literate enough to understand how to do what you are suggesting.

                          Just a little background about me, I had Autocad in high school and was very good at it at the time, but that was over 14 years ago and now it seems I can't even draw a straight line with the newer stuff. I've got Turbocad Designer 2D/3D and a bunch of others that were suggested here that were free downloads but haven't been very successful using them. I learn very well in a classroom environment and would like to go back to school to get reeducated on the new stuff. My problem is I get frustrated trying to get aquainted with new software when I don't have any help. My local adult education offers Autocad and I believe I will try that and see what I can learn.

                          I do manual and cnc machine work. Sometimes the print we are working from is missing critical information that is sometimes impossible to figure out with everyday math, and I'm very proficient at trig and algebra. An example of a problem commonly seen would be a starting point and center of a radius that isn't tangent to a line. Depending on what machine we are programming we may not have enough info to program the part and get it to run. On the weekend or on nights this is a real bummer especially when the part is due in the morning. Normally, I draw the part, use the program to get the needed points and then write them on the print. I'd like to be able to output my print with the dimensions added that I want and take it with me. Thanks for all of your help.
                          Jonathan P.

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                          • #14
                            One more thing to try. Make sure the program is running in a window instead of running full screen. That's in the shortcut properties under the 'Screen' tab.

                            Oh yeah, make sure you try to paste using Ctrl-v. The key combinations will work sometimes even when it appears the function isn't available.
                            Last edited by Evan; 05-17-2007, 09:34 AM.
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                            • #15
                              co-ordinate search

                              Hi japcas and all - again.

                              This might seem stupid, but if you can use your CAD system to get your co-ordinates of points and perhaps use "construction lines" in the process and given that CNC as I understand or have read about it, is also all about co-ordinates, why not "draw" the part and/or entities on your CNC machine and perhaps even use your "cutter" as a stylus or scriber? And then use your DRO read-out to identify the co-ordinates of the points and "pick them off" and write them on a sketch (hand-drawn).

                              You seem to be quite comfortable with CNC and sketching. Why not combine them for an end result and get the CAD system out of the process/equation?

                              That way you might be able to get on with the job and get it done and use the CAD system later to validate your results and get them recorded in the CAD system.

                              Keep me posted.

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