governor

Life after LDD. What do you use? (MacOsX Catalina)

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Hi everyone. I know there is another topic related to situation about MacOsX Catalina and LDD. We MacOsX Catalina users not able to use LDD anymore, and if LEGO ended support for it, we will not able to do. So I enjoy using stud.io but there are some problems about it. First its performance kind of laggy on mac book air, second I really miss right mouse button click to focus clicked part from LDD. I'm really not fan of LDraw and any other cad-like software. LDD was fun to build. I wish lego open-sourced its LDD so independent developers could develop it further. What are your opinions about what to do.

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Try making your own editor? I am not updating to MacOS Catalina until I have finished one last project in LDD. After that, I plan to spend next year teaching myself Swift, coding an editor, and using Mecabricks for Lego design in the meantime.

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well its funny because I'm actually a JS developer. But my field is not suitable doing such stuff :)

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7 minutes ago, NathanR said:

Try making your own editor? I am not updating to MacOS Catalina until I have finished one last project in LDD. After that, I plan to spend next year teaching myself Swift, coding an editor, and using Mecabricks for Lego design in the meantime.

Offtopic: I suggest you using the books from Apple (iBooks). I taught Swift in my college but now I teach embedded systems.

I think Stud.io would be the best choice I only hope they would make the controls (especially for viewports) more like LDD (or include an LDD mode ;)). 

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6 hours ago, governor said:

I wish lego open-sourced its LDD so independent developers could develop it further. What are your opinions about what to do.

I'll vote for that as long as LXF files can be easily converted to LDRAW or STUD.IO formats.

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I have no performance issues with Stud.io on MacOS Catalina. 
Have you tried lowering the render quality in Settings?

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After I accepted the fact that LDD would never be updated ever again, I had decided to move on to BrickLink’s Studio 2.0. It took me a while to get used to how it works, but I was amazed with the part selection and its sister program PartDesigner! Stud.io is highly recommended!

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On 10/31/2019 at 8:45 PM, NathanR said:

Try making your own editor? I am not updating to MacOS Catalina until I have finished one last project in LDD. After that, I plan to spend next year teaching myself Swift, coding an editor, and using Mecabricks for Lego design in the meantime.

What? It is really that bad? Not updating your >OS<? Coding an editor? Phew. Well, good luck with that one. Cool if you can accomplish that!

I always feel "weird" when Apple users in my research group tell me that Windows sucks sh*t - and that the MacOS world is simply beautiful. Sometimes it is kind of comforting though to wander through the Windows Under World:tongue:

And then: Things change fast in cyber world. 8 inch floppies: Gone. 5 1/4 inch floppies: gone. C64 gone. Fortran ... well a Dinosaur still living because so many lines of code. 1TB HDDs - a joke. LDD may just be the same: Almost - if not - gone.

I am using MLCad on Win10. You know what? They told me in this forum that it appears as if I am getting too old. And that I have to adapt.

No.

But then: I can't code. Maybe I have to. But you need to push me - very hard.

All the best
Thorsten

 

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@Toastie To be honest, Apple tech isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's not better than Windows, just different - different strengths, different weaknesses. It's also rather niche (despite the apparently insane popularity) with way more software available for Windows than for Mac. 

I absolutely cannot update my OS just yet, as I'm 3k bricks into what will probably be an 8-9k model in LDD. If I update to Catalina, I have to switch to a new editor, but there aren't too many options around.  Mecabricks is stunning, but I dislike the "always online" aspect and the fact I don't get any files to keep locally - if (God forbid!) the website ever disappears, all my models would go too. Bricksmith is a nice, straightforward editor but it becomes hell to work with the moment you start building off-grid - with hinge bricks or ball-and-socket joints, you're breaking out the spreadsheets and doing trigonometry calculations to try and figure out how to place new bricks. I think that only leaves Stud.io, which is a pretty neat editor but feels awkward for me to use. Last time I tried it, it had higher cpu usage than LDD, ran at 10% CPU even when minimised and with no .io files open or any bricks in the current scene, and ran with about 50-60 threads (most MacOS Apps I have run on 10 threads max). II have had one MacBook battery severely damaged by running the computer under very high CPU loads for 30-60 minutes, so I have ended up a bit paranoid about only using very lightweight apps that don't overtax the cpu.

Another consideration is for when making instruction manuals. I used to use LPub, but this is only 32 bits and will also disappear.  The replacement LPub3D is pretty similar and under active development, but it is not nearly so responsive as the original LPub when handling large models (2-3k pieces, about a hundred subassemblies). So an update to my OS loses me my ability to make instruction manuals.

So to keep going, I either migrate back to Windows (not really practical in view of considerations from my day job) or code an editor. The only real challenge there is figuring out the low-level 3D vertex data manipulation needed to import an LDraw brick. Constructing smooth surface normals, edge lines, removing duplicate vertices... all this stuff is usually encoded as part of the 3D object file, but it has to be auto-generated by any software parsing LDraw files and it's really not trivial. 

11 hours ago, Toastie said:

I am using MLCad on Win10. You know what? They told me in this forum that it appears as if I am getting too old. And that I have to adapt.

If it's not broken... there's no need to install an update! :laugh:

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I’ve tried migrating to LDD 4.3.11 on Parallels desktop, but heavier programs take a hit due to reduced RAM. Right now I’m considering using Boot Camp.

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Listen folks, you really have to have decent hardware to make building instructions (BI). The Lego parts files are not small and when there are a lot in your MOC, It just does take a lot of RAM, high speed HD, a very good GPU, and a very fast CPU!! It just does need it.

 I don't even use a HD, I have a SSD. What a DIFFERENCE!!! In fact I use a "gamers" PC. And, I'm wishing for a display that is way bigger than 27 inches. My current project has nearly 2700 parts. I am more than 2/3 done and it is starting to slow in LPUB3D.

You may have to save and restart many times to get through.

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1 hour ago, 1963maniac said:

Listen folks, you really have to have decent hardware to make building instructions (BI).

Not if the software is well written. No offence to the developer(s) of LPub3D, but it is a poor design to have a temp file written to the HD for each submodel.  With my Apollo 11 launchpad model (2k pieces per instruction manual), I found that even moving a part callout would trigger the rewrite of dozens of temp files to hard drive, when in reality only one command in one file would actually have changed. Even with an SSD, this locked the program for several seconds for me. All of these temp files should be maintained in RAM, and better organised into data structures so that you don't have to continually parse and re-parse the LDraw commands. This would also mean that steps at the end of the model can be processed in constant time, as opposed to the current method of scanning the entire file up to the current step.

 

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2 hours ago, 1963maniac said:

And, I'm wishing for a display that is way bigger than 27 inches.

Use a TV set :wink:

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5 hours ago, NathanR said:

This would also mean that steps at the end of the model can be processed in constant time, as opposed to the current method of scanning the entire file up to the current step.

@NathanR thank you for your supporting words! I'll be back (in the office:wink:) tomorrow and then I am going to tell my grad students that Windows isn't that bad after all and that I knew it all the time. And that I have very strong support they don't want to mess with. It will be fun. Particularly as tomorrow we will kick-off the Physical & Theoretical Chemistry Winterbock season (sorry I simply don't know how that translates into English; the breweries in Germany have rather strong seasonal beers they call Bock - for every season that is - spring, summer, autumn and winter - a year around fun. OK not true: In summer you have to revert to the always available strong beers - the Steel 211 analogs ...) that is going to be fun. There is one thing that I always have really fun with: When they write a report, paper or thesis or the like, I tell them to use MS Word. Because I know how to use it as I am using it since way more than 20 years. The DOS versions were cool ... 2013 is where I got stuck - can't adjust to the 365 thing (yet). The reason is that when the use the praised TeX stuff they have to give me a PDF for corrections. I'll annotate that file with comments - and they have to type in all the changes. When they give me a Word file, they just have to press "accept all changes" and boom, they're done. OK, joking again, as I want them to select either change or discard for every bit I typed in. Whatever, that was entirely off-topic, sorry.   

Phew - that is a big project you have going! In that case I would not change >anything<.

I do notice big leaps forward though from LPub3D release to LPub3D release. Even when the version numbers increment only a little - for me these usually represent big improvements. I am very grateful for that.

5 hours ago, NathanR said:

This would also mean that steps at the end of the model can be processed in constant time, as opposed to the current method of scanning the entire file up to the current step.

Is that so? I recently did a small-to-mid-sized instruction of about 120 pages with ample of callouts and what not. I just checked: When I load the mpd.file into LPub3D, jumping directly to lets say the 3rd page is as fast as jumping to page 100 (each page containing about 8 callout-type multi-steps). So the file scanning time may not be that bad, right? I am using a DELL 7530 laptop; intel core i/7 8th gen,16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, operating with Win10/64bit. Is that the reason? Or is it the new releases?

Writing each piece of graphic, part, step, sub-model, model ... used to the disk is time-consuming (which an SSD is rather tolerant to, as @1963maniac already noticed), but then they are all directly available for other things to illustrate in the instructions. Well partly at least.

But you know I am anywhere close to what you guys are doing here on EB!

All the best,
Thorsten

 

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This morning I posted to Bricklink Stud.io forum and sent an email to Lego Customer Service:

Quote

With the update from Mac OS Mojave to Catalina, 32-bit programs like Lego Digital Designer can no longer run on a Mac.
For LDD users on Mac, this crisis presents us with a couple options:

  1. Don't update to Catalina
  2. Switch to Stud.io

Unfortunately, I have determined that I cannot switch unless I see the following features added to Stud.io to make it more hospitable to operate:

  • Make "right-click" a mappable button so that I can use it to "set as origin"
  • Add a new mappable command to deselect a brick
  • Allow the delete command to be a unique tool in the ribbon (i.e., point-and-click to delete)
  • Allow the delete command to be mappable (e.g., to "D" instead of locked to "delete")
  • Allow the ribbon buttons to be left-, right-, or center-justified
  • Allow the ribbon buttons to open as tabs rather than as drop-down menus

 


All of the above suggestions would make designing a model in Stud.io less cumbersome. Thanks

Quote

Dear Lego Group:

With the recent update from Mac OS Mojave to Catalina, 32-bit programs like Lego Digital Designer (LDD) can no longer run on a Mac. For long-time LDD designers such as myself, this presents me with a crisis: how can I continue to build with Lego bricks? Over the past 10 years in LDD, I have made and won awards for creations that I would not have thought possible. (Please see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/redcokid/albums ). I have found that to design by hand is much slower and does not accomplish results as fast as I have come to expect with the work-flow of (1) design in LDD, (2) export file to Bricklink, (3) order parts from Bricklink, Bricks and Pieces, and Pick a Brick, (4) build the MOC, (5) display MOC at public Lego convention. Furthermore, you may note that my purchases from Bricks & Pieces and Pick-a-Brick depend on me designing in LDD.

I wholeheartedly request that for me to continue with Lego as a hobby, that--at the very least--please update LDD from 32- to 64-bit! Furthermore, I am absolutely willing to pay for LDD as a download (e.g., through an app store) or as a monthly subscription service.

Thanks for your consideration,

I think we all should become very vocal with both Bricklink and Lego until one or both companies take action to support their customers.

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@RoxYourBlox You may have some luck with the bricklink team, they are receptive to fan requests. But you're wasting your time with Lego, they haven't done a software update since 2012 and they haven't done a brick library update for over two years - LDD is basically dead as a dodo now.

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26 minutes ago, NathanR said:

@RoxYourBlox You may have some luck with the bricklink team, they are receptive to fan requests. But you're wasting your time with Lego, they haven't done a software update since 2012 and they haven't done a brick library update for over two years - LDD is basically dead as a dodo now.

As a regular user of LDD since 2011, I am aware of its update history.

The status quo for both LDD and Stud.io simply is not acceptable.  Since I'm their customer, there's no harm in continuing to give each company feedback until one or both companies implement the changes I want.  Better chance of success if you don't put all the eggs in one basket.

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"II have had one MacBook battery severely damaged by running the computer under very high CPU loads for 30-60 minutes". I have never heard of that, go to iFixit and replace your battery I would say, costs you around 100 bucks.

@RoxYourBlox: problem is we don't pay for it. Maybe we should try and resurrect Bricksmith?! At least LDraw is still being actively updated.

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