The movies on this page are designed to introduce the use of gCADPlus on a Mac using CrossOver. Each movie is deliberately kept quite small so your learning is broken up into bite size chunks.
We will assume that you are working for a design and construct group called HARRYS LANDSCAPE DESIGNS. The figure below shows their logo. In an ideal world, each time Harrys Landscape designs starts a new job, they want to start with a drawing with this logo already incorporated into a display sheet. We will start this series of exercises by downloading and using a gCADPlus template drawing with an A3 layout sheet containing Harry’s title block and logo.
Bite 1. We will start by downloading a template file. Using Mac Finder, the file will be moved from the downloads folder onto the Mac desktop. Then we will open gCADPlus and use the template, in what is known as modelspace, draw a line 5500 units (mm), place a circle radius 500 units at the precise mid point of the line. We will switch to layout space and check out what the design might look like on an A3 sheet changing the view sale in a floating viewport on the layout view.
Take home lesson: If you start with the same template each time you do a new job, much time can be saved. When placing entities such as lines, circles etc. that represent actual hardscapes, do not place these by eye. The POLAR switch is most important, because it enables lines and other entities to be drawn horizontally, vertically or at an angle with precision. When placing new entities, be certain to make the software work hard for you by using entity snaps (osnaps) to latch onto existing geometry. The scale of a design on a layout sheet is controlled by the zoom factor inside a floating viewport.
Bite 2. It is most important that you learn to manage files properly in the gCADPlus environment. We will imagine that this first drawing that contains only two elements – a line and a circle – is part of a real design. We need to save it where we can find it again. Here we show how to store the drawing in a Jobs folder and inside a year folder. The usefulness of the increment and save feature is stressed.
Take home lesson: It is critically important to manage the files created during landscape projects. You need to be able to quickly located designs from previous work or open a design when a client phones with a request for more information. The increment and save tool enables the creation of an audit trail as you progress through a series of design options.
Bite 3. Surveying gCADPlus drawing entities.
We have added a line and circle entity to our developing drawing. Now it’s time to look at some of the other elements available for inclusion into your drawings. We open a drawing called Primitives and investigate arcs, polygons, plines (polylines), rectangles, ellipses, multilines, single line text, multiline text, arc text, construction lines, splines, hatch, points and various curve fitting options.
Click here to download a gCADPlus file containing examples of various entities. As previously, move the downloaded file on the Mac desktop and open in gCADPlus. If required, you can leave your first drawing open.
Bite 4. Let’s move to a real job. We have a sketch plan (mud map) of a site. The client has asked for a CAD version of a makeover plan, so the first step is to take dimensions marked on the sketch and make an accurate base plan of the site inside gCADPlus. It will be an accurate and full size model of the space that we have to work with.
Take home lesson: It is good practice to be highly organised when saving landscape plans. You need to be able to find all the files for a job completed months or even years ago. We recommend storing drawings in a jobs folder that is subdivided into folders by year. Then give all files for the same site a similar prefix.
Here is a link so you can download the sketch plan.
Print a copy and make sure it is within easy reach of your computer.