Friday, October 30, 2015

Automatic Wire Run Lengths

Often, when creating the initial floor plan diagrams, you wire systems and parts together without regard to wire length.  The length a wire travels is a vital component to the functionality of your systems.  Wires have resistance and the voltage available at the other end of a DC wire run is not going to be the same as what is at the power supply.

Now, with Techforce Pro, your wire lengths are automatically available to you based on the scale you set to the floor plan.  To enable this, press Menu, then Settings:

In the settings menu, you will now see an option to Show Wire Lengths

Check this box and all of your wire runs will have a label indicating the distance based on the scale you set.  Remove the check to hide the lengths.

If your wire run has been split and includes handles, the entire run excluding the handles will be calculated and the label will appear near the middle of the whole wire run.  Change the scale, move parts and systems around and view all the numbers change automatically based on your changes.  

You will still need to know your own limitations but Techforce Pro now telling you the run lengths takes one more time consuming task out of your hands.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Feature Update: Shapes and Scale on the Floor Plan

This week, the new feature added to Techforce Pro is adding background shapes and adding a scale to your floor plan.  Adding shapes is helpful when showing the direction of a camera, the coverage area of a wireless receiver, or highlighting areas of the floor plan.

You can find the "Add Shapes" option under "Menu"

Here you see options to add geometric shapes, or enable free drawing.

After you add a shape, you can change interact with it directly to move it, rotate it, and re-size it.

Use the anchors around the shape to re-size it, and the one extending handle to rotate it.

Use the menu to change the shapes color and opacity (transparency).

All shapes appear behind diagrams, parts and wires.

Another item you can add is free drawn shapes.  First, make sure the area you want to draw on is visible on the screen.  The website has to lock the floor plan in place when free drawing so the floor plan doesn't move.

Next, Click "Enable Free Draw".  You can jot down a note, or circle a large area.

If you select a color, the free drawn shape will close it's path and fill in.  If you are jotting a note, you do not want to do this.

Any shape can be removed by selecting it and clicking "Remove" in the lower right corner so you can remove temporary notes later on.

The second update is adding a scale to your floor plan.  For now it is just a visual indication, but we plan on taking this a bit further in the near future, (like calculating wire run distances).

To show the scale, click on the menu and Settings.  A new section under "Scale" is where you can type in your inches to feet conversion.

When you press "Set Scale", a scale will appear in the upper left corner of the floor plan.

Fine tune this by dragging it to an area on the floor plan that you know the real distance, such as an 8 foot hallway, and better define the scale there.

When you have it right, drag the scale to it's final destination.  for any shape, to straighten it out, click the "Straighten" button to snap the shape, or the scale, to the closest 90deg rotation point.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Feature Update: Re-sizable Icons on the Floor Plan

When you add a part or diagram to a floor plan with Techforce Pro, they may fit properly depending on the size of the floor plan.  However if your floor plan is smaller, these icons will start to get close to each other or even overlap.

Next time you modify a customers floor plan with Techforce Pro, you will have the ability to modify what you see in the icon and how large it is.  To change these settings, first click on the menu button:

As you can see, there is a new option, Settings.  Pressing this opens a new menu where you can show or hide part or system Icons.

In this example, I'll turn off the "Show Part Icons" check-box.  Notice in the image below, the part labeled "A6" no longer has an image.  When you print up the customer PDF, or view the floor plan details page, you can still reference the part using the "A6" label.

Next, I resize the icons by pressing the minus - button in the Grow/Shrink Item section of settings.  Notice in the image below that the text size and images are much smaller.  I am zoomed out of this floor plan so on the final image, these labels are readable.

This will be helpful when you have many items on a page that are close to each other, like smoke detectors in apartments, or sensors in hallways.  Everything is still able to be wired up as normal.

As usual, keep the feature requests coming.

Ben Felda
Techforce Pro