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How to add/update latest parts in LDCad? - Printable Version

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How to add/update latest parts in LDCad? - Yasen Nikolov - 2017-10-10

Hi guys, i'm relatively new to designing Lego models, and I'm missing some essential information on some important and maybe simple to do things like this, so I decided to ask for help. 

I'm using LDCad and it is amazing, but for the first time I encountered a part that is not in the library, because it is from 2017 sets. I updated LDCad with the latest version, but I don't think this is what needs to be done as part is still not there. I downloaded latest parts from the site as well, but am not sure how to or if I am at all able to install them into LDcad.

Could you please provide me with some guidelines how to add missing parts into LDCad 1.6a?

Thank you in advance!


RE: How to add/update latest parts in LDCad? - Roland Melkert - 2017-10-11

(2017-10-10, 18:34)Yasen Nikolov Wrote: Could you please provide me with some guidelines how to add missing parts into LDCad 1.6a?

The LDraw library is very large but doesn't contain every part ever made by LEGO. There are new parts modelled all the time but they are kept separate from the main library until they pass a number of quality checks.

You can check if the parts you need are in this 'unofficial' library by searching for them here:
http://www.ldraw.org/library/tracker/

If they exist you can install the unofficial library for use with LDCad, but be aware these unofficial part might change in the future, if so you would need to correct models using them unless you embed them in the mpd.

You can download the current (changes daily) unofficial library here:
http://www.ldraw.org/article/14.html

Hand follow these instructions to install them in LDCad:
http://www.melkert.net/LDCad/faq#faq_unoflib


RE: How to add/update latest parts in LDCad? - Yasen Nikolov - 2017-10-11

Hi Roland,


It is a pleasure speaking to you, i'm a big fan of your program and I want to shout out a big thank you for making it available for the community, in my opinion the best editor out there!

I followed your helpful guide and achieved partial success. I downloaded parts and dependencies according to the parts library link, and at the end I was able to locate the parts in the navigator, but not as actual one part, but two sub-parts, as in the screenshot attached. Also the only thing i made it possible to find was adding them to the official path, as using unofficial library path didn't display them to me. Anyway, now the only problem is that I'm not sure if this is how it is intended for this part to be made available for us - as several parts, which we need to assemble together. I can work with this of course, the only problem is that I'm unable to mirror the left part and make a symmetrical right part to make the part complete. Is this actually possible?

And a quick additional unrelated question. It seems I'm unable to turn on Part Snapping anymore. I've adjusted it to PS, but it doesn't work. Is there something I'm missing?

Thank you so much in advance!


RE: How to add/update latest parts in LDCad? - Roland Melkert - 2017-10-11

Thanks for all the praise Smile

Those are subparts usually found in a parts/s, these should not show up in the bin unless the library paths are configured wrong.

Your ldraw search paths should look smothering like this:
[attachment=2920]

Note: I'm using the libraries without having unzipped them, if you did unzip them be sure the location field points at the library root (folder containing p and parts subfolders)


(2017-10-11, 18:51)Yasen Nikolov Wrote: And a quick additional unrelated question. It seems I'm unable to turn on Part Snapping anymore. I've adjusted it to PS, but it doesn't work. Is there something I'm missing?
Most unofficial parts have no (or incomplete) snapping information as I usually wait adding that once they are final. Some might snap due to the snap information inherited by parts who are official.

It could also be related to wrongly configured search paths, so this might fix it self once you set the library locations (and shadows) right.


RE: How to add/update latest parts in LDCad? - Yasen Nikolov - 2017-10-11

Thank you Roland,

You are right, something related with me messing paths and official/ unofficial libraries disabled my part snap, which was way more important than the part. I reinstalled anything to star on a clean slate. Maybe something is not quite right with this part yet, and this is why it doesn't appear properly when i search for it, but for now I'll just use a workaround submodel which replicates its functionality.

Thank you so much for the detailed help!


RE: How to add/update latest parts in LDCad? - Yasen Nikolov - 2017-10-12

Hi all,

After some digging around I found out how to make this work. Perhaps it is not new to people with experience, but I'm sharing my solution just so it helps to other newbies like me if they want to add new parts to their library.

The instructions above by Roland are very helpful, the most important thing is setting the paths of the Unofficial parts to the correct place.
 - Official library is set to d:\programs\LDraw\Parts\
 - Unofficial library is set to d:\programs\LDraw\Parts\Unofficial\

Very important is that in the first folder (d:\programs\LDraw\Parts\) I have these two subfolders, that actually contain all the parts: "parts" and "p":
d:\programs\LDraw\Parts\parts
d:\programs\LDraw\Parts\p

By default the Unofficial folder has its own sub-folder "parts"
d:\programs\LDraw\Parts\Unofficial\Parts

Now why I was only getting the subparts and not the whole part. I opened the .dat file ("d:\programs\LDraw\Parts\Unofficial\Parts\23801.dat") and saw that it was referring to other .dat files, but they were not present in the Unofficial path, so I copied the "p" folder from Official library path into the Unofficial path, so we now have these auxiliary parts in the unofficial library:
d:\programs\LDraw\Parts\Unofficial\Parts\p

Then I saw that one part was referring to a subfolder "s" - "s\23801s01.dat", which again was not present in the unofficial path. So i copied the subfolder "s" from the Official path and placed it into it's corresponding place in the unofficial path:
D:\Programs\LDraw\Parts\parts\s    ->    D:\Programs\LDraw\Parts\Unofficial\Parts\s

And made sure that the file that was copied to this "s" folder - D:\Programs\LDraw\Parts\Unofficial\Parts\s\23801s01.dat

Of course this was all written in the parts tracker page, but I didn't figure out the fact that these folders need to be created in the Unofficial path as well, and thought they need to be in the Official folder "s" and "p", which by the way messed some things with the snapping. Bottom-line is don't put anything in the official library folders, everything related with unofficial parts should be in the Unofficial folder, including the folders "p" and "s".

The part is now complete and can be used in my model. 
And of course thanks again for Roland for the support and for Philo for the part! Cheers!


RE: How to add/update latest parts in LDCad? - Roland Melkert - 2017-10-12

(2017-10-12, 9:41)Yasen Nikolov Wrote: ....

By default the Unofficial folder has its own sub-folder "parts"
d:\programs\LDraw\Parts\Unofficial\Parts

Now why I was only getting the subparts and not the whole part. I opened the .dat file ("d:\programs\LDraw\Parts\Unofficial\Parts\23801.dat") and saw that it was referring to other .dat files, but they were not present in the Unofficial path, so I copied the "p" folder from Official library path into the Unofficial path, so we now have these auxiliary parts in the unofficial library:
d:\programs\LDraw\Parts\Unofficial\Parts\p

Then I saw that one part was referring to a subfolder "s" - "s\23801s01.dat", which again was not present in the unofficial path. So i copied the subfolder "s" from the Official path and placed it into it's corresponding place in the unofficial path:
D:\Programs\LDraw\Parts\parts\s    ->    D:\Programs\LDraw\Parts\Unofficial\Parts\s

....

I think you are hitting a bug / limitation of the LDCad search paths internals.

Because it shouldn't be necessary to copy p and s from the official library, as files are searched for in all libraries (from bottom to top), meaning that the official s\23801s01.dat will be loaded from the official location even when referred to from a unoffical location if the official library is above the unofficial one in the dialog.

The reason this isn't working in your scenario is probably because you are using the unofficial library as a sub location of the official one, which is something I never really mend to happen Smile

So using, e.g.
d:\programs\LDraw\Offical\ (containing parts and p from complete.zip)
d:\programs\LDraw\Unofficial\ (containing parts and p from ldrawunf.zip)

Should work without the need to copy stuff around.


RE: How to add/update latest parts in LDCad? - Merlijn Wissink - 2017-10-12

(2017-10-12, 17:18)Roland Melkert Wrote: [...]

The reason this isn't working in your scenario is probably because you are using the unofficial library as a sub location of the official one, which is something I never really mend to happen Smile

[...]

But... I'm using the following setup for years now (in LDCad):

LDraw (root folder)
-> Parts
-> -> p
-> -> parts
-> -> unofficial
-> -> -> p
-> -> -> parts


RE: How to add/update latest parts in LDCad? - Roland Melkert - 2017-10-12

(2017-10-12, 20:23)Merlijn Wissink Wrote: But... I'm using the following setup for years now (in LDCad):

LDraw (root folder)
-> Parts
-> -> p
-> -> parts
-> -> unofficial
-> -> -> p
-> -> -> parts

Well it is untested, so I'm not 100% sure Smile

Main thing is the internals will recursively cache library locations which might cause problems.


RE: How to add/update latest parts in LDCad? - Yasen Nikolov - 2017-10-17

Hi Roland,

It is great if I contributed somehow for some bug hunting, all is working fine now and the reason was indeed just putting unofficial parts in official library. I guess the thing that really misled me here with installing the part is the lack of "p" and "s" folders in the Unofficial library path, which for me as a beginner suggested that i need to put the support sub-parts in the official library. 

Thanks again for the help here!