Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Fuzz Factor

Let's just pretend it is still Tuesday.

So I have this side gig.  A drafting job I probably shouldn't have taken, but for someone I had tried to get to hire me previously - so it's not like I could really say no.  As it turns out, it gave me a chance to learn something new about AutoCAD.

Every now and then in class I will tell people that if they think there's something the program should do or a command they think it should have they should just try it because even if the thing isn't in the menus often there will be a procedure.  In the middle of what was shaping up to be a very long, tedious, iterative process I decided that they must have made the program able to deal with the problem I was having even though from my training I would have said it couldn't.  So instead of going through a tracing job piece by piece for the second time I just cut to the end and windowed everything and kinda just said "do it, ok?"

Instead of coming up with an error or doing something totally different than what I was hoping for it prompted me for a "fuzz factor."

The problem I was having was that several things I needed to join together into a single entity weren't quite touching.  In the world I grew up with that meant going through the thing and reconnecting all the vertices.  On this job we're talking hundreds of interfaces.  But someone must have had this problem before and complained loudly enough that they fixed it because now I can set a threshold - say 0.125" and the machine treats everything that comes within an eighth of an inch as touching.

Go ahead three spaces.

After that there were just two more steps to the finish.  Probably saved me an hour, maybe two, and they were middle of the night hours.

For a few years now I've been saying it might be time for me to retrain on CAD as if I didn't know anything.  This project didn't do anything to dissuade me.  One more thing for the "to do" list.

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