About a month before the Bricsys International Conference, Pieter Clarysse of Bricsys used TeamViewer to show me all the facets of the redesigned QuadCursor. Along with him was Eric De Keyser, ceo of Bricsys.
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Ralph Grabowski: Describe to me the layout of the new QuadCursor. It looks very different from the one in BricsCAD V13. (See figure above for the old one.)
Pieter Clarysse: When the crosshair cursor moves over an entity, the QuadCursor automatically appears. In V14, the QuadCursor appears automatically in both 2D and 3D by default; before, it appeared in 2D only when the QuadDisplay variable was turned on.
The redesigned QuadCursor is the square (lower right),
next to the traditional crosshair cursor (upper left)
Clarysse: The icon you see is the most-recently used (MRU) command. Whichever command you used last appears here. (In this case, Move.)
To see more commands, move the crosshair cursor over the MRU button. The QuadCursor expands to display a row of MRU commands, in the order they were used.
Clarysse: And then move the white arrow down to see more buttons; the QuadCursor expands automatically.
Clarysse: Click the X to close a group.
Grabowski: I've spend five minutes so far with the new QuadCursor, and what excited me was how easily I could dimension entities.
One-click dimensioning of circles; QuadCursor groups (blue bars) open and close automatically as the arrow cursor passes over them
Grabowski: How does it work, how does it know what entities are there?
Clarysse: The cursor makes use of C++ reactors to determine which entities are nearby, if any. The icons that appear are appropriate to the entity.
For example, if the cursor is near an intersection, it will display the Chamfer and Fillet commands. When the cursor is over a gap between two entities, it will have the Trim and Extend commands; the size of the gap (aperture) it recognizes can be adjusted in the Settings dialog box.
It also edits hatches and performs pline editing.
Grabowski: This sounds very powerful! How did the redesign come about?
Eric De Keyser: Following the Bricsys developer conference last year, Pieter, Shivdeep Garud, and Hans De Backer came to me with their ideas for making the QuadCursor better, and so all this development occurred in just a few months.
We originally needed an interface for 3D, which is when we made the original QuadCursor. When we wanted to add it to 2D, the team said we can make it analyse what is under and near the cursor.
Grabowski: Can the QuadCursor be customized?
De Keyser: It is very customizable through the Customize dialog box. When you right-click the QuadCursor, you access the custom settings:
- Quad Group Order opens the Customize dialog box at the new Workspace tab (see figure below):
- Custom Quad Groups opens the Customize dialog box at the new Quad tab (see figure below):
De Keyser: We use the Workspace section to define the QuadCursor; there are no workspaces in BricsCAD. But by using workspaces we can have separate QuadCursors for 2D drafting, 3D modeling, sheet metal design, and so on. Developers can add groups (each blue bar) to the QuadCursor by loading a partial CUI file.
Some groups are non-configurable, such as 2D Editing, Dimensions, and 2D Constraints.