Dad Requesting Program for Work

Started by KK20, November 17, 2012, 01:28:19 am

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My dad works at/runs a pipe-fitting company. It manufactures and ships its products to clients. But we don't care about that right now...this is the programming board after all.

Anyways, here's one example of one of the types of pipes he sells.
Spoiler: ShowHide
Note that this is only a shape. We can have pipes that fit nicely in the palm of your hand to straining your back to lift one up.

My dad wanted me to create some kind of program that allows him to input numbers at specific areas on the prints (you can see that with all the arrows pointing everywhere). Also, I need to be able to write text vertically (aka rotate it 90 degrees; you can see the rectangles on the right where I'd write it at). Essentially the program can do this:

>> What shape do you want?
>> What size?
>> What material? (upon selection, fills in the data areas with the default numbers)
>> Allows editting the numbers (and possibly drawing on the print, depends if this is easy)
>> Print
>> Ask to save the design

Visual Basic sounds like the best solution so far (mainly because of all that UI you can get). But I'm not sure if this is the right thing to do nor do I know how I'm going to implement this yet. I'm still trying to understand what he means by editting the print, but it sounds like he wants to be able to draw lines or something on it. Looking for any suggestions or ideas. Thanks.

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Visual Basic or C# with the Visual Studio forms editor seems like the fastest solution, assuming Windows only.  There are multiple ways to approach this program, but this is what I would do:

Create a Data object that stores all of the settings (size, material, etc.)
Create a Render method that renders the print according to the settings data (draws the print as background, draws values of dimensions and material properties on top)
Create a Form to use as the editor.  The form could have drop down menus for preset options, or numeric fields that can be modified.  The form binds this data to a Data object, and saves/loads the data object using any standard serialization (xml, binary, etc.).

With this setup, you can meet all the requirements, with the possible exception of editing the actual print, but you were a little vague with that.

Now as a mechanical engineer, I have a possibly different idea of what he wants, and perhaps you should ask him about this.  The drawings you posted are obviously from CAD software, and the idea here is that instead of having to model each individual part in a series, you just want to be able to tweak the dimensions quickly.  Now if you have the CAD software, this can be done really easily in no time at all.  If you don't have the software, however, this is impossible.  Thus, this leads me to believe that the intent of this program is to allow customers to specify a new custom part that they need, without having access to CAD software.  If this is the case, he should just find a browser-based CAD application, as there are many existing ones that are free or are available for a small price.  Then he could post the drawings in a standard format and any potential customer could edit the dimensions to their liking.


winkio pretty much said it all. I just wanted to add that it's important that you let your dad explain thoroughly what he needs. Though, the best solution is probably still to use existing CAD software, even (and maybe especially) if it web-based.
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Thanks for the input.  :) I briefly talked about this with him again, but the UCLA/USC game along with a party is taking him away from me. Tomorrow we'll go into greater detail.

The reason he wants this is because of the company's transition to working with Windows rather than Macs. The program used to create these prints were from the Mac, and we have no way of getting the prints on Windows. Not to mention it would make organization easier/finding the exact print faster. This program he wants is entirely for his own personal/company's use, not for customers.

He explained what he meant by drawing on the prints. If you look at the image I provided, the gray shape near "Beveling Details" can sometimes change, but I figure you can save the various shapes and call upon the one you want. Overall, if I just have the templates of each type of pipe, I can create any size and any schedule of that type (because having a file for every type of size, shape, and schedule is ridiculous when the only difference is usually the numbers).

We both never heard of CAD software, so we're not sure if that's what we want yet. I'll be sure to explain in greater detail once we go over this again.

Other Projects
RPG Maker XP Ace  Upgrade RMXP to RMVXA performance!
XPA Tilemap  Tilemap rewrite with many features, including custom resolution!

Nintendo Switch Friend Code: 8310-1917-5318
Discord: KK20 Tyler#8901

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