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Affinity Designer v2 Poor attempts at making it suitable for technical line drawings

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I have used Serif Draw Plus x8 long before Affinity Designer was on the market. Affinity Designer is, no doubt, brilliant for professional artists, but I have to keep going back to Draw Plus!

I am NOT an artist, but found Serif DP excellent for simple diagrams, making cards, Using it as a simple CAD programme Etc. I have bought all three programmes, Aphoto, ADesigner and APublisher in version 1 as soon as they came out. What I have ALWAYS wanted was to be able to use ADesigner to illustrate imitation "CAD" pictures with measurements in the illustration printed out. This would be useful for engineering drawings, housing plans, Hobby plans and much craft work.

As you will gather, I want something that will create line technical drawings as the attached file. As someone who regularly writes for model engineer I know of other modellers who need a similar illustration with measurements on them. This was easy to achieve with Serif Draw Plus, but the shape building tool was not there.

I got very excited when Affinity 2 came out and I looked forward to creating these drawings in Affinity Designer. It promised a measuring tool, area measurements and much more. I bought the full set of APhoto ADesign and APub, but how disappointing to try to make engineering drawings. The measuring tool shows measurements (say) between two points, but disappears as soon as the cursor moves off the measurement or a new tool is selected. The Affinity programmers are entirely Artist oriented rather than practical illustrators. 

In Affinity Designer 2 there are wonderful features for artists, but I wish, wish, wish That they would include the measurement features of Draw Plus. The improved shape builder is tremendously useful. The programmers have gone some way to including a measuring tool - But one measurement only? It does not even put the measurement on a layer! Try and print it and it isn't there. Extending the programming skills that you have shown in your measuring tool and we could have a poor man's CAD. Useful for so many things. Please can you add some practical planning tools to create diagrams. Meanwhile, Affinity 2 is not worth the upgrade money for me - so back to Draw Plus for many illustrations.

 However - on the whole, well done with Affinity 2.


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I remain quite puzzled over the number of users trying to use what is clearly intended as an illustration/artistry program as a "lightweight CAD" program, when there are actual, real, intentional CAD programs available which are inexpensive or even completely free, which are intended for the function and much more suitable for it.


Take a look at LibreCAD for example: https://librecad.org

Or possibly FreeCAD: https://www.freecadweb.org/?lang=en


FreeCAD works a bit differently from other CAD software in the way that the models are built up, which may make it easier to construct some of the shapes you seem to be working with, but it would require a bit more of an adjustment in the way that you interact with the software.

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FDE101 and FritZ_H

Thank you both of you for your input. I suppose that I have gradually used simple drawing programmes and have learned with them. Now it is time that I realised that I should move on and learn to use a proper CAD system. I shall look at the three programmes that you both have suggested. For diagrams I have found Draw Plus to be quite adequate. I shall spend some time researching LibreCad and FreeCad. I have been reluctant to "Go back to the drawing board" - literally.

Thank you both for your input. If only Affinity Designer would import Draw Plus files!!! (or vice versa), but that is dream land.

Kind Regards

David H 


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  • 1 month later...

Good morning,
I totally agree with DavidSilverSteel.
I always use Serif Draw Plus X8 because it allows you to quickly and accurately draw simple technical plans with good ergonomics and logical operation, unlike Autocad derivatives which require handling. It allows me to design ventilation equipment and have it manufactured and professionals using CAD programs can easily read my plans with the dimensions exported in dwg!!! But the use of Designer could open up more powerful and modern possibilities. The objective is not to make real CAD software, but simply to continue what the ancestor of AD did very well nearly 10 years ago. Currently, there is a black hole between vector drawing software and the CAD software that Draw Plus filled. I don't understand, when we have a good technical base, why Affinity limits its product in this way. It is the same for the import and export of dwg and dxf format. Older generations of programs like Serif Draw Plus, CorelDraw or Canvas X allowed all of this. So I'm still working with them but it's not a long term solution. Can we expect an update in this direction. It is however not complicated. Thanking you in advance if Affinity staff reads the forum.

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