3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 29, 2006 8:39 PM by Newsgroup_User

    Mechanical system application

    BKearney1
      Is this a crazy idea using Flash?

      What I am thinking about trying is creating an application for sizing mechanical equipment. This application would use predefined graphic shapes/icons from various equipment type menus that reperesent pieces of actual mechanical equipment (compressors, pumps, fans, valves, cooling/heating coils, etc.). Then allow the user to drag-n-drop these predefined pieces of equipment into a drawing space. Each shape would have predefined connections, for example, the inlet and outlet of a pump. The user would then use a connection tool to connect the inlet and outlets of various other devices. These connections become the piping or air duct of a mechanical system. The application would be programmed to size the equipment, calculate the effects upon the media (air, water, refrigerant, etc.) by each piece of equipment, determine pipe or duct sizes, etc., based upon the diagram created and some additional user input, including various checks on proper connections and direction of flow, etc. Each piece of equipment would have a parameters page allowing the user to change any defaults for that item.

      My delima is...I want to create something that can be web based (I think), but I am not sure if I should approach this using flash (I am pretty new to flash) or some other programming environment (vbasic, etc.). I like the idea of flash due to its graphic nature and the ability to be web based. However, in vbasic I could use things like microsoft visio activex tool to provide all the drawing capabilities as well as the connection tool. Vbasic or Flash?

      What do you think, crazy idea via flash?

        • 1. Re: Mechanical system application
          Level 7
          "BKearney1" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message news:e30t3v$dge$1@forums.macromedia.com...
          > My delima is...I want to create something that can be web based (I think), but
          > I am not sure if I should approach this using flash (I am pretty new to flash)
          > or some other programming environment (vbasic, etc.). I like the idea of flash
          > due to its graphic nature and the ability to be web based. However, in vbasic I
          > could use things like microsoft visio activex tool to provide all the drawing
          > capabilities as well as the connection tool. Vbasic or Flash?

          You should try some simple Flash projects first to see if you really want to attempt it. The project you are describing will take
          advanced Actionscript coding and not insignificant graphics work. If you are able to program in a similar language to Actionscript
          (like C) then you would have a better shot at it, but if you need to learn Actionscript first it could take awhile for that.

          good luck,
          tralfaz


          • 2. Mechanical system application
            BKearney1 Level 1
            Thanks for the input tralfaz

            Well...I am certainly not an every day programmer...I am a development engineer and have worked for various companies including McQuay...developing controls and mechanical systems is what I know about...However, in my past I have had to write programs in various langauages for various purposes. To me, programing in any language is kind of the same, just the syntax may be different, but the basics are pretty much the same. The two things that I want out of the app I create are: 1) web based, and 2) visually appealing. I think Flash can do both of these were something like vbasic would end up being a kind of plain everyday interface, and I am not 100% positive vbasic could gain me the web-based functionality I would like.

            To me the hardest part would be the graphic functions needed...by this I mean the drawing window where the user would place the icons representing mechanical components and then use a connector tool to connect them. However, I am thinking of using the Microsoft Visio ActiveX control for this. If Flash can make use of the Visio ActiveX control then I think I am in like Flint as the Visio ActiveX tool should take care of my graphical needs by providing the drawing area and connector tool (I hope).

            Can Flash make use of ActiveX controls?
            • 3. Re: Mechanical system application
              Level 7

              "BKearney1" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message news:e311rg$ipm$1@forums.macromedia.com...
              > Thanks for the input tralfaz
              >
              > Well...I am certainly not an every day programmer...I am a development
              > engineer and have worked for various companies including McQuay...developing
              > controls and mechanical systems is what I know about...However, in my past I
              > have had to write programs in various langauages for various purposes. To me,
              > programing in any language is kind of the same, just the syntax may be
              > different, but the basics are pretty much the same. The two things that I want
              > out of the app I create are: 1) web based, and 2) visually appealing. I think
              > Flash can do both of these were something like vbasic would end up being a kind
              > of plain everyday interface, and I am not 100% positive vbasic could gain me
              > the web-based functionality I would like.
              >
              > To me the hardest part would be the graphic functions needed...by this I mean
              > the drawing window where the user would place the icons representing mechanical
              > components and then use a connector tool to connect them. However, I am
              > thinking of using the Microsoft Visio ActiveX control for this. If Flash can
              > make use of the Visio ActiveX control then I think I am in like Flint as the
              > Visio ActiveX tool should take care of my graphical needs.
              >
              > Can Flash make use of ActiveX controls?

              Not unless the new version 8 can do it. (I didn't check)

              FWIW, I am an industrial machine software engineer. (C language) I used to have a website called Industrial3D. I animated machine
              actions using 3D Studio Max.
              Later I used a combination of Flash, Photoshop and 3D Studio max. I have done a lot of other stuff with VB 6 too, but I can't
              imagine doing a machine animation with it. I haven't tried to use ActiveX with VB though, and I don't know what the capabilities
              are for it to interact with VB. Back when I was doing machine animations they were without any interaction with the user.. just
              animations like robot arms and combustion engine internal workings etc. But for interactive stuff I think I would use Flash now
              because of the powerful combination of graphics and programming together. Anyway, best of luck with the project.
              tralfaz