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Modeling tools getting any attention?

Brian_McVeighBrian_McVeigh Member Posts: 73 PRO
edited February 28 in General
The constant updates to Onshape are great, and I can see that it's progressing, but it feels like the core modeling feature set hasn't seen any improvements in almost a year.  The focus on drawings/admin/pdm is great, and I know that's where Onshape is really unique vs. the competition, but the fact that some pretty basic tools are still missing is growing pretty tiresome  - I increasingly feel that I'm spending too much time working around limitations in the modeler instead of designing.  The headaches of dealing with PDM have been replaced for me with frustration at modeling tools that just aren't capable enough.  Maybe I'm being unfair, having been spoilt with NX previously, but I'm getting worried I'm starting to regret our companies decision to go with Onshape.

Is there any plans to return to developing the modeling tools any time soon?

Comments

  • MBartlett21MBartlett21 Member Posts: 1,466 EDU
    What modelling tools do you need?
    MB - I make FeatureScripts: view FS (My FS's have "Official" beside them)
  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 2,000
    Hi @Brian_McVeigh - we are always looking at ways to improve all toolsets within Onshape, modeling included. Projects are prioritized by the number of user requests - the more people ask for something the higher it gets bumped up the queue (there are exceptions to this rule). Please create support tickets for each feature you would like to add or speak to your contact at Onshape. Thank you.

    Neil Cooke, Director of Technical Marketing, Onshape Inc.
  • Brian_McVeighBrian_McVeigh Member Posts: 73 PRO
    edited February 28
    @NeilCooke , is this the only approach taken towards developing new features?  Is there not a risk this reinforces an existing bias towards a certain type of user?  For examples sake, if the vast majority of current users/forum users are mostly interested in Sheet metal design, so development focuses on developing/improving sheet metal tools, so more sheet metal users are attracted to Onshape, and so the focus continues in the same way? 

    As it stands, I would not recommend Onshape to someone who's core focus is on surfacing because I don't think the tools aren't quite there yet, and I would think that some people with that focus might try Onshape and agree, and if these kind of users remain in a minority in the community, and so the requests/votes for these features won't exist and the situation won't change?
  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 2,000
    @Brian_McVeigh as I mentioned, there are exceptions to this rule. It’s all about striking a balance and keeping our paid users happy. Agreed, our surfacing tools are not on par with NX, but they are with SolidWorks and other “mainstream” CAD packages and we will be improving them. Your input is valuable to us so any feedback or feature requests you have, please submit them. Hopefully, you will find we are lot more responsive than other CAD vendors you may have dealt with. 
    Neil Cooke, Director of Technical Marketing, Onshape Inc.
  • Brian_McVeighBrian_McVeigh Member Posts: 73 PRO
    NeilCooke said:
    Agreed, our surfacing tools are not on par with NX, but they are with SolidWorks and other “mainstream” CAD packages and we will be improving them....Hopefully, you will find we are lot more responsive than other CAD vendors you may have dealt with. 
    Whilst the surface building tools might be approaching that of Solidworks, the curve generation feels quite lagging and they really go hand in hand.  (And I don't really expect NX levels as I'm very aware that's a whole different level of CAD package).

    The responsiveness is impressive for sure, but just looking over the last year of 'what's new in onshape', it was a little disheartening to see such little focus on modeling tools - I would hope that Onshape is aiming for more than just being 'on par' with other mainstream CAD packages.
  • konstantin_shiriazdanovkonstantin_shiriazdanov Member Posts: 844 ✭✭✭✭
    Whilst the surface building tools might be approaching that of Solidworks, the curve generation feels quite lagging and they really go hand in hand.  (And I don't really expect NX levels as I'm very aware that's a whole different level of CAD package).
    Most curve generation functions in OS are made by users, and they are already far better then I ever dreamed to see in SW
  • Brian_McVeighBrian_McVeigh Member Posts: 73 PRO
    Whilst the surface building tools might be approaching that of Solidworks, the curve generation feels quite lagging and they really go hand in hand.  (And I don't really expect NX levels as I'm very aware that's a whole different level of CAD package).
    Most curve generation functions in OS are made by users, and they are already far better then I ever dreamed to see in SW
    From my perspective I'd have to disagree.  I've definitely found useful tools written by users, but not many that can replace missing core tools.
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,082 PRO
    wingemode/on
    One thing that would help here is a decent way to add FS icons to our toolbars.  A mish-mash list of list of grey boxes with a pair of letters in them wasn't really good enough a year ago.  They need icons and a way to put them in a static location on a toolbar.  I've lost track of what's available, what I've installed etc.
    winge/off
    Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 2,000
    I would hope that Onshape is aiming for more than just being 'on par' with other mainstream CAD packages.
    Of course, our plan is to be the best at everything.
    Neil Cooke, Director of Technical Marketing, Onshape Inc.
  • konstantin_shiriazdanovkonstantin_shiriazdanov Member Posts: 844 ✭✭✭✭
    From my perspective I'd have to disagree.  I've definitely found useful tools written by users, but not many that can replace missing core tools.
    Could you share some examples? I can only think about 3d sketching, which is of course a big gap for OS.
  • Brian_McVeighBrian_McVeigh Member Posts: 73 PRO
    edited February 28
    From my perspective I'd have to disagree.  I've definitely found useful tools written by users, but not many that can replace missing core tools.
    Could you share some examples? I can only think about 3d sketching, which is of course a big gap for OS.
    3D sketching is definitely the big one.  But in general my request for curve tools would be equation/law curves, project curve to surface, ability to set a vector on a bridge curve, offset curve in face, intersection curve, trim/split curve, and control handles on spline points other than those at the start and end.  (I'm aware many of these are missing from SW too).

    To be fair, it's been a while since I looked for any of these in feature script, so I guess some of them could exist now but I'd be much more comfortable using OS developed features for modelling in a production environment. (It's reasonable to assume any other engineer could pick up a model I have made and work with it as they should know the whole OS feature set - this would be less true if it relied heavily on feature script I think.)
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,082 PRO
    It's reasonable to assume any other engineer could pick up a model I have made and work with it as they should know the whole OS feature set - this would be less true if it relied heavily on feature script I think.)
    Please excuse the blatant plug but this might help somewhat here:-
    Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 1,494 PRO
    with user made FS filling the missing tools (until Onshape has time to make them native)

    I'd rather they focus on the things that Can't be patched with a FS.

    Once those core functions are set, then Onshape could use the FSs others have made as a good start point when they want to add more tools.

    I think the more users asking for a feature should win the majority of the updates. If nobody is asking for something, why should Onshape invest time/employees to it. That's how software gets bloated and broken
  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 2,000

    Once those core functions are set, then Onshape could use the FSs others have made as a good start point when they want to add more tools.
    It's unlikely that we'd reuse code created by the community (when we build new geometry features it usually involves some low-level server code which makes them faster and with more capabilities). However, what it does tell us is what features people want and how they want them to work. So please, carry on!
    Neil Cooke, Director of Technical Marketing, Onshape Inc.
  • BulletEngineeringBulletEngineering Member Posts: 13 PRO

    I think the more users asking for a feature should win the majority of the updates. If nobody is asking for something, why should Onshape invest time/employees to it. That's how software gets bloated and broken
    I agree, in the majority of cases the feature requests should take priority. However there is definitely a need in any development/design organization for skunkworks style development independent of crowdthink requests. Feature requests are from, mostly, established current users and, as Brian noted, features that others might need to have before switching to OnShape might be ignored because they aren't needed by the people who didn't need them to switch in the first place.
  • Jake_RosenfeldJake_Rosenfeld Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,203
    To clarify a bit, when Neil says "user requests" this is a lot more involved than just the Improvement Requests section of the forum.  We keep track of requests that are made as bug reports/feedback from our users, comments on this forum, and (more importantly for this discussion) requests from potential customers who do not buy Onshape due to a specific missing functionality, or buy Onshape and then cancel their subscription due to missing functionality. The "priority" of these requests can be thought of more as "request pressure * expected benefit" rather than just a raw number of users who have asked for a specific functionality.

    We are definitely aware of the "big ticket" modeling domains that we don't cover, and that could bring us new users.  In the end everything comes down to resources and priorities, and we dedicate a good amount of brainpower to making these decisions.  Rest assured we aren't just counting votes.
    Jake Rosenfeld - Modeling Team
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,082 PRO
    edited March 1
    I think it's a credit to onshape that they put weight behind current user's requests.  It would be very easy to slip into the attitude of "we've already got their money, so we'll concentrate only on the features that will attract new users".  It show's a longer sighted view that existing happy customers are a pretty good free marketing tool.
    O.S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
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