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Using "3D layer" concept in Onshape

Phil_DyzePhil_Dyze Member Posts: 11 PRO
I know this is a massive feature to add, but I think it could be very useful and innovative.

The concept of layers is very common with 2D design, both with vector and pixel-based software. I think we could greatly benefit from implementing this in a 3D software.

CATIA has something similar. The "Hidden space" allows users to have multiples (often hidden) bodies attached to a part. When you place a part, you have access to a hidden body called "DrillHole" which is actually a negative body used to clear the part, make hole and threads, emboss text, etc.

It would be amazing if we could link bodies together in OnShape Part Studio, then specify the purpose of each one.
  • Main body
  • Drill holes features
  • Tool clearance check body
  • Marking
Then there could be a feature to remove the drill hole body, similar to a simple boolean feature where the layer is tagged as being used for drilling or clearance and recognized by the feature.
The same pattern could be used to add material, such as when a component needs a flat surface extruded over a part.

There could be a visibility function where some bodies could be automatically shown and hidden based on their "layer tag", such as the previous example with tool clearance. And why not having an interference feature that checks the clash between the main bodies layers and the tools layers?

These are few ideas, and I think anyone would find more and more useful ways to have more than just 1 layer of 3D bodies.


  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,660 PRO
    I like the idea of "tags".  That way it's not limited to specifically layers but could the user is at liberty to set a range of options. I can imagine setting a part property from a list of  say "Purchased", "Bespoke" , "Fixings"  etc, and then toggling visibility of each group.  As "Pro" subscribers we have the custom company-wide properties in place today so we're half way there already.
    Business Systems and Configuration Controller
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • lougallolougallo Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,849
    @Phil_Dyze Moving this over to Product feedback for more discussion.
    Lou Gallo / PD/UX - Support - Community / Onshape, Inc.
  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 3,399
    Pro/ENGINEER (aka Creo  :|) had layers and you could also nest them. While they were great it was very easy to lose track of where things were. SolidWorks did not have layers and it took a while to get used to it, but in the end it didn’t bother me. SolidWorks added tags in 2009 (I think) - do you know how many people used them? None. I am all for grouping things, but I’m not sure layers is the way to go. Discuss. 
  • tim_hess427tim_hess427 Member Posts: 361 PRO
    @NeilCooke - I've previously used both Solidworks and Creo (within the last 5 years) - and have never heard of tags or 3dlayers in either. Maybe it was a user education issue? 

    @owen_sparks - For your Tag concept, do you see them being used at the part studio level? How would you use them along with configurations and branches? Seems like a possibility for a lot of overlap. 
  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 3,399
  • Joe_SpartoJoe_Sparto Member Posts: 11 PRO
    edited September 22
    Have there been any updates with 3d layers?
  • TimRiceTimRice Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 281
    No layers but you can use the keyboard shortcut j to hide/show mates and k for mate connectors.
    Tim Rice | User Experience | Support 
    Onshape, Inc.
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