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What are those big issues with developing drawings..?

3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,287 PRO
edited October 2015 in Drawings
Let's begin with the fact that Onshape feels very good 'on hand' when working in 3D. And to be honest this is true with other 3d packages I have used too.
Everything is smooth and fast, tool set covers most of needs and there is many 'smart' tools to raise productivity.

But when you open drawings, it's like going 20 years back in time. Struggling with waking up lines, having hard time working with imported documents or just performance issues when you just tried to zoom in.. Why is it so difficult to streamline drawigns in same state as 3D mode?

I suppose drawings should be THE module for all 2D work like layout plan, floor plan, cutting / nesting plan, etc. BUT if I need to draw something in 2D (from scratch) - I will always choose sketch mode rather than drawings.

I suppose Onshape drawings has different development group than part studios and assembly since it has difference in naming things, dimension tool is ****, performance is **** and there is a lot of buttons for very narrow functionality - which is opposite to other parts of Onshape. In short, drawings module is not consistent with the rest of product.

Don't get me wrong, topic is not for complaining - more like wondering what are the components in 2D drawings that make it so hard for 3D software developers to handle?

Onshape has pretty much similar views in sketch mode. If drawings would be like Ons sketch mode on top of custom template - I wouldn't be writing this.
Of course there is view projections with a lot of other standard rules and connections to actual 3D model, but it shouldn't be so hard to 'own' with the same core funtionality. Or maybe I'm just too simple person to see why 2D is more complicated than 3D (or 4D).

Why didn't Onshape produce drawings in same manner as other parts of this brilliant software?

ps. I was actually a bit worried when drawings first iteration came out because I knew it will need a lot of improvements and I would have hated to see updates focusing on 2D. Alibre had this same issue, everything else worked fine but drawings were slow and crashing. After couple big updates focusing on 2D they got it fixed but it ment couple of years without major enhancement to 3D. I'm very glad to see that Onshape continued keeping focus in 3D.


  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 459 ✭✭✭
    @3dcad - did one of the Onshape partners write the drawing module?  If so, there are bound to be difference in coding style and UI between the two sets of programmers.
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,287 PRO
    edited October 2015
    @michael3424  I suppose it is partner written module. When we were at 'How to make drawings awesome?' -state I agreed that it should be done by partner - to avoid issues mentioned above. I thought it would be 'ready to race' drawings module which would be just implemented into Onshape frame. 

    But as I mentioned earlier, this is not about complaining about current drawings. I'm glad we have them and I'm sure it will be better as time goes on.

    I would hope someone with experience on developing 2D cad would hop in and share the wisdom why is it so hard to get drawings in same level as so many solid modelers are in 3D sketching/modeling..?
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 459 ✭✭✭
    Just guessing here, but it seems like there would need to be a lot of background communication between the CAD functions in Onshape and the drawing functions in the partner's code.  As you say, hopefully someone knowledgeable about 2D CAD will pop in.  It must take time to get that all done right and I'm actually pretty impressed with what we have so far but then I'm sort of a prosumer user and don't have to deal with corporate standards or workflow.
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭✭
    I have previously speculated on this forum as to why it might be so hard, but I agree with @3dcad ;

    It would be both helpful and very interesting to hear about the issues in some detail from someone who actually knows what they are talking about.
  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 303 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2015
    To the user, how drawings happen is not important. To the user, all that matters is that they work reliably and efficiently. We have a long way to go yet.
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,287 PRO
    @kevin_quigley True, but still I would like to know why is it so difficult to get it right..
  • _Ðave__Ðave_ Member, Developers Posts: 712 ✭✭✭
    I don't care why I only care when. Also in opposition I would like to see drawings development as a priority over modeling development at this time.
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭✭
    What kevin said is true for passive consumers, but as active participants, some of us would be more useful to Onshape if we understood the process better, in order to provide feedback which was more targeted, appropriate and realistic...

    and this would (at least for me) have the incidental benefit of reducing the current frustrations associated with standing outside what is effectively a black hole.
  • bryan_lagrangebryan_lagrange Member Posts: 207 ✭✭✭

    In my opinion Solid Edge is the only one that I have experienced that does 2D right. The 2D drawing tools match the sketch tools in the 3D environment. I have used SolidWorks, Inventor, Wildfire 2.0, Alibre Design, and Solid Edge. Out of all of them Solid Edge seems to not have the drawing module as an after thought. If Onshape can follow Solid Edge's path it can have a robust 2D drawing module.

    Bryan Lagrange
    Twitter: @BryanLAGdesign

  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭✭
    i agree that Solid Edge beats the others for 2D drawihg, and in fact seems to me to come tantalisingly close to being productive when used  for creating 2D drawings from scratch (without a solid model).
    It has all the features required, and the interface is generally very good, but there is one key gap in capability:

    Choosing snaps "on the fly" while creating and particularly while manipulating linework (eg by dragging) is unrealistically klunky, (requiring many mouseclicks instead of the occasional keystroke) to the extent that the package really doesn't support brainstorming at warp speed.
    This is where MCAD solid modelling needs the most help from 2D.
    Nor is the 2D module as productive as it could be for schematics and such.

    I reckon it's a real shame, because a remarkably small number of man-hours of coding would fix this completely, and would plug a huge gap in the 2D market for those whose brains are simply not wired right for the mainstream 2D packages, which almost all follow in the MS-DOS rooted footsteps of Autocad. 

    But none of this is to disagree in any way with @bryan_lagrange 's point
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,287 PRO
    Any comments from Onshape development?
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,287 PRO
    @bobminer ;
    Thank you for hopping in. I didn't mean those issues in specific but thanks for clearing them out. I was more like referring to having problems with the very basic stuff.

    I like your goal very much to make consistent features for short learning curve. I would also like to see better support for view & edit dwgs since they are usually part of project that is modeled in 3D. Having another (installed) software just for those is not ideal solution together with cloud cad. My workflow is often to measure dwg and create 3d models accordingly.

    My main question remains unanswered though: What is it that makes drawings in general drag behind in every 3d cad package? Is there something that makes it more difficult to develop than 3d modeling? Or is it just balancing resources between 3D and 2D?
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