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Solar study

chad_huleattchad_huleatt Member Posts: 4 PRO
I'm putting up a shade sail at a local daycare, and want to make sure I get it oriented correctly to optimise the shade. In Solidworks I would use the environment rendering to simulate the sun/ shade at different times of day/ months of the year. Anyway to do that in Onshape?
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    steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2022 Answer ✓

    A bit more on the sun study

    OK first thing — do all your modeling for this sun study in Onshape. It is the superior modeler. It’s got the most intuitive interface — the smoothest working interface

    So I got all parts of my export out of Onshape and then into form Z at the proper scale

    In Onshape, I set the default units for the document to foot.

    When I did the STL export out of Onshape, I found that I had to set it to inches. Trying to do an STL export out of Onshape with the export units set to foot, would not work. So use inches

    You can select multiple parts in the modeling window while in Onshape and then bring up the contextual menu to do an export. And you could export all of those items in one file

    Now when I imported into formZ, I set the units to inches. And that worked out great because everything came in at the proper size

    So export out of Onshape

    Import into formZ

    Assign materials to the objects.

    Set up a distant light

    And bring up the sun position palette

    If by chance you do have to move things while you are in form Z, and you have the move tool selected, well make sure it’s set to where you’re only going to be moving and not making a copy as you are moving the part

    If you need to do a vertical move along the Z, tap the command key and that’ll lock it into moving along the z-axis only. Then tap command when you’re ready to get out of that Z restriction

    To cast shadows you’re going to have to set it to Shaded Full Display

    In the Display Options palette for Shaded Full Display, make sure shadows is checked. And where it says shadow map size, set it to massive and this will avoid any kind of stairstep along the edges of your shadows

    Somehow there were a few duplicates of parts of the framework for the canopy or shade. Not sure if it happened on export or if I set something wrong in formZ. But through the object pallet you can adjust the visibility of each part. And you’d be able to figure out what is a duplicate. And from that object pallet you can bring up a contextual menu and delete the duplicate parts




Answers

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    john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,924 PRO
    You won't have access to the bulit in rendering tools in Onshape unless you have a Pro/Enterprise account.

    There are other rendering tools on the app store with free trials I believe.
    Otherwise, export to blender.

    You can also use a raytracer featurescript I believe??
    FeatureScript Ray Tracer | Ray Tracer Instructions.pdf (onshape.com)
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    steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭✭
    @chad_huleatt

    If you are not able to find a rendering program within the Onshape App Store that will do a sun study, then here is a way

    Now I used formZ Pro, but their documentation says that you can do sun studies with their free version

    http://www.formz.com/fzsite1219/products/formz/formz_free.html

    I used @Jason_S first document to make a SHADE SAIL that was 15’ square

    Geez, talk about an easy way to model that thing !!

    It's no wonder why Onshape is my favorite app

    OK, so then I exported the shade only as an STL

    The free version of formZ only has a few different file formats to work with - STL  SKP  KMZ  and their native format

    I then imported the STL into formZ

    I did have to use the uniform scale tool to scale it up to the 15’ dimension

    It was just a matter of using the measure tool to see what size it came in at, and then applying a single factor

    I then moved it up to 8’ off of the ground

    Made a block representing a 10’ high structure (small building)

    Made a flat rectangle to represent the ground in order to see where the shadows will be

    Applied materials to the 3 different objects

    Created a distant light

    Used the Sun Position palette to dial in a location and time of day



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    steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2022 Answer ✓

    A bit more on the sun study

    OK first thing — do all your modeling for this sun study in Onshape. It is the superior modeler. It’s got the most intuitive interface — the smoothest working interface

    So I got all parts of my export out of Onshape and then into form Z at the proper scale

    In Onshape, I set the default units for the document to foot.

    When I did the STL export out of Onshape, I found that I had to set it to inches. Trying to do an STL export out of Onshape with the export units set to foot, would not work. So use inches

    You can select multiple parts in the modeling window while in Onshape and then bring up the contextual menu to do an export. And you could export all of those items in one file

    Now when I imported into formZ, I set the units to inches. And that worked out great because everything came in at the proper size

    So export out of Onshape

    Import into formZ

    Assign materials to the objects.

    Set up a distant light

    And bring up the sun position palette

    If by chance you do have to move things while you are in form Z, and you have the move tool selected, well make sure it’s set to where you’re only going to be moving and not making a copy as you are moving the part

    If you need to do a vertical move along the Z, tap the command key and that’ll lock it into moving along the z-axis only. Then tap command when you’re ready to get out of that Z restriction

    To cast shadows you’re going to have to set it to Shaded Full Display

    In the Display Options palette for Shaded Full Display, make sure shadows is checked. And where it says shadow map size, set it to massive and this will avoid any kind of stairstep along the edges of your shadows

    Somehow there were a few duplicates of parts of the framework for the canopy or shade. Not sure if it happened on export or if I set something wrong in formZ. But through the object pallet you can adjust the visibility of each part. And you’d be able to figure out what is a duplicate. And from that object pallet you can bring up a contextual menu and delete the duplicate parts




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    MichaelPascoeMichaelPascoe Member Posts: 1,766 PRO
    That's incredible @steve_shubin! I didn't know this was possible.

    Learn more about the Gospel of Christ  ( Here )

    CADSharp  -  We make custom features and integrated Onshape apps!   cadsharp.com/featurescripts 💎
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    S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,532 PRO
    FWIW, Rhino also has a Sun command which will light a model with the sun based on time of year and location.
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    chad_huleattchad_huleatt Member Posts: 4 PRO
    @steve_shubin that rocks, thanks for all the help! Shade sail has arrived, will install posts this week and sail next week.
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    steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭✭
    @MichaelPascoe
    @chad_huleatt

    well I’m really glad to hear you guys liked hearing about this

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