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Onshape and surfacing



  • caradoncaradon OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 300 PRO
    edited March 2015
    @Mark Biasotti 
    Awesome insights! And great motivation for the OS team, I reckon. :)

    I agree that a complete reset in thinking about 'virtual product styling' could be incredibly eye-opening.
    I'm just a simple dweller that only talks aout the tools he knows... I'm ready to be blown away.

  • joshbjoshb Member Posts: 6
    What Mark said. Exactly what Mark said.
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 2,005 PRO
    edited March 2015
    Mark is SDS-sub divisional surfacing?

    I spent this weekend looking at the sub-d solutions available this weekend and I think I'd choose powersurfacing if I had to choose one. It's integration with SW seems pretty good even though their triad looks like crap, it seems fairly parametric.

    Our workflow involved autocad & t-splines & solidworks, and no it was not that good. They basically threw the t-spline stuff over the fence and it landed in my lap. At no time did we go back and update the t-spline models to fix issues found when everything was positioned in an engineering layout. I don't know what happened to the acad layout sketches. The project bumped along a bumpy road, BTW we we're pioneers since t-spline was new to rhino.

    Sub-d isn't everything, in fact I doubt it'll be more than 3 or 4 features at the beginning of a design defining the basic shape. I think it'd be nice to have this capability buts it's not everything you need to do surface modeling.

    Mark I place more blame on the users than the CAD companies, most people still believe there's solids in a solid modeler. 

    I agree with Kevin, traditional surfacing first.

  • caradoncaradon OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 300 PRO
    edited March 2015
    billy said:
    Mark I place more blame on the users than the CAD companies, most people still believe there's solids in a solid modeler. 
    Hahaha! That's so true...
    I've met a few fellow (MCAD) designers who are very surprised that you can turn a SOLIDWORKS solid into a surface, simply by deleting a face.

  • andyandy Member Posts: 17 ✭✭
    You can see some images in the post about lofts https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/341/loft we also modelled a kayak using this method mclellanjacobs.com. We usually model with controlling sketches for profile & plan views etc that can be modified after to push and pull the proportions. 

    Im personally not a fan of the subdivision method of modelling, but that is personal preference.

    It would be very interesting to see a new approach to surfacing, but I still would like to be able to control surfaces with dimensioned splines and precise tangency, rather than the subdivision approach.


  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    I agree Mark but the issue for OnShape is they need to convert users of SolidWorks, Pro/E, SolidEdge etc to OnShape to bring in the money. Currently the modelling toolset is basic. We need some basic tools and quality curves..

     in terms of reset, here is my list (repeated ad nauseum over the years to at least 5 vendors)...

    true 3D curves with automatic 3D curve constraints....for sketching out the wireframes...after all, a lot of design is about edges rather than surfaces.

    ability to Manipulate a surface (or face of solid) directly...I want to be able to hover my cursor over a face, then add a curve on that face which has the same number of CVs as the driving curves...not some interpolated curve with a million CVs..then have that curve DRIVE the surface.

    have the above work across multiple faces.

    fade out edge tool...such a common need yet very tricky to do properly in Nurbs (yet simple in subD). 

    Proper global shape editing (twist, taper, fall off, scale etc) with very localised control without adding CV density hell.

    similar to the adding curve to face tool, reparametrise edge tool. Take an edge, convert it to a driving 3D curve with CVs user specified. Move the curve, the surface updates...but only the surfaces you specify...and restricted by the boundary conditions you specify (so much of production surfacing is about little tweaks).

    Lots more!

  • mark_biasottimark_biasotti Member Posts: 123 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2015
    @Andy Morris 
    Hi Andy,  - 
    I still would like to be able to control surfaces with dimensioned splines and precise tangency...

    In some ways this if already possible with nPower's latest version of PS - in that you can control the SDS with parametric curves and edges of the existing model. But that being said, have you ever attempted to dimension the drawing of a swoopy shape - I think you get my point...
    But don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating OS does SDS, and it isn't for all advanced shapes, but for a good number of consumer products, it can save literally hundreds of hours because it advances a physical world metaphor successfully - sculpting. Here is a recent product I engineered using SDS.

    The problem with OS starting out introducing a set of surfacing tools and then (perhaps many years) later, coming out with a new advanced modeling paradigm is that they will have to contend with legacy and it will be a harder sell to get the new paradigm established with there existing users; similar to the way OS has drawn a hard line on cloud-only and no copies etc. Come out of the chute with the best and innovative way and force change...

    @ kevin 
    Yes, curves are a staple that needs to be there from the get-go because most designs are defined by edges not the surfaces that connect them (i.e sketching style edges on pen and paper are the start of the design intent.) I'm talking more about the features that are driven by curves and how to automate many surfacing sub functions in to a few or one.

    Mark is SDS-sub divisional surfacing?


  • joshbjoshb Member Posts: 6
    edited March 2015
    As Mark said, SDS is fantastic for rapid organic modeling, and in some cases will solve problems in minutes that would take hours or days in a parametric modeler, or simply wouldn't be possible. Drives a lot of engineers nuts, but a surprising number of things can be built that are difficult if not impossible to produce a "proper" drawing from.

    Fusion 360 does well here, offering more freeform tools for building the aesthetic surfaces, with a fairly robust parametric backend. But I'd also pull both Kevin and Mark's comments together and say that there's plenty of opportunity to develop more advanced and sophisticated tools than the legacy offerings of most CAD platforms, and doing so at the outset is going to not only gain Onshape a competitive advantage, it steers away from having to support old paradigms. If all we end up with is Solidworks in the cloud, Onshape will be a disappointment at best, and certainly not enough to justify an entire industry shift away from the incumbents.

    If I was new to design, perhaps the last tool I'd pick would be a prismatic, solid modeler. SDS systems such as MODO, Blender, 3ds Max and even more genre-bending applications like zBrush are capable of some fairly astounding creations. Once relegated to the gaming and animation communities, these systems are gaining ground with "makers" and younger designers because they work much more like real-world sculpting, but taken to a whole new level digitally. MODO just released a Makerbot kit for sending files straight to a 3d printer, and offers CAD translators both in and out. These programs are moving much more quickly into the physical product space than traditional CAD systems are developing new tools for advanced design. I wouldn't be surprised to see a dramatic shift in what tools are used to create products in the next few years.
  • mark_biasottimark_biasotti Member Posts: 123 ✭✭✭
    Well put!
  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    Thinking about this more, what the missing tool is, is the ability to apply subd workflows to any face, on demand, whilst retaining the nurbs base.
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,584 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I agree wholeheartedly with those who counsel OnS to hold their fire ... until they can make long-time modellers of tricky curvy stuff sit bolt upright and stay there.

    Putting in something which is merely "current state of the art" will quickly become (as others have suggested) a ball and chain.

    I fervently hope OnS will continue to excite jaded users, rather than switch to pandering to know-nothing purchasing and procurement officers, and those who share their "sacred checklist" mentality.
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 2,005 PRO
    I agree Kevin, just give me the controls for manipulating multiple surface patches. I see "sub-d" as just another button in the surfacing menu.

  • david_sohlstromdavid_sohlstrom Member, Mentor Posts: 159 ✭✭✭
    @Mark Biasotti Thanks for the link to the product you designed using SDS. I think my wife and I are going to buy some.

    David Sohlstrom

    Ariel, WA
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