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High Level Sketch Intent

fastwayjimfastwayjim Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 218 PRO
edited December 2014 in Product Feedback
The devil is in the details, and these things might seem insignificant, but they are HUGE time savers, and will continue OS on the path to "world class CAD modeler"...

1. While I am sketching a closed contour, if the last line is horizontal I want the second to last line to snap to horizontal to the first sketch point, so the last line can be sketched perfectly horizontal without having to go back and add the constraint afterwards. Same with vertical.
2. OS appears to favor adding a perpendicular constraint over a horizontal or vertical while sketching a chain. I would rather it the other way around.
3. While sketching a hole pattern, I want OS to snap to "equal" constraint (for the radius) and add the constraint if I complete the circle.
4. While sketching a hole pattern, I want OS to snap/constrain the circle centers to "horizontal" and "vertical" where applicable.
5. While sketching a line-arc-line pattern, I want OS to recognize tangency between the arc and the second line, right now it only recognizes the first (while creating the arc).
6. Right now OS appears to only snap to solid model entities that are on the sketch plane, can this be expanded to those out of plane as well? (Edges, vertices)
7. Add an option to view/snap to a grid in sketcher.
8. Add the ability to toggle off sketch intent (i.e. "cancel a constraint while sketching) on the fly with a keyboard shortcut or a RMB.
9. Snap/constraint to "equals" on the fly. For lines and arc radii.
10. If a construction line is present, can OS snap/constrain to the mirror/symmetry constraint?

I'll be perfectly honest, a few of these are taken directly out of ProE/Creo workflow, but they are absolutely superior to SW. I know this is a tall order, and whoever is working on the sketching is probably going to hunt me down and shoot me, but... the goal is to give the user full control over what constraints are being created on the fly so the end result is as close to a "perfectly constrained sketch" as possible.

Let's make this the smartest sketcher ever!

Comments

  • traveler_hauptmantraveler_hauptman Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 419 PRO
    I think this is one of the areas where Onshape's job is difficult. Because what would make your life easier would often get in my way. Here's a quick commentary on your points (because I don't have time to be creative and add my own).

    1) A version of this is there already that I use. Before placing the second-to-last point, hover over the last point and the sketcher will activate the horizontal/vertical snap to that point.
    2) I really prefer perp/parallel constraints to horizontal/vertical. It's a question of whether what you are sketching is referencing itself or the global frame. I often need to be able to rotate my geometry and this approach (perpendicular) allows that.
    3) I'm not following what you're saying. Sketch patterns and parametric blocks will be the way to go later. Right now my pattern is created by construction geometry and being able to box select only non-construction geometry would let me set all the circles to equal in one go.
    4)If I understand correctly, I agree. Circles should have snap points. Four for the horizontal/vertical points at least. Sometimes more would be useful.
    5) I'm sure this is coming and I'll be happy when it does.
    6) I am on the fence with this one. I constrain to these non-sketch entities all the time. However this non-sketch geometry is usually complicated enough that snapping to it would get in my way.
    7) I agree. I'd leave it off normally but having snap to grid and snap to angle have their uses.
    8) Do you mean turn off constraint inference (already there Hold down the shift key) or temporarily toggle off a constraint? If the second, what does that allow you to do?
    9) Between this and the automatically equal holes it seems you have a lot of regular shaped parts you are creating. Unless the snap was very brief, this would get in my way. I don't think I'd use it.
    10) This is interesting. When do you use it without mirroring the actual geometry as well?

    I think there are enough uses and workflows of Onshape to warrant application specific sketching helpers. Then one just picks the one that works the best in the settings and everyone is happy.

  • fastwayjimfastwayjim Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 218 PRO
    edited December 2014
    The goal is to "get it right the first time." I come from a machine design background in aerospace, and am approaching these sketching requests as if I were designing in a full GD&T (ASME Y14.5M-1994) environment. It requires a different (more structured) modeling approach than surface modeling-based Industrial Design products.

    1. Sweet Geesus, I did not know that. Thank you.
    3. My proposal involves replacing your construction geometry with design intent on the fly. Sketch a series of holes that are alike in design intent (they fasten to the same part) but are not in any regular square/circle pattern, and you will see what I mean. Even if it's just two holes, the fact that you can snap/constrain to equal diameter on the fly saves 3 clicks (circle 1, circle 2, equal constraint button).
    6. Imagine you are building your part to be CNC machined and dimensioned using GD&T. Earlier in your model you established an A datum plane, and you want subsequent sketches to reference it. It's the first step in embedding tolerances into the 3D CAD model. Downstream uses include automated tolerance stack analysis and exposing "driving dimensions" in the drawings.
    8. See my response in #1 above.
    9. Yes, these requests cater to designing CNC-machined parts.
    10. Honestly, I think the mirror function in sketch is a bit clunky - it feels more like an operation instead of a constraint. Maybe I just haven't learned to draw my centerline first, and maybe that's because it takes me 8 clicks to do it (2 for the line, and 3 to lock in each of its endpoints because OS does not do what I am asking in #6.) This can be leaned out with an "infinite centerline" feature and the addition of a "symmetry" constraint.

    I see a lot of people moving from PTC to SW. They get in SW, and it's uncomfortable sketching in such a "loose" environment. They either get lazy (and spend a lot of time troubleshooting failures) or bitch about how long it takes to create a fully dimensioned sketch. So... if OS can have a smarter sketcher than SW, then guess which tool ex-PTC users are going to prefer?
  • traveler_hauptmantraveler_hauptman Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 419 PRO

    3. My proposal involves replacing your construction geometry with design intent on the fly. Sketch a series of holes that are alike in design intent (they fasten to the same part) but are not in any regular square/circle pattern, and you will see what I mean. Even if it's just two holes, the fact that you can snap/constrain to equal diameter on the fly saves 3 clicks (circle 1, circle 2, equal constraint button).
    I get you now. I think that would be useful (assuming you could cancel it with the shift key like the rest of them).
    6. Imagine you are building your part to be CNC machined and dimensioned using GD&T. Earlier in your model you established an A datum plane, and you want subsequent sketches to reference it. It's the first step in embedding tolerances into the 3D CAD model. Downstream uses include automated tolerance stack analysis and exposing "driving dimensions" in the drawings.
    8. See my response in #1 above.
    9. Yes, these requests cater to designing CNC-machined parts.
    10. Honestly, I think the mirror function in sketch is a bit clunky - it feels more like an operation instead of a constraint. Maybe I just haven't learned to draw my centerline first, and maybe that's because it takes me 8 clicks to do it (2 for the line, and 3 to lock in each of its endpoints because OS does not do what I am asking in #6.) This can be leaned out with an "infinite centerline" feature and the addition of a "symmetry" constraint.
    I usually sketch my geometry and then select the whole lot before clicking mirror. If there is only one construction line it takes that as the centerline. If not, it asks for a center line. Works fine.

    That said I'd like if they allowed me to add the mirror constraint directly.



    I see a lot of people moving from PTC to SW. They get in SW, and it's uncomfortable sketching in such a "loose" environment. They either get lazy (and spend a lot of time troubleshooting failures) or bitch about how long it takes to create a fully dimensioned sketch. So... if OS can have a smarter sketcher than SW, then guess which tool ex-PTC users are going to prefer?
    I agree but I wonder how many people actually using a solid modeling software are able to make the switch... I do contract design so I use whatever the client uses. In an established firm, there is usually a lot of legacy that needs to be supported. I was recently part of a decision to stay with PTC even though all the engineers knew and preferred SW simply because of the time required to convert the infrastructure.

    If they manage to make feature level converters for PTC and SW (which should be possible since they are all parasolids) then I think they will have an easier time of it.
  • fastwayjimfastwayjim Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 218 PRO
    traveler said:
    I agree but I wonder how many people actually using a solid modeling software are able to make the switch... I do contract design so I use whatever the client uses. In an established firm, there is usually a lot of legacy that needs to be supported. I was recently part of a decision to stay with PTC even though all the engineers knew and preferred SW simply because of the time required to convert the infrastructure.

    If they manage to make feature level converters for PTC and SW (which should be possible since they are all parasolids) then I think they will have an easier time of it.
    So, I teach a lot of CAD/FEA users in PTC, SW, and Ansys. Mostly salaried mid-career professionals, not contractors, so the guys who are in class are switching from PTC to SW because they have to. Therefore, the trend I see is a result of employers moving to SW, not individuals. Now, that doesn't mean contractors/consultants aren't making the move as well, it just means that they aren't paying for training... understandable, as I wouldn't either if I were them.

    We're doing a heads up Creo vs. SW demo for a client in January. It's a situation where "Big company with Creo buys small company with SW, and wants to know which tool to standardize with". How typical do you think this is?

    Anywho, PTC's kernel is granite (bespoke in-house) not parasolid, but that doesn't really matter. CAD is getting pushed into elementary school science projects, so detailed button-click-sketch-workflow won't matter in 20 years, as it will be commonplace. However, it does matter right now, when a potential new CAD program is going to want to take market share from existing CAD users as quickly as possible. This is why if OS can mimic a Creo workflow, I think they could have a huge user base question their loyalty. (And right here in Boston, too...)

    Wait a generation or two, and the n00b's will just gravitate towards the cheapest/easiest option, but in the mean time, I'm sure OS's investors are going to want a return before then! :smile: 
  • traveler_hauptmantraveler_hauptman Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 419 PRO
    Anywho, PTC's kernel is granite (bespoke in-house) not parasolid, but that doesn't really matter.

    Thanks for the correction!
  • caradoncaradon OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 300 PRO
    @FastwayJim‌ ;
    Interesting...
    "I see a lot of people moving from PTC to SW."
    Is that still something you consider a trend?
    I always thought PTC was going through something of a renaissance (both in product and market) in recent years.

    Dries
  • fastwayjimfastwayjim Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 218 PRO
    @DriesV - I'm saying this in the current tense, not like foreshadowing a trend, but more like how doctor's "see" patients. In other words, "Currently, I physically meet a lot of people each year who are learning SW after numerous years of experience in PTC products". This is mainly because I have a partnership with a training company that has established a large customer base with PTC users, and we offer identical training curricula in PTC & SW. My opinion is based on filtered data...

    I can't speak of market trends, as I just don't have that much data, but in my little world discussing robust sketching in PTC vs. SW is a real topic. Since many features start with a sketch, efficiency gains in sketching are realized multiple-fold over the total time it takes to create a CAD model.

    I really wish I had more data on other CAD/FEA software, but I don't. Since the data lies in the hands of the OE's and VAR's, getting market-wide training spending trends is difficult, IMHO.
  • Qris JonzQris Jonz Member Posts: 1
    OS sketcher needs a Centerline Tool and a symmetry Constraint.
    I don't want to be slowed down by creating mirrored features and deleting parts of them to continue in a thought direction.
    The flow needs allow constraints to be added after the lines are put down.

  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭✭
    As regards point 5 in the OP, Solidworks covers this situation by  creating the tangency to the destination line with an RMB click, where tangency to that line is promoted to the first option. (requiring minimal mouse move to accept).

    That seems quite an elegant way of providing easy "Opt in" cabability, without forcing the user to "Opt out" in the case where they do not wish to create that tangency. 
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭✭
    @Qris Jonz 

    I don't personally think OnS needs a dedicated Centerline tool (Solidworks manages fine with construction lines, which OnS already has, doubling as centrelines)

    But I ABSOLUTELY agree OnS needs a symmetric constraint - the number of different and useful applications for that (in the SW implementation) is absolutely boggling, and would fill a small booklet.
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