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How to make Replicate and Assembly Patterns awesome

abefeldmanabefeldman Member Posts: 166 ✭✭✭
edited February 2016 in General
We are starting to think about next phase of the Replicate tool in assemblies and would like your feedback.  What works for you?  What doesn't work for you?  Does it solve pattern use cases for you in the assembly?  How are you handling updating component and feature changes?  Are there additional pieces of functionality you'd like to see as part of this tool or as new tools within the assembly pattern family of features?

Can't wait to hear your thoughts.
Abe Feldman
UX/PD/Community Support
Tagged:

Comments

  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,470 PRO
    I have found replicate tool being a real time saver even though the current 'mirror bug'. I works for individual parts but also handles groups very nicely. It is one of my favorite tools in assembly workspace.

    As I mentioned earlier, couple of things would make it even better:
    - Automatically fix orientation when using for mirrored faces
    - When selecting face where is multiple same diameter holes with different depth, feature should pick just the ones with same depth as the original.
    - Possibility to recognize hole groups, for example if hinge connects to 2x 5mm holes which are 32mm a part in x - it would be nice if feature could lookup such groups and insert subassemblies with multiple mates. 

    Replicate vs pattern - I would rather choose AND than OR. Replicate works better in some cases and 3rd point of above list would make assembly patterns almost useless. BUT after we get configurations, I will be asking for assembly pattern.

    I have created many interiors using assembly pattern in Alibre and then changed different configurations for each instances. Think of classroom or exhibition stands or just showcase rendered to brochure. In these cases replicate is useless since the area is empty and there is no face / instance to select - pattern dialog with x, y, z direction (use 1 or more directions), distance and quantity would be perfect.
    //rami
  • malay_kumarmalay_kumar Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 93
    edited February 2016
    @3dcad Thanks for providing feedback.

    * We are working on "Automatically fix orientation when using for mirrored faces" issue.
    * For your second issue I would think it would work if the seed is mated through face to be matched. It won't work if seed is mated through edge as we will only be matching edge and we don't know intent. Can you check your case and report through ? tool if it is mated through face but doesn't work?
    * "
    Possibility to recognize hole groups" is a good one. We have thought about this and supporting cases when parts and sub-assemblies mated through multiple mates. It is little difficult to make it work in generic case and without adding some data on hole groups. We will give it more thought.

    Changing the configuration/replacing part should be possible with replicate generated instances too when we have those features.

    Do you run into pattern use cases (needing to define pattern with no underlying feature) or replicate use case more? So far have your needed to update replicated instances because underlying part has changed? How did you deal with that and how you wish your would deal with that?

  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,470 PRO
    @malay_kumar
    2. Could you recognize the underlying hole? I don't see any other convenient way than mating to edge between hole and part surface (otherwise it would need offset to keep things in place)

    3. I was thinking this one while writing IR for being able to create user library of hole groups and sketch shape groups in part studio. Maybe it could rely on information added when sketching or creating holes?

    In my work I would use replicate more than pattern, but after configurations things might change.
    With patterns, it would be very important to be able to run with variables / be able to edit pattern parameters afterwards.

    Just yesterday, I needed to create special product like this:



    It was very easy (in Alibre) since I had modeled standard products with intent of creating different versions using configurations:
    like this:
    and this  

    so I just changed configuration of side panels and edited pattern parameters to fix the amount of drawers then push to keyshot for quick render - in 3 minutes I had completely new product with all needed data for production..

    This is what I would like to do with Onshape too.

    About changes in underlying part, I have fixed them with simply editing concerning mate to fix the position.
    In my cases assemblies broke because of changes to holes (other than the one which is mated) in part studio - there are some issues with id's changing though they don't need to (I have reported this).

    As time goes, I'd expect assemblies not to brake if specific mate instances are not removed (from part).

    For me assemblies have handled part studio changes very well, 
    at the moment I don't have any requests for fixing procedure.
    I would rather request un-breakable assemblies =)
    //rami
  • malay_kumarmalay_kumar Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 93
    3dcad said:
    @malay_kumar
    2. Could you recognize the underlying hole? I don't see any other convenient way than mating to edge between hole and part surface (otherwise it would need offset to keep things in place)
    During mate connector/mate command if you hover over face it will show mate connector associated with face. A lot of time edge come first in the way of mouse so user end up selecting edge mate connector but if you hover over you could select face mate connector. For cylindrical faces we show three mate connector top, mid, bottom on axis.

    Also when I was asking about changes in part studio needing to update assembly I was asking in the context of replicate tool when holes are added or removed. That would require to add and remove instance. 




  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,470 PRO
    "During mate connector/mate command if you hover over face it will show mate connector associated with face. A lot of time edge come first in the way of mouse so user end up selecting edge mate connector but if you hover over you could select face mate connector. For cylindrical faces we show three mate connector top, mid, bottom on axis."

    Okay, so that one point can have two different mate connectors - interesting.

    So this is different:


    from this (it needs intensive zooming to get grip of cylinder instead of top face)


    Thank you very much @malay_kumar  works perfectly:




    //rami
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,470 PRO
    edited February 2016
    For fixing the assembly if hole (in this case) is removed, I just need to find red mate on the list and edit to add new place for it.



    For me this is very understandable workflow. I would prefer part staying in it's original place though (as you see in img, it jumped from empty spot --> on top of another instance).
    If my intension was say remove hole and use welding instead, I could just group mate it to main part if it stayed in correct position.

    Also when I was asking about changes in part studio needing to update assembly I was asking in the context of replicate tool when holes are added or removed. That would require to add and remove instance. 

    When using replicate tool, it just duplicates same mates with new instances? I suppose it is not different from creating same mates manually?

    I did try to add removed holes back - it found those and mates were fixed - very good.

    I also tried to add new holes (increase count in sketch pattern), they were not populated automatically - for me this is also good (I don't like automation that tries to be smarter than me).

    If replicate tool works this good with real cases (my test only had 1 sketch pattern with 4 hole sets) - it is very good as it is.
    If it gets too much options, it might get too complicated for average user. Currently it's simple and fast. If I need two similar mates, I will use replicate for second.

    Only thing I would ask, is possibility to go back to replicate dialog to edit if needed - this should be the case with every dialog (in the world). 

    Does anyone else have experience / opinions regarding to replicate tool? If not, I would recommend to give it a try..  
    //rami
  • octaviooctavio Member Posts: 1
    Hello, I'm used to the way patterns work in SolidWorks and Inventor, that is the same way they work in the part studio.  I haven't been able to figure out how to get the same functionality out of the replicate tool (or actually to get it to work at all...).  I just need copies of the same object at a specific distance along an axis or edge. Am I missing something?

    Thank's,
  • lucas_johnson223lucas_johnson223 Member, csevp Posts: 18 PRO
    I'd love to be able to replicate to mate connectors. In this instance, I wanted to quickly replicate the drawer subassembly to all the mate connectors on the frame. Of course I could create hole features to replicate to, but I think this would be a cool addition to the replicate feature.
    Here is the document link:
    https://cad.onshape.com/documents/6768564b80c455eb75b34f4d/w/cfc164414c1ad9d47fd7abeb/e/025a26eb0d5d014d8d157129?renderMode=0&uiState=623b0c92bb321c2c632b4b4f
  • shawn_crockershawn_crocker Member, OS Professional Posts: 800 PRO
    @lucas_johnson223
    Creating part studios in context is very efficient and even more so when you adopt it as a tool rather than always needing to be something that generates parts.  In the case you have shown, I would try forgoing the creation of the connectors or the holes.  I would create a part studio in context and create a flat surface over the area.  Then I would split the face of the surface with a circle and use part studio patterns to pattern the face.  Then bring the surface into the assembly and mate your item to it and use replicate on the surface.  I do this all the time and it is so flexible.  Especially if you configure the surface.
  • shawn_crockershawn_crocker Member, OS Professional Posts: 800 PRO
    @abefeldman
    Here is my list of requests.

    - use the face option but then be able to define geometry in the face that should be ignored.  If I have 20 holes and I want to pattern over 19 of them, it feels foolish to have to select 19 edges when you could just select the one you don't want to use.

    - Make replicate more robust when dealing with mates that do not have anything to do with the feature.  Often I will replicate a part and then later I want to mate something else to the seed part but I do not want it to go along for the replicate ride.  The replicate feature with break because there is a mate on the seed part that it does not know what to do with.

    - Allow editing of the mates generated by the replicate feature.  Maybe a part get replicated and I want to rotate the mate or flip the mate for just that one replicated instance.

    - Allow locking the replicate.  When checking the lock (which should be configurable) the mates created by the feature get turned off and everything gets grouped.  only the seed parts explicitly defined mate says active holding everything in place (mainly good if seed mate is a fastened mate which is probably most of the time).  It is possible that I want replicate to create 1000 instances but I don't want to maintain 1000 fastened mates.  I could dissolve the replicate (soo great that this was added recently) but in this case, I don't want to loose the feature.  I know I will want to unlock it again later on to recalculate changes in the model.  I also don't want to have to recreate the feature and replace instances that may already be part of explode view steps.
  • eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,488 PRO

    - use the face option but then be able to define geometry in the face that should be ignored.  If I have 20 holes and I want to pattern over 19 of them, it feels foolish to have to select 19 edges when you could just select the one you don't want to use.

    I typically just use the face to create all 20 and suppress the one un-needed instance. It would be nice to have the option to "sync" the mates so that all instances are in the same position (i.e. to force it to behave like a "dumb" pattern).
  • shawn_crockershawn_crocker Member, OS Professional Posts: 800 PRO
    @eric_pesty
    Interesting.  I didn't realize suppression of an individual instance was possible.  Thanks
  • christian_pettychristian_petty Member Posts: 65 PRO
    I'd love to be able to replicate to mate connectors. 
    I second this. Maybe a folder of connectors too or something. 
    Christian Petty - Mechanical Design Engineer, Radian R&D
  • shawn_crockershawn_crocker Member, OS Professional Posts: 800 PRO
    Replicate to sketch faces would be nice.  It seems to only function on physical geometry.
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