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What does an Onshape viewer look like?

traveler_hauptmantraveler_hauptman Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 419 PRO
edited February 2015 in General
There has been a bit of conversation about how critical a viewer is to the CAD ecosystem. As I was thinking about what would make a good viewer I realized that the current state of Onshape creates the possibility for a lot of confusion and I want to highlight it briefly so we are all on the same page. 

Onshape already has a viewer (share as 'can view'). All the Onshape guys know this and this is probably the frame they are using when participating in the conversation... 

I'll bet there are a chunk of us who have not seen this mode (I have exactly one document that has been shared with me view only) because we tend to share things can edit, or better. That speaks to how awesome this community is... Meanwhile @Onshape Support An example view only document in tutorials and samples could be useful since it's hard to share a document view only with oneself....

On the other side, we as users have an idea of what we are looking for in a viewer. It's shaped by each of our own industries and experiences with other "viewers" but I think I can safely say that the essential characteristic of a viewer is that it lets us strip away the complexities of our design information so that what is presented to the audience is exactly the subset they need, no more, no less. The marketing guys need to be able to flip through a bunch of configurations with shape, color, and surface finish variations. The fabrication quoter needs materials, stock volume and weight, and highlighting of any tricky techniques or tolerance. The assembly kitting person needs quantities, images of what the part looks like and highlighting on closely similar parts... I'm not saying anything new here.

So for us (well, I'll speak for myself here and jump in if you have a point that's different) the existing viewer is not what we are looking for. Access to the information with a URL token instead of user and password is essential. Naturally that token should expire in a reasonable amount of time (with appropriate, helpful guidance for someone trying to use an expired token).

I want to be able to mask information in the viewer document... Hiding the part studio is obvious for most situations. Hiding branches or configurations is probably useful. Removing internal detail features is often necessary...  

I also would love to be able to present attached, non-3D information in a nice way. A BOM table instead of the assembly tree.... Selected dimensions and annotations presented nicely with a good filter tool, maybe with tags on dimensions. Configuration specific notes that can be formatted with markdown or imported from a word processor document.

Anyway the key point is that Onshape has to be aware that their existing "viewer" is not something we are necessarily familiar with and we need to make sure we cast our needs in terms of what is there already, what the Onshape guys have as their frame.


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    pete_yodispete_yodis OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 666 ✭✭✭
    edited February 2015
    @Traveler Hauptman I mentioned elsewhere that the "free viewer", essentially the whole CAD tool may be too "CADDY" for the less technical folks. Onshape is the perfect platform to really access data from all perspectives - not just design folks. I agree wholeheartedly there. I think the lines between CAD/PDM and PLM could very much be blurred with Onshape. It's hard to see where each will end and the other starts at this point. I like the idea of something like QR codes (with security) to tie the physical parts to the digital definition (sounds like the idea of URL tokens). I think augmented reality is the future (especially on the shop floor) and combined with a platform like Onshape where literally almost any device can access the design information - you have the killer combination to quickly provide up to date accurate pertinent information to consumers of the data. I'm not sure the document idea is the best for the "viewers" of the data. I like the look of Dassault's 3D Live product wheel. Very slick. Everyone knows the interface pretty intuitively. Pretty good for non-technical folks. I think geometry that they don't have access to could be ghosted out with a "viewer" like this.


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    pete_yodispete_yodis OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 666 ✭✭✭
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