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Is the current implementation of MateConnector the primitive we need?

traveler_hauptmantraveler_hauptman Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 419 PRO
All I have at this point is a nagging feeling that we need MateConnectors as a feature but that the way that they are implemented, they are not quite right.

Maybe the mate connectors in the feature list are an extension of the mate connectors used in assembly and were not intentionally designed as a primitive feature?

I wish I had something more concrete to say about this but I figure opening a thread will allow some discussion around it.
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Comments

  • ilya_baranilya_baran Onshape Employees, Developers, HDM Posts: 980
    A mate connector is just a coordinate system, so I think fundamentally it is a good concept to have.
    But I agree, there's currently a missing piece in the implementation that makes using them somewhat awkward.

    My thought on where this needs to evolve is that when a custom feature asks for a mate connector, the Part Studio UI should allow creating the mate connector right while editing that feature.  That way, the feature is effectively asking for a coordinate system and the feature user can specify this coordinate system on the fly relative to any existing geometry.

    We will soon allow creating edge midpoints this way (for features that ask for vertices) and I feel that mate connectors should be the logical next step.
    Ilya Baran \ Director, Architecture and FeatureScript \ Onshape Inc
  • traveler_hauptmantraveler_hauptman Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 419 PRO
    Some points:

    • A plane (ePlane since we are talking about features) and a Mate Connector carry the same information (whatever their individual implementations). A location and orientation in space.
    • cPlanes don't give users control of the origin (arguably not important) nor direct specification of location and orientation.
    • Mate connectors must be attached to parts.You can't use them like cPlanes, can't build sketches off them, build cPlanes off them, etc
    Currently datum axis and coordinate systems are missing from the feature tree. These are documentation & organization features, consolidating geometry info into a nicely think-about-able unit; essential in complex models with lots of new team members touching things. I still feel like the UX guys do not eat enough of their own dog food to understand this. However, my point here is that when datum coordinate systems are added then these will overlap in information with cPlanes and Mate Connectors. It's reasonable to predict that mate connectors would get co-opted to fill the role of datum coordinate systems to keep the UI clean.

    Thinking about it, what would work better than the current situation:

    1. A coordinate-system (I like 'frame' better) feature replaces mate connectors in the part studio. Similar behavior as now except that it does not need to be attached to a part.
    2. cPlanes can be attached to coordinate systems by the user.
    3. Parts each have a list of coordinate systems that they export to assemblies. Each coordinate system exported by a part appears in the assembly tab as a mate connector attached to that part. One coordinate system exported by multiple parts shows up in the assembly multiple times.

  • traveler_hauptmantraveler_hauptman Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 419 PRO
    PS This whole thread/question arose because I'm trying to figure out what method, cPlane or Mate Connector, to use to present coordinate system info to the user and neither really works.
  • traveler_hauptmantraveler_hauptman Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 419 PRO
    My thought on where this needs to evolve is that when a custom feature asks for a mate connector, the Part Studio UI should allow creating the mate connector right while editing that feature.  That way, the feature is effectively asking for a coordinate system and the feature user can specify this coordinate system on the fly relative to any existing geometry.
    Creo's ability to pause mid-feature-creation to insert that pesky plane, curve, or point, that you forgot you needed, is really powerful. A similar capability in Onshape would eliminate the need for something special for mate connectors.

    It would be enough to have a pause button on the feature creation dialog that just accepts the current feature (regardless whether it builds correctly) and rolls back the tree to just before the feature.

  • malay_kumarmalay_kumar Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 84
    PS This whole thread/question arose because I'm trying to figure out what method, cPlane or Mate Connector, to use to present coordinate system info to the user and neither really works.
    Good discussion and points. Can you provide little bit more context on what you are trying to use coordinate system for?
  • traveler_hauptmantraveler_hauptman Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 419 PRO
    I do mechanism design. At the moment I'm working on uploading a kinematic tree into Onshape for visualization and design refinement. Each rigid body (a collection of components and parts) in the mechanism has it's own frame (coordinate system) used for design and reference. This frame is most relevant in analysis of the mechanism but since we are doing all the analysis relative to the frames it's natural to think in terms of them when doing the physical design.

    I could build a set of cPlanes at the frame origin of each rigid body, or I could put a coordinate system there. cPlanes are nice because one can build sketches off them, but they are not nice because they have a poor visual presentation and add too much noise to the display. Mate connectors are nice because they have an origin that is visible to the user. No ambiguity about where the point of interest is. But they have to be attached to parts.

    If there was a coordinate system feature from which the user could build construction planes only when and where he needed, then  that would work.

    This is my current use case. Does that help?


  • malay_kumarmalay_kumar Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 84
    edited May 2016
    Thanks @traveler_hauptman. We have talked about about making mate connector more primitive and without needing it be associated with a part. There is also a popular request to associate it with multiple parts. I am sure we will work on that at some point of time. This absolutely helps. It is always good to know as much context as possible so we don't miss requirements.
  • rune_thorsen229rune_thorsen229 Member Posts: 156 EDU
    edited February 27
    I do mechanism design. At the moment I'm working on uploading a kinematic tree into Onshape for  
    @traveler_hauptman i've seen graduate students making wonderful mechanism simulations in solidworks, do you think Onshape can do the same?
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,861 PRO
    edited February 27
    I do mechanism design. At the moment I'm working on uploading a kinematic tree into Onshape for  
    @traveler_hauptman i've seen graduate students making wonderful mechanism simulations in solidworks, do you think Onshape can do the same?
    Sure, use relations and tangent mates to simulate relative motion

    here are some examples
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,861 PRO
    Forum only letting me embed one video per post... odd here is #2


  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,861 PRO
    #3


  • rune_thorsen229rune_thorsen229 Member Posts: 156 EDU
    edited March 2
    here are some examples
    Could you explain  how you did this please, this is great stuff.
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,861 PRO
    edited March 2
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