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New FeatureScript: AISC Structure Steel Profile Generator

dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 452 ✭✭✭
This FeatureScript will create  1343 standard American Structural Steel shapes in a single step

Included Profiles:

Angles:            127
    M Series      17 
    MT Series    14
    S Series       28
    ST Series     28
    WT Series    273
    W Series      240
    HP Series     11
    C Series       32
    MC Series    40
Pipe                  37
HSS Shapes:
    Round          128 
   Rectangular  368

Total                 1343

Direct Link: https://cad.onshape.com/documents/b66d1ff63684957c167272d8/w/2ac42f22fbfa9366e2f4df35/e/33b8950d87918aefcb267a4f

Our store listing http://store.parametricparts.com/store/p12/STEEL-GEN-1.0

Let me know if I missed any profiles from the AISC Database.  Enjoy!


  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 452 ✭✭✭
    I have attached a copy of the included profiles, in case folks are interested.
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,660 PRO
    Impressive work Sir.
    This seems an excellent implementation of featurescript.  
    When you come out of beta what ballpark price do you intend to offer your features for?
    Owen S.
    Business Systems and Configuration Controller
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 452 ✭✭✭
    It is hard to work out pricing because distribution is not yet clear. Onshape doesn't provide any tools to know how often a document you have created has been used, which makes billing tough. 

    I hope that Onshape will launch a Featurescript store, and provide ability to bill on as-used basis. If that functionality were available, I would charge  like $1.00 per use.

     I'm also considering monthly subscriptions. For that, maybe $5- $10 per month, depending on the feature. 

    A single, up front cost is really hard to price fairly. Its either  too expensive for just a few uses, or too cheap given the value produced for a frequent user.  Probably $25- $100 for a single time upfront fee I guess, but candidly I'll probably stay in beta till Onshape provides better sales tools.

  • dave_odledave_odle Member Posts: 4
    the fact still remains... this is something that onshape should already provide for us. as well as a 3d sketcher and frame design feature.
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,442 PRO
    Just thoughts about pricing in general.

    I wouldn't pay more than <$0.5 for single profile feature per use - it is pretty easy to model profile and derive sketch if needed rarely. And paying like $0.2 is annoying so it should go in same bill where I pay my yearly subscription.

    On the other hand if I was frequently in need for all kind of profiles, I would go with max $100 upfront payment for lifetime. Monthly fee feels too expensive if it's $10 since that's 10% of software cost. You could offer updates at additional cost (like $20) after certain perioid for lifetime clients.

    Then there is illegal copies which eat your bread if purchase price is too high.

    I really do hope that Onshape grows an ecosystem for independent feature coders because if I ever need something very special I can maybe afford to buy it from single coder but not from coding company which begins with all kind of mapping and resourcing causing budget overload before coding has even started.
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 452 ✭✭✭
    @3dcad, thanks for those thoughts!  If/when OS produces a featurescript store, that will really enable what we need.  I agree that micropayments only work when they can be combined with the platform payment that's already happening. Right now, the infrastructure simply isn't there.

    Coders generally have a hard time making money on one-off development.  The win-win is usually code that can be written to serve the needs of a group of some size > 1.  You can see that in the price range you quoted above.  If you're only willing to pay about $100 for <something> it follows that I'd need to be able to code that <something> in about two hours to make a decent rate.  It took more like 30 hours to write and test the AISC steel structure featurescript, so I need to sell a reasonable number of copies for it to be profitable.

    From another perspective, a good dev in a specialty language like FS is going to run about $80/hr minimum, so even the tinyest feature is going to be more than $100.

  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,442 PRO
    You are right, expenses need to be covered otherwise it's not business of any kind. With max $100 I was refering to something standard which can be sold to many users - like steel structures for example.
    Something very special just for me would be probably that $xx per hour and your standard features would confirm me that you're the man for the job.
    I suppose the price for *very special* feature would have to pay for itself in decent timeframe and make money after that to build satisfied customer base.
    That all depends on many things.

    The biggest problem I see in this (and all) coding work are bugs. They need to be fixed -fast- but no one is willing to pay for it.
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 452 ✭✭✭
    Yep I think you have stated it perfectly! For-hire coding quickly boils down to a matter of trust. Low trust means high costs and high waste. High trust means lower cost and waste, but you have to build trust first somehow.
  • chris_grantchris_grant Member Posts: 1 PRO
    Hi Dave. Almost 4 years later and this is still a hot topic. You've got the big stuff covered, but I'm looking for 1/2, 3/4", 7/8", 1" and 1-1/4" square and round tube along with 1 and 1-1/4" angle HSS. Any chance you've created such? I can sketch and extrude.....but predefined shapes are so much faster.

  • MBartlett21MBartlett21 Member, OS Professional, Developers Posts: 1,841 PRO

    You can try Neil Cooke's Beams FeatureScript ( http://onsha.pe/documents/e15c2c668d138f01242d0c80 ), or alternatively, if you want Australian profiles, you can use my Australian Beams FeatureScript ( http://onsha.pe/documents/cfcc264d41817d876589755c )
    MB - I make FeatureScripts: View FeatureScripts
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