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Improvements to Onshape - April 22, 2015

lougallolougallo Member, Administrator, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,362
edited April 2015 in New in Onshape
Thank you again for all the feedback you have sent in and we are excited to hear what you think of the update we just pushed.  This update improves  a few existing features like incrementing dimensions and DWG/DXF output in addition to some shiny new capabilities!  So let's start unwrapping presents, shall we?
Highlights include:
  1. Sketch patterns. (linear / circular with parameters that can be updated at any time...it even works after deleting the "seed" instance)



  2. Comments! Add multiple comments per workspace and get threaded replies under each.  There is also a new share option called "View and comment". More to come with the comments feature in the next few updates so stay tuned.



  3. Scale - Apply uniform scale to parts from selected point.  (under Transform)



  4. Change increment value on dimensions with SHIFT ( x 10 ) & CTRL ( x 0.1 ) with scroll wheel.



  5. Option to opt-out of screenshot in Feedback (text only comments)


Honorable mentions:
  1. DWG/DXF output uses AutoCAD Release 11 format (to increases compatibility)
  2. Export help in HTML/PDF formats (lower right corner - printer icon)



  3. Feedback tool now in Help (when signed into Onshape)


You can read our official blog post here.  Feedback is welcome and encouraged so go ahead,  give them a try and let us know what you think!  Keep the feedback coming and we are all "heads-down" building the next wave of updates!  
Lou Gallo / PD/UX - Support - Community / Onshape, Inc.

Comments

  • julian_lelandjulian_leland Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 59 PRO
    I just finished up modifying a whole bunch of circular patterns (manually laid out) yesterday. Augh.

    (totally not the point - looks great, so excited!)
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2015
    Brilliant. This is a protein-packed package, I reckon.

    I really like the look of the UI for the sketch pattern tool, for a start.
    I would habitually roll my eyes when using the Sldwks one, (it wasn't just the UI, in that case, but it was tragic) and dreaded being asked by others to demistify it. My fervent wish was that they would come up with a 'clean sheet of paper' rethink, instead of endlessly tinkering with a bad concept. So I guess someone had to do it!

    I look forward to trying the 'variable granularity' of the scroll wheel, something I was keen to see... I would like to see it extended to dragging (eg for extrude depths) My experience to date with the scroll wheel in metric in OnS has been that it was unusable -- particularly for dimensions in sketches, where I only got one swipe before it reverted to zooming - not quite so bad for dimension entry for extrude distance and other features, but the metric increments were uselessly infinitesimal.

    Scaling - Yay! (Difficult to 'workaround' that particular gap)
    I guess scaling non-uniformly will take a bit longer ... I have a project I would like to try in OnS that requires it ... but as always, I trust the team will make sure the cake is baked before putting it on the table.

    Comment facility for models: fantastic. Keen to see how comment locations cope with 3D view rotation ... in other packages, non-attached annotations tend to fly around like a loose cannon in a beam-on gale...

    dxf profile export R11: Thanks ! OnS is living up to the promise of responsiveness - recovering quickly from small stumbles strikes me as a crucial factor, which should quickly pull you guys level with (and then ahead of) the "annual updates" pack.

    Feedback in Help: I reckon if other packages had been able to harvest and take careful note of this, easily and in quantity, it would have made a big diff to their documentation (perhaps I would except SolidEdge: I was always highly impressed with the quality of their Help)

    All in all, a big leap in this surge ... forza Onshape!
  • lougallolougallo Member, Administrator, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,362
    @Andrew_Troup Great feedback.  Scale updates will come.  As far as making sure the cake is baked.... we also like to let you taste the batter.  When we have something to a state for use and feedback we like to get it out for you to try to determine priorities for the next updates.  This is also the case with comments.  We will be iterating on this.
    Lou Gallo / PD/UX - Support - Community / Onshape, Inc.
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks Lou, keep up the good work! And yes, nothing wrong with a bit o' batter on occasion ...

    A first impression on linear patterns: love it! It's nine ways better than others I've tried...

    One question: is there a way to flip the propagation arrows 180 degrees, without irrevocably losing their snap (to vertical / horizontal)?
    It currently seems that unless the chosen "seed" corner is bottom left, propagation is at an arbitrary angle, and the user has to go back and manually constrain the axis or axes.

    I suppose one solution would be to permit the propagation directions to resnap, but I can see that is not always ideal. (eg when the intention is to slew one of the arrows only a few degrees from H/V)
  • jakeramsleyjakeramsley Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 539
    One question: is there a way to flip the propagation arrows 180 degrees, without irrevocably losing their snap (to vertical / horizontal)?
    It currently seems that unless the chosen "seed" corner is bottom left, propagation is at an arbitrary angle, and the user has to go back and manually constrain the axis or axes.
    Do a single left-click on it.  This will flip just like the rest (well, most) of our manipulators.  
    Jake Ramsley

    Director of Quality Engineering              onshape.com
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭✭
    Excellent! Thanks, @JakeRamsley ;
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2015
    @JakeRamsley    I wonder, to make this behaviour more 'discoverable', if it would be worth providing an LMB mouse icon showing a flip arrow, when the user hovers over the arrowhead of such a manipulator? It won't make much difference to enthusiasts (eg public beta testers), but such hints could tip the balance for the general public, possibly. I realise it has to be balanced against the perils of an excessively "busy" interface.

    It would be interesting to have a straw poll of current users: how many had discovered LMB flipping of manipulators, and understood it to be general UI feature?
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2015

    ......

    I look forward to trying the 'variable granularity' of the scroll wheel, something I was keen to see... I would like to see it extended to dragging (eg for extrude depths) My experience to date with the scroll wheel in metric in OnS has been that it was unusable -- particularly for dimensions in sketches, where I only got one swipe before it reverted to zooming - not quite so bad for dimension entry for extrude distance and other features, but the metric increments were uselessly infinitesimal.......... ... forza Onshape!
    Yay! the behaviour for dimension entry is transformed, it's now REALLY usable.
    The increments turn out to be 'scaled', in other words the amount is not fixed, but changes gears, increasing stepwise as the dimension increases.
      
    This is a promising idea, and certainly simplifies the control set, although it does introduce an element of potential confusion: you cannot rely on a particular modifier affecting the dimension at the significant digit level you expect.
     
    Once that's optimised and bedded down, I'd very much like to see the same granularity (at least as a user-specified global option) applied to dragging. Taking the case of linear pattern, this would mean no resort would be needed to the numeric keys: you could quickly drag it to the exact desired size with the manipulator arrows, aided only by the modifier keys to "change gears" as the desired value drew near.

    At present, as soon as you start dragging, you are forced to resort to numerical keys to get rid of extraneous digits, otherwise something like 136.431 is taken as the starting point for further granular increments, making this workflow unusable.
  • david_sohlstromdavid_sohlstrom Member, Mentor Posts: 159 ✭✭
    Increment values of X10 and X0.1 work well for metric values but not so for inch values. If I have a value of 3.03125 and want to increase it to 4.0625 the X10 will work for the full inch but the X0.1 will not work to increase the .03125 to .0625. 
    The values need to be controllable by the user.

    Dave
    David Sohlstrom

    Ariel, WA
  • r_paulr_paul Member Posts: 22 ✭✭
    Hi Lou and all,

    Though I am from AU. and metric being the standard my age ;-) and some of my stuff mean imperial measurements still feature so I would add my voice to David_Solstrom's; imperial increments would be very useful.  Choice, in how you can work, in CAD of any ilk, is important.

    Have a query about the Circular pattern.  When using polygons the construction lines created by the command appear to randomly attach to an outer portion of the geometry not the centre point as (I think) would be more appropriate.  I do seem to be able to reposition it by manipulating the constraints; is there something I am not doing correctly? 

    If it is working as designed do others feel it would be better for the centre of the polygon to be used as the default?

    That said, all the new features are good steps forward, thank you.
  • paul_chastellpaul_chastell Onshape Employees Posts: 78
    We try to pick the "anchor" in a deterministic way but its not always going to be the one that might make most sense. One useful tip: the gray box around the anchor can be dragged and relocated elsewhere before you are done creating the pattern. If you do that then it saves you the trouble of fiddling with constraints afterwards. Could you give that a try and let me know how it works out?
    Paul Chastell / VP of R&D / Onshape Inc.
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2015
    I have struck a problem with editing dimensions, number of instances etc, by double clicking on the dimension and then rolling the middle mouse wheel. Specifically when editing a linear pattern, but it may be much more general.

    I only get one click (increment) before the input box closes and the change is accepted, whereas I want to keep rolling.  I am not depressing the mousewheel, just rolling it.

    I'm running a low-end Chromebook and an Intellimouse Optical Explorer.

    It works as advertised when I'm entering a number the first time. The problem only comes when editing existing numbers.

    I'll look into it further but I'm going to be tied up with other things for a while, and I thought I'd raise it on the forum to see if it's not just an isolated incompatibility issue.
  • jakeramsleyjakeramsley Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 539
    I have struck a problem with editing dimensions, number of instances etc, by double clicking on the dimension and then rolling the middle mouse wheel. Specifically when editing a linear pattern, but it may be much more general.

    I only get one click (increment) before the input box closes and the change is accepted, whereas I want to keep rolling.  I am not depressing the mousewheel, just rolling it.

    I'm running a low-end Chromebook and an Intellimouse Optical Explorer.

    It works as advertised when I'm entering a number the first time. The problem only comes when editing existing numbers.

    I'll look into it further but I'm going to be tied up with other things for a while, and I thought I'd raise it on the forum to see if it's not just an isolated incompatibility issue.
    This is a limitation right now that using the up/down buttons as well as the wheel is going to submit the dimension change immediately.  We have work logged to change this behavior.
    Jake Ramsley

    Director of Quality Engineering              onshape.com
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2015
    Brilliant. Thanks, @JakeRamsley ;

    It's extremely reassuring to get such quick responses .... also, somehow, knowing that a tool's antibodies are working away healing it, frees up user RAM (grey matter) to focus on what IS working, which is basically pretty much everything.
  • r_paulr_paul Member Posts: 22 ✭✭
    We try to pick the "anchor" in a deterministic way but its not always going to be the one that might make most sense. One useful tip: the gray box around the anchor can be dragged and relocated elsewhere before you are done creating the pattern. If you do that then it saves you the trouble of fiddling with constraints afterwards. Could you give that a try and let me know how it works out?
    Thanks Paul, that seems to works great.  Now, I can choose either a point on the polygon or the centre point which also means I can dimension from the construction line and a line on the polygon which, in turn, can then be used to control the rotation of the polygon about its centre point.
    Good control, great stuff thanks.
  • pete_yodispete_yodis OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 666 ✭✭✭
    I love the look of the comment capability.  Such a great place to make information and communication central... the model - the essence of what will be.
  • jonathan_stedmanjonathan_stedman Member, Mentor Posts: 46 ✭✭
    @JakeRamsley    I wonder, to make this behaviour more 'discoverable', if it would be worth providing an LMB mouse icon showing a flip arrow, when the user hovers over the arrowhead of such a manipulator? It won't make much difference to enthusiasts (eg public beta testers), but such hints could tip the balance for the general public, possibly. I realise it has to be balanced against the perils of an excessively "busy" interface.

    It would be interesting to have a straw poll of current users: how many had discovered LMB flipping of manipulators, and understood it to be general UI feature?
    Not - me - Did not know LMB flipped the manipulators.  
  • jonathan_stedmanjonathan_stedman Member, Mentor Posts: 46 ✭✭
    "Comment facility for models: fantastic. Keen to see how comment locations cope with 3D view rotation ... in other packages, non-attached annotations tend to fly around like a loose cannon in a beam-on gale..."

    Comment locations - I don't seem to be able to link a comment to a feature.  Is this possible?  
  • caradoncaradon OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 300 PRO
    @JakeRamsley    I wonder, to make this behaviour more 'discoverable', if it would be worth providing an LMB mouse icon showing a flip arrow, when the user hovers over the arrowhead of such a manipulator? It won't make much difference to enthusiasts (eg public beta testers), but such hints could tip the balance for the general public, possibly. I realise it has to be balanced against the perils of an excessively "busy" interface.

    It would be interesting to have a straw poll of current users: how many had discovered LMB flipping of manipulators, and understood it to be general UI feature?
    Not - me - Did not know LMB flipped the manipulators.  
    I didn't know it either. Mainly because it doesn't work like that in SOLIDWORKS for e.g. extrudes. Happy that I know now though. :)

    Dries
  • andy_morrisandy_morris Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 78
    Jonathan_Stedman said:

    Comment locations - I don't seem to be able to link a comment to a feature.  Is this possible?  

    We cannot link comments to features yet.
    Also see the thread on how we should evolve comments in Onshape https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/640/comments-how-should-they-evolve-next
    Andy Morris / User Experience Designer / Onshape, Inc.
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2015
    Thanks, guys, for chiming in. Since I wrote that, I've discovered what my REAL problem was: I failed to listen carefully to the instructions (!) and mistakenly thought I had to drag the manipulator by the box. If you drag it by the arrowhead, there is no slewing, hence no defeating the auto H/V constraint, making it easy to drag it back past its own start point to reverse the direction. Which I consider intuitively discoverable.

    So my suggestion to OnS:  How about rotating the square 'box' thru 45 deg, so it looks a bit like the diamond handle on a (whispering) Solidworks spline manipulator, which is self-evidently intended for slewing? Anyone reckon that would help?

    ON EDIT It's strange how the forum software gives the correct preview for italics, but when it pushes the comment out to the thread, it emboldens it as well. 
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,154 PRO
    Sketch pattern is awesome though needs some adjustment while was waiting for dialog.. For me it's a bit difficult to handle since my sketches are fairly big, 25mm usually makes entities overlap and this looks a bit of hassle when default is . If I could change the defaults then it would be really nice and fast. 

    Screenshot, patterning cabinet shelf
     

    image
    //rami
  • william_wrightwilliam_wright Member Posts: 1
    I am looking forward to non-Uniform scaling as well!
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