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paid featurescript functions

zoltan_szabozoltan_szabo OS Professional Posts: 13 PRO
Hello,
Nowadays, from day to day many new featurescript tools appear from OS users. I think it's a great thing, we can learn from each other a lot.
But it seems some users made their tools as paid version in the future, but the tools sometimes contain so basic features - like creating curves from external point data - which is requested in the past as OS improvements by community.
I would like to know whether OS plans to complete the missing improvements in the future, because it seems to be unfair for individual developers if OS make the same or really similar tools for everyone for free, but it would be also unfair for every users if we should pay extra fee for a basic tool...
This is my dilemma.....

I'm really interested in what others think about this, I think it's an important strategic question.
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Comments

  • lougallolougallo Member, Administrator, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,660
    @zoltan_szabo this is a great topic. We intend to continue to listen to all of the outstanding improvement requests and build a full feature set that a professional CAD tool provides. Currently many, including myself, have build some FS features that have been requested and will probably be made obsolete in the not so distant future. 

    The beauty is you can use the FS feature in leu of native features maybe due to a slightly different workflow or even an additional set of functions. I would also say that those building FS features for sale might consider building very industry specific functions (verticals) that might be focused on automation or groupings of functions like woodworking, molds, or even complex machined features. 

    The short answer is we are not going to avoid building necessary native functionality because FS features are available to fill the void today. 
    Lou Gallo / PD/UX - Support - Community / Onshape, Inc.
  • zoltan_szabozoltan_szabo OS Professional Posts: 13 PRO
    Lou, Thanks for your restful words. I also think FS is a very good tool for specialized problems, but OS should give the full sets of features as other professional CAD software to be competitive...Please continue your excelent work with OS.
  • fastwayjimfastwayjim Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 218 PRO
    The million dollar questions is "How much should a FS feature cost"? I see FS features as doing 1 of 2 things: #1, Automating a CAD task (for example, a task that is common to a certain industry/vertical) and so they will save time. #2, Providing a functionality that was previously not possible.

    I think the #1's will ultimately go into some sort of marketplace, and be priced accordingly to the time savings offered, and the #2's will be incorporated into OS to increase functionality, up to some point of diminishing return. After OS's capability meets the market's demand, additional functionality will go into the marketplace.

    My two cents... can anybody think of a #3?
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    I think there is a #3, which maybe could best be described as 'features created from design intent'.

    As a sort of made-up example, consider a spring.  One might argue that it is a 'mundane CAD task' to draw a spring.  And of course you can simply import springs from STP or whatever.  But what if you have a spring designer that can accept engineering inputs ( force when fully compressed, extended length, material )-- and then render the right geometry.  I'd argue that's different than your #1 or your #2.  Its a re-usable, CAD component that actually conveys design intent, not just a graphical representation of the result. 

    I can imagine Onshape projects including a lot of FeatureScript modules that are designed to quickly generate geometry based on its intent.  Since they are features, they are re-usable between projects.  

    This is how I think about  Socket Screw generator.  It inserts a fastener, but it also automatically creates taps and counterbores. It easier than importing fasteners from a static part catalog, but that's really on part of the point.  The main thing is that i didnt 'draw' anything at all: the feature is generated exclusively from the engineering requirement.




  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 242 PRO
    edited July 2016
    I am having a hard time imagining a scenario where I would pay for a feature script.  If I did....it would really have to save me time...and be either added to my monthly onshape professional fee, OR be a one-time VERY small fee.  

    Pretend for a moment someone created an AWESOME bolt generator feature script.  Ok I can see the benefit there however, I can import the bolt for free. 
    Same with aluminum extrusion profiles or any other standard part.  

    And truthfully I expect my fully mature professional CAD application to provide the functionality we need out of the box....not piecemealed together with feature scripts.  

    Feature scripting is cool....but not that cool.  Look at the discussion pinned to the top of the forum main page.  The floodgates are open but the creek seems to be dry.    
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    @coleman, would you consider this awesome? It puts a SHCS into your model, plus cuts the counterbore and tap, all in one step.  I find it much, much faster than importing a bolt-- because it does the matching holes. 

    https://cad.onshape.com/documents/2d7e0a6b68c2039da4221ebc/w/06d0026261b3d9bb908f74a1/e/55810c25d213e2450c12060d




    Its true, you can import these bolts. But then you still have to drill the holes and cbores to match. And if you change your mind on the size of the bolt-- ooops! now you get to re-import!

    Aluminum extrusions you can import too-- but then they are not the right length. Generally, you'll generate the right length and then import right? But what if you want the length to be based on your project? That way when you change your assembly, your parts are not 'dumb imports' that dont change. 

    If you use this generator, your 8020 profiles can be extruded to match the model, and they update themselves. That's much  nicer.


    SHCS.PNG 104.4K
  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 242 PRO
    edited July 2016
    @dave_cowden  I totally agree with you....that is awesome.  
    When onshape gets BOM capabilities will the fasteners be added to the BOM? 

    Regarding 8020- I usually import 1in and then use move face to get the desired length. 
  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 242 PRO
    edited July 2016
    @dave_cowden

    You should post your work in the forum post on the main page.  
    Maybe part of the problem is the search functionality in the public feature script area doesn't quite work.  How are we supposed to find useful feature scripts? 

    Furthermore, If I pay for a feature script (recurring billing) what keeps me from purchasing for one month and then opening the fs tab and copying the code and then just dropping the paid feature script script service next month?  
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    @coleman, yes there are actually two big things i'll add when Onshape supports it:

    (1) name the parts automatically based on the part:  SHCS #6/32x1.0 
    (2) annotate for BOM, as you suggested.

    Nice trick on 8020 and move face, that makes sense.  

    Are there other things that would save you time?  You sound like a tough customer, but I'm up to the challenge of saving folks using Onshape time :)

  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 242 PRO
    @dave_cowden- onshape should hire you. 
  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 242 PRO
    edited July 2016
    A nice feature script would be a raw material or stock generator.  
    I select my part, then a feature script fires that would create a piece of raw material required to manufacture the part.
    This raw material or stock part is added to the BOM as a parent of the part to be manufactured.  
    I could choose round or square or rectangle or sheet and then set the size of raw material to be a specified dimension bigger than the part. 

    As it currently stands, we have to measure the dimensions of the part to select the raw material.  This is usually the last step in the design process and when modeling the part I am usually thinking about how we will actually make the part at a later date.  I typically reach a reasonable conclusion in my mind...then days or weeks later I forget exactly what the plan was.  If I could generate the raw material at the time I modeled the part it would be awesome! 

    Then the BOM would also callout the stock requirements.  

  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    Yes, that's a pretty good idea.  It would be pretty complex to implement though, because of course a selected part could have lots of different parts that need to be considered.

    There's already a featurescript that will split apart a sheet part and lay out all of the component parts-- its pretty cool, but unfortunately i didnt write it:

    https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/3910/auto-layout-feature

    Is this something like you had in mind ( minus the BOM part, which of course isnt really possible at this  point )
  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 242 PRO
    @dave_cowden
    I was thinking something sort of like this:

    To make Plate B we will use STOCK which has xzy dimensions.  The dimensions of STOCK will show on the BOM.





    To make Drive Shaft we will use STOCK with X diameter and Z length....which will be displayed on the BOM. 
    I added material on the back for part off and the face for facing operation.  
    I need to make 1000 units so I can just take this info from the BOM to order stock. 




    This would also be helpful in multi part design where I am ordering several different pieces of stock and I can quickly look and see I already have 3 parts that will be made from 3x3x6 aluminum and there is another part that could also come from 3x3 so I might as well order an entire 12ft bar of 3x3 aluminum to take advantage of better raw material pricing. 




  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    Ok yeah I see. This is a pretty easy Featurescript. We need standard metal sizes, and then an easy way to consume the material based on part size.

    There are a couple of bom solutions in the app store. One is called openbom and another is a spreadsheet solution Lou published. Where do these fall short?
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,380 PRO
    I suppose they both lack part dimensions?
    //rami
  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 242 PRO
    To be honest, I am completely rebelling against using a 3rd party app for creating a BOM. 
    The ability to create a bill of materials is required for a professional CAD package......no 3rd party apps should be required. Obviously onshape will add this functionality soon so I am content to wait until then. 


  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    @coleman, understood.  In the meantime i'll see what i can do
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,380 PRO
    @coleman I agree, BOM needs to be built-in always up-to-date part of Onshape.
    //rami
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    @coleman just realized I didn't answer your question, why don't I post in the main forum, where they would be easier to find?

    Answer: I did. but Onshape doesn't want me to post there. When I post in the main forums, they move my posts to the Featurescript section.
  • oleg_shilovitskyoleg_shilovitsky Member, Developers Posts: 126 PRO
    coleman said:
    To be honest, I am completely rebelling against using a 3rd party app for creating a BOM. 
    The ability to create a bill of materials is required for a professional CAD package......no 3rd party apps should be required. Obviously onshape will add this functionality soon so I am content to wait until then. 


    Hi @coleman,

    I think part of Onshape vision is to extend Onshape with 3rd party applications via App Store. OpenBoM shares a lot of Onshape vision - cloud, multiuser collaboration and editing. OpenBoM is like Google Spreadsheets on steroids. 

    I'd be very interested to learn more about your requirements. 

    Thank you, Oleg 
  • oleg_shilovitskyoleg_shilovitsky Member, Developers Posts: 126 PRO
    3dcad said:
    @coleman I agree, BOM needs to be built-in always up-to-date part of Onshape.
    @3dcad

    openBoM is build-in. I actually have a question about "always-up-to-date". In our first release we have to buttons that can transfer updates from Onshape to openBoM and vice versa. There is not technological limitation to make it "transparent". However, I'm afraid, it might be confusing users that can change the same value simultaneously in both places. 

    What do you think? 

    btw, I'm up to the challenge you posted - to bring dimensions to the BOM. Not sure how to do it, but we are brining dimensions to openBoM from Solidworks, Inventor and other CAD systems. So, why not ;)

    Best, Oleg
  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 242 PRO
    @oleg_shilovitsky- Sure....onshape has a vision to extend functionality with 3rd party applications via the app store.  The ability to create BOM in a professional CAD software should not be an extension....it is bedrock, core required functionality.  
    I am all for the app store and very excited about the future of onshape apps. 

    Personally I won't be using a 3rd party app to create BOMs.  I will wait until the native onshape BOM system is released.  

    I am sure your application is wonderful and I hope you have success with it!  


  • oleg_shilovitskyoleg_shilovitsky Member, Developers Posts: 126 PRO
    @coleman thank you!

  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,380 PRO
    @coleman
    I still agree with you about professional cad core functionality but in order to get work done, I'm willing to use 3rd party app if it does what I need and is included in software price (=free). And as we have seen, Onshape can implement 3rd party apps as built-in part of software (drawings).

    //rami
  • oleg_shilovitskyoleg_shilovitsky Member, Developers Posts: 126 PRO
     @3dcad Drawings is not an app on the Onshape App Store. Like you said, it is 3rd party built-in part. Can you see yourself paying for Feature Scripts or any other applications on the app store? 

  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,380 PRO
    @oleg_shilovitsky
    I am paying for rendering software so I can't say that I wouldn't pay anything extra but I wouldn't pay for stuff that I consider as standard feature of professional cad (like BOM). Unless I need something very special that I don't expect to ever become built-in part of core software. In those cases I would prefer onetime reasonable (max ~$100) payment for life-time license including future fixes/updates.

    //rami
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,281 PRO
    3dcad said:
    @oleg_shilovitsky
    I am paying for rendering software so I can't say that I wouldn't pay anything extra but I wouldn't pay for stuff that I consider as standard feature of professional cad (like BOM). Unless I need something very special that I don't expect to ever become built-in part of core software. In those cases I would prefer onetime reasonable (max ~$100) payment for life-time license including future fixes/updates.

    Agree totally with the above.

    I don't want to be negative about anyone's efforts but for me I'd only write "gap filling" applications for a learning exercise.  For anything commercial it'd have to be something niche that onshape wouldn't stand any chance of making obsolete in the near future, or something bespoke to a single customer.

    Just my opinion, Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 242 PRO
    @3dcad  @owen_sparks-  I totally agree with both of you....you hit the nail on the head.  

    I am not paying extra for or relying on 3rd party apps to provide core cad functionality.  
    BOM creation is a core functionality.  
    Rendering is an extension of CAD, hence I am fine paying extra for that functionality.

    I have high hopes that onshape will release BOM creation soon.  

  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    @3dcad @owen_sparks @coleman:

    If you guys do not mind, which, if any of these features do you think are not 'core functionality', and are something you'd pay for outside of core:

    Socket Screw Generator
    8020 profiles
    Structure Steel profiles
    Weldments ( select line drawings and extrude profiles through them)
    Offset Faces
    import 3d points to curves/sketches/surfaces
    text on curved surfaces
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,380 PRO
    edited August 2016
    @dave_cowden
    I wouldn't expect other than 'text on curved surfaces', 'weldments' and maybe 'offset faces' to become core functionality. Other features are only for certain industry and as Onshape has ways (like FS and app store) to provide such - I hope they won't make the default set too crowded with industry specific tools.
    //rami
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