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Combine Assembly Cylindrical & Revolute Mates into One Mate

Don_Van_ZileDon_Van_Zile Member Posts: 195 PRO
edited August 2018 in General

The Assembly mates in Onshape seemingly take new users a bit of getting used to (confusing) from my experience so far with our team coming from other systems; questions about how to define something or errors and how to fix. For example, when to use Cylindrical verses Revolute Mates. When you have many linkages to parts Cylindrical mates are your friend because they leave the axis translation degree of freedom open when it's already defined (locked down) by another mate.

I'm wondering if it might be better to simply combine the Revolute Mate within the Cylindrical Mate UI/Function as shown below thus eliminating Revolute from the tool bar. The options added boxed in red would lock down the Cylindrical Mates Translation. When this option is used the Feature List icon could still reflect the different Icon for the visual feedback. I think making these two mates one to the user might be easier to understand.

The same could be said about the In-Plane and Parallel mates being combined into one within its options. I noticed a common question among our users as to how to apply a Coincident mate between two faces and wasn't sure to use In-Plane or Parallel. You could use either such as Parallel with a 0 for Z's and it's confusing to them.

Just thought I would throw this out there for any potential discussion. Is anyone else running into confusion with these mates?


  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,660 PRO
    edited August 2018

    I like everything you've said on the forum so far, but just on my experience I'd be opposed to this change.
    I think we have two distinct pools of OS users.  New CAD users (virgins), and those with preconceived/familiar experience with other systems (converts). 
    We have the mildly contradictory dilemma of wanting the learning curve to be easy and intuitive for the virgins, and yet familiar enough for the converts that they can jump straight in and get stuff done.  (Who'd chose to be a UX designer?)
    I think for the virgins the icons as they stand are much easier to get to grips with that a more universal mate that has check boxes that talk about constraining degrees of freedom.
    If we were running out of space in the UI for icons then perhaps, but as it stands today I'm happy with what we've got. 
    Or as a tidy up just have a single "Add mate" icon on the header toolbar, and then have the mate type icons withing the feature dialogue instead.  All displayed at once, that stay put so you can instinctively click on what you want, not another damn pick list...)
    All offered in the spirit of healthy debate.
    Owen S.

    Business Systems and Configuration Controller
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • Don_Van_ZileDon_Van_Zile Member Posts: 195 PRO

    All offered in the spirit of healthy debate.
    Owen S.

    Yea, I'm just throwing this out there as again, I noticed a couple users getting frustrated with the learning curve on these.

  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,455 PRO
    edited August 2018
    I like the fact that it doesn't really matter what mate you choose as you can easily swap without loosing any selection..

    So once we get more control over customizing the  UI, you could probably select what ever you wan't to show or just have one icon for mates and select from dropdown.
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,157 PRO
    edited August 2018
    That was the point I was about to make as well, It really isn't much different hitting a checkbox or switching a mate type in the drop down.

    Although I would not agree with one icon for mates and using a drop down every time. The reason is it doubles the click count for each mate.
    1-mate icon
    2-MC 1
    3-MC 2

    1-mate icon
    2-dropdown expand
    3-mate type select
    4-MC 1
    5-MC 2

    Although Instead of the dropdown menu, it would be nice if it were a grid of mate icons.
    There are not that many mate types, and the visual people like myself can spot the difference between the Revolute mate and the Cylindrical mate by examining the Icon.

    Having a nice 2x4 grid would be much easier to spot your mate if you have a spacial awareness type of mind and can find your mate type by where it appears in the 2x4 grid.
    (This is how I find hole types in solidworks hole wizard very quickly)

    Not only that, the drop down menu isn't in any particular order that I can tell.
    It's not sorted by degerees of freedom, alphabetical, character length, shape of the icon image, or even the same order as they would appear on the top toolbar.
    Are they just randomly added to the list as the programmer could remember them or what  ;)
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