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Why doesn't Onshape support sketch blocks or sketch scaling?
ian_harris952 Member Posts: 20 ✭✭
Just idle curiosity I guess. I've played with quite a few CAD packages, and most, if not all, support the concept of blocks for drawings. So why doesn't OS have this functionality? Is it on the to-do list?
Same comment for scaling sketch items. Several times I've found I wanted to create a copy of a group of sketch items, but make it a different size; 10% bigger, 25% smaller, whatever. I have not been able to discover a way of doing it. Well I have. I export the .dxf then import it into Librecad, and do the scaling and copying there. Not ideal but it's the only workaround I've found.
I'm not a power user or anything, just a hobbyist amateur. So maybe I'm missing something or just haven't explored OS deeply enough? Apologies if these are stupid questions.
One reason for this question is that I've recently acquired a laser engraver/cutter, and the software to drive it (I'm using Lightburn under Linux) can import .dxf files. Maybe OS isn't the right tool for this job and I should be using a 2D CAD package like Librecad, but I'm used to OS now and I'd prefer to do everything in OS, and it is perfectly capable of producing 2D sketches and exporting them in .dxf format. With these bits of functionality missing...
What sorts of things are you modeling that require sketch blocks and sketch scaling?
Perhaps there are some other workflows that would be even more efficient. If you're doing laser cutting, here are some useful things to know:
Laser Joint - custom feature that automates laser-cut finger joints:
Auto Layout - simple layout tool for 2D cutting. Does not do nesting (uses bounding boxes of parts), but saves tons of time flattening things out:
Create drawing -> custom template -> no border or title block -> insert part studio filter -> select your part studio with the layout feature already run -> top view -> export as DXF -> ready to send to laser cutter!
Here's a video I made that features more info about how to use these workflows:
If you already have 3D parts generated for the formers or ribs, Auto Layout should be able to get things to a state where you can make the drawing of the part studio and export to DXF.
What I would recommend is rather than modeling formers and lofting between them to produce the body, instead try making the body as a surface loft and then modeling the formers within that body. That way, they will adapt if you need to tweak the shape rather than having to manually tweak them to get the shape you want.
Here is one approach for that method:
As for writing FeatureScript, it's not as bad as it sounds! You can make one almost entirely just by clicking the buttons to prefill blocks of code. If you're okay with C and Python, then FeatureScript should not be too bad. I would recommend looking at some simple custom features to get a sense for how they work, such as multi-plane:
Plus, the documentation is great:
your 'Loft Section Demo' is not public. Did you mean to make it so?
mmm. that is working now. Maybe it was me...
@ian_harris952 I don't believe there's an IR for this for sketches yet. There's a similar one for drawings here:
I'd love a "sketch block" that I can define once, and then configure a scale factor and be done with it.
I'll gladly vote for that!
This is how I have adapted an alternate way of accomplishing sketch blocks. If your looking to use sketch blocks as a way to visualize movement of components while sketching, it doesn't solve that problem. For me, I mainly use sketch blocks for standardizing different cutouts in material and such so this derived surface method works extremely well. In fact, I prefer it to solidworks answer to sketch blocks because the derived surface is forever linked back to the geometry that needs to fit the cutout and can be updated very easily.
One can only hope that this kind of functionality will happen eventually.
In my case, I often have to add our company logo to an object, and the best way to do that is with a scalable sketch.
You can also derive sketches in but they aren't free to move around, but you can use something like "super derive" to place a bunch of them at once if needed (having another sketch defining the locations can make this pretty quick). I guess if you could derive something in but make it "float" that would pretty much do it...
Depending what you are trying to do, you can also insert sketches in an assembly and that's the closest to behavior you will get to "traditional" sketch blocks, except that you are not in a part studio environment so you can't extrude them etc. If you make them into surfaces instead of sketch you can then create a context.
Basically nothing "quite" like a sketch block but there is some functionality that can get you pretty close (depending on what you are using the sketch blocks for)
We use sketch blocks to define major and common components such as the frame, elevator, climber, collector, wheels, motors, etc.
We can then create sketch layouts by placing the blocks and then adding 2D constraints. It is a great way to conceptualize and visualize motion without having to make 3D components initially.
Not having sketch blocks will definitely be a challenge for us to adopt OnShape.
However, we recognize the benefits of cloud storage, simultaneous editing, and improved file management, so we are going to give OnShape a try.
You should be able to do this by inserting and mating the sketches in an assembly. I guess it is might require a few more steps than throwing them in a 2d sketch, but it also means you can have 3D motion as well (with just 2D "parts") so it's also more flexible...
Switching to a more general plug for Onshape, I've been astonished how quickly new team members can master OS fundamentals using the self-paced curriculum that was rolled out in the past year or so. Good luck with your transition- you won't regret it.