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> 3D Smart Dimension Behavior, Some Questions

Cary OConnor
post Mar 7 2011, 11:21 AM
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Hi All,

I wanted to ask some use model questions about the current 3D Smart Dimensions to find out how well it works today and what can be improved for future changes.

Today, I believe many existing users understand our 3D Smart Dimensions and how to apply them to get the objects to move. So the goal is to look at this from a different perspective and see if we can find out the best solution for all. For these questions, we will only discuss the dimensioning between Parts/Assemblies.

Background - Today, the 3D Smart Dimension are applied to the selected or highlighted object (Owner) and to another object. The Owner is the one that will try to move when the dimension is edited. If no objects are selected, the dimension is placed on the Part Level of the hit object when applying the dimension (not the assembly levels above).

Good: It is clear on how to get a specific object to move. Select the object and apply the dimension to it to be the owner and one to move.

Bad: When nothing is selected, it seems odd that it goes to the part level when there are assemblies. Also, new users may not understand this concept when coming from other systems.

Questions:
1. Is it clear to you that there is this owner concept and how to move objects?
2. Would it be better to have a command browser that shows who the dimension is related to (shows the owner and object at the opposite end of the dimension)?
3. If the command browser concept was used, should it allow the ability to select to any level of the assembly (so you start the command, pick an assembly, list the possible options to connect the dimension too - assembly, sub-assembly, etc, part)?
4. Would it be confusing if by default, the smart dimension selected the top most level of the selection? For example: Nothing is highlighted and you select on a part. It would by default find the top most object (the assembly) and apply the dimension there by default.

Background #2 - Today, the solving of the Dimensions in IRONCAD are primarily unidirectional. This means that the Owner is the one to move. If the owner cannot solve (or cannot move), the system does not try to see if the object at other end of the Dimension can move to solve the dimensional change (Bidirectional solving - more real world).

Questions:
1. If Bidirectional support is added, how will this affect your current understanding of the dimension relations? For Example: In some cases, the other end of the dimension will move if the owner cannot solve the dimension. Is that expected?
2. When you create the dimension, it is understood who the owner or preferred moving object is. The other end of the dimension will be the shape at the common parent level (for example: You select on the part, it will move up the tree to the parent that is at the same level. So say you have Part 1 in assembly 1 and you select Part 1 as the owner. Next you select Part 2 with is under Assembly 2. The dimension will be actually to Assembly 2 since it is at the same parent level as Part 1's parent assembly.

Please let me know your thoughts.
Cary
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dhovatter
post Mar 8 2011, 07:46 AM
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I have no real input because I always use tri-ball to move objects. It works better.
I only use smart dimensions to get dimensions. and I do that less and less since the addition of the "Measurement" tool. I do wish the measurement tool could be enhanced. but that is a different subject.
As far as the "Smart Dimensions" I guess I am fine with the way it is basically because I have not used it enough to really judge it.
Dallas
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tlehnhaeuser
post Mar 8 2011, 01:37 PM
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Below are some comments I have on the subject.
- I currently like the way the 3D Smart Dimensions operate and behave, very logical. I would NOT change from a unidirectional format. I like the predictable nature of knowing which part will move.
- I do not like command browsers. Any change I get to vote against them, I will. I like the old style “ribbon bars”. They were setup in a progression manner which aided new users tremendously, clean UI, easier to use (less clicks then now) and so much more. I personally would back to them in a heartbeat.
- What I would like to see added to 3D Smart Dimensions is the ability to create “3D Drawings. In other words, have the ability to use 3D SD’s to dimension a part with tolerance, GD&T, and any other 2D drafting options. Also to be able to “attach” them to a specific plane I create.
- The like visual cues, so any visual cue that indicates which part is the “movable” one would be great. I do not need them in structured browser of part of a tree UNLESS they provide some added-value (maybe parameters).
I think I'm up to $4.32 these days.
Tom
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Mike Allen
post Mar 8 2011, 03:24 PM
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I rarely use 3D Smart Dimensions to drive part movement, but I think they generally work fine as they are. The only thing that bothers me, is when I use an angular Smart Dimension to constrain two shapes, I'm unable to predict which direction it will rotate when I change the angle. For instance, if I start with the constrained edges at 90 degrees & change the angle to 45 degrees - as often as not, it will rotate 135, or 225, or 315 degrees (see below topic.)

http://www.ironcad.com/support/community/i...?showtopic=7066

Most of the time, however, I use Smart Dimensions as a standard dimensioning tool, not as a constraint.

This post has been edited by Mike Allen: Mar 8 2011, 03:25 PM
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mwalls558626
post Mar 8 2011, 05:09 PM
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I too, like how the smartdimensions work now. If you want to add more abilities etc, that would be fine, just leave what's there now alone.

I could see maybe having different "modes" of how the smartdimensions work, but I have not given it much thought.

Mike
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cborer
post Mar 9 2011, 12:57 AM
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I can totally promote the postings above, especially Toms.
Smart dimension as it is now is logical and intuitive.
I like that very much.
I often use them to drive positions as this is so easy and even faster as the tribal.
Please no new command browsers, they make everything slower.

Bi directional:
If yes:
Make smart dimensions display with an arrow and a point (or a cross) as end (similar to the lenght of a line in crosssections of shapes)
...and right click on the smart dimension to "change moving part"

But this is really not necessary.
Instead of this I would urgent need additional measuring tools.
Like suggested:
1. Radius relative to Isocurve
2. Ellipses: Radius and Absolute points in the drawing.
3. Measuring at perspective.

IC is the most comfortable CAD I have ever seen, we do not need more comfort.
It is pefect now.
We need more real tools.
Please dont waste the valuably time of the developpers with, new UI, structured part and so on. Please develop the missing tools.
Thanks
Carlo

This post has been edited by cborer: Mar 9 2011, 01:10 AM
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ysinitsyn
post Mar 9 2011, 07:44 AM
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QUOTE(cborer @ Mar 9 2011, 12:57 AM)
Please no new command browsers, they make everything slower.
*


Very important point. I agree...
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Cary OConnor
post Mar 9 2011, 10:32 AM
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The need for Bi-direction is a real need. Bi-Directional is a mathematical or CAD term but in real life, everything is bi-directional when solved in mechanisms. The current solver in IRONCAD is one direction with the exception of when you create a loop or enter the mechanism mode. What we are looking at doing is preserving the current usage and understanding as much as possible, but allowing the system to really work more natural. For example: Say you have three parts today. You lock a smart dimension from part 2 to part 1. The put a dimension on Part 2 to Part 3. Now you try to edit the dimension between Part 2 and Part 3. It will not solve (or gives an unexpected rotation) since Part 2 is already constrained to Part 1. In reality, why doesn't Part 3 move to solve it? That is bi-directional.

It doesn't mean that we can still have a concept of the preferred moving object. Meaning that we can create a dimension and highlight who is the preferred mover when the dimension is edited. What this means is that it will be the one set to move if it can. If it can't, other objects will try to move to solve the dimension change.

Does this make sense?

Cary
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cborer
post Mar 9 2011, 01:10 PM
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Carry
I played that through and it worked well.
I must be wrong! blush.gif
Can you make a movie?

PS did you like the idea with arrow and point?

This post has been edited by cborer: Mar 9 2011, 01:11 PM
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Cary OConnor
post Mar 9 2011, 02:20 PM
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Here is a low quality video.

Attached Image
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cborer
post Mar 10 2011, 01:01 AM
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Hi Cary
Thanks
Yes that behaviour is wrong.
But if you lock it should be locked anyway.
Maybe a popup would be nice that asks: "move start part" or "move owner" ?
While IC shows old and new position and an arrow between.

You might as well ask "move group with locked smart dimension, but this is dangerous and might provoke faults

Anyway it is easy to set a new smart dimension in most cases.
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dberge
post Mar 10 2011, 02:03 AM
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what i would like to be added to the smartdimension is that when the dimension is between two points , you could choose between the real distance and the x,y or z-distance.
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Marcus Bertilsson
post Mar 10 2011, 05:44 AM
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What I realy would like to be able do is this:

1 Select all part that you would like to move.
2 Edit a smart dimension.
3 All objects that where selected are now moved in the direction of the smartdimension.

In this way it is wery controlled what will move and in what direction.
You dont need to have locks on dimensions so you are very free to do differet modifications.
But the best thing is that you dont need a design intent, that is where Ironcad realy can make a difference!

/ Marcus
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Cary OConnor
post Mar 10 2011, 08:24 AM
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Marcus - I think the best tool for that is the TriBall. Select all parts and use the TriBall to move a distance.

Carlo - Since the current system is one-direction, it can't support the option to move the other way. It can be done in a UI manner to switch, but the real issue is when you Edit All SmartDimension or use the parameter table. In that case, there is not really a UI it is trying to solve the dimensions but can't due to the one-directional solving. That is where the bi-directional comes into play. Also, during drag of objects this affect can be seen.

I think our goal will be to make some changes and allow users to give a try to see how the newer change will work. Then it would be easier to provide feedback.

Cary
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jkim522093
post Mar 18 2011, 01:37 AM
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I definetely need bi-directional because it is essential to make real-world mechanism easily.
With Uni-directional solving, I have to think about really carefully how to apply the Smart Dimensions between the parts before to make mechanism simulation.
And if solving direction between some parts in the assembly, then we have to rework from the scratch in most cases.

Even for the long-time users of IronCAD here want to have birectional which is really intuitive and it works as they think.
And unidirectional behavior is one of the hurdle and harde to understand for new users from other 3D CAD tools.
(Almost of the 3D CADs were unidirectional before, but now they all support by-directional.)

Simply Smart Dimension should be a kind of dimension constraints between the parts.

JH
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EricFoy
post Mar 24 2011, 09:43 PM
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Here's what I'd like:

When placing the SmartDimension:

If something is selected, attach at the selected level (current behavior).

If nothing is selected, throw a pop-up like this (right under the cursor):

CODE

+-----------------------------+
|  Select Movable Object      |
|  -------------------------- |
|  -Assembly                  |
|  -Part                      |
|  -Shape (Intellishape)      |
+-----------------------------+

But if you put this stuff into a browser window with those two list areas where you click a list region, then select features, etc., etc., then make me have to pick that green check mark waaaaaay up there in the corner of the screen, I will pick up my $1500 monitor and throw it through my $300 window.
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cborer
post Mar 26 2011, 03:22 AM
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Hi Eric
Hope your monitor doesn't hit the 100 000.-$ car of your neighbor!
smile.gif
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mwalls558626
post Mar 28 2011, 01:02 PM
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Long Live the Original UI !!!!!!
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Cary OConnor
post Mar 28 2011, 01:49 PM
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Let me ask this question on the UI while we are here. If you had full ability to customize a Ribbon Tab and ability to hide others, would it not be better than or similar the toolbar UI to a degree? The main thing missing at that point is the dock location (it would be at the top - but you can turn off the command name and panel name and it would be about the same size as the toolbars). The Browser is a different item as we know.

Cary
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B. Ludin
post Mar 28 2011, 03:56 PM
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QUOTE(Cary OConnor @ Mar 7 2011, 06:21 PM)
I wanted to ask some use model questions about the current 3D Smart Dimensions...

I think the SDs work fine now. However, I would like to have the unidirectionality visualized graphically, e.g. by a circle for the fixed end and an double arrow head for the moving end. In the properties, you could have a bi-directionality setting which should result in displaying a double arrow head for the end that moves primarily, and a single arrow head for the end that move secondarily. Just an idea...
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