Message 1 of 8
One thing that appears not to have made it though is pixel sized dimensions in the sketcher.
This is one thing that really irritates me about VX in that so much is placed around using sketches yet we are expected to set a dim size and run with that for all sketches. I design a lot of parts ion the same project that have different sizes. Dimension sizes for a 10x10x5mm part will be different to a 1000x1500x500 part. I can't see what the issue is here? Why not make all dimension attributes in sketches pixel sized? What this means is you set it once and the software adjusts the size according to the screen zoom level, so dimensions (and arrowheads and witness lines) all stay the same relative proportions.
How hard is this to do? Look at the competition, SolidWorks has had this ability since at least 2001.
The sketcher is such a fundamental component of VX that it should be as robust and as easy to use as the best of the competition. This one enhancement would make life easy for many users who don't just design parts that are always the same size.
Message 2 of 8
Pixel-sized dimensions would not be acceptable by most engineering companies, most of whom apply international drawing standards and/or their own in-house standards, when Sketcher dimensions are displayed in a 2D Layout. What can be delivered is proportional dimensions - you input the text height, all other dimension attribute values are sized accordingly.
The VX Sketcher is robust. Once you have learnt how to use it properly, it is very easy to use. It's capacity for large Sketches, multiple fully constrained shapes in one Sketch space and individual element selectability for 3D modelling puts it well above many other systems.
Message 3 of 8
I am not talking about using the dimension attributes from the sketcher in a drawing. What I am talking about is the display of the dimensions used to constrain the sketches. To demonstrate the issue I have attached some screenshots from VX 12.55 and SolidWorks 2006 froma customer's machine (where I am now).
Firstly look at the SolidWorks screens. Notice how the dimensions, arrows and witness lines and constraint icons in the sketch remain the same SCREEN (Pixel) size regardless of the zoom level applied (in this case via the scroll zoom).
Next look at the VX equivalent. Notice how the dimensions and arrows and witness lines stay the same PHYSICAL size as you zoom in. Notice also how the VX icons for constraints stay the same SCREEN (pixel) size as you zoom in. It appears that VX have a 50/50 implementation!
Hopefully this is clear?
What this means in production terms is that in VX you constantly have to change the sketch dimension attributes to keep them legible and to make working on the sketch clear. Compare this to SolidWorks (in this case) and others where you set the dimension size for the sketching environment as a screen based size that is independent of zoom.
When you take the dimensions through to drawings in SW it applies the dimension attributes as set by your template. The attributes in the sketch need not be related to the attributes for the drawings.
As I said, this issue alone creates a lot of frustration. I should not have to be constantly changing dimension attributes as I move from sketch to sketch to make things legible.
I am not saying the VX sketcher is inferior to others on the market. What I am saying is that seeing as how the VX sketcher is so critical to the "proper" use (in terms of retaining history) of the application it needs to offer an interface that is amongst the best on the market. At the moment in time I don't think it does, and this is one of the interface features it needs to have.
Message 4 of 8
I did understand your point entirely, I have seen and used many other products. The reason for my guarded response is the overall picture - each application has it's own way of delivering the finished 2D data presented on screen. Since you are familiar with both VX and others, what would you say if we "did it the competitorX way", but thus delivered the solved views in 2D Layout much slower (certain competitors can be hours slower), or delivered views that were not as accurate and/or not as editable as VX views are now?
I am not saying that we can't improve, but I am saying that in this area the balance is already better than many. Proportional dimension change, which would not have a knock-on effect elsewhere, can be introduced more quickly and would be satisfactory for most Users needs. I'm not discounting your request, I shall submit a PCR on the subject - just trying to give you a handle on that overall picture. You will find many niceties in other software and we have improved our GUI tremendously over the past two years, but our main focus is on delivering geometry creation tools that the others can only dream about, whatever their price-point might be.
Message 5 of 8
It kind of worries me for you to say the main focus is on geometry creation. Why? Well if I struggle to create the curves that drive the geometry, or if I find the interface to the curve generation and editing gets in the way then the tool doesn't get used as much as it could. Kind of like driving a Ferrari with no headlamps at night. Great performance and handling but I find myself getting overtaken by the Mondeo with its headlights on and sat nav :-)
Sometimes it is a good thing to step back a bit and focus on exposing that power to a wider audience that may not be full time CAD users. The more people who are comfortable in the application the more people who will buy it.
Message 6 of 8
Message 7 of 8
Scalable vs screen display... maybe it is a user choice thing. If VX allowed a choice, then the arguments should vanish.
My suggestion is that scalable is fine (and maybe even preferable) but the ease with which it is managed could be improved a lot.
I suspect most users would have about 4 favourite dimensions attribute sets. So there are a number of ways changing dimensions could be done:
On creation: Allow the user to specify which of the favourite attributes was to be used. Subsequent dimensions follow suit until a change is made.
Post creation: Minimum change. User define list automatically drops down on opening dimension attributes dialoge.
Prefered change: A favourite dimension button (quadrant choice - one button 4 options) set is available in the sketcher tool bar, select dims, click choice and done.
All of the above. This assumes picking the favourites is also easy. e.g a tick box choice or similar
Great to hear V13 may get some sketcher improvments.
Message 8 of 8
You can already save favourite dimension attribute sets as bundles - then simply select the one you wish to use from the drop-down list, which can comfortably be far more than four.
In version 13, we have a single value that you can edit to proportionally change all of the values that control dimension element sizes