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Can sketcher dimensions be a bit smarter?

    
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Paul

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Message 1 of 11

 Can sketcher dimensions be a bit smarter?
15-01-2007 10:21 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Hi all, sanity check required...

I am wondering if it is just me or are the sketcher dimension tools setup to frustrate the geebees out of you and use up finger tendons?

I use the auto dimension tool a lot. It'd be cool except for a couple of really annoying traits. The selection is always reverting to entity and skipping the second point pick in the dimension dialogue. That is it goes to dimension location instead of the end of a line, point etc. I really want it to rember my last seleection. e.g. Critical until I say otherwise or auto toggle depending on the cursor position.

If everyone else is happy with it like that, I'll shut up and live with it, reluctantly at least.

Another issue is sketcher going into a mode where every dimension placed is a non editable - bracketed.. (I cant remember what the correct VX term for these are).
Now this could be my system, how would I know? Toggling the dimensions, they drive the sketch just fine.

These two issues combine to require an immense number of un necessary clicks and time.

A further sketcher problem is with a sketch ending up with a corrupt constraint. Symptom: Regen within the sketch shows all is well. Contraint enquire is happy. On exiting the sketch, the "Some contraints cannot be solved' (or similar) message arrives -without an option to do anythig about it. (As if I could anyway)

So, does anyone else experience these issues?

It's very hot, my eyes are sore and I'd rather be swimming with the kids.
(Office located - Lat: S36o08', Long: E174o14')

Cheers

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Steve

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Message 2 of 11

16-01-2007 07:06 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Sorry, can't offer you a suggestion on your problem.

But I'd GLADLY trade you Weather!

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Mike

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Message 3 of 11

18-01-2007 01:07 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Paul,

If you are really talking about [brackets] and not (parenthesis) then you have checked a box that says "Delay solve". Doing a regen should remove the brackets and update the sketch.

I can't remember seeing a situation where you REGEN the sketch and still get that message. It does not indicate an UNDER Constrained sketch, rather some kind of conflicting constraints. What I have found works real well for me is if you have a complicated sketch, Draw a little then constrain. Draw somemore, constrain somemore.

Trimming will throw your constraints out the window. So, you have 2 choices: Draw, trim then constrain or use the TRACE PROFILE. This way you can sketch and not worry about any trimming.

Another brilliant tip about sketching if I do say so myself: SKETCH PRETTY CLOSE TO SCALE. It makes updating a lot more predictable. Use the little number in the lower left of the screen (ZOOM SCALE). It is approximately equal to the height of the screen. So before drawing, Zoom the screen to the approximate height of your model.

As always if you are having problems with a design you can contact me directly.

Support@vx.com

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Paul

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Message 4 of 11

18-01-2007 01:47 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Thanks Mike,
what I am trying to discover is if the issues are system specific to my setup or not.
The dimensions are bracketed - whilst working in a sketch - sometime EVERY dimension defaults that way with no constraints present. This forces me to go thru' the process of toggling them to normal then they control fine.

I think the issue of the sketch regen saying it's OK but the Exit Sketch message say it is not, is actually an over constraint issue. Regardless, one of the system messages is not correct. So which one is the liar. The problem always occurs deep in a part with a substantial history. Next time I get one I'll try and seperate it out and send it your way.

Now the problem is I cannot predictably recreate these issues so it is difficult to know if 'it's me' or VX, hence my request for comment from the forum.
Cheers
PS. Weather is still great.
NZWeather - see the comet too!

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 5 of 11

18-01-2007 03:44 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Paul

When that Exit Sketch message is invoked it is because, even though the dimensions and contraints have passed their logic tests, the system finds that it cannot solve them.

What is annoying of course is that you are forced to leave the Sketch at that point when what you want to do is stay in it and tackle the problem. I have a PCR on that and we shall see the enhancement in a future release.

With auto-dimension, the system assumes entity pick (faster) rather than critical point pick. However, it should not skip input of your second critical point, you should just be able to select the point and the system then automatically understands the dimension condition.

Not sure how your dimensions have ended up being applied as bracketed, whether that is [1.0] or (1.0), but the former is an option (delay solve) and the latter will occur if the entity is already dimensioned/fully constrained.

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Paul

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Message 6 of 11

19-01-2007 01:56 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Thanks Chris.
You're right about the 'inevitable sketch exit' being frustrating. It's a bit of a challenge to know how to over come this one, since if the constraint checks do not show the issues but the system cannot solve, a dilema exists. I have found that deleting and redrawing geometry or even doing a completely new sketch is sometimes the only way out.

The auto dimension pick skipping the second pick happens a lot. My question is, does it happen to anyone else? If not, then there is some gremlin here.

The dimensions are (12.345678) yet they are definitly not fully constrained. This also happens a lot. I have not found any pattern that gives a clue as to why. Again, does it happen to anyone else?
TOL.I wonder if the same logic that OK's an unsolvable sketch, is at play, in reverse of course. Is that a paradox?

Cheers

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Paul

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Message 7 of 11

19-02-2007 05:16 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Hi,
this looks my private thread. Seems I am/was the only one experiencing this problem. Now I know why.

I have a bunch of my own dimension settings. What I didn't realise was that I could set the dimension to be a reference dimension and had inadvertantly done this.

The net result was that when I converted a dimension to that attirbute it became a reference or whenever I used this attribute ALL the dimensions where reference.

So the real problem is not per the thread topic, but rather can the Mudcrab be a bit smarter? Seems VX dimensions are almost too smart for me already. All that power, all that abuse of it!

So Humble pie from me. I think I'll just go an find a quiet mangrove and sit a while 'til lthe tide comes in.

Cheers

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Vance

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Message 8 of 11

19-03-2007 09:56 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi all,

In the original post, you mentioned:

"I use the auto dimension tool a lot. It'd be cool except for a couple of really annoying traits. The selection is always reverting to entity and skipping the second point pick in the dimension dialogue. That is it goes to dimension location instead of the end of a line, point etc. I really want it to rember my last seleection. e.g. Critical until I say otherwise or auto toggle depending on the cursor position. "

This is actually a feature No really, I'm not kidding, you are going to love this (if by the auto dimension command, you mean the dimension with the light bulb). If you ignore the fact that the dimension dialogue is asking for the dimension location and just go ahead and pick the other line, point, etc. you will notice that the pick was magically put in the second point pick and that you are once again being asked for the dimension location. Here's what this allows

1) Dimension a line/arc with 2 picks (entity,dimension location)
2) Dimension between 2 lines/arcs with 3 picks (entity,entity,dimension location)
3) Dimension between 2 critical points (critical point,critical point, dimension location)
4) Dimension the angle between 2 lines (entity,entity,dimension location)

There are other combinations that I won't enumerate. We think this is the easiest way to create the dimensions, but it is obviously a little confusing for us to be asking for the dimension location when we will interpret the pick as the second entity. I guess we were hoping that the feedback of the echo would be sufficent to let you know what was going on. Any ideas about how to make this better on the form/prompts/etc. so that it is not confusing would be greatly appreciated.

One last observation, the pick mode that the dimension command uses does auto-toggle depending on the cursor position. It will pick on entity until you get close to a critical point, and then it will automatically pick the critical point.

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Paul

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Message 9 of 11

20-03-2007 03:03 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Surface Dude,
I was aware of this. Same thing happens with revolve too. The old dialoge showed the 0 value, whilst new displays it's interpretion of the cursor position but a middle click provdes a 0 value!
Back to the Lightbulb. The issue for me is definitely one of clarity. OK, let's accept the current situation but make it clearer to the user what the system is 'thinking' (is there a more correct word?).

In SW for instance, you generally do not get to see all the background wireframe detail or constraint symbols, so the obviousness of cursor decisions is shown by a change ion colour/form/size.
However, in VX, I often have zillions of wireframe lines in the background and a host of constraint symbols clustered around points. (Turning off constraint display isn't always appropriate). This makes the current cursor indications very subtle and often very difficult ot observe.

The FIX. Cursor indication of point/entity selection needs to change to be VERY obvious using colour/size/form and even sound change. This could apply all the way threough VX as far as Iam concerned.

Hope this helps the quest.

Cheers

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Vance

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Registered: 2002-8-28

Message 10 of 11

21-03-2007 08:31 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi mudcrab,

Thanks for the input. We are working on cleaning up some loose ends with the picking modes. Our issues typically come when the user is in a mode which is not appropriate for the current command (e.g. absolute point picking is not appropriate for the dimension command). In that case we have to switch, and in most places we remember to switch back when the command is over. However, you have found a case where we blatantly disregard the last user choice and assert that we know best. We will reconsider that together with your comments about more obvious cursor changes.

On a related issue, have you ever started up the align components command and wondered why you could not pick any faces? You check the filter and faces are pickable, but nothing will pick. This happens some of the time because the last time you entered a point, you switched to Critical pick mode. I have considered doing the same thing for this command that is done with the dimension command, i.e. asserting that we know best and automatically switching to "On Entity" mode since Critical points will still pick as you get close enough to them. I have seen a lot of user confusion over not being able to pick in the align command because we do not change the point pick mode.

Perhaps a reasonable solution would be to go ahead and make the switch to the mode that works "best" for the command, but only do it for the first prompt and then only when the command is started. So as long as you continue dimensioning or aligning, we wouldn't mess with the mode, but if you did some other modeling and came back to the dimensioning/aligning we would once again switch to the "best" mode. Any comments?

I also realize that my last post was not very clear. 90% of my post was meant to address your comment:

"and skipping the second point pick in the dimension dialogue"

Only the very last paragraph was meant to have anything to do with the picking mode discussion.

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Paul

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Message 11 of 11

21-03-2007 03:54 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Hi SD,
very good to see what you have to say.

The reason I bought up the Pick/Cursor issues is that by reflecting choices the system is making, it overcomes the dilema of what is the right action and leaves the user with no doubt. Once this clarity is achieved I am sure much of the confusion would be vamooshed.

The alignment selection pick actually does what the smart dimension doesn't. In alignment, when you switch from Critical to Entity this choice remains valid for the next pick which GOOD. And it stays valid the next time you use Align. Even BETTER. For me, Entity is my first choice so my preference would be for that .to be default. OR give the user a choice in Config. (BTW I note the unpick last, first window, (In alignment) causes the Command to close in 12.8 again)

Here is a scenario where Smart Dimension struggles. Try to dimension centre to centre of two circles/arcs.
Std Dimension works fine so at least there is an option. e.g right command for the task.
Hoiwever, since Smart Dimension is always available from the RMB, the change I have suggested and your suggestion below, would extend the range of it's suitability.
On their own, these are little issues. They grow in significance for a user as the command is repeated many times a session.

Quote: "Perhaps a reasonable solution would be to go ahead and make the switch to the mode that works "best" for the command, but only do it for the first prompt and then only when the command is started. So as long as you continue dimensioning or aligning, we wouldn't mess with the mode, but if you did some other modeling and came back to the dimensioning/aligning we would once again switch to the "best" mode. Any comments?"

I agree with that approach, but not sure if the reverting to 'best' on leaving the command is ideal. Do some aligniong and see what I mean. That works for me. May be others would see it differently. Again, if it was a config User choice it might make it right for everyone.

Cheers

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