35 Replies Latest reply on Jul 16, 2018 10:46 AM by Alin Vargatu

    form tool vs forming tool

    Matt Lombard

      Ok, I've been an idiot. I've not noticed the difference between FORM tools and FORMING tools. I'm familiar with FORMING tools. It appears there is something else called a FORM tool, which doesn't seem to be documented very well, as it applied to the differences/similarities or why they have two things that have such similar names. Is this a case of just really, really bad word selection, or is there a good reason for this FORM tool, whatever it is? I see they have different file types and I'm guessing the Form tool works like a sketch driven pattern/hole wizard sort of thing. The FORMING tool creates an external reference. Does the FORM tool also create this?

       

      The thing I can't find right now is how to create the *.sldFTP part.[EDIT: ok, I see this is just chosen in the Save As dropdown list]

       

      If anyone can shed some light on this, especially advantages or drawbacks of one vs the other, I'd appreciate it.

        • Re: form tool vs forming tool
          Steve Calvert

          Must admit, I didn't know this either.  I just looked in SW2015 help and it's just forming there.

           

          Steve C

          • Re: form tool vs forming tool
            Dan Pihlaja

            I believe that the word "FORMING" is used in reference to the items in the design library, while FORM is used in reference to the actual feature that is created from a forming tool or used to actually create the forming tool.

            Forming Tools | CADimensions

             

            Wow....use the words from, form and forming three times fast in a sentence.....my fingers get tangled up....LOL

              • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                Matt Lombard

                Dan Pihlaja wrote:

                 

                I believe that the word "FORMING" is used in reference to the items in the design library, while FORM is used in reference to the actual feature that is created from a forming tool or used to actually create the forming tool.

                Ok, but then why are there different file extensions?

                 

                As a guy who writes, if this is bad writing, it annoys me. If it's bad functionality naming, it still annoys me. As a guy who uses the software, it annoys me because I can't find a documented difference in the usage, it just seems like randomly selecting one name or the other. It's like when they created the Layout feature, and then you have to compare the Layout feature to an assembly sketch (which we all used to call layout sketches). When you use a generic name to name something specific, it always results in confusion. And then some poor dweeb has to explain it.

              • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                Ruben Rodolfo Balderrama

                Here a form tool on a progresive die. (Logopress)

                Die Design

                Logopress3 American Distributor

                Round Draw Module

                Or you can make this too (we buy simulation)

                • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                  Deepak Gupta

                  If you create a form/forming tool as *.sldftp files then SW would automatically recognize them for you when using them with sheet metal part whereas if you simply create form/forming tool as *.sldprt files then you need to define that folder as forming tool folder. Other than that I do not see any other difference and both should give you same output/options when using them with sheet metal parts including external reference (if link to form tool option is selected)

                  • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                    Paul Salvador

                    Matt,.. no clue.. but I do see a 4 beer difficulty rating in my help? 

                    formingtoolbeer.png

                    • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                      Matt Lombard

                      Just to kind of sum it up, and bring it together, the form/forming thing I think is just carelessness on the part of SW documentation. If you find some indication that I'm wrong, please tell me.

                       

                      Beyond that, there are two methods for placing forming tools. One is from a regular library feature folder, where the forming tool file is named *.sldFTP, and the other is from a special folder for forming tools where the forming tool files have the regular SW part extension *.sldPRT. I think those are the only differences. They can both use the Form Tool PropertyManager.

                       

                      The SW documentation refers to a situation where forming tools placed with SW 2012 or earlier may have some sort of a lock symbol on them, indicating that they cannot be changed.

                        • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                          Matt Peneguy

                          SW is trying to make the help better.  I'd give feedback but I really don't use sheet metal or forming tools.  So, I don't want to be the one suggesting the change...because I'd just say something like, "Make it better!".  Can someone send them some constructive feedback on this?

                        • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                          Alin Vargatu

                          SLDPRT in flagged folders = used in 20th Century legacy workflow

                          SLDFTP = used in the modern workflow

                           

                          SW had to preserve the legacy functionality, since many users invested a lot of time in creating large libraries of custom forming tools, using the old technique.

                           

                          I agree that the help should specify that. The Sheet Metal training manual, calls the old SLDPRT files Standard Forming Tools. Then it states:

                           

                          Advances in Form Tool functions no longer depend on the manual creation of such features and appearances.

                           

                          So, it suggests to move on to the new functionality.

                           

                          I hope that a SW employee will provide additional clarifications, to sort out the confusion you experienced while reading the Help file.

                          • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                            Frank Ruepp

                            Hi All,

                             

                            The sldftp file type is kind of a legacy type for fomring tools.  Way back in the days you had to create a forming tool according to some specific rules and you would have to adhere to these rules or the forming tool would not behave as expected.  So i.e. you had to create your first feature on a specific plane, respectively the forming tool had to be normal to a specific plane (if I remember correct, it was the second plane in the tree since planes had different names as well back in the days...) and you had to build on top of this base body.  You would have to color your faces manually in order to convey the attached function (like if the face should form the sheet metal body (yellow) or if the face should remove the sheet metal face (red)).  Then you had to remove the base body with a cut and manually create an orientation sketch that had to be named as such.  Those sheet metal forming tools had to be saved as sldftp files in a specific folder in order to be used as forming tools.

                            Since users struggled quite often with these specific rules we made a change to forming tools and introduced the forming tool feature (to be honest, I cannot remember with which release we introduced the forming tool feature).  With the forming tool feature it was not necessary any more to follow a specific way to build your forming tools and based on the selected faces in the PM colors would be automatically applied, as well as the orientation sketch would be automatically created by the feature.  With this new feature type we also got rid of the sldftp file name extension, switched to sldprt files and added an attribute to the folder that would indicate that the files in this folder should be treated as forming tools.

                            However these legacy forming tools should be still working today but to be honest I don't know how many people still know about the sldftp forming tools and how many users are still using these "legacy" forming tools.

                            Over time the "new" forming tools (sldprt) have become kind of the standard forming tools and this is why the help documentation focuses on the "new" forming tools and kind of neglects the creation and handling of sldftp files.

                             

                            Nevertheless I am in contact with documentation and we are currently reviewing how much more information we should add with regards to the legacy forming tools.

                             

                            Hope this helps to resolve some of the confusion...

                            Kind regards

                            Frank

                            SOLIDWORKS Product Defintion Team

                              • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                Alin Vargatu

                                Frank Ruepp wrote:

                                 

                                Hi All,

                                 

                                The sldftp file type is kind of a legacy type for fomring tools. Way back in the days you had to create a forming tool according to some specific rules and you would have to adhere to these rules or the forming tool would not behave as expected. So i.e. you had to create your first feature on a specific plane, respectively the forming tool had to be normal to a specific plane (if I remember correct, it was the second plane in the tree since planes had different names as well back in the days...) and you had to build on top of this base body. You would have to color your faces manually in order to convey the attached function (like if the face should form the sheet metal body (yellow) or if the face should remove the sheet metal face (red)). Then you had to remove the base body with a cut and manually create an orientation sketch that had to be named as such. Those sheet metal forming tools had to be saved as sldftp files in a specific folder in order to be used as forming tools.

                                Since users struggled quite often with these specific rules we made a change to forming tools and introduced the forming tool feature (to be honest, I cannot remember with which release we introduced the forming tool feature). With the forming tool feature it was not necessary any more to follow a specific way to build your forming tools and based on the selected faces in the PM colors would be automatically applied, as well as the orientation sketch would be automatically created by the feature. With this new feature type we also got rid of the sldftp file name extension, switched to sldprt files and added an attribute to the folder that would indicate that the files in this folder should be treated as forming tools.

                                However these legacy forming tools should be still working today but to be honest I don't know how many people still know about the sldftp forming tools and how many users are still using these "legacy" forming tools.

                                Over time the "new" forming tools (sldprt) have become kind of the standard forming tools and this is why the help documentation focuses on the "new" forming tools and kind of neglects the creation and handling of sldftp files.

                                 

                                Nevertheless I am in contact with documentation and we are currently reviewing how much more information we should add with regards to the legacy forming tools.

                                 

                                Hope this helps to resolve some of the confusion...

                                Kind regards

                                Frank

                                SOLIDWORKS Product Defintion Team

                                Now I am really, really confused, Frank. Are you sure the SLDPRT are the new one and SLDFTP the old ones?

                                  • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                    Frank Ruepp

                                    Hi Alin,

                                     

                                    I just double checked and and the forming tool files that come by default with the SOLIDWORKS installation are sldprt files in the forming tool folder:

                                    The forming tool folder has to be flagged as such:

                                    Because otherwise you will see the derived part message:

                                     

                                    I am pretty sure that sldprt is the new extension for forming tools.

                                     

                                    Kind regards

                                    Frank SOLIDWORKS Product Defintion Team

                                      • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                        Alin Vargatu

                                        Frank Ruepp wrote:

                                         

                                        Hi Alin,

                                         

                                        I just double checked and and the forming tool files that come by default with the SOLIDWORKS installation are sldprt files in the forming tool folder:

                                        The forming tool folder has to be flagged as such:

                                        Because otherwise you will see the derived part message:

                                         

                                        I am pretty sure that sldprt is the new extension for forming tools.

                                         

                                        Kind regards

                                        Frank SOLIDWORKS Product Defintion Team

                                        I am not disputing that forming tools which come with the SOLIDWORKS installation are using the sldprt format, and they have to be located in a flagged folder. That is why creating and managing them is a cumbersome, manual process.

                                         

                                        Generating SLDFTP files with the Forming Tool feature is, by contrast, an automated, almost elegant way to create the same functionality in as a forming tool.

                                         

                                        The training manual states that the sldprt format is the legacy one (all the manual steps you described in your post) and the sldftp is the new format (the result of the Forming Tool feature).

                                         

                                        That is why I asked.

                                          • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                            Frank Ruepp

                                            Hi Alin,

                                             

                                            Yes, you are right.  I just dug down into the original specification of the project done for SolidWorks 2006 and the specification mentions that it should be possible to save the new form tool file with a specific file type (*.sldftp).  I can see the benefit that you do not have to go through the hassle to set up your folders in a specific way.

                                             

                                            So the legacy file type is sldprt and the new file type is sldftp.  But for what I have double checked so far there is no functional difference between the two.

                                             

                                            Thanks for freshening my memory

                                             

                                            Kind regards

                                            Frank

                                            SOLIDWORKS Product Definition Team

                                              • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                                Alin Vargatu

                                                Frank Ruepp wrote:

                                                 

                                                Hi Alin,

                                                 

                                                Yes, you are right. I just dug down into the original specification of the project done for SolidWorks 2006 and the specification mentions that it should be possible to save the new form tool file with a specific file type (*.sldftp). I can see the benefit that you do not have to go through the hassle to set up your folders in a specific way.

                                                 

                                                So the legacy file type is sldprt and the new file type is sldftp. But for what I have double checked so far there is no functional difference between the two.

                                                 

                                                Thanks for freshening my memory

                                                 

                                                Kind regards

                                                Frank

                                                SOLIDWORKS Product Definition Team

                                                Thanks, Frank. As Matt wrote, is always good to learn more about the history of a particular feature and functionality.

                                        • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                          Matt Lombard

                                          Frank Ruepp

                                          Thanks, that's useful. I've forgotten some of the SW trivia I used to remember, and the forming tool history is one of those things. I'll assume that the difference between form tool and forming tool is unintentional, since you didn't mention it.