44 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2018 6:34 PM by Anna Wood

    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
                Rubén 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
                              Matt Peneguy

                              Those are very good points Alin.  I think one of the problems is that those SW have full time jobs and don't always monitor each and every thread.  So, I'll just ping Jim Wilkinson because I have no idea who would be involved with these forming tools.  Maybe if he sees this he can direct this thread to the responsible party. (Sorry Jim, I know you are busy). 

                              • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                Steve Calvert

                                This a problem when you skip versions of SW, like I'm used to doing, you miss certain things along the way.  I knew the form(ing) tool changed but didn't know or remember why.  I love SW

                                 

                                Steve C

                                  • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                    Deepak Gupta

                                    Steve Calvert wrote:

                                     

                                    This a problem when you skip versions of SW, like I'm used to doing, you miss certain things along the way. I knew the form(ing) tool changed but didn't know or remember why. I love SW

                                     

                                    Steve C

                                    As far as I remember, it was changed to make it easier since many user would skip creating orientation sketch and naming it correctly.

                                  • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                    Matt Lombard

                                    Alin Vargatu wrote:

                                     

                                    ...

                                    SLDLFP = used in the modern workflow....

                                     

                                    That extension is sldFTP, though, right? lfp is just a regular library feature.

                                    • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                      Anna Wood

                                      Alin Vargatu wrote:

                                       

                                      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.

                                       

                                      SolidWorks ^^%#@%&() up the modern work flow.  The new form tools are way more work for us then the original forming tools.  And it is not a training issue either.

                                       

                                      Wish SolidWorks would have kept the legacy workflow.

                                        • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                          Paul Salvador

                                          Anna,..  hmm,.. why would (or wouldn't? )... they make more work for the users?

                                           

                                          Maybe,..   SW Corp could let us understand why we needn't ()  work more harder than we should (or is that shouldn't? )?

                                           

                                          (double negatives are really confusing these past few days )

                                          • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                            Alin Vargatu

                                            Anna, would you please list the cons of the Form Tool compared to the old manual workflow?

                                             

                                            Also, as far as I know, both workflows are still valid. Please provide more details about how this is a problem.

                                              • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                                Anna Wood

                                                Not really going to explain, it is a waste of time since SolidWorks is not going back to the old way of doing things.

                                                 

                                                Functionality that I use every day was removed.  The feature was dumbed down.

                                                 

                                                Wizards are not the solutions to all perceived customer issues.  They assume needs and workflows.

                                                 

                                                Trust me it is a royal pain in the ass over the legacy style of form tools for our companies needs.

                                                  • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                                    Alin Vargatu

                                                    Anna Wood wrote:

                                                     

                                                    Not really going to explain, it is a waste of time since SolidWorks is not going back to the old way of doing things.

                                                     

                                                    Functionality that I use every day was removed. The feature was dumbed down.

                                                     

                                                    Wizards are not the solutions to all perceived customer issues. They assume needs and workflows.

                                                     

                                                    Trust me it is a royal pain in the ass over the legacy style of form tools for our companies needs.

                                                    Hmmm, my curiosity has not been satisfied, Anna.

                                                      • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                                        Anna Wood

                                                        Alin Vargatu wrote:

                                                         

                                                        Anna Wood wrote:

                                                         

                                                        Not really going to explain, it is a waste of time since SolidWorks is not going back to the old way of doing things.

                                                         

                                                        Functionality that I use every day was removed. The feature was dumbed down.

                                                         

                                                        Wizards are not the solutions to all perceived customer issues. They assume needs and workflows.

                                                         

                                                        Trust me it is a royal pain in the ass over the legacy style of form tools for our companies needs.

                                                        Hmmm, my curiosity has not been satisfied, Anna.

                                                        Do research on how legacy Forming Tools worked circa 2006 and earlier.  Once SolidWorks went full wizard and locked legacy forming tools and being able to locate a tool with any entity in an orientation sketch the tool became less useful to us.  The new wizard is more work for us than old legacy tools.   For all the talk about design intent that SolidWorks preaches, forming tools do not allow me to control placement of a tool with design intent.  It is turret press centric for those that want to auto program their turret presses.

                                              • 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.

                                                            • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                                              Dave Bear

                                                              Okay, admittedly very late to the party here but when I read the two files extensions in a post above (SLDFTP) & (SLDLFP) I actually thought that the distinction might be that one would be for 'Forming Tool Part' (SLDFTP) which would essentially be a forming tool like it describes that you could re-use like a press to indent/emboss sheet metal. Whereas (SLDLFP) would be 'Library Formed Parts' which consists of the bespoke sheet metal parts you custom create like louvres, lips, slots, whatever you add to the plain sheet on a regular basis.

                                                               

                                                              DISCLAIMER :- I've had little experience with sheet metal so it was just a hunch, not even sure if sheet metal has an pressing function for indents or embossing. Yep, I know, more than one way to skin a cat!

                                                               

                                                              Dave.

                                                              • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                                                Matt Lombard

                                                                In the SW2018 help file, on a page called "Using Forming Tools with Sheet Metal", I found what I'm guessing is SW's answer to all of this. The *.sldprt files that require a specially designated folder are called "forming tools", and the files with the special extension *.sldftp are called Form Tools. I don't know why this distinction is important to me, I'm just writing about it and I want what I write to be correct, which is difficult when it appears SW is confused about it.

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                  • Re: form tool vs forming tool
                                                                    Anna Wood

                                                                    Matt Lombard wrote:

                                                                     

                                                                    In the SW2018 help file, on a page called "Using Forming Tools with Sheet Metal", I found what I'm guessing is SW's answer to all of this. The *.sldprt files that require a specially designated folder are called "forming tools", and the files with the special extension *.sldftp are called Form Tools. I don't know why this distinction is important to me, I'm just writing about it and I want what I write to be correct, which is difficult when it appears SW is confused about it.

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                    This has been true forever in SolidWorks with sldprt forming tools.  ie: Legacy forming tools.  Otherwise SolidWorks thinks you are trying to create a derived part.  SolidWorks is not confused, everyone who has not used SolidWorks before the forming tools wizard and the new forming tool file type gets confused.