26 Replies Latest reply on Nov 17, 2009 11:04 AM by Emilio Graff

# Does SW 2008 have conics?

Anyone know if 2008 has any enhancements to the sketcher forcreating conic curves? I see it is still on the enhancement list somaybe not.....

Are there any add ons available that handle conic curves? CurrentlyI import my curve network (that uses conics) from Ashlar-VellumCobalt (which has great conic controls), but the problem with thisis that it makes tweaking very hard to do.

I am left to wonder, with all the advances SW has made insurfacing, why a fundamental feature like conics has been left outfor so long?
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Kevin,

Do you mean conic surfaces, not conic curves?

I'm new to SolidWorks, but it seems to me conic surfaces could begenerated easily by offsetting a curve by a desired amount, andthen lofting between the original and offset version?

Or, Are you referring to bending/unbending conic surfaces insheetmetal?

• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
No,

It did not make it into 2008.

• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Hi Mark,

any update on whether conic curves will make it into 2009 at any SP?
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Perhaps someone can double check me on this but I think this will work. In the case of a lens surface for example:

The formula is y=(x^2/R)/(1+(1-(1+b)/(x/R)^2)^.5)
where x = the start and end points ( 0 and the lens diameter /2)
R = the lens prescription radius
b = the conic constant (Rho)

For a sphere the conic = 0; for an Ellipse 0>b>-1; for a Parabola b = -1; and for a Hyperbola b< -1

I had been using this as a DT in 08 but the formula seems to work fine without the clutter of the table in 09. I plugged the Radius, Diameter and conic numbers into the lens design function of my OptisWorks Add-In and the curves lay over each other the best I can tell.

Credit where credit is due. I found the formula for this at this telescope design website:

"> http://bi-staff.beckman.uiuc.e...s_info.html

• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Kevin,

You can make circles, ellipses, and parabolas, as well as splines. Unless they have used Pro/E, most SW users don't miss not having conics, because you can get done what you need with one of the existing types.

The one thing that we do miss is not having equation driven curves.

• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Hi Matt,

Its true that most SW users won;t miss conic curves but for productdesigners (as I'm sure Mark will acknowledge being a Pro/E guru aswell as SW!) there are few easier ways of creating nice flowingcurves and surfaces than placing a conic as the drive curve.

I suppose I'm spoilt in that all the design apps I have ever usedapart from SW have extensive conic curve creation commands - AshlarVellum, VX, Rhino - etc. It is very hard to accurately mimic aconic using SW splines. With a conic you can generate a singlecurve with 3 control points and a Rho value - the equivalent SWspline needs many more controls and a lot of fiddling withcontrols.

Seems to me to be the last missing piece in making SW equivalent orbetter than Pro/E for aesthetic product design and surfacing.
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
I read somewhere that SW's parent company, Desault, bought a surfacing company. The name escapes me right now but maybe we'll get some of that down here in SW.

Steve
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Steve - its ICEM. And I doubt we'll see some of those features. That software is mighty expensive. I would be suprised to see money spent to bring features over to SolidWorks so that it could be used to undercut sales of ICEM. I think it would be bad business strategy on Dassualt's part, unless they intend to gut ICEM and include the capabilities in order to drive sales of Dassault's CAD products. That is not the intended direction, though. ICEM has a list of higher end clients for things like automotive styling and aerospace surface design. SolidWorks is not billed as a design tool for those purposes and has not been created for that. I don't know that SolidWorks will ever be marketed that way as long as there are companies that pay for solutions like ICEM and Catia.

Pete
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
I thought that Pro-E bought ICEM years ago. Did they give it up?
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Apparently in 2002-2003 timeframe.

Pete
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Peter, I would think that the ICEM surfacing tool would at least make it's debut in Catia in a year or so and then maybe in SW after that. I'm sure Desault had a good reason for buying it. Part of the problem, some have said, is that SW doesn't have the surfacing capibilities that UG or Pro/E has. Maybe this can change...

Steve
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Steve,

I am skeptical. You may be correct about 5-10 years from now. I think a key thing to watch would be if AutoDesk starts adding Alias functionality into Inventor. That might be a better indicator as whether we will see ICEM-like features in SolidWorks. AutoDesk has no product above Inventor for mechanical CAD. Dassault has Catia and SolidWorks. With Pro/E you need to purchase a module for these type features. They might be offering recently reduced pricing for this module, I don't know - Pro/Es convoluted module strucuture is too complex to figure out their price per seat. UG is not in the same ballpark as SolidWorks for pricing if you wnat these surfacing features. Currenlty its better to look Catia - UG- Pro/E for comparative pricing and ICEM like features. We're not talking apples to apples with SolidWorks (yet). Time will tell.

Pete
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Alias is about the price of SolidWorks, but ICEM is I think about 10X the price of SW. I would think that when merging tools, they don't want to cannibalize a high end tool for a lower range tool. Maybe there are some bits and pieces that can be brought down, but I doubt it will happen wholesale.
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Agreed, Matt. Too much money at stake in the high-end to do this, unless someone else disrupts the market by offering a similar product with a much lower price (the way SolidWorks and others forced Pro/E prices down) - maybe even some of the ICEM functionality for a smaller price. I don't see any such product right now (maybe Rhino??), and who knows how Alias may be handled. I don't even know if it has similar capabilities to ICEM. Unless something changes I would think that MCAD will be left as the middleware and people wanting more advanced surfacing will have to look at products like CATIA with ICEM.

• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Hum,

Last I heard, Alias Studiotools was still running retail for \$25K.
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Maybe things have changed when A-desk took over, or maybe there is some other package that you're talking about. I don't see StudioTools listed, only DesignStudio.

http://estore.autodesk.com/dr/...ODE=&CACHE_ID=0

It shows Adesk DesignStudio 2008 for \$4995, Maya Complete for \$1999 and Maya Unlimited for \$6,999. I'm not really clear about what the differences between DesignStudio and Maya are. They both seem to do modeling, animation and rendering.
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Matt, Alias StudioTools is usually what ID's and product designers use to create 3D NURB models. Alias DesignStudio is more of a 2-1/2D tool that's better for the conceptualization part of the design process (verses the model building process of AliasStudio or SW). for instance, DesignStudio work rarely can be taken forward into 3D engineering models (yet the design intent can) but is very appropiate because it is fast to conceptualize in.

Maya is mainly for the CGI industry and it's a means-to-the-end is Mesh-based graphical representation (movie special effects) verses machining physical models (NURBS). To summarize, my understanding is as follows:

Alias DesignStudio = 2d and 2-1/2D sketching and hand-sketching conceptualization
AliasStudio = NURBS Surface Modeling for ID and Product Designers
Alias Maya = Rendering and Animation, Polygonal modeler for FX and post-production industry.
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Some recent info on AliasStudio 2008- note at the end of the article the price - \$24,995

http://www.deskeng.com/ME2/Sit...3D42F09CD46C33CFA3EF4A
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Do we know what kernel ICEM is based on? Its my understanding that your software is only going to be as good the geometry kernel it sits on. SW could have all the capabilites of UG I should think, cause their based on the same engine, but if ICEM isn't, then your not going to get what ICEM has unless you change the basic ParaSolid kernel.
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Mark,

I don't know if your statement is correct. Also, it is possible to be based on more than one kernel. Some CAD products (Iron CAD for example) can utilize two kernels - parasolid and ACIS. Under the hood, I don't think we have an idea of whats going on. Although SolidWorks is a "parasolid" modeler, it is interesting that Spatial (developers of ACIS) is listed in the credits. Don't know if this is for the ACIS translater or some other piece of software. I don't think we can know.

Pete
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Yes,

I do acknowledge that I used them quite frequently when I was doing ProE work and they are very useful because you can control them with a single Rho value and that we really should have them in SW. I won't go into the reasons why we don't have it, just to stay that we have had discussions about conics for several years now.

Until we get a conic into SW (and believe me, I'm trying) there is a quasi-way to do conics in SW. Build a two point spline and contraint the endpoints tangent, C2 or at an angle to existing geometry or surface (this is how they are usually used in surface design - as a bridge curve.) Then assign dimensions to each magnitude widget (at both ends) and then make a simple equal equation between the two. Although the magnitude value is not the same as the Rho value, you can tweek the driving dimension with the thumbwheel and get a similar effect.

Perhaps there is an equation that can equate the magnitude value to the Rho value - Math never was my thing.
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
I know that when I first learned anything about Free-Form modeling (as Unigraphics called it) in UG, it was pretty difficult to use. When I first saw surfacing used in Pro/E it was hard to use. When I first saw anything like that in SW I was impressed on how easy it was to understand and use. If, someday, SW can incorporate some of one of the leading surfacing tools and make it easier to use, I'm looking forward to it.

Steve
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Steve,

Out of curiosity, what is it that you find difficult about surfacing in SW or surfacing in general?
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Matt, I'm a simple guy and I first learned anything about solid modeling it was all based on parameters, which was easy to understand. My first experience with surfacing in Unigraphics wasn't too bad in that I could make surfaces and then thicken them to make solids but in my mind I guess I didn't really understand what was going on with all the curves that the surfaces were based on. I'm not an Engineer nor do I play one at work so I guess I had a problem with just the basic understanding of splines, conics, nurbs C0, C1 and all those other surfacing names. I have learned, throughout the years, how to structure my feature tree by naming and ordering features, thus giving myself and others who use my work a better understanding of what my design intent is/was. I beleive that with the proper diligence, I could do more surfacing in SW because I have learned some simple techniques from people like you. My problem is that I do way more sheet metal than just about anyhting else (I'm saying this while working on some platics right now) and the free-form surfacing doesn't come along enough for me to feel rel comfortable, yet.

I do like how SW does surfaces. Your tutorial on hybrid modeling that you showed us here in Austin a year or so ago was very well done and I tried some of those techniques and made some surfaces along with some already created solids. I will try to keep up with the current goings on when it comes to surfacing because I want to learn it and use it more often.

Steve
• ###### Does SW 2008 have conics?
Thanks Mark. I'll give that a go and see if I can work out theequations
• ###### Re: Does SW 2008 have conics?

I created an ehancement request. Search for "conic" or "hyperbola". I also created one for tangents to conics, since you can only do it to a circle and an ellipse right now.

The hyperbola request is ER# 1-1413855312

The tangents to conics request is ER# 1-1414911712

Go vote on them!