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Future features

Question asked by Kevin Quigley on May 16, 2008
Latest reply on Jul 15, 2008 by 1-9C36HC
There are some things that keep cropping up in a product designer's life, like figuring out how to apply texture to models, or creating subtle blend outs or creases in parts. I have been pondering this for a long time and I think a way of getting these features would be to integrate the pressure and tilt sensitivity functions in Wacom tablets.

If you haven't got one of these it is hard to explain but basically think of replacing the mouse with a pencil. Certain applications (PhotoShop, Painter, Alias etc) use these tools to aid the designer - the heavier you lean on the pen the darker or heavier the line - line a pencil mark - the more you angle the pen, the shape of the mark changes - turn it over and it becomes an eraser.

Imaging a revamped interface in SolidWorks that could make use of these functions.

Imagine creating textures for hand grips where you could define a single bump feature - the relationship between the surface and the bump or depression (as a max and minimum), the localised shape etc, and imagine you had a tool where you could pick the texture feature, "load" the pen and select a surface to apply it to by "spraying" the surface, and the heavier you lean the deeper or higher the texture is applied within the constraints you have set for the feature. What a tool that would be!

Imagine then another tool where you could apply pressure sensitivity to creating surface indents or blending edges out.

I tried out the SensAble haptic system a year or so ago but I found it hard to get the accuracy. I think a standard Wacom tablet interface would be adequate for a lot of this type of visual modelling.

With all the stuff about direct editing at the moment this kind of thing would be unique and genuinely offer opportunities to model things which we currently cannot achieve in SW (or indeed any mainstream CAD system)...