6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 15, 2008 11:27 AM by 1-9C36HC

    Future features

    Kevin Quigley
      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)...

        • Future features
          Don Vanzile
          Kind of like this idea in this thread but with surfaces and solid features as well!

          See This Thread

          Don
          • Future features
            Kevin Quigley
            Yes Don that might be the Cintiq. I use a Wacom Intuos 3 and it works very well with SolidWorks and most other systems. The thing is though that pressure sensitive pen tablets and screens have been around for a long time yet have always remained kind of niche products when in fact they offer genuine workflow enhancements. What I am proposing is for SW to think beyond the mouse and the 3D controller for input devices and to actively build new - unique - features around these products. Pressure and tilt sensitivity does not need to be restricted to drawing lines.

            The example I make about applying features to a surface is the case in point, or how about a blend tool or fillet tool where you select the edge with the pen and control the radius with the pressure or tilt - the heavier you lean the smaller the radius for an internal edge, or vice versa for an external one, or, the more you angle the pen the more you shape the spline driving the blend.

            When applications utilise a specific input device to the full they gaina unique advantage over everybody else. Think of Alias Studio Tools. I don;t know anybody using this who doesn't use a pen or Cintiq, and as a result it has workflows that are totally unique in the industry. What should concern SolidWorks is that Alias is owned by Autodesk, and who knows what they will do to Inventor with those tools....
              • Future features
                Don Vanzile

                I posted that a while a back.... and while I did use photoshop to make that pic, I wanted to convey the fact that there were a lot of interface features within the cad software that we haven't even started to scratch the surface yet. I like the way you are thinking and lets hope in the next few releases we see progress in that area!

                Don
              • Future features
                Leonardo Sanchez

                Kevin Quigley wrote:

                 

                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)...

                As an Industrial Designer I share those wishes.
                However I suspect they conflict with the nature of NURBs.
                - As beeing directional and of varying density.
                Which is why Models have a patched topology.
                The envisioned behavior has been partialy implented with SDS modellers.
                - Thus reasoning the efforts to combine both.
                In my opinion CATIAs IMA is the closest to a "designers dream come true"
                and gives us an outlook at what CAD-styling may look like in the future.
                • Future features
                  Daniel Frolka
                  i stongly agree as well. i learned cad at 12yrs old, having been modeling for 16yrs (more than half my life) and am tired of the scalar 2d controls when modelling 3d. it incurrs an added hinderance to the designer.
                    • Future features
                      My main monitor is a Cintiq 21. I agree with you all and we've got our eye on what we can do to interface with it for driving future SW from a pen interface - not easy given the UI we've build around mouse interfaces over the last 12 years but we are taking it seriously.

                      I would like to lay it flat more often but I find the problem being the vast number of programs that ARE NOT written for it interrupt my daily routine of writing email, going on the web as well as graphics and CAD. I find that even for the best pen interface programs, I still need my keyboard right there.

                      The Cintiq is great (especially for PS) but I think a more comprehensive solution is still out there that perhaps addresses the total hardware, software, workdesk solution.