12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 12, 2008 1:07 PM by Jason Capriotti

    Mirror my context

    Gerald Davis
      I design a lot of sheet metal stuff. The mirror tool is one of my favorite techniques for efficiency as well as producing designs that are goof resistant and easy to fabricate.

      Mirroring bodies in sheet metal is the only way to go. Yet, the Mirror Property Manager always defaults to mirroring features instead.

      If I hit the Enter key to repeat the Mirror command, it forgets what I just did and reverts to mirroring features. Although I long for Property Managers that remember what the user prefers from session-to-session, I'd at least expect it to remember its last use during the current session. A few other Property Managers seem to have at least this short term memory.

      I realize it is a small thing to just click a few more times to set up the mirror process, but would it be reasonable to ask the Mirror command to scan the Feature Manager for a sheet metal feature and then default to mirroring bodies? Basically, behave in the context of the modeling session?

      By the way, mirroring bodies is, IMHO, an excellent modeling technique - generally more efficient for the user than mirroring features. Why not make that default if there is no hope for context based defaults?

      Yes, this forum is not the proper venue for sending in Enhancement Requests. No, I have not yet sent in an enhancement request. I'm hoping to get a little band wagon going here so Jim & Co. can anticipate a flood of heartfelt E.R.'s on this topic.
        • Mirror my context
          Bill Rose
          Gerald,

          For those of us that don't mirror bodies, please explain how this differs from mirroring features and why it's a better technique. My guess is you build half a model and mirror the bodies to create the other half. I never do that. I always mirror features and at this point would not like the default to change. Educate me.....Bill
            • Mirror my context
              James Canney
              I have to agree with Gerald, although I don't use it in sheet metal much.

              On a side note, when you mirror features or bodies you have the option to merge solids.

              Why when you pattern a body, be it a liear pattern or a rotational pattern do I not have the option to merge solids. I often design 1/4 of a box and want to pattern it 4 times around 360 degrees, and rather than merging solids I have to add a combine feature.

              Sorry to hijack your thread Gerald.
              • Mirror my context
                Mark Matthews
                Gerald, when I use the mirror feature in a non-sheet metal part, the mirror Property manager is the ONLY property manager I've used that remembers I would rather mirror bodies than features. All other managers go to their defaults. The one manager that should definetly remember what you did last is the Rounds manager.

                Bill, mirroring bodies takes vastly less computing time than features, as the only calculations are for transforms of existing geometry; there is no need to solve another sketch or calculate an end condition. With a complex shape that is symmetrical, this can save lots of time.
                  • Mirror my context
                    Gerald Davis

                    Mark Matthews wrote:

                     

                    ...Gerald, when I use the mirror feature in a non-sheet metal part, the mirror Property manager is the ONLY property manager I've used that remembers I would rather mirror bodies than features...

                    Mark -
                    I've had mixed results with short term memory (both mine and the PM's). I'm currently using Vista and I was careful to verify that the Mirror PM had amnesia before posting this thread.

                    Wouldn't it be grand if all PM's behaved consistently (and for the benefit of the users instead of the coders)?
                      • Mirror my context
                        Jim Wilkinson

                        Gerald Davis wrote:

                         

                        I've had mixed results with short term memory (both mine and the PM's). I'm currently using Vista and I was careful to verify that the Mirror PM had amnesia before posting this thread.

                        Wouldn't it be grand if all PM's behaved consistently (and for the benefit of the users instead of the coders)?

                        Hi Gerald,

                        We are working on trying to get the PropertyManagers to properly remember settings and for some commands, it has been improved in SolidWorks 2009 (see thread in the Beta forum started by Ricky Jordan where I have requested input on user's "pet" commands where it is not working properly).

                        However, it is a bit of a tricky business. There are three things that we can do with settings in PropertyManagers:
                        1) Remember the settings that the user last used in the command and use those settings the next time the command is used. This is how I think users generally want it to work and if we apply it consistently, then I think most users will be happy.
                        2) Hard code the default settings for a command. This is what happens now in many commands where it resets to some default regardless of what the user last used. This should really only be applied in cases where we are certain that there is a group of settings that are much more commonly used than what the user might have last used. In many cases of "amnesia" in the system now, it is really not intentional but an oversight and rule #1 above should instead be applied.
                        3) Adjust the settings based on some intelligence (which is what you are requesting in your first post in this thread). We need to be very careful in when to apply this intelligence. While you may use mirror bodies in sheet metal parts often, mirroring in sheet metal parts can also be used for mirroring cuts and other features. Therefore, I would again go with rule #1 here (and on my XP machine, it is working that way...I wonder if the problem you are seeing is Vista specific). If we don't follow rule #1, the behavior is going to seem very inconsistent and those users that want to mirror features will be pretty upset that we have changed it automatically to bodies. That being said, in many cases where we have applied rule #1, we have also built in intelligence if you pre-select objects and I have confirmed that mirror has that intelligence. So, if I last used the mirror command for mirroring features, if i don't preselect anything and bring up the mirror command, the features group box is expanded. However, if I pre-select a body (or a body and a mirror face/plane) and bring up the mirror command, it does automatically expand the bodies group box.

                        So, our goal moving forward is to apply the above rules consistently across the system. As I said in the beta forum, some improvements have already been made in this direction in SolidWorks 2009 B1 and still more will come in subsequent updates to SolidWorks 2009. Please read that thread, try out SolidWorks 2009, and add comments to that thread for cases that any of you encounter that are really annoying so we can prioritize those to be addressed.

                        Thanks,
                        Jim
                          • Mirror my context
                            Bill Rose
                            Jim,

                            Would it be possible to do a combination of #1 & #2 and let the user choose which behavior each command follows? I know there are hundreds of commands this applies to but think about a checkbox on each page of the CUSTOMIZE...|MENUS (tab) that sets the behavior to "remember" when checked and "default" when not checked. That way you and your staff don't have to guess what 'the majority' would want in each case. I'm often outside the majority with my choices so I'd rather have full control of what SWx does to me. Then, if I get angry it will be on me and I won't resort to saying very bad things about the product or it's creators in the heat of the moment.

                            If you get good results with method #3, I'd add that as a third choice -- but only if it didn't add to the already lengthy pause some commands in 2008 have between click and response......Bill
                      • Mirror my context
                        Charles Culp
                        Bill,

                        Mirror features takes the features created (extrude, cut, etc), and creates a mirrored replication of those features. Note that you can mirror a cut.

                        Mirror bodies mirrors the complete body. This is most important when the bodies are non-intersecting (multi-body parts). Like if you mirror the legs on the table before you create the top of the table. In that situation, you MUST mirror the body, because there is nothing to attached the mirrored features to. Mirrored body is also useful when you have complex geometry, as it will mirror the end product, instead of all of the features to create it. Note that if you mirror a body and it intersects with the original, it will merge the bodies.

                        So they each have their uses. Mirrored body is one that is often not used just because people don't know the difference, but it is often a better solution, as Gerald and others have pointed out.
                          • Mirror my context
                            Bill Rose
                            Mark, Charles --

                            Thanks for the explanation, it makes a lot of sense. I will play with it a bit and see what I can learn. I assume two models using the two different techniques but with the same final geometry would have much different file sizes.

                            It will require a little different thinking since I'm so used to modeling the whole thing at once......Bill
                            • Mirror my context
                              Mark Matthews

                               

                              Note that if you mirror a body and it intersects with the original, it will merge the bodies.

                              You have the choice whether or not to knit surface bodies, or merge solids, even if they intersect.
                                • Mirror my context
                                  James Canney

                                  Mark Matthews wrote:

                                   

                                   

                                  Note that if you mirror a body and it intersects with the original, it will merge the bodies.

                                  You have the choice whether or not to knit surface bodies, or merge solids, even if they intersect.

                                  And that the functionality I would like to see with the linear pattern and revolve pattern tools when patterning solid bodies.
                            • Mirror my context
                              Jason Capriotti
                              I just wish you could Mirror disjoint bodies in sheetmetal, you have to have them merge.

                              I do this for Left and Right hand parts as we like to keep them all in one file as configurations but sheetmetal won't allow it.

                              You used to be able to do this and it would error. Then you could cutaway the original side and all was well. But now the interface stops you.