12 Replies Latest reply on Feb 24, 2009 4:06 PM by Christopher Thompson


    Charles Culp
      I used the deform tool today in a production part. I have a part that gets "crimped" as a secondary process.

      -Just because people often ask when the tool is useful, and I just saw Mark B's presentation saying that "it almost never gets used".

        • Deform.
          Matt Lombard
          I would venture to say that even fewer people use Indent, and that comparatively a lot of people use Dome, but I don't measure the worth of a feature based on how many people use it.

          There are certainly some valid places where it can be used effectively, but it doesn't fall neatly into any sort of "best practice" sort of scheme, or even just traditional SW type parametric modeling. Its more of a direct edit type of tool - editing existing geometry.

          I've actually only used it on one model which I was paid to create. It was to do a vent on a curvy part. I offset the main shape, trimmed the hole in the main surface and kept the inside of the vent with the offset. Then I used Deform to match up the offset section of the vent with the main surface to blend it together smoothly while maintaining the overall curvy shape.

          I had to be careful to check everything thoroughly, because the Deform caused some problems with the surface that prevented knits.

          It's hard to say if the feature isn't used because it it isn't rock solid or if its not rock solid because no one uses it. I personally think it goes so much against the grain of the whole SW mentality that SW users don't see a need for it. Other softwares like VX, SolidThinking and maybe Think3 are more geared toward this sort of shape morphing.

          I'm talking mainly about the curve to curve Deform here, I don't use the other types except to play around.
            • Deform.
              I have used the Indent feature for Thermoform parts.

                • Deform.
                  I use indent on a regular basis. Today it saved me about 4 hours versus doing what I wanted manually. Deform, on the other hand, rarely works very well for me. I end up getting invisible faces, invalid geometry, etc. I keep verified rebuilds on almost always. It does work for small deformations, but radical changes are a pipe dream at this point. If the deform tool worked like a hand on a lump of clay (as it should), I wouldn't be rebuilding a part from scratch right now, as I would have been able to use a deformed version of a similar part. If it worked, you can bet I would use it on a daily basis. It *could* be extremely usefull when scaling a part from say a size small to a size large, where non-uniform scaling would give unwanted changes in some areas of the part. Where the deform tool shines is bending logos around curvy shapes, so that a logo wount appear distorted when projecting from a flat plane to a curved surface. Effectively, it pre-distorts the logo, from which I can convert a pre-distorted sketch that appears without distortion once projected. It is a workaround for the limitations of the wrap tool and the lack of u-v mapping as found in think3. I still don't understand why SW can wrap logos in photoworks onto most non-uniform surfaces, but not sketches.

                  The freeform tool....

                  Initially I was really excited about some NURBS-like functionality. Then, I found out how hard the freeform tool can be to use. After much practice, my initial dissapointment was clearly a result of my inexperience with the tool (or was it that 4-sided face thing? ). BUT, it is simply ludicrous that once you close the feature, you can't edit your points/curves/handles in more that one direction. This is just dumb, SolidWorks, dumb. Is there something I am missing? Is there a way to access all there axes of a control triad once the feature has been closed? Kinda like not being able to move sketch entities once the sketch is closed...this is not why we use computers!
                    • Deform.
                      Neil Larsen
                      I am interested to see what you do with deform in the bending of logos.
                      Could you share an example part with us please?
                      • Deform.
                        UT, it is simply ludicrous that once you close the feature, you can't edit your points/curves/handles in more that one direction.


                        I don't follow? You should be able to access all three axis of control as well as the Global,Curve and Surface modifiers.
                          • Deform.

                            I am editing a freeform feature right now and you are correct. Sometimes though, one axis is all I get. Perhaps it is a bug, as I was sure that it could not have been intentional on the part of SW.

                            Next time this happens I will send in an RX capture.

                              • Deform.
                                Thanks Will, it would be very valuable to us to have that issue captured.
                                  • Deform.
                                    Christopher Thompson
                                    I actually use the indent feature, and found it to be useful in modeling an overmolded or co-molded part. It can also used in a die forming operation in-place of a form tool. I used it to create the pads on this die formed part.

                                    I use Pro-E as well, and have not yet seen an equivalent for the indent feature. The indent feature has saved hours of surface modeling.

                                    I has not yet tried the deform tool, or dome for that matter. It appears that the deform tool can be useful. Where can I get a copy of this presentation on best modeling practices?

                                    For domes, I typically use the fill feature with its tangency or curvature control activated along the surface edges. In some cases, a full-round (3 faces) could be used to create a dome. Is there a case where a dome is better than a fill feature?

                                    Chris Thompson
                                    SolidWorks Office Premium 2007 & 2009
                                    Pro/Engineer Wildfire 2.0 & 3.0 (including ISDX)
                        • Deform.
                          Kevin Quigley
                          I use it. The deform solid feature, the freeform surface and the indent feature (and flex) are key parts to my usage of SolidWorks - especially in the concept stages. Certainly it depends very much what you are designing but for some things these tools just make life easier. I'm surprised that the Indent tool never gets used though as this is a fantastic production tool for doing things like nested parts, or redesigning parts to have new features.

                          The thing is though that most shape morphing gets done in the early concept stages or at the tooling stage. I use VX as well as SolidWorks, and I was a Think 3 user but to be honest I never used Morphing in VX or Global Shape Modelling in Think3 as often as I use the above tools in SolidWorks. The SW tools just have a better interfaces and are more usable (in my opinion). VX's morphing does a lot of stuff but it is very hard to control and not intuitive. Think3's was quite easy to do but it led to huge file size increases and large increases in surface control points to the extent that if you did a GSM operation more than a few times your file was unusable. I'm sure this is not the case now - I'm going back several years.
                            • Deform.
                              Dwight Livingston
                              I've used it for production two or three times, not for a surface dome or indent, more for a bending operation. It seems to work more reliably than Flex. It was in fact Mark B. who recommended using it instead of Flex. I still have the comparsion parts I did a while ago.

                              [edit: the top row is Flex, the bottom row is Deform]