Terry Raymond

Modeling Rant

Discussion created by Terry Raymond on Nov 5, 2019
Latest reply on Nov 5, 2019 by Alex Lachance

I've put my modelling hat back on after quite a few years, and am astounded (not really) to see that Solidworks hasn't fixed many of these very old annoying user experience issues:


  1. Allow editing old extrudes to set them to start from an offset (currently if you select the "offset from sketch plane" on an old extrude, the offset distance box is grayed out".  So we don't have to remake the extrude and break a lot of references later on.  SPR #: 235134, 720242.  Workaround = Turn ON shaded previews.
  2. If a feature in the tree has a parent feature, but the user wants to place the child above the parent, break the links, instead of not permitting the move. If it invalidates feature(s), let it, but don't prevent the user from rearranging the tree.  So we don't have to remake the features, or hunt down the limiting references to delete. SPR# 1159967.
  3. Features/objects should automatically reassign if their original parent feature is missing, but another entity is in the exact same location as previous. Eg chamfer edges, dimensions attached to edges, mates, etc. Couples nicely with above.  So we don't have to go reattach so many things every time we make a change higher up in the tree.  SPRs: 690675, 714475, 627617, 786141, 551414, 549878
  4. If an extrude or other feature is "up to vertex" or "up to surface", and that vertex/surface is later deleted during the design, don't just fail the extrude. Extend it to where the vertex used to be, and show the babypoo warning.  So it still shows what needs fixing, but without half the tree errored out and the model completely borked. SPR 1162986
  5. Allow us to turn off "update all configurations" warnings (eg in hole wizard).
  6. Allow us to turn off "fillet is missing X edges" warnings with the DONG sound. And for chamfers.  (ER submitted)
  7. Allow editing the chamfer type after it is made, eg angle/distance -> distance/distance.  Instead of having to remake it. (ER submitted)
  8. Consistency between chamfers, fillets, move face, delete face - allow them all on multiple bodies. SPR 574273, 1109227.  
  9. If clicking the Save button on a PDM file that isn't checked out, before launching the Save As dialog, ask if the user wants to check the file out or save as a copy.  So we don't have to wait for the dialog to open only to have to click cancel.  SPRs: 960212, 905040, 566711, 876013
  10. When selecting a pixel that could be a number of edges, points, surfaces - Solidworks should select the smallest of the possible options first. So eg if you click on the edge, it selects the edge and not a surface.  It sort of works this way but not consistently.  Perhaps the cursor needs a 1 or 2 pixel detection radius for it to work better.  Especially now that everyone uses qhd/4k monitors.  SPR: 967546.  related - 612993, 279363, 613176, 596327
  11. Move/copy body - allow copying and mating (and not having to use the feature twice).  SPR: 323579
  12. Please please please let us make Z up, but make the front/left/right views orient correctly... SPRs: 532734, 1111011, 1153456
  13. Make mates smarter, so that when choosing an orientation, it avoids interference.  I'm always having to flip mates. 
  14. Profile center mates are awesome, but don't always work, especially with imported parts (option not available even though faces look good).  Also the option is missing in the heads up toolbar once you're in the mate tool (it shows up if NOT in the tool...).  And needs a Flip Orientation button once trying to make the Profile Center mate.


I do see that they seem to prioritize adding new features that users have to learn/train on, eg all the different ways to open a file in large design mode/detail mode, shift/ctrl/alt+XXX to do some new fancy thing.  Need more effort on making existing functionality smarter/easier without having the user learn to do something new.  All above issues are examples of improvements where the user can work faster without having to learn anything new, and will greatly improve productivity.



And yes I know to use the ERs, I have ~200 of them now. =)



End rant!