71 Replies Latest reply on Sep 26, 2012 3:41 PM by Alin Vargatu

    What happened to the 'Link Values' command?

    Frank Ruepp

      Hi All,

       

      I assume that you have already recognized that we have made a lot of changes to the equation functionality in SolidWorks 2012 and there could be more stuff to come in 2013...  Above all we have tried to simplify the equation workflows and tried to make the equation editor and the handling of equations more ‘SolidWorks like’.

      The Equation Editor is now more powerful and offers more information at the same time.  With the different tabs and the filtering capabilities you can focus on exactly this portion of information that is important to you.  With the removal of different on-screen dialogs we have made the behavior more consistent.

      Another area where we see inconsistent behavior is the difference between linked dimensions and equations in general:

      A linked dimension is actually nothing else than a (bi-directional) equation.  With SolidWorks 2012 you can now create and edit ‘on the fly’ global variables in the edit dimension dialog.  These global variables can be edited on the fly within the edit dimension dialog and every dimension that equals the global variable will update immediately whenever you have made a change to the global variable in either location.  I have attached a part that has three dimensions with three equations to the same global variable.  So when you edit a dimension you will see that the dimension is tied to a global variable and you can directly edit the global variable on the fly.  After a rebuild you will see that all dimensions update accordingly.

       

      To simplify the system and eliminate confusion between linked values and global variables, our goal is to eliminate the entire concept of linked values in a future release and instead use this new implementation of global variables as a substitute. We will likely convert existing linked values to global variables in a future release and eliminate the entire linked value user interface and concept at that time. With that in mind, we have eliminated the ability to create new linked values in SolidWorks 2012 and you can only edit or unlink existing linked values.

       

      Do you see any negative impact to this new approach and the interim solution of allowing editing and unlinking of existing linked values, but not creation of new ones?

       

      Thank You for your feedback.

       

      Regards

      Frank

      Product Definition Team

        • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
          Jason Capriotti

          I like the new interface and what you mentioned there works great for linking dimensions. However we have lost one piece of functionality I just noticed. We use use Global Variables with dimensions to linked to them. These dimensions are in a layout sketch and their only purpose is for configurations. You cannot "configure" Global Variables values, at least I've never been able to figure out how. So we link dimensions in a layout sketch to the global variables and then we "configure" the layout sketch.

           

          This new method would work, except the button to change the values per configuration is gone. With "linked"  dimensions, this was still an option.

           

          I know I can insert a design table that can control Global Vars per configuration but we use this file with an API program and I don't want to add Excel into the equation of possible things to go wrong. Need a "configure" option for equation values.

            • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
              Tom Helsley

              ...the button to change the values per configuration is gone. With "linked"  dimensions, this was still an option.

              Good catch, Jason! 

               

              Frank:

               

              I also use linked dimensions and configuration specific values in them, so not having this would cause a lot of havoc with my models.  I can't go into production without configuration specific values in linked dimensions.

               

              I think there will be some confusion at first.  Why do it part way and disable new linked dimensions without converting?

               

              I have some other concerns with the new way of linking to global variables:

               

              First, the process of detaching a dimension from a global variable is not immediately obvious, and a bit too many mouse clicks.  It seems that to do this, after double-clicking the dimension, I then have to click the toggle to display the variable name, then click in the value box, then delete everything, then click the check box or press the 'enter' key. 

               

              Second, It seems like I should be able to define a varial and assign a value when I am modifying a dimension in the dialog box, by typing something like "W=2.000".  Instead, I have to type "=W", press the 'enter' key, then select my text, then enter the value.

               

              Third, if I have assigned to a global variable a dimension, the dimension's name box is disabled in the property manager, but I can still change it in the modify dialog box.  Users shouldn't be locked out of the dimension name box in the property manager, if the dimension references a global variable or equation.

               

              Fourth, if I have a lot of dimensions linked together in a 2011 file, then my equation editor doesn't get crowded.  With the same situation in a 2012 file, each dimension is listed, so I might have to do a lot of scrolling as I edit dimensions.  Of course the benefit, is that I know exactly which dimensions are linked.  Could you make it so I can oll up all dimensions that reference the same global variable?

            • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
              Tony Wickingson

              Compared to previous versions this is a huge improvement. For a test I created a part in SW2011 with numerous equations. I also created a similar part using a design table.  Creating the same equations in SW2012 in the same part is much easier. 

               

              As far as linked dimensions are concerned, I do not feel that creating global variables will be a problem for our workflow since the new version also honors linked dimensions generated in previous versions.  However the circular reference warning generated from certain equations converted from 2011 to 2012 concerns me (an SR has been generated).  It seems that if everything was OK in 2011 I should not be getting an assembly tree with warnings of circular references when I convert the files to 2012. 

               

              Also rebuild time for my test part seems to increase by about 40% between the 2011 and 2012 version.  Whether this is caused by equations or somethig else is curious to me.

               

              For another comparison I am evaluating rebuild times, file size and opening and closing times between the same test part using SW2011 and SW2012 and also comparing these items against using equations or using a design table and excell functionality.

               

              I look forward to experimenting with  the measure tool and also what is modifiable in the different configurations of the equation dialog box.

              • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                Steven Tietz

                I have 2 issues:

                1. Users no longer can tell which dimensions are driven by an equation & which dimensions are now "bi-directional" ---  making a dimension equal to a global variable puts the E symbol next to the dimension -- also making a dimension equal to a formula (another dimension divided by 2) also puts the E symbol next to the dimension...  There is no distintion between these two dimensions that I can actually change the first one but the second one I cannot change because it is driven by a formula & not a gloval value.  previously with linked values you could tell a chain link symbol ment that the dimension was "bi-directional"  & the E symbol meant it was driven by a formula & unchangeable...  Now I am wasting time double clicking dimensions that I *think* might be bidirectional only to find out they are not.  Previously I would know at a glance by the differing symbols.

                 

                2. too many equations causes the performance to degrade...  so creating a global variable equals another line item for solidworks to solve in the equation dialog in addition to the real equations (actuall formulas)...  so now I can easily get close to 100 equations just by the shear number of global variables I create (not to mention the equations)...  I have obtained sprs for existing release of solidworks & beta points and SPRs for 2012 on this slow down ...  so previously linked values was a method of creating these HIDDEN bidirectional equations...   Linked values appeared to do work directly on the dimensions & geometry durring the final 1 rebuild -- in my observations equations and global values seem to do two or three internal rebuilds(unknown to user).  Almost like it has to rebuild the equations to solve a numerical answer & THEN rebuild again to chagne the dimension & the geometry in a secondary or third rebuild behind the sceans. But this is just a guess as to why many global values (equations) seem much slower than linked values...

                 

                my opinion --  I would like to see linked values stay & just simply make the linked value (which is very similar to global values) simply an editable feature in the feature tree just like global variables are...  This way these hidden bidirectional equations wont be solved with multiple internal rebuilds like standard equations are & you still get the chain link symbol showing that they are editiable & an E symbol on dimensions that are driven by a true equation.

                 

                I love global variables & would like to just "link" dimensions to global variables so that you get the bidirectional (chain link) symbol -- however since global variables are treated as an equation that solidworks has to solve for & possibly do more internal rebuilds - I dont use them when I know I will have lots and lots of global variabled to link to in the case of a weldment as an example...

                  • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                    Shaodun Lin

                    Steven Tietz wrote:

                     

                    2. too many equations causes the performance to degrade... 

                    I strongly agree about this, I had create a very simple assembly with 20 lines of equation inside, and it takes 70 Seconds to fully load the simple assembly. I guess it will be even worse for larger assembly with more equations.

                    • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                      Edward Clapper

                      I agree 100% with Steve's points. I use linked dims and would prefer that they stay, with the ability to "link" them to a global variable. Please reconsider your plans for eliminating the concept of linked dims.

                        • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                          Steven Tietz

                          Thank you all! At least I know I am not alone in this!... Something else has occured to me you can no longer drive a dimension that is tied to a global variable from a design table like you could in 2011...  which is related to the point that Tom Helsley had that you can no longer configure the dimension via the modify dialog box...  I just occured to me & I have tested it in beta2 but this also means we have lost design table functionality...  In 2011 you could link multiple dimensions to a variable, also drive them with a design table, and also have unique values per configuration.  So the end user had the ability to change any dimension they prefered  or they could open and change a design table if they wish - depending upon each users preference...  We have lost this functionality.  For us at our company this is a big issue as users no longer have options per their preference.  This also means that we will not be able to put 1 dimension in a design table & then use global variables to drive the other dimenions.  As we will have to get rid of all global variables & then make the tables much more complex - this then forces the user to open the table to change the model -- where as in 2011 they had the ability to do it either way...

                           

                          I realise that we could use sketch relations (in some cases) to achive the the same thing as a global variable & then one dimension in the table but then this way the user has only 1 way to change the model (where ever the driving dimension is)...  where as dimensions that are linked allow the user to choose to either change the groove OR change the thickness of something that fits in that groove.. but if you also want to configurations you either left with sketch relations & everyone has to change the groove or a much more complicated design table forcing the user to change the model through the table...

                           

                          point is users have lost the flexablity they had in 2011...

                        • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                          Dominik Kirschner

                          Steven Tietz schrieb:

                           

                          I have 2 issues:

                          1. Users no longer can tell which dimensions are driven by an equation & which dimensions are now "bi-directional"

                          that's another good point, steven
                          and even the usability is heavily influenced

                        • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                          Tom Helsley

                          Frank,

                           

                          As I am I thinking about losing the ability to link dimensions, I am growing more concerned.  Everyone here has had some really good arguments for keeping them... at least until you guys can come up with a better solution.  As it is now, I am a little more hesitant about deploying 2012 to my company.

                           

                          I understand the need and reasoning, but I think removing the ability to link dimensions was poorly though out. This is another prime example of something that is being released when it is halfway there. 

                           

                          By contrast, the Feature Freeze seems to be well implemented... but that was the result of not hurrying, talking to the users in the forums, and understanding everyone's needs.  I am unaware of any such discussion that led to removing linked dimensions (if there are, please post the link), but I think from the small sampling of responses here, many more folks are going to have a headache with this change.  I really would have liked to see a discussion on this BEFORE you did it. 

                           

                          The bi-directional ability and configuration specific values are the most important parts of linked values, and users need that ability going forward.  I agree that the distinction between global variables and linked values can be confusing. 

                           

                          We have given some usefull feedback, but we haven't heard from you.  Now that we are in PR1, I am growing really anxious about losing linked values.  What are SolidWorks plans for this change?  What are you going to do to address our feedback and concerns?  If you are not going to do anything about it, then what was the point of asking?

                           

                          Please let us know.

                            • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                              Steven Tietz

                              Very well put Tom!...  I too was wondering & waiting to hear from Frank.

                               

                              I put more thought into this & I'm confused as to why a dimension equal to a global variable cannot be set to a different value per configuration... there are two areas where this is already possible...

                               

                              in 2010 solidworks gave us the ability to configure global variables per configuration via a design table (it is buggy to the point of being unusable but the functionality is there)

                               

                              in 2012 a dimension equal to a global value is bidirectional - user can double click the dimension & change it or change the global variable & it will change it...  (even though it appears to be driven by an equation) a user can change it!...  if I can change it as a user a design table should be able to!

                               

                              solidworks obviously has a place (by design to store different values per configuration of variables) other wise a design table would not have this function... Plus now solidworks has bidirectional equations (dimension equal to a global variable)

                               

                              it appears all the ingredients are there -- they just need to be put together!

                               

                              I do like the functionality of global variables they just need to FULLY support configurations through the UI & through a design table to be usable!

                                • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                  Jason Capriotti

                                  I hope something gets done or we're stuck on 2011. We have automation within our models that rely on this functionality.

                                    • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                      Frank Ruepp

                                      Hi All,

                                       

                                      First of all, thank you for all of your feedback.  I apologize for not responding sooner. But this late response is not based on a lack of interest, but is rather that this thread started a lengthy internal discussion.

                                       

                                      It seems to me that the most important issues are that linked dimensions are bi-directional (what we already cover with the new functionality) and the fact that you can configure linked dimensions. One weak solution would be to create a layout dimension (a dimension used in a sketch at the top of the Feature Tree) that is used in equations; editing this layout dimension would update all the dimensions that are tied to this dimension but you would certainly lose the bi-directional portion of the functionality.

                                       

                                      Another area where you have posted your concerns is that for automated solutions (driven through the API) you have to rely on the linked dimension functionality. The good news here is that we have not removed the ability to create a linked dimension through the API.  So any code that is relying on the linked dimensions will continue to work.

                                       

                                      We are investigating the code stability risks to bring back linked dimensions for 2012. As far as we can see at this time there is a chance that they will come back with an early 2012 Service Pack, but we cannot make any promise on this just yet.

                                       

                                      We are also continuing on a plan to deliver the complete solution (bi-directional functionality and the capability to configure global parameters) for 2013.  Imagine that we will deliver this in 2013, would you still need linked dimensions in 2013?

                                       

                                      Regards

                                      Frank

                                      Product Definition Team

                                        • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                          Jason Capriotti

                                          Frank, thanks for the response. I look forward to the ability to configure global variables, that's really the only reason we link the dimensions to them anyway, so we can configure them.

                                           

                                          It seems like the ability to configure global variables is already there since you can do it from a design table, you're just lacking an interface to do it directly in SolidWorks. I had hoped this functionaly would've made it into 2012 with all the equation work done, we were disappointed, but more dishearting was the fact that our workaround was taken away which made it worse.

                                           

                                          I certainly hope this can make it into a service pack.

                                          • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                            Tom Helsley

                                            Thanks for the update, Frank.  It is greatly appreciated.

                                             

                                            I'm glad to hear that you are looking seriously at bringing linked dimensions back in the 2012 version.  While you did mention the bi-directional problem, You didn't mention anything about configuration specific values for linked dimensions / equations / global variables.

                                             

                                            Really, the only problem I see with linked dimensions in the 2011 and earlier versions of SolidWorks, is the confusion between them and global variables, and not being able to edit the linked dimension values in the equation editor.

                                             

                                            Why not make the two the same thing and have the best of both put together?  Allow users to create linked dimensions, and allow them to edit it's value in the edit dimension dialog and in the equation editor (similar to what you originally mentioned).  But also allow making the values configuration specific from the edit dimension dialog and from the equation editor.

                                             

                                            I really don't like that the "configs" button is missing from the equation editor, and that users can't specify configuration specific values when dimensions are "linked" to global variables.  Also, some things in the new equation editor are not as obvious as the previous versions.  For example, deleting, suppressing, and un-suppressing equations now is done by RMB on the row headers at the left of the grid.

                                             

                                            Another thing I don't like in the 2012 changes so far, is this... 

                                             

                                            1. Create a sketch with two circles, dimension them, and assign the dimensions to the same global variable.

                                            2. Note the value of the global variable.

                                            3. Close the Edit Dimension dialog box.

                                            4. Double-click one of the dimensions to edit the value.

                                            5. Change the value.

                                            6. Notice that the other circles / dimensions did not update with the changed one.

                                            7. Open the equation editor.

                                            8. Notice that the global variable did not change.

                                             

                                            If this were a linked dimension, the linked value would update and both circles would change in size.  In the new 2012 way, the edited dimension becomes "un-linked" from the global variable when its value is changed. But, that's not what I wanted to do, and that is not what I expected to happen.  I think many users are going to be upset about this.

                                              • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                Edward Clapper

                                                To keep reinforcing the point, I think that there are unintended consequences to removing the concept of linked values. What I like about this feature is that I can link it when I edit the dimension, and once linked I can see that the dim is linked. Finally I like that I don't need to do anything "special" to affect all of my linked dimensions, other than change any one of them. I specifically didn't want to enter the equation editor to do something like this. All in all, I'd prefer the "best of both worlds" like Tom has described. I don't want to lose any of the current usage or functionality if that can be avoided.

                                              • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                Steven Tietz

                                                To answer your question -- once dimensions equal to a global variable has the ability to change their value per configuration --  then YES linked values can be removed, but only then...  Once it can do that it will be oh so sweet!!!   

                                                 

                                                However I believe even when it is fully cooked, linked values should stay for one more release & then be removed in 2014...

                                                It is strange that linked values functionality is being removed and that it is questionable if it will come back...  solidworks (in my observations) has always suppored legacy stuff at least until somthing is fully cooked... 

                                                 

                                                For example the freeform feature was removed only after notifying users of this & even then waiting a while to make sure it was well informed... 

                                                 

                                                display states is another example -- it was gradually released before removing the HIDE capability from design tables...

                                                 

                                                heck you can still create an excel based BOM!... 

                                                 

                                                why should linked values be any different?  This should be a gradual process - seems against solidworks track record to just pull it in 1 release.  It seems to me that 2012 AND 2013 should be the "transission" releases where you have both functionalities.  Functionality should only be removed after the new "replacing" functionality has been out there in at least two releases (till it is fully cooked)...  ie 2014...

                                                • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                  Steven Tietz

                                                  Looks like Frank says the 2012 api can create linked values (if I understood his post corectly)....  Does anyone know the API enough that could write a macro to link a selected dimension to a global variable?

                                                  • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                    James Pare

                                                    Frank, Is there a way to disable linked dimensions in 2012, They are very slow & bogging when working in a large assembly. They have taken a huge step backwards for how it now runs in 2012, I have one file where in 2011 it takes 3 seconds to double click & edit an extrdue, same file in 2012 takes 3 minutes to activate, what are you guys doing?

                                                    • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                      Ted Neff

                                                      Frank,

                                                       

                                                      Yes! I still want linked values for 2013. For us, it just works & why would I want to learn a new way to accomplish the same result when it provides me no additional benefit?

                                              • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                Frank Ruepp

                                                Hi All,

                                                 

                                                As you certainly can see we have made major improvements to equation workflows, added direct equation input to the edit dimension dialog, overhauled the equation manager with different tabs and additional functionality, added parametric “measurements” to equations, added “intelligence” to the input boxes, added the functionality to recognize solving dependencies, an instant update mode and tons of other stuff visible and invisible to users.

                                                 

                                                In order to come up with a complete solution we had also planned to deliver:

                                                • Configuration specific global variables
                                                • Configuration specific equations (today you can already have different equations for different configurations but we wanted to come up with a better solution)

                                                With these additions we would have had a well thought solution where linked dimensions would become obsolete.  But sometimes things don’t happen as planned …

                                                We have not got better and easier configuration specific equations and we have not got the configuration specific global variables and since we are aware that people use the linked dimensions functionality we had started this thread in order to get your feedback how important this functionality is for you…

                                                But apart from the missing capability to assign configuration specific values for global variables we have at least tied with the existing linked dimensions functionality (i.e. easy to create through the edit dimension dialog, no need to open up the equation manager, bi-directional functionality) and exceeded in some areas (i.e. you can edit the value in the equation manager as well).

                                                 

                                                In my previous post I have pointed out that these missing portions could be covered in a future release.  However we do not make any promises or commitments…

                                                 

                                                Regards

                                                Frank

                                                Product Definition Team

                                                  • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                    John Stoltzfus

                                                    Good afternoon Frank,

                                                     

                                                    Speaking for myself; I don't use equations that much, so would there be a way that you could double click on a dimension and somewhere in the dimension dialog box you would be able to run a small equation. 

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    In other words be able to edit the information at the dimension values instead of having to go up and insert an equation and then select this dimension add the formula and hit ok.  It would be awesome if we would have the option of just a one line simple D2 plus 4 = D3

                                                     

                                                    Then if you want to write major macro style equation you have the option of creating those in the current equation dialog box.

                                                     

                                                    Later,

                                                     

                                                    John

                                                    • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                      Tom Helsley

                                                      Frank,

                                                       

                                                      Forgive me for asking these silly questions, but I seem to be missing something:

                                                       

                                                      1. What items are bi-directional?  Are the global variables bi-directional, or are the equations bi-directional? 
                                                      2. What exactly do you mean by bi-directional?  Does bi-directional mean you can edit the equations in the dialog?  How about the global variables? 

                                                       

                                                      As I stated and demonstrated earlier in my steps, I cannot edit a global variable's value from the edit dimension dialog.  If I should be able to, then can you please spell out the steps, because I'm obviously missing it.

                                                       

                                                      Thanks,

                                                       

                                                      Tom H.

                                                        • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                          Dominik Kirschner

                                                          Tom Helsley schrieb:

                                                           

                                                          I cannot edit a global variable's value from the edit dimension dialog.  I

                                                          sure you can't do?
                                                          I've tested and I could: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTx6c2Rm-ZE

                                                          • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                            Frank Ruepp

                                                            First of all thank you Dominik for helping me out and sharing the video with us.

                                                             

                                                            It appears that the intended workflow is not obvious to a lot of people (probably documentation related) and I would like to explain the required steps to you:

                                                             

                                                            Let's start with a simple block.  Just three dimensions and I will focuse just on two of them:

                                                            block.jpg

                                                            Double click on one of the sketch dimensions and you will get the "edit dimension dialog":

                                                            edit_dimension.jpg

                                                            You certainly can edit the dimension value there but you can also start to create an equation.  By typing the equal sign you indicate to the system that you will start an equation:

                                                            start_equation.jpg

                                                            Please notice that we display a dropdown list with functions, file properties and offer a measure command.  We also make a color coding in order to point out problems with the equation syntax.  After the equal sign you can start to type the name of the global variable that you want to create:

                                                            global_variable.jpg

                                                            Please notice that we cannot recognize the global variable at this point (because it is not defined at this point), but we offer a small button that lets you create a new global variable on the fly.  Clicking the small widget will create the global variable with the typed in name and we will assign the current value to the global variable:

                                                            global_variable_created.jpg

                                                            On the left side we display the icon for the global variable and we display the current value by default.  But you can toggle the display by clicking the small icon on the left side:

                                                             

                                                            toggle_display.jpg

                                                            This will toggle the display from the value to the underlying equation:

                                                            display_toggled.jpg

                                                            Clicking the icon again will convert the display back to show the value.  Now you can close the edit dimension dialog and double click on the second sketch dimension.  As expected this will bring up the edit dimension dialog where you can start to type the equal sign followed by the name of the global variable.  You certainly do not have to know the name of the variable because we display defined global variables in the type ahead list.  But if you know at least the first letters we will automatically filter the defined entities that match your typed letters:

                                                            type_ahead.jpg

                                                            Now just select the global variable and that will automatically create the equation for you.  Now you have two dimensions that are tied to the same global variable.  That means that you can double click on either dimension, edit the dimension value (in fact you are editing the value of the global variable) and this will update the other dimension as well (if you want to update the dimensions instantly just push the rebuild icon in the edit dimension dialog):

                                                            modify_dim1.jpg

                                                            This is exactly the same behavior for the other dimension as well:

                                                            modify_dim2.jpg

                                                            And this is what I call bi-directional.  You do not have to open the equation editor in order to make changes to the global variable.  You just have to double click any dimension that is tied to a global variable, edit the dimension and this will update all the other dimensions as well (and this is exactly what the linked dimensions do).

                                                             

                                                            Hope this explains the intended behavior.  So who has not tried this workflow so far should give it a try....

                                                             

                                                            Thanks and regards

                                                            Frank

                                                            Product Definition Team

                                                              • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                Steven Tietz

                                                                I must say this is wonderful technology!  we've all been stuck on the missing linked values functionality being missing & how this new method does not support configurations -- however I have not taken the time to compliment the functionality that is there.

                                                                 

                                                                1. I love how the number of clicks are reduced

                                                                     1a. Entering equations right into the modify dialog

                                                                     1b. Creating global variables on the fly within modify dialog

                                                                     1c. Modify dialog now shows previous values entered so you either reuse them or enter new values that are proportional 

                                                                 

                                                                2. not being force to move that stupid old equation dialog box out the way so you could actually click on the other dimensions on the screen to build your formula...  that thing was huge! - now just the small modify box.

                                                                 

                                                                3. love how it no longer renames your dimension (like linked values does)

                                                                     3a.  dimension named LENGTH later linked to a global variable named OVERALL LENGTH and then later unlinking that value produced a dimension named D1 (not the original dimension name LENGTH)

                                                                 

                                                                4. formulas solve correctly while in the equation dialog box (previously you had to close the dialog & hit rebuild & come back to the formulas to solve)

                                                                 

                                                                5. auto solve order is nice too (although I have not tested this yet)

                                                                 

                                                                Thank you Solidworks for this improved functionality!  I'm sure this is hardder to code than it seems to us average users!  really appreciate your hard work!

                                                                 

                                                                my wish list for future releases:

                                                                1. making dimensions equal to global values configurable via modify dialog box & design tables

                                                                2. able to flip dimensions that are equal to global values (arrows button is missing)

                                                                     2a. solidworks should know that when you push that button to not change the global value to a negative number just flip the dimension

                                                                3. Round up & Round Down  function in the equation dialog (not just round - but a round up) to a set significance -- like I want to round up to the nearest 1/16th of an inch -- or the next 1/2" inch...  within the formula...

                                                                  • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                    Steven Tietz

                                                                    oops I forgot item 4 to my wish list for future releases

                                                                     

                                                                    4. a new symbol to show which dimensions are equal to a global variable (bi-directional equation) & which ones are driven by a true equation (uni-directional equation?)...  Kind of like how linked values showed a chain link which meant the user could change the dimension & an E for the dimensions that were driven by an equation...

                                                                  • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                    Tom Helsley

                                                                    Thanks, Frank.  That helps a lot.  That's what I'd like to see more of in the Help and "What's New" documents.

                                                                     

                                                                    When I first tried it, I wasn't typing the "=" when I was typing the global variable's name.  If it didn't exist yet, then it was created, but the dimension wasn't 'linked' to the global variable.  I should have recognized that it wasn't 'linked' because the red Sigma wasn't there after editing.

                                                                     

                                                                    So what threw me off was by typing the variable name without a preceding "=", I could create a global variable from the edit dimension dialog without assigning it to the dimension I was editing.  When I type a variable name without an "=", the global variable button pops up and if I click on the button, it creates the global variable and I am led to believe that the dimension is 'linked' to it.  I can see how that would be useful, but It will take some getting used to the difference between typing an "=" and not doing so.

                                                                    • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                      Qi Lu

                                                                      Frank,

                                                                       

                                                                      1.png

                                                                       

                                                                      It doesn't appear that the bi-directional link work at all? In the above screenshot there are three edges linked to the length global variable "g1". Two such edges are in a same sketch and have their dimension starting with "", and another such edge is the longer edge of the leftmost cuboid. Apparently they are not synchronized.

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                      Also the file is attached.

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                      Qi

                                                                • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                  Dominik Kirschner

                                                                  I also created a new video that shows one of the main-mistakes made with the new UI:

                                                                  typing in just the new name ("new value") - wont link the dimension to the global variable.

                                                                  typing in the equl-sign followed by the new name ("=new value") will link the dimension to the variable.

                                                                  watch out the video:

                                                                    • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                      Steven Tietz

                                                                      I cannot watch youtube videos while at work so forgive me if your video clarifies your post more...  as I am going off your text only

                                                                       

                                                                      but --  I dont see what is the problem with that... it makes sense...  the equal sign says I want THIS dimension to be equal to the variable I just created.  where if I dont put the equal sign then it only creates a variable...  It seems cool that you can create variables without having to go through the multiple old dialog boxes... 

                                                                       

                                                                      using this to your advantage you could create a solidworks equation that uses variables within the equations but not make the dimension equal to the variables..  Other words, when attempting to create a formula to drive a particular dimension you could be also create the variables & using those variables within the formula all from the modify dialog box....  in this situation you would not want to make THIS dimension equal to the variables as you want it driven by the equation & the equation to use the variables...

                                                                       

                                                                      for example you have a rectangle two dimensions & you want the height to 2 times larger than the width...

                                                                       

                                                                      1. double click the height dimension to get the modify dialog

                                                                      2. type "WIDTH"& hit enter (no equal sign - this creates the WIDTH variable)

                                                                      3. now while still in the modify dialog type "=2 * Width" & hit enter twice to finish creating the equation and dismiss the modify dialog

                                                                      4. go to the width dimension & type "=Width" & hit enter twice to finish

                                                                       

                                                                      now you can change the width dimension (or change the width variable) to get the height to use this new automation...

                                                                       

                                                                      is there something I am missing in this line of thinking?

                                                                    • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                      Steven Tietz

                                                                      Whoo whoo! everyone should check out sp1.0!  you'll be happy to see what command they brought back!...   The new method (equal to global variables) will be better once it fully supports configurations...   Thank you for bringing this back guys! 

                                                                        • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                          James Pare

                                                                          No way, this has completely slowed down SWX,

                                                                          Not Happy!

                                                                          • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                            Dominik Kirschner

                                                                            Hi Steven...

                                                                            What exactly do you mean? - what has been changed in SP1?

                                                                              • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                Steven Tietz

                                                                                as you know when 2012 sp0 was released the existance of the LINK VALUES command was gone... but when you upgrade to sp1.0 you can right click on a dimension & LINK VALUES is back!

                                                                                  • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                    James Pare

                                                                                    The problem is on any dimension you get this new option "= to......." which brings up every dimension in an Assy & all the global variables for equations which really, really, really slows down double click editing objects in a large assy

                                                                                      • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                        Steven Tietz

                                                                                        I'm not sure I fully understand what your talking about -- our assemblies are large in physical size but not large in number of components - so maybe I dont experience what your talking about... 

                                                                                         

                                                                                        Are you talking about linked values or the = to thing?  they are different things...  the only time I see every dimension & variable listed is whe I am in the "manage equation" dialog box or within the "modify" dialog box (when you double click a dimension)... But on the modify dialog box you only see the other equations when you type an equal sign...  but again, I am not sure I completely understand when it is that you're seeing this issue...

                                                                                         

                                                                                        However, I had a similar situation where double clicking a dimension was slow...  Do your existing files have a bunch of global variables already in them?  I had a bunch of global variables (50+) and dimensions linked to them (not equal to them)...  However I found a workaround, by editing equations (manage equations) & suppressing all the global variables... cool part was that all the dimensions linked to the global variables still updated when you changed one dimension & it in turn changed the other dimensions - even though the varible was suppressed...  suppressing all global variables made the double click time back to normal (like it was in 2011)...  However if your using shared values and not global variables then you wont be able to use this workaround as a dimension that is linked to another dimension through shared values creates what looks like a global variable but you cannot suppress it.... so unless you convert all these to global variables you may not be able to use this workaround...

                                                                                         

                                                                                        I hope I've helped --- if not please clairify your situation (maybe attach some rx videos -showing your equations & the problem) so we can help, if possible...

                                                                                          • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                            James Pare

                                                                                            Hello Steve

                                                                                            I am talking about the "= to .. thing"

                                                                                            We always have data heavy customer geometry in our design, & with the new "=" command, it can take about 3 to 5 mins for some of the simple double click edits to activate

                                                                                             

                                                                                            How did you supress the global variables?

                                                                                              • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                                James Pare

                                                                                                I would like to supress the file properties in the image shown12-21-2011 10-15-10 AM.png

                                                                                                • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                                  Steven Tietz

                                                                                                  right click on the equations folder and then hit manage equations -- then if you have TRUE global variables you can right click on the grey box next to the global variable & choose SUPPRESS...

                                                                                                    • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                                      Steven Tietz

                                                                                                      in regards to your image -- you can turn the display of those file properties off by right clicking on the equations folder & choose HIDE FILE PROPERTIES... not sure that will affect your performance as those file properties will still exist but they just wont be displayed...

                                                                                                        • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                                          James Pare

                                                                                                          Yes, you can turn the display off, but they are still active, it's my belief that the double click editing is slowed down for these file properties to be updated

                                                                                                            • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                                              Steven Tietz

                                                                                                              Not sure about that -- that list of file properties has always existed (as far as I know)...  my gut tells me you have many equations or line items in the equation manager that might be causing the issue...  as a test, You might try suppressing any equations you have and see if double click method returns to normal...  if so you will need to notify your reseller & possibly provide the files and the steps to reproduce the issue, so they can get solidworks to fix this --  they will send you an SPR number if they confirm it... 

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              I know on my stuff I do not expeirence this slow down you mention on any of my files unless I have a ton of global variables or equations...

                                                                                                                • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                                                  James Pare

                                                                                                                  For some reason, I can't supress these variables

                                                                                                                    • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                                                      Steven Tietz

                                                                                                                      yeah that probably means they are not true global variables... but rather created through through the linked values command or possibly this new = to method...

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                      a true global variable is created through the MANAGE EQUATION dialog & under the global variables typeing something like:

                                                                                                                      x = 5

                                                                                                                      solidworks will reformat it to:

                                                                                                                      "x" = 5

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                      then you dismiss this dialog and then right click on a dimension & choose LINK VALUES and choose the global variable... you will know it is a TRUE global variable as when you hit the drop down in the in the shared values dialog (link values) the variable will be listed as $VAR: x  .... Then click OK... then of course repeat for all dimensions you want "linked"  (not = to)

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                      these true global variables can be suppressed but yet retain their functionality of updating all other dimensions linked to them... suppressing them got me around the issue of slowness when double clicking a dimension...  keep in mind that if you suppress an eqauation it will not solve the formula -- but since a global variable does not have any math but just a hard coded number - it appears to still retain the linked functionality even though it is suppressed...  great workaround for me...

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                      you probably would have to convert your variables to global variables and then use the right click link values command in order to get around your issue -- if it is related to this...  However not sure if that is feasable for you or not...

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                      Hope this helps...

                                                                                                                        • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                                                          James Pare

                                                                                                                          WHAT A MESS,  Thanks Steve

                                                                                                                          funny thing is, this file has no problems in 2011, but in 2012 very very very slow!

                                                                                                                          maybe not so funny after all

                                                                                                                            • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                                                              Steven Tietz

                                                                                                                              yeah I had same issue when upgrading to 2012... however *think* my situation was easier than yours as I had nothing but global variables and so all I had to do was suppress all of them & the problem went away and worked like it did in 2011...

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              unfortunately if your situation is a list of mutitple equations -- then suppressing wont be a permenant fix as you will need the formulas to solve... either way if it is related to my similar issue it was confirmed as a bug & I got an SPR...  I would still recomened you report this as the more users that report the same issue the higher the priority is to solidworks corproate in getting it fixed...

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              Good luck...

                                                                                                                                • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                                                                  Mauricio Martinez-Saez

                                                                                                                                  The problem with "Global Variables" (which we experienced since 2005) is that as you add "Global Variables" the performance of the software degrades to a point on which is impossible to work.

                                                                                                                                  "Global Variables" are not new... the only new thing is the UI.

                                                                                                                                  We have over 6 years of work using "linked" variables and top-down modeling... what will happen to all those assemblies?  do we need to edit all of them so they will be able to work in "new" versions?

                                                                                                      • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                                        David Suelflow

                                                                                                        My main beef with the global variables is that they cannot accept units.  We switch from English to metric quite a bit and I love that if my units are English I can input a dimension value in mm and it will convert it on the fly.  The problem is, if I make it a global variable, it is just a static number related to the units’ settings.  So if I change units, 1mm becomes 1” for example.  For now we create a “size” sketch at the top of the FM tree that consists of all the critical dimensions of the part.  Then we assign a global variable to the dimensions in the sketch so that an equation or another dimension can reference them.  This seems to be going around your elbow to get to your… well you know.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        The second refinement I’d like to see is a drop-down arrow in the dimension dialog box that would allow us to directly select a global variable or equation.  If I have to hit the “=” key I have to take my hand off one of my mice… another way to slow me down.

                                                                                                        • Re: What happened to the 'Link Values' command?
                                                                                                          Frank Bos

                                                                                                          What a shock finding out about the change in linking while I was on a rush job!

                                                                                                          I needed to read a lot of info here just to find out how to manipulate the new linking method. (Mostly just skipped through it.)

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          I am not sure if it has been mentioned yet but I found that linking an extrusion to a global variable shows the old style link icon next to the extrusion dimension.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          (I think I need a button that changes the software, temporarily, to "Dopey Style" so I can do some quick work without too many choices.  Hmmm, maybe going back to 2D.... Nahhhh!)