1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

A little preview :D

Discussion in 'Using Alibre Design' started by Max, Jan 7, 2021.


What do you think?


    25 vote(s)
  2. It's nice

    8 vote(s)
  3. I could take it or leave it

    2 vote(s)
  4. Not that interested

    0 vote(s)
  5. I do not want this

    0 vote(s)
  1. Max

    Max Administrator Staff Member

    Hey folks, we've been working on this little diddy for a bit. Hoping to have it in v23.

    Have you ever:
    • Made a shell with a bad value resulting in a failed feature?
    • Made a fillet with too large a value resulting in a failed feature?
    • Wished you could clearly see what a distance-distance chamfer was going to do?
    • Made a loft that failed and had try edit it 3-4 times to get it to work?
      • Or made a loft unsure of what the various options do and find it difficult to compare them?
    • Wished you could see what's happening before pressing OK?
    We're implementing realtime previews of features. It looks like this:

    cadtec, JamesMC, IonSteve and 16 others like this.
  2. swertel

    swertel Alibre Super User

    It's nice, but I would rather have the preview be translucent or some other visual representation that it isn't a "solid" feature yet. Not until I commit with the OK button.

    I assume this functionality will be applied to editing features, too. Same request. Make the existing model solid and the preview transparent so I can easily see the difference between the original geometry and the preview of my edited geometry.
    JST, simonb65 and NateLiqGrav like this.
  3. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    @Max, when applying a fillet, etc. does the 'amount' automatically limit when the maximum possible has been reached? i.e. at 0:44 in the video, the max that can be applied is when the fillets meet, also at 1:02 the internal fillets have a max radius before they can't be applied. Is this limiting of the applied dimension automatic is some way? It wasn't apparent from the video that a 'hard' limit was being hit. In fact from your demonstrated jog up/down size actions, you never actually hit a point where a limit would 'need' to be enforced to prevent a geometry error!

    The current version, this would indeed produce an error AFTER you hit apply!
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
    BlackBird28 likes this.
  4. jfleming

    jfleming Senior Member

    I use the draft function a lot and this preview is super helpful.
  5. BlackBird28

    BlackBird28 Member

    Yes... like in other CAD programs... nice. but maybe transparent or a different color?
  6. Oldbelt

    Oldbelt Senior Member

    Density is default set to KG/M3.
    Inversion 21 One could Chose the dimensions.
    I had it set to gram / cm3, I work with small items.
    Please make it possible again it is bad to change this.
  7. TimoCAD

    TimoCAD Senior Member

    Hi Max, can we have a tangent selection for faces (drafts) and also a tangent selection for edges (fillets/chamfers)? Your Video shows that it'll be a huge timesaver in applying drafts, fillets and chamfers!
    cadtec and Mibe like this.
  8. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    The other reason for transparent is to show you have not "applied" it yet. So you remember to instead of moving on. Good if you deal with interruptions, or are trying to get something done in a hurry.
  9. BlackBird28

    BlackBird28 Member

    Interesting... in germany we use kg/dm³
    i like to set the density to kg/dm³
  10. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    I want!!
  11. Max

    Max Administrator Staff Member

    I'm not sure you want it transparent. Imagine looking thorough a fillet into the interior of a part.

    I think colorization is probably better. We will look into it.
  12. Max

    Max Administrator Staff Member

    It does not try to detect the max value. What is happening is the feature is being fully generated and you see the results. When the fillet goes away, notice in the design explorer the feature fails.

    The difference is you know this before pressing ok and can adjust. No more cumbersome apply - fail - close dialog - find feature in DE - right click - edit - try new value loops.
  13. Max

    Max Administrator Staff Member

    Note in this round we are limited to part workspace and will do sheet metal in a subsequent rollout.
  14. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    Be nice if it told you/limited you to the maximum extent that can be applied rather than trying to guess the closest you can get without it failing, after all the application knows the exact geometry and how far that feature can be applied before it runs out of face to apply it to! If you implement a tool, be nice to let the tool guide you rather than just preview what you tell it to. Just let it be one step smarter and not 90% of what it could be!

    Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the feature (different colour though to show its a preview and not selected geometry ... user configurable in the system display options of course for those with specific colour blindness issues, etc :))
  15. Max

    Max Administrator Staff Member

    It's not as simple as you might think, and it's also very geometry dependent. The software doesn't "know" the max value. It's kind of like an NP problem - easy to verify if it fails, hard to determine when it would fail. For a precisely specific geometry case, we could do that, but our tools are used for "any geometry". We can't just ask ACIS "when will it fail?".

    Simple example below. You might suggest that for this rectangle we take the width value and that should be the max radius - easy. But we can crank this fillet up to almost infinity and it won't fail.


    The best (and it is bad) solution to get to what you are asking for would be to do one or both of the following:

    1. Come up with a set of specific geometry cases where intuitive algorithms could be made robustly (very nontrivial)
    2. Detect those cases (very nontrivial)
    3. Apply those algorithms to cap at a max value
    We'd spend a few releases on this and it would still not act like you want.

    Trial and Error
    1. We give ACIS a increasingly larger values and ask it to evaluate them until it fails, then hone in increasingly closer to the actual fail value, and cap it at that. This takes many seconds or minutes for anything nontrivial. It will never resolve to the actual value, only within some tolerance.
    2. Pretend you have 10 edges selected for a fillet - we have to do that for each edge...
    3. Clearly this solution is totally untenable.

    A slightly better approach might be to allow you to make intuitive inputs easily. For example, if you wanted to put a fillet on the example above and wanted its radius to match the rectangle width, currently you have to know the width so you can type it in. Perhaps we could do a "Distance by Selection" so you click the Radius box, click the linear edge of the rectangle, and the edge's length populates the Radius box. That is a slightly more real-world way to constrain the problem.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
    IonSteve likes this.
  16. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    Things like this would be nice helpers. I agree, your explanations do make things quite non-trivial! Thanks for the reasoning.
  17. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    Could something like that be implemented to create a full radius on the end of part or a slot for a fully rounded end?
    It would be even better if you could just select the three faces (sides and end) of the part/slot and the full radius fillet would be created. Sometimes it is easier to select faces than edges without having to zoom way in.
    simonb65 likes this.
  18. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    I DO like it, just make sure it does not look like a completed feature.

    I mention that because I notice that sometimes the selection color hangs on the selected part even after the operation is completed. It only goes away if you click in the workspace somewhere.
  19. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    It does it this way in sketches. You don't click on the corner to add a fillet there (although it would be nice!), yet 3D does it the otherway around ... click on the edge and not the two faces you want the fillet appled between. Needs the same snap detection in 3D that has been implemented in 2D sketches, that would make selection easier without zooming in.
  20. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    The fillet preview thing is going to make variable fillets easier (fillet tool still needs work though).

Share This Page