Feature request for Fillet...

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 From:  Tommy (THOMASHELZLE)
5803.1 
Hey Michael,

I currently do a lot of fillets and often have to try several settings to get them to work.
For instance, I first try 0.1 mm circular because it is fastest. I then I often increase the radius in steps and when I found the best width, I try to switch to G3 which I normally use for everything.

Now the problem:
As soon as one fillet worked, it is no longer clear from the GUI if a certain setting did or didn't work.
Let's say my first radius of 0.1 mm worked. Now I try 0.15 mm, calculation takes several minutes, I switch to another software to do something else, come back later, "Calculating..." is gone, but I basically have no way to find out if it's gone because it's finished or because it stopped since for whatever reason it couldn't fillet with that radius, because in the latter case, the old fillet will still show and it's hard to eyeball the difference.

So:
- Would it be possible to have Fillet indicate failed attempts somehow?
- Is it possible to tell the user WHY it failed?
- Would it be also possible to somehow indicate if it worked? (Green Checkmark/Red Checkmark in the dialog?)
- Is there a way to show a progress-meter? Sometimes a Fillet takes half an hour and it would be great to know that it will take long and where it is at.

Fillet starts to be the most challenging area in MoI for me. I think multi-radius-fillets are my main feature dream ATM.
I also very often get broken results, like fillet-roundings that go off into space outside the model or the model vanishing completely or in parts.

I don't know how hard those things are to achieve, but I'd love to see improvements in this area.

Thank you very much!

Tom
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 From:  Michael Gibson
5803.2 In reply to 5803.1 
Hi Tom,

> - Is it possible to tell the user WHY it failed?
> - Is there a way to show a progress-meter? Sometimes a Fillet takes half an hour and it would be great to know that it will take long and where it is at.

These 2 are unfortunately quite difficult to do well.



> - Would it be possible to have Fillet indicate failed attempts somehow?
> - Would it be also possible to somehow indicate if it worked? (Green Checkmark/Red Checkmark in the dialog?)

These ones are more feasible, and I guess that one green/red indicator that showed whether the last update was successful would do both of these.

But do you have any suggestion of where the checkmark could be displayed so that it didn't look weird? It could potentially be a bit strange to just have some big checkmark showing somewhere without any indication of what it would be for, and the other side having a entire description with it is also difficult because the way MoI's UI is structured there is not very much space in the dialog area to show all the controls for every command so it's usually a priority to have the command UI fairly compact.


What about if it did not show anything until there was a failure, and then it started showing a red X / green check somewhere only after there had been one failure?

- Michael
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 From:  mcramblet
5803.3 
Inventor Fusion has a little symbol that only appears if an operation or command has failed. If there isn't a problem, nothing is indicated (1st image). If an operation of any kind fails or runs into a problem, the little icon shows up (2nd image). If you mouse over the icon, it will display a message indicating the problem (3rd image).

The icon showing up similar to this might be a good method to use, if this is implemented. The mouse over message sounds nifty (and maybe looks that way in the example), but in reality, it rarely tells you anything worthwhile. In the sample, it just so happened to provide an indication of what the problem might be, but in most cases it doesn't. Often it doesn't provide any helpful information as to where the issue is or why. Perhaps that's what Michael was referring to when he said that's difficult to do well.

Personally, my experience has been that if MoI isn't able to complete an operation, I'll know it by looking at it. In comparing Inventor Fusion and MoI, I don't find the error indicator in Fusion much of an advantage, but that could simply be due to the type of modeling that I do. (please excuse the 10 sec. example I made, I just wanted to quickly force a failure)









Michael Cramblet
Packaging Design
Phone: 616-574-6271
 

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 From:  Michael Gibson
5803.4 In reply to 5803.3 
Hi Michael, yeah something along those lines could work.

I'm not sure about doing the exact same thing of floating an icon right out into the middle of the 3D workspace though, fusion looks like it hangs a lot of things out into there but MoI is set up to try and avoid that and put more things into some dedicated side pane UI space.

But it kind of seems like a good idea to only put something up when there is an error... Otherwise putting up something on every success is kind of strange because it's not particularly obvious what some green checkbox that's just normally present for all basic operations is supposed to represent.


@ Tom - the other thing that's somewhat difficult is the cases that you are describing where it generated something but it has problems. It's more difficult to flag those things as an error as compared to a case where it just outright failed to do anything at all.

- Michael
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 From:  mcramblet
5803.5 
Michael-

I agree; Fusion has things floating and popping up all over the place. I much prefer the clean, simple and uncluttered interface that you gave MoI. That's one of the reasons why I rarely use anything else for modeling. Keep up the good work!

Michael Cramblet
Packaging Design
Phone: 616-574-6271
 
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 From:  Tommy (THOMASHELZLE)
5803.6 
Hey Michael - thanks for your reply!

I already imagined that those two are hard to do.

As for where to place the feedback: Right there where it says "Calculating..." I'd say.
If it works, the field closes as it does now. If not, it stays open and shows something as helpful as possible or a simple "Filleting failed".

I also wonder if the "Done" button would be better named "Apply" and only being available if the operation succeeds? That could be an additional hint that the current settings didn't work out if that's the case. And if it doesn't work, "Done" does the same as "Cancel", doesn't it?

I agree that the free floating warning is a bit too far away from the action.

As for the broken stuff - I can imagine that it is hard to correctly detect those.
I basically want to express my interest in all the info/feedback you can present to the user in complicated cases like filleting, since sometimes I don't see the problem until much later and suddenly on export I have some weird long and thin thing pointing into oblivion from a fillet gone wrong. In one case it turned out rather nasty since I only found out about it very late in a rendering when fighting some strange artefacts I couldn't see...

The things I encounter most often are:
- fillet roundings extending outside of the object.
- certain patches of the object vanishing completely or showing in a broken manner (like broken triangles in a polygon modeller).
- fillets that exist at the same time as the original corner (there is a fillet patch below the original corner that somehow wasn't removed.
- More rarely the whole object vanishes.

Thank you very much!

Cheers,

Tom
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 From:  Michael Gibson
5803.7 In reply to 5803.6 
Hi Tom,

> As for where to place the feedback: Right there where it says "Calculating..." I'd say.
> If it works, the field closes as it does now. If not, it stays open and shows something as
> helpful as possible or a simple "Filleting failed".

What about if it said a more generic "Calculation failed", that would help a lot with allowing it to be used in all commands without a whole bunch of additional translated text to be added.


> I also wonder if the "Done" button would be better named "Apply" and only being available
> if the operation succeeds? That could be an additional hint that the current settings didn't
> work out if that's the case. And if it doesn't work, "Done" does the same as "Cancel",
> doesn't it?

This could be kind of strange, the current operation is canceled and restarted whenever any parameter is changed, and with a changed parameter what was previously a failure can now be a success, would that then involve switching that one button continuously back and forth between "Apply" and "Done"? I think that would be kind of generally weird.

"Done" basically just means that you want to end the current command stage and that you want to accept the current result, (or the one that will be generated next if it is still busy calculating when you push it).


> - fillet roundings extending outside of the object.

This usually means the fillet surfaces had some problem getting trimmed with one another, it can happen more often in areas where there is some tiny sized edge which then makes a tiny fillet surface which does not very cleanly intersect with other things, or also if you have boundaries that come close to being tangent to one another but are actually at some shallow 5 or 10 degree corner to each other, nearly tangent surfaces are also difficult to intersect with each other, they have a kind of overlapping region rather than a crisp intersection.


> - certain patches of the object vanishing completely or showing in a broken manner (like broken triangles in a polygon modeller).

That means that the trim boundaries are damaged in some way, like with a self intersecting loop in them somewhere.


> - fillets that exist at the same time as the original corner (there is a fillet patch below the original corner that somehow wasn't removed.

That usually means there was an error in trimming the main object body, but that fillets were able to be generated. I have modified the geometry library to return back the fillets in case of these kinds of errors rather than just do nothing at all since you can then potentially do some manual trimming to still get the fillets into place.


> - More rarely the whole object vanishes.

The result is probably pretty severely mangled in this case.


- Michael
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 From:  DannyT (DANTAS)
5803.8 
Hi Michael,

I noticed there is space in most of the commands input panel could there be some alert indicator there?

A subtle exclamation mark maybe? seeing you're the minimalist master ;)

~Danny~
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 From:  Michael Gibson
5803.9 In reply to 5803.8 
Hi Danny - the tricky part about that is it's not guaranteed to be open for every single command, it could be possible that some commands would have a slider bar or something like that going across that one particular area.

- Michael
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Message 5803.10 deleted 3 Apr 2013 by BURRMAN

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 From:  BurrMan
5803.11 
I've thought about this alot and put a great deal of effort in this for Danny!

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 From:  DannyT (DANTAS)
5803.12 In reply to 5803.11 
Danger Will Robinson! Were you thinking a loud woop woop siren to go with that Burr ;)

-
~Danny~
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 From:  BurrMan
5803.13 In reply to 5803.12 
AUDIO!!!!!! Always outside of the box mate.
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 From:  Tommy (THOMASHELZLE)
5803.14 In reply to 5803.7 
Hey Michael,

thanks for your feedback.

Yeah, "Calculation failed" would be absolutely fine with me if you want to keep it generic, as long as it stays on screen indefinitely in case I'm working in another software in parallel.

As far as the button - I was maybe unclear:
I personally would like the button to be only "pressable" if the last calculation was successful. Otherwise I'd prefer it to be greyed out, so the only option is "cancel".
I never meant it to change labels at all.
What I point at is the problem that in case of a failed operation it isn't clear what "Done" will do, therefore I think it shouldn't be available to be pressed in that case.

The thought about "Done" vs. "Apply" was separate from the above: I personally find "Done" not as clear as "Apply". Done is somehow generic and unspecific.
I often thought that when using MoI and just wanted to mention it.
I understand your point, but think that "Apply" would make it much clearer what to expect.
To me, "Done" feels too close to "Cancel".

Finally: I personally would prefer if the 3D-Views would show the original, unaltered model after a failed operation, not the last successful result, which is pretty irritating IMO.

Thanks and Cheers!

Tom
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 From:  Michael Gibson
5803.15 In reply to 5803.14 
Hi Tom,

> Done is somehow generic and unspecific.

Yup, but that's actually intentional so that it can be applied in many different circumstances. Like for instance when MoI is waiting for you to do some kind of object selection you push the "Done" button to signal to MoI that you have finished the selection and are going on to the next stage of the command.

It's kind of helpful for consistency of operation to have a common button that is used for command workflow like that.


I'll see what's involved in making a "Calculation failed" message to be displayed.


- Michael
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 From:  Tommy (THOMASHELZLE)
5803.16 In reply to 5803.15 
Well, I'm happy to agree to disagree here ;-)

I personally am sometimes confused since it's often unclear in MoI if hitting a button is going to the next stage of a multi-stage command (like in your example with the object selection) or if hitting it will actually apply the result. When selecting objects, "Done" makes absolute sense. But in the case of filleting, when I'm on the last screen, the missing differentiation between "Done" as in going to the next screen and "Done" as in applying the fillet finally is a bit too generic for me.
I understand and respect what you try to achieve, it just doesn't work for me personally.

But no big deal - I just wanted to bring it up for discussion. There's always Undo ;-)

I look forward to whatever improvements you decide to implement.

Cheers,

Tom
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 From:  Michael Gibson
5803.17 In reply to 5803.16 
Hi Tom,

> But in the case of filleting, when I'm on the last screen, the missing differentiation between "Done"
> as in going to the next screen and "Done" as in applying the fillet finally is a bit too generic for me.

At that stage the "applying the fillet" is the "next screen" - basically you push Done to tell MoI that you're finished with the parameter adjusting stage of Fillet and want to move on from that.

The parameter adjusting stage happens to be the last stage of the command so once you move on from that the current result will be accepted and the command will finish.


Is it that you think any stage that has parameters that can be adjusted should have a button labeled "Apply" rather than "Done" ?

One big problem with using that specific word "Apply" is that it's commonly used in Windows programs on open dialogs to mean "apply the current settings but keep the dialog open and do NOT close it". So I don't think it would be that great to use that particular word "Apply" to actually mean "Close and finish" since it would kind of have an opposite meaning to how it's used in other programs.


I guess it could say "Finish" at the last stage (I guess reading your post again, it's the "last" stage that you want to have significance), but that's so close to "Done" in meaning anyway... Also it could be possible for some commands to finish at different stages depending on which particular options have been enabled or disabled along the way. It would be pretty annoying to try and keep track of that and change the text back and forth between "Done" and "Finished" or "Apply" or whatever.

It's just a lot more simple in general to have a single button always called "Done" for going to the next stage and when you're done with the last stage you've finished the command.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
5803.18 In reply to 5803.16 
Hi Tom, ok I've got a "Calculation failed" message set up now for the next v3 beta, displayed in the same spot as the "Calculating..." - it seems like it should handle the main kind of thing you were asking about.

Also I've got a tuneup that when it fails it should do a better job of reverting things back to the original selection on screen rather than just having the screen stay the same which was ending up showing the last successful calculation result.

It only considers things to have "failed" if nothing at all was generated though, it won't get displayed for the kinds of cases where there was a partial result that was returned.

There isn't any "Calculation succeeded" message, instead what happens is once you edit any parameter to start a new calculation any existing "Calculation failed" message will be dismissed right away and then if it then generates stuff there won't be any message at all there.

But I believe that the tuneup should eliminate any confusion about whether you are seeing any previous calculation or not.

- Michael
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 From:  Tommy (THOMASHELZLE)
5803.19 In reply to 5803.18 
Brilliant!

Thank you very much!

Cheers,

Tom
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