Pro/E High Level Geometry (split from Pro/CONCEPT)

Oh yeah, I know who Tim is. I sent our Pro/E reseller a surfacing question/challenge once and they ended up forwarding it to him. Seems like a smart guy. Do you know him? If so, ask him when ISDX is going to be able to create high order curves and surfaces! Curvature continuity with low order geometry is asking for trouble, imho! 6th order, not 4th; that’s all I ask. I won’t get greedy (right away) and expect anything higher. Yes I am an Alias brat. :slight_smile:

Dallas has been good. Rainy this spring. I’m at Ignition.

funny that you stated that. I taught a class at fisher-price and there met the fellow in charge of the PTC Pro/E surfacing committee. I gave the engineering team leaders a 4 hrs crash course in alias studio (so they can work better with that ID geometry and understand what a 4 plus degree curve is and they are all up to speed. I showed them the reason why id’ers like the cv modifications on both curves and surfaces… So from that perspective at the latest Pro/USERS conference in Oralndo they delivered a white paper explaing that. We got to get the PTC suracing lead in for a one day crash course in Alias Studio next.

Also with the suracing lead I discussed direct modeling in Alias… Their eyes lit up and since I have not signed disclosures I can talk a bout what I know for WF4 and WF5 additions… there is a value for not being on the committee.

WF4 ISDX took one step in that direction by allowing a sort of direct modeling approach with parent child constraints still intact. In alias you have to break construction geometry. That;s f*cking cool. Those guys are smart they just need to get the ability to move a curve (and surface) to a 5 degree or even 7 degree curve and they got it. currently they do not have the vocabulary for it yet.

You know some cool people. Somewhat shocking that PTC was not more familiar with the Alias (or any competitor’s) approach to curve creation, direct modeling, etc, especially given that they always seem to be trying to attract designers to their user base. At any rate, I’m glad you got their attention. I’m anxious to see the updates to ISDX, including the one you mentioned. I know the WF4 beta is available for download from PTC. I keep meaning to try it out but haven’t had the time to do so yet.

It will be a great day when we can create degree 5+ curves in Pro/E. I lose so much time right now balancing shape with continuity. Higher order geometry would make that easier.

I’ve heard that Pro/E favors degree 3 geometry so heavily because manufacturing tool paths can’t accurately follow anything higher than that. I doubt it. I’ve seen high order surfaces machined many many times. Besides, data is all polys (vectors? points?) once it gets to the path stage anyway, isn’t it? Maybe I’m wrong. I’m guessing computation speed is the real reason for the degree limit on Pro/E native geometry. High order geometry takes longer to calculate. Beyond that, I have only guesses as to why it hasn’t been addressed before now.

At any rate, it’s still amazing software and I enjoy using it. It just has some growing up left to do as a design tool in my world. I look forward to its continued development.

Have a good weekend! Sorry for hijacking the thread, everyone!

Hijack away…this is some interesting info.

I have to get my feet wet with Alias apparently. I have never used it…mostly b/c of the pricetag.

When you say you lose time in Pro on surfacing…how much?

Also, what is “direct modelling”? It sounds like an Alias term I am not familar with.

I think we should create another thread for this conversation. I can make PTC aware of the thread too.

I would never probably go out and discuss these things openly on a talk board because I like Pro/E so much but I have good coffee today. It could be a little misleading to talk about these finer details of Alias modeling technique and compare to Pro/ENGINEER or Soldiworks these issues because users decide for the wrong reasons to choose one package over another.

Direct Modeling is where a designer can basically rough out a part with 3 degree curves and respective surfaces. Then when it comes to details the designer can modify or raise the degree of the curve to a higher numbe rand get more CV’s in a curve for modifying tangency form and how ultimatly light reflects off the surface. When the form is close the designer can then choose to break construction history and just modify the cv’s of a surface to obtain the designerd finer details usually due to how one wants light to reflect off the surface. So in an earlier post I simply stated that in WF4.0 verson of Pro/E we will be able to do a sort of direct modeling techchniqe that lets users do it like in Alias w/o having to break construction history. Those guys at PTC are sharp and are focusing on modeling techniqes (maybe they don’t know what they stumbled upon?) but I think they teach their classes wrong and focus on menu clicks where we focus on techniqes like described. Engaging desingers and engineers at a techniqes puts the menu clicks in the sumliminal part of learning. But thats off topic…

Pro/E and Solidworks both work with 3 degree curves. Until…

Until you force a higher order continuity… ie force G2 on the curve then in Pro/E sake the curve jumps to a 4 degree curve.

Alias gives an auto designer for example more control over the curve and lets her/him move the curve to even a seven degree curve and even adjust the acceleration of the curve at multiple points by adjusting the cv’s. Remember the surface is only as good as it’s curve. Aligning the parameritization of a surface is not even in the vocabulary of Pro/E users.

Most Pro/E users (even ID’ers) 99.7 percent don’t require this level control.

This g2 continuity issue is why PTC never made it big in the early days of the Automobile industry choosing a CAD package.

What software do you use now, ip_wirelessly? I used to be a complete Alias snob until my employer sent me away to get trained on Pro/E. After that, I saw a lot of value in knowing more than one package. I liken it to the study of a foreign language improving one’s understanding of their first language. I knew a lot about NURBS geometry before I started with Pro/E, which made it a lot easier for me to pick up (as far as modeling was concerned). Conversely, the linear process in Pro/E helped me structure my approach in Alias better.

If you want to know what your CAD package is doing in the background when you ask it to model a surface, learn a little Alias. At least browse a couple of tutorials. I still encounter engineers who think their software is more or less the standard for how CAD software “works,” when in reality most solid modelers probably add a layer of separation between user and surface. Alias forces you to do more on your own, which can be quite educational. It can also be maddeningly frustrating!

It would be great if more people could understand the mechanics of what their software is doing behind the scenes. Chances are this knowledge would explain many of the seemingly unexplainable errors we all encounter when using our tool of choice. “Why in the *&#@ won’t this work?” There is usually a reason. The problem is likely not the software, but a lack of knowledge of what we are asking the software to do. I think this is what Design-Engine was getting at when he emphasized the importance of theory vs. menus in software training.

My time loss in Pro/E typically occurs after I’ve assigned curvature continuity to a curve. At this point, ISDX tries to work a little magic in the background, converts the curve to a multispan curve, and forces me to spend extra time massaging out G3 continuity breaks (an inherent problem with multispan degree 3 geometry). It always feels like this limits my control of the curve and forces me to insert even more edit points or otherwise modify the curve to force it to take the shape I want (while avoiding the G3 breaks). The ability to use higher order geometry would allow me to stick with single-span curves (lighter geometry), but still have as much control of the curve as possible through the addition of CVs, not edit points (sorry, alias terms; hopefully they make sense). Degree 5 curves would have enough CVs to allow G2 constraints at both ends while still allowing complete control of the curve in a single span. If I did have to use multispan degree 5 curves, the higher degree would also eliminate the G3 burps.

Design-engine is right though; the vast majority of designers don’t need this level of control. Truth is, Pro/E can usually provide a great result with a little work. It is enough to make me happy in most cases. Plus, the ease with which a parametric modeler like Pro/E can accommodate change is invaluable in itself. My history and continued use of Alias, however, means I know that more is possible. Since I use both, I have thoughts on how both can improve.

I don’t know if I’ve really said anything. It’s Sunday. I shouldn’t be working anyway.

I use Pro/e primarily. Rhino for quick ideation and SolidWorks if I am forced into it by my clients.

Most of what you are saying makes sense. I have to admit that G2 vs. G3 doesn’t mean much to by from terminology alone. That said, all of what you are talking about (maintaining continuity in Pro and being able to maintain your line integrity) is definitely familiar to me.

I guess at the end of the day, as long as I get the surface and light reflection I want…I haven’t had to worry about the terms behind it.

But that’s just me merrily plugging along. Always interested in learning more.


Same with me but for the reverse commute. I made my understanding of Pro/E better because of my learning Alias Studio.

Did my little rant scare everyone away? I’m not trying to bash Pro/E. I’m just viewing this thread as a wishlist.

While we’re on the subject of improving the software we use, especially Pro/E, there is another thing I’d like to add. AliasStudio has been making great strides in recent releases in the area of real time visualization. SolidWorks’ real-time shading is even looking cooler every release. Since Bunkspeed and Autodesk offer multiple real-time rendering options replete with various combinations of HDRI lighting and reflections, raytracing, caustics, and GI, when can we expect to see (at minimum) real-time materials in Pro/E? The default shader options leave a little to be desired, especially when compared to these other programs. No control of Fresnel reflections, no blurry reflections, no ground planes with shadows, etc.

PTC should buy Bunkspeed. Real-time raytracing while modeling would be awesome. I mean this partially in jest, of course. My point is that the Pro/E shading engine needs to be updated.

I was told that rendering was not a high priority. There was a good jump in procedural mapping in the WF 3.0 release.

Dustin, I or another from Design-engine will be at the next Pro/E user conference in Dallas Aug 11th I think.

I’m not surprised to hear that; it shows. I’m sure, however, that their development resources are not unlimited. I’d personally rather see them advance their surfacing tools anyway. Real-time visualization is a nice-to-have at this point. Seems like they’ll need to address it in the near future though, since many others seem to be doing so. As far as software rendering goes, I already have my own personal pipeline/process, so they’d have to do something pretty revolutionary to pull me away from that.

Is there a North Texas user meeting that weekend? Talk about poor timing (for me). I’d like to go, but I already have commitments that weekend. Your presentation a couple of years ago was great. I’ll be disappointed if I miss this one.

Real time visualization in Pro/e would make it so Pro would effectively be my only CAD tool.

For example…in Rhino there’s the auxpecker plug-in. It uses environment maps to simulate reflection etc. Does a damn good job for creating a quick realistic product/color simulation. Saved me HOURS of exporting, importing into 3DS Max, setting up lighting materials, etc. I no longer have to purchase a $4K rendering package and my workflow is much, much quicker.

(auxpecker -

There is a real time render utility built into Pro/E. Basically your model will sit inside a room much like the Pro/PHOTORENDER works except your not inside Pro/PHOTORENDER.

I use it mostly for checking continuity on surfaces not rendering a scene per se.


if your working with scott w then your moving to chicago? I got to take you out for drinks so look me up when you get in.

Wow, word travels fast, especially considering you posted that on the 20th! How did you find out? Anyway, yes, it’s true; I’m headed to Chicago. Will definitely look you up when I get situated.

I looked at your weblink

Come on over. We remodeled the office too.