Pro/E surfaciing :. free form surface edit like in Alias

I have a slow week…

My presentation to the
2008 PTCUSER Conference
in Long Beach CA June 3 2008

There are some cool
proe surfacing models
here for you guys to play with.

Anyone see the new WF4.0 ISDX surface manipulation tools yet? I created this video this morning …

Cool stuff Bart. Is there a tool like that in SW 2008?

Very similar to modeling in Alias. Does it keep that revolve one single surface? Or did you have split it?

Thanks, Bart. I watched several of your other YouTube vids as well. I always love watching others use software I have been using for a long time. I seem to ALWAYS pick up a little nuance or something or other that bumps me to another level on my modeling capabilities.

Alias splits a circle in one knot and Pro/E always splits those into two. So like in alias if you want to keep tangency you cant fudge with the first rung of cvs near the edge. For a g2 connectivity you can’t mess with two rungs of cv’s.

And I have not used SW2008 yet nor I am not sure if there is that kind of manipulation yet. I am sure it will come. I understand when things get overly complex in terms of surfacing… or PLM… the sales folks encourage upgrading to Catia. I don’t know Catia either. I did get a license from the PLM of Solidworks a while back to write about it … 2006 or so but I did not think at the time it was worthy. I got an upgrade at 2007 from the same manager but got real busy this year. I did put a Solidworks surfacing class together for design engine but since we technically don’t own it… well you know. The VAR got us in trouble you could say. Impressive at the 2007 level.

I did figure folks on this forum might get a kick out of the imagery/models from my talk however it seams most people on the board make more fun bashing one or the other software. I personally find it strange that industrial designers who are suposta be the most open minded are often turned off at Pro/E. I always guessed it’s simply because Pro/ENGINEER < has the word engineer in it and it’s that simple… or that the Solidowrks VARS convinced everyone that Pro/E is more money… or something else.

So I posted youtube videos to stir things up some. Plus this forum seams a little sluggish.

The face image is from our Alias class… I just did the same in the wf4 release.

Maybe in the end the hi-end users will probably not come in for training (mayby a visit if in Chicago) but better yet those same hi-end users make a suggestion for training here.

and ip_wirelessly … I learn something in every class I teach. I get to however turn it arund and sell it back. :wink:

I like Pro/E :slight_smile:

While it still often can’t touch Alias in terms of surface quality and continuity, it makes a lot of tedious modeling operations really fast and easy. Perhaps that wasn’t the case during the pre-Wildfire days, but I didn’t use it then.

Not sure why so many designers resist it. I guess I was one of them at one time though. Maybe it’s the notion of having to manage a model parametrically and not completely freeform (Pro/E has workflows for some of this now too though). Maybe they’ve heard too many engineers say certain things can’t be done in it. I’m just speculating. I think I was put off by engineers who scoffed at data that came from any other software and then struggled to do basic stuff in Pro/E.

Bart, I think you once made a comment that, in design team software wars, whoever touches the model last wins. I’ve encountered exceptions, but I’ve also found that to be a good thing to keep in mind. Plus, if designers learn Pro/E, there is no rebuilding and reinterpretation by a non-designer later in the process. What you model in Pro/E can go all the way through development. Technically, surfaces from Alias, Rhino, etc can of course also go through, but technical possibilities can be rendered irrelevant by corporate political realities and the inertia of existing processes.

The new tools in WF4 look cool. Hopefully it will be adopted by current users. I never encountered a company that used WF3. One current client just started using WF2. :frowning:

Rhino is most likely next for me. Learning new software gives me new ideas about how to use what I already know.


Good to see you on here… not much traffic. Settled into Chicago yet? You should stop in next week we have Dell Computers in for an alias rendering class. Ill buy them your book and give it to them if you stop in to great em.

It seams to me PTC stopped focusing on the big four auto industry and (good for us) started focusing on software for industrial designed products.

I went and looked for a comparable feature in Solidworks.

They call it Surface Freeform and it’s ok. There is no inherent polygon frame so any kind of manipulation is done though points that you have to assign. You have to pick a UV direction, then settle on an isoparm location, then assign a location that will be manipulated. I couldn’t find a way to create a regular or evenly spaced set of control points.

post a pic. I dont have sw2008 installed anyplace and it would be good for the traffic on this forum anyway. Plus like Dustin - I learn tools at a higher level when I see other tools do similar stuff. Hell, while your at it model a face. Ill do one in alias tomorrow.

Well I have a slow week maybe you can have time to post a pic to two.

Would be interesting to see the face in Alias. My boss has been using Alias since the beginning (20+ years) and is in the process of giving us some demos on high end surfacing techniques. He’s very adamant about the lackluster surfacing abilities of Pro E (even though we use Pro E in conjunction with Alias). Apparently PTC sent their one of their guys out to demo WF4’s surfacing capabilities but still wasn’t able to mimic surfaces built in Alias in the same amount of time.

I’m a little more open about it, though I will say from what I’ve seen after watching the video I still think even if Pro E 4 is really good, it still won’t be able to match the speed and ease of Alias, especially as complexity increase.

in the past i’ve seen PTC sales and AE’es go in totally unprepared with respect to surfacing. Sram laughed them out the door before 1999… They have to have the right people go present if they are going up against 20 year veterans. I bet I could name your guy. He came once for a Pro/E week last year.

I did a class to several 20 year Alias Veterans years apart and they all say the same thing. That they never seen Pro/E run like that before. Then they export the geometry to Alias to see the isoparms and say it again. I’ve never seen Pro/E run like that. Then they never come back nor do they send the engineers for training.

I understand the workflow of designers conceptualize and engineers remodel. The engineers that can capture that integrity are powerful engineers too. Its a team. Use the tools you like but we all must be open minded about it. (I am tested when using Solidworks sometimes and try not to bitch)

We should be able to use the tools we want to use as long as there are no underlying control issues. Like doing it in Alias to maintain control over the engineers.

There are some battles we cant win until those managers retire.

Not knowing your boss from Adam, it sounds as though he’s chasing a red herring with the “surface quality” issue.

The thing I hate about the CAD software pissing match is the arguments are always an apples to oranges comparison.

Alias may be able to created freeform surfaces quickly but it doesn’t have the same assembly power, top-down design capabilities, parametrics, etc.

By starting in Alias and translating to pro/e, you need to either rebuild the model or lose the power of parametrics.

All the tools have their strengths and for all intents and purposes you’re splitting hairs when you’re comparing one to the other.

I became gunshy of proe when I took it for the semester right before I graduated in 97. That was back before they had icons and it was strictly text menu based with the blue background and yellow highlights. We were only taught the “carving the block” style of modeling and was never really told what “surfacing” really meant. After seeing how hard it was to model like that and with limited availability on the heavily guarded sgi’s, I put the thought of modeling out of my head for a while. It appears to be much more user friendly now.

Ive helped forge and document some kick ass techniques for taking the Alias/Rhino work flows into a parametric Pro/E model. We have all figured that stuff out … I just documented it :slight_smile: … All the way to robust parametric surface model…

ID director level folks does not care too much about the assembly stuff. Or appreciate the proving form with a parametric modeler. From his/her perspective its just form and fit… and can the engineers shell the dam’d thing. It’s not that big of a deal. Just as long as the ME’s don’t loose the integrity rebuilding. It sounds painful but your not designing it you just rebuilding it. That takes far less time than dreaming it. I’m just frustrated (for no real reason) that industrial designers don’t see proving form in Pro/E is and can be fun and rewarding.

Skinny… you have to pick and choose where and how you learn. Prior to 1994 we had to learn from the Alias guys how to model. Back then I worked at Motorola (as a contractor) and would watch Leon Soren (Leon had 10 years or more on Alias already in 1994) go at it in Alias then I would go back to my desk on a different floor and do the same modeling technique. Thats the first place I heard talk of workflow. Together we created some cool tricks for importing geometry. Rudy Krolopp was still working at Motorola then.

You “old guys” should write a book!

I just finished a moderately difficult surfacing model in SolidEdge. Everything is possible, it’s just a question of time and perfection. I banged out the basic form quickly, but spent two times longer just getting things perfect. SolidEdge didn’t help in the refinement at all!

I’m going to take a look at your video and maybe try building a face in SE Friday. I normally don’t work Friday afternoons, so I can stick around the office after hours and see what I can come up with.

Here’s a screen cap of the Freeform tool in SW. Pictured are the edge constraints and the triad which is set to move around on plane perpendicular to the surface. The triad can be set to move any which way though.

model a face!!! Thats the exciting part for me. With Pro/E of yesteryear, prior to 1999 the surface edit tool had no comparison to Alias. That is no chance or paintentce to model anything close to a face. I would watch our Alias instructors teach students that in day three of a five day. When the workflow was there in that new ISDX tool I just got excited. Doing face in Alias now.

that took about five minutes too.

I just modeled my ultra swoopy logitech mx mouse in SW to try to force my surfacing skills but I definitely see the unmet potential for it to let you nudge surfaces using the control points like rhino, alias, pro, etc…unless I’m just missing something. I’ve always seen the para modelers as being the last step to finalize and solidify your design as opposed to the exploration tool that rhino or alias would be better at. So I’d normally see the “stiffer” programs like pro and sw as the finalizers. Looks like the tide is changing and everything is becoming more integrated, I like it.

As hardware gets faster and faster… I think the Regenerate button is about to be a thing of the past. Pro/E lost the regenerate button in the sketch 10 years ago. And in it’s surfacing functions 7 years ago. The lack of forced regeneration (a realtime update) makes proving form fast and fun.

I’m a designer and former Design Engine pupil who uses Pro/E every day. I started out in Alias about five or six years ago. The parametric features of Pro/E should be enough to convince anyone. I can tweak and change my models so fast and so easily that it allows me to really nail down what I’m trying to create in no time at all. I can’t remember the last time I even used a marker. I don’t have a ton of Alias hours so I can’t speak as an expert, but it seemed to me that what took several steps in Alias would take one step in Pro/E. Especially rounds. That might have changed by now. Has it?

I never fillet anything in Alias, thats where we bring into pro E for shelling, radiuses, etc.

With that said capabilities aside, I simply thing Alias has a far more powerful interface when it comes to marking menus, surface analysis, shading, etc. I am constantly amazed at how piss poor the UI and interaction in Pro E is. How many different places can they decide to put a check mark that means “Accept”.

I’m sure it depends heavily on your industry - I can see lots of applications where making a box, throwing on some draft, adding some rads and details and sending it to tooling wouldn’t need anything but Pro E and Pro E would offer a lot more flexibility. But I can’t imagine trying to surface model a car in it, thats for sure.