Sketch modelling software

Hi all,

I had a demo recently of Pro/Concept, and have since been getting stuck into the eval version.
Are there any experienced CAD users (who don’t work for PTC!) out there who have started using rough 3D sketch programs like concept and could share their experiences. Questions I’d like to ask are:

  • how useful/reusable is the data that’s produced when going further downstream in CAD.
  • how quick are these programs in reality in getting close to what the designer envisaged,
  • Is there enough control over dimensions
  • any problems or benefits of working with polymesh models
  • If ever shown to the client, do any rough appearances of the models create a bad impression of the design(er)
  • what’s the best of the bunch - I’ve been told there are a number of similar apps to concept around.

Any feedback much appreciated. This kind of modelling is very new to me, so I’m trying to find my feet at the moment, hence the shopping list :neutral_face: apologies.

I also want to try sketch modeling in the pipeline, not just to play with.
I am seriously considering Silo3D (only 109$) Subdivision surfaces, can be exported to DXF and STL (I believe).
There is not a lot of dimensional accuracy, if i’m correct.
I would use the model to get the shape and the feeling just right (after / in conjunction with sketching) and then create the IGES file in Rhino.
But even in Parametric programs like SolidWorks and pro-E this is usefull as a ‘base’ to see what the cross-sections would look like for lofts and blends (different names for different programs).

So what happens with the whole PARAMETRIC thing you ask?
Well in my limited experience I found that clients want to see 3D renderings fast, then change them a lot. To the point where legacy data (feature tree) becomes a headache. This way, you can almost finalize the design (since in sub-d surfaces, you can still move and drag and re-shape)
and then go for SolidWorks or Pro-E. And at the end when a pin doesn’t fit in the hole, PARAMETRICALLY change the hole size. But this strategy seems only beneficial if you master the 3d sketching software.

Anyway. these are my 2 cents.

I dont know why no one has really jumped on this for ID. The ultimeate would be zbrush with some sort of dimensional constraint. The clay like work flow looks like it could free up some really cool designs.

I tried Pro/CONCEPT and found it doggish. Slow and clunky, and once again PTC shows they have some good ideas but only go half the distance to prove it out.

However, I’d hazard on the conservative to say that Pro/ENGINEER users who have ISDX can follow suit by sketching and using the sketches as reference and model.

Or like artur83 said to import a STL file. Pro/ENGINEER also has a module for reverse engineering so you can lay parametric curves on a triangulated mesh.

I still like the idea of doing poly modeling as a sketch and then using that mesh as a rough estimate for laying surfaces in something like Pro/ENGINEER.

“I still like the idea of doing poly modeling as a sketch and then using that mesh as a rough estimate for laying surfaces in something like Pro/ENGINEER.”

dont need to. convert the polys to NURBs and import the iges. works fine.

Never have heard of such a thing. THere is no way to do that parametrically. Not every poly modeler supports a poly-to-nurb and nor would I trust the surface quality of a nurb surface generated from polys.

Where have you used this approach? Are you saying you’re using the imported IGES as a guide? (I hope so).

“THere is no way to do that parametrically.”

can people import Rhino surfaces into Pro parametrically? not that i’m aware of.

“Not every poly modeler supports a poly-to-nurb and nor would I trust the surface quality of a nurb surface generated from polys.”

trust?

“Where have you used this approach? Are you saying you’re using the imported IGES as a guide? (I hope so).”

hope so??? been using Pro for almost 10 years professionally. that sounds presumptious.

to answer your question, i’ve converted polys to NURBs. imported into Pro. made solid. done operations (shell, patterned cuts, etc etc). for “sketch models” i dont have to “trust” it to give me more than a model. if client was ok using it for tooling, why not? if it exports to whatever app they use for tooling, who cares?

i posted some stuff here last year showing an example (gone now). didn’t even do the poly model considering draft. but the draft was good. i was surprised. and i did it specifically for fast “sketch” modeling.

I really hate how written word comes across and how badly people can read into things…

Let me say, I was presuming you were not using the converted mesh as manufactured surfaces. Right or wrong. Personally, I would not use anything other than native surfacing in Pro/E (or Rhino) for manufactured surfaces.

However, for rough proof of concept stuff sure why not! Even your rapid prototype houses have to, at some point, convert the surface to a mesh.