Deform and Flex -- RANT

Is it just me or are the Deform and Flex features, crap, badly
implemented and poorly documented?
When they first came out I remember having a quick play with them and
just as quickly dismissed them as little or of no use to me.
About a year and a half later I thought I'd give the Deform feature
another try. This could be quite a useful feature what really lets it
down are those "Connector" whatsits, if you can't fully define them then
the model can't be fully predictable! If it's not predictable then it
has no use in an engineering CAD program, fix the deform feature or
transfer it to Cosmic Blobs where it belongs.
Note happily running SolidWorks 2005 SP5, until they sort out the fiasco
with SolidWorks 2006 SP3.0 SP3.1 SP3.2 SP3.3 SP3.4
Rant over; look forward to your opinions.
John Layne
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John Layne
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I've kind of ranted against the deform feature in the past as well, but I just had my first production use of it. I had a surface that had to transition from one level to another, and used the deform to do it. Could have done it with a loft more easily, but I wanted to see if it would work. I agree with all the obscure icons it's impossible to know what it can do or how you're supposed to use it.
Flex is something I've had more use for. It's a bit obscure as well, but not quite as bad as deform.
My reason for ranting was that they wasted good development time on the deform tool. They try to sell it as a "freeform" or "industrial design" tool, but its not because in many cases you can't really predict or control the shape you're going to get out of it.
Anyway, just my opinion.
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I agree. Does this feature exist in Inventor or SolidEdge?
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Hi John -
Guaranteed that they are guilty almost across the board of implementing weak "new" features and never optimizing them. That's for sure. I feel that all the time using SW - I'm jaded, so I just don't expect them to optimize - my basic idea is the same as yours - look at the new feature, shake my head and say "nice start, see you in a few years once if ever you decide to optimize this one" . . . (note to self . . . sheetmetal edgebreak still can't do internal corners - nice try BIFF! - oops wait its only been out for 4 years . . . perhaps I'm being harsh . . .)
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Sean-Michael Adams
John Layne another try. This could be quite a useful feature what really lets it
I agree that the tool is poorly documented, but I did find a use for it. I been using it successully to bend/twist/turn our logo onto parts that would have been far more difficult otherwise. The downside is rebuild time, and I never put this feature in until the end (or leave it supressed).
This would clearly not work for all types of logos, but it has worked for me. The control of the result is rarely predictable, but with a little trial and error you can get useful results.
I've never tried using the flex tool.
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I've used the Flex tool on an imported model to bend it to make another similar shape.
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Makes for great for sales demos to the unaware though.
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I don't use the deform tool but I've made fantastic use of the flex feature. It is very predictable and controllable once I got the hang of it. I've used it in quite a few production parts from injection molded housings to fabricated steel. My rant is about indent - I find it very very confusing for some reason.
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