future CAD interface?

How would you like this interface for CAD.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcKqyn-gUbY
Wow!

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My designs are a little more precise than the finger hand movements show in this "non-interface", as the interface has essentially disappeared, to say the leaset
I think it might allow us to modify designs by finger movements, but the precision needed to grab the exact item in a CAD model to be moved would have to be solved.
I suspect an interface designer may one day give our fingers LED Laser tips which can be used to directly manipulate items on screen without even touching the screen. That may then give the precision and detail needed to make hand construction on screen for CAD a practical form.
It will take a lot of development.
Bo

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4ax.com:

Kinda neat. There aren't that many uses for being able to point at or touch more than one point in a plane though. All the real applications shown use the 2nd point for zoom and rotation control. More touch points than that didn't seem to have much use. Wake me up when it's 3D.
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I actually see a HUGE time saving for at least one key area. I have brought this up before (or would rather hopefully push the idea by a few more people) but working with technologies that are already used in other industries today.
Take for example the adobe products like photoshop and especially illustrator. For many graphics professionals they use a waycom tablet to draw or sketch with. This is basically something about the size of a mouse pad that you use a stylis pen (for those that aren't familiar) to draw or sketch your shape with.
Now... wouldn't it be neat if Solidworks was able to utilze this for the sketch mode. Of of course there would be a need for a couple of key things for this to work great. There could be a couple of different modes. If you are in a "spline" like mode, it will be just sensitive enough to follow the movements of the pen and create spline shapes.
The other mode would be like an "auto-snap" where it would be an intelliget shape creation tool and apply all the contraints that were close to what your pen movements were.
For example....
supposed I used the pen\tablet and sketched a square. In the "auto- snap" mode, it would automatically add the vertical and horizontal contraints to the lines that were close enough. Let's face it, for those who have ever tried to draw a free hand straight line, it isn't exactly straight. That where a little work for the intelligence would come in.
Another example is if you quickly drew a slot. It would automatically snap the vertical or horizontal lines as well as snap to arc shapes with all the tangency relations included.
This to me would be a huge innovation at least for simple or complex sketch profiles inside of solidworks. Imagine how much faster you could draw holding a pen verses a mouse.
Anybody have any other suggestions or comments???
Don
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I have a tablet, so I'll chime in again. The stylus is a comfortable input device, but I found that it slowed me down when I wasn't using for artwork apps. It sounds silly, but the problem is buttons. I have grown very comfortable with a 5-button mouse, and can work effectively with 3. The stylus is capable of operating as a 3-button pointing device, but anything other than tapping with the point was pretty awkward. Awkward in comparison to a mouse, anyway.
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I also use a Wacom Graphire tablet for CAD, including SolidWorks. It is indeed quite fast for pointing and selection. But, it can magnify any unsteadyness in the hand and cause problems with precision operation.
I use my tablet in conjunction with a multi-button trackball, so I can press buttons on the trackball without worrying about moving a mouse around when I press the buttons. I will often press the other buttons on my trackball rather than using the buttons on the stylus. It is the same problem encountered as when a mouse moves while you press a button and a folder gets dragged-n-dropped etc (and that is why I prefer a trackball). I can also use the ball on the trackball when I am unable to be precise or steady enough with the pen.
Others that have learned to use both hands use 3dConnexion devices to control the display and provide additional buttons. My wife uses her Wacom tablet or 5 button mouse and the new affordable Space Navigator to take advantage of both hands operation.
As far as Sci-Fi interfaces, I would get tired quite fast if I had to hold my hands in the air to work all day. What happens when I rest them on the board, or someone sets down a cup? Fascinating idea, but has anyone delt with the next generation of repetative motion injuries.
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Does anybody have a sufficiently generous IT dept / CFO to use a Wacom Cintiq together with a Spaceball/etc.? I could see a tablet with a display being way more useful than a Graphire or intuos. I don't think it would ever happen for me (maybe if I win the lottery), but I imagine the convenience and comfort would be pretty good - is there any significant efficiency gain over Spaceball + mouse?
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I think my point is being missed here with the tablet functionality.
I'm saying that the sketch tools how you create them would be entirely different and solidworks would have to have some kind of intelligence/programming working in conjuction with the tablet.
Do draw a rectangle with the mouse, you just click and drag for the shape. With the tablet pen you literally just draw a rectangle as you would on a piece of paper. Solidworks would have some intelligent programming to snap relatively drawn horizontal or vertical lines automatically.
Same thing with the slot example. Just as you would if you had a pencil and paper, take the tablet and draw the slot shape in one complete stroke. After the movement, SW would have intelligently interpreted in some kind of "snap mode" that you drew a line to some length... connected tangent relation to an arc, then another line and again another arc.
I guess what I mean is that you first don't have to pick the line tool,draw a line, then pick the tagent arc tool.... etc etc.. it's all done automatically by the movement of your pen.
Oh well... maybe I can't explain in good enough but I can see it action in my head. ; )
Don
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Yeah, I guess my questions apply more in a world where your suggestions were already implemented; I have no idea how SW handles tablet input currently - I assume it's basically equivalent to mouse input - but what you're suggesting makes a lot of sense. I wonder how much of a performance hit it would require for us to get that kind of functionality? -Mark
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I get what you're saying and it would be great if it could be made to work reliably. What it reminds me of is the raster-to-vector conversion software already available, which turns scanned images to vector (dxf, dwg) images.
This does a reasonable job if the raster image is high quality, which would be the case with what you are proposing.
John H
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Bob wrote:

I think this is a great idea for an interface, not just in CAD, but for the entire operating system. The mouse interface is far overrated and it is time for the next big thing. Putting your hands and your eyes together on the same data makes a lot of sense. Touchscreens, with or without the stylus, are the direction I believe in most. Star Trek Next Generation meets Minority Report. I think it's telling that you never see the mouse in futuristic computer depictions. Take an old style digitizer tablet, combine with a new Wacom, and put it on a touchscreen that goes on your lap or thereabouts, more horizontal than vertical.
You can get as much precision from a stylus as from a mouse, and in CAD, precision comes from text (number) data entry anyway, not interface gestures.
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