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.
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.
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.
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
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???
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.
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
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.
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?
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
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
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. ; )
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
I get what you're saying and it would be great if it could be made to work
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.
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
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