Need Help with the Boundary Surface Tool

On Fri, 15 Jun 2007 23:43:27 -0700, jon_banquer


That's exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about.

And that really is unfortunate. You only have to look at the Gnomon Workshop series of Maya (and other) tutorials to see how much is possible and it doesn't seem to intrude on VARs making money. It comes across as Solidworks being more interested in squeezing every possible nickel out of it's customers than having any interest in people using Solidworks to it's full potential. I guess it hasn't occured to them that people who wouldn't be giving the VARs money ANYWAY because of the exorbitant costs would jump all over such a series of well-done lessons.
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I have spent more time on this thread than I want to already but...
Well you are absolutely correct in this matter. SW have strange policies when it comes to assisting their customers. Strange because while they set out to make their software easy to use they never want to talk meaningfully about it. Peculiar because they tightly control their staff interaction and hide away anyone who might actually be in the know. Your role as a customer is to gratefully keep buying the half finished product they made for you and be dumb and dependant. I remember years ago I said much the same things as you are saying now. What happened, nothing...except Solid Professor came onto the scene ...yup thats right someone else enterprising made something useful about how to use the program, not SW... and now a few folks have made generalised books too and good on em The help notes remain incomplete and aimed at the level of 'this is the horn button' and 'this is the wiper switch'. Apparently the programmers are so good at their job that everything is so intuitive you never need to think about anything you use let alone be educated about its potential as the boffins conceived it. Its all nicely colour coordinated and warm and fuzzy...and mostly brain dead..well I suppose we need to give a hand up to Autocad people...sorry guys You can take some comfort by knowing all this stuff has been booted around before. I seem to remember the last event is what resulted in the webcast.. that duly hopped and croaked. What happens when we get to a situation like this on the forum? Well someone watching will give Mark a prod and he will pop up , make a few conciliatory mumblings , talk about the features in the next release , talk about a placid webcast he might do, everyone thanks him and the matter dies ..blah ,blah...much the same complaint paralysing banter you get when a major stuff up occurs..you know the routines I am sure I have poked eyes at SW in the past about all sorts of dead thinking and been marginalised for it. Really the more you prod at the walls the more concerned you become that their are some self righteous slumbering people controlling the company with very few real ideas of their own. Keep asking though something might happen.
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On Jun 16, 2:44 pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Mr Halpin, (the originator of this post, some 41 replies ago), must feel as though he has been verbally stampeded by a bunch of Intellectual buffalo. It seems to me that his original problem and his original plea was that the Solidworks Community was in need of basic instruction on the subject of Surfaces . I doubt that he or many more of us reallly understand the technical jargon that was offered back and forth by the obvious accomplished Solidworks users among us. His original plea is lost in the shuffle. Certainly with all the brainiacs, ( and I mean that with total respect), who frequent this Forum, there must be someone who can offer some suggestions on his quandry at a level that a person who is asking the question in the first place can understand. << " Instruction has one basic mission, that is to transport the knowlege that exists in the brain of the Instructor, into the brain of the Instructee. In order to do this the Instructor must first posess the ability to explain that knowlege at whatever level is necessary so that it can be asbsorbed, not only by someone at his level, but at the level of the Instructee. If he does not have the latter mentioned ability, he is just a smart guy, but he is no Instructor. It is more important to be able to do this, than it it is to know the subject to be instructed." Vince Lombardi >>
Hajii Kumaraju
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h snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
Surfacing is not as complicated as people make it out to be. The goal of surfacing is usually to enclose a volume and convert a surface body into a solid body. This is done by building faces one by one using surface features.
The Boundary surface, being one of the newer types, is not as well understood as other features such as loft. There are a lot of claims coming from folks like the original poster's friend, which are sometimes tough to verify in practice probably because there are some areas of the tool that don't work as well as others, and it is certainly not thoroughly documented, on top of the interface being a bit bewildering, especially for people who are new to surfacing.
What it boils down to is that the help that Ben is looking for probably does not exist.
I would recommend a number of sources for assistance, some free, some not:
- SolidWorks training has a course called Advanced Surface Modeling, 2 days - SolidProfessor has a course on surface modeling - http://www.dimontegroup.com/Tutorials/SolidWorks_Tutorials.htm , but if you didn't follow the discussion here, you won't understand these powerpoints either - http://cvswug.dezignstuff.com/presentations.html there are a few simple surfacing powerpoints here - http://dezignstuff.com/blog/ a couple of surfacing tidbits including a simple step by step tutorial - solidworks on-line forums (in the subscription area)
There aren't any books out that comprehensively cover the topic, but the SolidWorks Bible does have one chapter (out of 32) that goes through the surface features and explains their use, shows a couple of techniques and has 3 simple tutorials.
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There aren't any books out that comprehensively cover the topic, but the

And chance you might do a followup that is strictly about surfaces?
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He asked if there were any PPT or videos about boundary surfaces and there arent. SW dont do things like that. They make some promo fluff/stuff but no detailed self help educational material They dont make em for surfacing either. They do have VAR run 'advanced' courses for a fee and there are some good books out there these days but not really containing the enlightenment Mr Halpin is most likely seeking Outsiders have done the most worthwhile zen stuff about surfacing you can find to date - most conspicuously Ed Eaton ( big thumbs up for ED for generously making it available for free) see http://www.dimontegroup.com/Tutorials/SolidWorks_Tutorials.htm Mr Halpins plea for better instructional documentation is an issue that has been around for a while now. Many people would empathise with Mr Halpins experience. At this point in time there is no soln for him. Possibly Mark will win out with his boss and make something worthwhile. I am sure he could if he was allowed to. The discussion bounced and strayed into opinion about SW policy and implementation of the current toolset...and of course Jon and Cliff landed here too..I am sorry if the 'excellent discussion' from passers by did not yield the answers observers or Mr Halpin would wish.It is a newsgroup after all not a SW managers meeting. If Mr Halpin has some particular difficulty with a model he is working on he could try posting details of that here and someone might render assistance. hope that helps :o)
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I believe Matt did that part as an example to show Mark how Boundary had problems matching tangencies when it shouldn't be a problem. He wasn't suggesting it as a real-world use, but an extreme test case.
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
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Jerry Steiger wrote:

Jerry,
Several of the folks in this discussion are on my plonk list, so I never see their posts unless they are quoted in a post like yours. Your explanation was exactly right. The example I made was a "best case" academically ideal scenario. Something in particular where the curvature in the two directions at the corner should match exactly, so that the error that shows when assigning boundary conditions is 100% unfounded. You can only guarantee a situation like this reliably in SW by trimming out a window in a single contiguous face. This is obviously not the type of situation I usually create Boundary surfaces in, it just removes all of the possible imperfections inherent in a real world situation.
Thanks for the clarification!
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good ol' matt just the same...LOL
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Now THAT would be sweet. Would you mind observers? (always willing to learn and I'd be quiet in the back :-) )
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Mostly Random button pushing :)
Having Zebra stripes turned on certainly helps narrow the odds very quickly (using the toolbar Zebra Stripes not the annoying boundary only version in the command, I'd rather have Zebra Stripes on for the whole model, shame you can't turn this on and off within the boundary command, you have to set it on before you start which can make it hard to pick sketches) .
For me, at least, Surfacing as whole can be "random button pushing" lofting in particular e.g. if something doesn't work try something else. After a lot of experimentation and experience I get a "feel" for how a loft will react but I can't always predict it, when guide curves are involved.
To quote Mark B: The same thing happens with Loft with Guides. With Loft we do some "fudging" but when it comes down to it is not any better (turn on display>curvature) than the quality of Boundary. In addition, many users that are successful with Loft, don't use guide curves because they've figured out that, like Johnny Depp says in Pirates " Well they be more like guidelines than rules". Users know that you can not count on the accuracy of Loft edges that were created with guides because they don't follow them very well.
I have found the Boundary Surface command very useful recently, it solved problems that I couldn't with lofts or surface fill, (that's not to say someone couldn't have solved the problem using lofts or fill). And in combination with the "Atomic Bomb for fillets method" it has proved very useful.
Look forward to that presentation Mark.
John Layne www.solidengineering.co.nz
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Matt,
Sorry that its taken so long for me to get back to you; I've been slammed with a new project.
I had a chance to take a look at your part2.sldprt. thanks for putting together the example. What's interesting is that this was the very first alpha test case for Boundary 2 years ago.
You're right - there is a slight deviation in the surface but very slight and yes Fill is a better solution.... But there is an option in Boundary that makes it match even better than fill, its called "Tangent Influence" and it is in the drop down just above the edge selection box in the PM. Go to your boundary configuration and edit your boundary feature, Change the first direction curve's influence to "Tangent influence".
What Tangent influence does is "Fill out" or propagate the influence of the boundaries over more of the surface. Now, I think, this came into the product in SP2 and I fought hard to get it in there. We had it for SP0 but was not properly tested and passed till SP2. Give it a try.
I devoted a slide to this subject in my SWW2007 presentation. I agree with a lot of you that there could be much more instruction on SW surfacing and I've been working with our chief writer to try to get more "Advanced Modeling" curriculum for our customers - I think the Advanced Surfacing modeling manual is a very good start. (and no I don't set the pricing policies of how our material, and support is set)
BTW, thanks for your contribution to the the ASM manual and best of success on your new book.
Regards
Mark
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'I agree with a lot of you that there could be much more instruction on SW surfacing and I've been working with our chief writer to try to get more "Advanced Modeling" curriculum for our customers'
Hooray for that. Well done sir. Pat on the back. Just put a decent bit of it in the SW box and everyone will wear nice big smiles :o)
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