go to macros library link, look for eqcurve. run the macro, type in an
equation, and it will build a spline for you in a sketch. other people on
the SW site have 3D equation macros
Actually the most basic building block in a hybrid modeler
is support for disjoint solids. I would agree that splines
are next, though. I guess SolidWorks users will have to
wait till SolidWorks 2005 and for D-Cubed to develop decent
spline control in 3D DCM. Using ACIS as SolidWorks main
modeling engine would also help greatly as Parsolid contains
very little in the way of surfacing routines where as ACIS does.
For those who need a solution now and don't want to wait...
Concepts has no problem with any of this whatsoever. Concepts uses
Spatial Corp's, ACIS to get the job done. Spatial is a Dassault
Systθmes company. ;>)
For $995 you get a modeler that has parametric solids and quality
surfacing that is associative... both surface to spline and surface
to surface. It's not for large assemblies, it doesn't do sheet-metal,
it has no CAM but when it comes to pure modeling it blows the
doors off of SolidWorks in many areas. Not all, but many.
Perhaps this can help for those stuck with SolidWorks less
than adequate surfacing ???
Concepts offers a free demo that can be downloaded at:
Here are Concepts features:
. Same intuitive user interface for
2D and 3D tools
. Snaps for intelligently locating x y
z coordinates, tangents, and
. Concept Explorer to examine and
modify associative relationships and
. Customizable key short cuts
. Prompt Window for prompting
designer through commands
. Data Entry Window for explicit
creation and modification of
. Object show/hide tools
. Layers and Sub Layers
. Tool Tips
. User defined views, work planes,
and pen styles
. Precise kernel serves as foundation
for NURB and analytic based
. Points, Lines, Arcs, Circles,
Ellipses and Conics
. Splines construction methods of
Through point, Control Point,
Bezier, On Surface, and Sketch
. Add, remove, elevate, smooth
spline control points
. Dynamic modification of position
. Dynamic curvature plots
. Project curve to plane
. Best in class offset, trim and
relimit curve tools
. 2D Fillet, Chamfer, and Corner
. 1 & 2 Rail Sweep
. Extrude by Vector
. Cover (Coon's and N-Sided)
. Skin, Skin with Guides, and Skin
. Nets (MxN curve networks)
. Blend with user defined takeoff
. Rebuild, Elevate, & Join
. Match G1 or G2
. Trim and Untrim
. Associativity for all creation and
. Gaussian, Zebra, Draft Analysis
. Best in Class Filleting and
. Extrude, Sweep, Lathe
. 1 & 2 Rail Sweeps
. Protrusions and Cutouts
. Booleans (Add, Subtract, Union).
. Trim and Split
. Stitching and Healing with user
. Lofting between Faces
. Parametric Features
. Associative History Tree
. Deform Face
. Remove, Offset, Move, Replace,
. Bend and Bend Along Curve
. Draft Faces
. Generate drawings automatically
from 3D models from templates
. Pen Weights, Patterns, Styles
. Horizontal, Vertical, Radial,
Diametric, Center Marks, Leaders,
Callouts, Angular Dimensions
. Tolerances and User Settings for
. Stacked, Dual, Fractions
. Hatching and Fill Patterns
. Bill of Materials
. Text (Normal, Angle, Path)
. Raytracing with Anti-Aliasing
. Unlimited Point, Spot, and distant
. Adjustable soft and hard shadows
. Drag and Drop from Material
. Backgrounds & Foregrounds
. Material Editor for controlling
reflectance, color, displacement,
transparency, and texture space
. Walk Through, Fly By
. QuickTime Object VR
. QuickTime Panoramic VR
. QuickTime Event Recording
. SAT, IGES, STEP
. CATIA v4
. Adobe Illustrator (up to v9)
. Rhino Import
.Microsoft Windows XP
Professional or Windows 2000
Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon class
.128 MG RAM or greater (512 MG
to 1GB recommended for large
.Mouse Point Device
. OSX (Carbon)
. G4 Processor
. 512 MB RAM
. CD-ROM Drive
. Mouse (recommend 2 button
Functionality is pretty independent of the kernel.
UG uses parasolid, and has incredible functionality. The kernel, be
it ACIS or parasolid, is just the last step in expressing the
geometric result of a surface modelling routine.
email@example.com (Cliff Huprich) wrote in message
"Functionality is pretty independent of the kernel."
Wrong. Let me give you some examples of why your wrong and
how wrong you are. I don't mean to be rude but you are way
off base and I'm more than happy to prove it.
"UG uses parasolid, and has incredible functionality."
Yes it does. However the Parasolid kernel is devoid of the
surfacing routines that are in Unigraphics. UGS PLM Solutions
(their new name this week) is not about to give away the
farm ! When a company chooses to use Parasolid and they wish
to offer a full featured hybrid modeler that company *MUST
marry outside surfacing routines to Parasolid* and try and get both
to play nice. Good "F"ing luck ... It doesn't work very well.
Would you like a reference that will confirm this for you ?
This company clearly states that they have married their
surfacing routines to Parasolid. Why ??? Because the needed
surfacing routines are not in Parasolid. Just ask and I'll
provide the reference.
* Most people in this newsgroup have no idea that with ACIS
not only are the surfacing routines there but the spline
routines are there as well. *
If SolidWorks used ACIS as it's modeling kernel users of
SolidWorks would not be having the massive problems with
splines that they are having now.
Concepts users ACIS. Anyone can call Concepts and they will
be glad to tell you that the spline routines in Concepts are
a part of the ACIS kernel.
"Would you like a reference that will confirm this for you ?
This company clearly states that they have married their
surfacing routines to Parasolid. Why ??? Because the needed
surfacing routines are not in Parasolid. Just ask and I'll
provide the reference."
Tell you what, you don't even have to ask. Here is proof of
what I have stated for many years in this newsgroup:
"Despite the limitations of the early personal computers the
products were always designed to run on the PC platforms,
first under MS-DOS and later within the Windows environment.
Initial expansion was fuelled by an innovative approach to
three dimensional modelling and machining. Having developed
its own surface modelling and been among the first practical
PC applications for free form design, the company went on to
propose the first PC implementation of the EDS Parasolid
modeller which has latterly become so popular with software
developers and is now the de-facto standard for solid
As you can now tell from what is above, Vero Software was the first
company to license Parasolid kernel and marry their
surfacing routines to Parasolid.
* If Parasolid had the needed functionality, Vero would not of
had to marry their surfacing routines to Parasolid !!! *
Further, SolidWorks would not be having the problems it has with
trying to get surfacing to work with Parasolid.
The surfacing tools that are needed to create a true hybrid modeler
simply do not exist in the Parasolid kernel.
Concepts has no such problems... why ??? Because Tim Olson
the creator and owner of Concepts is smart enough to use
Note, Autodesk was smart enough to purchase ACIS code at
version 7 and rest their future on developing that code in
what they now call ShapeManager.
Simply put, when a company chooses to use Parasolid they get
the most robust solid kernel in the business. What they
don't get is a hybrid modeling kernel. As ACIS has gotten
better and better it has become a much more viable solution.
Alibre uses ACIS
IronCAD uses ACIS
Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt uses ACIS
Autodesk Inventor is based on ACIS
Cadkey Workshop uses ACIS
Concepts uses ACIS
Cimatron uses ACIS
ACIS is far and away a more complete solution than
Parasolid. ACIS, while still maybe not quite as robust as
Parasolid at solid modeling, is and has been good enough.
....but I won't let that fact stop me from following up on your
I had the opportunity to do some major model surgery on Pro/E
(pre-Granite) and parasolid in UG. Parasolid is nearly alive when it
comes to healing abilities. Definitely a cut above what Pro/E had
(was it ACIS?)
I don't know the politics that keep others from fully exploiting
parasolid's possibilities, but I have seen quite well what it can do.
"I don't know the politics that keep others from fully
exploiting parasolid's possibilities, but I have seen quite
well what it can do."
The bottom line is that the *high level routines* that need
to be in Parasolid don't exist ! This makes it extremely
difficult for software developers and it's why no seamless,
unified, hybrid solution has ever appeared that makes use of
Parasolid besides UGS PLM Solutions products. A few years
back I discussed the lack of high level surfacing routines
in Parasolid with Mike Crown who use to work for Varimetrix,
now VX. Mike Crown felt that SolidWorks Corp. would have a
very difficult time making SolidWorks a true seamless,
unified, hybrid modeler. Time has proven Mike Crown to be
one hundred percent correct.
Mike Crown was one of the nicest, sharpest guys in the
CAD/CAM business and he was well liked by several of us on
alt.machines.cnc. Total straight shooter and a long time
employee of Varimetrix (now VX).
Go have a look at the ACIS website. Download the .PDF on the
3D ACIS modeler. Note how Spatial pushes the hybrid
capabilities of ACIS.
"ACIS is ideal for constructing applications with hybrid
modeling features- integrating wireframe, surface, and solid
modeling functionality with both manifold and non-manifold
topology, and a rich set of geometric operations."
Like I've said for many years in this newsgroup, ACIS
contains the high level routines that make it much, much
easier to produce a seamless, unified, hybrid modeler.
With Parasolid, this is obviously a bitch to do and no one
has done it besides UGS PLM Solutions.
I do not believe for one moment that SolidWorks Corp can
pull it off alone. Only if other vendors such as D-Cubed
create more robust products can any real progress be made.
Based on these FACTS, this should give people a very good idea of
why Autodesk hired D-Cubed to work on their kernel !
This may have been the reason why a slowdown occurred in
what D-Cubed has been able to produce with 2D DCM as well as
3D DCM as D-Cubed does what probably is much more lucrative
work for Autodesk.
SolidWorks must make the move to ACIS or it's going to be a
long slow painful road to seamless, unified, hybrid modeling
It's also going to be very embarrassing when Alibre and
IronCAD move past SolidWorks in the second quarter of next
year by utilizing the surfacing routines in the ACIS kernel.
At $995 Concepts already makes SolidWorks look very bad when
it comes to pure modeling capabilities.
Take a good look at UGS PLM Solutions website for Parasolid.
No emphasis whatsoever on building a hybrid modeler with
Parasolid. None... just on how robust Parasolid is and that
Parasolid is the only kernel used in a high-end solution
Bottom line.... Parasolid does not contain the high level
surfacing routines and other various tools that developers
badly need to create a seamless, unified, hybrid modeler.
Pro/e does not use ACIS (although, it does have ACIS import/export), it
uses the same kernal it always has (granite, just got that name a few
Why do other tools, like SW, not take advantage of other parasolid
features, I would think that is a limitation of the developer or the
choices they make in utilizing those features, customer demands, market
direction and of course cost.
Since SW indirectly owns ACIS via it's parent company, Dassault
Systemes, I can guess that the decisions to utilize and promote
parasolid functionality maybe a contradiction to their future interest
or a partial reason or unwillingness for SW Corp to move faster with
implementing more surface tools from parasolid, for SW? And this may
also be a waiting game for SW Corp to see if they can break away from
parasolid, or shifting to ACIS, while maintaining the speed and
functionality the SW users are use too? IMHO, I still think parasolid
kicks ass but I'm sure the line between of speed and functionality is
becoming a blur so... who knows...when the timing is right, and if ACIS
saves SW Corp money and it does not have a adverse effect on it's users
as well as give them what they need...?
It all comes back to their user base and most SW users do not need or
will ever need surfacing... so what is the incentive for SW Corp??
Money and competition are the major driving influences and also new
users requesting more surfacing tools are the only hope for users who
have been requesting more surfacing tools.
Over the years, I just do not see SW Corp as a front runner to
innovation. Yeah, they are better than AutoDe$k, but becoming similar
over the years.. also they're a company they have been true to it's
intention, to be a mainstream design tool and just a bit more at times.
(mainstream = typical = average = general = conservative = the average
levi wearing 9-5 joe...) Unfortunately, SW has been trying to be
everything to everybody and in some ways loosing touch with the
mainstream, which is still a huge market and that is where tools like
Inventor (surfacing is limited but they are trying) have focused and
another reason why (read, no competition) SW has not pushed enough with
Now, with Pro/e adding more ISDX surfacing to it's foundation package
and SolidEdge pushing it BlueDot functionality.. as well as other
inexpensive tools adding parametric and relational surfacing,.. the hope
for adding more parametric curve and surfacing tools into SW will most
likely be shifting towards the needs of SW users in need of those tools.
So, finally, there are other mainstream, inexpensive and evolved
modeling tools which are again being innovative leaders and pushing
relational or parametric driven curves and surfacing with more ease of
use, control and manipulation functionality... so there is hope in the
"Since SW indirectly owns ACIS via it's parent company,
Dassault Systemes, I can guess that the decisions to utilize
and promote parasolid functionality maybe a contradiction to
their future interest or a partial reason or unwillingness
for SW Corp to move faster with implementing more surface
tools from parasolid, for SW?"
The tools that you think exist in Parasolid are not there.
If the tools were in Parasolid then SolidWorks Corp. would
have implemented them by now. SolidWorks is without a doubt
a leader at early innovation of 3rd party software
components. That you think the proper high-level tools
somehow exist in Parasolid ignores all common sense. Specifically you
ignore why so many companies have chosen the ACIS kernel
and have put up with Spatial when the ACIS kernel left a lot
to be desired, several years ago. Why do you think
innovative companies like IronCAD chose ACIS first ??? Why
was SolidWorks originally built with ACIS ??? The answer is
the it's a more complete solution with higher level tools
but up until a few years ago ACIS was not robust enough.
ACIS is probably still not quite as good as Parasolid at
solid only modeling.
IMO, Solidworks Corp. was caught out when Autodesk hired D-
Cubed to work on ShapeManager and both SolidWorks and D-
Cubed development have suffered.... BADLY !
"but I'm sure the line between of speed and functionality is
becoming a blur so... who knows...when the timing is right,
and if ACIS saves SW Corp money and it does not have a
adverse effect on it's users as well as give them what they
For the last year or more Spatial has mainly worked to shore
up ACIS and make it more robust and make it faster. Very
little work seems to be done on new features. IMO, this is
so that installing ACIS in SolidWorks and CATIA will not
"It all comes back to their user base and most SW users do
not need or will ever need surfacing... so what is the
incentive for SW Corp??"
How bad does it look that $995 Concepts is a more versatile
modeler than SolidWorks and surfacing and solid tools work
very well together in Concepts ?
Concepts can be downloaded for a test drive at:
Why put up with the low level surfacing functionality of
Rhino or the poor surfacing tools in SolidWorks ?
How bad will it look when in the second quarter of next year
Alibre and IronCAD implement more of what's in the ACIS
kernel ? Hopefully PTC will keep losing their ass and find
away to include ISDX II with Pro/E Wildfire at no charge.
If this happens the shit will really hit the fan because
Pro/E will suddenly become a major bargain. If PTC
manglement had any brains they would already be doing this
instead of continuing to loose their ass and sink in red
ink. What a mess.
"SolidEdge pushing it BlueDot functionality..."
There is a new release of SolidEdge do out soon and it looks
to have some very strong mold design tools and can do stuff
that SolidWorks can't.
This new version of SolidEdge will be targeted toward mold
designers / mold shops because it now has *more* innovative
features that most other products don't have. IMO, UGS PLM
Solutions knows that the game is over and that SolidEdge is
going to have to be a real bread winner for them and compete
and win against SolidWorks, Inventor, etc. in more
"So, finally, there are other mainstream, inexpensive and
evolved modeling tools which are again being innovative
leaders and pushing relational or parametric driven curves
and surfacing with more ease of use, control and
manipulation functionality... so there is hope in the
What you wrote above is beyond obvious. What doesn't help is
so few SolidWork users (yourself included) don't understand
what the real issues are with Parasolid and why ACIS needed
to be in SolidWorks yesterday.
Anyone who thinks that SolidWorks Corp. can make the
surfacing that is in SolidWorks work properly without
outside help is in serious fantasy land.
This is how Don LaCourse describes ACIS.
"ACIS is an object-oriented C++ geometry library that
comprises 35 DLLs and integrates wire frame, surface, and
solid modeling with both manifold and nonmanifold topology.
It gives application developers a rich set of geometric
operations for constructing and manipulating complex models.
These include blending, sweeping, imprinting, covering,
lofting, skinning, offsetting, slicing, stitching,
sectioning, fitting, and interpolating surfaces. ACIS also
offers a complete set of regularized and nonregularized
Boolean operations, and length, area, and mass property
inquiry functions. Its Laws Symbolic Math Interface and
NURBS-based deformation allow the integration of surface and
solid modeling. The ACIS kernel outputs a SAT file format
that any ACIS-enabled application can read directly. "
Now lets take a look at how Don LaCourse describes VX's UPG2
kernel used in Vision:
"UPG2 (Unified Parametric Geometry-Second Generation) is a
proprietary robust geometric modeling kernel unique to the
CAD/CAM system VX Vision (figure 6) from Varimetrix
(www.vx.com). UPG2 integrates solid, surface, wire frame,
and drafting geometry as well as process, tool path, and
other product information in a single, unified database."
The UPG2 kernel addresses the full range of 3D modeling
tasks, from industrial design through mechanical engineering
to mold and tool design within the context of VX Vision's
Unified Modeling environment. This environment adapts
hybrid-modeling techniques in a transparent manner so
designers can seamlessly work in and move among solid,
surface, and wire frame representations.
"UPG2 supports such functions as nonmanifold shapes,
unlimited undo/redo, object versioning, advanced free-form
surface creation, complex filleting and blending, and true
in-context modeling of assemblies. The kernel's Proximity
Compliant Tolerancing uses incremental, on-the-fly healing
technology rather than fixed, relative or adaptive schemes.
This provides substantial improvement in performance,
according to the company."
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