Suggestion: op depth control and visualizations

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RatonLaveur
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Suggestion: op depth control and visualizations

Postby RatonLaveur » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:29 pm

Hello guys (and girls? I realize we are considering ourselves a bunch of boys, we're either not inclusive or not diverse...mhhh...whatever)

Something that I bumped my head now several times on during my use of PathWB, is the mentally and manually intensive work on depths. Generally everything is computed through functions that can be defaulted and customized, which is great. But I often feel (and maybe that's also informed by my foray into the woods of OCL, and 4th axis) that it's difficult to modify and mostly visualize depths.

I had the opportunity to test Fusion360 several times, and something that I found nice is that for ops they generate a translucent reference plane of different color and a name (safe, clearance, allowance...). Is it more bling than bang? Maybe. But I found it quite comfortable and visually striking.

Also, by default, a level of translucency on the part would help tremendously in figuring out immediately the ops, what they do, accidental mistakes in machining Inside vs. Outside...generally more holistic.
The translucent model may also help greatly in reducing confusion when visibility of model/copy is applied/negated when editing ops. We'd know immediatly we're dealing with the copy for machining because it's translucent for paths.

What is your opinion?

J.
Russ4262
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Re: Suggestion: op depth control and visualizations

Postby Russ4262 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:02 pm

Oh, now you say something... ;) LOL.

I had some user feedback, (mostly debug comments), pertaining to depths of faces AFTER rotation to correct index for access. I was thinking along the same lines, that at least having the calculated and physical depths presented to the user for reference. BUT, alas, I cleaned the code and these are no longer... sigh.... Well, I can go back and add them as informational comments, not error or debug comments. I found these useful while developing and trouble-shooting the many depth calculations and their placements in the code as the operation proceeds.

I'll try to remember to throw some of the depth-feedback-comments-to-the-user back into the code next time I'm in for editing. They would be visible in the Report Panel.

Good idea, RL.

Russ
RatonLaveur
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Re: Suggestion: op depth control and visualizations

Postby RatonLaveur » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:58 pm

Not all great ideas come at once. Usually it's the stupid ones that make sense first. And then hindsight kicks in. I encourage you to look up a youtube of Fusion360 cam. The NYC CNC channel isn't bad for that. It's going to tell you two things:
1. There are good ideas to inspire oneself from.
2. Seriously FreeCAD aint that far off.

But mostly: they have visualization of machining and trajectory planes. Cuz you never know who's going to G0 Z-100 your hardwork.
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sliptonic
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Re: Suggestion: op depth control and visualizations

Postby sliptonic » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:04 pm

I really dig the NYC CNC channel. (Also Clickspring and This Old Tony, but that's beside the point :D )

That said, I try not to look TOO close at Fusion or any other application. Nor do I try to emulate them directly. They're different applications with a different audience, history, tool kit, etc. There's certainly something to learn from them, but that isn't necessarily the right way to do things or the right way for us.

Two other things that I've gotten a lot of value from are:

1) Building stuff. There's nothing like the taste of your own dogfood to find the problems.

2) Teach a class. This is a hugely humbling and amazingly productive way to see what works and what doesn't. Anybody who teaches a class and summarizes the experience has my undivided attention. If you can't teach a class, make a video. It's the same kind of experience. If it isn't easy to explain in a video, it probably isn't easy to learn.
RatonLaveur
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Re: Suggestion: op depth control and visualizations

Postby RatonLaveur » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:22 pm

I agree on all your points sir. All of them. I appologize of i gave the impression that we should copy anyone or that Fusion is the right way to do anything. I'm all in with PathWB and there's a reason for that, i do work with advanced machine tools. So it would "make sense" that i would "take that shortcut", yet i don't i spend time here, being excited and trying not to pester the real coders too much so they keep on going :)

Still i maintain my suggestions (fully open to criticism):

1. Different depth could be visualized using colored, translucent planes. "À la Fusion"
2. The working body in the job container could be translucent by default.
Russ4262
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Re: Suggestion: op depth control and visualizations

Postby Russ4262 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:10 pm

RatonLaveur wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:22 pm
1. Different depth could be visualized using colored, translucent planes. "À la Fusion"
This is a very complicated implementation. It could potentially require a op-by-op update since they are mostly unique. Or, this might be a bit easier than that by targeting the `Base Geometry` selection code and creating the temporary visualizations based upon features selected as `Base Geometry`. Either way, this suggested feature is the more complicated of the two here.

RatonLaveur wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:22 pm
2. The working body in the job container could be translucent by default.
This one is pretty easy. I'm thinking maybe a one-liner: FreeCADGui.ActiveDocument.Clone(model name).Transparency = 75
Add this during Path Job setup when clone of part is created.

Russ
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sliptonic
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Re: Suggestion: op depth control and visualizations

Postby sliptonic » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:28 pm

Russ4262 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:10 pm
RatonLaveur wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:22 pm
1. Different depth could be visualized using colored, translucent planes. "À la Fusion"
This is a very complicated implementation. It could potentially require a op-by-op update since they are mostly unique. Or, this might be a bit easier than that by targeting the `Base Geometry` selection code and creating the temporary visualizations based upon features selected as `Base Geometry`. Either way, this suggested feature is the more complicated of the two here.
(be warned, I haven't thought this through all the way so it could be stupid but...)

Could possibly do something a 'set depths tool' that is launched from the 'depths' tab of any operation that has height/depths. It would open a modal dialog and place temporary translucent plane objects in the 3D window. The real way to do it would involve some development using coin to edit the scenegraph directly but a shortcut could just add and delete document objects.
RatonLaveur
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Re: Suggestion: op depth control and visualizations

Postby RatonLaveur » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:47 am

Brainwaves!!!

Since, the topic of "visualization" was initiated by who knows who.... I just had an idea. This time not referencing evil Fusion 360, but our very own best FEM solvers...

Applying a constraint for a pressure actin on a face, the dialog asks "select a face" whether the face was previously selected or not. And immediately Giant beautiful arrows point at the direction of the pressure applied on the face. One can tick " reverse direction" in the dialog, and it's visually striking what happens.

Now here the two more ideas from that paragraph:

3. face selection confusion: We're often confused whether to first select a face then apply an Op Tool for path or open the tool dialog, then select faces. I believe this confusion should be removed. But you guys maybe know better. Either always select a face and apply tool. Or open tool and select faces. I think the latter is better and more inline with other FreeCAD workflows.

4. Visualize the direction immediately before applying the path using some form of normal vector arrow or something. That way, before even computing the path and having to visually figure out Depths, Layers, Accurate Compensation AND on top of that "am I going in the right direction?" all at once before modifying and recomputing, at least the only thing to look for and modify is depths, layers and compensations...

What do you think?
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