Zolko wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:30 am
bernd wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:22 am
I need such tool too
unfortunately you seem to be the only one (apart from me)
That is not true. There is at least one other user, who needs a good measurement tool - it's me. And if I look at all the currently available measurement tools, then there are at least 4 developers, who needed the tool too. I just had a look at all the tools:
- Menu Tools / Measure distance: I think that is a core function. It can only measure the distance between two points. Although one can select even edges or faces it still measures the distance between the points were you clicked on. Useless! The result is not visible on a light background. Although the measurements appear in the model tree and can be saved in the document they are not parametric.
- Arch/Draft WB Menu Annotation / Dimension: It can also only measure the distance between points. I never understood the logic behind placing the dimension lines. The font is so tiny that I even can't spot a single dot. In case of a sample cube 10x10x10mm I have to zoom in by factor >100 in order to read the dimension value. Although the measurements appear in the model tree and can be saved in the document they are not parametric.
- Sketcher WB - non driving dimensions: I often use this tool. I like the possibility the turn it into a driving dimension. The shown result is parametric, but it is not visible outside the sketcher.
- Part WB Menu Measure: This tool can measure linear and angular dimensions. One can select points, lines or faces. It can show a 3D measurement. It is not parametric. I like the functionality of the tool, but the results are hard to read. In most cases the font is too big and the colours have low contrast to the default grey of the 3D objects.
- Manipulator WB Caliper Tools: It can measure distances (between points, lines and faces), radii and more. I like the readability of the dimension label, but I don't understand, why there is an extra again unreadable dimension value (in orange), which is often also covered by the dimension label. The placement of the label could be better sometimes. I don't like that extra dialog. Why not use the Tasks view as all other tools do? That extra dialog is always in the way. It has unusual window controls (hide, minimise etc.). Why not use the standard window controls (which are greyed out here)? I had difficulties to start a measurement. It was not obvious for me to click the measure button first. The icons are arranged in a arbitrarily order. The whole dialog is the result of the lack of a GUI style guide in FreeCAD.
- Assembly 4 WB Menu ?: I did not test the new measurement tool yet, because I don't want to install a whole workbench, only because I need one tool of it. Or do you buy a whole car only because you like to its headlight as a flashlight? I trust that the new measurement tool has some improvements compared to the Caliper tool of the Manipulator WB.
All existing measurement tools have problems with the readability of the dimension values, because of the color of the font. The one exception is the dimension label, which can guarantee a good contrast between the font and the background. In all other cases a font outline would solve the readability problem caused by different background colours.
None of the existing measurement tool is parametric (ok, as long as the topological naming problem exists a parametric measurement makes little sense). In my ideal world I could use measurement values in any expression of my model.
My words may sound like harsh criticism, but they weren't meant that way. I love FreeCAD and I appreciate the hard work of the developers. I'm also a software developer (who unfortunately hasn't the time to contribute to FreeCAD) and I know that our species sometime forget, what we are working for. More than one time in my life I produced pieces of software, which were unusable for other people, because I ignored the usability of my software. It took an outsider's opinion to recognize that my design decision had major flaws. It hurt to hear the criticism, but after fixing the issues I felt much better, because I knew, that my final product was also accepted by other people.
IMHO a measurement tool is a basic tool, which should be part of the FreeCAD core or at least as a separate installable tool, which REPLACES the other existing tools. Then I could have only one measurement tool in all my workbenches. I like Iooo's idea of having modular workbenches.