new Measurement tool

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looo
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Re: new Measurement tool

Post by looo » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:53 pm

Zolko wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:55 pm
looo wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:29 am
Why not create a measurement wb and then have a competition
Image
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index. ... _Standards
:D yes if there is only one way to do things there is no need for multiple wb's doing the same thing. But in the long run, diversity is useful for FreeCAD.

I think opening any workbench to measure something is overkill (even a Measurement WB).
One should be able to measure something everywhere everytime.
absolutely. I think something like modular toolboxes that can be added to any workbench would be a nicer approach.
tom
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Re: new Measurement tool

Post by tom » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:14 pm

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.

BR Tom
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easyw-fc
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Re: new Measurement tool

Post by easyw-fc » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:11 pm

bernd wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:27 pm
ATM I use three or four different ones, one from Part, one from Arch, one from Manipulator. Soon I will have a assembly wb which I do not need just becaue I would like to measure something.
Out of curiosity.. is there something you cannot measure with Caliper from Manipulator wb? Moreover, Caliper can be kept open as a macro (or minimized or docked) even when the user changes among wbs.
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Zolko
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Re: new Measurement tool

Post by Zolko » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:57 pm

Zolko wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:48 pm
I'm pleased to announce that a new version of Assembly 4 has been released, v0.9.5, with a new measurement tool
tom wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:14 pm
Assembly 4 WB Menu ?: I did not test the new measurement tool yet
do I understand correctly that your comment in the thread about a new measurement tool is that you can't be arsed into actually trying that new tool ?

Or do you buy a whole car only because you like to its headlight as a flashlight?
BUY ? You actually pay FreeCAD and the workbenches ? I'm sorry to say that you have been pawned, most of us get it for free.
try the Assembly4 workbench for FreCAD v0.19
install with Tools > Addon Manager > Assembly4 — tutorials here and here
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M4x
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Re: new Measurement tool

Post by M4x » Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:04 pm

tom wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:14 pm
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. [...]
Count me in!

To be honest: I'm using Std_MeasureDistance on a regular basis and asked myself more than one time why this tool isn't as powerful as I'd like it to be (I'm looking at you Manipulator_Workbench#Caliper / ASM4 measurement tool). I don't know why I haven't looked for alternatives (which obviously exist) :oops: . Nevertheless, I'd like to have those alternatives directly accessible from the PartDesign_Workbench for example. I'm only using the Part_Workbench if I can't solve something by only using the PartDesign_Workbench and haven't used the "Part-measurent-tool". Therefore I can't say anything about it.

Regarding the accessibility of a powerful measurement tool directly from my beloved PartDesign_Workbench, I'll have a look at what easyw-fc said:
easyw-fc wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:11 pm
[...] Moreover, Caliper can be kept open as a macro (or minimized or docked) even when the user changes among wbs.
edit:
I've added the caliper tool to my PartDesign toolbar
tom
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Re: new Measurement tool

Post by tom » Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:33 pm

Zolko wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:57 pm
tom wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:14 pm
Assembly 4 WB Menu ?: I did not test the new measurement tool yet
do I understand correctly that your comment in the thread about a new measurement tool is that you can't be arsed into actually trying that new tool ?
As I said before I trust that your measurement tool is better than that one in the manipulator WB, but as long as the topological naming problem is not solved I'm not interested in an assembly workbench.
Zolko wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:57 pm
Or do you buy a whole car only because you like to its headlight as a flashlight?
BUY ? You actually pay FreeCAD and the workbenches ? I'm sorry to say that you have been pawned, most of us get it for free.
Ok, BUY was the wrong term. But even when it is totally free there is still a price to pay with every additional workbench: the loss of compatibility, clarity and stability. I try to minimise the number of installed workbenches. From time to time I experimented with new workbenches, but in some cases they prevented my FreeCAD from starting because of python exceptions during initialisation. These python incompatibilities makes me crazy. So, I removed all unneeded workbenches. Further I try to use only the necessary workbenches in order to keep my designs transferable between different installations. I hate it, when I open a document on another system and some elements can't be no longer modified and I have no clue, which WB is missing.
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Zolko
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Re: new Measurement tool

Post by Zolko » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:11 pm

tom wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:33 pm
but as long as the topological naming problem is not solved I'm not interested in an assembly workbench.
...
Further I try to use only the necessary workbenches in order to keep my designs transferable between different installations. I hate it, when I open a document on another system and some elements can't be no longer modified and I have no clue, which WB is missing.
I understand ... how unfortunate that nobody has ever thought about that.

And how unfortunate that nobody has thought about using datum objects, that are not subject to the topological naming issue, to constrain assemblies.

Also, that some people might try hard not to use custom objects in the WBs they make because they might have recognised the same limits as you is also never going to happen.

You're right, better not try anything new, it's the safe space.
try the Assembly4 workbench for FreCAD v0.19
install with Tools > Addon Manager > Assembly4 — tutorials here and here
tom
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:20 pm

Re: new Measurement tool

Post by tom » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:39 pm

Zolko wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:11 pm
tom wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:33 pm
but as long as the topological naming problem is not solved I'm not interested in an assembly workbench.
...
Further I try to use only the necessary workbenches in order to keep my designs transferable between different installations. I hate it, when I open a document on another system and some elements can't be no longer modified and I have no clue, which WB is missing.
I understand ... how unfortunate that nobody has ever thought about that.

And how unfortunate that nobody has thought about using datum objects, that are not subject to the topological naming issue, to constrain assemblies.

Also, that some people might try hard not to use custom objects in the WBs they make because they might have recognised the same limits as you is also never going to happen.

You're right, better not try anything new, it's the safe space.
I'm already trying new FreeCAD features. I'm using the asm3 branch, because it is much more stable regarding the topological naming. However, I still use master sketches and datum planes as much as I can, but at some point, when you have to create chamfers, drafts, fillets or thickness you have to reference edges or faces. And then all the master sketches and datum planes do not help. If you like I can send you some models (via PM, because they are too big for the forum).
I also had a case, where modifying a master sketch (added a chamfer line; no element was deleted) caused a renumbering of sketcher elements and destroyed all references. But that was some time ago. I think it is fixed now.
Currently I'm doing my assemblies just with links within nested part containers without any constraints. This works well and is robust.

Perhaps you don't understand my point. I come from the UNIX world, which is a world of small sharp tools, which can be combined in various ways. I would like to see a similar approach in FreeCAD, where we have a bunch of perfect tools, which can be combined in workbenches. Currently I see the opposite, where we have multiple concurrent workbenches, which the user has to pick the useful tools from. The rest is waste of resources and screen space (which is very limited im my case).
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Zolko
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Re: new Measurement tool

Post by Zolko » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:07 pm

tom wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:39 pm
Perhaps you don't understand my point
Or perhaps you didn't read the title of this thread and want to play the offended smartarse by hijacking a subject you don't care about ? Either you test or you shut up. What's so hard to understand about that ?
try the Assembly4 workbench for FreCAD v0.19
install with Tools > Addon Manager > Assembly4 — tutorials here and here
tom
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:20 pm

Re: new Measurement tool

Post by tom » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:30 pm

Zolko wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:07 pm
tom wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:39 pm
Perhaps you don't understand my point
Or perhaps you didn't read the title of this thread and want to play the offended smartarse by hijacking a subject you don't care about ? Either you test or you shut up. What's so hard to understand about that ?
The subject: new Measurement tool

Your wish:
Zolko wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:48 pm
Hello,

I'm pleased to announce that a new version of Assembly 4 has been released, v0.9.5, with a new measurement tool, completely rewritten from the Caliper of the Manipulator WB. This tool can now measure almost everything that you throw at it. Works with assemblies and App::Link of course.

I'd be happy if people could test it and report all problems.
I did not test, but I reported my problems with your approach. You are free to ignore all my comments and those of other readers, who had a similar opinion (before I wrote my first comment). I will shut up now.
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