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frustration 3d modelling


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I would like to share my frustration on modelling with Formz.

here is a sample situation I create some simple polygon circles with 60 edges a triangle poly then extrude them perpendicular to the reference plane.

I use boolean to create a single shape now if I use the doctor things get really wrong.

Unfortunately continuing to work without checking the mesh is wrong because you end up with problems with future boolean operations.
Now, how can a simple circle object extruded can be wrong and result in missing face, non-planar faces,  coplanar faces and at the end break the mesh with the doctor?
I have to keep every piece alone for non-getting stuck, but double the time to perform more boolean.
I don't remember in version 6 all these difficulties to model such a shape.

When modelling I lose much more time in fixing than finishing the work straight forward.

I once contacted formz support about another problem with the thicken tool that result in an object non-exportable in STL.
the answer was and no solution answer was solved.

Hi Fabrizio,

It appears that this is a surface object, whereas STL requires solid objects.

I'm going to look into this further to see why the Object Doctor isn't resolving the open holes in the model.








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I feel your pain!

When I'm working on a file that is ultimately going to be exported as an STL I have to check the integrity by exporting to STL after every boolean operation to check it doesn't result in a non-exportable in STL that Object Doctor doesn't catch. Again these are often simple operations.

I would be interested to know if there is a way to extrude a circle for example without having scores of points added, as when I go back and select faces for output for CNC cutting the resulting STP or DXF has all the additional points present.

I often find myself resorting to Rhino or Fusion 360 to work around these issues.



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I checked your file, and there are at least two parts with problems in their geometry, and I get the impression that there's an accuracy problem in the way you built them.

Working with inclined planes usually requires a stricter method if accuracy is needed because the geometry result from successive operations. If at some point there's some error on one of the objects that's not significant and geometrically tolerable, it usually amplifies to a point where the software tools start to fail. When this happens, usually, the problem is not the tools themselves but geometric inconsistencies on one or more of the objects.

In formZ, some of its tools are more suitable than others for this type of geometry. For example, I use the Extend To Face tool a lot when I'm working with inclined planes, which serves me to control and edit the geometry with precision, using the tool more as a working method. A good technique is more important than anything.

Related to my previous comment, in your file, you have the Reference Plane not locked. Working this way with this kind of geometry could be one of the issues because the numerical precision is also very low. You are working in mm with only 2 decimal places of precision. I always work with 6 decimal places, and if you are working in millimeters, I recommend using 4 at least.

I also agree with what Justin said. I don't see a problem solving these objects with polygonal geometry but, it certainly, makes more sense to solve them with Smooth geometry, which is also more restrictive and, therefore, forces you to a safer method.


image 1.jpeg

image 2.jpeg

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First I use facetted because I need to control polygon, how many faces, the way they interact with each other and the smoothing of course.

So for me working in smoothing it's a major aspect, where if you freeze the mesh because soon or later you will need to export in whatever software,
as for rendering or working with substance,  marmoset, share with colleagues etc.

The result is dramatic, imagine working on a mesh that you can't even use as low poly.

But seriously as an example, make an extruded Polygon of 60 Segments and use the doctor and let me know how the doctor will destroy your cylinder without any reason.
And you are obliged to use the doctor after a while with vertex left by boolean soon or later you will face a broken solid, so go and check where is the hole rebuild the face and fix with stitch I know that.
I know that I need to work with 2-3 decimals not only with the problem of this message that you need to click 1000th times and have more precision.
I know to use extend tool that was working in v6 also in wireframe and some time (often) it crashes, but now in v9 is a nightmare with this pre pick logic.

This is my point here IMHO is very unproductive, If this is a normal behave of the software, well, I don't share the same value.

If there was some mistake? yes and I can tell you, mostly because of the doctor that ruin the shape, but that's not the point, as in version 6 and even before there was no such nightmare in working in FormZ, you could face some nonplanar face or leave some vertex after boolean, but the doctor never destroys your work apart fix your error.
In any case, if you fill to teach the right method show me a video working in Formz just curious.

@Hugo so when you model you go directly on 3d you don't start by measuring shape what's so ever, you are already in VR concept well I am not sorry I need so badly 2d that you can imagine.

In any case, I start to work in Formz before 2000 and use it in so many projects maybe I getting older so a loose logic but I am still perfectly fine in modelling.
To demonstrate here some examples even in video games I use to model in Formz









Edited by Simbio3D
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From the looks of it, you're approaching modeling this thing in 2D first. Hence your difficulties. Instead of creating perfect 2D elevations, and then trying to extrude, you should try using guides to locate the edges of your geometry and center of your circles. Then sculpt this thing in 3D from the start using smooth geometry. I read you mention you want control of your circles resolutions, etc., But you can achieve that with smooth objects and get accurate results much easier.

It seems you didn't like people questioning your modelling skills. But if you want help, you should accept criticism. It seems you're using formZ as it was 15 years ago; I know because I have used it for over 20 years.

Also, can you post a picture of your what you're trying to accomplish. It's hard to follow the 2D shapes overlapping each other. 

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I agree with the others.  You clearly have very nice modeling skills, but with the modern SMOOTH geometry, you will have an even easier time, and you can really stop worrying about and thinking about faceting segments.  

If at the end of your smooth modeling, you can easily use the Convert Object tool to make it Faceted if you need to for some reason.

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So, are we to conclude that drawing with faceting is no longer a viable workflow? Because there is the better, 'modern' option? Smooth geometry.

Or, should we conclude that something is 'broken' that prohibits users drawing simple extruded polygons?

Seems regardless of the method chosen... it should work! ... If it doesn't, something is wrong with the app... Not the user.

All the best.

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Smooth modeling has its perks such that you can produce mathematically correct smooth geometry like cylinders, spheres, wires, NURBS, etc.  

BUT, for those saying "use smooth" have to understand in some industries--like the videogame industry--ALL modeling is polygonal and poly count is crucial for a successful project.  Modeling in smooth and then select all convert to facetted is not an ideal option because you often want different resolutions per object.  Objects in the foreground deserve more resolution than those in the back, so in order to keep from clicking and converting on every object in the scene, just skip the convert step and create in facetted.

Also, smooth modeling in formZ is not without its problems.  I personally prefer to work with smooth geometry (my models often go into solidworks, so keeping smooth edges helps give more accurate dimensions for engineering), and quite often smooth objects fail to be modified by moving points.  Example:  If I have to resize a bracket/wire /1" metal tube, I switch to wireframe view, set topological level to points, select the points on the edge, and MOVE the points. This fails about 20% of the time where FormZ just rubberbands the points and corrupts the geometry.  then I have to switch to orthographic view, draw a line, split, move, and union.  It's incredibly annoying.  Modeling in facetted would not have this issue.

Lastly, I'm on 8.6.5 on Windows 10 and I didn't have an issue with the object doctor destroying a 60 sided extruded polygon?

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In my opinion, the responses to those questions are more related to the user methods than anything else.

As a modeler, in terms of its capabilities working with polygons, both V6 and V9 are probably very similar, but if you work with smooth objects or surfaces V9 is far superior.

Using polygonal or smooth/surface modeling tools requires having a clear understanding of both techniques to develop a fluid and safe method with good results. In the end, we are talking just about tools.

In my experience, formZ is by far a better app today at V9 than V6 for many reasons, and probably a new user will be able to learn it in less time.

Edited by ZTEK
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The best way to use the object-doctor (particularly on polygonal geometry) is to only check 1 or 2 options at a time and initially to highlight the problems for you to see what they are, before running the tool again to fix them or if you prefer to correct the issues manually. There are no magic buttons to fix crappy modelling in any software. For what it is, the Object doctor does a pretty good job. Look at what it is doing before getting upset with it. With excellent snapping tools and the ability to lock and edit the workplace quickly, it is not that hard to model cleanly and in particular, keep mesh surfaces planar in formZ.

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Brian, how does the user break a simple extruded facetted object?

At least this response is now addressing the users question, instead of some tangent about smooth object modelling being better.

I read this thread with interest... As I was considering an update, so looking at user issues with v9.

Unfortunately, though the user stated his preference for facetted modelling (and gave his reasons) he was met with a chorus of 'change your methods' ..Not a confirmation, nor denial of whether the tool is working correctly, or broken ... But, a pushing of an unsuitable modelling method for the user... (who judging by his work is a seller on Turbosquid, wishing for tight control on his modelling polygon count) ...But that said... All that has been confirmed. Smooth modelling good. ...Facetted, more difficult and less reliable for well formed geometry? (Really??)

Not that hard to model cleanly? ... Why make this comment? or this 'fix crappy modelling'? ...

Just an observation... as it was not my problem.

All the best.


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"Not that hard to model cleanly? ... Why make this comment? or this 'fix crappy modelling'? ..."

FormZ is a great modeller and I stand by that it is not that hard to model cleanly when using it. 


'sigh....' we all do 'crappy modelling' and 80% of the time it does not matter. When it does matter it is important to slow down and look at what went wrong and pay attention to details.

Pressing the magic Object-doctor button with all the options checked and blaming the software for being rubbish is a surprising response from someone with '20 years of experience (????)' using FormZ.

Generally, I use FormZ and work with smooth objects when I need to produce drawings or models with manufacturing in mind. I also use formZ as a polygon modeller when massing out iterative design concepts - because it is faster than anything else for this. When modelling for render or to take into Marmoset TB or Substance etc I use Modo as it is more suitable for this type of work. 

Frequently going back and forth between the two, I rarely have issues with smooth objects translating well, so the OP's strict adherence to Polygons is a little hard to understand.

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LOL ... Everything good and to the point, until ... '20 years of experience (????)'

It seems people on here have an arrogance...when responding to what should be a simple question from a user (if questioning the users own statement of years of experience isn't arrogance. What is?)

BTW ...20 years isn't so long ...I first started using formZ around 1992....It was the preferred app of choice at my University...(mainly due to it being mac and pc)

The first personal copy I bought was v2.4, (think that was around '96?) I've used it on and off ever since along with max, revit, Archicad ..et al... I visit the forum from time to time for useful snippets, or if I'm looking to update again. But this visit has been somewhat disappointing.

The 'experts' are not helping...but criticising and accusing in their responses. Mostly the responses have been wandering off point from the users query. The question was not about smooth modelling, nor a comparison between smooth and faceted. It was clearly about 'recent' difficulties experienced by the user...Explained well by a user, whose first language does not appear to be English.

Yet, the expert users, claiming to 'help' ...reacted like a bunch of fanboys... pushing smooth modelling, totally ignoring his difficulties, but questioning why he would want a strict adherence to Polygons?.. Apparently, that's difficult to understand?

Now, the responses are confirmations and support for each other about smooth modelling.. with not so subtle slights against the user.

Great forum ... Great help?

I'll now withdraw from this thread, as it's not what I expected from a user 'help' forum. Never thought I'd see this here.



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I'm not questioning the OP's experience, but for sure, there is more to this than the Object-doctor not working.

I'm not a FormZ expert, but I too picked up formZ at University perhaps the same time as you in 1992. 

I have been frustrated and ranted about some form Z's less than trivial issues on numerous occasions (components and UI are good examples). But, unfortunately, it does not solve the problem.

The comments to use smooth modelling are all correct and helpful. It is usually easier to re-tesselate a smooth object or build over the ugly mesh in a retopo tool like Topogun or 3D Coat. Polygons are generally a bad choice for boolean workflows in any 3D software. It is not arrogant to suggest slowing down and looking at other options, even other software, usually does solve the problem or at least solves enough to muddle through. It is not arrogant to find it odd that a seasoned user is stuck using the Object-doctor rather than more appropriate tool choices.

Finally Martin, you have not offered anything to the discussion other than criticism of those trying to help the original poster.

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Thank you Brian,

If you feel my criticism is wrong? Maybe you'd care to ask the op how he feels about the thread? ..Did he get his questions answered? 

Having re-read the thread... One comment stands out as being reasoned; understanding the users preference, 

''for those saying "use smooth" have to understand in some industries--like the videogame industry--ALL modelling is polygonal and poly count is crucial for a successful project.''

Unfortunately, they, like me, are still using 8.6.5 so have not experienced object doctor destroying a 60 sided extruded polygon.

Is there a problem with object doctor and simple facetted objects in v9? ...Don't know, because it's not been addressed....It seems there may be?

I wondered when someone may say what have 'you' offered other than criticism? ... My comments are an observation of the tone of the thread,  .. I made that plain, re-read it.

Maybe, 'people' should consider their responses...before assuming their way is right... questioning legitimate process's and tools, used by a 'seasoned' user. Trying to help the original poster... By criticising their legitimate method and them? Then pushing smooth modelling... When they have clearly stated 'their' preference and why....

Oh well ...obviously I'm wrong to have pointed out there is still no resolution to the op question... ITS NOTHING TO DO WITH SMOOTH MODELLING ;) 

Smooth modelling is great, yes ...but so is polygon modelling. (Wait till you need it again) ...

Does object doctor work in v9?... or does the op have a case? 

Finally, adieu ...

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