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New Tool Option - Moving/Rotating/Hinging Objects Affects Other Objects


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It's hard to describe but I'll try my best... I was watching one of our engineers working in SolidWorks and they have what's called a "mates"(?) tool. Where they can determine a hinging point and when he moves or rotates that object it moves as if it's hinged like a door. He's able to have multiple objects mated/linked to work together so that when one door is opened it also rotated some gears which opened another door. I hope this makes sense! I'm currently working on the same job and would love to show our client how these objects all work together but I'm unable to do so, that's why I asked him to do it in his program. A tool like this would be great for simple mechanics of hinges or gears. He mentioned that they're also able to add constrictions in their program like how far the objects can move before it stops via how many degrees or until it hits another object. I'm sure there's a way to do an animation showing this stuff but I'd love to be able to walk our client thru this live while on a video call. Besides, animation in formZ still confuses me and my colleagues and definitely needs some new up to date "how to" videos.

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Sounds like a good request.  I believe this is called 'rigging' in other applications, often used for character animation.  

I wish FormZ animation was improved as well, but at this point, there's so many other things to take care of that it's likely not on the radar.  For now, can you do what you'd like in SolidWorks?

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You are referring to a constraint system, which is common in mechanical CAD applications. I'm not a programmer, but this would be a big challenging project, with no other obstacles to making it possible than time and resources, but reachable. Why not? IMHO

For now, in the meantime, I would be delighted to be able to save in the scenes the positional and rotational information of the objects with respect to a predefined work plane. All the necessary tools to make it happens are there and available.

Such a system would work well for simple and typical uses, such as moving and rotating objects, opening doors, moving things forward and backward, up and down, etc. You can do the same with the animation module, but in a more complex and time-consuming way if you are trying to explore and define options and cases, not just for presentation purposes, which is necessary too.

With such a system none constraint-based, it would be a manual method, less reliable but effective, that would require a lot of organization and attention in the management of objects and scenes. So, in addition, I would propose to develop a Scene Manager-like tool, to manage everything necessary, accessing a specialized window of the project with all its scenes, objects, groups, and layers, linked in some way to the Inspector palette.

In my work, I use scenes a lot, which in my experience, always requires being careful and very organized. To make it possible, in addition to layers, I heavily use the objects and groups palette to name, organize, and add logic to my projects, so I can understand and go back if necessary or take a detour and explore further.

If we add movement (rotating, moving, etc.), which also implies the concept of time (before and after), the current framework will be overloaded, and that's why a Scene Manager-like tool is necessary.

Related to this, I would like to add that the Rename Objects tool is excellent. The only important thing missing would be to regain the ability to enumerate (add Serial Number) in order of selection.

Edited by ZTEK
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