Sketching Pet Peeves

Phenom
Phenom

I spend the majority of my time with SE in the ordered sketch environment. I am constantly doing minor edits to hundreds of files a day. As such, I am quick to notice the small things like slow actions and incorrect field highlights that can really add up to lost time over dozens/hundreds/thousands of uses in my day. Here are my biggest gripes-

 

  • When creating fillets, click-and-drag behavior through lines will keep your input for fillet size, but under certain circumstances which I don't understand, click-and-drag through a line and an arc, or two arcs, will ignore your specified input and base the fillet size on the extremes of where you touched the arc profile with the drag motion, despite the presence of a user input in the radius field that should prevent this action. This is DANGEROUS if the fillet size difference is not extreme enough to be immediately visible.
  • Images placed in sketches ignore history tree order and display even if they are positioned AFTER the feature being edited in the history tree.
  • Sketch elements have a double-activate/double-highlight of sorts on selection with the mouse before an action can be performed. When you click on an element, it immediately un-highlights, then re-highlights. This delay seems to have slowly become worse from ST4 to ST7, and it is now a long enough pause to force me to slow down my actions when, for example, flying around to select and delete single sketch elements.
  • When entering a sketch, SE squares the view to the sketch plane, then loads up the sketch interface and reloads the history tree, etc. It would be a much smoother interface if these actions could be performed simultaneously, so that by the time the squaring of the view was complete, the sketch environment loadin was complete. This would remove some of the penalty of constantly jumping in and out of sketches, or of accidentally editing the wrong sketch and wanting to immediately return. Again, these little delays and hangs all add up for a user that's quick with the mouse.
  • When using the circle command more than once in a row- A user enters a diameter, presses enter, places circle. The field of focus is now the Radius, which is completely counterintuitive when 99.9999% of the time, the next action will be to place another circle of a different diameter! Only the Tab key should change the entry field here.
  • When using the Move or Stretch commands more than once in a row- A user enters the X and Y offset, pressing enter to accept each entry, and then moves the first element. Upon selection of the second element, the field with focus is now the Step field. This should really be reset back to the X field upon click for completion of the first move, so that the user isn't forced to immediately Tab over to start editing more elements. I should note that field focus for items like these has gotten a LOT better, starting with ST6 and a drive to fix some of the most glaring inconsistencies that have been sitting in the sketching environment for years. I have to thank @GanK for addressing some of these issues directly with users, too!
  • When zoomed in and placing things like tangent arcs close to or on top of other arcs or in areas where there is a lot of geometry, Intellisketch is my enemy. The 'filter' size and intelligence for grabbing keypoints, horizontals, etc... is awful and constantly holds my arc end on keypoints that are a quarter screen away from where I'm waving my cursor around. For the small stuff, or small arc segments with large radii, intellisketch just tries to snap to EVERYTHING, no matter how ridiculously far away it is.
  • When placing arcs, tangent arcs, curves, etc... with a tangency point somewhere along another element, SE will display the tangency/point-on-element relationship when you mouse over the other element, but will never create it if you click! Instead, you must go back and use the relate commands afterward to complete your intended action.
  • When placing a tangent arc with a starting point on the end of a spline, SE will NOT create the tangency relationship, and will not start 'drawing' the tangent arc until a second point is placed, essentially turning the command into a 3 point arc command. You can then immediately go back and highlight the spline, and it will show a tangency relationship, and you can click to create the arc and it places the relationship...so why does SE force you to click a second point and behave like a totally different command before it recognizes that, yes, you clicked the tangent arc command because you wanted a TANGENT ARC off of the end of an element?
  • When using a command like Construction to change line type, a fast user will constantly get 'bad' clicks which do not actually toggle a line that was highlighted and clicked on immediately. It seems there is a very small window between when the line highlights and when it is 'active' for user actions, and a click in this window means the user action does not 'take'. This window for bad clicks despite seeing a highlight is incredibly narrow, but I CONSTANTLY seem to land in it when zipping around the screen for one-click commands on single elements, like Trim and Construction.
  • This is not specifically related to the sketch environment, but when choosing a new view style from the bottom right popup menu on the Status Bar, there is another possibility for clicks that don't take. When mousing over view styles, SE switches the view styles in the graphics window as a 'preview'. The issue is, if you click on a view style before SE has finished loading the preview, the popup menu will close without SE applying the view style! You then have to reopen the menu, hold your cursor over your desired view style, and wait for the preview to appear....THEN click, to get the software to accept your view style change. This is more noticeable the larger the assembly gets, as SE takes more and more time to update the graphics window with the new moused-over view style.
-Dylan Gondyke
10 REPLIES

Re: Sketching Pet Peeves

Phenom
Phenom

Dylan, great post.

 

"When using a command like Construction to change line type, a fast user will constantly get 'bad' clicks which do not actually toggle a line that was highlighted and clicked on immediately."

 

But this "Construction Line" non-sense should be replaced with a "Hot Key" and/or "Radio Button" on the Toolbar when insert any geometry.  We all know when we want to make a Construction Line or Arc.... so why does Solid Edge force you to first place the entity, then go and toggle it to a Construction Line. We should be able to hold down the ALT Key and place geometry and have it show up as construction lines. Or better yet ADD a radio Button so all of your line work is placed as Construction geometry.

 

And while they're at it, can we at least control the COLOR of CL's? Many times CL's overlap other geometry, and it's very hard to differentiate from normal lines... meaning you can't see the dashes!

 

And I also wish you could place a "FILL" inside an area without having to ZOOM to fit it in the screen. Right now if you try and use the FILL command, and the area isn't fully shown on your screen, you get an error message.... seems silly!

 

Bob

Re: Sketching Pet Peeves

Phenom
Phenom

I agree with everything there, Bob. Adding a construction line command as an on/off toggle button in the style of something like Snap To Grid would be very neat!

 

The Fill command in particular, with bugs related to graphics window sizing, seems like a command out of a 90's CAD package that has no place sitting in a machine running 2014 software. The fact that we can't carry a fill display outside of a sketch is another oddity that drags this command down.

 

By the way...make a bunch of construction lines in a revolved protrusion sketch, and then try to figure out which line was your rotation axis!

-Dylan Gondyke

Re: Sketching Pet Peeves

Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

Great post.

 

I will add to that list.

 

When adding relations to sketchwork I often need to restart the command to create the next instance. Typically it's the connect command, but many of them have to be restarted to behave in a predictable way. The same is true for adding dimensions. To add a second angular dimension, it's only predictable if you restart the command.

 

ON/OFF the screen editing

In general, I hate that windows forces CAD in general to only edit objects on screen. At least I believe its windows creating this restriction in workflow. The reason I think this is back in old DOS AutoCAD, you could edit things off the screen (allowing you to be zoomed in at the end of selection process). Once AutoCAD moved to windows you could not longer edit things off the screen. When I asked about this, the responce was that this was a new restriction imposed by the graphic/OS system of windows.

 

I want the abaility to edit things off screen and be 20 keystrokes ahead of the software and then wait for the video to update to get the next graphic input into the system.

Re: Sketching Pet Peeves

Phenom
Phenom

12Gage, this is true, and most of these commands circle back to inconsistent field highlight when transitioning to a second action with the same command.

 

 

Here's another one. When creating an ellipse by center point, if you select a keypoint for the extent of the primary ellipse axis rather than keying in a dimension, it then displays the on-screen keyin fields, with the primary ellipse axis field still highlighted! This means if you select a keypoint for the primary axis extent, then punch in a number for secondary axis extent...it will overwrite your primary axis extent unless you remember to tab forward, which should not have to be done. Another instance where incorrect field focus hurts a command and costs a user time!

-Dylan Gondyke

Re: Sketching Pet Peeves

Phenom
Phenom

Another pet peeve- I find myself constantly wishing for an option to delete the original profile when creating an offset with the offset command. A common occurence is that I want to offset a complex profile by a few thousandths. After using Offset with Chain Selection, I am left to go back and zoom way in and clean up the original profile. Offset should have a similar option as Include, which allows you to create an offset directly from the selected include geometry while also deleting/never creating the original lines, so there is no post-command cleanup work needed.

-Dylan Gondyke

Re: Sketching Pet Peeves

Phenom
Phenom

When using commands like Move and Rotate and dragging a fence around elements- Moving the cursor out of the borders of the graphics screen and then releasing the mouse button results in  SE becoming unresponsive and the drag fence still staying active, with no way to complete the selection and the command having to be cancelled and restarted. 

 

I typically do 'over-drags' like this when I am moving fast to select sketch elements that span almost the entire graphics display. Because of this bug, I am forced to either zoom out so I can quick-drag without being worried about touching beyond the graphics display border, or slow down to be sure I carefully release the mouse button within the graphics window. 

-Dylan Gondyke

Re: Sketching Pet Peeves

Phenom
Phenom

When you select an element and press the Delete key on your keyboard, your cursor MUST be located in the graphics window proper for the delete action to actually be carried out. If your cursor is hovering over the Ribbon Bar, the Prompt Bar, the Pathfinder, the Command bar, etc... nothing happens! For users who are already moving the cursor towards their next intended action off the graphics screen after selecting an element and while they hit the delete key, this forces them to slow down or even move the cursor back in order to regain delete functionality.

-Dylan Gondyke

Re: Sketching Pet Peeves

Phenom
Phenom

When doing a task such as highlighting a chunk of geometry and toggling them to construction geometry, the radial menu cannot be used to start a command and still retain the select set. The software registers the right-click holddown that starts the radial menu as a cancellation of the active select set. The construction command must be chosen from the ribbon bar. This applies to other commands that you can normally start with a select set active to get a jump on the command- including Move, Rotate, Scale, Mirror, etc...

 

Not a huge timekiller, but the radial menu was made to cut down time to access common commands, and when over a half dozen common commands do not retain the same functionality when used on the radial menu......

 

 

-Dylan Gondyke

Re: Sketching Pet Peeves

Phenom
Phenom

Placing Points could use some improvement.

 

-Moving the mouse around the screen while in the command, or hovering over a previously placed point to 'snap' to it, does not show the current XY position anywhere on the screen. This means that if I'm placing a few dozen points off of a piece of notepad paper in front of me, and I forget if I've already placed a point or not, I have to get out of the point command, select the point in question to see its XY position, then get BACK into the point command to continue on. I really think that either the current XY position should override the XY coordinates on the command bar until the user enters a number, or there should be a separate current coordinates display, WITHOUT having to turn on the 'Show Readouts' checkbox in grid options, which applies this readout to every command and is usually immediately turned back off.

 

-When not moving the mouse and placing points with just the numpad, tab, and enter, I sometimes get points that have transposed values from a point or two previous. Knowing I have a problem with this, I have rigorously checked my field entries before placing a point and my conclusion is occasionally it does something funky with overriding my input value because of the horizontal/projection relationships that appear to other points on the screen when you're placing points without moving the mouse in between.  

-Dylan Gondyke