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# Steering Wheel enhancements

Genius
I've put in a request for enhancements to the Steering Wheel. Below is what I've written if it's of interest to others.

I think the Steering Wheel is an underutilised tool in Solid Edge and can be significantly enhanced by adding three abilities. They are:
1. Having the Steering Wheel snap when parallel to the base planes during a rotate event. This would happen both in part and assembly environments. It currently cannot do this by itself.
2. Having the Steering Wheel snap when it is aligned to a base plane (not an axis) during a move event. This would be for a face in part, or a part in assembly. Currently we can do this, but only by holding our mouse over the base origin. Sometimes that is not practical because the base origin is difficult to see due to part or assembly complexity.
3. Having the option of making the Steering Wheel snaps in assembly persistent. Currently we can move parts around in assembly using the Steering Wheel, and we can snap faces to other faces, and holes to faces etc. Effectively we are setting up Mates, Planar Aligns, and Axial aligns. These are not persistent though. But they could be, and this would be a more intuitive way of relating parts to each other than the traditional method we use now.

In video1 https://youtu.be/OKicxpBqRuQ I show that the Steering Wheel has no ability by itself to rotate a face until it is either vertical or horizontal, or to put it another way, so that the face is parallel to a base plane. You can rotate a face with the steering wheel until it is parallel to a base plane only if you either know the starting angle, or, there is some other geometry to snap to.

These two methods are not always available though. If we start off with an unknown angle, or an irrational angle, then we cannot use that to rotate back to parallel. If there is no other geometry around, then there is nothing to snap to. In these conditions the Steering Wheel is unable to get us back to being parallel.

There is one other way using the steering wheel by snapping to the rotation centre point, and I show this in video2 https://youtu.be/YUpxcxVU9qc . As you can see though, this behaviour is difficult to control, and it seems like it is not always capable of giving the desired behaviour. Perhaps I am missing some key understanding of it, but even so, using it is far more difficult than the snap I'm proposing.

In video3 https://youtu.be/-Js6W2ZZfcg I draw some sketch geometry to show how I see this snap working.

In video4 https://youtu.be/IksIyrbzBp0 I explain how a steering wheel snap could be extended during a face move, not a rotate. If a face is already parallel to a base plane, it would be valuable if it snapped during a move, when it was aligned with a base plane. It can already do this, but it requires you to snap your mouse to the base origin. In my video this is easy because the part is simple and you can see the base origin. In everyday work though, the part can be complex and the base origin might be way out of view. In that scenario you might have to first hide and show components, and then rotate and pan the view so you can see the base origin. This can be done, but even with a good computer there can be quite a lot of computation going on as a face is 'live' because it is following the mouse around computing as you go, as you manipulate the view to 'see' the base origin. If the face snapped to the origin by itself, then it would be so much simpler.

In video5 https://youtu.be/xQYIHhaSd7Q I show how the Steering Wheel cannot rotate a part in assembly until the Steering Wheel is parallel to a base plane. It shows how we cannot use an angle dimension to rotate a part in assembly, unlike a face in part. So this method is unavailable.

In video6 https://youtu.be/U86fbKAk1Gc I show how we can't snap to the rotation centre in assembly, like we can in part. So this method is unavailable.

In video7 https://youtu.be/SHm5dmMzBWs I explain how I see value in in having a part is being moved, that the Steering Wheel snaps when it is aligned with a base plane. That ability is possible now, but it requires you to use your mouse to snap to the origin. With a complex assembly this can be sometimes quite difficult, or virtually impossible to achieve though because there may be a very large number of parts that you have to 'look through' and it may require quite a bit of pre-planning to selectively hide and show components, and then to manipulate the view so that you can 'see' the base origin. It would be much simpler to use if is snapped by itself.

In video 8 https://youtu.be/Au1KNSiVCzs I show that if a part is rotated in two axes, you can rotate it back to being parallel to the base planes with just the steering wheel if the ability to snap when a face is parallel to a base plane.

In video 9 https://youtu.be/IIOhTtH21wo I show that you would not be able to get a part back to parallel if the part was rotated in three axes. However, I show how it would be possible if an edge would snap when it is parallel to a base plane (not a base axis).

In video10 https://youtu.be/W0j9K3cQVJw I explain that when we move a part in an assembly and snap it to another part, or a base plane for example, that there could be an option to make that move 'persistent'. This means that we could use the steering wheel to add relationships between parts in an assembly, rather than by the traditional method. Already right now we can axial align a hole in one part with a hole in another using the steering wheel. It is not persistent though. I think if we had that option to make it persistent, then the Steering Wheel could become incredibly powerful. It could be the go-to tool for making assemblies. There are some key advantages that this behaviour would have over the current method of adding assembly relationships. These are:
1. You are moving and controlling the part as you set up a new relationship. With the traditional method the part moves by itself after you select the relevant face to relate and sometimes flies off uncontrollably
2. It is a consistent way of manipulating things to how it is done in part, so your brain can rest a bit.
3. It is very intuitive, compared to the somewhat abstract traditional method. It would be much simpler for a new user to understand. An the easier it is to learn....do I need to explain further??
16 REPLIES 16

# Re: Steering Wheel enhancements

Honored Contributor

If there were hot keys to change the wheel to dohnut around each axis, this would help most of my issues.

It does this right now by hitting the circlular plane inside the dohnut. I want a hotkey for that three way switch.

Most of the time I need the wheel, There is no geometry to guides the wheel to the way I wanted it oriented. That geometery will be created as the next step, and this is why the wheel is needed at the time.

# Re: Steering Wheel enhancements

Genius
I'm not much of a hot key user but it can be tricky changing the tool plane with SHIFT + LMB at times so I can see that being helpful.

# Re: Steering Wheel enhancements

Honored Contributor

By holding shift, it does make it easier to select the dohnut plane, I want it switch without selecting anything with the curser. I could not get it to work that way.

# Re: Steering Wheel enhancements

Gears Phenom

@12GAGE wrote:

If there were hot keys to change the wheel to dohnut around each axis, this would help most of my issues.

It does this right now by hitting the circlular plane inside the dohnut. I want a hotkey for that three way switch.

Most of the time I need the wheel, There is no geometry to guides the wheel to the way I wanted it oriented. That geometery will be created as the next step, and this is why the wheel is needed at the time.

Yes I want an HotKey for that purpose too !

And In assembly I want to be able to activate parts in the middle of a copy\move action

# Re: Steering Wheel enhancements

Valued Contributor

I agree with the idea of 12gage.
Keyboard hotkeys are faster and more compact than mouse clicks.
By improving the small things users need rather than changing the big frame
You can improve your work efficiency.

# Re: Steering Wheel enhancements

Genius

I'm all for the small refinements that can make a big difference to the everyday user where something is done repetitively.

These things will never get a press release written about them, but they will make a user base happy and loyal.

In the scheme of things, many of these minor enhancements must be really really cheap to do.

# Re: Steering Wheel enhancements

Siemens Phenom

@12GAGE wrote:

If there were hot keys to change the wheel to dohnut around each axis, this would help most of my issues.

It does this right now by hitting the circlular plane inside the dohnut. I want a hotkey for that three way switch.

Most of the time I need the wheel, There is no geometry to guides the wheel to the way I wanted it oriented. That geometery will be created as the next step, and this is why the wheel is needed at the time.

While it's not exactly a hotkey solution, have you tried using the Shift or Ctrl key while locating over the balls at the ends of the axes? When one of these keys is pressed, mousing over one of these balls will also highlight an axis. If you then click the ball and move the mouse, the steering wheel will then be re-oriented by rotating around the highlighted axis. There's still a mouse-click involved, but it allows you to orient it in almost any way you want.

Greg

# Re: Steering Wheel enhancements

Gears Esteemed Contributor

Hi Edgers,

as already mentioned by several autors I would like to remind on a great pdf file which comes with the installation DVD image of Solid Edge.

Take a look into the Solid Edge folder of the insatll image.

There You will find a pdf called QRC.pdf

This shows the handling of the steering wheel on page 1 and the Live Rules on page 2

I have put this on my mouse pad (mouse pads to be correctly) to always have it "insight" ( little world play)

Maybe it helps to You too

regards
Wolfgang

# Re: Steering Wheel enhancements

Genius

Greg,

Yes, using CTRL or SHIFT when LMB on one of the Axis Knobs is a key functionality for rotating the Steering Wheel and mandatory to achieve some things.

I hadn't though too much about a hotkey for changing the tool plane orientation, like others have suggested, but thinking about it now, it would be a good enhancement. In piping (or frames?) using Z and X and C allows you to quickly change orientation to an axis or a plane, so something similar for the steering wheel would be good.

Unsurprisingly, I also think that the Steering Wheel should be able to snap when parallel to a base plane.

The Steering Wheel is pretty amazing, but still has some weak points.