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lightbulbjim  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, September 22, 2020 5:06:20 PM(UTC)
lightbulbjim

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Well, Autodesk is making their intentions clear when it comes to hobbyists. Not that it's unexpected.



Here are my initial thoughts as I make friends with SharkCAD v12 (from a Fusion perspective).

It's a native app with local files. Hooray! I find most Electron apps really annoying (including Fusion). I much prefer local files. I like having a menu bar.

The framerate when panning/rotating is a bit low. Feels like about 30Hz? It's especially noticeable when using my SpaceMouse. 60Hz would be much more usable.

Generally I start every feature with a constrained sketch. This feels logical to me because it's also how I work in meatspace. If I was to do a quick whiteboard sketch of something to remember critical dimensions/shapes, then chances are that would translate pretty well to a CAD sketch which I could then use for building solids. This works well in Fusion because each component has a list of sketches in the tree which you can show/hide/edit at will.

However, in SharkCAD the distinction between a sketch and model is a bit more blurry. Maybe I need to adopt more of a direct modelling approach?

Related to this, I find it a bit disconcerting that the concept explorer only shows entities which you happen to have selected. I'm used to seeing a permanent tree of every entity in the model. Often I use that tree to locate/select objects.

I suppose that when I have a permanent history/object tree like in Fusion I think of model creation as capturing all of the properties of a particular object. The tree represents how the object is structured, and the 3D view of the object is an output.

I find myself turning this thinking inside out with SharkCAD. It's a giant 3D piece of paper which I can draw objects in. A bit more WYSIWYG I suppose. If I want to locate an entity I go hunting through 3D space for it.

I need to retrain my brain. I tend to ramble. There will be more.
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jlm on 9/23/2020(UTC)
MPSchmied  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, September 23, 2020 3:05:16 AM(UTC)
MPSchmied

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I create for every part a layer and i need a search function in the concept explorer to find items faster. I agree with all what you say about the History Tree.

Shark is small, start fast and have a very good toolbar. Maybe we get a surprise when the Beta Version of v13 released?

SharkCAD Pro is to expensive. Make it half price or remove all bugs. And without Bugs maybe it can have double price. But it need then a search function and parametric 3D modeling

Edited by user Wednesday, September 23, 2020 3:08:26 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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GuernseyMan  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, September 23, 2020 1:07:47 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: lightbulbjim Go to Quoted Post

Related to this, I find it a bit disconcerting that the concept explorer only shows entities which you happen to have selected. I'm used to seeing a permanent tree of every entity in the model. Often I use that tree to locate/select objects.


I've only been using ViaCAD (can only dream of SharkCAD) for a couple of weeks. I have discovered, however, that if you right click in the concept explorer it has options for what you want to show. I believe "Selected Only" is on by default. Make sure that's switched off and it should work as you want. (Assuming that SharkCAD has that feature of course.

I didn't notice it in any of the documentation but it probably is there.
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MPSchmied on 9/24/2020(UTC)
lightbulbjim  
#4 Posted : Friday, September 25, 2020 1:50:31 AM(UTC)
lightbulbjim

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Originally Posted by: MPSchmied Go to Quoted Post
I create for every part a layer


Yeah, I've already found myself doing that. Separate layers for sketches too.

Originally Posted by: GuernseyMan Go to Quoted Post
if you right click in the concept explorer it has options for what you want to show


Good tip!
lightbulbjim  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, October 07, 2020 6:48:51 PM(UTC)
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Some further random thoughts after more tinkering.

Performance

The slow framerate seems to be related to window size. If I use the default screen resolution (I'm using a Mac) then everything is buttery smooth. If I set a scaled resolution (which I usually do) then the framerate is low. It feels like about 30 FPS. I can also get a high framerate when using a scaled resolution by reducing the window size (not generally desirable).

As mentioned previously the low framerate makes using a 3D mouse a bit awkward. I'm sure there's room for improvement as a few other CAD programs I've tried (Fusion 360, FreeCAD, Rhino) don't have this problem, even with my integrated Intel graphics.

Visuals

Related (perhaps), the rendering can get a bit ugly at occlusion boundaries. Not sure if there's an easy way to fix this, but again, other CAD software does a better job. Here is the same model in both SharkCAD and FreeCAD, for example:

UserPostedImage UserPostedImage

Window Layout

The separate prompt window is a bit annoying when changing monitor sizes. I frequently dock/undock my laptop, and that top window (that's not really a window) doesn't resize/relocate to fit the new monitor. If a single window mode was available I would use it.

Workflow

I'm gradually making peace with the separate feature tree and layer system. It does allow a bit more flexibility but requires a bit more management overhead. I should play with groups as well.

In Fusion I generally created every feature from a fully constrained sketch. In Shark I'm finding myself minimising my workflow. In particular I'm only using constraints where they're actually necessary. I even find myself using CSG from time to time. I'm sure the novelty will wear off once I paint myself into a corner a few times...

I know a lot of this is negative but I am enjoying my time with SharkCAD so far. The flexibility is nice and I already feel more productive than when I started.
lightbulbjim  
#6 Posted : Friday, October 09, 2020 3:16:13 AM(UTC)
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Got myself into a bit of a tangle with workplanes and sketches today.

I was modelling a stair handrail. The parts in red are all driven from a single sketch in the X-Y plane. When I had the sketch about 90% complete I realised that I didn't create it offset into Z. I isolated the sketch layer and moved it along Z a bit with the gripper, but then I kept getting a "curves not planar" error whenever I would try and add further constraints.

I tried moving the workplane to the sketch objects (using the three point option) but it didn't seem to make a difference.

In the end it accepted my constraints but I'm not actually sure what I did to fix it. I did a lot of moving, deleting and redrawing.

Anyway, all good now. This didn't really need to be 3D at all - a ten minute 2D drawing would have done the trick. But it's practice.

UserPostedImage
lightbulbjim  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, October 21, 2020 1:56:43 AM(UTC)
lightbulbjim

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Hmm, well, I borrowed an eGPU to see if it would improve the framerate (specifically moving the view with my SpaceMouse) but it seems to have made zero difference. I would estimate that the framerate is about 10 FPS, and monitoring the GPU shows nearly no utilisation. Is it even using hardware acceleration?

I have a MacBook Pro 13" 2020 with Intel Iris Plus built-in graphics. The eGPU is a Radeon RX 580. I know it's a gaming card but I expected some improvement over the onboard graphics. I am running a 4K monitor and a "more space" scaled option, so the GPU has to work a bit. Again, though, I would reiterate that both Fusion 360 and FreeCAD are perfectly smooth with the same models (even on Intel graphics!) whereas Shark is a slideshow.

Any ideas?
lightbulbjim  
#8 Posted : Thursday, October 22, 2020 3:30:43 AM(UTC)
lightbulbjim

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A workaround to the low framerate is to tell macOS to run Shark in low resolution mode. Not ideal, as the text is fuzzy, but at least my SpaceMouse is usable. You win some, you lose some.
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