Phi3D Updates

Version: 0.38.0

Summary:

A new, simple interface for dimensioning your design.

This short video introduces the new dimensioning interface, and then discusses other tools for dimensioning and precision:

New functionalities:

  • A new, simple interface for dimensioning your design: Select an edge or a pair of vertices, and use them to give dimensions to a body or parts of it. Supports proportional or non-proportional rescaling

User experience improvements:

  • Check before clearing symmetries: A confirmation dialog makes sure you don't accidentally lose your symmetry sets.
  • Shift-click on edges also uses smoothness information: When forming edge chains using shift-click, we now take into account smoothness information, and not only topology, to build better chains.

Bug fixes:

  • Symmetry bug: We fixed a bug that was causing face shapes not to update correctly while dragging symmetric edges.

Version: 0.37.1

Summary:

New functionality to make a face and an edge meet tangently on a T-junction. Improvements to handling addition of vertices and crosshairs.

This 2-minute video gives a quick overview of most of the recent changes:

New functionalities:

  • Smoothness between faces and edges: Select a face and an edge, and make them meet tangently to give smoothness to their junction.

User experience improvements:

  • Better handling addition of vertices and crosshair: A faster and more precise user experience.

Version: 0.36.0

Summary:

New functionality for adding vertices at same level as existing vertices, or at fractions of the edge length in pairs, including on many edges together (see animation below). New implementation of crosshair. New shortcuts, and other improvements.

New functionalities:

  • Easier addition of vertices: Repeatedly hit shift while hovering over edge to display regular subdivision intervals. Hit V near any of them to add pair of vertices at symmetric intervals. If many edges are selected, vertices will be added on all. Also select existing vertex and then hover over edge with shift pressed to get indication of point at same X, Y or Z value. Hit V to add vertex at that point.
  • New crosshair implementation: Crosshairs are now added on regular intervals of edge length.
  • Improved smoothening behaviour: A more efficient implementation of smoothening of entire edge chains.

User experience improvements:

  • Labels in settings menu: Labels added for easier viewing of settings menu items.

Hot-key changes:

  • Q, W, R to view elements: Hit Q, W, R to show or hide vertices, edges and faces respectively.
  • T for edge smoothness: Hit T to make selected edge chains smooth or smoother.

Version: 0.35.0

Summary:

Significant new improvements including: New smoothness for edges and faces; Model consistency checks and guards; Separation of inner and outer space; Multi-face bridges; and new intuitive object dragging.

This short video gives a quick overview of most of the changes:

Major improvements:

  • New smoothness for edges and faces: Direct, simple and intuitive control of smoothness for edges and faces, giving better results through simplified tools.
  • More natural dragging behaviour: Dragging objects now gives more expected deformations, preserves flatness where possible, and avoids movements in and out of the screen
  • Separation of inner and outer space: The inside surfaces of all objects are rendered in a different color (red) to give a more obvious separation of the inside and outside space. Helps identify consistency issues and better understand freeform geometric constructions.

New Functionalities:

  • Multi-face bridging: Bridge between sets consisting of different numbers of faces.
  • Guards in model consistency checks: Set guards to interrup dragging when model consistency checks fail.

Version: 0.34.1

Summary:

Two functionalities are added: Consistency checks, and snapping to body. The system also disconnects after inactivity. Also various improvements and bug fixes.

New Functionalities:

  • Model consistency checks: You can now run consistency checks on your model to indentify problems such as edges that are excessively twisted or have high curvature, or extremely short. You can either run them on demand, or automatically after every operation
  • Snapping bodies: You can now make a body snap onto another body by selecting vertices, edges or faces that you want to match
  • Automatically disconnect after inactivity: The application will now disconnect after a long period of inactivity

Version: 0.34.0

Summary:

Use the new curvature combs to inspect edges while you manipulate them.

New Functionalities:

  • Curvature combs: You can now display curvature combs on one or more edges, and see them interactively change as you change the edge shape.

Version: 0.33.0

Summary:

You can now merge bodies by sharing an edge . A couple of hotkeys were also changed to allow compatibility with other packages. Finally some visual improvements with 0-thickness surfaces.

New Functionalities:

  • Merge Bodies on Edge: Allows merging two bodies by selecting two edges, one on each, and joining them on those edges.

Hot-key Changes:

  • F: Fit all body into view (shortcut to View All button).
  • X: Fix or unfix items (was previously F).

Other Improvements:

  • 0-thickness surfaces: Better visualization, avoiding Z-fighting artifacts.

Version: 0.32.1

Summary:

Stepwise rotation with arrow keys. Panning follows mouse movement. Improved menu design.

New Functionalities:

  • Rotate in place with arrow keys: Allows merging two bodies by selecting two edges, one on each, and joining them on those edges.

Icon and menu changes:

  • Menu appearance: Any button containing menus appear with a line underneath them. If any items in the menus are active, the lines light up in bright yellow.
  • Mirror command: Changed the icon.

Other Improvements

  • Panning speed 1-1 with mouse movements: Regardless of zoom level, when panning the model movement follows exactly the mouse movement.
  • Color picker: Improved interface for picking face colors.

Version: 0.32.0

Summary:

A major upgrade as a result of the feedback received from the first batch of beta users. Thank you!

New functionalities, changes to the user interface, many improvements and bug fixes all over.

This short video gives a quick overview of most of the changes:

New Functionalities:

  • Sending Phi models as closed bodies to Onshape: Onshape has some specific strict requirements for the format to translate Phi models into Onshape Part Studios. Sometimes these were not met, so we changed the format to comply with Onshape and Phi models are now consistently translated into closed bodies, as they should.The left/right and up/down arrow keys now rotate stepwise around 'center of mass'.
  • Units and model scale: When starting, importing, exporting models, units and scale are now handled more consistently.
  • Enabling/disabling tooltips: We added a control in the Preferences menu for enabling/disabling tooltips, as they were sometimes getting in the way of users who didn’t feel they needed them.
  • Faces made invisible, not deleted: This is a point that caused confusion, as faces are not actually deleted, they are made invisible (and can be made visible again). A separate button was added for this. Instead of deleting faces one must dissolve faces into one.
  • Symmetry and mirror planes on any face: We added a version of the pop-out that removes all other faces except the ones being popped-out, to simulate a thickening from a 0-thickness surface.
  • Pop-out / thicken command: This is a point that caused confusion, as faces are not actually deleted, they are made invisible (and can be made visible again). A separate button was added for this. Instead of deleting faces one must dissolve faces into one.
  • More features for coordinates: We added more functionalities for displaying and directly setting the coordinates of vertices and moving objects.
  • Setting decimal places to display: Can set the number of decimal places to display for any number or coordinate value.
  • Option to break tangencies when fairing edges: In the window where you set the fairing strength you can also declare that any tangencies at the ends of the chain of edges being faired should be broken, to obtain different results.
  • Scale factor when loading default model: We added a small interface for declaring the scale/dimensions of the default models being loaded.

Icon, menu and user interface changes:

  • Tutorial contents and hotkeys in sidebar: Contents of each tutorial video added in separate tab for easier search. An additional tab shows all the hotkeys (shortcuts) in the sidebar, next to the tutorial videos.
  • New hotkeys for temporarily hiding vertices edges: Hitting Q or W will hide or show the vertices or edges, to help object selection when there are too many.
  • Hotkeys in Floating toolbar: Hotkeys now appear within floating toolbar.

Other Improvements

  • High CPU usage due to video codec: We had reports of very high CPU usage in some browser/OS combinations. Turned out this was due to the short animations in our Phi tooltips that were encoded in a way that some browsers had trouble rendering. We re-encoded them and the problem was solved.
  • Symmetry bug fix: Fixed a bug that sometimes came up when declaring symmetries.
  • Better grid behaviour: We made the grid become gray when not viewing it down the X, Y or Z direction, to indicate that it’s not active, i.e. you cannot use it for snapping.
  • Lighting improvements: Our initial placement of lights around the model was found to be sometimes confusing, so we replaced that with a simpler setup that follows the camera’s viewpoint.
  • Change in 'Delete Vertex' behaviour: Deleting a vertex with only two edges on it will delete the vertex. When there are more than two edges, it will also delete the edges.
  • Shift-click to unfix all selected elements: Shift-clicking on the “fix” icon will un-fix selected elements.
  • Improved coordinate axis appearance: The coordinate axes/planes now have constant dimensions on the screen, regardless of zoom level.
  • Change in 'Draw Linear Edge' and 'Linear Carve' behaviour: You now need to hit “Shift-E” or “Shift-C” to start a linear edge or a linear carve, but you no longer need to keep the shift key pressed during the mouse move where you trace the cut.
  • Part Studio reference models will automatically import: When you reload a .phi file, it will automatically read in any Part Studios you had imported.