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In order to have surface finish machine readable the surface finish is needed as an attribute attached to the surface or as a surface attribute itself, e.g. like color.
Therefore a separate menu similar to the model appearance editor, but for surface finishes would be beneficial.
Currently there exist workarounds, like using colors instead of surface finish and use a mapping table. But this is no solution.
So to be prepared for the future of MBD this is a necessary step.
I also agree, there should be an option to select all the surfaces we want to assign to a certain surface finish, and show them color coded with the option to quickly switch the color code table.
In the molds industry, we do not use MBD, but we do have to specify surface finishes for all the machining surfaces, and the problem is that each tool factory costumer demands that we export the part files color coded according to their color table. So, it's complicated to pre-define library parts or assemblies, since we would have to manually change the color of the machine finishing surfaces every time we work for a different customer. Meaning, assigning surface finishes to surfaces should be indepedenent of the color attributes of surfaces for rendering, for instance, where we would prefer a realistic material, but we do need to quickly switch to surface finish color coded surfaces, based on customer pallete, where the assignment is not based on RGB attributes, but on the surface finish type, and allow us to quickly select the translation table (one for each costumer, since they have not standardized on the colors to use for each surface and we cannot impose them to use the same color). This means that the pallete table has to be a different one, and indepedent of the existing surface color pallete, we have to make a switch to activate one or the other. This surface finish color pallete should be selected on the top level assembly of a project, and when a surface finish pallete is selected, it should affect the colors of all the parts in the assembly without forcing the user to open each part one by one, and manually change the RGB values of each of the assigned surface finishes.
I just leave this comment to prevent reinventing of wheel.
Rule-based color coding with SMARTColor - B&W Software (en) - B&W Software (buw-soft.de)
Thank youMikkoHinkkaken, I didn't know that B&W had that software, but if it exists, is due to a lack of functionality in Creo. I don't know if PTC sill want to include in the core CAD package add-ons that one vendor had created, nor improve what they already made. For example, the Intelligent Fastner Extension from B&W got "bolted on" Creo, but only the basic non parametric stuff. The parametric and slightly more advanced funcionality is only included with an additional license, even if what the add-on package does not do anything complicated or transcendent in regards to what other CAD packages do.
It's better for PTC to do native solutions based on customer feedback. I doub't that the SmartColor add-on has the possibility to quickly switch palettes, for instance.
To develop a tool a industry standard would be in order. Otherwise "each tool factory costumer demands that we export the part files color coded according to their color table". Without standard one will have N diffrent tables, one for each, whitch kinda sucks. Especially, if you have standard components which are to be repainted for each customer.
The general purpose 3D CAD will allways have some industry spesific shortcomes. Some need for configuration, customization and 3rd party application development is allways needed.
There is a multiple Creo application developers. The multi-colorwheel application can be done on top of CAD or as Windchill custom worker. The ROI is there.
I would also prefer that there is an industry standard for color coding the surface finishes, and I hope that a standard body starts to work in that direction. But it could take years, to define the standard, more years for the CAD vendors to implement it, and more years for clients to accept the adoption of the standard, and it might not even not be a universal standard (ASME, DIN, ISO, etc). So, until that happens, it's better to design the software for making it easier and quick to shift from one client color code to another client code, even if we use standard library parts, without having to open each part and give a command to change each pallete color. Better to have a method to do it on a high level assembly, and all the parts in the assembly would reference that pallete color translation. We would only change the client per project, and specify wich color code table we would want to apply. When there is a standard color code, we could finally have only one palette do choose, so it could be a set and forget in te config.pro file.
While the title of this product idea said that surface finish needs to be machine readable, the content was more focused on how a specific color should be applied to all the surfaces that are annotated with a specific surface finish annotations.
So typically in order for annotations to be machine readable, semantic references should be added to the annotation. in this case it is the surface finish annotation type. Wouldn't having semantic references for surface finish annotations would be what you are looking for? After all, colors are not really intendant for machines, but rather for humans to interpret them.
Or maybe you are asking for both the semantic references (machine readable) capability for surface finish annotations AND the human readable aspect, which is to be able to propagate the semantic references from the surface finish annotation and be able to push this list to the color appearance of the respective model references?
Creo Product Manager
Just a comment. Most decent CNC programming software (except Creo's) can collect surfaces based on color and then use this collection to apply specific machining operations to. It's been this way for at least the last 15 years. Coloring surfaces based on intended finishing operation (drill, ream, bore, etc.) is very common in the tool and die design industry.
Thanks @TomU ,it makes sense.
So essentially this product idea talks about 2 items, right?
1. Convey & control semantic references with surface finish annotations
2. Be able to leverage this list of semantic references and leverage it to color the respected surfaces with a defined color
Is this correct?
I would assume that it would be also desired to update colors in case that more/less semantic references are added/removed from the surface finish?
This actually can be performance intensive if it would be always checking for latest status, but what if that would be an on-demand push ? will this do?
So essentially this product idea talks about 2 items, right?
While the discussion turned that direction, the original product idea only suggested using color as a workaround. With the improvements to the surface finish symbol in Creo 9, this request may have already been fulfilled.
Improving Creo so it can intelligently and parametrically handle color (for all kinds of things) has been discussed in many other places, but that seems separate from the original product idea here.
coloring the surfaces was just an idea how to workaround the missing functionality.
Basically my idea was to have the information about the surface finish as an attribute of the surface instead of referencing a symbol to the surface.
But this has to go beyond one CAD system and should be provided in all CAD formats similar to show colors.
The geometry surfaces, whereever they are coming from, have different attributes like color, transparency, reflexion, ...
The surfaces should also contain information about, surface finish in future like roughness just to name one.
The display of these attributes for human readability should then work automatically similar to displaying dimensions.
Hello @J.Wagner and @TomU
thank you for clarifying this. I think that we would still need to make sure that surfaces can be added to surface finish annotation, since this is a requirement coming from the MBD standards. that being said it sounds that the additional and main request here is for model surfaces to be able to have special attribute that would allow coloring it based on defined rules. I will mark this idea as acknowledged at this point
The selection based on surface color, which was mentioned during discussion would also have plenty of use cases.
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