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Replace old style 'Relations' with new style: Jupyter Notebook

Replace old style 'Relations' with new style: Jupyter Notebook

Dear PTC Team,


since the relations interface and the relations one can use in the model did not get updated substantially during the last decades, this one is to propose a completely new style for this functionality.

Instead of inventing a new type of tool-set or using some existing basis and sizing it down to use in Creo let's use Jupyter Notebook format as relations.

This would mainly result in having a user interface like a beautiful Jupyter notebook editor and the Jupyter engine for running the equations.

As a result, less lock-in to vendor specific tools AND more and easier functionality for the users would allow for much more productivity because the Jupyter notebook format is already widely used within science and engineering. Since the format specification is being licensed under BSD no license costs would add up.


One could finally talk to the physicist who invented the parts functional geometry, show the Creo window with the equations via screen sharing, and they would understand what's happening inside the model! How great is that!?

And another aspect is that people born after the year 2000 tend to dislike the current relations editor style, to express it in a polite manner.


I don't know that Jupyter Notebook editor, but I do agree that the relations editor would benefit both novice and veteran Creo users alike.

It was one once the distiguinshing feature of Pro/Engineer, the parametric nature, with the ability to relate parameters or dimension values, but currently this interface is very cumbersome to use, and also time consuming whenever we need to edit a large amount of relations. It's "good" for programmers, but not for regular users. The analysis feature, it's the same thing. The Pro/Program funcoinality, which once distinguished Pro/Enginner and it's parametric nature, is now a very old piece of funcionality that has not seen an update for decades. I know in the case of Pro/Program PTC referred that they will try to implement another scipring language, maybe Python, but I'm afraid that funcionality will take a long time to be implemented, and we that need to make parametric models, get very frustrated when we see that other CAD packages make it much easier for the user. Creo has the power underneath, but it almost requeires that the users need to be programmers to use some commonly needed funcoinality.


I suggest that the relations editor (which could be kept for compatibility reasons and for uses that prefer the old way), should be improved with a modern user interface. For each dialog box, for extrude, revolve, etc, all the dimensions when edited should open a pop-up window, that not only let the user modify the dimensoin value, but also have the possibility to "take a mesaurement" and automatically apply a equal value relation, with the possibility to further open a relation editor, that only allows to edit a single line of math calculation invoking functions (including the possibility to choose from user defined functions). This would be much faster than useing the current editor, having to first save an analysis feature, choose the measurement parameter from the measurement feature, etc. PTC has already implemented part of this funcionality on the Flexible components interface, where it allows the user to measure values withought the need to create the analysis feature to measure lengths, distances, diameters, angles, etc. We just need a consistent user interface to have this funcionality available in all (or most common) modelling features that require a dimension value. This includes when editing dimensions inside the sketch environment. Make the same window popup that not only lets the user specify a value, but allow assigninment of values based on:


1. Measurement (similar to analysis feature)

2. Relations (to edit more complicated relations than simple assignement of measure values)

3. Lookup values (Make it possible to have inside each part imported excel tables, and provide the same funcionality of the Excel vlookup function to have dependent parameters values, where the selection of the first parameters, filters down the available list of selectable parameters of a second parameter). This funcionality already exists but only when we define a part as a family table generic. Then, when inseting a part, Creo has the interface to filter the instance based on a selection of parameter values. We should have the possibility to filter down parameters based on parameter selection, but inside a part, without requiring to define family tables. This is because if we use skeletons and bodies to quickly layout an assembly in a top-down design fashion, we need to have bodies that define parts, and each body could be an instance from a list of available parts. So, we need to filter down parameter selection based on an excel table file even when working at the feature level, since an extrude or a revolve could schematically define a whole part. This would speed trmendously conceptual design, which is the area in which Creo most lacks vis-a-vis other CAD packages.


Another lacking feature, is the possibility to easily conditionally suprress features based on a boolean value. This needs to be put on a pop-up menu as modern CAD packages. NX, Solid Edge, Top Solid 7, all have the possibility to associate a feature or a group ,or a component to a boolean value to make easy automation. Creo only offers the very outdated and difficult to edit Pro/Program.


NX, Solid Edge, Top Solid 7, all have these options with a user friendly interface: easy access conditional features based on a click on the model tree, modern UI editor for editing a relation to the edited dimension, instead of a generic editor where all relations are almagameted, (even though we could "hide" the relations inside a feature in Creo, it makes it even harder to discover), and also all these CAD packages make it much easier to associate a dimension to a measured value without having to waste more time creating the analyse feature first.

21-Topaz I

I'd be happy if the relations editor would use context highlighting. Having a different font/color for built-in functions, defined parameters, undefined parameters, bad syntax, etc. It would be nice to know that the parameter I just typed was misspelled, or that I have too few parentheses, before I hit the OKAY button.

I asked many many years ago about how I could use another more capable editor (Emacs for me) instead of the default relations editor, but could never figure out how to make it work. Maybe it's just not possible?

Thing is I have done a lot of programming in a variety of languages, and I'd put the relations editor at the level 1990s C editing with a text editor. You can do cool stuff, but you've got to do 90% of the debugging manually. It would be nice to have something more like a modern code development environment (Eclipse, Netbeans, etc.), where you are constantly informed if you are making mistakes as you type.