I'm excited to announce the publication of my book to help explain the many confusing files that are ModelCHECK!
I’ve spent quite a lot of time deciphering and editing the mentioned files and also making some diagrams of how they link / relate. Hurrah for having a book available on this now.
Note: I don’t have UPDATE enabled – don’t trust it and there is virtually no feedback of what it is changing. Prefer to use mapkeys to make all changes.
Could suggest about 1,000 improvements in ModelCheck if anyone at PTC now responsible for ModelCheck is interested – especially after working with SolidWorks Design Checker and NX Check Mate. I put in about 30 separate tech support requests on ModelCheck earlier this year while setting things up for Edwards' use. Tech Support is very helpful. Doesn't seem like much has been done on ModelCheck since around 2005 except provide the GUI- which I don't use at, preferring to edit the text files directly.
I've always thought ModelCHECK was a good tool but hard to use. It wasn't until now that I found the time to figure out all of the hairy details and explain them in plain English! We could hope that the adoption of MBD, which will drive the need for good quality models, might give ModelCHECK som attention.
I hope to see you at LiveWorx in a few weeks!
I can't wait to see your book. Do you mention the use of running different configurations based on a model type and having mixed environments in one assembly?
EX: one for legacy, one for new non-mbd, one for mbd?
See you soon.
Hi Dan and thanks for the note. Unfortunately I won't be able to attend either Live Worx or the TC meetings again this year- but hope to stay involved.
I don't currently have a list, but would welcome maybe a phone call / web session in which I could point out some "wish list" items. I also carefully developed a few files specifically to test / demo / train ModelCheck. There are Part, Assy and Drawing files for this purpose. We have only a few items flagged as Errors - a few more as Warnings. The first set of files only has Errors; the next has Warnings. I'm happy to share these w/PTC as well - may want to supply them or some variation of them to all.
I've administered and used Modelcheck since the late 1990's when it was still owned by Rand. After Rand sold Modelcheck to PTC there were a number of years in which there was zero support for Modelcheck: when one contacted PTC support, they didn't even know what the product was. Eventually, PTC made some minor tweaks to it but the product is still nearly identical to how Rand originally wrote it: it still contains a few of the software bugs in it from when Rand was developing it.
Unfortunately, one of the few PTC changes to Modelcheck was the elimination of the aggregate results analysis functionality that was called "Admin". A few years ago, PTC had launched a replacement for it that, according to PTC, was found to be too complicated to setup and was withdrawn and is no longer available, leaving no functionality in Modelcheck to analyze aggregate results (i.e. results across an organization or group of users). It used to be very useful for identifying what groups of users were doing well and not well and assisted in training plans. PTC now has a "canned" aggregate tool - for an additional price - called Expert Model Analysis (XMA) that is not related to the licensing of Modelcheck, but essentially did what the Modelcheck Admin functionality used to do, but the Admin tool could be configured anyway you wanted it to to analyze the data anyway you wanted. The Admin tool also worked "real time" rather than performing a run on a folder containing files specifically put there for the analysis, the way XMA works.
As organizations have become more interested in MBD and 3D annotations, Modelcheck has not been updated to include functionality related to 3D annotations. In short, to the best of my knowledge, Modelcheck doesn't explicitly do anything regarding 3D annotations (Annotation Elements), Layer States, Combination States, etc. It does have capabilities to check parameters and add parameters and their values.
Regardless, given that the most up-to-date PTC documentation for Modelcheck is for Wildfire 2, I applaud your efforts to document and provide training for Modelcheck. I have found, however, that with little enhancement to Modelcheck, and the variety of new third-party tools available that better address "modern" model quality checking criteria, Modelcheck seems increasingly out of date and increasingly irrelevant. It works well for the things it does, but there are lots of things it just doesn't do and probably should.
I do cover how to setup the condition.mcc file so that different checks are run based on a condition that is evaluated. For example, if the part name starts with "123" read these files, or if a parameter value is equal to "ACME" read these files instead.
Being a visual leaner (along with 65% of the population) I also took the time to map out all of the files and how they are connected. Here's a preview...
Come say hi at the Software Factory booth. I'll sign your copy if you buy a book! 🙂
I can't disagree with your statement that not much as been done with ModelCHECK. I was the Product Manager of it for 4 years while at PTC and tried to push to improve it, but it is hard to justify putting effort into something that doesn't have a direct revenue stream. I even tried the route of making an enhanced version that would be an additional license for purchase but...
There were always a couple people in support that knew it and knew it well (and they know who they are!) but given the low call volume of MC questions that makes sense to me. I should definately see about selling a copy or two of my book to TS!
You are also right that there are no MBD specific checks, but there are a few things that can be used to help get your MBD models in good shape at the low cost of a ModelCHECK setup (free except for your time to set it up!). There are checks for incomplete and duplicate Annotation Elements but they are pretty high level. As I say in the book, this won't check for everything but if you can check for it with relatively low effort and the functionality is there... why not take advantage of it?
Please stop by if you will be at LiveWorx. I'd love to chat more!
If anyone wants to learn more about the book and all of the other cool MBD-related things that Rosemary is working on, check out my conversation with Rosemary on my new podcast: 004 – A conversation with Rosemary Astheimer – Journey to MBE
You can listen to it from the website linked above, or you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or Google Play Music.
I'm curious to hear your comments.