Thoughts on using Freestyle for production surfacing
We have been using freeform a lot recently to design toys. As we move into the production tooling phase we need to split the bodies into two or more parts. There are a few issues with this process:
These toys are character sculpts that have to go through different approval phases. As we get to production approval we need to tighten up the final surfaces. No body wants a wild parting line so we try to tweak the surfaces in freestyle to smooth out the partling line - it would be VERY useful to have a live draft analaysis happening while we do these tweaks so we can see the effects of the edit on the parting line.
Better yet, would be to have a feature that ThinkDesign has had since around 2001 (regardless of your thoughts on the Think3 product - and I have plenty negative ones, having been a user - this was a killer feature for many). In that, you create the parting line 3D curve you desire, then use Global shape modelling to force the surfaces to change to that new curve set as the parting line.
The way I used to do this was sculpt/model the part, do a draft analysis to get a feel for the parting line, then draw a 3D curve to define the parting line that I wanted (so no wavy bits, no zigzags etc - nice and smooth), then run GSM to force the selected surfaces to use that curve set as the parting line, and set the minimum draft angle from that parting line. When it worked, this was next level zen stuff. I've yet to see anything like this in any other mainstream CAD system since (but it was not enough of a benefit to make me keep using ThinkDesign!!).
One final Freestyle feature that would help (allied to above). We tend to have multiple Freestyle features in the tree rather than work in one big feature with loads of surfaces. makes editing/tweaking /surface selection easier. But the drawback is that sometimes we need to edit soemthing that is early in the tree, so we can't see the effects this edit has on other Freestyle features later on. What would be GREAT would be the ability to edit an early tree FS feature and see the other Freestyle features during the edit (even ghosted). As it is, what we do is constantly move the features up and down the tree so the editing feature is the last. Be nice not to have to do that.