6 months review

After having joined the Shapr-crowd about half a year ago, using (and loving) it daily since then, there are still a number of issues i would like to list as feedback for the devs. And hey - maybe a few of you have some tricks and solutions for some of these issues.

1) Rotational symmetry
Achieving rotational symmetry of parts is an exhausting process. Which is a shame because many mechanism require gears, ratchets, fins, etc etc. The problem is two fold.
a: There is no simple function to rotate/copy a part of sketch around an axis multiple times in one step.
b: The current rotate around axis tool needs to be accepted and thus exited between every single transformation. (pick part, pick axis, click copy, input angle, accept, repeat)

2) Chamfers and sweeps just dont work well enough to implement on complex designs. There are multiple problems here.
a: selecting all the edges making up a face is a long-winded process. There is no way to simply select all edges of a surface, even if selecting the surface itself is easily doable
b: chamfers and sweeps fail more often than not around corners. Even in cases where the geometry of the resulting part would be trivially easy to derive by hand with a compass.
c: chamfers on polygons often produce invalid and incorrect results (1mm chamfer turning into 13mm sloped plane or just failing) in general. Im not sure what kind of algorythm is used here, but i think some work-over and stress testing is necessary
d: chamfers are applied to the model directly instead of being stored as modifiers. This often leads to having to redo constructions completely bc its not possible to do certain alterations (especially after unions/intersects of chamfered parts)

3) there is no way to work with imported mesh data.
a: it would be nice to have a “make solid” function (see mesh mixer for example). working with imports (and lets be honest. they come in all shapes and formats. most of which do not currently “mesh” well with Shapr) is a long winded process rn, requiring me to switch between devices and really slowing down the workflow
b: besides that it should be possible to at least define points/axis/faces on a mesh to properly line it up with rotation/translation tools, so you can easily design around them.

4) the exporting problem
most of you have probably hit this point before: even on the newest ipads models start to slow down at some point. and whats worse - export start to fail. What follows is a slow process of trying to export, failing, changing the model, exiting and restarting shapr because it freezes, trying export again, failing again, etc.
It would be nice to get some kind of error report that details why the export failed or an easy function to check/correct common errors. I have a few part waiting for print, but they (and countless hours of design work) are stuck on my ipad bc i can neither export, nor do anything to the models. Nor do i have an idea where the problem lies in the first place. The models are essentially dead in the water.

5) define bodies by edges/faces
Some relatively simple bodies are immensly difficult to design with the current workflow. A simple example would be a three dimensional parrallelogram or the body defined by connecting the corners of two different rectangles on different planes. The parts are conceptually simple. I can easily draw sketches of all its faces, draw all the edges making up its shape. but deriving it from simple extrusions/union/intersect/etc is exceedingly difficult and in some cases almost impossible. And god beware if you want to chamfer the resulting body…
I would really love a “create body defined by 2 faces” or “create body inside these edges/faces”. In essence an upgraded loft.

6) Section view needs an upgrade
maybe there already is a trick to do this, but once in section view it would be nice to have an easy interface to move around the section plane. Translate linearily, rotate, switch cut side…

7) Exporting first level items…
When exporting stl files with multiple parts all parts within a folder a combined into one file. When making complex assemblies for 3d printing you have to either
a: painstakingly separate the parts in another software afterwards
b: dont use folders and just deal with the mess of having 100 unsorted sketches, bodies, planes, etc
c: kinda do both and have multiple copies of each part, one for exporting, one to put it into the right folder

8) regular polygons via inner diameter
it would be amazing to be able to easily construct polygons by either inner or outer diameter. The current polygon tool only gives outer diameter. There are ways around this, but it is more complicated than it ought to be (especially for more complex designs)

9) rectify and stretch image files
Sometimes it is quite convenient to work by importing photos and scans to sketch up a prototype fast.
Hence it would be immensely useful to be able to have a basic rectify tool. Do a sketch of some easily measured dimensions. Import Photo. Define 3 points on the photo. Stretch the photo so these 3 point align with 3 points of your sketch. As far as i am aware this should be mathematically trivial.
Bonus points for being able to project image to surface easily.

Thanks for taking your time with this post.
I really love the clean and fast sketching and design work on your software. With a few fixes i could see this becoming my main solution for most of my work. There will always be some things you turn to more specialized/powerful software for - but we are really close to the point where 95% of my work could be done just in Shapr, with one unified workflow.
Hope my feedback is of some help.

best regards
Markus

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