Add Names, Folders, and Suppression (eye) to History panel

I used HBPM to design a simple box with dividers, and can see the incredible value when making changes. Kudos to the Shapr teams for implementing HBPM! I know it is a work in progress, and some of this is probably on your radar to implement… Here are 3 items I would like to see in the History panel:

  1. Editable Names. Seeing several items named “Filet” or “Extrude” isn’t as helpful as “Front outside fillet” and “Side panel”. Icons can identify the type of object (sketch plane, extrude, fillet, etc.) just as the Items panel does with on the left side (sketches, bodies, geometries); then allow editable name.
  2. Groups or Folders. Many objects are logically connected. For instance if I want to change the back two corners of my box to be with or without fillets, both the interior and exterior fillet are logically connected. I would like to put the two fillet commands in a folder and call it “back corners.” The Group (or folder) could then be suppressed as an entity. This is similar to the Items panel.
  3. Suppression icon. To suppress an action, or a folder of actions :slight_smile: I would like to see an icon like the eye on the History panel. This would be similar to the Items panel. Then when I want to suppress or un-suppress some of the elements in History, it is one click.

editable names and some kind of organization would be great! at the moment i try to reorder my history entries to make it easier to find something later. i don’t know how other parametric modeling apps work but in my mental model when i create a new sketch plane for example i’d like to see it at the end of history not after the creation of the original plane.

Hi @gex ,
I agree that if you have a new sketch plane it should go to the end of the history (or after the breakpoint), and I am not suggesting that all sketches should be together.

We are working on renaming steps right now and it’ll be possible to do so in a few weeks. It will be quite similar to how things work in the items menu right now: each step will get a unique name by default when it is created (eg. “Extrusion 01”, “Fillet 03” instead of the current generic Extrude and Fillet) but it also be possible to rename them.

Folders are definitely coming, too, though a bit later. Until then, a new version with support for multi-select drag & drop will go out in a few days which might make organization easier.

It was a conscious decision to make suppress/unsuppress a bit more hidden than hide/unhide as we’d think it’s a lot less frequently used function so it’s better if it’s not in the way. Do you find yourself doing it more frequently? (And it’ll definitely be possible to do that for folders of steps when we add those :))

Thanks, Peter!

  • The way you describe the automatic name and being able to rename is perfect!
  • I have been doing multi drag and drop on steps, or so I thought. :man_shrugging:
  • Your folder description is great, and being able to suppress those is perfect!

My preference would be to put the suppress icon on all steps. As we’ll be able to suppress folders, it doesn’t seem that it will take more space to have the icon on each step. (To some it may look less “clean.”). When I was designing my simple divided box, I wanted to have each divider independent (4 dividers). That way, I could easily partition the box to have any combination of dividers. As I was working, I wanted to check my work, say, to make sure I had all the right edges for fillet. Every suppress and unsuppress was two taps, so it was 4 taps — select, suppress, (verify,) select, unsuppress. It would be smoother to just tap an icon to toggle it on or off.

It also depends on where I am in the design. When I am defining those steps I would suppress-verify-unsuppress much more often than after I know they are working properly. Even then, when there is a change to some parameter, I’d probably want to check my work.

I knew you had to be working on these things, and it is great to have a discussion! It will be good to hear the opinions of others…

Have you noticed that when you select a body, only the related history steps will be displayed? This is basically a “automatic grouping” feature, which makes it easy to search the feature tree.

Indeed, and that is a good feature; but I don’t see it in the same context as folders.

How would you use folders differently? How do you see them complementing this feature?

Hi Istvan,
I would use the folder to be able to suppress/unsuppress a collection of steps in one simple tap. I see the current feature as a great tool to help me isolate possibilities.

Consider my simple box example. Currently to turn off the curvature of a corner, I would first select the outer fillet of the corner, see the relevant history steps, select the correct one and suppress it. Then I would repeat this for the inside corner of the box.

This works, and since I defined those fillet steps to involve 2 edges each, my box will now have a flat panel at the back and one with curved corners at the front. Now, when I want to change it back to curved corners all around, I need to unsuppress two steps.

By putting these fillet steps (inside and outside of corner) into a folder, I would be able to toggle the corner details with one tap to suppress and one tap to unsuppress.

Obviously there is planning involved, and in the way I am suggesting, steps in a folder are necessarily sequential. To continue the example, I may have steps that are related… for instance I want the inserts of the box to be shorter when I have a back panel that is flat. Then in addition to the two fillets, would be an offset step. With folders, I still have one tap to toggle from rounded corners with 60mm inserts, to flat back, curved front corners and 50 mm inserts.

Then add more, like thumb notches (extruded ellipse; subtracting) only to the style with the flat back. Now I have two pretty different looking results that I control with one suppress action on a folder.

I have constructed this box so I can have a hinged top when it has a flat back side, and a nesting top when it has all four corners curved. And maybe everything doesn’t all fit into one folder in order to switch between end products, and there would be multiple folders to suppress.

When I’m done, I would have one flexible design easy to tailor both by changing numerical parameters and by setting what is suppressed.

Thanks for the detailed explanation, it helps a lot. So just to clarify: in your case, you’d primarily use (group) suppression as a binary configuration parameter for your model to enable/disable features, right? As opposed to using it as a helper tool to debug issues during model creation.

Hi Peter,
Yes and No…

Yes in that I would use folders to group suppression of steps.
No in that I do see it as a helper tool to debug issues during model creation.

My style is not one where I am well structured and sequential:

  1. Draw all my sketches
  2. Add all construction planes and axes
  3. Make all the bodies (extrude, revolve, sweep, loft, pattern)
  4. Transform by translating, mirroring
  5. Apply all fillets/chamfers
  6. Import components (screws, motors, electronics)
  7. Switch to visualization and make it all look great
  8. Hit the done button.

My style is not linear like that. Mine is not structured. I will draw a sketch, make a body, draw another sketch usually on a face and modify the body. Make adjustments. Add fillets to “major” edges. Make another sketch to extrude another “arm” of the body. All the while visualizing how am I going to build. Make more adjustments, split bodies and merge (change for manufacturability). Add some color. Realize I need to add another linkage. Cuss. Change location of interfering protrusion. Change the mounting spots. Change design so I can 3D print without supports. Etcetera etcetera.

As chaotic as that sounds, it works for me. I don’t have the foresight to know exactly what the finished product will look like, but I have a general idea and many ideas to explore. I’ll make many little changes and want to verify.

For me, folders would be a way isolate (by suppression); try changes and possibly be able to create a “fork” in the design (eg. nested box top vs hinged box top). The sequence of design steps is critical and being able suppress a group of them would help me debugging. Like correctly identifying the objects that the parameter is referenced.

By the way, it is cool that if I have 5 edges identified as the object of the tool and suppress some earlier step ithat created 2 of those edges, that the other 3 edges get the action of that tool! The yellow warning specifies the problem but does not stop the history of steps to complete.

When I was designing what I think is a simple design, my box, there was a whole lot of tapping:

  • tap select
  • tap to select step
  • tap to select another step
  • tap suppress
    Debug and make changes necessary, and then
  • tap select
  • tap to select step
  • tap to select another step
  • tap unsuppress

So when looking at only 2 steps, it was 8 taps. (10 taps to toggle 3 steps) With folders and icon this would be 2 taps. As long as I am going to use HBPM I know I have to do more work up front. But I would rather have one robust design that I can reuse over and over (saving the finished by product name) than creating multiple similar but different designs again to tailor to product.


Thanks! It makes perfect sense – and our goal is to make sure the tool adapts to your workflow, not the other way around, so understanding how you design is crucial for us.

Did not notice the history highlight when selecting bodies so thanks for pointing it out! However, I too could use folders to organize work. Overall, having history and ‘instances’ via patterns is a BIG time saver. Loving the HBPM!

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Here is another use case for folders. Maybe it would part of your Assembly project next year?

I created a two separate designs. They both have many action steps in history. Now I want to combine these designs. I exported in .shapr format the design for the second and imported it into the first. This worked well. I repeat this, importing a more designs.

Now I have a history that is huge. It still works, but there is no discernible organization in the step history. I keep designing, making some adds, changes and deletes to get the various pieces working together.

At this point, I have down at the bottom of history steps that could be moved to a better place, closer to their respective area in the design history. So if I add a breakpoint, those later edits are suppressed. When I select an item to figure out which step is involved, I can have pages and pages of collapsed steps—just horizontal lines—to scroll through.

I would like be able to have a named collection of steps in a folder. Then when moving one (or more steps) into that folder, they are put at the bottom of that folder, where I can then more easily put them where I want.

That is a great suggestion! Speaking of editable names, I would like to add to your idea. The organization would be easier to manage if there was an item names sub-header section below the type of object in a history panel item so the user will know which item the set of feature parameters are referring to. The item names can be shown in a list in case two model bodies share the same parameter attribute (e.g., Body 4 and Body 5 has an extrude height of 10mm). Also, wouldn’t it make more sense for the HBPM to refer the extrude type objects with a height below a sketch plane as hole types, and identify them as such?

My project yesterday

And now a close up on history section with sub-header list of objects

In that case, the list of item editable names the parameters correspond to could be put in parentheses next to the identified type of object in the history panel. It can make the info easy to read on tablets and small screen laptops.