I miss the simplest things

I wanted to use Shapr3D for an absolutely simple part.
However, even for this it is much more cumbersome to draw
compared to all other Windows CAD I know.

a hexagon with wrench size:
You can’t choose the wrench size, you actually have to calculate or draw and trim the lines yourself.
Change a measure, the input field only accepts numbers, it cannot be used as a calculator.
I know the diameter and need to specify the radius, so I’ll enter 10.6 / 2.
I want the line to be three times longer, so I type in 20.4 * 3 for example. Unfortunately, this only doesn’t work with Shapr3D.

Most important things like panning, zooming, sliding etc. should be freely configurable and only possible with the mouse.
Why do you have to press the Shift key to pan?
Windows has a middle mouse button.

I noticed all of this when I wanted to draw a simple hexagon screw.

You’re overthinking this Pascal. Draw a circle, connect 6 lines in the interior. Make them equal. La voila!


@Pascal you can sketch the hex to approximate size, then select two opposing sides of the hex.
It will display the distance between the two sides (not the measurements at the bottom of the screen) with an option to set the distance (between the “flats” of the wrench or bolt)

Simply enter the size and there you go :+1:

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It’s about simplicity. When you are in the flow you don’t want to worry about things that you don’t really need.

6 Kant Shapr3D:

Draw 6 edge by dimensioning a corner.
2 Select parallel surfaces.
Enter the key width.
The center point is shifted, this must be advanced again.

Change a dimension as an invoice:
In Windows CAD I can enter any input as an invoice, but not in Shapr3D, see example line.

You want the opinion of Windows CAD users.
Drawing such a simple part should be fun.
There is still a lot to do so that I don’t quit Shapr3D and continue working with the other Windows CAD.

I know, at some point Shapr3D will be ready.

Why don’t you lock the center of the hexagon/circle if you want to keep it in place?

To then unlock again?
So many steps for a hexagon?

Why not just make a small button or select using a tab where you can choose the dimensions corner or wrench size?

And then I’d have a real killer that I don’t understand:

I can’t really find a function to simply insert a curve between 2D elements?
Very often you want to add curves while sketching.
Example: Select two lines, select the Round function, specify a radius and it is good.
For me, these are basic functions of a Windows CAD that must be available.
It should be “easy” and fun!

The input field should also master the basic arithmetic operations when entering masses.

This is my opinion as a Windows CAD user.

Hey Pascal,

Thanks for the tons of feedback, it’s super useful. A few comments-updates:

  • Customizable view navigation: We here you (and others) loud & clear. It’s coming really soon.
  • Calculator support in dimensions: it’s on our backlog, though I can’t give you an ETA yet
  • Dimensioning polygons via wrench size instead of radius: we’ll look into this. We want to add better support for threads & screws in general and this would fit into that space nicely.
  • Connecting sketches with curves: I’m not sure I fully understand what you mean on this. Would this be similar to, for example, Fusion360’s “Tangent Arc” feature, where you could just start drawing a line and the tangent constaint would immediately be applied instead of having to just put a random arc in place, lock the required points and then manually apply the tangent constaring? If that’s not the case, could you do a quick recording in your preferred CAD app that shows this in action?

Thanks for the answer.
It’s about simple chamfering and rounding in 2D sketches.
Very often you want to draw chamfers and fillets in the sketches.

Here is an example video:

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Thanks, it’s completely clear now. Is there a particular reason you want to add the fillets & chamfers in the 2D sketch itself instead of adding them to the edge of the 3D object, or you just find this workflow more convenient?

Yes, of course there are compelling reasons for this:

  • Some companies only accept 2D drawings such as toolmakers, the extrusion manufacturer, etc.
  • Some CAM software for CNC machines only accept 2D drawings such as wire EDM machine, engraving machine, milling machine.
  • And sometimes it is much easier and more useful to draw the chamfers and curves in the sketch instead of later on the volume model.

The need for 2D drawings to communicates with 3rd parties is completely clear – that’s the reason we added the ability to generate professional engineering drawings to the app. Chamfers and fillets show up on those as well (even if they’ve been added to the volume model) and can be dimensioned as needed. Have you tried that functionality? If you did, how does that compare to your current workflow?

What I’d like to better understand though is your last bullet point – that it’s easier and more useful to draw the chamfers and fillets in the sketches. Is there a particular situation when adding them in 2D mode would always be easier, or it’s more a generic preference?

Real 2 D drawings are required for tool makers, extrusions, various CAM programs and CNC machines
No dimensioned drawing derivation.

And nobody draws in 3D just so that you get 2D drawings that have chamfers and curves!
This is nonsensical and pure time and a waste of money.
This is a basic functionality of all CAD programs I know.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all trying to convince you that our way is the good way and your expectations are unfounded – I’m sorry if I come off like doing that. I am simply trying to get a good understanding of the use case and the ultimate needs. Your answers help me a lot in doing that.

Would you not consider Shapr3D’s drawings as real 2D drawings? What’s the difference between a real 2D drawing and a dimensioned drawing derivation?

Also, when you know the output would be a 2D drawing for manufacturers, do you usually work exclusively in 2D? What percentage of your design work is 2D-only?

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Don’t worry, I don’t take it badly.

  • The 2D drawings for tool manufacturers and extruded profiles require real 2D drawings (lines, arcs, splines, points, etc.) as well as correct zero points with regard to the coordinate system.
  • The same with the following punching tools, there is an additional grid, for example every 100mm a further 2D sketch next to each other or on its own level.
  • Various 3-axis CNC machines require 2.5D drawings, i.e. contours at different Z depths.
    This means that the contour is on Z 0 for the X and Y axes, the Z axis (depth of the tool) are on a separate contour on, for example, -10mm.
  • 3D wire EDM: Two 2D contours on different levels.
    The first contour is on Z0, the lower contour is on the underside of the workpiece, for example Z-10mm. This is how you program 3D wire EDM machines.
  • Another example: You also need a finished 2D drawing to project it onto a 3D part for complex embossing on complex designs.
    In the workshop itself, approx. 50% is drawn in 2D for production.
    In the office (industrial company) approx. 25% for special customers and tool manufacturers.
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I’ve never compared the difference, if there is one, but is there any difference in the exported projected 2D DXF exported from the drawings module vs the DXF export of sketches in the 3D space?

Do they function the same as if say… sent to a laser cutting service?

My point, and this is just me and my very limited (2 years) of using cad, that it’s much easier for me to modify a 3D body and create a 2D drawing/projection from that than the other way around. Personally it’s just easier to visualize, even if the end part is being produced in X and Y environment like a laser.

I guess that’s my workflow because that’s all I’ve known.

If you make a 3D part from a 2D drawing (even if it is nonsensical), then make a drawing development and export it as DXF, you can import it again.
You have real lines, arcs, splines and points, but the zero point is incorrect.
You also only have one level, so no contours in different depths.

Automatic line, arc or circle detection is not activated in Windows?
Each time I have to manually choose whether I want to draw a line, arc or circle.

Addendum: This does not work with the mouse.
The automatic selection works with the stylus.

When we send components out for CNC work we send 2 files. The first is a 2d engineering drawing giving details such as surface finish tolerance or bend details etc depending on the specific component. The second is a clean file flat pattern .dxf for 2d or .step format for 3d. Dxf if it is a 2d or 2.5d component, laser cutting simple milling etc or a .step file for 3d such as lathe work or profile milling. I’m not familiar with edm but I would expect a 2d/2.5d dxf.
This saves a huge amount of time since we don’t need to create fully dimensioned drawings and also the CNC crowd can use the dxf/step file and don’t have to recreate the component from a 2d drawing.

I should add, we do very little 2d drawing directly. Even the simplest part is built in 3d then this is used for the engineering drawing.


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Your statement is actually pretty good.
There are situations in which you need 2D contours in different Z heights, for example the two guide curves for the wire EDM machine.
Another example: The 2D sketches that are projected onto 3D parts are also drawn in 2D.

The fact is: every CAD tool, no matter how small, can perform the basic function of chamfering and rounding between lines, arcs and splines.
It’s like a car without wipers, you can do it.

I’m pretty sure dxf files contain a Z value but I understand your point re edm. I’m not familiar with that manufacturing technique and I don’t know how the cam software handles it.

Thing is though this is a solid modeling app. Sketching or 2d drawing is only used to provide the basic geometry for your initial ‘block’. From there you take that 3d block and form it into the finished component you want. All your chamfering, holes, tapping whatever should be done on the model not the sketch. It might be virtual but this is a real object and the various tools allow you to modify it given real world constraints.
It’s totally opposite to ‘parametric’ software where you have to basically plan out what you’re going to create before you start. Which is twice as differcult when you have no idea what you want before you start. I’ve spent more than my fair share of time rebuilding the whole bloody model late on a Friday afternoon because at 3 o’clock I had to change a chamfer radius. I refuse to touch parametric software these days …

Then of course comes the tedious boring 2d part of providing the right information for the process to be completed.
You make ‘drawing sheets’ and from your model pull in ‘pictures’ derived from the model and you stick on the required information, dimensions, tolerance, surface finish etc, etc and the manufacturing data. Part no, material, quantity etc.
A good 2d module makes this pretty automated once you get going.

We use A3 size (best for workshops) and set up two ‘sheets’ for each component. The first we put manufacturing info at any scale just to fit the data and ‘print’ it as a pdf and the second a 1:1 scale of the part which is exported as a dxf.
For steps it’s just a case of opening the model and exporting as .step etc.
My point being, don’t worry about the 2d drawing tools, if you can draw a circle and a rectangle that’s pretty much all you need with a solid modeler. It’s having automated tools in the 2d environment that’s important.

If you really want to see how cad/cam/cae should be done download a trial of NX designer. It’s not what we use, way above our pay grade, but I was lucky enough to use it for a period when working with an international client. So if at times I sound a bit critical …