Scan-and-Solve for Rhino

Simulate Early, Simulate Often... In Rhino

What is the most important feature of Scan&Solve?

Simplicity of operation.  Over 80% of the several hundred users who filled  out the feedback survey indicate that simplicity of operation is  particularly important feature of the software.  Surprised?   Not  reliability, not predictability,  not freedom from mesh,  and not even  ability to handle complex NURBs geometry, which was selected by just  over 50% of respondents and came in as a distant second important feature.

Now, keeping things simple is anything but simple. As the users of  Scan&Solve by now know, the Scan&Solve team takes user comments very seriously and puts in a huge effort in keeping the user interface  friendly and accessible. But users ask for more and more features, and every new feature of Scan&Solve makes the software more complex to use.  Hence the dilemma. You can help:  when proposing new features for the software,  please also give some suggestions on how these features may be introduced in Scan&Solve without sacrificing the simplicity of operation.   Because it is important -- to you and to all of us.

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Tags: Scan&Solve, SnS, controls, features, interfaces, operation, user

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Comment by Rick Loheed on February 15, 2011 at 10:09pm

I really like Scan and Solve and did purchase a key, though I do have several other FEA software packages. I think you are 'onto' something here! My first 'like' that made me go for it is the high rate of success of the mesh free approach, making 'what ifs' much more feasible by removing the sometimes 'iffy' meshing phase, making reliability also important.

Though that also means simplicity is good, I am looking through the questionnaire and see simplicity of operation is the first choice following down the line to Predictability as the last choice- but it also says "(Check all that apply)", which means personally, I could easily check all of them!  (reading through, it's a Yup, O.K., Yup, Oh yeah!, Oh yeah!, well OK, Yes!, Yes!, and Yes!

So far so fantastic really, but please balance simplicity and capability- and not focus on one at the expense of the other too much!

Comment by Ernest McCrank on February 14, 2011 at 1:44pm

Thanks for the response Vadim. And I'm looking forward to the tweak to the "GO' button!!! 

 

I hear you on the units scenarios. Maybe it's not doable - but boy, it would be fantastic if the "popup analogy" gave a sense of whether load settings are anywhere near what you're trying for. OK - i just made some quick samples to give you an idea of what I'm thinking - I'm sure there's some much better ideas out there, but just want to get this out there.

 

I've not got it mixed in with the SnS editor, as I don't have time right now. Hopefully this is helpful.

 

Comment by Alex Gardner on February 14, 2011 at 7:45am

Hi Vadim,

When you put it like that I am a little surprised that simplicity is higher than reliability... What good is simple if it isn't reliable...

First I just wanted to say thank you for your prompt response to my questions earlier through email. thanks.

The most important features for me is the multi-solid and multi-material analysis.  It doesn't have to be alot of different solids and materials but, 3-4 would help tremendously. 

Thanks again and best of luck in the future updates!

Comment by Vadim Shapiro on February 13, 2011 at 9:15pm

Ernest, thank you for your thoughts.    We will definitely do something about the "Go" button,  hopefully by the next release.  

Your other suggestions are not so simple to implement and raise exactly the issues I alluded to in my post.    Take the units issue.  Your suggestion seems to make sense,  but now think of all the places where units arise:  geometric dimensions,  material properties,  loads, computed results, visualization, and report.   If we give the power and responsibility for managing units (and conversions!) to the user,  we are going to end up with a fairly complex user interface (not to mention the code itself!).   Would it be Ok if user specifies loads using one kind of units,  but get the computed answers in some other default units?Not so simple.  Similarly,  for materials.  Do you see a better way to do this?   Please propose in the wish list forum, and perhaps we can have others to participate in the discussion.

In fact,  designing user interface for more complex materials (say, wood) and for multi-material solids or multi-body simulations raises many non-trivial issues.    So I think that we should start separate discussion on each topic in the forum.  We could really use input from all users of Scan&S0lve. 

 

For example, your idea of "popup or something" to give real-world analogy to loads is great -- it is something that we have been discussing for some time now.   Again, would be great to hear what others think of this idea and if they have other suggestions.  Hopefully,  we will get to this in the near future.

Comment by Ernest McCrank on February 11, 2011 at 4:34pm

Hi Vadim,

 

I agree that simplicity is key for SnS to deliver the experience many of us are looking for from a "meshless" analysis tool within Rhino. I will use this opportunity to restate some of my comments from the survey(s).

 

I think that there are two things that pain me in the UI:

First is the simple fact that once the analysis is complete - the "Go" tab remains the highlighted tab - rather than the results. On a few occasions, when I've left the comp to allow it to process, I've mistakenly hit the "Go" button followed by a quick Homer "Doh!" I don't like software making me look like a twit - even if only to myself. I'm imagining this to be a simple tweak (move the highlight to appropriate button/tab) that will remove a pain.

 

The second would be a bit bigger:), and it applies to both materials and load scenarios. In editing materials, I've had a hard time finding material data tables that share the same parameters as SnS is using, causing me to have to do a bunch of time consuming conversions or 'fact checking'. Also, for load scenarios, it would be nice to have the ability to enter in whichever units one prefers (rather than being limited to the file unit settings). For that matter, in order to enable new users, and those of us with less formal training in FEA, perhaps a help popup or something that perhaps gave some kind of real-world analogy to the loads one has entered (i.e. that's equivalent to a 600lb gorilla sitting on that surface, etc.). For me, the more graphical, the better:)

 

Aside from those two pains, my wishlist includes multi-body and multi-material capabilities. I've not given one ounce of thought as to implementation of these, but I'm sure you guys have some good ideas, as you've done a great job so far on SnS!

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