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Airfoil Utilities (lots!) - Does anyone want to help integrate into Fusion360?

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Message 1 of 3
OceanHydroAU
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Airfoil Utilities (lots!) - Does anyone want to help integrate into Fusion360?

For more than 10 years, I've been building and improving a command line utility which does "all things airfoil" - like particle-swarm-shape-optimisation for specific kinds of fluids and flows, import and export with optimised spline matching, propellor/turbine creation, and so on.

 

Last year, I connected this to a fusion360 script which imports optimised airfoils and it's added a whole world of new awesome to my work (previously - I was manually outputting RML code to mill these things - ugh!)

 

The last month, I've create an add-in which makes it a lot easier to use my code, without jumping into the command line and shuffling text files around - it's all integrated.  In the Solid workspace, you click "Create" then "Airfoil" and it pops up a panel, runs my utility, and - magic!!  kind-of.  *Almost* everything needed is there, but I'm not a python guy, and the tinkering with UI stuff is driving me nuts...

 

58x58.png

 

Is anyone out there interested in collaborating on this?  What I think I need is this (*=done  %=need)

 

* A button on the "Solid -> Create" dropdown

% A Button on the "Sketch -> Create" dropdown

* A button on the tools menu bar (not necessary, but nice as a reminder that it's installed)

% A popup message upon install, that tells people where to find the new airfoil commands (with a [] don't show again checkbox, and images)

* A popup panel when the button is clicked

% 4 tabs on this popup panel: Utilities, Wing, Cowling, Propellor

% panel design with controls etc; things like ability to select "Air" or "Water" (plus altitude/temp) with manual override for Kinematic Viscosity.  Entry for Cord / Thicknes and/or ability to select a sketch or similar from which I can derive those things.  Shape selection, insertion plane selection, prop/turbine blade counts, input/motor power / torque, flow "cleanliness", and optimisation strategies (least drag, best lift, best L/D, with a mechanism to specify priorities - e.g. a fast plane might want enough lift to take off, but still optimised for high speed), units, and so on.

* mechanism to insert the resulting 2d-splined shape(s) into the sketch

% mechanism to insert the resulting 3d-lofted shape(s) into the component (seems easy - I can probably do this)

% way to communicate a selected geometry to my external script (requires converting whatever the user selected (e.g. the triangle-shape of a delta-wing aircraft in a sketch) into JSON to pass to my script)

* communication of huge amounts of data back and forth between python and my command line program (this works nicely already)

% background-process support - optimisation for conditions that are not pre-computed in my script can take days or weeks to run, and some users might wish to offload that work to cloud machines (I support amazon compute right now) - so some way to notify them when it's all done would be helpful - and/or to let them monitor the progress.

 

The panel stuff would need some back-and-forth with me: working out the best way for everyday-users as well as aeronautical-experts to communicate to my script exactly what they're trying to do is the key here.  "Air" or "Water" with "size" and "speed" for example go a huge way to where everyone needs to be, but the tools to help them get even closer to "perfect" will take some UI/UX fiddling...

 

Video shows an example of a (7+ years old version) of my code working on part of a propellor section:

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Message 2 of 3
scottmoyse
in reply to: OceanHydroAU

Hi Chris,

 

Have you heard of https://massif.dev/ yet?


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Message 3 of 3
OceanHydroAU
in reply to: scottmoyse

Well - that looks very interesting.

 

Since I posted this question, I've been working full-time on building the UI myself... it's very slow going, but it is turning out far better than I imagined so far!

 

I've got my toolbar button working when clicked.

I've got a working drop-down menu linked to my tool bar button

I've got working "sideways sliding" menus now working from the Solid and Sketch "create" panels - inserting airfoils is the exact same user experience as inserting a cube or a rectangle etc - pick where to put it, fill in the conditions it needs to work under, and - well - that's where I'm upto.  The magic works and the UI works: I am now connecting those two parts together to complete performing of the actions.

 

I've not yet done all my icons or tool-clips, but the attached screen shots will give you an idea.

 

I'm undecided about publication details - I like free things myself, so most of this will be free - but it *is* 18+ years of development "under the hood" and the particle-swarm optimization is very heavy on compute - common pre-computed solutions with thousands of hours of CPU time and $100k+ of amazon credits (and my cash) are already included, as is the ability to do new ones on your own high-end machines - but users with specific goals are going to want to get results in hours, rather than weeks/months - so some kind of cloud-processing backend is likely to be needed, which is expensive, so a way to make that happen where users pay for what they use is needed.

 

Basically - I like the idea of "optimising sales" as much as I like optimising fluid-flows - whatever gets this into the most hands and spread widest, so that it *reaches* people who have needs that require payment seems the best plan?  What do you think?

 

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 6.51.52 pm.png

 

Toolbar support tooToolbar support too

 

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