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Make naming things easier

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Message 1 of 11
Julie_7
523 Views, 10 Replies

Make naming things easier

Naming components,  sketches, bodies, etc. is a best practice in Fusion 360. Without names it can be hard to find things. Without meaningful names changing parameters is more difficult.

 

Sadly, Fusion 360 always makes naming an extra step and an afterthought.

 

Some examples based on my everyday use:

 

When I create a new component the focus is not obvious. Because tab takes me to the component name field, I would expect that the initial focus was the internal/external radio buttons. (I will create a separate post about this.) 

1. When the component dialog opens the initial focus should be the name field and when I start typing it should automatically replace the default name without any selection of the default name required. I would in fact leave the field empty and only assign the default name if the user selects okay without providing a name.

2. The name field should be at the top of the dialog. The component name is really its most important attribute.

 

Creating a new sketch jumps right in to choosing the sketch plane. There are two issues with this that are easily solved by opening a dialog (which can be closed by just hitting enter to accept the defaults).

1. The user must later, as an afterthought go back and use multiple actions to rename the sketch. This means that many sketches will not have descriptive names.

2. The location of the sketch is in the active component, which might not actually be where it belongs. Often times the user is frequently changing the active component, mostly to the top level, in order to see many parts of the design at once. Moving sketches, bodies and other items to a different component later can be difficult and cause problems.

The solution is very simple, when a user selects create sketch open a dialog with two fields, name and component and put the focus in the name field because that should be changed. Let the user also change the component if needed. This is synonymous to the parent field in the new component dialog.

 

Features/Bodies

Timeline steps/features have the ability to be given names, but it takes quite a bit of extra work to do so. However, if the features are not named examining the timeline is much harder, and renaming there after the fact is painfully slow.

 

A simple solution is to put a name field in the dialog for the feature being created. It could be a fillet, extrude, loft, etc. and being able to name it during creation would make it easier to choose a good name and certainly easier than going back later and doing it in the timeline.

 

If the feature being created is creating a new body, which is usually a choice in the dialog, then the name should be used for both the feature and for the body being created. This really saves work compared to renaming later.

 

If the feature is not creating a new body, then it is probably modifying a body, such as adding a fillet. In this case, if the user elects not to give it a specify name then instead of fillet36, the default name could be "<body name> fillet36" which for most features would be useful and very helpful in the timeline. Both the timeline and the parameters dialog already tie features to components and show them that way. But a component may have many bodies and hundreds of features and providing the component-body-feature connection would be a huge help.

 

Again, when a new body is created during some operation, the dialog box for extrude, loft, etc should have a name. In many cases the name field should also be used for the feature and show in the timeline. The user doesn't have to change it, but they have the opportunity. This would be so much easier

 

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Message 2 of 11
Phil.E
in reply to: Julie_7

Thank you for a well written, and clear proposal! I will make an improvement ticket from this. There are clearly some opportunities to smooth out the workflow for naming. 

 

Thanks again for a nicely stated request.





Phil Eichmiller
Software Engineer
Quality Assurance
Autodesk, Inc.


Message 3 of 11
Julie_7
in reply to: Julie_7

I just had another little hiccup related to naming.

I was editing a sketch (not creating one) and I got interrupted.

When I got back to the computer, I couldn't remember which sketch that I was editing. I have two sketches that are almost identical and this was one of them. Of course I can just "finish sketch" and then edit the one I need.

 

But, this is actually a general issue regarding names. The sketch panel was open, showing that I was editing the sketch, but it does not show the name or location of the sketch.

 

I notice a similar issue yesterday. I had asked a question on the forum and received an example back. I opened (actually edited) the feature of interest from the timeline. The feature dialog was open, but

1. there was no feature type visible anywhere in the dialog.

Julie_7_0-1682273671940.png

2. the feature allowed for selection of tools and cells. There is no indication of what tools or cells are selected.

 

A little more exploring and I find that the create dialog does have the feature name

Julie_7_1-1682273736289.png

 

3. Copy and paste a body and you have a feature in the timeline that isn't even editable and has nothing to indicate what was copied.

 

My suggestions for dialogs is that they always show the command name. I am not how sure having create vs. edit in the dialog is, but if needed then it could be appended to the Feature name (Boundary Fill - Edit)

 

Change all dialogs to show the name and allow editing it, both during creation and edit. The features are already assigned a default name. (Extrude36) and that name is how I see it in the parameters. However, I can't change it in parameters. I can only change it in the timeline. This is a lot more work and probably not used much. Allowing the name to be changed in the parameters would be a nice addition, but not as important as the dialog.

 

Find a way to show what is selected in the dialog. In many cases this is just a body, or feature that has a name, given or default. In other cases, such as selecting faces maybe there is another way. One thing I use before I edit a feature is to select it in the timeline. Sometimes this shows what is being acted on in the browser. Other times it doesn't.

 

 

Slightly off the naming topic, but in the same usability space - when the user edits a feature that is show as having a warning or error in the timeline, also open the error dialog and leave it open. It is extra work to first open the error, read and remember what it said, close it and then edit the feature and try to fix it.

My thoughts about this

Message 4 of 11
Phil.E
in reply to: Julie_7

I'm really surprised that when you edit a boundary fill that already has selections, that you didn't notice the bright green shapes on the screen.

PhilE_0-1682349809376.png

 





Phil Eichmiller
Software Engineer
Quality Assurance
Autodesk, Inc.


Message 5 of 11
Phil.E
in reply to: Julie_7

Also, if you have selections, the intention is to cross highlight in the browser, timeline, and canvas. If you have any examples where this isn't working, that should be an exception and might need some development attention.

PhilE_0-1682349923401.png

 





Phil Eichmiller
Software Engineer
Quality Assurance
Autodesk, Inc.


Message 6 of 11
Julie_7
in reply to: Phil.E

I got that. Thanks. I just had to learn about boundary fill.
Message 7 of 11
Julie_7
in reply to: Julie_7

Just adding a few more thoughts about naming that occurred to me as I was renaming in the timeline this morning.

 

If creating a feature provided a name box on the dialog, then I could easily name it during creation and that name could be used for both the parameters and the timeline. If that feature created a new sketch, body, plane, or other item that appears in the browser then the browser name could also be the name given in the dialog.

 

Copying a body, is one of the most opaque features (assuming that I call each step in the timeline a feature. Currently, copy body cannot be edited to reconnect to a lost source, has no significant information in the timeline, and does not retain any movement details after the copy.  I consider all of these a significant deficiency of Fusion 360. Adding a name field to the copy dialog, would correct naming the feature in the timeline, and could be the default for the browser name.

 

Because naming in the timeline is so tedious, I am looking for any way to make it easier.

In the timeline, when I create a group naming is a necessity. When I create a group show a textbox right then for me to type in a name. The name could default to the name of the first feature in the group. (I often copy a body, give it a a name, modify it, then group the creation and modification in the timeline.)

 

Currently the name of a group in the timeline is not shown unless the group is collapsed. It would be ideal if hovering on a timeline entry showed all the information know about the feature. Currently it shows the component name and the feature name (which is often the default such as extrude33). What is know is the component path for nested components, the group name if the feature is in a group and the feature name.

 

While I am on the topic, even though this is not a naming issue, I would like it if the timeline allowed groups to include other groups.  Given the above example where I create a body and features on it and then group it in the timeline, I often have several groups as part of a component. I keep everything that is part of a component consecutive in the timeline, so I always want to be able to collapse a component, but if I already have groups, I cannot create a group for the component.

 

Julie_7_0-1682529358656.png

Furthermore, the timeline shows the color of the containing component for each feature. This disconnects a component from its features, as above. My first thought was to have two colored bars above the component, one for the containing component and then its color. I realized that would require a resize of the timeline, so I started thinking about other ways.

  - have the component creation color bar half parent color, a slight gap and the rest as the component color and connect it to the features it contains.

  - another idea is to color the component icon with the component color which would tie it with its features.

 

Message 8 of 11
info36ZGG
in reply to: Julie_7

Morning,

 

Could you help me regarding a naming issue?

 

I have 400 of the same part in different positions (copy pasted and relocated). I am trying to give each one of it an individual name based on the location. Anytime I change the name of any component, all changes.

 

How can all components be named individually?

Message 9 of 11
jeff_strater
in reply to: info36ZGG

@info36ZGG - you cannot do this, without making them each separate components (which I would not recommend, as it is inefficient, and would mess up your bill of materials).  This is just the nature of components/component instances.  They all share the same data - geometry, name, etc.  They are distinguished from each other by the ":1", ":2" suffixes.

 

If you truly want to make these separate, there are two approaches:

  • for local components, you need to use "Paste New" instead of "Paste" (you cannot change existing instances to new components)
  • for external components, you will need to copy the component in your project, either through Save As, or in the data panel, or Fusion Team web interface.  Then, insert the copies into your top-level design

 


Jeff Strater
Engineering Director
Message 10 of 11
info36ZGG
in reply to: jeff_strater

Where is the Paste New?

 

i have 400 identical form and dimensionally identical component, identical in material as well, but the face surface needs to be different and the name needs to be by the location of the component.
I don’t seem to have the Paste New option 

Message 11 of 11
jeff_strater
in reply to: info36ZGG

Paste New is only available for internal/local components.  That is, a component defined within the design itself.  You can tell the difference by the "link" icon in the browser:

 

Screenshot 2023-12-20 at 11.27.32 AM.png


Jeff Strater
Engineering Director

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