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How to effectively learn SolveSpace? (by phryk)
Hello there, I've previously used OpenSCAD
but am looking to switch to SolveSpace.

I like the constraint-based approach which let's a graphical tool be reliably
parameterizable and already appreciate some of the niceties like showing
distances between selected points and being able to calculate areas and
volumes, but I'm at a bit of a loss on how to properly "get into" SolveSpace.

I have read a few of the tutorials, watched a couple videos and consulted
the documentation on readthedocs as well as the reference manual.

And yet I'm often struggling with extremely simple things like translating
or rotating sketches and objects or trying to figure out how to get an
extrude to work the way I want it to. When this happens, I'm seemingly
never able to find a solution or explanation in the sources I mentioned
(tho I'm assuming those would be somewhere buried in the reference
manual, just not readily findable for me) or the wider web. The IRC
channel on libera seems pretty dead, too.

I am also struggling to reason about how to structure a SolveSpace
file internally – i.e. what should go where in the tree and how nodes
in it can and should relate to and depend on each other.

To sum up, what I'm looking for is:

a) a high-level overview of SolveSpace, its basic concepts
(groups, workplanes, sketches, etc) and how they relate to
each other.

b) general resources you can recommend for learning SolveSpace

c) resources or recommendations on best practices for SolveSpace

d) active SolveSpace communities (on a more comfortable medium
than this extremely bare-bones forum)

Additionally, I have trouble interpreting the UI, especially the
text window. Personally, I'm sure I'll adjust to it in time, but if
SolveSpace ends up being a regular use tool in my repertoire
I might try to improve the UX and would be interested to know
if PRs in that direction are welcome.
Wed Aug 2 2023, 18:01:06
(no subject) (by Paul)
Don't just read the tutorials, do them.

Peer tube has good videos, as does youtube.

Groups apparently have a tree structure? But I treat them as a linear construction history. A typical design tends to alternate sketch-2d and a 3d solid-forming group (extrude, lathe, Revolve, or helix) combined with the previous.

Constraints are solved one group at a time assuming all previous groups are held constant.

It's good to fully constrain each group. You can leave some DoF until later but you'll have to come back to a group to add a constraint to nail it down.

The text window is to provide info but also to navigate a design by clicking groups, constraints, or entities. You can also hover over some things in the text window to highlight them on the sketch.

Solvespace is known for its UI getting out of your way, but I think that's because it barely has one in the typical GUI sense. The more you learn the workflow and hot keys, the more you'll appreciate this.

PRs are welcome, but it's good to discuss a feature or change on github first. Build it from source, it's easy and you'll get the latest features.
Wed Aug 2 2023, 19:12:32
(no subject) (by Tom)
> Groups apparently have a tree structure?

Do you have an example of this? I've only ever used the linear structure (though I guess assemblies let you make a true "CSG tree" if needed).
Wed Aug 2 2023, 22:45:26
How to effectively learn SolveSpace? (by Jaroslav Kopal Czech republic)
I also feel that the Solve Space support is not large and comprehensive. That there is something on the website, something here, something there. Anyone who wants to learn Solve Space (although it is great - a non-gigantic program with only a small requirement for HW and producing a small amount of data) must make an unprecedented effort and search, research and ask more experienced people.
Thu Aug 3 2023, 20:04:20
(no subject) (by Paul)
@Jaroslav Kopal

Solvespace is developed by volunteers offering their time to make a useful tool available for free. This website and all the documentation and videos here are on github. Changes and additions can be submited as Pull Requests.

Larger video files are best posted to YouTube or other sites to limit bandwidth requirements here.

I have been meaning to provide a list of external resources, but haven't gotten around to it. PRs welcome ;-) Or provide a set of links for review in a thread here and maybe that will be motivation for one of us to add that info.
Thu Aug 3 2023, 21:19:47
How to effectively learn SolveSpace? (by Jaroslav Kopal Czech republic)
I know about everything you write. I scoured the web and searched and searched and searched - like Sherlock Holmes to find out more about Solve Space. However, I did not learn much of what was written. I mainly draw from YouTube videos.
Fri Aug 4 2023, 03:59:07
(no subject) (by ruevs)
A bit of shameless self promotion

The tutorials on the left (actually doing them, as Paul pointed out) are indispensable. The reference is also VERY thorough, but it is not "light reading" in an age of "YouTube tutorials". The various YouTube tuturials I trust everyone can find :-)

This is pretty good albeit a bit outdated.

Many people seem to like this as well.
Fri Aug 4 2023, 05:13:10
(no subject) (by ruevs)
As a comparison here is the same model drawn in SolidWorks by someone at SolidWorks
Fri Aug 4 2023, 05:25:59
(no subject) (by ruevs)
By the way - ReadTheDocs has just an outdated reformatted version of the Reference on the left.
Fri Aug 4 2023, 05:40:04
(no subject) (by Daniel Engineering Solutions)
If you have any specific questions I'm more than happy to try and answer them. You can also comment on my youtube videos, where I may be a bit slow to reply, but I'll answer as in depth as possible.
Fri Aug 4 2023, 11:08:39
(no subject) (by phryk)
Thanks for all the kind replies.

I finally have the time to put a few more hours into this. :)

About the "tree structure" – yeah, I might just be a little confused
there, this sort of thing is exactly why I like having a high-level
overview as introduction where basic concepts and structures
are explained.

@ruevs: I'm going to read the two pieces linked by you,
especially the second one looks like it might be the best
go-to for newbies I've seen so far.

The video sadly only left me confused as, somehow, magic
happened on the screen while key-combos whirred by. ^^

@Daniel Engineering Solutions: Thanks for the offer – but how do I reach you?
I can offer IRC, XMPP, and e-Mail. I'm in #solvespace on, but going
by nicks, nobody who weighed in here is in there…

@Paul: Yes, before I'd start changing the UI, I would first make a blockout,
if not a full mock-up of how I would like to restructure it. But first I have
to build some intuition on Solvespace and get into a groove for working
with it. :)
Wed Aug 16 2023, 21:31:10
(no subject) (by Daniel Engineering Solutions)
You can generally reach me through the forum or on my youtube channel which is "Daniel Engineering Solutions".
Thu Aug 17 2023, 09:37:59
(no subject) (by phryk)
You're, uh… serious, aren't you?
This is extremely impractical.

I have now tried for about an hour to bring at least some of the
very basic problems I have into a form that's not completely
incomprehensible, but find that I can't because I'm lacking
basic concepts and terminology, even after reading most
anything I could get my hands on.

Ideally, I'd be looking for something that
is more real-time and less formal.
Thu Aug 17 2023, 19:03:30
(no subject) (by Andrew)
You could search Thingiverse and Printables for Solvespace, as there are some models there that come with the .slvs file. No guarantee as the the quality of the designs, but seeing how others use the software may help you.
Fri Aug 18 2023, 09:05:03
(no subject) (by ruevs)
Thu Sep 14 2023, 09:24:27
(no subject) (by ruevs)
As I've mentioned before I've been thinking about recording a comprehensive SolveSpace tutorial video for a while.

It seems I'm not the only one, but Paul Lutus has actually done it here:

And here is a companion web page with models and other details he has created:
Tue Oct 17 2023, 12:09:48
(no subject) (by Paul)
Is it me, or did he mess up the axis description in first steps? Describes a 2D sketch in XY plane where X is left-right and Y is far/near and Z is up/down (blue) looking at the picture it's clear that Y is up/down (green).

The sketch is in XY, and viewed as a 2-D sketch Y is green and up/down when looking at the sketch. Now I get that on a 3D printer, Y is far/near when looking down at the print bed and Z is up/down. But I found the text to be completely different from the screenshot with X horizontal and Y vertical, which is the default view in Solvespace.

IMHO that's confusing for someone new.
Wed Oct 18 2023, 15:28:56
(no subject) (by ruevs)
@Paul you are right, but otherwise the video (and page) are pretty good.
Thu Oct 19 2023, 15:10:14
How to slice an object apart (by Laurence Rochfort)
Hi all,

I have an object that I need to slice apart along an arbitrarily defined plane, which itself has no thickness. I would then end up with two objects.

Is there a way to do this in Solvespace?
Tue Dec 5 2023, 11:54:44
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