You see, in the process of building the City of SolidWorks, its architects and constructors created huge blueprints for all the buildings, large maps for all the avenues and thick address books for all its citizens. These blueprints, maps and address books can be found now in:
Very little remains uncharted in the SolidWorks City, but this has not stopped a few very passionate archaeologists and explorers to dig deeper for answers to the handful of questions that remain mysteries. Let me give you some of their names: Edward Eaton, Charles Culp, Anna Woods, Mark Biasotti and Mike Wilson.
One of the most intriguing SolidWorks enigmas left is how the positive and/or negative directions of a plane are determined. Who decides which “face” of a plane is the front (green) and which one is the back (red) one?
You know, this is really, really important; for a quick example just think about the direction an extruded feature will expand towards. Don’t you want to be able to control that when the design intent changes? How many times have you changed a feature in the tree, only to have its children crying about the loss of direction? And you know what happens when a child gets disoriented? It covers himself in ketchup and mustard (feature tree errors and warnings), making the laundry bill quite expensive.
Fortunately, once a year all these archaeologists and explorers get together and share their findings. They call this event “SolidWorks World“. I was lucky enough to be there when Charles Culp displayed selected pieces of the treasures he unearthed. While he shone light on all the big diamonds, sapphires and rubies in his presentation, he kept tossing from time to time little sparkling gems to his audience. Imagine my surprise when I caught such a little gem and found out that can be used as a potential key to the plane question. Like any precious stone, it cannot be described in words, you have to see it with your own eyes.
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