Those little bitty fillets (AKA rounds, blends) so common on castings and molded parts can be ever so confounding to the conscientious designer trying ever so hard to complete the solid model. During the customer presentations at the PTC Wildfire Launch, one customer estimated 20-30% of their modeling time goes into creating -- or trying to create -- those devilish details. Multiply that across the sizeable Pro/E user base and you may get an idea of how just how welcome a magic wand would be. PTC says that magic wand will take the form of Auto Round (TM). If it is as good as is claimed, I have no doubt that Auto Round will be the single most popular enhancement for Pro/E user in Wildfire 4.0.
According to PTC, the following part, which would be practically impossible to round for a beginner, would take an intermediate user an hour and a half to fillet. Put into the hands of an expert, it would still take 20 minutes to get the last pesky round in place. PTC says Auto Round will do it in 40 seconds.
Cynics will point out that the part could have been carefully selected for success. But how would Auto Round work in the real world?
Callaway (the company known for the most brutishly powerful custom Corvettes) claims a 35-40% reduction in rounding time in the design of the manifold shown below, and 60-70% reduction in another using the Auto Round feature. It may not solve every filleting problem, but even when it doesn't work, Auto Round will offer useful suggestions in how to proceed.
CAD insiders will no doubt compare this to SolidWorks attempts to solve complex filleting problems using their trademarked SWIFT, introduced about a year ago. Both companies appear to alleviate complex rounding problems for their users.
Now what we need is a head to head comparison!