adrien79

Plates with and without holes

Recommended Posts

Regular plates and Technic plates (with holes) are currently considered as alternate, for example 3020 and 3709, or 3034 and 3738. I don't think it's a good idea, because the purpose of these parts is quite different. (And regular bricks and Technic bricks are not alternate of each other.)

Adrien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Adrien;

The idea behind this, I presume, is that from a side view, you can't see the difference between a Technic plate and a regular plate of the same size. If you sandwich a Technic plate between a few regular plate, you won't be able to spot the difference, and so, in some situations, you can use either of them. Only when the stud are visible, you can see the difference.

Our definition for an Alternate relationship is "Similar part that can usually be used as a replacement, not necessarily functionally compatible". You can argue if "usually" applies in this case, but there are lots of instances where the studs of a plate are not visible, and Technic plates can be used instead.

For Technic bricks this is different, because even when they have the same size, only the short size view is similar to a regular brick, while the long side view is clearly not.

It could have some advantages to add Alternate relationships between Technic bricks and regular bricks, if only that the Technic versions would be easier to find, but before we do that, I would really like to know what other Forum members think about such a change.

Take care,
Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Simon,

I understand that Technic plates can replace regular ones for some applications, where only the side is visible.

But alternate relationships work both ways and if I need a Technic plate with holes for some set, it won't help to have a regular plate instead. This is why I think these particular relationships are misleading.

I think that parts should be made alternate only when they can be substituted both ways in most applications (like 4859/48153 whose pictures are displayed as an example in the build window), making the set unbuildable only in fringe cases.

All the best,

Adrien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alternate parts is a way of dealing with molds, which may have some build feature added removed but are for the most part interchangeable

this however would take that relationship to far. Because they aren't molds intended to replace each other they are different parts. which without looking at the design can't be interchanged.

if you start looking at the old Technic expert builds you will find design where replacing a 2x8 plate with one with holes would weaken or even break the design.

 

I can only see two reason to want this kind of relationship either of them would deserve their own relationship type instead of using the alternate part.

1) Replacement suggestion. However this kind of replacement would have to be in the hands of the designer. ie some times they work other they won't. it also would require multiple part support. such as .2458 to be 3700 + 3673. which could work in both directions. (Very complex to get right because some models will allow it on some places will not on other.

2) Navigation suggestion ie if you want to move from one neighbor part to the next.

ie 3020 should have navigation relations to 3710 (thinner), 3031 (thicker), 3021 (shorter), 3795 (longer), 3001 (Taller) ,3709 (Technic)

while 3709 would have 3020 (Basic), 32001 (Longer),. 3709c (Taller)

The above is not so hard to implement and would help anyone trying to map up a builder kind of app. it's mostly work in setting up all data and moving towards a connection based system.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adrien,

good reasoning - I think you might be right.

@TobyMac: you're the Parts Expert, what do you think?

Biodreamer: very interesting suggestions! Replacement suggestion, I guess that would be set sensitive (different for each set), and probably also location sensitive (within a set, only at certain locations). Even if the data could be entered (which I doubt), it would not work with our current build code.

Navigation suggestion: I really like that. Not sure how difficult is it to implement, though. On the parts details page we have a Related Parts Tab, there's no problem there if we add more relationships. However, in the Part Details popup, there might be not enough space to add another relationship. Looks like we need some priority there, which relationships are more important.

Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well those relationships shouldn't really be listed in that way, it would probably be more like a visual matrix/grid. Where you can either move step by step or allow the full dimension axis to be shown.

so if we take the part 3020 (2x4 plate) as an example, I can see four navigation axises, the normal dimensional ones.

ie one that would travel along all 2xN plates, one that travel along the Nx4 path and one that travel along the height, ie shows the bricks.

The fourth would be along adding or removing a single connection or shape features, while retaining the part size.

ie 2x4 tile, 2x4 Technic plate, The 2x4 wedge plates (left/right) ie you are jumping category either sideways or up/down

Navigation shouldn't be harder then using the numberpad or normal touch gestures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now