Model History

Discussion in 'Customer Service' started by thor_64, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. thor_64
    thor_64 Member
    Is there any place that I can find the model history of a product or even just the date of the last model file upload for that product?

  2. Spitfire2865
    Spitfire2865 Well-Known Member
    No, the 'brilliant' minds at SHAPEways axed that in their overhaul several months ago.
  3. Moms_Sphagetti
    Moms_Sphagetti Shapeways Employee CS Team
    Hi thor_64,

    Thanks for reaching out to us. I'm sorry for the confusion! Please note, that feature is currently unavailable and is something that could potentially return in the future. In the meantime, the feature is unavailable but we do encourage any feedback/suggestions you may have to be sent to us on our feedback forums here:

    All the best,
  4. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    Has Shapeways ever issued an official reason for removing such a valuable function from the site?

    If Shapeways hadn't instituted the ability to change model names 7+ years ago in order to allow for more common-sensical product naming in shops after upload it wouldn't be an issue now. Even if the only way to change model names would have been accomplished with a re-upload of a renamed identical file that approach would not have been a good alternative due to the print history feature. I think all users and rational people at Shapeways understand the value of being able to determine the original file name of an upload, and perhaps a date or file type. What no user seems to understand is why the feature was dropped.
  5. jimmyadvice
    jimmyadvice Shapeways Employee CS Team
    @MrNibbles There is no official reason for the removal of this feature other than it was not added back after the site update. I'm happy to send this over to our internal team to see if we can add it back in.
    aliciafelber likes this.
  6. jimmyadvice
    jimmyadvice Shapeways Employee CS Team
    @Spitfire2865 @MrNibbles @thor_64

    If possible, can you provide some feedback about why you need this feature active again on the site?

    We were discussing this yesterday with the software team and it appears only a very small number of users ever accessed this feature. We need to know the value and use of this feature in order to determine if we can dedicate time to bringing it back in some form.
  7. adbinc
    adbinc Well-Known Member
    @jimmyadvice I used it because the file name was retained after I renamed the file to the name of the product. The name of the file includes the initials of my designers which I cannot always retain in the name of the product because of the limited number of characters allowed. I really need that information so that the proper person gets paid for his work. Sometimes I know who works on a particular empire, but we have some designers who cross boundaries. I also used it to make sure that the file was the proper one. My designers don't upload their own files to our store and they may not be sure which file they sent. It is a safety net for me and I miss it.
    jimmyadvice likes this.
  8. jimmyadvice
    jimmyadvice Shapeways Employee CS Team
    Thanks for the feedback @adbinc !
  9. Spitfire2865
    Spitfire2865 Well-Known Member
    Why do you need justification to restore a feature that ALREADY EXISTED? This conversation wouldnt be happening if it wasnt unnecessarily cut in the first place.
    But of course you can quote all the statistics you want and never address the real issue of why those in charge of the changes thought they should scrap everything and start from the beginning.
  10. jimmyadvice
    jimmyadvice Shapeways Employee CS Team
    @Spitfire2865 we are asking for feedback on how this feature was used by the folks asking about it here.

    It's not about justification, and as I noted the usage stats on this feature were minimal so we want to know what those that DID use it found useful about it.

    If you don't want to provide feedback, that's up to you.
  11. Spitfire2865
    Spitfire2865 Well-Known Member
    If you want actual feedback, here.
    I used to use this feature to check revision changes during development of designs.
    Infact, a more conspicuous version wouldve helped avoid me buying a part that hadnt been updated to the new design either by my own fault of not updating or Shapeways historically laggy system not taking the update.
    AGAH and jimmyadvice like this.
  12. jimmyadvice
    jimmyadvice Shapeways Employee CS Team
    Thanks @Spitfire2865! I will add this to the feedback I have sent to the web team.
  13. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    I can't speak for the larger number of users that probably uploaded a few models, maybe opened a shop, and then put little to no effort into it afterwards. I would imagine there's a smaller percentage (10%? 5%? 1%?) of longer term users who opened shops and are dedicated to keeping them afloat and in decent shape. Having a model history is all about aiding product documentation and tracking, not to mention revision control. Granted not everyone has worked at GE or other large companies where such matters are critical but to those who try to operate a "business" it's importance will rise above an alternative such as "guess I just need to start over from scratch".

    I'm guilty myself of originally not having a cohesive naming convention in my shop and didn't take care of it until last year when things began to get out of hand. The problems start piling up when someone requests a custom modification of a part and you can't easily find the source file. In particular the problems are compounded if you use something like Tinkercad or a script based program to generate designs. You don't necessarily use the model downloaded from SW to create a modified model. If you weren't smart enough to generate a workflow that can be tracked via a good naming convention then the model history became invaluable to reverse engineer what happened in the past. A user might be matching up file names/versions on several different platforms at the same time: at SW, at Tinkercad, on a hard drive, in a cloud archive, etc.

    In addition some of the model changes would have happened post upload. Wall thickening could be tracked in the model history as could scaling, although there was no log of the actual scaling factors used. Seeing a file name sequentially could mean it was scaled although it could also mean that a revision was uploaded. I'd say because of such matters the model history wasn't even implemented very well but at least you could get some hints about what may have happened when and gave a good starting point to figure things out.

    The last factor is that SW itself has over the years changed how model and product names are dealt with. At first model names were also the product names. If someone uploaded models called design01, design02, design03 and later put them in a shop it made sense to rename them to something better like fancy cup, shirt button, and spider medallion.

    After the implementation of discrete product pages a customizable product name became a new data field and the linked model name returned to being somewhat irrelevant. At yet a later date the model name magically reappeared in the "what's in the box" box. Half the battle of using SW is continually adapting to SW changes.

    I'd say that if you bring back the model history you should also improve it to give more specifics about the actual changes that took place with each model revision (upload, thickening tool used, scaling factor, and whatever else). In addition why not also show the print success history or at the very least a simple table that shows in which materials the present model has been successfully printed? Bring good things to Shapeways instead of making so many things more difficult. Use some 3Dmagination!
  14. jimmyadvice
    jimmyadvice Shapeways Employee CS Team
    Thank you for the thorough feedback @MrNibbles - I will pass this along as well.
    aliciafelber likes this.
  15. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    It's something you don't need until you need it, and then it becomes invaluable.

    SW is and has always been a work in progress which is why the issue is inexorably tied to the development of the site over many years. If I could find a standalone wall thickening tool that worked as well as Shapeways' I'd cut Shapeways out of the design loop completely and the issue would become moot, at least for myself. I can't speak for how other people use the history. Upload dates and other information could also become useful in legal matters when there are disputes between users with regards to ownership, etc.
    aliciafelber and jimmyadvice like this.
  16. jimmyadvice
    jimmyadvice Shapeways Employee CS Team
    Thank you so much for taking the time to provide all this feedback @MrNibbles - It is appreciated and will definitely help our team see the value for our customers.
    aliciafelber likes this.
  17. thor_64
    thor_64 Member
    @jimmyadvice sorry, I didn’t follow this after the first response provided my answer. I typically used the date as a double check to ensure that the uploaded file contained revisions that I track in an excel file offline. Uploading is generally a slow, painful process so a quick verification was valuable. ..... I know the modeling work got done, but did it make it to the website......
    jimmyadvice likes this.
  18. jimmyadvice
    jimmyadvice Shapeways Employee CS Team
    Thank you for providing that feedback, @thor_64. It is appreciated.