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Editor tool to attach/glue/weld existing parts together (like struts but without the struts)


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Long but self-explanatory title: I would love to see an editor tool that attaches two (or more) parts together so that they are constrained the same way they would be if you were to connect them with a strut, BUT obviously without placing a strut.

You would simply sort of "weld" (Garry's mod style) parts together by just clicking on them. Obviously this should only work on parts that touch or are fairly close to each other (should be easily decidably, from a technical standpoint).

I am well aware that as of now, the strut part can actually serve this purpose, but it seems a bit clumsy in certain cases where I would need this functionality most. One example is when building large wing surfaces: You would want the whole wing to stick together and act as one surface, but instead if you just attach multiple wings to the center of your craft, they usually bend and move apart in certain flight situations.

Attaching a strut between these kinds of wings is pretty tedious and sometimes you have to "cheat" around with the translation tool, to make placing it possible at all!

So that's my overall proposition: An editor tool that allows you to click one part and then another part that touches it, welding the two parts together to create an attachment constraint, pretty much exactly as if the parts were connected by a strut.

This seems to be a very essential construction feature, to me!

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I like this idea, been thinking along those lines myself.

This may very well not be at all practical, or even doable, from a programming point of view, but...

It could be handy if some configurations of these welded parts could be saved as new 'custom' single parts, like small sub assemblies. This way you could create custom sized and shaped single part fuel tanks, maybe even with engines attached. This would help reduce the part count quite a bit too.

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Squad already kind of did this went they increased part connections in general back when they first added the 3.75meter parts or the SLS system.

I do have to agree wing connections seem flimsy right now. But then again we have struts.

Adding any advanced connections that are optional doesn't make much sense to me. We have struts which are clear cut on how they work. Which will handle any form of loose connections we may run into. Adding a whole new system just to make things not fall apart seems unnecessary.

There are plenty of engineering tricks to keep things together with struts. Which is all you need to do in most cases.

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It's true that the whole purpose of struts is to rigidly connect parts. But as I said, using them can sometimes be difficult, especially if you want to attach parts together, that are already close to each other (wings).

Perhaps this could be an additional feature of the struts (somehow, derp :| ) that makes it easier to just weld touching parts together, using struts.

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Well, the game can already do this (albeit not in the editor) via docking ports; any pair of ports that should dock but are already part of the same craft should form a strut-like connection (IIRC, the connection is almost identical to the one formed by struts) and "dock" the ports together.

Extending this kind of functionality to other parts in the editor should really be reasonably simple (don't quote me on it, for all I know it could be nearly impossible for some obscure reason) and would really flesh out 0.90's editor gizmos; throw in a Weld gizmo to go with the Offset, Rotate, and Select Root gizmos. Naturally, the limitation would be that the two parts have to be almost touching, or already touching.

It is, after all, the single basic aspect of construction that is still difficult to sort out. Fixing this one up would result in what I would call a fully-complete editor, if a little rough around the edges still.

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There is a tool out but it has been relinquished due to the developer having no time. It worked pretty well for some things, but had major issues with others. Would be a god-send for large ships to help reduce part counts. The author has opened up the license free to anyone who wants to take the source and move forward with it.

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/38577-0-22-UbioZur-Welding-Ltd-2-0-Dev-STOPPED

- - - Updated - - -

And I go and read through the whole thread and lo and behold, someone has picked up the development of the welding mod!!\

New .9 compatible version. Still has a few issues but is being worked.....

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/38577-0-22-UbioZur-Welding-Ltd-2-0-Dev-STOPPED?p=1640892&viewfull=1#post1640892

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I was under the impression the parts welding mod used a switch in the craft file. To me that would suggest it's something Squad have thought about so fingers crossed it can be may to work to the point they will bring it in to stock.

To me they already have an ideal interface for welding - Subassemblies.

So after upgrading to a suitable level if you drop a group of parts to make a subassembly then the parts would weld into reduced number of parts.

It would aim to get to one but anything that decouples, moves, controls or jettisons would stay as a unique part or at least from one of the nodes at each 'end' of the part(s) in the subassembly.

Me I just hoping they where waiting till after 0.90 seeing it can now handle parts sorting and finding in a much better way.

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I was under the impression the parts welding mod

The welding mod takes several parts and combines them into one piece. That is, it totally does away with the concept of a connection that could bend or break.

What the OP wants (and what I'd like, too) is that parts can connect in more than one place. Like a strut of zero length. I'm not sure whether that would improve performance, though: I have a suspicion that it's not as much the number of parts that bogs down the game, but the number of connections.

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It's both the number of parts and the number of connections, Laie :)

As a result, the proposed feature would probably slightly decrease lag by only requiring an added connection -- struts are an additional part as well as the connection itself, creating more lag than a single connection ought to. :D

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From what I gather, and probably one of the main reasons why UbioZur's Welding Plugin never really hit the mainstream, and why the concept hasnt been picked up by others to develop, is that welding parts that have modules (ie that use/create resources, move, etc.), can cause LOTS of issues. It has pretty much been limited to just basic, do-nothing-except-offer-structural-support-between-other-parts, parts... :D

Which is NOT a bad thing, when you have a few dozen flat plates, structural I-beams, or trusses all holding something together...

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