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2005 Eastern Region SolidWorks User Conference: Parts 4 Publication Working with Part Libraries Making models for others.

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Presentation on theme: "2005 Eastern Region SolidWorks User Conference: Parts 4 Publication Working with Part Libraries Making models for others."— Presentation transcript:

1 2005 Eastern Region SolidWorks User Conference: Parts 4 Publication Working with Part Libraries Making models for others

2 Accept that library content is different Learn to let go of Design Intent, the majority of library content has a set design Purchased items Hardware Jigs, fixtures, or tooling Standard product line components Library users need faster assembly editing more than they need pretty, feature rich part models. Imported `dumb solids are OK Purchased sub-assemblies can be re-saved as part documents Sketch & modeling technique can be optimized for file size or rebuild time at the expense of the Feature Tree organization Modeling efficiencies in a well made library item show up in thousands of assemblies. Data errors or file waste will also show up in thousands of assemblies…

3 Builders basics Start with existing files and remove detail Download from vendors when possible Move or edit the parts to be symmetric about the origin Insert Features Move/Copy (body) Put in a mate reference Drag & drop SmartMating… Fill in the File Properties Can be searched upon later… Rename sketches, features, and key dimensions Width@keywayWidth@keyway vs. d5@sketch13

4 Capitalizing on configurations In the library storage drive, 1 file of 12 configurations uses significantly less space that 12 individual part documents. Design table entries can suppress and un-suppress features However, if more than 3 features are being toggled on/off for a particular configuration change, consider breaking out a new part document. Part configurations can often be switched in an assembly without having to recreate or edit mates. File – Replace may leave certain mates dangling with invalid face references Remember to put good mate references in your parts before putting them in the library. Configuration names need to be unique and follow a logical pattern If a numbering scheme is used, the method for obtaining the next number needs to be commented at the bottom of the design table.

5 Dealing with data Equation variables can hold items such as `number of teeth which is used to calculate some other geometry parameter. Design tables with fewer columns lead to smaller part file sizes. The variable need not drive any geometry dimension directly. `comments` in the equations can make the data use clearer When a parameter ratio to size does not remain consistent through the size range, it should be explicitly listed in a design table column. Easier to create spin-off content without having to develop a new or more clever parameter algorithm Use Excel auto fill and other tools to build up a design table faster. have another user proof read or check your design tables before inserting them in your part files Do not use linked design tables with library parts unless you also control the access and edit of the source *.xls

6 Efforts towards efficiency Parts with more complex sketches but fewer features will rebuild faster than a part with many more simple features. A revolved profile is more efficient that a stack of circular bores, or a set of repeated cut extrudes. Test values can be implemented via equations and then later commented out. Makes the part self-documenting Helps when making spinoffs Allows for faster feature edits without the design table being embedded during part development

7 Finishing it off As library models approach completion, some general housekeeping considerations are: Hide any added work planes and working sketches Check that all features and sketches are meaningfully named Test by exercising all valid configurations (use a macro) http://www.designsmith- services.com/Downloads/Config- exerciser.swp http://www.designsmith- services.com/Downloads/Config- exerciser.swp Remove any excess configurations Verify the mate reference is present and correctly placed for SmartMating Comment out the test values in equations File save-as to the published library folder ' Fo r c i b l y r e b u i l d e a c h c o n f i g u r a t i o n Op t i o n Ex p l i c i t Su b ma i n ( ) Di m s wAp p As Sl dWo r k s. Sl dWo r k s Di m s wMo d e l As Sl dWo r k s. Mo d e l Do c 2 Di m v Co n f Name Ar r As Va r i a n t Di m s Co n f i g Name As St r i n g Di m n St a r t As Si n g l e Di m i As L o n g Di m b Sh o wCo n f i g As Bo o l e a n Di m b Re b u i l d As Bo o l e a n Di m b Re t As Bo o l e a n Se t s wAp p = Cr e a t eOb j e c t ( " Sl dWo r k s. Ap p l i c a t i o n " ) Se t s wMo d e l = s wAp p. Ac t i v e Do c De b u g. Pr i n t " Fi l e = " + s wMo d e l. Ge t Pa t h Name v Co n f Name Ar r = s wMo d e l. Ge t Co n f i g u r a t i o n Name s Fo r i = 0 To UBo u n d ( v Co n f Name Ar r ) s Co n f i g Name = v Co n f Name Ar r ( i ) b Sh o wCo n f i g = s wMo d e l. Sh o wCo n f i g u r a t i o n 2 ( s Co n f i g Name ) n St a r t = Ti me r b Re b u i l d = s wMo d e l. Fo r c e Re b u i l d 3 ( Fa l s e ) De b u g. Pr i n t " Co n f i g = " & s Co n f i g Name De b u g. Pr i n t " Sh o wCo n f i g = " & b Sh o wCo n f i g De b u g. Pr i n t " Re b u i l d = " & b Re b u i l d De b u g. Pr i n t " Ti me = " & Ti me r - n St a r t & " s " Ne x t i En d Su b

8 Go! To use, edit the macro from within SolidWorks, while the target part document is open. Then choose to `run while still within the editor and with the Immediate window open. If any configuration causes a model rebuild error, the macro will stop and the editor will display a warning message. Modifying the above to put the nStart, and Time statements outside of the For Next loop will give total rebuild times for all the configurations, as shown in the test results table.

9 Teach yourself with content samples Content Central – User Library www.3DContentCentral.com Mike Wilson http://www.mikejwilson.com/solidworks/solidworks_files.htm SWUGN – Paul Salvador http://www.swugn.org/swxmodels.htm FIRST CAD library, USFIRST & other robotic parts http://www.firstcadlibrary.com/

10 Final considerations An hour of optimizing effort can produce a 30% file efficiency boost that lasts the life of the library. If you do not have good existing parts to start from or the man-hours to spend on content creation… Put a pair of co-op students or interns to work Contract the part modeling out to an independent CSWP or similarly qualified designer Search SolidWorks Manufacturing Network for engineering firms offering content modeling services Post to the SWUGN Yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Solidworks-SWUGN

11 Thank you… John Nolin, CSWP NH – SolidWorks Users Group http://www.SWUG-NH.org Program Manager DesignSmith LLC 603-465-7946 Fax 661-457-2553 http://www.DesignSmith-Services.com http://www.designsmith- services.com/Downloads/Parts4Publication.pdf


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