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Establishing CAD standards within a SolidWorks environment Matthew Lorono, owner SolidWorks Legion.

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Presentation on theme: "Establishing CAD standards within a SolidWorks environment Matthew Lorono, owner SolidWorks Legion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Establishing CAD standards within a SolidWorks environment Matthew Lorono, owner SolidWorks Legion

2 Establishing CAD standards – Presentation description This presentation provides road map to establishing company CAD standards within an engineering environment that utilizes SolidWorks. This presentation discusses some specific recommendations; However, this presentation will focus on general topics and ideas that you may wish to cover in your CAD environment.

3 Establishing CAD standards - Overview Rules for writing procedures in the 21 st Century Preliminary CAD considerations SolidWorks templates and sheet formats SolidWorks performance SolidWorks best practices Drafting standards Source file and document control Revision control Handling legacy procedures and systems Dissemination of standards and training

4 Rules for writing procedures in the 21 st Century

5 Composition of a procedure  Purpose – A statement of purpose for the procedure.  Scope – A statement about the extent to which the procedure applies.  Application – This is an optional statement about how to apply the procedure (including how to handle possible exceptions).  Definitions – This is a glossary of special terms found within the procedure.  Requirements – A statement that details the skills or training that is required to use the procedure.  Procedure – This is the organized list of instructions and responsibilities.

6 Rules for writing procedures in the 21 st Century When writing procedures, state instructions and responsibilities in a clear and concise manner. − Actual statement found in a transcript of a doctor’s dictation: “The baby was delivered, the cord clamped and cut and handed to the pediatrician, who breathed and cried immediately” Source: The Bride of Anguished English by Richard Lederer, p65.

7 Rules for writing procedures in the 21 st Century Where possible, instructions should be stated as imperatives. (Avoid matter of fact statements unless stating a condition or fact.) Begin individual instructions with action verbs. Write in the third-person or even “no-person” perspective.  Examples: − Recommended: “Fill in all title block fields.” − Not recommended: “All title block fields will be filled in by you.” (All of them by me? Really?!?) − Not recommended: “Title block fields are filled in.” (When did that happen?)

8 Rules for writing procedures in the 21 st Century Reduce unnecessary wordiness. − Bad example: “I’m jumping off of the road.” The additional “of” is unnecessary. − Good example: “I’m jumping off the road.” Source: Do you speak American? by Robert MacNeil and William Cran quoting John Simon, p22. Use gender neutral pronouns, when needed. − It is OK to use “they”, “their” and “them” for both plural and singular form. Use the word shall to establish a requirement that is not stated as an imperative. Use of the word will is only recommended when responsibility and timeframe are established by the context. − Recommended: “Each operator shall be capable of lifting 50lbs.” − Not recommended; “Each operator will be capable of lifting 50lbs.” (When will that be a requirement?) The words may and should generally represent suggestions or preferences. Do not use these words to signify requirements.

9 Rules for writing procedures in the 21 st Century Use present tense; avoid mixed tenses (esp. future and past). − Recommended: “Each part number represents an item.” − Not recommended: “A part number will represent an item.” (When will that happen?) Despite what Microsoft Word says in its grammar check, use of the passive voice is OK. However, using imperative statements reduces the need for the passive voice. − Acceptable: “Grease may be applied to reduce friction.” − Alternative: “Application of grease is OK to reduce friction.” − Imperative: “Apply grease as necessary to reduce friction.” Avoid legal jargon and colloquial terms − For example, avoid “he/she”, “and/or”, or “per se”. (“He/she is not here and/or there, per se.”) − Other examples, avoid “heaven forbid”, “totally”, or “roundabout”. (These are actual terms I’ve actually found in technical documents.)

10 Rules for writing procedures in the 21 st Century Side note: there is no practical difference in how to apply the terms Standard Operating Procedures and Work Instructions.

11 Preliminary CAD considerations

12 Determine work environment and types of SolidWorks users.  Contractors  Consultants  Direct hire employees − new users − experienced users  Up stream suppliers  Down stream customers

13 Preliminary CAD considerations Determine file management for SolidWorks files.  PDM or PLM controlled files? − Which system and how will it be used??  Files on a shared network drive? − What revision management is in place? How are files accessed and updated?  Files stored on a local drive? − How are files shared?  What is the number of contributor sites? − One site is far easier than multiple sites.

14 Preliminary CAD considerations Determine the best methods of modelling and assembly structure in SolidWorks for your company. Several practices exist as general guides: − Top-Down assemblies (many similar products with well understood assembly structure) − Horizontal Modelling (extremely complex models) − Skeleton (product assembly lines, large equipment) − Bottom-Up assemblies (small equipment, modelling environments with many diverse disciplines, high staff turnover) − Configurations (many similar products with leveraged components and geometry)  There is no one-size-fits-all modelling and assembly method for all companies. Research each and make the determination based on business needs.

15 Preliminary CAD considerations Determine the form of released documentation.  Plotted full size drawings  Drawings printed on letter size paper  Drawings in the electronic form only (PDF, eDrawings, or native SolidWorks)  Model Based Definition (use of the solid models to define the product)  Mix of the above

16 Preliminary CAD considerations Determine how SolidWorks files will relate to product life.  Product life is the timeframe that starts with the initial product design and ends with the conclusion of support after the product is withdrawn from the marketplace.  Release phases within the product life may impact how SolidWorks files are controlled.

17 SolidWorks templates and sheet formats

18 Create a basic solid model template. − This will be the most used document template. − The setup within this template will become the backbone of everything within SolidWorks. − It may be used to create other templates. Create a solid model assembly template. − Many settings within this template should duplicate the settings in the solid model template. − Setup the assembly template to support the chosen modelling method. However, do not become overly reliant on any particular methodology since situations may require flexibility.

19 − Determine basic drawing elements (title block, border and sheet sizes, revision block, general note location). − Determine how custom properties or other properties values will be used in the title block. − Will annotation notes within the title block pull their values from the drawing itself or from the solid model? See SolidWorks Help search for “Link to Property”. − Determine pre-defined views, if desired. − Will dimensions import from the model or be created in the drawing, or both? − Create drawing templates and sheet formats for each drawing size. SolidWorks templates and sheet formats Create drawing templates and decide how they will interact with solid models.

20 SolidWorks templates and sheet formats In network environments, place the templates and sheet formats within a network folder where all SolidWorks users will have access. − Point all SolidWorks installs to this location. This can be done within pulldown menu Tools>Options>File Location>Document Templates and Sheet Formats. − See SolidWorks Help search for Copy Settings Wizard for information on how to backup or copy settings between computers. − Also see Admin Image for instructions on automate setting updates across a network.

21 SolidWorks performance

22 Create a procedure or internal guide that establishes requirements for SolidWorks performance, including:  computer system requirements (hardware and software)  Windows settings (configuration of the Windows OS)  SolidWorks installation (installation guidelines or methods)  working folders (whether working with or without PDM software)  standardized configuration files and locations (custom materials, custom hole wizard, sheet material gage tables, Toolbox, etc). This information should be updated frequently as computers, processes and SolidWorks are updated.

23 SolidWorks best practices

24 Create a procedure that establishes SolidWorks best practices based on business needs. It is not necessary to specify instructions for every scenario. Use best practices as a guide. Instructions within the procedure should coincide with the chosen modelling methodologies. Best practices should also be closely tied with SolidWorks templates and sheet formats.

25 SolidWorks best practices For solid models, discuss preferred methods  preferences for creating features  use of reference geometry  organization of FeatureManager design tree  how to create models to capture function and design intent  how to apply model dimensions that will appear on the drawing For assemblies, cover assembly methodologies  state when to use a methodology, such as top-down or bottom-up  discuss which component within an assembly should be the primary component (and whether is should be fixed or mated)  discuss mating rules  cover how to avoid circular mating

26 SolidWorks best practices For drawings, detail how to use company standards  list drawing templates and sheet formats and any special instructions related to their use  list custom keyboard shortcuts, common macros, etc.  Establish courtesy rules − Example: Save drawings with the view at Zoom to Fit. − Example: Do not modify title blocks directly.

27 Drafting standards

28 Create a company drafting standard. Invoke an existing international engineering drawing standard within your company drafting standard. Rely on the international standard for bulk of drawing requirements. (Leveraging existing standards allows the company drafting standard to be short.)  ASME Y (umbrella engineering drawing standard)  ASME Y (GD&T drafting standard)  If using Model Based Define, consider ASME Y14.41 (3D model drafting standard) List exceptions to the international standards within the company drafting standard. Also, make sure legal copies of the international standards are on hand.

29 Source file and document control

30 Create a procedure that covers how to handle file management of SolidWorks files and other engineering documents. It should include processes for control of SolidWorks files for the following: − Files in folders on the local drive − Files in folders on a network drive − Files stored within the vault that is controlled by a PDM or PLM application − Files to be shared with suppliers and customers Discuss release status for files. Establish workflows that govern the release and change of files. Explicitly state the responsibilities of each role within those workflows. Where possible, keep user input requirements to a minimum.

31 Revision control

32 Any change that affects interchangeability, form, fit or function should require a revision. − Scenario: The tolerance of a mating feature is reduced. Should the assembly of the two mating components revised along with the changing component? − Scenario: A drawing title block is updated to reference a the new ASME Y standard. Should this change require a new revision the part? Business needs should be considered when determining how to management revisions. =

33 Revision control Create a procedure that covers how to revise SolidWorks files and other engineering documents. − Revision schemes (alphabetic, numeric or both) − Version handling (changing documents between revisions or in pre-release activities) State when a change requires a revision, and when a new part number is necessary instead (see next slide for concept definitions). − Primary consideration is interchangeability. Is the change interchangeable with the previous revision and vice versa? If not, a new part number should be used instead of a revision. − Secondary consideration is the function. Does the part have the same function after the change? For example, a part’s function may be different if the part is used on a new product as a result of the change. − Form and fit are tertiary considerations. Is the material changing? Or, is the fit affected (even if interchangeability is not). If so, then a new part number is required. − Otherwise, just revise the existing part. This procedure can rely on ASME Y If the company uses a ERP or PLM, this procedure may be supplemental to those processes.

34 Revision control definitions Content change – Any change that affects interchangeability, form, fit or function. Non-content change – Very minor document corrections to obvious errors, such as typos, transcription errors, grammar, or text formatting where the content of the document is not affected. Form, Fit, or Function – Characteristics of physical items.  Form – Item material, composition, general shape, or other physical parameters which uniquely characterize the part.  Fit – Item size, mating, mounting, attachment, or connection.  Function – Item purpose, operation or performance (such as: method of use, operating range, safety, compatibility, reliability, accuracy, etc). Interchangeability – Ability of an item to replace and be replaced.

35 Handling legacy procedures and systems

36 Create a Process Flow chart of the legacy processes (e.g., AutoCAD files). − A graphical layout of the processes may reveal unexpected links and dependencies between events. − It may also help stakeholders to discuss improvements. Analyze how to integrate legacy processes with SolidWorks related processes, including migration paths. Update the Process Flow chart accordingly, along with affected procedures. Use of legacy processes should diminish with the implementation of new processes. As a function of the migration, have a long term plan for retirement of legacy processes.

37 Dissemination of standards and training

38 Dissemination of standards via training Train staff as they are hired. Revise procedures about once a year (or more if process changes are required). Retrain staff after each revision. Stagger the revision of procedures throughout the year to minimize impact of individual process changes.

39 Questions? My website:


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