North America's Leading Siemens PLM Partner

Designfusion Blog

Moldwizard Series

Stephen Rose - Thursday, October 06, 2016

Check out our 3 part MoldWizard Series

 

Part 1:

 

 

Part 2:

 

 

Part 3:

 

 

 

Ways to help with Keyshot

Cory Goulden - Wednesday, September 14, 2016

 

Have you have ever been asked to create an image or snapshot for any reason and the model that you created in SE does not have the level of detail required? Maybe there are holes in a sheet that are not there (for performance reasons for example). Maybe a hose is just a tube but you want it to appear to have a ribbed type look to it? Keyshot might be the solution.

 

We, as CAD designers, make a cognitive decision to keep things simple as best we can. Let’s take a look at how we can utilize Keyshot to do some of the heavy lifting in this case.

 

We can start with a simple tube in Solid Edge. We need to produce a picture of this tube but it needs to look corrugated. Quickly we can take it into Keyshot. This is where the fun starts.

 

              Start                                                                                                    Finish

 

      


This is easily accomplished by using the thread face style in Solid Edge and then going into Keyshot.

 

 

What’s that? Too easy or doesn’t look good enough. Okay we can apply a hard black plastic to it in Keyshot. That makes the cylinder look good but we need to apply a texture to it. On the left hand side of the Keyshot menu under the textures tab you can select the “Horizontal_Tubes_Normal”. As usual with Keyshot it is as simple as dragging and dropping onto our model. Next go to the right side menus of Keyshot and let’s edit the properties of this texture. From the Project menu under the Materials>Textures tab (As illustrated below) I changed the Scale to .1 and the Bump Height to 2. For this model those sizes give me what I want to see.

 

 

                        

 

This looks great and I did not have to model the corrugation. A mistake some users can make. You may not need the information in the CAD model but you may need to show it in screenshots or documentation. Try doing it in Keyshot. I am sure you will have impressive results!

 

“But you also said holes in a sheet” is what you are thinking now….I know I know. Great tools here too.

 

For example, we design holes that have specific purposes. But let’s say we need a perforated sheet. We have a solid sheet in Solid Edge and take in into Keyshot.

 

First option here is to apply a material type (such as “Aluminum Circular Mesh) to the sheet. This gives us circular cut-outs in the material. Again you might need to adjust the parameters. As you can see, you can see right through it.

 


 

You could modify the colours from there is need be.

 

You could also apply a Texture to an applied material as we did before in the above steps.

 

This is a simple process to have fast performing models in Solid Edge and also be able to produce what might be required for presentations, documentation, or to others. Keyshot makes it easy!

 

 

 

 

NX CAM: Eliminate wasted cutting motions on overhanging blank material

John Pearson - Thursday, July 28, 2016

 

Regular readers of our blog may recall my last NX CAM article, where I stated that many improvements to the software are missed due to lack of upgrade training. I gave several reason for this, which I’ll not repeat. If you’re interested, you can read the article: http://www.designfusion.com/designfusion_blog/nx-cam-options-for-selecting-cut-areas.

 

Continuing on the theme from that article, I’d like to highlight another recent improvement that may have been overlooked by some users. This improvement focuses on eliminating some wasted cut motions. My old boss, back in my CNC programming days, used to always remind me that machine time was more valuable than my time. It was his way of saying that he wanted us to make our programs as efficient as possible. So I was trained to always look for cutting efficiency. Perhaps that is why this enhancement caught my eye. This was introduced in NX9, so if you haven’t upgraded to NX9 or NX10, you have to do this manually. Let’s first look at the scenario.

 

I have a part to be machined, along with my defined blank geometry, as shown below.

 


 

Let’s assume that I rough out the bottom of the part first, using cavity mill.

 


 

Next I’ll want to rough out the top. I define my cavity mill operation and set the containment to use the IPW (in process workpiece). In other words, my blank becomes what was left after the last operation.

 


 

The image below shows the blank material after the bottom rough cut.

 


 

Prior to NX9, my cutting path would look like the following image.

 


 

Notice that the tool roughed the top, but it continued to cut the bottom half which had already been roughed away. In NX9 they added an enhancement which omits cuts that remove insignificant amounts of material from overhanging IPW’s. So in NX9, under the Strategy tab, you will see a new option called Cut Below Overhanging Blank.

 


 

If this is turned on, you will get the old pre-NX9 results, as shown above. If it is turned off, your path will generate as shown below.

 


 

Notice here that no cutting motions are wasted trying to remove the IPW left behind by the previous operation on the underside of the part. This could add up to some significant machine time savings for your company.

 

I will continue to highlight some of the newer NX CAM enhancements in future blog articles. But keep in mind that this is a slow way to learn about improvements. For example, had you attended an NX9 upgrade course, you would have learned this enhancement and more, almost 2 years ago. Imagine how much machine time that could have been saved; definitely enough to pay for the course and much more.

 

New – Standalone Advanced Draft Course

John Pearson - Thursday, July 07, 2016

 

As Solid Edge’s capabilities expand, so too must we expand our ability to utilize the latest capabilities. With this in mind we have created a new, standalone advanced draft course. We use to teach advanced draft capabilities as part of the advanced modeling course. However, we felt that it wasn’t doing the topic justice. So we have created a 2-day course focused on the Solid Edge Draft environment.

 

This new course builds on the draft training from the fundamentals course. It takes the user to new and deeper levels of knowledge and expands their capabilities. Upon completion, students will be able to create, and manipulate, draft templates. They will also have a greater understanding of how to manage and manipulate the views, dimensions, annotations, styles, and tables, in the Draft environment. The course content includes:

 

Day 1

 

Module 1: Draft Templates 

– Draft Templates

  • Global Settings

  • Background Sheet

  • Boundaries, Title Blocks, and Logos

  • Callouts

  • Working Sheet

  • Saving the template

  •        • Template locations

 

Module 2: Advanced View Control 

– Advanced View Control

  • DV Wizard saved settings

  • Rapid population of draft template

  • Draft Quality drawing views

  • Drawing View Display Depths

  • Locking a drawing view

  • Modify a drawing view cropping boundary

  • Advanced Detail View option

  • View Alignment of Break Lines

  • Drawing View Styles

 

Module 3: Advanced View Editing 

– Advanced View Editing

  - View Activation

  - View properties

  - Track Dimension Changes

  - Drawing View Tracker

  - Force Drawing Views to Update

 

Module 4: Advanced Dimensions 

– Advanced Dimensions

  • Smart Dimension Hot Keys

  • Coordinate Dimension options

  • Symmetric Dimensions

  • Attach Dimensions

  • Add Jogs to Dimension

  • Insert a vertex in a leader

  • Dimension Styles

  • Copy Attributes

 

 

Day 2

 

Module 5: Advanced Annotations 

– Advanced Annotations

  • Advanced control over center lines and center marks

  • Stacked Balloons

  • Special Symbols

  • Reference Text

  • Technical Text note

  • Format Code

  • Annotation Alignment Shape

 

 

Module 6: Parts List and Tables 

– Parts List and Tables

  • Parts List Properties in detail

  • Tables Styles

  • Pull Assembly or Model Out of Assembly Context

  • Hole Table

  • FOP Tables

  • User-defined Tables

 

 

Module 7: Automated Draft Tools 

– Automated Draft Tools

  • Dimension Alignment

  • Dimension Automatic Arrangement

  • Automatic Centerlines

  • Perspective Views

  • QuickSheet Template

  • Sheet Compare

  • Batch Printing

 

Module 8: Miscellaneous Tools 

- Layers

  - Blocks

  - Symbols

  - Revision Manager

 

This advanced knowledge will allow the student to improve on both qualities of, and efficiency in, their draft documents.It significantly advances the capabilities in creating and modifying draft documents, and has been professionally designed to maximize return on investment.

 

This course, which is unique to Designfusion, adds to our list of courses already offered by our professional trainers. For a complete list of our courses, please visit our technical training page at, http://www.designfusion.ca//technical-training.html. For our training schedule, please visit our events page at, http://www.designfusion.ca//events.html.

 

For more information and quotes, contact your Account Manager, or contact us at info@designfusion.com.

 




NX CAM: Options for selecting cut areas

John Pearson - Thursday, May 26, 2016

 

With the daily grind to meet production schedules, it is often difficult to keep up with all the changes to NX CAM software. I have spoken with many users who are basically still using methods that they learned from their first CAM course(s), despite the fact that there now exist more efficient ways of doing things. The primary reason for this is that they have not received any update training. Some companies expect the users to learn on their own, yet fail to provide time to do so. Others don’t see the value in upgrade training, or insist that their users simply don’t need it. Whatever the excuse, training always seems to be the lowest priority, until issues arise. I have even known companies who have even investigated changing software, when the far less expensive option of training would provide them with all that they need.

 

With this in mind, I thought it may be ideal to review some of the newer and more efficient ways of doing things in NX CAM. For this blog article I’d like to focus on the new options for cut area selection, added to the fixed and variable contour operations, in NX9. You can now define Cut Areas, for these operations, by selecting a seed face and bounding edges that form a closed loop.

 

Example 1 : Let’s start by looking at a simple example where I use a seed face inside a single loop. Here I have a Contour Area operation for the part you see below.

 


 

I start by selecting the Specify Cut Area option. I then use the new selection method that has been added. This method is labeled as Edge Bounded Region, and is found in the Selection Method list.

 


 

With this new option selected, all I have to do is select a seed face, as shown below.

 


 

Then I select the bounding edge as shown below.

 


 

Tip: To ensure the selection of the tangent curve, I make sure that the selection intent, on the Top Border Bar, is set to Tangent Curves .

 


 

I then click on Preview Region, and notice that I have selected this entire region with minimal mouse clicks.

 


 

Example 2: This example shows the selection of a single seed face that is found between two containment loops. Using the same part and operation as in Example 1, I start by selecting Specify Cut Area. I select the Edge Bounded Region option from the Selection Method list. This time I select the seed face shown below.

 


 

As before, I use the Tangent Curves selection intent to select the top closed loop.

 


 

I then select the bottom closed loop.

 

 


 

These two closed loops form the exterior and interior containment loops and when I select Preview Region , I am shown the selected area.

 


 

If you expand the Region Options on the Cut Area dialog, you will see 2 other options, the Traverse Interior Edges option, and the Use Tangent Edge Angle option.

 


 

The next two examples will look at these options.

 

Example 3 : Using the Traverse Interior Edges option.

 

In this example, I expand on Example 1, where I have already selected the faces as shown below.

 


 

But in this example, a boss and an additional edge blend has been added to the model.

 



 

If I use the same selection method as in Example 1, but also toggle on Traverse Interior Edges, the Preview Region shows me the following selection area.

 


 

Example 4 : Using the Use Tangent Edge Angle option.

 

In this final example, I have modified the part by removing the top edge blend. By removing the edge blend, the normal vectors between the faces now form a 30-degree angle.

 


 

I start by selecting Specify Cut Area. I select the Edge Bounded Region option from the Selection Method list. For my seed face I select the bottom face.

 


 

For the bounding edge I select the four exterior edges shown below.

 


 

Next, I toggle on the Use Tangent Edge Angle option and set the Angle Tolerance to 25.0000, as shown.

 


 

When I generate my operation, I notice that the top planar face is ignored. This is because the normal vectors between tangent faces exceed the specified 25-degree Angle Tolerance, therefore the adjacent face is not included in the cut area.

 


 

Rule: If the normal vectors between tangent faces equal or exceed the user specified Angle Tolerance, the adjacent face is not added to the contained area to be machined.

 


 

As you can see, these new options are more efficient than the previous method for selecting a cut area. And this is just one of the many new tools added in recent years. NX CAM continues to improve its technology, but it is up to you, the user, to learn about these improvements. It has been my experience that this does not happen unless the user is allowed the time to learn. The most cost effective way for users to improve is through professional training. Update and custom courses are available through either Siemens Training or through Designfusion. For more information, contact your Account Manager or contact us at info@designfusion.com.

 

 


How to copy a whole set of files from a project

Dominic Benoit - Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Depending on the folder structure used in your company, links between Solid Edge files can sometimes be spread all over the file system. The task to consolidate all files may seem impossible, but often essential for various reasons. You must already have tried to copy all using Windows Explorer, but you always keep the feeling of having forgotten well-hidden part files.

 

The Revision Manager is the ideal tool in order for grouping, or even for restructuring files.

 

Method of grouping: (such as for sending by e-mail)

Only downlinks will be found and copied.


  • 1-Open the general assembly

 


 

  • 2-Starting from the left to the right, click the buttons in the following order :
  •    a.Expand All
  •    b.Select All
  •    c.Copy
  •    d.Set Path

 


 

  • 3-Select the destination folder. Create one if necessary with the New Folder button.
  • 4-Confirm that all actions are properly prepared.

 


 

  • 5-Click Perform actions


 

Your documents are copied to the specified single folder.

 

Copying method, keeping the original structure :

Only downlinks will be found and copied.

  •     1-Open the general assembly

 


 

  • 2-Starting from the left to the right, click the buttons in the following order :
  •     a.Expand All
  •     b.Select All
  •     c.Copy

 


 

  • 3-You must now change the path of your copy:
  • a.Click on Replace 

  •  
  • b.Enter the beginning of the path that is common to all files in the Find What box.
  •     i.Ex 1. F:\00_Demos\Quicklooks
  •     ii.Ex 2. F :
  • c.Enter the beginning of the destination path for all files in the Replace with box.
  •     i.Ex 1. G:\Copy
  •     ii.Ex 2. G :
  • d.Click on Replace All

 


 

  • 4-Confirm that all actions are properly prepared.

 


 

  • 5-Click on Perform Actions.

  •  
  • 6-You then have a message offering you to create missing folders in the destination. Answer Yes, the folders will be created as specified in step 4.

 

Your documents are copied to the specified folder by creating the structure.

 

Full copy method:

 

The downlinks and uplinks will be found and copied.

  •     1-Open the general assembly

 


 

  • 2-Starting from the left to the right, click the buttons in the following order :
  •     a.Expand All
  •     b.Select All
  •     c.Copy

 


 

  • 3-Do a Where Used to find the .DFT documents referring to these 3D models.
  •     a.Tools-> Where Used
  •  


 

  • 4-Identify the folders to crawl for the search.
  •     b.Click Add to include the desired folders in the right column.
  •     c.Click on Process Options to select only the .DFT file type.

 



  •  
  •     d.Click on Next to start the search.
  •     e.Selected AND found files will be listed at the bottom of the screen.
  •  
  • 5-Use one of the previously proposed methods to specify the destination of copies.
  • 6-Click in the lower pane, you need to select the .DFT files to apply the same copy / destination strategy.
  •     f.Click on Select By Type.


 

  •     g.Choose the .DFT files, then OK
  • 7-Click the action button Copy, and use a previously proposed method for specifying the destination of copies.

 


 

  • 8-Confirm that all actions are properly prepared.
  • 9-Click on Perform Actions.

  •  
  • 10-You then have a message offering you to create missing folders in the destination. Answer Yes, the folders will be created as specified in step 4.

 

Your documents are copied to the specified folder by duplicating all the structure.

 

 


How to control accurately the dimensions and corners of a frame (Assembly environment – Frame environment)

Frederic Menage - Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Introduction

 

The frame command is a great time saver when we have to design metallic structures (assembly of standard channels). But we have to know how to efficiently control the location of the cross sections as well as the extremities (corners).

 

Additional wireframe to control all frame dimensions

Sometimes, we want to offset a cross section to obtain a better alignment but no keypoint on the cross section lets us access the correct location relative to the wireframe. For this reason, it is sometimes required (especially when there are angular members) that we build additional wireframe (in a sketch typically) in order to locate cross sections.

 


 

Trimming/extending using other frame members requires several frame features

When we need a good contact between frame member faces, we sometimes need to use the extend/trim option at some extremities. The user should know that trimming/extending using other frame members is only possible if the extrusions belong to different frame features. Also, the ‘auto’ method as well as a quickpick selection of the target face should be used in such a situation.

 

Conclusion

The Frame command is a complex command that requires some practice. Selection methods are slightly different than your typical Solid Edge command. Also, there are lots of sub-options to discover. Once all this is clarified, you will have no problem designing your frames with ease in a timely manner.

 


How to Model Flexible Parts

Manny Marquez - Friday, March 11, 2016

 

Check out our other videos here

How to copy a whole set of files from a project

Dominic Benoit - Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Depending on the folder structure used in your company, links between Solid Edge files can sometimes be spread all over the file system. The task to consolidate all files may seem impossible, but often essential for various reasons. You must already have tried to copy all using Windows Explorer, but you always keep the feeling of having forgotten well-hidden part files.

 

The Revision Manager is the ideal tool in order for grouping, or even for restructuring files.

 

Method of grouping: (such as for sending by e-mail)

Only downlinks will be found and copied.


  • 1-Open the general assembly

 


 

  • 2-Starting from the left to the right, click the buttons in the following order :
  • a.Expand All
  • b.Select All
  • c.Copy
  • d.Set Path

 


 

  • 3-Select the destination folder. Create one if necessary with the New Folder button.

  • 4-Confirm that all actions are properly prepared.

 


 

  • 5-Click Perform actions 
  •  

Your documents are copied to the specified single folder.

 

Copying method, keeping the original structure :

Only downlinks will be found and copied.

  • 1-Open the general assembly

 


 

  • 2-Starting from the left to the right, click the buttons in the following order :
  • a.Expand All
  • b.Select All
  • c.Copy

 


 

  • 3-You must now change the path of your copy:
  • a.Click on Replace 

 

  • b.Enter the beginning of the path that is common to all files in the Find What box.
  • i.Ex 1. F:\00_Demos\Quicklooks
  • ii.Ex 2. F :

  • c.Enter the beginning of the destination path for all files in the Replace with box.
  • i.Ex 1. G:\Copy
  • ii.Ex 2. G :

  • d.Click on Replace All

 


 

  • 4-Confirm that all actions are properly prepared.

 


 

  • 5-Click on Perform Actions
  •  
  • 6-You then have a message offering you to create missing folders in the destination. Answer Yes, the folders will be created as specified in step 4.

 

Your documents are copied to the specified folder by creating the structure.

 

Full copy method:

The downlinks and uplinks will be found and copied.


  • 1-Open the general assembly

 


 

  • 2-Starting from the left to the right, click the buttons in the following order :
  • a.Expand All
  • b.Select All
  • c.Copy

 


 

  • 3-Do a Where Used to find the .DFT documents referring to these 3D models.
  • a.Tools-> Where Used

 


 

  • 4-Identify the folders to crawl for the search.
  • b.Click Add to include the desired folders in the right column.
  • c.Click on Process Options to select only the .DFT file type.

 



 

  • d.Click on Next to start the search.
  • e.Selected AND found files will be listed at the bottom of the screen.

  • 5-Use one of the previously proposed methods to specify the destination of copies.

  • 6-Click in the lower pane, you need to select the .DFT files to apply the same copy / destination strategy.
  • f.Click on Select By Type.

 


 

  • g.Choose the .DFT files, then OK
  • 7-Click the action button Copy, and use a previously proposed method for specifying the destination of copies.

 


 

  • 8-Confirm that all actions are properly prepared.
  • 9-Click on Perform Actions
  •  
  • 10-You then have a message offering you to create missing folders in the destination. Answer Yes, the folders will be created as specified in step 4.

 

Your documents are copied to the specified folder by duplicating all the structure.

 


Solid Edge and Keyshot : how does it work? Chapter 2

Francis Robert - Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Here is the conclusion of the article on the interaction between Solid Edge and Keyshot.Make sure to read Chapter 1 first!

 

To simplify the text, SE = Solid Edge and KS = Keyshot…


  • 1. Take advantage of Keyshot’s behavior

 

We saw that KS reads SE files and reproduces the assembly / sub-assembly / part structure tree.Keyshot also adds another level based on the SE Face Styles used in the CAD model, most of these colors were added with SE’s Part Painter tool.

 

This will allow you to « cheat » easily the look of parts without the need to double part count or any other acrobatics. Note that multi-body SE files don’t change KS’ behavior.


  • 2. How about a concrete example?

 

We want to show a single part with machined faces. To do this in Keyshot, first use Solid Edge Part Painter and apply different face styles to the machined faces, prior to send to KS. The actual color doesn’t matter but remember that KS has a powerful search and select tool that can read Face Styles’ names.Use it to your advantage!

 

Example: First steps in Solid Edge: on the left side, a single part containing multi-bodies on which we used the Part Painter. On the right side, also a single part containing multi-bodies but they have a single color.

 


 

Let’s see how the structure looks like when you send the model to Keyshot:

 


 

We can clearly see the « main » structure (one top-assembly, two parts). We also see the additional level KS created, based on the Face Styles used in SE. The left side multi-body partshows each face style used under the « Material » column (Grip, Orange, Blue, etc). The right-side multi-body part only shows a single level since we used a single face style for both bodies in SE (Teal).

 


 

Keyshot will be able to apply a material to each face sets shown in the « Material » column. Because of this, the right-side part is condemned to use a single color.Keyshot 6 Pro offers a way to split bodies and faces (see below) but you’re stuck if you don’t have this version of KS.As it stands right now, the right-side part bodies can only have the same color.

 

Example: We applied some materials to the left-side part. It contains multi-bodies but we also used Part Paitner on some faces.By using the right technique, we were able to apply a “machined” material to one of the face of the cube, as well as a textured black rubber grip on the orange handle.

 


 

  • 3.I still want to split bodies on the right-side part to apply different colors. What can I do?

 

The answer depends on which Keyshot version you are using!


  • a.Keyshot for Solid Edge (SE Classic or Premium)
  • i.Go in SE, using Part Painter apply a different face style to each face you want to individually control.Use different colors for each face sets as they   will be grouped in KS.Update your render.

  • b.Keyshot Pro 5 and previous
  • i.There are no other solutions than editing the source geometry file.If your source files are Solid Edge, or can be edited by SE, use the Part Painter technique defined above.

  • c.Keyshot Pro 6
  • i.Use the brand new « Geometry Editor » tool which allows you to split elements (face, bodies, tesselation triangles) directly in your KS session.This tool is really cool and will save you tons of time! We can also change the face vector, for example, to control grain direction.

 

Using KS 6 Pro Geometry Editor, we choose which operation we want to execute:

 


 

We graphically choose which body or face we want to split from the main group:

 


 

Hit “Done” and we can now apply different materials on each body:

 


 

  • ii.Please note that this process will break the « Live Linking » with the Solid Edge model.You will be prompted with a warning message.If you want to maintain the live link with the SE model, use the Part Painter method instead.

 


 

I hope this will help you better control your renderings and make you more efficient. Don’t hesitate to send me your questions and comments.Happy Rendering!