Tech Tips

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8 11, 2017

SolidWorks 2018 UI Enhancements

By | 2017-12-29T08:46:41+00:00 November 8th, 2017|Categories: SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

SolidWorks 2018 is now out to the public so let’s take a look at five new enhancements that will allow you to get better acquainted with the User Interface of this release. Right off the bat, when you start up SolidWorks, you’ll notice that there is a new Welcome Dialog Box. It’s a one-stop shop for functionality that used to be found in the Task Pane. For example, the Home tab allows you to open new or existing documents, browse recent documents or folders, and even access SolidWorks resources. The additional tabs provide links to Tutorials, Sample Files and MySolidWorks Training, Certification, and even technical alerts to help you stay current. The second enhancement has to do with Mouse Gestures. Not only do you have many more options as to the number of commands available in the mouse gestures wheel, but it’s also easier to customize with the new Mouse Gestures Guide. Third, let’s talk about the Measure Tool. Some of the enhancements here include the Input Box now supporting 6 items, instead of just 3. There is also a new function called Quick Copy, which allows you to copy a value from the dialog box, and paste it at [...]

11 10, 2017

Using SolidWorks PMI for Final Inspection

By | 2017-12-21T08:58:41+00:00 October 11th, 2017|Categories: SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

Let’s discuss two pieces of software that work really well together in the 3D part inspection world: SolidWorks, and Control X. SolidWorks is one of the leading CAD tools in today’s design and manufacturing world. One of its advantages is that it offers you the opportunity to create a 3D annotated model. This can include things such as explicitly-specified dimensions, tolerances, 3D GD&T, surface texture symbols, finish requirements, and so on. This 3D annotated model is then used to manufacture the part, as well as provides the needed criteria to inspect the part. A part can contain anywhere from several dozen annotations, to several hundred! Wouldn’t it be great to repurpose these annotations, and import them directly into the inspection software, as opposed to recreating all of them one by one? Well, one of the inspection software packages that have this ability is Geomagic Control X. The first step is to add all of the 3D annotations directly to your 3D model. This is a pretty simple process in CAD. Once this is complete, you can open up Geomagic Control X, and use the PMI Wizard to import the 3D annotated model. All of the explicit dimensions and GD&T information [...]

25 09, 2017

Mastercam 2018 Viewsheet Improvements

By | 2017-12-21T09:05:55+00:00 September 25th, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There are several improvements to Viewsheets in Mastercam 2018. In previous versions, the Viewsheet tools could at times be hard to set up, but now in Mastercam 2018 the new Quick Add button makes them easy to create and the bookmark tools on the view ribbon help save changes quickly. Look in the configuration file to see all the settings that Viewsheets can capture. Viewsheets can be extremely helpful if you do multi-plane milling or multi-spindle turning, since they will capture the current states of all the parameters below for instant recall. If you want to setup some Viewsheets, simply click this Add button to create a new Viewsheet. For each instance, you can set the Graphics View, C and T planes, Visible Levels, and Entity Attributes that you want to be active when you recall the Viewsheets. Then, click the bookmark button show below on the view ribbon in the Viewsheets section to save the attributes. Note the new bookmark symbol that appears on the bottom of the screen. Finally, if you step through the Viewsheets in each file, you will see how they instantly make all the necessary changes. If you want to alter one, simply make the [...]

20 09, 2017

Reverse Engineering a 3D Pipe

By | 2017-12-21T09:14:21+00:00 September 20th, 2017|Categories: 3D Scanning, Tech Tips|0 Comments

This blog article will illustrate how to extract the centerline of a 3D pipe with compound angles. Extracting the centerline of a 3D pipe that contains angles in 2 dimensions is not that complicated. However, when you have compound angles, and the tube is bending in the X, Y, and Z directions simultaneously, extracting the centerline can be quite challenging. For example, below we have a prototype of ½ of a bicycle handle, printed on the HP Printer, in Nylon 12. It contains bends in compound angles. Let’s say you don’t have the CAD file to work with and would like to extract the centerline, so that you can create a true CAD file, improve it, and then eventually create a manufacturing drawing . . . One solution to accomplish this is to use Geomagic Design X software and this is how it would work. First, you would need to capture the physical geometry of the handle bar using a 3D scanner and then export an STL file. Next, import the STL file into Geomagic Design X. Design X has a function called: Sweep Wizard. With a few clicks, it produces a fully editable feature tree to create this shape. [...]

18 09, 2017

Mastercam 2018 Plane and View Systems Options

By | 2017-12-21T09:12:26+00:00 September 18th, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There are some new options available in the plane and view systems of Mastercam 2018. In previous Mastercam versions, there were only seven default system planes and their corresponding graphics views available to choose from. Now in Mastercam 2018, two new selections have been added which can be picked instantly and they can also be commanded relative to a custom WCS or added in the relative creation menu. Let’s compare the plane managers of Mastercam2017 and Mastercam2018. The two new options in 2018 are labeled as reverse isometric and trimetric. If you right-click in the 2018 graphics screen you can also see the two new Gview options in this flyout menu extension. If you select one of the new views you can see the new perspectives they add relative to the geometry in this file. Since these options have been added both as actual planes and relative Gview commands the relative Gview command options will track to the active WCS. In this example, the world coordinates are not aligned with the active WCS, which is normal to the part, but by commanding them as Gviews, they will track perfectly to the part. And lastly, you can save new planes relative [...]

13 09, 2017

SolidWorks 2017 3D Offset on Curved Surfaces

By | 2017-12-21T09:09:27+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Categories: SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips|0 Comments

There is new functionality in SolidWorks 2017 that allows you to offset 3D curves on a surface. Offsetting 2D geometry is very efficient. It allows you to quickly grab 2D geometry and create a same shape contour with a specified gap distance. However, when working with 3D sketches containing 3D curves, it’s not as simple. As of SolidWorks 2016, many steps were required to accomplish this task. Now in SolidWorks 2017, it got a whole lot easier. Notice in the example below, we have a surface body that contains 3D curved boundaries. To create the 3D offset, you can simply go to the sketch tab, and click on the Offset on Surface button. This quickly launches you into a 3D sketch environment. From this point, all you need to do is click directly on the edges, enter your offset value, and choose your offset direction. If you wanted to choose the boundary on all sides of the face, you can just choose the face itself, and the command will propagate the edges accordingly. This command is ideal to use if you wanted to punch out the center of a 3D surface, or even create the design for an over molding, [...]

30 08, 2017

CMM Inspection without a Master Part

By | 2017-12-22T08:21:20+00:00 August 30th, 2017|Categories: 3D Scanning, Tech Tips|0 Comments

Have you ever needed to inspect parts in a CMM, without having a master part? Automated CMMs can be a great time saver when inspecting parts on the shop floor. Traditionally, a master part is measured to generate a master data set. The same routine is then automated and used to measure each production part. Each production data set is then compared to the master data set to determine the actual size of the part and whether it is within user defined tolerances. But what if you don’t have a master part available, or one that was closely produced to drawing nominal? This is where the CMM Master can be a great solution. The CMM Master, based on the Renishaw Equator platform, is a portable, automated CMM, calibrated for high production shop floor inspection. In conjunction with the Verisurf software, it is volumetrically error mapped to increase the traditional Renishaw Equator accuracy down to .0005”. Here you see the CMM Master running an automated measurement routine. When it’s done, it automatically generates a date and time stamped report. One thing that makes the CMM Master unique is that a master part is not required in order to perform on the [...]

21 08, 2017

Defining Custom Tools in DXF Files for Tool Manager

By | 2017-12-22T08:23:35+00:00 August 21st, 2017|Categories: Mastercam, Tech Tips|0 Comments

If you run into problems where your custom tool geometry in a DXF file is not accepted into the Tool Manager you should ensure that your customer tool geometry meets all the following criteria: Geometry must be drawn horizontally, in the upper two quadrants, at or above the X axis. No entities can have a negative Y value. Geometry must be flat (at Z0) in Top view. A closed profile of half the tool shape must be drawn. The cutting tool geometry must be: A closed shape On a level named CUT The shank geometry must be: A closed shape On a level named NOCUT (no spaces) To the left of the cutting tool For example, for this tool: Draw the geometry in the DXF file. To get this tool in the Tool Manager The same rule applies for tools in Mastercam and Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS. Please be sure to sign up for our 2 Minute Tuesday video series to receive tips and tricks like this one in video form every week. More info at the button below. Sign Up

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