Archive for April, 2013

Administrate Zillions of EPDM Users

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

If you are using Active Directory for your SolidWorks Enterprise PDM authentication, and you have A LOT of user accounts within EPDM, expanding the “Users” node within the administration tool can take longer than a story from Great Aunt Eleanor about the advantages of dual ranked RDIMMs over single ranked UDIMMs.

The wait is caused by EPDM checking each user’s status against Active Directory.

Instead of expanding the users node; right mouse button click on “Users” and select OPEN to trigger a users dialog. This is much quicker, since it by-passes the bulk-authentication step.

Open

 

As a side note, if you have less than 25 users, and it is taking more than five seconds to authenticate those users, you may have some network health issues that may need addressing.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Register Now for the Central Indiana SolidWorks User Group (CISUG) Meeting Thursday, May 16th

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

3DVision invites you to register for the Central Indiana SolidWorks User Group (CISUG) Meeting Thursday, May 16th. There will be a technical presentation on SolidWorks Advanced Modeling. The event will take place from 5 – 8pm and there will also be food provided sponsored by SWUGN.

The event will be hosted at:
ZIPP Speed Weaponry
5315 Walt Place
Indianapolis, IN 46254

For more information or to RSVP for the event, please email Peter Fischer.

Carrie Patrick

Marketing Manager 3DVision Technologies

Smarter Serial Numbers with SolidWorks Enterprise PDM

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Last week I showed you that you could use PigeonHole for smarter drop lists in your EPDM data cards. PigeonHole also has the ability to put EPDM serial numbers into your cards.

With PigeonHole, if you want to use different serial numbers, enclose the name of the serial number between two pound symbols (#Serial Number#) as a choice in your drop lists. The user will see this choice, in this format, when picking from the list, but the choice will be converted into the proper serial number once he accepts the dialog box settings.

It is easy, check it out:

YouTube Preview Image

Much easier than creating many different data cards or writing your own EPDM add-in.

 

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Quick Selection of Faces to Draft

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Imagine you have a model with thousands of faces that you need to add draft, how do you select all of them?

Here is a great tip from our good friend Alin Vargatu, from Javelin. Here he shows how you can quickly select all faces on your model that need their draft modified.

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I love Alin’s work. I’ve been begging him to give a little blog love to those of us who live south of the border for years. We would have done it sooner, but weren’t sure if we would be breaking any international blog smuggling laws.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

SolidWorks Sub-Weldments Functionality

Friday, April 12th, 2013

I want to clear something up that is very confusing about making SUB-WELDMENTS.

I personally had swayed people away from the Sub-Weldment functionality for quite a while, because after you went to all the trouble to get all the properties you wanted in your Cut-List Items, you would lose it all when you made a sub-welment,

NO LONGER THE CASE AS OF SW2012 !!

Trust me, it DOES work, BUT it is somewhat confusing HOW to do this the CORRECT way…

The thing to remember with this is that the BODIES do NOT store any properties, only the Cut-List Item FOLDERS do.
So if you have never done an UPDATE to the cut-list first, you cannot expect the properties (that don’t exist yet) to propagate down to the sub-weldments like they are supposed to !

It sounds obvious when I explain it that way, but it was very confusing to me for a while, and I know it is still confusing to new users…

HERE are the steps TO SUCSESSFULLY MAKE A SUB-WELDMENT:

1. Go and create your weldment as normal

2. Update the cut-list

3. Ctrl+Select the BODIES you want to make into a sub-weldment (either from tree or from screen with bodies filter)

4. Rt+Clk, CREATE SUB-WELDMENT

5. Then UPDATE THE CUT-LIST AGAIN !!!

(you will end up with 3 levels in the folder which seems strange, but it DOES inherit the properties into the Sub-Weldment like it is supposed to…)

This will even take the properties with the sub-weldment if you save it out to a separate part file (using rt+clk, insert into new part on the sub-weldment), and they will be tied/related back to the original weldment file for updating !

Hope this helps !

Remember, as an alternative to actual “sub-weldments” done this way you can always just make a weldment, make another weldment, and then stick them into an assembly together.  The above method just keeps it ALL in ONE multi-body weldment PART file.  And NOW IT WORKS THE WAY IT SHOULD !   ;-)

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

3DVision’s DriveWorks Technical Expert

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

So, you receive an email or phone call from our excellent DriveWorks support team answering your questions, but unless you’ve been able to attend DriveWorks World events you don’t really know the person you are talking to. Well, here is a way to get to know a little more about the person behind the email:

Jeff Sweeney

Name:

Jeff Sweeney

Job Title:

Engineering Data Specialist

What is your favorite new feature in DriveWorks 10?

Easy the “Control Tree”. It saves me tons of time building forms, I used to always bounce from form to form, now it is so much easier!

What is your favorite overall DriveWorks feature?

3D Preview it makes the forms so much more professional.

What is the most exciting/surprising thing you have used DriveWorks for?

I think one of the most clever uses I have seen is exporting dxf files directly into CNC machines.

Which team do you follow in Formula 1?

Only the front runners, I keep the seat warm on the bandwagon.

Who is your favorite Formula 1 driver?

Danica Patrick ..okay she’s not Formula 1, but she’s my favorite competitor in all sports.

What car do you drive currently?

’74 green Pinto station wagon. AM radio still works!

What would be your dream car to own?

The first car to run with only water for fuel.

Carrie Patrick

Marketing Manager 3DVision Technologies

3DVision to Present at the VWR International Vendor Fair

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

3DVision Technologies is proud to announce we will be presenting at the VWR International Fair in Conjunction with the Procter and Gamble Measurement COP Symposium. The event will take place Tuesday, April 30th from 11:00am – 3:00pm.

The event will be an in-house gathering for the researches who are in key measurement gathering roles. The show is open to all P&G Researches at the Mason Business Center.

VWRP & G

Carrie Patrick

Marketing Manager 3DVision Technologies

Smarter Droplists with SolidWorks Enterprise PDM

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Today I was doing some consulting work for a SolidWorks Enterprise PDM customer of another VAR. Look at this screen shot of the number of lists they were using for their data cards. Each of their customers have their own list of cities, countries, contacts…it’s very nice because their data cards are very accurate -great for searching!

lists

Lots of lists!…this is just what I was able to fit on the screen, they have at least twice this many. Takes effort to maintain, and their card logic is rather gruesome.

Rather hard to set up, but this example at least it can be done because EPDM’s droplists can be populated dependent on the value of one other variable. There are some scenarios that cannot solved with EPDM lists on a single card. As an example, imagine you made gates and the width of the gate is dependent on two (or more) variables. [Perhaps your model "GXT" gate comes in two widths in the aluminum version and three widths in the wood version; but the "JSS" model comes in four widths per aluminum and wood, and there is a steel version too!]

I run into these issues often, and the solution is always to find another solution, have weaker data cards, deal with incomplete searches and reports, or I write an add-in to accomplish what they are looking for.

After years of creating a company specific add-ins that I had to write over and over, I decided to create an add-in that could be used by anyone.

The goals:

  • Make the interface flexible enough that it could work for any company
  • Not have to know SQL to build the logic for the lists.

Here is a video of the final product.

YouTube Preview Image

As you can see from this video, it is easy to setup and does quite a bit more than the original goals. (It is hard to stop, once you get going!) I’ll talk about the additional features in future blog entries, or you can go through all the videos tagged: “PigeonHole” in the 3DVision YouTube channel.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

JavelinTechTV

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

You walk into the living room. The rest of the family is watching Khloe’s Step Sisters of Beverly Hills Shore on TV. You can’t sit down, your brain will fall out! You spin around on your heel, sit back by the computer, what should you watch?

I think you should watch Javelin Tech TV. It’s free, no signups and is certainly more entertaining. I really enjoyed Tuesday’s Meet the Tech Team. Alin Vargatu was the guest, he’s a crazy smart guy and shared some interesting insight on his “second love” SolidWorks. I hope his wife wasn’t watching!

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

What Can’t You Design In SolidWorks? #2

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

RC Hovercraft #2 – SolidWorks

To review, I had 4 main design criteria for the Remote Control Hover Craft.

  • Utilize the SolidWorks and SolidWorks Simulation Suite of software to develop and optimize the hovercraft design.
  • The RC Hovercraft’s main components will be 3D Printed using the Stratasys UPrint.
  • Easy to Assemble. I want to make the assembly as easy and as straight forward as possible with concise instructions.
  • For purchases components, use low cost, off the shelf components including the electric motors, electronic speed control (ESC), batteries, and propellers.

I proceeded forward with the design of the Hovercraft using SolidWorks 3D mechanical design software.  SolidWorks allowed me to quickly develop and execute a first pass design, utilizing Multi-Body Parts, In context Assembly Modeling, Sketch Pictures, Fastening Features, Interference Detection, and several other standard options.  All of this came together in an initial design that meets the above criteria.

The design started with the Top Plate part that houses the downward facing fan assembly and gives the craft its overall dimensional size.  I kept the craft under the 8″ by 8″ tray size of the Stratasys UPrint 3D Printer.  The part consists of multi-bodies; one for the plate and the other for the fan housing.  These bodies have minimal tolerance so they are a snug fit when pressed together for final assembly.  This design criteria is so that if the propeller needs to be serviced later total dis-assembly of the craft does not have to take place. Simply pull the fan unit upward out of the top plate.

Top Plate

Top Plate

Exploded View Front

Exploded View Front

Exploded View Back

Exploded View Back

 

The chassis continues with a bottom plate and separating ribs.  The chassis is hollow as the air needs to fill this cavity before exiting out of the skirt.  The skirt is intended to be a bicycle inner tube cut to size with holes cut around the inner bottom portion allowing the air to escape.  The skirt will be held on by two fastening plates and standard hobby store machine screws.

Section View

Section View

The back cowling snaps into place with a Snap Hook.  The Fastening Feature command was used to create this geometry.  The Snap Hook will allow for ease of assembly, and the cowl contains a cross bar with built in motor mount sized for a 9V-11V brushed can motor. The Cowling and Top Plate will make up the mounting location for the dual rudder system.  The system is driven by  an S75 Nano servo available at most local hobby shops.

Cowl

Cowl

 

 

The canopy will cover all of the electronics including the Receiver, two Electronic Speed Controls (ESC), And two Li-Poly 300MAH 11.1V Batteries.  One ESC and battery per motor.  I originally set out utilizing the Sketch Picture and Surfacing to create the canopy structure. This worked out well, however at this time I did not have the electronics in the full assembly.  When trying to accommodate the electronics under the first variation of the canopy I visibly had interference. Luckily utilizing in-context editing and having a well planned design intent, the changes to the canopy allowed for an easy and quick change.

Sketch Picture

Sketch Picture

Interference Original Canopy

Interference Original Canopy

Receiver & ESCs

Receiver & ESCs

 

Batteries, Receiver, and ESCs

Batteries, Receiver, and ESCs

Canopy Design Change

Canopy Design Change

 

 

There is still much to do with the modeling aspect, but for now I have a good working start to the project and a starting point to investigate the flow and stress characteristics of the design.  The next step is to utilize Flow Simulation to verify the lift ability of the motor and propeller combination  for the lift fan and the rear facing fan assembly.

Top

Top

Front

Front

Back

Back

Side

Side

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

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