I have been encouraged by all the wonderful questions about some of the new commands that have been added and it is time to start thinking about using some of them.  So this week it is going to be copy with mates.....

     Good thing that I was good at mirroring components and notice the next arrow...

this here looks simple enough but as always when I go back to explain this I notice that just about every command has something that helps you work threw it. All you need to do is put your reading glasses on and read.

so far so bad.....not one component had been in the right place.  flip a mate alignment or edit a mate to pick a new face for a distance mate cause picking the right one was not as easy.   One out of three isn't bad though.  at least I did not have to edit all three mates or put them all back in individually.  By the end of the week if I get to keep making more assemblies I may have this down to no edits needed. 


Categories: General

Comments
Last comment By: David Matula   Fri, 13 Apr 2018 13:48:37 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

even those of us that use this routinely miss reading the instructions - been using this for years and never noticed the option to turn off selected mates

By: Jeremy Feist  Tue, 20 Feb 2018 18:44:32 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

As with a lot of the tools in SW, you need to use it a few times to figure it out.  Copy with mates is very useful, but you need to start off with it in mind.  Say you've got a bolt 2 washers and a nut, I like to mate the bolt nut and washers up to each other first.  Then I just use 3 mates (2 coincident and 1 concentric) to the parts that are bolted together.  If I do it in that order I have more success especially if all the bolts are using the same planes.

By: Matt Peneguy  Tue, 20 Feb 2018 19:39:43 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Hi David,

 

On a side note....interesting to note however.

 

This is a good example of SW putting in a ton of check boxes and workflow that could easily be simplified.

That is A-typical for SW. There strategy is to add, and add and add. Resulting in a overloaded, slow user interfaces.

It takes skill to minimize user-input while still providing full functionality. I wished SW would expand in that department.

The lack of streamlined user interface is particularly visible in the drawing environment.

 

Remove the individual Repeat button - List the original reference instead and have the first one highlighted.

Remove the Enable/Disable - Instead if a reference is specified it is enabled. If the input box is blank, guess what - skip it.

Add one single repeat button at the top. Use the pin button instead like we have with feature manager.

Once you set up your selection entries (remove the ones you don't want) you simply click the pin.

Meaning I want to cycle through the command again, with SW asking for new input for all selection boxes that are filled.

 

Let me tab through the input boxes top to bottom and use the delete key to clear the selection in each input box.

The pin functions like it always does (no need to learn extra procedure). The interface is smaller and takes less time to generate (note the dark mate icons would no longer be a toggle button, just a symbol. If you don't want to use the tab key to skip past repeated selection then you can keep the toggle to indicate it is repeated.

Now all you have to do is make sure Users know that when ever an input box is missing it is simply skipped if the function allows for it.

 

I removed 6 interactive toggles and added 1. For ever mate SW adds 2 toggle buttons that I don't need.

 

 

The workflow is simple without any added switches.

 

Just one example of many.

 

Note: I haven't touched on the subject to change the mate selection midway in the copy mate function. I can account for that with the same user input if someone was to ask.

 

 

Elmar

By: Elmar Klammer  Wed, 21 Feb 2018 10:33:20 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Not what I intended the page to be about but yep....I have noticed that most of the programmers do not know what the heck the work follow is.  I am not sure who they get direction from.   I guess that if you don't like some of this new stuff that you could be like I have been and just ignore it and work old school the way that I have been.  I decided that it is hi time that I get back up to speed and start learning some of the commands out there. 

By: David Matula  Wed, 21 Feb 2018 15:00:18 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Very good point Matt Peneguy. It only prompts for outside mates, so that any mates between included components do not have to be reassigned. This becomes far more helpful when what you're copying is many items strung together, like an entire pipe discharge train. Sidenote: do not include weldments, fixed, or virtual components in a copy with mates unless you planned ahead for such.

 

A simple example:

When I mate flange hardware, I chain it so that the gasket is mated to the flange, the stud is mated to the gasket, and the heavy hex nut is mated primarily to the stud, also with a coincident to the flange face. Copy w mates on HHNut leaves repeat, repeat, select 2nd flange face. Copy w mates on stud and nut pair leaves repeats & a concentric. Copy w mates on gasket, 4 studs, and 8 nuts applies to the next flange (pair). It could be even simpler to perpetuate a set if I had mated the 2nd 3rd and 4th nut to the 1st nut seat face instead of the flange face.

I used to use a pattern to repeat the hardware, but got sick of controls for hiding components inside vs outside the pattern. Now I revert to copy with mates instead.

 

Also, Some CwM typically need distance reversal for correct placement. Opportunity is given to alter dimensions, directions, and alignments before accepting the placement (i.e., don't accept yet if it's easier to bump it around in the preview).

Contextual Isolate can be really helpful if your assembly is very dense or complex with other objects.

By: Tom Gagnon  Wed, 21 Feb 2018 15:31:49 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Hi David,

 

I apologize if I deviated your thread somewhat. Your initial post has a lot of merit.

 

Thanks,

 

Elmar

By: Elmar Klammer  Wed, 21 Feb 2018 16:04:29 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

David Matula wrote:

 

I have been encouraged by all the wonderful questions about some of the new commands that have been added and it is time to start thinking about using some of them. So this week it is going to be copy with mates.....

Good thing that I was good at mirroring components and notice the next arrow...

this here looks simple enough but as always when I go back to explain this I notice that just about every command has something that helps you work threw it. All you need to do is put your reading glasses on and read.

so far so bad.....not one component had been in the right place. flip a mate alignment or edit a mate to pick a new face for a distance mate cause picking the right one was not as easy. One out of three isn't bad though. at least I did not have to edit all three mates or put them all back in individually. By the end of the week if I get to keep making more assemblies I may have this down to no edits needed.

 

 

David Kudos for trying something new.

 

One thing I encourage when we have an intern or new designer to utilize this function is design intent prior or re-distributing mates before using the copy with mates.

Let's say you have 6 components you want to use this function with.Only 1 of those parts should have mates to the rest of the assembly(treat the parts as though they are their own little sub assembly) This greatly enhances the workflow and the capabilities of the copy with mates function. The more you play with it the better it works.

I too suffered from the not using it because it was new and I could not get it to work the way I wanted, but once I got used to it I definitely would not want to use a multi mate enviroment again.(Ctrl drag re-mate, rinse repeat...etc)

 

Good luck.

By: Paul Risley  Wed, 21 Feb 2018 15:35:09 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

start up a side one.....how to improve commands...or something....I sent in quite a few enhancement request for just that purpose over the years....

By: David Matula  Wed, 21 Feb 2018 16:14:30 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Time to work on the property Tab builder.  will this thing do what I want?

 

I have a drawing that in group 1 I am looking to fill out title block info.

 

on another part of the drawing I want a group for design data.

 

then a few other groups for miss info and notes to be filled out

 

Is this going to work?

By: David Matula  Tue, 13 Mar 2018 16:28:53 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

the property tab builder does work, but I'm not sure what you  want it to do. it makes a customized form for entering file properties. to have those properties drive stuff in your model and/or drawing involves other tools.

By: Jeremy Feist  Tue, 13 Mar 2018 16:36:51 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

just looking to fill out data in the title block and other places on the drawing.  Hope that I can get it todo what I need....have to get some drawings out or I could spend some time working on it. 

By: David Matula  Tue, 13 Mar 2018 16:59:06 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Property Tab Builder is a means of creating an interface to push Custom Properties around.  So, it sounds to me more like what you may need is a macro.  That is unless these fields are already present in the drawings, you'd have to create them first.

By: Matt Peneguy  Tue, 13 Mar 2018 17:10:50 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

To directly answer your question, I am unfamiliar with PTB use. This response may be more detailed than you desired.

 

I think it'll do what you want by retroactively populating existing files with properties, but instead I put what's needed into our templates when we started using SWx. I had these references already worked out from an earlier failed attempt at creating a company-wide database that scales to all roles, like Client info for sales/estimating, BOM info for docs and purchasing, small details for assembly, and big picture for shipping. Now I have similar functions within all my models, but it only suits engineering reference needs. It all depends on what you want to extract in what context, based on your workflows. Take what's useful and discard what doesn't apply.

 

I have Drawing templates which contain only the custom properties related immediately to that document: DrawingType, DrawingNoSuffix, initial and date fields (DrawnBy, DrawnDate, CheckedBy, CheckedDate, EngineeringApproval, EngAppDate), Revision, LatestRevDate, LatestRevNote. This is because one Assembly can be shown in multiple documents to show different purposes in my workflow. My Revision Block (A DLibrary .SLDBLK file) also pulls these to automatically populate once dropped into the border. Edit: these are particularly useful in multi-sheet representations to avoid editing same thing in many places.

 

My drawings usually contain Assemblies only, except for Fabrication Detail drawings which are exclusively used to describe a weldment component. I use the same drawing template for both purposes by placing the same descriptor fields into Assembly template as well as Weldment Part template. These are the fields linked into the drawing template, in both notes template (a handful of .sldnotestl files in Design Library with references to other standard documents) and the drawing's titleblock. The common fields for this purpose are: ProjectNo, ProjectName, Customer, Client, ClientNo, SiteName, SiteLoc, SystemLetter, & SysTagNo. Not all of these are necessary, but are present if needed.

 

Subassembly and Part templates are treated here as purchasable items, with BOM fields such as PartType (for sort purposes), Brand, Vendor, PartNo, & BOMDescription, with additional check fields: MakeOrBuy, Comment (freeform data source notes), Material (linked), Weight (ok, it's linked to mass), Mfr Tolerance, WettedMaterial, SealMaterial, PressureRating, PortType, DateCompleted, Author, FirstUsedIn (a project number reference), CutSheet (a file location / name reference), Manual (another file location / name reference), sometimes AltManual1, AltManual2, etc, MSDS, ElectricalPower, ElectricalLoad, & ElectricalRating. The check fields catch irregularities such as Materials for chemical compatibility, or PressureRating and ElectricalRating for adherence to specification. Fields referring to other document files can be used in quickly gathering all Cut Sheets, Manuals, or MSDS (usually included lubricants) for all components included in the assembly through a custom BOM which is only used in a supporting document.

 

Pipe/Tube Part template is a subset which lacks irrelevant fields and has pre-filled default choices to choose from by deleting what isn't relevant instead of typing what is relevant. I.e., Wetted Material lists seven commonly used materials, PressureRating contains Schedules and thicknesses, PortType contains "NPT / SW / BW / Compression". The most useful field here is OAL, or overall length, which is currently measured and filled manually, then totaled automatically with Excel. That feature could use improvement in my workflow, but shows a specialized use for perpetuating model data.

 

I've thought of some more that I don't know yet how to implement well or easily, like BoundingBox (shipping dimensions), CenterOfGravity (XYZ coordinates from a BoundingBox corner), LiftPoints (dims) and NoLift or NoStack or NoCut properties for areas what have restrictive handling. These are not currently needed in our legacy workflow, but rather an idea I have of improving it. Time will tell if that's ever approved or developed.

 

TL,DR:

When I began using SWx, I defined everything that would ever be needed about anything used, considering how and where. Properties belong where they are relevant and useful to fetch within drawings, depending on purpose and context. Interlink many types of entities for automatic text without repetitive manual typing that can lead to typos.

 

"Is this going to work?" Yes. Consider your needs fully, and use what is relevant in context(s).

By: Tom Gagnon  Tue, 13 Mar 2018 17:48:58 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

The amazing thing about Property Tab Builder is the following:

 

Have a field in which you want the user to select ONLY 1 of 4 different values?   Easy....Use Property Tab Builder and create a drop down menu (or a radio button) with those 4 values.   Even better, link the drop down menu to a text document and you can add items to the list just by editing the text document.

 

Want a drop down menu dependent on another drop down menu?  Cool....since SW 2016, you can create "list groups" that are based on excel columns that are dependent on each other.

 

Basically, it gives you a place to communicate to your users as to what you want in the properties if the properties might be different based on different types of models.

https://www.javelin-tech.com/blog/2017/04/solidworks-custom-property-tab-builder/

Modern Alchemy - Property Tab Builder - Part 1

Modern Alchemy - Property Tab Builder - Part 2

By: Dan Pihlaja  Tue, 13 Mar 2018 18:00:18 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Thanks that sure looks better than the help file right now....will take a look at it when I have the time.

By: David Matula  Tue, 13 Mar 2018 18:11:38 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

WELL      a little trial and error and I am on a roll.  the groups are not working like I thought yet but will see what happens

I got text boxes working good.... how about a list? 

learning is so much fun...

By: David Matula  Tue, 13 Mar 2018 21:03:51 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Now I use only 2 mates as you can lock rotation in concentric mate.

By: Swapnil Dhake  Wed, 14 Mar 2018 00:50:29 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

working along here and come up with a question.  can I run more than one property tab builder file on a drawing?

 

instead of using groups just make a new file for each area I want to fill out?

By: David Matula  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:59:24 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

David Matula wrote:

 

working along here and come up with a question. can I run more than one property tab builder file on a drawing?

 

instead of using groups just make a new file for each area I want to fill out?

 

Each property tab builder file that you use on a drawing will create custom properties/update notes.

I suppose that you could....

If you had 1 custom property tab builder that affected custom properties 1 and 2, then another custom property tab builder that affected custom properties 3 and 4.

However, there is no reason not to create a single one that would affect properties 1, 2, 3, & 4.

The problem that you would run into with using separate ones, is that if you had the same property in both CPTB files, then the last one that you use would overwrite the previous one.

By: Dan Pihlaja  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:02:22 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Dan Pihlaja wrote:

 

David Matula wrote:

 

working along here and come up with a question. can I run more than one property tab builder file on a drawing?

 

instead of using groups just make a new file for each area I want to fill out?

 

Each property tab builder file that you use on a drawing will create custom properties/update notes.

I suppose that you could....

If you had 1 custom property tab builder that affected custom properties 1 and 2, then another custom property tab builder that affected custom properties 3 and 4.

However, there is no reason not to create a single one that would affect properties 1, 2, 3, & 4.

The problem that you would run into with using separate ones, is that if you had the same property in both CPTB files, then the last one that you use would overwrite the previous one.

I will add to this by suggesting that you only set up one for each (part/assy/drawing), put everything you need in the appropriate tab, and use "Advanced Options" to only call on the properties that you need (This is available when using Radio Buttons)

 

Some of our properties depend on the department that generates the print, and this is how we handle it.

(I touched on this during SLUGME (which turned into my "All The Small Things" presentation at SWW18) - Watch the video and you'll see what I'm talking about.)

todd

By: Todd Blacksher  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:12:39 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

thanks Todd and Dan. 

By: David Matula  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:19:25 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Came up with another question. 

can one copy a group and modify it as needed to not duplicate info.  looking and 15 groups with 17 text boxes.

By: David Matula  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:24:40 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Not that I know of.

By: Dan Pihlaja  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:26:35 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

I don't have it open right now (headed to a meeting), but I have found sometimes I can copy things when I don't get a RMB option by using CTRL-C and CTRL-V.  You could try and see if it works.

By: Matt Peneguy  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:28:30 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

I just tried it a whole bunch of ways inside the CPTB, and I couldn't get anything to copy.  If you find a way, please document it here.

By: Dan Pihlaja  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:33:20 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

I would say that a table would work better for this but at this time it is not an option.  maybe I will look at this at another time.  till then it is take the time to do it the way they want it.  Should take a few months to fill out the tab builder.....then update the template....

By: David Matula  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:33:38 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Here is ours:

By: Dan Pihlaja  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:38:50 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

nice and short.

By: David Matula  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 18:26:12 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

And I wanted to add that each drop down menu is either linked to an excel document or a text file.   That makes editing the drop down menu's easy.....don't even have to open Solidworks.   Then users just have to close and re-open Solidworks.

By: Dan Pihlaja  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 18:27:49 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Dan Pihlaja wrote:

 

And I wanted to add that each drop down menu is either linked to an excel document or a text file. That makes editing the drop down menu's easy.....don't even have to open Solidworks. Then users just have to close and re-open Solidworks.

I just ran into an instance of this today . . . hmm, I need to add this new machine to CPTB, open .txt file, edit, save, close/open SOLIDWORKS, select new machine from pull down - that is a whole lot of awesome right there!

By: Todd Blacksher  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 18:36:43 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Todd Blacksher wrote:

I will add to this by suggesting that you only set up one for each (part/assy/drawing), put everything you need in the appropriate tab, and use "Advanced Options" to only call on the properties that you need (This is available when using Radio Buttons)

 

Some of our properties depend on the department that generates the print, and this is how we handle it.

(I touched on this during SLUGME (which turned into my "All The Small Things" presentation at SWW18) - Watch the video and you'll see what I'm talking about.)

todd

And check boxes.

By: Dan Pihlaja  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 18:45:18 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

I believe closing and opening SW is overkill to load the property tab updates - should only need to refresh the pane (switch to a different pane and switch back, or make certain that the property tab is the "active" selection and hit F5).

By: Jeremy Feist  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 18:48:20 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Jeremy Feist wrote:

 

I believe closing and opening SW is overkill to load the property tab updates - should only need to refresh the pane (switch to a different pane and switch back, or make certain that the property tab is the "active" selection and hit F5).

 

Ahh, didn't know that you could do that.   Thanks Jeremy!!

By: Dan Pihlaja  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 18:57:58 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Dan Pihlaja wrote:

 

And check boxes.

I thought it would work for check boxes, but I don't have any set up right now, so I couldn't verify - Thanks!

By: Todd Blacksher  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 19:40:09 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

I setup a property tab for Assemblies, Parts, and Drawings and then put them into the templates.

Now every Assy, part, drawing has it built in and the user just has to open it and fill in the blanks or use the pull downs.

The Drawing one is also used to fill in the Title Block.

In the Property tabs I have pull downs for the Designer and Drafter - with each of our names (and former employee names) in the pull downs, Date fields for Initial design and Draft Date, so it's formatted for dates and if blank will be current date.  Materials for all the material types we use and finishes for each type - such as Anodize (with type), Powder coat...

It takes just seconds to fill in the information with very little typing and it keeps consistency across all designs.

Also easy to edit the list boxes in the Property Tab Builder when we add or loose an employee.

By: Rick McDonald  Tue, 20 Mar 2018 23:55:49 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

I found that I can use multiple files to fill out the data on one drawing.  That takes care of my problem of needing one that is 152 miles long.  really awesome stuff.  To bad you can not copy groups and reuse them but it went faster once I had written down some notes. 

By: David Matula  Wed, 21 Mar 2018 13:05:25 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

Property tab.....I worked on getting all them things filled out and now I am not happy with how it works.....

any way to add some logic to it?

By: David Matula  Fri, 23 Mar 2018 14:41:37 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

That's a great idea Rick!  Thanks! I'm going to update our templates, especially the drawing one to have our names in a drop down (there's only 7 of us).

By: Matt Peneguy  Fri, 23 Mar 2018 14:45:23 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

a little, yes.

 

what, specifically, do you want it to do?

By: Jeremy Feist  Fri, 23 Mar 2018 14:47:36 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

would like to be able to use some if this then inter that kind of statements.

By: David Matula  Fri, 23 Mar 2018 15:29:00 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

David,

Probably not what you want to hear, but what you want can be done with user forms and macros.

BOMs only allow "IF" statements.  So, I really don't see them adding programming logic to PTB anytime soon.  And I'd much rather they work on fixing bugs than add programming to PTB.

By: Matt Peneguy  Fri, 23 Mar 2018 15:40:24 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

had to ask about it  since I did not want to look into it and did not see any options readily available. 

 

maybe one of these days I will get something better to work with....I heard there is a vessel wiz out there somewhere.....that might be good if it does not put me out of work.

By: David Matula  Fri, 23 Mar 2018 16:16:41 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

the conditional lists might work for you...

2017 SOLIDWORKS Help - Property Tab Builder Conditional Lists

By: Jeremy Feist  Fri, 23 Mar 2018 17:03:36 GMT
Re: Time to get away from old school...New command to use for the week or month

hide your section line?  

How to remove arrows in section line

The things that you can learn.....

no longer do I need to have many hidden views to show details and sections where I do not want to see a section line.  this is one of the best hidden secrets that I have found.

By: David Matula  Fri, 13 Apr 2018 13:48:37 GMT
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