CATI Tech Notes

SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks and Info on Professional 3D Printing with Stratasys from the Technical staff of CATI

Creaform 3D Scanning: Colormap, the Quick Go/No-Go of Inspection

Colormap, the Quick Go/No-Go of Inspection   The HandyScan 700 is a great tool for inspecting parts for Quality Control engineers.  Using VxElements, PPAP inspection reports can be created being as simple or as complicated as needed.  After importing a CAD model, either .iges or .stp, the scan can be compared to the “perfect” CAD model.  One of the useful tools within VxElements is the ability to create a colormap of the differences between the CAD model and the scan.  This can be based on a surface best fit reference frame or a datum reference frame.  This can be used as a quick go/no-go of whether a part overall is

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Posted in 3D Scanning, Design Validation, Digital Prototyping

Creaform 3D Scanners: Reverse Engineering the Death Star

Reverse Engineering the Death Star   No, I’m not on my way to becoming the next Emperor Palpatine, so no worries there.   Last Christmas season, my family found a Death Star Planetarium while shopping.  We had the idea of using it as a tree topper for our Christmas tree.  Our only problem was how to get it to stay.  It came with a stand, but it didn’t immobilize the Death Star. I could get calipers and other measuring tools out, but that doesn’t result in the best accuracy.  The answer came in using the Creaform 3D scanners.  I have only been using scanners and their software VXelements for a

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Posted in 3D Scanning, Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, Design Validation, Digital Prototyping, Modeling, Rapid Prototyping

SOLIDWORKS: Tips for Faster Dimensioning

Tips for Faster Dimensioning in SOLIDWORKS   In the CAD world, there are few things that might be more important than correct dimensions. And like all parts in the design process, the quicker the better. SOLIDWORKS has designed a variety of methods that allow for quick and efficient dimensioning.   Let’s first take a look at all of the dimensioning options. They are found on the far left of the Sketch tab on the CommandManager.     For me personally, I by far use the “Smart Dimension” command the most. This will do all of the different dimension types except for ordinate style dimensions. There are also a variety of

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, General Info, Modeling, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

SOLIDWORKS: PhotoView 360 Rendering Options – What Do They Do??

PhotoView 360 Rendering Options   “A picture is worth a thousand words” is a well-known adage. PhotoView 360 allows SOLIDWORKS users to create photo-realistic renderings of designs before they have even been prototyped. These images can then be used for marketing purposes. There are a lot of variables that can go into creating renderings, that unless you are into photography, you probably don’t understand. I know I didn’t when I first started doing renderings.     First, is the picture size. There are set aspect ratios to choose from, or you can create your own. Next we choose picture format type and render quality. I keep the Preview render quality

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, General Info, PhotoView 360

SOLIDWORKS 2017 What’s New: Searching for Externally Referenced Documents – #SW2017

Searching for Externally Referenced Documents   In previous versions of SOLIDWORKS, searching for externally referenced documents has been an option for finding component files inside assemblies and drawings. These locations are set in Options/System Options/ File Locations by setting “Show folders for:” to “Referenced Document.” We can choose to search these locations by selecting “Search file locations for external references” under Options/System Options/External References.     Using this can be useful for when files are spread out over various file locations, especially when files are used for many projects. However, keeping it turned on can be a double-edged sword as it can affect opens, rotations, modeling, rebuilding, switching sheets, saves,

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, General Info, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks, SOLIDWORKS What's New

SOLIDWORKS 2017 What’s New: Change Sheet Format for Multiple Sheets at the Same Time – #SW2017

Change Sheet Format for Multiple Sheets at the Same Time   One of the enhancements in SOLIDWORKS Drawings in 2014 was to allow the use of a second sheet format as new sheets are added.  With SOLIDWORKS 2017, even greater flexibility has been allowed.  We can now use multiple sheet formats in Drawing files and can pick and choose which sheets receive the new format.   First, right-click on the Drawing sheet and select “Properties.”   Second, make the desired changes in sheet format.   Third, select “Select Sheets to Modify” and then choose which sheets will receive the change.     Last, select “Apply Changes.”   I hope this

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, Drawings, SOLIDWORKS What's New, Uncategorized

SOLIDWORKS: How to Change the Language

SOLIDWORKS has users all over the world, and as such it is necessary to be able to install it in various languages. Being fluent in Spanish, I decided I wanted at least one of my versions in Spanish so that I could try it out. However, because my user account on my computer is set to English, it would default to English no matter how I would install it. I found a solution to create an alternate user profile and set the default language to Spanish, but I wanted something easier than that. Here are the steps that I used to switch one of my installations to Spanish. First, the

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, General Info, Redneck Workarounds, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

Repairing Imported Geometry Using SolidWorks Surfacing

SolidWorks Surfacing When importing non-native SOLIDWORKS files, errors in the geometry may occur.  Surfacing techniques can be used to correct the file.  In this case, there is a fillet that did not get extended all the way around an edge. Our first step is to use the “Delete Face” command and delete the fillets and other areas of bad geometry.  Once we have done this we will create new surfaces using “Planar Surface” and “Extruded Surface”. Using the “Trim Surface” command we can trim away the portions that we do not need. To insure that the new edges we created will line up with the existing edges we will cut

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, Modeling

Advanced Helical Sweeps in SOLIDWORKS

Most of the time, creating a helical sweep is easy.  But what if the diameter changes?  Using the Helix/Spiral command allows users to create a variable pitch spiral.  But what if we don’t know the different parameters of how the diameter changes?  What if the path of the sweep needs to curve as well?  What if the geometry the sweep goes around isn’t perfectly circular?  Can we still create a smooth helical sweep? The answer is YES!!  SOLIDWORKS can still create the sweep!  We will take a look at creating a sweep path where an elliptical profile follows a curve.  Our first step is to create a surface sweep.  We’ll

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Posted in Modeling

Using SOLIDWORKS to Help in 3D Printing Thin Structures

An obstacle we sometimes encounter when 3D printing with a polyjet printer is if the wall thickness is too small, the waterjet that cleans off the support material will also remove the main material.  Sometimes this can be fixed by altering the geometry, however sometimes it can’t be.  An example of this was trying to print off a Star Wars Tie Fighter.  The wings blew off from the water pressure.  The model cannot be altered and not be accurate. If you are lucky enough to have a high-level printer that can print multiple materials, there is a solution.  This solution will work for visual prototypes, not for structural prototypes.  First,

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, General Info, Modeling, Rapid Prototyping

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