CATI Tech Notes

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

FIX-A-FILLET with SOLIDWORKS

If you are creating models with smooth surfaces and elegant rounded edges you will have trouble creating fillets where sharp edges merge into smoother surfaces. For example, we have this part here: We need to place a .25 inch fillet which blends smoothly into the adjacent surfaces. If we use the symmetric fillet with a curvature continuous profile, in the preview I see this: Let’s look at the result with curvature analysis. Notice that the blending looks good at the top but gets quite odd at the end with the pointed face here. To avoid this there is a technique the will effectively, block the fillet before it begins to

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Posted in Maximizing SolidWorks Performance, Modeling, Redneck Workarounds

CATI Makes a Splash at AMUG

For the second year in a row CATI was a Platinum sponsor at the Additive Manufacturing User Group (AMUG) Conference held at the Hilton Chicago last week.  For more information on the AMUG conference visit www.amug.com.         This is the first year in the 29 year history of the conference it was sold out.  A total of 1600 were in attendance with over 700 being first time attendees. In our suite we featured Stratasys 3D printed parts, 3D printed injection molds and Creaform hand-held scanners including our new MetraScan.           Also on display, was the new F123 series of printers from Stratasys.  These

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Posted in 3D Scanning, Digital Prototyping, Modeling, Rapid Prototyping

SOLIDWORKS: Instances to Vary

Instances to Vary   You all have probably used Instance to Skip, but have you used Instances to Vary?   SOLIDWORKS has created this great tool to use when you want to create more complex patterns.   Let’s take a look at a simple linear pattern with the spacing of 40mm with 8 instances.     A design change has taken place and an equally spaced linear pattern is no longer needed. Rather than creating multiple linear patterns or some other crazy way of getting different spacing between the features, just use Instances to Vary.     The first thing I want to show you is the Direction 1 Spacing

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

SOLIDWORKS: Saving Selection Sets

SAVING SELECTION SETS   Selecting geometry, as you model in SOLIDWORKS, can be time consuming. There are a few ways to speed up this process. You can box select, lasso select, control+click, or even use some of the advanced selection tools. Even with these options, It can still take a big chunk of your design time. If you must make the same selections frequently, it becomes both repetitive and painstaking.   To increase efficiency, you can save selection sets inside SOLIDWORKS. This will save a group of selections to be easily reused. This is very easy to do, and there is no limit on the amount of selections you can

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


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: Weldments – Creating Curved and Nonstandard Miters

Weldments – Creating Curved and Nonstandard Miters   Using SOLIDWORKS Weldments is a huge time saver when it comes to creating welded structures, frames, and structural members, but if you’ve used Weldments long enough, you’ve probably found out that the End Miter Corner Treatment only applies a 45-degree miter.   This is great for right angled beams using the same Weldment Profile but not so great for multiple profiles of different sizes and nonstandard edge angles.   Let’s look at the following example:     This will be our Weldment Path. Take note of the two circled edges. One is a standard 90-degree angle while the other is a nonstandard

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

SOLIDWORKS: Getting Sheet Metal Information and Unlocking Properties in SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Parts

Getting Sheet Metal Information and Unlocking Properties in SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Parts   If a sheet metal part was created in SOLIDWORKS 2015 and later versions, you get some new check boxes that pertain to specifically sheet metal features when using ‘Mirror Part’ feature in SOLIDWORKS. You get the check boxes shown below:   Sheet metal information Unlocked properties     And you can transfer the sheet metal and flat pattern information to the mirrored sheet metal part and all of its information. Saving you major time.   Sheet metal information: Includes 1) fixed face 2) grain direction 3) bend lines and 4) bounding box. All this information transfers the

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

SOLIDWORKS: Inspection – Creating Custom OCR Dictionary

SOLIDWORKS Inspection – Creating Custom OCR Dictionary     SOLIDWORKS Inspection is a very powerful tool used to speed up the inspection process. SOLIDWORKS Inspection exists in two different versions. There is a standalone version and a version that functions as an add-in inside SOLIDWORKS. The standalone version of SOLIDWORKS Inspection can open drawings in either PDF or TIFF file formats. Using SOLIDWORKS Inspection, you can balloon characteristics such as notes and dimensions. The program attempts to recognize the text with Optical Character Recognition (OCR).   The OCR functionality works great, for the most part. Unfortunately, you may run into scenarios where the text is not correctly identified. This may

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Posted in General Info, Modeling, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks, SOLIDWORKS What's New

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

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