Why You Should Use DriveWorks Model Insight

DriveWorks Diagnostics – Model Insight

One of the most important diagnostic tools in DriveWorks Professional is Model Insight. This tool is an essential tool for understanding how DriveWorks generates your model. Maybe more importantly, you can dig into any errors that may occur when generating the model. Model Insight uses the Queued method of model generation and allows you to step through every action taken by DriveWorks when generating a model.

With Model Insight you can:

  • Review processing order for dimensions, features, custom properties, etc.
  • Check the time it takes to execute each operation.
  • See where a particular operation is not giving you the results you expect.

Now that you know what Model Insight can do, lets next find where to the tool is in DriveWorks Professional and see how it works. Before we learn how to launch the tool, we first need to be aware that there are three different settings you can set the Model Insight tool to. You can use the “Minimal” setting for a first-pass run to see if there are any issues generating models. The “Normal” and or “Verbose” settings give you way more info on why your models aren’t generating properly or at all. See Figure 1 below. To launch Model Insight, you first need to be in the “Test Mode” option inside of the Specification Explorer which can be found in the Administrator tool. Test Mode lets you review project rules within a specification. You will notice the Test Mode option in DriveWorks 18 SP1 has a drop-down arrow to choose different specifications that are hosted within your current specification. See Figure 2 below.

DriveWorks Model Insight settings

Fig. 1 Model Insight settings

DriveWorks Test Mode

Fig. 2 Test Mode option

Once in Test Mode, you’re able to test each DriveWorks task that can be analyzed from the tab strip under the Command Bar. DriveWorks tasks that can be analyzed are Form, Navigation, Constants, Variables, Documents, Tables, Calculation Tables, and Model Rules. Let’s next choose the Model Rules option and from there choose either a part or an assembly icon under the Models column of the interface to run the Model Insight tool with. Note, you can’t choose a drawing because you use Model Insight for parts and assemblies. See Figure 3 below.

Before we click Model Insight, I recommend moving the Administrator tool to another screen. Then, put Model Insight and SOLIDWORKS on another. Doing this will let you see what is being generated inside of the SOLIDWORKS interface.

Model Rules and Model Insight

Fig. 3 Models Rules interface to use Model Insight

Next will click the Model Insight option and from there another window pops up which is what we will use to find any errors in our DriveWorks projects. See Figure 4 below.


Model Insight Interface

Fig. 4 Model Insight interface

The Model Insight tool has many commands to choose from. See Figure 5 below. Before clicking on any of the commands we recommend first creating a Pause Point (red dot) on an operation. Simply left-click in the gray column of the Model Insight interface. Creating a Pause Point allows the model generation to pause at a chosen operation. After creating a Pause Point, click the Run command to start the interactive model generation. It will run all the way up to your Pause Point and stop.

From there, you’ll notice on the right-hand side the amount of time it took for that task. Also, you’ll see a colored circle with a check mark in it. Green means the operation was successful. Yellow indicates a warning that something did not run right and red means an error occurred. A grayed check mark means you’re skipping that a step. See Figure 6 below.

Model Insight commands

Fig. 5 Model Insight commands

Pause Point in Model Insight

Fig. 6 Using Pause Point, Run, and Step Into commands

When you run the tool all the way to the end you will see how many successful generations occurred versus how many warnings or errors that may have occurred. See Figure 7 below.

What operations were successful?

Fig. 7 Model Insight indicator

Knowing ahead of time whether or not your models will generate properly is a huge advantage using the Model Insight tool. Its great to know ahead of time where to even start to look in the generation process if something did go wrong. Using the Model Insight tool will ultimately make you more successful at catching errors ahead of time so you can get you production models and drawings done faster and more accurately.

Nick Pusateri

Application Engineer



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