CATI Tech Notes

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

Copy with Mates

I think one of the most under used, but beneficial commands in SolidWorks 2008 is the Copy with Mates. It is one of those sneaky commands that gets put in a right click, but isn’t added to a toolbar by default. So if you are like a lot of SolidWorks users, you get used to the same tools everyday and don’t even notice other options that are around. When I show this to current SolidWorks users they are very excited and talk about how much time that will save them. If it is something you will use a lot, customize your assembly toolbar to include it.  To use it, select the component(s) you

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Posted in SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

Understanding Pretty Pictures!

Interpreting results helps users understand product behavior. “Blue is good, red is bad” is the general adage. While this might hold true in some cases, it is wrong to generalize. As appeasing as color plots may seem, interpreting them could be tricky. Animate….it’s cool! Animations are the best way to understand part or model behavior. If the part or assembly does not move as expected, users need to go back and change the set up. This very basic method should eliminate the majority of set up mistakes. Animations also help with communicating with team members, and marketing in-house engineering capabilities on the company website. Displacement This indicates how much and

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Posted in Simulation

What Do Your Designs Rely On?

Engineers are considered to be logical, thoughtful and precise with everything they undertake. Perhaps this is one reason why everyone calls themselves an engineer. A housewife calls herself a “Domestic Engineer”.  Doesn’t she organize, construct, manipulate, manage, contrive? All used to define an engineer, as per the Merriam-Webster dictionary. So next time you boast your engineering skills, remember that the over-friendly cookie baking lady has exactly the same skill sets. There are certain tools any type of engineer would rely upon. (a) legacy data (b) testing (c) intuition Legacy Data works while designing a family of products. Meaning, similar shaped parts subjected to different magnitudes of load. Hopefully, the initial

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Posted in Simulation

Status code: 9 MATRIX_Singular_OR_INDEFINITE

Some error messages make you wonder, what does it take to get something simple done? I have often wondered how coders come up with names for errors and claim them to be logical? One common bane is “Status code 9." This message is often followed by a second message claiming there aren’t enough restrains defined. Basically, the software cannot figure out how parts are interacting in 3D space. Every solid or surface body has six degrees of freedom available to it (three translational and three rotational). When users define loads and restraints they remove degrees of freedom from the model.  Behind the scenes (in SolidWorks) equations are being written to

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Posted in Simulation

Drawing Views of Individual Bodies

I have recently had a few Technical Support questions regarding how to create drawing views of individual bodies from within a weldment. This is actually very simple and can be completed by using the little known command Relative View.€ While in a drawing, go to €œInsert, Drawing View, Relative to Model€ Select the face of a body in your drawing view. SolidWorks will then switch you to the model where you have the option to choose the €œScope and select €œSelected Bodies€. Select the body you want to detail. For orientation, select a First Orientation€ and a €œSecond Orientation€. Click €œOK€ and the drawing document window will appear. Based on

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Posted in Uncategorized

YouTube COSMOS Tutorials

If you have trouble using COSMOS, just go to www.youtube.com and look up cosmos tutorials.  They have a lot of videos that explain certain types of analysis.  It is not in-depth knowledge on why it works the way it does but it can provide step-by-step instructions on how to create certain studies.  For instance, understanding airflow through a centrifugal pump: http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=solidworks&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7ADBS&um=1&sa=N&tab=wv&oi=property_suggestions&resnum=0&ct=property-revision&cd=1#q=solidworks%20simulation This is just one of the analysis tools that are available for viewing.  They do have other analysis packages that have been recorded so just search through the website. Ketul Patel Technical Support Computer Aided Technology, Inc.

Posted in Simulation

Do your Designs Sing?

We often consider design to be safe if prototypes work out fine, or if over a period of time legacy data has paved the way. If comfortable with analysis, static tests are the first line of defense to prove concepts. Knowing loading conditions, and component interaction with its environment we identify success with an appeasing color chart of blue and green colors. Could it be we missed a few nuances making our best design not perform as planned? Let me clarify…. As you’re cruising along in your ride there is a sudden noise that always occurs at a certain speed. It goes away as soon as you cross that speed.

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Posted in Simulation

Instant 3D Tool

Are you seeing a preview like this when you try to edit a sketch? Click to enlarge picture If so, you may have your Instant 3D tool turned on. This is a new feature to SolidWorks 2008 and many people have been confused as to why they are not able to dimension properly or select certain things when editing a sketch. Instant 3D is a great tool, but in certain cases it can cause you to not be able to select or dimension properly when editing a sketch. Here is how to turn it off: first, make sure your toolbars are in ‘command manager’ mode. Your toolbars should look like

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Posted in SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

Help with Help Files

We often tend to look up help in our software for information that either isn’t intuitive or that we are confused about. But more often than not we have to access the software itself to get to the help menu. Wouldn’t it be nice to have help at your beck and call as it should be? You can have the help menu show up in Start \ All Programs menu \ SolidWorks 2008 \ Help Click to enlarge picture To do this: 1. Browse to C:\Documents and Settings\” user name on machine ”\Start Menu\Programs\2. Right click and create a new folder called “Help”3. In this folder create a shortcut to the help

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Posted in General Info

Central Indiana SolidWorks User Group

Do you get excited about SolidWorks and its capabilities? Do you want to meet other individuals who feel the same way? Then come to the Central Indiana SolidWorks User Group! Meet users from all different industries and expand your knowledge of SolidWorks. The group meets every other month, and presentations are given in an open forum to share new ideas and functionality with SolidWorks and related products. Computer Aided Technology has been involved with this group for many years, and I will actually be presenting on eDrawings at the next meeting. Next Meeting- When: Thursday, July 17th Where: GT South Rib House 4919 S. Emerson Avenue Indianapolis, IN (Beech Grove)

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Posted in SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

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