You did WHAT!!

Angle plate with slot   John Devitry is the CAD administrator for Utah State University. His weapon of choice is of course SE and more specifically ST in SE. He was telling us some funny stories about how students who don’t have rigid concepts of how things are to be modeled do things at times.  He would fix them up with a problem and then plan on going away for a while as the problem is solved only to see some students walk out after 5 minutes or so. Thinking there is a problem as he says he would walk over to see if they needed help only to be told they were done.

  Here is one of the problems he gave his students.  An angled plate with a slot in it and a 90 degree angle relative to all three major faces.   The first thing I thought of, and admit it you did to, was sketch/extrude remove in three planes. It took me a bit to figure out what the student did but the following is a clip of how I believe it was done. 

  This was one of the things that just blew me away at the Huntsville ST4 Rollout/Summit. ( I can’t help myself here and even though SE called it a rollout I like to think of it as the first of the new series of Summits :-])  It’s not that I had uses for this in mind or could see immediate applications for it in what I do as much as it was a wake up call to capabilities and methods in ST I had not ever considered because of the mindset I have about the way things “should”  be done.

                                                             Regards, Dave Ault

11 responses to “You did WHAT!!

  1. R. Paul Waddington

    Dave, one of the things I have always liked about teaching CAD is that the students may learn but so do I.
    I learned very early on to make sure my teaching was a lot about how to use the software but I tread very warily of and don’t insist my way is the best or the only way.
    The moment you go down the fixed view road some real advantages or techniques will/may be missed.
    To a great degree I believe this thinking (tunnel vision) is also what is behind the polarized views many have in relation to which CAD product or method (history/direct etc) is best.

  2. I agree. One of the things I wanted out of this blog was exposure to different ways of doing things for myself and others. I would love to sit in on some of those classes.

  3. That is an amazing technique and goes to show how much more I just need to sit down with ST and force myself to only use Synchronous. I’m never going to learn it that well if I continue to allow myself to fall back on traditional modeling techniques. I’m curious, what did the feature pathfinder look like when you were done and did you have any dimensional constraints on the angles?

  4. Scott,here are two screen captures. There will be no angular dimensions in PMI unless I click on angular dimension and set them. This is editable but you have to remember to grab the same four faces as you did originaly to do the command. I have not sat down to play with every variable here but I believe this is all capable of precision and editing by dimensions.

  5. Dave, thanks for this post and attending the summit. I was really impressed with the work John and his students do from my last conversation with him. If any of your blog readers who weren’t at the summit want to see and hear him, here’s a link to the blog post and video I did of John over at the Siemens PLM blog:

  6. Dave, good stuff. Don’t forget to use FENCE though. You could save quite a few steps and live rules things if you just fence what you want to rotate then rotate it.

  7. What about applying a normal cut like in SW?

    • I am assuming you are asking about the slot? With Synchronous I can adjust anything without having to sketch extrude remove after the original sketch is used to create the parent part. Or without starting over with new sketches to create the part and the slot because I need different angles at the bends. History based modelers won’t let you edit without going back in the tree and redoing sketches, extrudes, removes etc. Basically doing the whole part over just to get a variance of that part. I can keep the ends of the slot parallel with the ends of the part which would be impossible to do with a simple extrude remove. Each time to do this in history based with this part would require three sketches on three faces with extrude removes to do this with parallel ends and a complete slot. An angle on the end of the slot would be another sketch and extrude and regen. In ST I can make the ends of the slot to be any angle I want with live rules and no sketches or regen. Just grab the face and go. I can make a family of parts with longer, shorter and wider narrower slots by just clicking on and editing the dimensions assigned to this part.

  8. Thanks Dave, but my point was just that you can create “an angled plate with a slot in it and a 90 degree angle relative to all three major faces” using a normal cut (keyword “normal”) in SolidWorks sheetmetal.

    • Yes that may be true but I have no real experience with SW to speak of so I can’t say. My main point in discussing this though is to bring forth the idea of just how many things are editable in this part and in how many different ways in any environment by the way in SE with ST. You may have a narrow set of circumstances where history can come close once in a while to the power and ease of ST but what about the rest of the things I can do with this same part that you can’t? Once dimensions are assigned I can change virtually everything just by editing these or by manipulating faces directly with the steering wheel. If SW is like SE is in the parametric only mode for sheet metal capabilities I can only say to you that there is no way parametric can ever come close to the power and ease of parts editing in ST. The initial part creation perhaps yes and for everything else after that point a resounding no. As an added bonus I can work on your part imported into ST faster than you can but you can’t do the same to my imported dumb solid in SW. Have you tried any direct editing programs yet?

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