# Introduction to CATIA Parameters and Automation

Tom Swindell IBM PLM Technical Support

Topics • • • • • Constraints Parameters Creating Formulas from Parameters Creating Design Tables from Parameters Creating Catalog from Design Tables

Constraints
• To create a Pad (solid) in V5, the Sketcher workbench is used. • A sketch is created on a 2D plane in 3D space. • The geometry is ‘sketched’ roughly in position using various tools.

• Since geometry is roughly sketched, it must be modified to capture design intent. • Geometry can easily be modified by applying / changing constraints. • Contextual horizontal and vertical constraints are added first. Other contextual constraints include, parallel, concentric, coincident, etc. • Dimensional constraints, similar to dimensions, are added next.

Fully constrained geometry turns green.
Contextual Constraints

Dimensional Constraints

• Constraints can be easily modified by double-clicking and changing the values. • Geometry is automatically updated.

Sketch with Constraints Modified

Parameters
• Constraints are the starting point for automation. • Constraints are made up of Parameters. • The Formula function is used to work with the constraint Parameters. • The function is included with base CATIA configurations.

Editing Parameters of Constraint
• Renaming PartBody\Sketch.1\Length.13\Length….

Editing Parameters of Constraint
• …. to block_length • This makes the parameter easier to find and gives it a functional name that can be used later.

Editing Parameters of Constraint
• We can use constraints to control other constraints using Formula Editor. • Examples: Set one constraint = to another Set one constraint = to another/2 etc.. • Formula Editor is accessed by right-clicking (MB3) constraint.

Editing Formula of Constraint
• Right-click constraint. • Select Edit Formula

Formula Editor
• Setting Length.14 = block_length/2 • Double-click block_length from right side of panel. • Enter formula: block_length /2

Modified Constraint

Set Tools-Options to Visualize Formula in Tree

Editing Parameters to Control Features
• Features such as holes, fillets, chamfers, drafts, etc. can be turned off/on by changing parameters.

Editing Parameters to Control Features
• Hole is deactivated when Activity = false • Can easily be reactivated. • Can be controlled by program / macro.

Design Tables
• Parameters can be stored in a table or Excel file to control multiple configurations of a part. • This allows control over the design, limiting the combinations allowed. • Parameters (constraints) included in Design Table cannot be changed by the user. • User does not have to guess if modifications will work.

Design Tables
• Assume we want to make multiple bottles using the Sketch constraints.

Design Tables
• Not all constraint changes are good. • Proven constraint values are tabulated to provide viable designs. • Can easily switch between configurations and part updates accordingly. • Decreased likelihood of bad designs. • Capture company knowledge.

Renaming Parameters for Design Table
• Change names to something meaningful. • Easier to find parameters when creating design table.

Creating Design Table

Renamed parameters will be added to Design Table • Design Tables are included with base CATIA configuration.

Creating Design Table

Select renamed parameters to add to design table.

Creating Design Table
• Design table is created. • Select ‘Edit table’ to edit .xls file.

Creating Design Table

Excel file is created with renamed parameters and their values.

Creating Design Table

Creating Design Table
• Design Table is shown in the tree. • Double-click Configuration to change part configuration.

Applying Design Table Configurations
• Select and Apply configuration to see part update.

Creating Catalog from Design Table
• Catalogs are collections of part to be used in multiple places. • Catalog items are instantiated (copied) to CATProducts. • Design Tables can be used to populate Catalogs.

Creating Catalog from Design Table
• Create Catalog using File-New-CatalogDocument. • Add ‘Part Family’ in Catalog Editor workbench.

** Design table must have PartNumber field.

Questions?