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

• 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.

Adding Constraints to a Sketch
• 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.

Sketch with Constraints Added

Fully constrained geometry turns green.
Contextual Constraints

Dimensional Constraints

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

Sketch with Constraints Modified

• 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.

bottle_height neck_angle transition_radius base_height neck_radius base_width

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

Values are added to the spreadsheet to create other bottle designs.

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.


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