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CONVEYOR BASE TUTORIAL

A DriveWorksXpress Tutorial for


SolidWorks 2011


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Table of Contents

An Introduction to DriveWorksXpress .......................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.

Lesson 1: Basic Setup ................................................................................................................................... 5

Lesson 2: Capturing Models and Dimensions ........................................................................................... 6
Capturing Assembly Dimensions .................................................................................................................. 7
Capturing Model Dimensions ........................................................................................................................ 8
Capturing Drawings .................................................................................................................................... 10

Lesson 3: Form Creation ............................................................................................................................ 11

Lesson 4: Rules Building ............................................................................................................................ 14
Rules Builder ............................................................................................................................................. 14
File Name Rule Building ............................................................................................................................. 14
Dimension Rule Building ............................................................................................................................ 17

Lesson 5: Running the Project .................................................................................................................. 18


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An Introduction to DriveWorksXpress
This DriveWorksXpress tutorial is intended to give you hands-on proficiency of DriveWorksXpress. Upon
successful completion of this tutorial, you will be able to:
Drive SolidWorks part and assembly geometry with DriveWorksXpress
Create a DriveWorksXpress input form and link the input fields to the SolidWorks model
Generate rules to automate and run your project
In this tutorial, we will be automating a conveyor belt base stand.
Why Automate?
If you worked for a company that designed conveyor belt base stands, where each base stand you designed
was different, then using DriveWorksXpress could automate the process.
Lets take a look at this conveyor base stand.
As you can see, this conveyor belt base stand could be of any height, width or depth
(within reason). Therefore, each time a new job comes in with a different width for
the stand, the parts need to be re-designed and new drawings need to be produced.
This would require a custom design to be produced for each sales enquiry, which
could take days, and would be very repetitive for the engineer, which would in turn
effect the response time to a sales enquiry.
By automating the Conveyor Belt Base Stand design using DriveWorks:
The cost of custom designs is reduced
The sales enquiry response time can be shortened
The product quality is enhanced
Repetitive tasks are reduced
What does Automate mean?
By automating the design process of this conveyor belt using DriveWorksXpress, you will not need to change
the dimensions and properties of each model within the assembly of the conveyor belt base stand for each
new variation.
Instead, you will enter basic information, such as conveyor belt base stand height and width into a pre-
designed form already created by you. As DriveWorksXpress allows you to capture your design know-how and
incorporate it into your project, your project and form will be based on your design rules.
Rules allow the opening dimensions to be taken and used to calculate the size of each component that makes
up the Conveyor Belt Base Stand. DriveWorksXpress has an inbuilt Rules Builder which makes this process
easy.
You can set up your DriveWorksXpress project to automatically produce General Arrangement Drawings that
shows the exact requirements for each job.
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By following the step -by-step guide set out in the following tutorial, you will be automating your own designs
in SolidWorks in no time, thanks to DriveWorksXpress!
To begin this tutorial, you will need to download the SolidWorks project files for the Conveyor Belt Base Stand
Assembly from the DriveWorksXpress website:
http://www.driveworksxpress.com/index.php/training
The SolidWorks files are contained within a zipped file. Ensure you extract the files from this folder before
beginning the training.






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Lesson 1: Basic Setup
DriveWorksXpress is available within EVERY seat of SolidWorks, so you dont need to worry about installing
software or inputting license codes.
Open up SolidWorks 2011.

Click on the Tools tab in the SolidWorks
menu bar and select DriveWorksXpress
from the drop-down options.
This activates DriveWorksXpress, which
will open on the right hand side of the
screen.


The DriveWorksXpress Welcome Page gives you three
options:
Create / Change Database
This allows you to create a new project or load and
change an existing project

Add / Edit Models
Add more models to the existing project

Run Models
Jump directly to Run to specify a new variation using a
completed project
For this tutorial, click the Create / Change Database radio
button.
Click Next at the top of the DriveWorksXpress Task
Pane.
You will automatically be asked to open a new database.
Browse to a specific location on your hard drive where you would like your database to be saved to, and
name your new project Conveyor.
Click Open to continue.
A database has been created and saved in your specified location.

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Lesson 2: Capturing Models and Dimensions
You now need to add your model.
Click to navigate to the new window within the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane.
This will allow you to capture your model and the parameters that will be controlled on that model.
There are three ways to select which models are to be captured and driven using DriveWorksXpress:
Browse for new model
If no models are open in SolidWorks, you can browse to
the location of the files you would like to be driven and
automated using DriveWorksXpress

Use current open model
If you currently have a part or assembly open in
SolidWorks, DriveWorksXpress can capture these models
to be driven and automated

Models already in DriveWorksXpress
If you have previously captured models within
DriveWorksXpress, these will be displayed in the
DriveWorksXpress Task Pane

In this tutorial, a Conveyor Belt Base Stand will be automated.
Make sure Browse for new model is selected and click
Browse to the location on your hard drive where you have saved your Conveyor Belt Base Stand files, open
the folder and select the SolidWorks Assembly Document called Conveyor Base Assembly. Click Open.
NOTE: Ensure the Conveyor Base Assembly is the .sldasm file type

The Conveyor Base Stand assembly will now open in SolidWorks.
Once DriveWorksXpress knows the location of the files, well need to tell it which components we want to
capture dimensions and features from.
The DriveWorksXpress Task Pane will now show all of
the options for capturing model information.
At the bottom of the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane,
click on the Captured Assembly Structure tab. This
will then display check boxes next to each model within
the assembly.

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In this example, we will drive the following parts of the Conveyor Base assembly:
Leg Base
Adjustable Support
Wheel Assembly Wheel Base
Central Support
Wheel Bolt
Check the check boxes next to the parts shown below:








Capturing Assembly Dimensions
The Dimensions and Features tab allows you to choose
which parameters from a model or assembly you would
like to capture and drive. You can then assign a descriptive
name to the dimension or feature you have selected to
make them easier to identify and create rules for.
Click on the Dimensions and Features tab in the
DriveWorksXpress Task Pane.
Using the SolidWorks Feature Tree that is displayed on
the left hand side of the screen, select the Mates branch
and double click the feature called Distance6.


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Select the dimension of 100 that appears on the model.





In the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane,
rename the dimension Support
Height .


NOTE: The yellow warning triangle disappears once something has been typed into the Name box.
Click Add
The captured dimension can now be seen in the DriveWorksXpress Task Bar.
The next step will cover how to capture dimensions and features from individual parts of the Conveyor Base
assembly.
Capturing Model Dimensions
Click the Captured Assembly Structure tab to view the assembly tree.
Double click the Wheel Base model
to open it within SolidWorks.
Click the Dimensions and Features
tab.
The dimensions required on this
particular model are the width and
depth of the piece. These can both be
attained by clicking the feature
named Boss-Extrude 1 from the
SolidWorks Feature Tree.
Select the dimension of 150.
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In the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane, name the dimension Wheel Base Depth.
Click Add.
Next, select the dimension of 110 which appears on the Wheel Base model when Boss-Extrude 1 is
double clicked.
Name this Wheel Base Width.
Click Add.
In the Captured Assembly Structure tab, double click the Adjustable Support model.
Capture the following dimensions within the model as previously demonstrated above:
Feature Name Dimension Value DriveWorks Name Explanation
Boss-Extrude 1 500 AS Inside Height
This will control the height of the
adjustable support
Boss-Extrude 1 90 AS Inside Width
This will control the width of the adjustable
support
Boss-Extrude 1 70 AS Inside Depth
This will control the depth of the
adjustable support
Boss-Extrude 1 10 AS Thickness
This will control the thickness of the
material being used
Boss-Extrude 2 15
AS Top Plate
Thickness
This will control the thickness of the top
plate
Boss-Extrude 2 50 AS Top Plate 1 This will control the length of the top plate
Boss-Extrude 2 50 AS Top Plate 2 This will control the length of the top plate

In the Captured Assembly Structure tab, double click the Leg Base model.
Capture the following dimensions within the model as previously demonstrated:
Feature Name Dimension Value DriveWorks Name Explanation
Boss-Extrude 1 150 Base Depth This will control the depth of the base
Boss-Extrude 1 110 Base Width This will control the width of the base
Boss-Extrude 1 15 Base Thickness
This will control the thickness of the
material used in the base
Boss-Extrude 3 300 Stand Height This will control the height of the stand
Boss-Extrude 3 70 Stand Inner Width This will control the width of the stand
Boss-Extrude 3 60 Stand Depth This will control the depth of the stand
Boss-Extrude 3 10 Stand Thickness This will control the thickness of the stand
LPattern2 50
Adjustment Hole
Distance
This will control the distance between each
of the three adjustment holes on the stand


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In the Captured Assembly Structure tab, double click the Central Support model.
Capture the following dimensions within the model as previously demonstrated:
Feature Name Dimension Value DriveWorks Name Explanation
Boss-Extrude 1 900
Central Support
Length
This will control the length of the support
Boss-Extrude 1 90
Central Support
Width
This will control the width of the support
Boss-Extrude 1 80
Central Support
Depth
This will control the depth of the support
Boss-Extrude 1 10
Central Support
Thickness
This will control the thickness of the
material used in the support
Capturing Drawings
DriveWorksXpress is capable of inputting SolidWorks engineering drawings, meaning that when a new version
of the model is made using DriveWorksXpress, the engineering drawing of that component is also updated to
match it. This capability is located on the Drawings and Configurations tab in the DriveWorksXpress Task
Pane.
Click the Drawings and Configurations tab.
Click the Browse button to search your hard drive for the
corresponding SolidWorks drawing file.
Perform this process for the four components with provided
engineering drawings. These are:
Adjustable Support
Leg Base
Wheel Base
Central Support
NOTE: The engineering drawings are in the .slddrw file format

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Lesson 3: Form Creation
In DriveWorksXpress, you can create an input form for entering the values for your new parts and drawings.
This form can be used again and again to specify and generate all the new parts and drawings, based on the
rules you set, and the values you enter.
Adding Controls
To access the form designer, click
Each control on the form requires three things:
Name
You must provide a descriptive name for the form control. This name will be the description the user sees as they
fill in your form i.e. Customer Name




Type
Choose from five types of controls (inputs)
- Text Box: Input text directly by typing
- Numeric Text Box: Input numeric values and specify a minimum and maximum value
- Drop Down: Provide a list of options to choose from
- Spin Button: Select from a range of numeric values. A maximum and a minimum value can be set,
as well as the incremented value
- Check Box: Places a checkbox on the form






Required
Enforces a value to be entered



In this example, a Customer Name and Order Number will be created. This can be done using a Text Box. Later
we will build a rule to append the Customer Name and Order Number to each set of new files in a specification
so it can be easily identified.
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Type the name of the input you wish to create into the Name text box. In this case, type Customer
Name.
Make the input type a Text Box by selecting this option from the drop down list.
Tick the Required check box to ensure a Customer Name is entered for each new specification.
Click
You will notice that the form control has appeared in the form designer within the DriveWorksXpress Task
Pane.
NOTE: As you create your form you can edit and delete
controls, as well as change the order of the inputs by using
the Up and Down arrows.
Click Add
To create the Order Number input for your Conveyor Base
form, follow the above procedure, naming the input Order
Number.
Click

To specify most dimensions within the model, you will need to use
Numeric Text Boxes. Numeric Text Boxes allow a maximum and a
minimum value to be enforced. Use the Numeric Text Box control for
the inputs shown in the table below.
Click Add to enter each input shown below:
Control Name Type of Control Required? Minimum Value Maximum Value
Height of
Frame
Numeric Text Box Yes 500 1200
Width of the
Base Stand
Numeric Text Box Yes 60 100
Depth of the
Base Stand
Numeric Text Box Yes 40 90
Overall Width Numeric Text Box Yes 600 1400
Length of the
Top Plate
Numeric Text Box Yes 100 400
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To allow a user to see an entire range of options available for a particular
input, a Spin Button can be used.

Use a Spin Button control to add the following inputs:
Control Name Type of Control Required? Minimum Value Maximum Value Increments
Thickness of the
Material
Spin Button Yes 5 17 1

To allow a user to specify whether wheels are a necessary component of the conveyor belt base stand, the
check box input can be used.
Input the following into the DriveWorksXpress Form Designer:
Control Name Type of Control Required?
Wheels Check Box N / A

NOTE: Click Test within the DriveWorksXpress Form Designer to preview the form you have created and test
it out for yourself. As you fill out the form, the text boxes will change from pink to white, and the yellow
warning triangles beside each input will disappear. If values are entered into the input controls that are
outside the acceptable range enforced by the comtrol, the yellow warning triangle and pink text box
background will remain and the user will not be able to proceed.
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Lesson 4: Rules Building
The Rules Tab that is present in DriveWorksXpress allows you to input rules that will allow you to automate
your designs. The Rules are created based on Excel syntax.
To navigate to the Rules tab, click or

A summary of the rules within your project will be displayed. This
summary includes how many of each rule type there are, as well as
how many rules are missing and need to be defined before the
assembly can be automated.


Rules Builder
Before you begin to create rules within this tutorial, here is a quick summary of the DriveWorksXpress Rules
Builder.
There are four tabs available within the DriveWorksXpress Rules Builder:
Inputs
Lists the available controls that can be
used in your rules

Recent
This becomes populated with commonly
used text strings or equations

Math
Shows common mathematical operators
such as divide, subtract and add

Logic
Shows logical operators such as IF( , , ),
<, > and =
File Name Rule Building
File Name rules allow different sets of files that are generated for each new specification of an automated
design to be easily identifiable.
Check the Edit check box next to the File Name rule type and then click
Each of the files being driven will be for a unique project and therefore will require a unique set of file names.
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To create the same rule for multiple models, select each model you wish to create the file name rule for
while holding down the CTRL key. Multi-select all models except
Wheel Assembly and Wheel Bolt.
Click Build
The DriveWorksXpress Rules Builder will now open.
All the file names that are going to be created for these models
will need to be unique to that particular specification and
therefore the file names should be populated with information
that will allow the files to be easily identified. For this tutorial,
this will involve using the customers name and their order
number within the file name.
The file format will show the component, customer name and order number in the following format once the
rule is created:
Component Customer Name Order Number
To create a file rule for the selected models in the above format, start by selecting the Customer Name
input from the Inputs tab.
To ensure a hyphen is shown in the file name between the Customer Name and Order Number, type the
following after the Customer Name input:
& -
Using the ampersands around the hyphen is necessary as Customer Name is one text string, while the hyphen
is another text string (just like in Microsoft Excel).
Now type &and then select Order Number from the Inputs tab to complete the file name rule, which
should now look like this:





An example of this rule when put into practise will look like this:
Conveyor Base Assembly Canned Foods Inc. - DW006
Click OK to create the file name rule for the selected models.
There should only be two models remaining which still require File Name Rules. The Wheel Assembly and
Wheel Bolt rules will differ from the other model file name rules, as they will be based around a logic
function. The file name rules for these two models will allow the Wheel Assembly and Wheel Bolt files to be
saved if wheels are specified as being required within the form users specification.
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Click Wheel Assembly and then Build to take you back into the DriveWorksXpress Rules Builder.
In the Logic tab, select the IF ( , , ) function then fill in following parts so the rule looks like this:
IF ( Wheels = TRUE , CustomerName & - & OrderNumber , Delete )
This rule ensures that if the user ticks the check box to add wheels to their conveyor belt base stand, then the
Customer Name and Order Number will be displayed at the end of the appropriate files. If the Wheels check
box is not checked, then the model will not be included in that particular specification and will be deleted
when the project is saved.
Click OK to view the final model requiring a file name rule.
Click on the Wheel Bolt model and click Build.
Within the DriveWorksXpress Rules Builder, input the following rule:
IF ( Wheels = TRUE , CustomerName & - & OrderNumber , Delete )
This rule ensures that if the wheels are not specified in the form then the Wheel Bolt model is not shown
within the model and the Wheel Bolt file is not saved for that project.
Click OK to return to the file name rules summary.
As there are no models left that require file name rules, click to return to the Rules summary page.
Deselect the Edit check box corresponding to the File Name rules.

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Dimension Rules Building
To start creating dimension rules, check the Edit box next to Dimensions.
Dimension rules are created in the same way as File Name rules, by highlighting the item(s) you would like to
create a particular rule for and then clicking Build.
The table below shows the name of each dimension and the rule that should be created for that dimension:
Rule Name Formula
AS Inside Height = HeightofFrame Thickness oftheMaterial ( ThicknessoftheMaterial * 1.5 ) 20.245
AS Inside Width = WidthoftheBaseStand
AS Inside Depth = DepthoftheBaseStand
AS Thickness = ThicknessoftheMaterial
AS Top Plate
Thickness
= ThicknessoftheMaterial
AS Top Plate 1 = ( LengthofTopPlate ( WidthoftheBaseStand + ( 2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial) ) ) / 2 )
AS Top Plate 2 = ( LengthofTopPlate ( WidthoftheBaseStand + ( 2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial) ) ) / 2 )
Support Height
= ( ( HeightofFrame ThicknessoftheMaterial ( ThicknessoftheMaterial * 1.5 )
20.245 ) / 100 ) * 15
Base Depth = DepthoftheBaseStand + ( 2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial ) + 40
Base Width =WidthoftheBaseStand + (2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial )
Stand Inner Width = WidthoftheBaseStand ( 2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial )
Stand Depth = DepthoftheBaseStand ThicknessoftheMaterial
Stand Height
= ( HeightofFrame ThicknessoftheMaterial ( ThicknessoftheMaterial * 1.5 ) 20.245)
/ 1.8
Stand Thickness = ThicknessoftheMaterial
Wheel Base Width = WidthoftheBaseStand + ( 2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial ) + 40
Wheel Base Depth = DepthoftheBaseStand + ( 2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial ) + 40
Central Support
Length
= OverallWidth ( 4* ThicknessoftheMaterial )
Central Support
Width
= WidthoftheBaseStand
Central Support
Depth
= WidthoftheBaseStand / 2
Central Support
Thickness
= ThicknessoftheMaterial
Base Thickness = ThicknessoftheMaterial * 1.5
Adjustment Hole
Distance
= ( (HeightofFrame ThicknessoftheMaterial (ThicknessoftheMaterial * 1.5) 20.245)
/ 1.8) / 3

Click to return to the Rules Summary page.
All rules types should have been created for the assembly now and there should be no missing rules.
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Lesson 5: Running the Project
All the dimensions, features and drawings of the Conveyor Belt Base Stand have been captured, and the
relevant rules have been created. New specifications of the conveyor belt base stand can now be created.
Click to navigate to the Run tab in DriveWorksXpress.
Within the Run task pane, you will now be able to see the nine
different controls you created earlier in the DriveWorksXpress Form
Designer. Hovering over any of the controls will cause a message to
appear showing the range of acceptable values for that control.
All of the controls which require a value will appear with a pink
background, which will turn white once a suitable value has been
selected.
To run your project, enter suitable values for each control and click
or Create.
DriveWorksXpress will now run the project according to the values
entered into the form and generate the files required.
A generation report is produced which shows activity on all of the
driven values within the Conveyor Belt Base Stand. Any errors in the
project will appear with a red cross next to them, while all successful
actions will be shown by a green tick.
The model with the dimensions and features specified by you in the
form will now appear in SolidWorks.
To view the modified SolidWorks Drawing File for this new model
specification, open the folder where you decided to save the project files
on your hard drive. The SolidWorks Drawing of the modified model will be saved under the Customer Name
Order Number specified in the form filled in before the project was run in DriveWorksXpress.
In this folder, you will also see all the part assembly files that have been generated and saved for that
particular project.

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Congratulations, you have now completed this DriveWorksXpress Tutorial for
SolidWorks 2011!

There is lots more downloadable content available at:

www.driveworksxpress.com

Now youve tried DriveWorksXpress, GO AUTOMATE your own SolidWorks
projects!