Blocks

Create blocks from single or multiple sketch entities. With blocks, you can quickly develop conceptual models of mechanisms or linkages. These models ultimately include several parts that pivot, slide, or rotate. The benefit of modeling mechanisms with layout sketches is the speed and flexibility with which designers can experiment with design variations. Blocks allow you to:

Create layout sketches using a minimum number of dimensions and relations. Freeze a subset of entities in a sketch to manipulate them as a single entity. Manage complex sketches. Edit all instances of blocks simultaneously. Create assembly components from  layout sketches.

Blocks include two lessons: Time Tutorial Four Bar Linkage. Basic blocks lesson with a rotating motion. Crane. Advanced lesson with rotation and sliding motion. The lesson covers many of the functions available with blocks and shows how to convert selected blocks into assembly components.

Next

to start the four bar linkage lesson

Sketching the Linkage
1. Open a new part and select the Front plane. 2. Click Line (Sketch toolbar), and coincident with the origin, sketch a horizontal line. (Dimensions/Relations toolbar), and dimension the line to 76.

3. Click Smart Dimension

Although dimensions are not required in this layout sketch, you add one dimension as a reference to proportion the rest of the sketch. This allows you to insert another compatibly-sized block in the sketch. Later, when you build the crane, you learn how to scale blocks. 4. Click Line (Sketch toolbar), and using inferences as you sketch, add three non-parallel and non-perpendicular sketch entities.

As you drag the pointer, the line length updates dynamically.

5. Press Esc to clear the tool, and click in the graphics area to clear the selection. Next

Making Blocks
1. Click Make Blocks (Blocks toolbar). .

2. Select the horizontal line for Block Entities, and in the PropertyManager click 3. Click in the graphics area to clear the selection. You have created a block. Note that:

 

Block1-1 is displayed in the FeatureManager design tree under Sketch1.

The geometry of the block in the graphics area is displayed in gray.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 with each line entity. You can select each entity in any order.

5. Click Rebuild

(Standard toolbar). Block4-1, are displayed in the

Four blocks, identified as   Block1-1 through FeatureManager design tree under Sketch1.

The geometry in the graphics area for all blocks is displayed in gray.

Why did I make each entity a separate block? Next

Adding Relations
1. Right-click Sketch1 and select Edit Sketch. 2. Click Add Relation (Dimensions/Relations toolbar).

3. In the graphics area, select the bottom left point.

4. In the PropertyManager, under Add Relations, click Fix 5. In the graphics area, select the horizontal line.

.

6. In the PropertyManager, under Add Relations, click Horizontal

, then click

.

Why did I add these relations?

Next

Testing the Linkage
1. Click in the graphics area to clear the selection. 2. Select the end point on the right, and drag the Four Bar linkage.

Congratulations! You have completed this tutorial.

Next

to start the crane tutorial

Making Blocks-the Base
Create the crane base and make a block. 1. Open a new part and open a sketch on the Front plane. 2. Click Line (Sketch toolbar), and coincident with the origin, sketch the figure using inference as you sketch to create the relations.

3. Click Smart Dimension sketch, and then click .

(Dimensions/Relations toolbar), add dimensions to fully define the

4. Click Make Blocks

(Blocks toolbar).

5. Box-select the sketch entities for Block Entities. 6. Click and leave the sketch open. Block1-1 in the FeatureManager design tree.

The crane base is listed as Next  

Editing Blocks
Edit the block so new sketch entities are included in the block. 1. In the FeatureManager design tree, right-click   Block1-1, and select Edit Block.

In this instance, you can add the points to any of the five blocks. 2. Click Point (Sketch toolbar), sketch and dimension two points, and then click .

3. Click the block confirmation corner This adds the points to   4. Click Add Relations Block1-1.

to close the block.

(Dimensions/Relations toolbar).

5. In the graphics area, choose the bottom left point for Selected Entities.

6. In the PropertyManager, under Add Relations, select Fix

.

7. In the graphics area, choose the horizontal base line for Selected Entities, select Horizontal , and then click Next .

Inserting the Upper Arm
Insert the upper arm block. 1. In the FeatureManager design tree, select Sketch1. 2. Click Insert Block (Blocks toolbar).

3. In the PropertyManager, under Blocks to Insert: a. Click Browse, go to <install_dir>\samples\tutorial\blocks. b. Select upper_arm.sldblk, and click Open. 4. Click to place the block in the graphics area, and then click .

Click once in the graphics area, and then click to insert a single instance of the block. You can leave the upper arm anywhere in the graphics area, and position it later. Next

Moving and Renaming Blocks
Move and rename blocks. 1. In the FeatureManager design tree, right-click Block1-1, select Properties, type Crane Base for Name, then click OK. 2. Repeat for Block2-1, but type Upper Arm for Name. In the FeatureManager design tree, -1 is added to both blocks, to indicate they are the first instance of each block in Sketch1. 3. With Upper Arm selected, drag the block to approximately the distance shown from Crane Base. You can select any sketch entity in a block to drag, rotate, and position an unconstrained block.

Next

Saving Blocks and Linking Files
Save Crane Base-1 and Upper Arm-1 as blocks. 1. In the FeatureManager design tree, right-click Crane Base-1, and select Save Block. 2. In the Save As dialog box, type crane_base (the .sldblk extension is added). 3. In the graphics area, select any sketch entity on Upper Arm-1.

4. In the PropertyManager, under Definition, select Link to file and then click

.

When you select Link to File, changes made to the original file propagate to all instances of the block or nested block. When linked to file, you cannot edit the block in the current document. 5. In the FeatureManager design tree, select Upper Arm->1. The -> is added to indicate that the file was modified by adding the link to file.   6. Click Save Block 7. Click Save Next (Blocks toolbar), and save as upper_arm.sldblk.

(Standard toolbar), and save as mycrane.sldprt.

Inserting the Central Arm
Insert and scale the central arm. 1. In the FeatureManager design tree, select Sketch1. 2. Click Insert Block (Blocks toolbar).

3. In the PropertyManager, under Blocks to Insert: a. Click Browse, go to <install_dir>\samples\tutorial\blocks, select central_arm.sldblk, and click Open. b. Under Parameters, type 6 for Scale. You can insert blocks and modify the scale, enabling you to use the same block with multiple models. 4. Click to place the block in the graphics area, and then click .

5. Save the model. Next

Connecting the Arm and Base
Connect the base to the central arm using relations. This allows the arm to pivot. 1. Select any sketch entity on Central Arm-1, drag the block adjacent to the left point in the base, and then click .

2. Click Zoom to Area the central arm. 3. Click Add Relations

(View toolbar) and zoom in to the top of the base and the bottom of

(Dimensions/Relations toolbar).

4. Select the point on the base, and the center point of the arc for Selected Entities.

If the pointer does not allow you to select the center of arc, use Zoom to Area magnify the image. 5. In the PropertyManager, under Add Relations, select Coincident , and click .

to

Next

Connecting the Arms
Connect the central arm to the upper arm. 1. In Edit Sketch mode, select any sketch entity on Upper Arm-1, drag the block close to Central Arm-1, and then click .

2. Click Zoom to Area

(View toolbar), zoom in to the top of Central Arm-1and the point on

Upper Arm-1. 3. Press Esc to clear the view tool, select the point on Upper Arm-1, and drag it until it is coincident to the center of arc from Central Arm-1.

4. Save the model. Next

Testing the Arms
Test the motion of the blocks by moving the arms. The crane should look as follows:

1. With the model in the Edit Sketch mode and none of the blocks underneath selected, pick an entity on the upper arm and pivot the crane arms by dragging.

2. Save the model. Next

Inserting the Cylinder and Piston
Add a cylinder and a piston between the central and upper arms. 1. In the FeatureManager design tree, select Sketch1. 2. Click Insert Block (Blocks toolbar).

3. In the PropertyManager, under Blocks to Insert, click Browse: a. Go to <install_dir>\samples\tutorial\blocks b. Select cylinder.sldblk, and click Open. c. Under Parameters, type 6 for Scale. 4. Click to place the block in the graphics area, and then click .

5. Repeat steps 2-4 to add piston.sldblk. If the piston is not displayed at approximately the same angle as the cylinder, under Parameters, change the angle for Block Rotation , and then click .

Next

Connecting the Cylinder and Piston
Connect the cylinder and the piston to create a piston mechanism.

1. Edit the sketch by dragging the piston so that it fits into the cylinder, click the graphics area to clear the selection.

, and then click in

2. Click Add Relations 3. Click Zoom to Area

(Dimensions/Relations toolbar). (View toolbar).

4. In the graphics area, zoom in to the top of the piston:

Press Esc to clear the zoom tool, and select the construction line at the top of the piston for Selected Entities.

Zoom out and zoom back in to  the bottom of the cylinder. Press Esc, then select the construction line for Selected Entities.

 

To select a sketch entity, you must clear Zoom to Area and some of the other tools on the View toolbar. To clear a tool, press Esc or Enter, or select another tool in its place. 5. In the PropertyManager, under Add Relations, select Colinear , and then click .

6. Click Zoom to Fit clear the selection. Next

(Dimensions/Relations toolbar), and then click in the graphics area to

Making Nested Blocks
You can create nested blocks by creating and saving a block that includes multiple blocks. Use nested blocks to:

Insert a single block as opposed to multiple blocks. Edit multiple blocks simultaneously. Shorten the list of blocks displayed in the FeatureManager design tree. Manage scale factor.

1. In the FeatureManager design tree, press Ctrl and select cylinder-1 and piston-1. 2. Right-click and select Make Block. In the PropertyManager, cylinder-1 and piston-1 are listed as Block Entities. 3. Click , and in the FeatureManager design tree, right-click Block2-1 and select Save Block.

4. In the Save As dialog box, type piston_mechanism (the .sldblk extension is added). 5. Click Rebuild (Standard toolbar).

6. Right-click Block2-1, select Properties, and type Piston Mechanism for Name. Piston Mechanism-1 is added to the FeatureManager design tree. 7. Save the model. Next

Scaling and Linking to File
Scale the piston mechanism and link it to the .sldblk file. 1. In the FeatureManager design tree, select Piston Mechanism-1, right-click and select Edit Block. 2. In the graphics area, drag the piston mechanism so it is adjacent to the central arm.

Piston Mechanism-1 is too small relative to the rest of the model and needs scaling.

3. In the PropertyManager: a. Under Parameters, set Scale to 1.4.

b. Click Browse, select piston_mechanism.sldblk, and click Open. c. Under Definition, select Link to File. d. Click Next .

Inserting a Second Piston Mechanism
Insert another instance of the nested block. Since Piston Mechanism was linked to file during the scaling edit, the block you insert is sized correctly. 1. Click Insert Block (Blocks toolbar).

2. In the PropertyManager, under Open Blocks, select Piston Mechanism. 3. In the graphics area, click to place the block to the right of central arm, then click A second instance of the nested block, design tree. .

Piston Mechanism-1, is added to the FeatureManager

4. Save the model. Next

Exploding Blocks
Nested blocks prevent motion between sets of blocks below the top level. Explode dissolves blocks from any sketch entity. To allow motion between the cylinder and the piston, explode the nested block.

Blocks that belonged to the nested block remain blocks. Relations you created between sketch entities remain intact.

Why did I nest the block and then explode? 1. Expand Piston Mechanism-1, select Piston-1and drag the block. The nested block moves, but the piston does not slide in the cylinder. 2. In the FeatureManager design tree, right-click Piston Mechanism-1 and select Explode Block. Piston Mechanism-1 > is removed and Piston-1 3. Repeat with Piston Mechanism-2 >. and Cylinder-1 are displayed.

4. Select a piston and drag to verify it slides in the cylinder and the colinear relation is intact. 5. Click Rebuild (Standard toolbar).

You can explode a block before or after you add relations between the blocks that belong to the nested block.

Next

Linking the Piston Mechanisms
Link the first piston and cylinder between the arms. The piston mechanisms are no longer nested blocks. Each piston and its accompanying cylinder are separate blocks with a relation. 1. Drag Piston-1 adjacent to Upper Arm-1, and then click in the graphics area to clear selection.

2. Click Add Relations 3. Click Zoom to Area

(Dimensions/Relations toolbar). (View toolbar), zoom in to Piston-1.

4. Clear the view tool, and then select the centers of the arcs for Selected Entities.

Next

Linking the Piston Mechanisms (continued)
5. In the PropertyManager, under Add Relations, select Coincident 6. Click Zoom to Fit , then click .

(View toolbar), clear the view tool, and drag Cylinder-1.

Place the cylinder adjacent to Central_Arm-1, and then click in the graphics area to clear the selection.

7. Click Zoom to Area (View toolbar) and zoom in to the lower section of the Cylinder-1 and the left side of Central_Arm-1. 8. Click Add Relations (Dimensions/Relations toolbar), and repeat steps 3-4.

Next

Linking the Piston Mechanisms (continued)
Link the second piston to the central arm and the cylinder to the base. 1. Click Zoom to Fit (View toolbar).

2. Drag Piston-2 adjacent to Central_Arm-1, and then click in the graphics area to clear the selection.

3. Click Zoom to Area 4. Click Add Relations Selected Entities.

(View toolbar) and zoom in to Piston-2. (Dimensions/Relations toolbar), and select the centers of the arcs for

  Next

Linking the Piston Mechanisms-4
5. In the PropertyManager, under Add Relations, select Coincident , 6. Scroll to the bottom of the cylinder, drag the pointer over the bottom of the cylinder, and when a sketch entity is highlighted, right-click and choose Select Other. 7. Drag the pointer down the list until the center of the arc on the cylinder is highlighted in the graphics area and click to select it. 8. Select the point on the base, add a Coincident relation, and then click .

  9. Click Zoom to Fit (View toolbar), select any sketch entity on the upper arm, and move the arm up and down and back and forth.

10. Close the sketch and save the part. Next

Editing Saved and Linked Blocks
Edit Upper Arm to update the block in the part document. 1. Click Open (Standard toolbar), and browse to <install_dir>\samples\tutorial\blocks.

2. For Files of type, select All Files (*.*): a. Select upper_arm.sldblk b. Click Open. A new document opens. The graphics area is blank until you select to edit the block and zoom to fit the document. 3. In the FeatureManager design tree: a. Expand Sketch1. b. Right-click Upper Arm and select Edit Block. 4. Click Zoom to Fit 5. Click Zoom to Area (View toolbar). (View toolbar) and zoom in to the filleted corner.

6. Press Esc and select the arc. 7. In the PropertyManager, under Parameters, type 40 for Radius Next , and then click .

Editing Saved and Linked Blocks (continued)
1. Zoom to area and double-click the arc below the one set to a radius of 40.

2. In the PropertyManager under Parameters, type 40 for Radius

, and then click .

.

3. Double-click one of the 20 mm arcs, change the radius to 40 mm, and then click

4. Repeat step 3 for the second arc.

5. Click the block confirmation corner

to close the block.

6. Click Zoom to Fit

(View toolbar).

7. In the FeatureManager design tree: a. Right-click upper_arm-1 and select Save Block. b. Click Save and Yes to the prompt to replace the existing block. 8. Save the part and open mycrane.sldprt. Upper Arm includes the changes you made to upper_arm.sldblk. You can also edit a block document, return to the layout sketch that includes the block that was linked to file, and select Link to file after editing the block document. Next

Selecting Make Assembly Options
Create an assembly document from selected blocks. 1. Right-click Sketch1 and select Create Assembly from Layout Sketch. 2. Click OK to the message. The Create Assembly from Layout Sketch dialog box is displayed. 3. In the Create Assembly from Layout sketch dialog box:

Under Create, clear both cylinders and both pistons. This creates components for Crane Base-1, Central Arm-1, and Upper Arm-1.

Under Target Component, select Assem1 and rename to Central Arm:6:00, and rename to Central Arm. Click OK.

Crane Assembly; select

An assembly document is created that includes Crane Base, Upper Arm, and Central Arm with the appropriate Mates. 4. Click Zoom to Fit (View toolbar).

5. Save the assembly. Next

Creating the Parts
1. Expand Mates to see the LockToSketch mates that mate the components to Sketch1. 2. Select Sketch1, right click Crane Base, and select Open Part [if the graphics area is blank, click Zoom to Fit , (View toolbar)]. (Features

3. In the FeatureManager design tree, select Sketch1, and click Extruded Boss/Base toolbar). 4. In the PropertyManager, under Direction 1, set Depth 5. Save the part and click . to 200.

6. Return to Crane_Assembly.sldasm, and click Yes to the rebuild dialog box. 7. Repeat steps 2-6 for Upper Arm and for Central Arm, but in the PropertyManager, under Direction 1, set Depth 8. Save the parts. to 60 for each part.

9. Return to Crane_Assembly.sldasm, and click Isometric

(Standard Views toolbar).

Congratulations! You have completed this tutorial.