Friday, July 13, 2007

Parametric Parts

Greetings bloggers!
Here is what I have most currently learned. It is probably not the most correct method, but it produced what I was looking for. Here is the procedure that I went through to create a parametric part. I do not have all the options mapped out here because I have not fully investigated them. Happy reading!

Parametric Parts:
(Based off of creating a spin fitting)
Open up a blank drawing based off of your template.
Go to modelspace.
Go to CAD Manager/Content Editing/Content Builder
Select the chapter (folder) that you want to place your new part in.
(Make sure you are in the correct catalog…for parametric parts you will need to be in the duct or pipe catalog, not MvPart catalog)
Click on "New parametric part" icon on the right side.
Name your part. Hit tab to get to the next field. It should self-fill in.
Click "Ok".

Now a new palette will appear, the "content builder" palette.
Expand the "Part configuration" section.
You will see what you just named your part.
You can right click on it and select "edit" to change it if you would like.
Under that is the subcategory: "duct"
On "undefined" (under duct) right click and select "edit". Change it to "Takeoff".
Under the now named "takeoff" click on undefined and change it to "Plain" via right click/edit.

On the Content builder palette under the part config section is the "work plane" section.
Click on the "work plane" right click, and choose "edit".
Choose the desired plane--this is the plane that the object will be inserted/viewed initially in your dwg.
(when doing a spin fitting try the front plane)
Right click on the plane that you created.
Choose "Add geometry" then choose "line" (etc)
Add all the Cole lines that you need to through these functions.
You must use Cole lines in order for this to work.
You can not use regular ACAD lines/shapes.
Each asterisk is a Cole point = *
Once you have your item drawing you need to create and assign a profile to them.

Right click on your plane.
Select Add profile/circular (or whichever is applicable for you).
Draw this outside of the plane window.
Draw as required.
Create all desired planes.
These are basically giving a shape to extrude along.

Right click on your plane/add dimension/distance (or the desired one).
Dimension all portions that you want/need to control and reference.
Click on the *’s on your Cole lines.
Now assign a profile to the cole linework.
Under the Modeling section right click on "Modifier" and select "add path".
When it prompts you to "select path geometry", select the Cole points or Cole lines.
When it prompts you to "select start profile" choose the profile you had created.
It will then ask you to "select end profile" you can either choose a different that you need, or just hit enter to use the same as the start profile.
Do this for all of your Cole lines.

Right click on "Model Parameters".
Change any equations/relations that you need to.
Click in the equation column and make your changes.
You must type the variable names exactly as they have them listed.
Then click "close" when you are done.

Switch to a 3D view.
Right click on "Connections" and choose "Add connection".
Select the Cole Node that you want the connector located at.
Then enter a number for the connector.
For "Pick dimension position" prompt click on the profile that you drew that is outside the plane window.
Do this for all connections that you need.

Right click on "Parameter configuration" and choose "edit configuration".
Under the "Data storage" row change the items to "Table" that you want the people to choose from.
You must do this to the "Part size name" as well so you can edit the part names.
Now click the black down arrow at the top where it says "parameter configuration" and change it to "Values".

Click on the "1" row name.
A new icon is allowed at the top of this pop-up called "new".
Click on it as many times as you need to create choices to be chosen from.
You can click on the arrows with an "a" in the middle icon and this will auto-size your columns.
Now click inside the part size name to highlight the first name.
Click on the "edit" icon at the top left next to the "new" icon.
Change the name as required.
Use the down arrow keys and enter to change through all of these.
You must click on the "edit" button for each item you want to change.
Now click inside the other "list" items and change them accordingly.
Click "ok" to save the changes and exit this pop-up.

At the top of the content browser palette click on the cactus looking icon called "Generate bitmap".
Click on the views at the bottom of this pop-up and choose a view that suits you.
If you do not find something that you like, click on the "Browse" button and go find a bitmap to select instead.

Click on "Save part family" at the top of the content builder palette.
Click "yes" to allow this part to be seen by all users accessing it.
Click on the stoplight looking icon called "Validate".
Make sure you see a green dot at the bottom of the palette to signify that the part is valid.
Close the drawing.
It may prompt you to save, say YES.

Now double click on the catalog at the bottom of your ABS session.
Click on "d" for duct, or which ever catalog the part you just created is saved in.

Now you can test out your part!
To get to a newly created spin fitting that was stored in the duct catalog:
Click on "Duct fitting" icon on the palette.
Surf down to the location you saved it in, in this case:
Duct and fittings us imperial/round/takeoffs/
Click the down arrow to choose from the different sizes you created as choices and drop it into your drawing.

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