Wednesday, July 15, 2015

DriveWorks in SolidWorks along with HSMWorks...perfect match

So, we know that in Inventor we can use ilogic to create some automated parts and assemblies to quickly and easily modify them, but in SolidWorks we have what is called DriveWorks.
Now, the standard DriveWorks that comes with SolidWorks is the Express version that is free.  now this is not as powerful as ilogic, but it will still do the trick to help us speed design changes or creation of parts for customers that just want little tweaks from a standard part.

So, in this I am not going to walk through the whole process (mainly because this would be one long post if I did).  But, I will show phases of it, and I will also be creating a video of me doing this as well.

Here we go!
I have a model with 2 solid bodies (i know you have probably seen this part before).  1 represents the finished product and the other represents the stock.  Now, the stock is driven by the dimensions of the finished part so you won't have to worry about the stock being wrong.

On the Evaluate Tab in SolidWorks you will find the DriveWorksXpress Wizard.  Click on this to get it going.  So, i went through and created the new database, and am to the point where I am capturing dimensions and features that are needed to drive this part.
Once I have the dimensions captured that I need the next step is to create the inputs that will define the form that is filled out.

The last thing to do is to build the rules that are going to drive the part.  So, in this case I am going to have all the inputs driving my dimensions so it is pretty easy working this one out.
the only other rule that you have to build is the naming of the part.  For this I just had it driven by the customer name which is one of the input values.
Now, I have a functional DriveWorks Build, but we are looking at the HSMWorks aspect as well.
So, in my CAMManager tab you can see that i have toolpaths already programmed for this part.  And the setup is setup to read the part and the stock solid that i built as well within the part.
Now, I can run my DriveWorks Form and see what happens.

Once I hit the create button you will see that the part has now been created with the new name and you can see in the image below that the toolpaths are still there and are now needing to be regenerated do to the changes in the model.
And now all I have to do is regenerate the toolpaths, post it out and I am good to go.

Later this week I will post another one regarding text and Driveworks with HSMWorks.
Hope you enjoyed this and helps to inspire some new creativeness.

Happy Programming!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Creating a Second solid body in Inventor within a part.

I am going to start a series that shows how to create a 2nd Solid Body in all 3 pieces of software because this is something that people don't take advantage of when using the different CAD softwares because some don't know how to do it and don't realize that you can define your own stock solid.

So, let's get started.

The first program we are going to look at is Inventor; and we are going to look at a part that I have modeled and then we will create a solid to represent a stock solid.

First, I have my model.

Now what I want to do is create a sketch on the XY plane; so, to do this i will go to my model browser and right click on the xy plane and select "New Sketch".

So, now it will start the sketch on the XY plane, and I am going to create a two point center rectangle and snap the center to the 0,0 point of the part.  Then i will place fillets on all 4 with a 3/4" fillet.
In the pic below you can see the sketch that i created.

So, once I have this sketch I can now create an extrusion feature.
Now, in this feature you will want to be sure to specify an Asymmetric extrusion because we are extruding a distance above the part and a distance below.  Keep in mind this may not always be the case, but in this scenario that is what we are doing because I am going to place the lower portion in a vise to mill on.
Then lastly you want to click on the "New Solid" button which is below the join, cut, and intersect selections.

Once you have your extrusion distances defined just click okay and there you have a second solid body to use as your stock selection.

Hopefully this is helpful and remember this can be utilized whenever you are milling a part that has stock that may have gone through a waterjet process or some other cutting process prior to machining.