What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2017: 3D Interconnect - Part 3

Posted in: Mechanical Design

In the last part of the blog series, we’ll explore how we can import an assembly created natively with Siemens Solid Edge then we can break the link to the original 3rd party CAD file and utilize Feature Recognition, without having to wait for the vendors to fix the geometry on their end. We’ll proceed with opening a Solid Edge motor drive assembly this time by doing an ‘Insert Components’ into our existing assembly. After adding some coincident and concentric mates, we’ll find that the holes don’t line up!

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What would you do in this case? Wait for the vendor to send you an updated Solid Edge assembly? That could possibly take days, if not weeks. Another option is to make the change ourselves using our direct editing tools! To do, we’ll right click on the assembly, and select ‘Break link’.

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We’ll be prompted to verify if we do want to break the link, as it can’t be undone. Once we confirm with a ‘Yes’, this will make the ‘Drive Motor Assembly’ a virtual assembly, indicated by the brackets. From this point, we can choose to either keep it Virtual (saved internally inside the assembly) or save it out to an External file with a simple right-click on the Virtual assembly.

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Afterward, we’ll want to focus in on the ‘Motor Plate Adapter’ because that’s the hole we want to change. So we’ll ‘Break the link’ to the ‘Motor Plate Adapter’ which creates virtual parts in the assembly, as well. If we take a look at the FeatureManager, it will resemble similar to what we were used to before 3D Interconnect – seeing the components come in as imported body/bodies.

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From this point on, we can do some direct editing, or Feature Recognition either Automatically or Manually. To just do Feature Recognition on the clearance hole, we can right-click the inside surface and click ‘Edit Feature’. It’ll recognize the hole as an M7 clearance hole. This will provide us with 2 sketches – 1 sketch for the cross-section and another sketch for the position of the hole.

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Since we want to make sure the ‘Motor Plate Adapter’ hole lines up with our existing SOLIDWORKS assembly, we’ll pop back over to the assembly edit the part in the context of the assembly. We’ll edit the position sketch, hide the ‘Motor Plate Adapter so we can reference the edge we want to line it up with, hover over the edge, and the center will appear. Finally, we’ll drag the point onto the center to create that external reference to the hole, to successfully position the ‘Motor Plate Adapter’ to our assembly.

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Throughout this blog series, we’ve discussed three different workflows where 3D Interconnect can improve our current processes, especially if we’re working with multiple vendors that have different 3rd party CAD tools.
We saw that we can directly open the native 3rd party CAD design data without the need for translation. This allowed for a more seamless integration without having to worry about exporting out a neutral CAD format or asking our vendors to do so, therefore creating a longer time for our products to get to market. In addition, we saw that the imported CAD data can be updated with newer version files, allowing us to preserve mates and features we created beforehand. Lastly, we discovered that if needed, we can break the associative link so that we can do our own editing with Feature Recognition instead of having to wait for the vendor to provide us with the correct model.

For more information, check out our YouTube channel or contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems today. Thanks for reading!

February 17, 2017
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