12 Replies Latest reply on Mar 2, 2016 10:31 AM by Jim Steinmeyer

    Mating axis with other axis along assembly coordinate system

    Laura Arns

      I have a weld cell layout, and I'm trying to position the robots and car parts where they need to be relative to each other. With the car parts, since absolutely everything in their jigs are in flux, the only stable references I have are surfaces (a terror to mate to and I'd have to derive the appropriate distances) and the axis of each main datum hole. I want to mate each axis with X and Y distances, just like the data I and others are working with. The axis in each is along Z. I only know how to mate it with a straight-along distance so to speak. Is there something I'm missing, or is this the perfect time to use a layout sketch? People have a habit of deleting sketches that aren't part of another feature so I want to avoid that if possible for stability. Thank you all.

        • Re: Mating axis with other axis along assembly coordinate system
          Jim Steinmeyer

          To me this sounds like the perfict place for a top down assembly sketch. would people be more prone to leave the sketch is you gave it a descriptive name that indicated it's usefulness?

            • Re: Mating axis with other axis along assembly coordinate system
              Laura Arns

              Maybe? I'm still getting used to how some of my coworkers think/operate. It would certainly be awesome to be able to mate by axis component distances, if you happen to know of a change request for it perhaps? I don't know how to look that up. Thanks for such a quick answer!

                • Re: Mating axis with other axis along assembly coordinate system
                  Jim Steinmeyer

                  Laura,

                  Not sure what you are asking for with a change request. If you do a slower double click on the sketch or feature name you are able to change the name like with windows files. in the following picture I have created several axis' and planes to locate assembly models off.

                  Capture.PNG

                  With these set locations I can locate several components where I desire without relying on faces of components that get swapped in and out with different configurations. The same can be done with sketches. I often need to go into sub assemblies and parts to add appropriate planes or axis' so that they can be logically located. ( the people here don't tend to place parts symmetric to datums which drives me up a wall ). If a reference item is renamed it tends to be respected and left alone. People see that it has a reason to exist. I also place features or parts into folders in the tree to help de-clutter the tree.

                  Let me know if I can clarify something more.

                    • Re: Mating axis with other axis along assembly coordinate system
                      Laura Arns

                      I don't mean in the tree. I mean X & Y components of distances. I would want to be able to mate along an axis, even if those aren't planes/axes themselves. I don't want to create planes as a way around, as they're also likely to be deleted, and will bog down the model and the tree in a rather large layout. When we export to other programs that we have to use, folders are exploded out. In other words, the distance mate, just working slightly differently, a more direct way that will more quickly/reliably update.

                        • Re: Mating axis with other axis along assembly coordinate system
                          Jim Steinmeyer

                          To my knowledge an axis is like a vector having no end points thus no midpoints.  If an axis runs along the X axis and a component is mated to a surface or plane it can be dimensioned a set distance from the axis in the Y or Z directions but not some determined distance in the X direction. That is why I use additional planes or reference points.

                            • Re: Mating axis with other axis along assembly coordinate system
                              Laura Arns

                              I don't mean midpoint...? For instance, I'd be able to pick an assembly plane or axis as the vector direction, and mate along that (think similar to a "normal dimension", but setting it instead of just measuring it). Preferably I'd be able to isolate just one direction- for example, this Z-axis to this Z-axis, along assembly X, distance 1100mm. Is that perhaps a little clearer? I fully understand an axis is an infinite line, I'm trying to set distances in perpendicular directions.

                                • Re: Mating axis with other axis along assembly coordinate system
                                  Jim Steinmeyer

                                  Ok, I used mid point just to indicate that if an axis runs in the X plane you can't locate a component at 1100mm to the X of something else. If you want to locate something parallel to an axis that runs in the X direction you can use a 3D master sketch. Sketching in 3D can take a bit to get the hang of but it will allow dimensioning something in the 3 directions. Then if you rename the sketch to indicate it's importance I would expect co-workers to respect the need for it to be there. You may want to look at some 3 dimensional sketch tutorials. I think this will get you to what you are looking for. I am surprised someone more knowledgeable than I has not jumped in to help.

                                  • Re: Mating axis with other axis along assembly coordinate system
                                    Jeremy Feist

                                    you can have a distance mate axis to axis, but you can't lock the direction of that mate. you could mate axis to plane, and the plane would define the direction.

                                     

                                    alternately, multiple distance mates to different axis could define the location of the part. it all depends on the details.

                                      • Re: Mating axis with other axis along assembly coordinate system
                                        Laura Arns

                                        I'm familiar with these methods, but with the parts involved I was trying to avoid planes of any form at all. I'm also familiar with 3D sketches, though that's not really as appropriate when I'm only trying to locate in 2 axes. I went ahead and started doing a proper layout sketch with points to locate the axis on as well as the other components in the robot cell, but while this is nice because it's not as likely to be deleted (not in tree), nobody else here is as proficient with Solidworks so will likely not know how to get to it to edit things. I was looking for a way closer to something that others would be able to understand/use/edit easier, that still properly reflected the relationship, and wouldn't have required parts of the mate deleted out- I'm having a hard enough time keeping the axes I need there, let alone any planes. I just figured if in drawings you can specify you're using a horizontal or vertical dimension, that you might be able to set something that way in assembly as well with distance mates using the same principle (X-distance mate, Y-distance mate, Z-distance mate) with them not visible if not in use. If not currently possible I figured there might be a change request for the next version for it. I suppose there was only so much hope when I couldn't find something like that myself anywhere. Thank you all for the suggestions and for taking the time to answer. Do either of you know how to submit a change request?