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Electrodes & associated documents - New user learning SW needs to get some work done!

Question asked by Matt Berube on Aug 25, 2017
Latest reply on Aug 28, 2017 by Newell Voss

Hello everyone,


Looking for a lot of help with various tasks related to creating electrodes.  I am very new with Solidworks but ran Topsolid (hated it) for 10 years before I was able to convince management to switch to Solidworks 2017.


I have been working in a PART file environment.  I tried doing this in an assy and it seemed too time consuming although that could have been because of my inexperience. 


Things seem relatively straightforward when I have a simple component to work with but when I start working with more complex components I am having concerns that it would be too easy for me to confuse the orientation of an electrode especially in situations where we need to edm 3 or more sides of a part like the one pictured.  I can easily create planes and model my electrodes in all directions as necessary but the confusion starts when I begin working on my 2-D drawings.  I start a drawing and add a standard 3 view...  Now, depending on how the model is oriented in my sldprt file, I get all sorts of choices - Top, Bottom, Front, Back, etc for how to orient the drawing views and that's fine.  I can select the one I want...  But the rotation isn't what I had in mind...  So I use "rotate view" and set things up just how I want them to look...  Now as I am doing this, I start worrying that maybe I'll get confused in the process of all this work and exporting the file out to Mastercam and maybe cut an electrode backwards.  Some electrodes *APPEAR* symmetrical but in reality, they have slight variations that must not get reversed.


How can I give myself some reassurance that things are all oriented the correct way and that my 2-D drawings will match my Mastercam programs even on those days when my head is not in the game the way it should be?


In my old software, I was able to set up a coordinate system that established the drawing view for a particular setup (normally the top/center of a core/cavity block) and then another coordinate system looking at the electrode in the machining perspective which I'd then use to export the electrode to Mastercam. 


In Solidworks, I can't figure out how to make a drawing view oriented to a custom plane or coordinate system and I also can't figure out how to export a parasolid file oriented exactly the way I desire.  It seems the orientation of an export is automatically based on the standard SW origin.


Below is a core I'm currently working on with an electrode shown in position above it.


Any advice you folks can provide would be greatly appreciated.  I must figure out some efficient ways to get this work done with confidence.