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Measuring clearance

Question asked by Andy Milne on Nov 28, 2009
Latest reply on Nov 28, 2009 by Deepak Gupta

Hi all.

My SolidWorks people can't give me a solution to this one.

I design electronic motor controls and as you would imagine I have to keep a clearance between LIVE parts - commonly up to 690VAC 3 phase.

Various product standards define clearances through air and creepage distances over surfaces (UL in particular).

In SolidWorks the clearance tool just gives you the shortest distance between 2 components in an assembly. Not a lot of good to me as I have put an insulating barrier between the 2 parts so they might only be 2mm apart but thats not through air it's through the plasic.

Imagine 2 off 6"balls on the ground one either side of a wall 12 foot wide and 4 foot high, as a simple version, mine is a lot more complicated as I have 2 plastic mouldings with rather convoluted path through the mouldings. The help boys suggested drawing a spline curve between them and measuring it. Thats OK with the balls as there are only 3 possible ways round the wall, 2 sides and over the top.Creepage distance is possibly easier in the balls situation but even then you may have to done several measures depnding on the exact position of the balls.

I would have thought that this would have been a simple one as it's a task that could be performed by an iterative process which is what computers are good at.


Any suggestions

Andy Milne