10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 9, 2010 12:45 AM by Kelvin Lamport

    export 3-d assembly with levels

    John Kreutzberger

      I have a customer who is absolutely desperate for me to be able to export my 3-d from SolidWorks with pre-assigned levels for the different parts in the assembly. They want to bypass their over-woked design department and send my designs straight to programming and the programmers need to have the level information.

       

      I understand that SolidWorks does not have this capability. What I am doing for them now is I export an ACIS, version 5.0 *.sat file to my old seat of Cadkey99. I assign the levels over there and then export from Cadkey to them. This seems like a less than ideal situation to me. The first tool designs I sent this way had fairly prismatic surfaces, so may work just fine for them. However, I cannot see this being a permanent solution.

       

      I am reluctant to purchase a full seat of KeyCreator just for translating and assigning levels. Does anybody know if SpaceClaim or Alibre would work for this? Ideally I would like to use a SolidWorks-native or partner solution, but this is an area that SolidWorks has evidently decided is not important. Therefore I am seeking advice for other ways to solve this issue.

        • Re: export 3-d assembly with levels
          Kelvin Lamport

          Sorry, I don't have an answer for your problem, but I am curious why the programmers need to have the 'level' (I assume you mean layer ?) information. Are they prgramming for CNC?

            • Re: export 3-d assembly with levels
              John Kreutzberger

              No I mean levels-which people from ACAD and other backgrounds call layers. They are the same thing, actually. Yes, when I speak of programmers, I am referring to CNC programmers. They like to have different parts on different levels so that they can turn everything else off while they work on their CNC programming for s specific part. Even though this is an export issue, I may have been better served posting it in the MoldDesign area of this forum where more people may be familiar with issues dealing with tool shops and their specific requirements.

               

              I don't really expect much help on this issue from this forum, but thouht it was worth a try. I also registered and posted on the Delcam PowerMill forum to see if I could get some specific information there from people that use the target system.

               

              Finally, why did your reply get labeled as the correct answer when you say right off that you don't know the answer? Thanks anyways!

                • Re: export 3-d assembly with levels
                  Kelvin Lamport

                  My reply wasn't labelled as being correct. The "Correct Answer" button you are seeing is there to allow you to select it as being correct. Every reply to this thread (except your own) will show that button till you select one as being the correct answer.

                   

                  Please read https://forum.solidworks.com/thread/26552 for more details.

                  • Re: export 3-d assembly with levels
                    Anna Wood

                    Sounds like they are bringing whole assemblies into DelCAM, as opposed to individual parts.  Why not just import individual parts in DelCAM, then there is no need for layers/levels.

                     

                    Sounds like CNC programmers stuck in their ways of doing things.

                     

                    Maybe they can get some custom programming done for DelCAM to help with their imports to suit their CNC programmers way of working.

                     

                    Seems more a DelCAM and CNC programmer issue, then a SolidWorks issue.

                     

                    I am not surprised their designers are over-worked.  I bet they are stuck in some very inefficient workflows because they have always done it this way.

                     

                    Just some observations.....  Sorry I have nothing to offer for help.

                     

                    Cheers,

                     

                    Anna

                      • Re: export 3-d assembly with levels
                        John Kreutzberger

                        My export to them serves a dual purpose. They like to see the entire assembly so that they can get approval from their customer of what I have done. You do bring up an interesting point, though. It would be a little more (billable) work for me, but I suppose I could just translate each part that will get machined individually-could even do each one in the context of the assembly so that they could pop each one into their own assembly. I could also send them a full parasolids assembly and an e-drawing for reference purposes. I do think they would still prefer to get everything in one shot-with levels assigned-but will bring this option up with them.

                         

                        I am close to hitting that button that Kelvin so kindly pointed out to me,but will wait to see what I hear from the Power Mill forum and from others here.

                         

                        By the way, you have hit the nail on the head about their design department. They recently bought that new Delcam Mold Designer package after considering SW w/ MoldWorks. Now they are struggling with it and trying to keep a stiff upper lip while they justify their decision. Meanwhile their office guys are feeding me contract work so that they can still meet their deliveries.

                          • Re: export 3-d assembly with levels
                            Anna Wood

                            John,

                             

                            What were they using before for mold design?

                             

                            Cheers,

                             

                            Anna

                              • Re: export 3-d assembly with levels
                                John Kreutzberger

                                They were using Power Shape by itself-along with a number of macros they had developed on their own. I have worked with then for at least 5 years and they were always amazed at how fast I could turn things around. I simply use the SolidWorks core with my own personal mold design library, and 12 years experience with the software.

                                 

                                In the past they would take a step or parasolids assembly from me into PS and it prepare it for the CNC guys to do their thing with PM. Now they are trying to bypass that intermediary step.

                                  • Re: export 3-d assembly with levels
                                    Anna Wood

                                    Wow, talk about the wrong tools for the design job.  Sounds like a cnc milling shop that decided to add design to their portfolio and did not upgrade to the proper tools to get the design work done. Amazing they haven't asked you for advice about what to buy since you toast them for speed. Or maybe they have and are just thick headed and cheap. Penny wise, pound foolish.....  Makes you shake your head when you see or read about these situations.

                                      • Re: export 3-d assembly with levels
                                        John Kreutzberger

                                        Oh, I gave them advice. (and yes-I totally kick their butt for speed.) I don't know how many mold-makers you know, but in general they think that nobody else understands what needs to be done except them. The lead `engineer' is a really bright guy in many ways who is so smart that he was able to write a bunch of macros for PS that at least made it SEEM lke they were getting the job done. They really only care about cutting metal and they can do that really quickly once they get a design. They truly don't know what they are missing. They also don't have any written guidelines or standard practices. Every time I ask a specific question they would need to show me an example rather than tell me what they like to do. The data they exported out of PS was dodgey at best and rarely imported to SW cleanly.

                                         

                                        What's interesting is that I have another customer that uses PowerMill and he is super-doesn't pretend that he can design in PS . Since he has a smaller shop, I do all of his mold design. He has no problem at all with my data out of SW and brags about me all the time as his secret weapon. I LOVE that. He has figured out how to get all of my assemblies split up onto levels. He would really be the one to ask about this topic, but he's on vacation. When he gets back later this week, I'll see if he can help these guys out, but it wouldn't surprise me if he just laughed at me.

                                         

                                        Anyay-nice talking to you....