16 Replies Latest reply on Oct 15, 2012 9:51 AM by Elena Dent

    IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0

    Elena Dent

      My company routinely exports files as IGES for outside machining and recently has had trouble with faces in the IGES file being missing.  We don't notice until the outside shop calls and tells us we've got a problem with the file and my boss, who doesn't really like Solidworks and doesn't use it, is having fits.

       

      I was exporting with the options

      IGES solid/surface type 144

      Surface representation/System preference STANDARD

       

      This was consistantly losing important faces

       

      Using type 144 with NURBS still lost a face, but only a simple through hole (and only one thru hole... others were fine, huh?)  The recipient just e-mailed me that that file was ok, he could use it.

       

      So my question: Should we use STEP files instead of IGES?  Is there some setting/diagnostic/whatever I can use to be sure the files actually export properly?  The odd thing is that if I export to IGES, import the file to Solidworks, run the diagnostic, fix an offending face, save-as the same IGES file name, (which it does successfully) then import the file into Solidworks again a DIFFERENT face can have a problem, which can be diagnosed and corrected, save-as, open again, and another face has a problem, diagnose, fix... I really don't want to spend the entire day on this endless loop of find/fix/save/repeat.

        • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
          Anna Wood

          Try step or parasolid.  What CAM software packages are your suppliers using?  That may have a bearing on what you send out to your suppliers.  Can your suppliers read native SolidWorks files?  That is an option as well.

           

          Cheers,

           

          Anna

            • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
              Elena Dent

              Many companies do not like sending a Solidworks native file - it's like handing over an in-house design for someone else to fool with and then copyright out of company ownership.  And there is always the question of 'which version of Solidworks are YOU working with?'. 

               

              Agreed it would be best to know what CAM software I'm exporting for too.

            • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
              Jeremy Feist

              it isn't necessarily the iges file that is missing the face(s), it could be that their importer is missing the faces on the way into their program.

               

              we generally have much better luck with step files (and the file sizes are much smaller too).

               

              I would suggest sending a 3D pdf along with the step (or other) file so they have a 3D picture they can compare to and let you know if they see any problems.

                • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
                  Elena Dent

                  The IGES file is indeed missing faces - I can see it when I import back into Solidworks.  And Solidworks most certainly fails to mend the missing faces on a STANDARD format IGES. 

                   

                  I agree that we should use STEP files from now on, that's what a former employer always used.  But since I was told 'export to IGES' I figured I should have some backup to the thought that IGES may not be the best option to translate for other software.

                   

                  I don't know what CAM software other vendors are using, sometimes whoever we interface with doesn't know either and sometimes it's one of their trade secrets or something. 

                • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
                  Jerry Steiger

                  Elena,

                   

                  Like Anna, I would recommend that you check with suppliers to see what file types they can read and then try Parasolid, STEP and finally IGES, in that order. You can also check out the various options for each type. For IGES, you might find that one of the CAM-specific options works better than Standard.

                   

                  Jerry S.

                  • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
                    Elena Dent

                    Thank you, everyone, for your help.  I hope this explains to my boss as well as it has to me.

                     

                    Elena

                    • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
                      Lenny Bucholz

                      As a Model Maker, Prototype Machinist, tooling designer and all around SW abuser.

                       

                      Having a SW file is sometimes invaluable, Why you ask??

                       

                      Well here it goes, a good SW|CAM person might use the native file to make fixturing, correct, what if you change the part automatic change, DUMB solid they would have to fart around to get the links back, slowing the process and charge you more.

                       

                      Or they may make configurations, needing to suppress features during the machining process to save time and make better parts.

                       

                      Hell they may be using a CAM software inside of SW with feature recognition, again saving you money.

                       

                      last but not least, those shop have probably signed a nondisclosure and if something did get out you can take'm to court.

                       

                      So find out what CAM or combo od CAD\CAM they are using, What version they are on, why this, because you may have to sent out older versions of Parasolids, iges cause there CAM can't read or coughs on the newer.

                       

                      Also most of the latest CAM read SW files directly, and some even se the changes and warns if SW does to update the tool path.

                       

                      SW has CAM partners, Surfcam, SolidEdge, MasterCam, GibbsCam. saves time for changes parts\assembly files. dumb solids can't do that.

                       

                      Been doing this in the ID\Engineering world since SW97. remember drawings are a contract and if the parts come back wrong you don't have to pay'm.

                       

                      one last thing, remember you can save out a SW file as a dumb solid, open the solidbody folder (which you need to turn on) right mouse and save to a new part file, all the history tree will be gone and it is still linked to the original so if changes happen it will update.

                       

                      lenny

                       

                      solidbody folder.png

                      insert into new part.png

                        • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
                          Elena Dent

                          Very good points.  I'm the one who gets to design the tooling though, and what I'm sending often ARE the tool models.  Although just for extreme fun some of our sister divisions are using older versions of Solidworks than we are and not all of us play well with each other.

                           

                          If I were sending inside the CorpRat system I certainly would send a SW file.  Management can be funny about sending native Solidworks files out of the house though and sometimes it's just easier to send a dumb solid than fight with management and rules that are already in place.  Logic does not always enter into the equation.  Sigh.

                           

                          Elena

                            • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
                              Lenny Bucholz

                              Elena,

                               

                              when sending a SW part or an iges, step, sat, parasolid you are still give the vendor your Intellectual Property, so what if they can see how you built it in SW. Hell with all the direct modelers out there now anyone can easly modify the dumb solid and call it there own.

                               

                              If you are worried that they may change something, why, that is why you send out pdf's of the control drawing so they have both to make sure, maybe you for got to include hole info, well the SW tree tells them what kind, if you used HWiz.

                               

                              I'm just a realist and trying to save you time and money, did you send the lastest export in the file format....? it's happened to me both ways, getting and sending.

                               

                              just sayin

                                • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
                                  Elena Dent

                                  It's possible we're sending something other than a Solidworks file because the receiving vendor, for whatever reason, wants a STEP or IGES.  Maybe they've only got a Solidworks reader or an earlier version of Solidworks than what we're using?  Dunno.  Some vendors do ask for a Solidworks file - and then doesn't warn us they need an earlier version.  Communication's such a wonderful thing. 

                                   

                                  And some company procedures, like insisting on sending dumb solids, could be habit or a legitimate requirement of some earlier CAM software and management just keeps doing what used to work rather than what would be best now.  Who knows.

                                   

                                  And Lenny, the missing IGES faces were not hole wizard faces - they seem almost random in what vanished.  Very odd and not really logical what vanishes and what remains. And absolutely - if they'd tell me what version they're using to work with my files I'll be happy to give them something compatable.

                                   

                                  I understand not updating something that actually works, while software companies update their files and try to force their customers to spend more money.  That infamous Drawing eXchange Format file from AutoCad still sticks in my head.  You know, the ver12 that IS compatable with a lot of programs and the later versions that aren't.

                                   

                                  Elena

                            • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
                              Richard Gergely

                              I'd of thought a few missing surfaces going into any decent CAM software wouldn't take long to fix and would need little effort, so are they making a big fuss over nothing??

                               

                              Like the others suggest STEP and parasolid are always better first options for export. I work with a lot of toolmakers (non of which use solidworks - TBH if you are just a toolmaker you wouldn't but that's another story) anyway there is a wide range of prefered export depending on their CAD/CAM systems.

                                • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
                                  Lenny Bucholz

                                  Richard Gergely wrote:

                                   

                                  I'd of thought a few missing surfaces going into any decent CAM software wouldn't take long to fix and would need little effort, so are they making a big fuss over nothing??

                                   

                                  Like the others suggest STEP and parasolid are always better first options for export. I work with a lot of toolmakers (non of which use solidworks - TBH if you are just a toolmaker you wouldn't but that's another story) anyway there is a wide range of prefered export depending on their CAD/CAM systems.

                                  Richard,

                                   

                                  Sure you can patch the holes left from missing faces on rectilinear type parts, but for 3, 4 and 5 axis type parts\molds now you are leaving that judgement to the machinist.

                                   

                                  As a machinist\prototyper\designer I won't do that any more, got burned, didn't get payed because my guess was wrong, almost right but not. that was 20 years ago when files took all night to download, 96k modems, procom plus, are you ready to send, I am ready to recieve...remember those days.

                                   

                                  So I got SW in 97 just to take the file, get a solid and then save out again to get the surfaces and wireframe so Surfcam could have both.

                                   

                                  I don't Get why you'd say if just a toolmaker you wouldn't have SW??????

                                   

                                  Hell every good machine\tool shop should have SW or any current solid Modeler, they are less expensive than most CAM software, most don't update their CAM every year, to get any type of file and save out to what ever they need. If the CAM software is current they will open a native SW file, it's the old out of date ones that fail.

                                   

                                  One good one comes to mind SpaceClaim, had a Rhino file, SW crapped out on it, holes, trunkated surfaces everywhere, SpaceClaim....Perfect and opened faster.

                                   

                                  This is just a tool just like a CNC Mill, Lathe, EDM, part of doing buiness.

                                   

                                  I know a few large companies out there that if you do not have their CAD software they won't give you work, because of the problem of...did the export get made correct and did the other CAD or CAM import it correctly.........Navtive file never have that problem if everyone is current that is.

                                   

                                  On last thing to all, sent your vender more than one type of file, native, iges, parasolid and step, that way if one doesn't work they have the others and you won't have to stop work to get them new files, ask them what version their CAM is, what version of Parasolid, yes you have to save out and older version to some, no different then AutoCad.

                                   

                                  soapbox done

                                    • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
                                      Richard Gergely

                                      If what you are saying is correct every toolmaker should have a seat of catia if they do automotive work? Only the biggest toolmakers invest in a seat of catia for purely importing files.

                                       

                                      Now the OP suggested it was mainly holes not complex surfaces which might have free form data so what you are saying about making data up for the surface is invalid, it's simple patches.

                                       

                                      Now I can't think of a toolmaker that is using SW I deal with but what they do use for instance is Delcam, mastercam etc etc. I'm sure there are some toolmakers in the UK that have seats of solidworks but it's few and far between.

                                       

                                      I get parts in from PTC, Rhino, Vero, catia and solidworks. On catia files I often have to do some serious surfacing to be be able to get it in a fit state for doing a tool design and they are always most likely automotive parts with catia files - bassically you have got to fix it and make sure it's as the original design intent but that's the job and that's what I sell my design services as. All I can say here is always send a model back to the client of the changes you have made and you are covered.

                                        • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
                                          Lenny Bucholz

                                          Well I have no idea what the norm in the UK is, but most all the machine shop\toolmakers I know have a seat of SW or Inevtor and even some are on the SpaceClaim band wagon, shops need to make fixturing, extract electrodes, slice up parts and bring in any type of file needed to get work.

                                           

                                          alot different here in the states, and with the advent of CAM running inside of SW more and more are getting because the toolpath updates with the changes, no long reprogramming time, change update and post.... we even run Delcam for SW here, slicer than snot!

                                            • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
                                              Richard Gergely

                                              Lenny

                                               

                                              If the toolmaker isn't into the actual designing of parts over here they tend not to use SW. Visi is a lot more popular with toolmakers in general. If you are in the automotive trade you will virtually never see solidworks files, I would assume that would be the same in the states?

                                               

                                              Are you using the sw importer software add in delcam? A couple of years ago we tried it at a company I worked at and it returned more faults than using iges. I suspect it must have improved since then.

                                                • Re: IGES file missing faces, 2012 sp 4.0
                                                  Elena Dent

                                                  The files I was sending were not automotive shapes - no formed sheet metal or

                                                   

                                                  The part that caused the most grief was an interestingly complicated model to make but mostly because the original part drawing was from the 1970's, hand lettered and originally a cast part.  Their drawing conventions were... um... interesting but at least the scan was good quality and didn't leave me wondering if that digit was a 6, 9, 0 or possibly an 8.  That's usually my biggest peeve with trying to figure out what the devil the original drawing says.

                                                   

                                                  Anyway, some of the blended surfaces were fiddly but did succeed in SolidWorks and the shop said the STEP file did actually succeed for him. 

                                                   

                                                  What surprised me was another part, far less complicated, lost a face and that was a simple cylinder with a couple of fillets - the corresponding face on the other half of the mold DID work. The pink face is the one that failed.  This too went through with a STEP file, so bottom line is use a STEP not an IGES.

                                                   

                                                  failure.jpg