5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 28, 2013 9:44 PM by Jerry Steiger

    Find Specific Imported Features

    James Bailey

      I'd like to find specific features (weld bosses) of customer part data which is translated into SolidWorks. I've looked into the Find/Modify Features tool, but I'm not sure if I can find these features if they aren't recognized natively by SolidWorks as a feature on their own (they're typically a combination of surfaces).

      Upon finding them, if I could select them all, I think I could programmatically assign planes or labels (or anything) to each making design and process flow much more efficient.

       

      --More info (separated because many are deterred by big blocks of text)--


      Here's the deal:

       

      Customers send us their part data (typically Catia, step, iges, etc.) which we translate into SolidWorks. We usually work with interior components of cars such as door assemblies and the instrument panel (among other things).

      After translation, we have an imported feature which SolidWorks can recognize and creates a bunch of surfaces, holes, etc. depending on the integrity of the file.

       

      Because of confidentiality agreements, I probably can't upload pictures or files of customer parts, but if you're familiar with interior components, there are things we refer to such as weld bosses or stakes. These are simply a hollow cylinder extruded from the substrate of the underside of a part.

       

      These bosses are closely related in that they are often the same diameter and have a hollow center, therefore, it seems viable to find them based on these parameters (outer-diameter/inner-diameter) and even sub-categorize them based on which ones are parallel to eachother, etc.

       

      I can understand that this is a specific and unique question, but I'm hoping someone out there can see the benefit in achieving this task.

       

      --

       

      Thanks in advance.

        • Re: Find Specific Imported Features
          James Bailey

          Any ideas on this guys (does it seem feasible)?

           

          I've tried to use the Find/Modify within SolidWorks, but so far it only recognizes 'recognized' features in SolidWorks. These parts are composed of sometimes hundreds of surfaces and aren't really separated in the logical order that I'd like to have them.

            • Re: Find Specific Imported Features
              Jerry Steiger

              James,

               

              It seems like you would have to run FeatureWorks on the parts. You could try the interactive approach, just looking for the features of interest. You might even be able to find Patterns, although I wouldn't expect that to work with bosses that aren't exactly the same.

               

              Jerry S.

                • Re: Find Specific Imported Features
                  James Bailey

                  Jerry:

                   

                  Thanks for the reply. FeatureWorks sounds interesting - I only know a little about it as we only have 1 seat available at work with that add-in, but I'll have to check it out.

                   

                  A shot in the dark, but I'm guessing you've had some experience with FeatureWorks. With that assumption, would you happen to know the method it searches for patterns? In essence, how exact might the bosses have to be to eachother?

                  For the most part, they would have the same outer and inner diameters, but the length of the boss is usually the variable.

                   

                  ------

                   

                  I've attached a picture showing an example of a boss. A cylindrical boss is extruded from a substrate and then a separate component with a hole is slip-fitted for the boss.

                   

                  What I'm hoping is that since the planar face of most weld bosses are parallel and they share a common outer diameter as well as the inner 'hole' diameter, then I might be able to find them based on those parameters.

                   

                  Thanks again for the input.

                    • Re: Find Specific Imported Features
                      John Burrill

                      FeatureWorks is a tool for converting improted geometry into feature-based geometry.  It has some inferencing capability built into it that's able to detect patterns of similar features, especially if they have coplanar faces.  So, what Jerry is hinting at is that you can use feature-works to recognize your weld bosses along with other geometry and then use find/modify to locate them as a group based on size.

                      Having said that and having used featureworks a good bit, it's a largely interactive process to go about recognizing features from imported geometry and its success depends greatly on the complexity of the underlying geometry.  Where you might have better luck is exporting a 2D view of the geometry to AutoCAD or Draftsight and then using a selection filters to search for circles with a specific diameter-if all you're looking for is a count.

                      • Re: Find Specific Imported Features
                        Jerry Steiger

                        James,

                         

                        As John said, FeatureWorks might or might not be able to figure out the pattern. I've never tried doing this, so I don't know how well it would do. If you can define the bosses by extruding them from a plane to a body, then I think it has a chance of figuring them out. If they are all the same height starting from the same plane, then it probably has a pretty good chance. If they are of different heights and start from different planes, then it is probably hopeless. But the only way to know is by trying it.

                         

                        Jerry S.